I am sure there are more than three reasons why knowing what you believe is important. However, I think knowing what you believe in these three areas is critically important.
This is a follow-up to the blog post from a couple of weeks ago where you were given a number of questions to help you consider what you believe. You can check out those questions here.
So what are the three areas?
This life is not the end.
As Christians, we believe there is a life beyond the life we know. We believe that when we die we step into a greater fullness of life with God. The Apostle Paul thought so much of this that he said to die is to gain. He did not seek to bring on death, but he was not afraid to die.
In the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, found in John 11, Jesus says to Martha:
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though they die. 26 Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
This life is not the end.
I do not need to use people.
You may be asking, “What do you mean? I do not use people.” Even as Christians we often get this wrong. We often believe, Christian or not, that in order to die and then yes go to heaven, we need to “do good.”
Go ahead, ask almost anyone the question, “When you die, will you go to heaven?” Many will respond with something along the lines of, “I think I’m good enough.”
Think about what you are saying. If you need to do good to get to heaven, then you need people. Not only do you need people, but you are using people. You are using people to get something. Your motivations are not to do good, to serve and to love them because of who they are, but they are to serve and to love you. You are using them so that you can “do good” and go to heaven.
As Christians, we believe that we cannot do enough “good” to earn our way into heaven. We are called to believe and trust in the work of Jesus Christ and not our own work. I know this can be rather subtle, but it is huge. This means we are free to love people. We do not need to use people to “do good” to get into heaven.
The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 5:
6 While we were still weak, at the right moment, Christ died for ungodly people. 7 It isn’t often that someone will die for a righteous person, though maybe someone might dare to die for a good person. 8 But God shows his love for us, because while we were still sinners Christ died for us. 9 So, now that we have been made righteous by his blood, we can be even more certain that we will be saved from God’s wrath through him. 10 If we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son while we were still enemies, now that we have been reconciled, how much more certain is it that we will be saved by his life?
It is about the good that Christ has done. We do not need to use people. Instead, as a Christian, we are given the opportunity to truly love God and love others.
I am not an accident.
There are many who believe everything around us is here because of “chance”. Psalm 139 says:
You are the one who created my innermost parts; you knit me together while I was still in my mother’s womb. 14 I give thanks to you that I was marvelously set apart. Your works are wonderful—I know that very well. 15 My bones weren’t hidden from you when I was being put together in a secret place, when I was being woven together in the deep parts of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my embryo, and on your scroll every day was written that was being formed for me, before any one of them had yet happened.
We have been created by a loving God on purpose and with purpose. Again, the Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 2:
10 Instead, we are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives.
What do you believe?
As a Christian, I believe there is always life. There is no end in Christ. I believe I am not an accident. I believe I have been created to love and to serve, not because I have to, but because I want to be who God created me to be. I do not have to use people. I get to truly love people.
(All scripture cited above from Common English Bible Copyright © 2011)