A Matter of FAITH
What do you think it takes for someone to get to heaven? Is it
luck? Good deeds? Nothing at all? Or is there something more? The Bible
has the real answer to this question. It's a matter of FAITH.
F stands for FORGIVENESS.
We cannot have eternal life without God's forgiveness. Ephesians 1:7a
says, "In Him (Jesus Christ) we have redemption through his blood,
the forgiveness of sins."
A is for AVAILABLE.
Forgiveness is available for all. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved
the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish but have eternal life." But forgiveness is not
automatic. "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the
kingdom of heaven," says Matthew 7:21a.
I is for IMPOSSIBLE. It is
impossible for God to allow sin into heaven because of who He is and
because of who we are. God is loving and just, but His judgment is against
sin. James 2:13a says, "Because judgment without mercy will be shown
to anyone who has not been merciful." We are sinful people. Romans
3:23 tells us, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of
T is for TURN. To turn
means to repent. We can repent -- or turn -- from our sin and from
ourselves. "But unless you repent, you too will all perish,"
Luke 13:3b says. We can also turn to Someone. Trust Christ alone. Romans
10:9 tells us how: "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is
Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you
will be saved."
H is for HEAVEN. Heaven is
eternal life. Here, that means life "to the full:" "I have
come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10b)."
In the hereafter, it means the promise of heaven: "And if I go and
prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that
you also may be where I am (John 14:3)."
So how can a person have God's forgiveness, heaven and eternal life,
and Jesus as personal Savior and Lord? By trusting in Christ and
asking Him for forgiveness. Take the step of faith described by another
meaning of FAITH: Forsaking All I Trust Him.
You do this through a simple prayer reflecting your desire for Christ
to change your life. You don't need fancy words--only an honest heart. You
can pray something like this:
Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and have displeased You in many
ways. I believe You died for my sin, and only through faith in Your death
and resurrection can I be forgiven. I want to turn from my sin and ask You
to come into my life as my Savior and Lord. From this day on, I will
follow You by living a life that pleases You. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for
saving me. Amen.
Accepting Christ is just the beginning of a wonderful adventure with
God! Get to know Him better in a number of ways:
|Follow Christ's example in baptism.
|Join a church where you can worship God and grow in your faith.
|In your church, get involved in Sunday School and Bible study.
|Begin a daily personal worship experience with God where you study
the Bible and pray.|
We�d love to hear from you -- Please feel free to ask us any
questions you have about becoming a Christian, or tell us about your
decision to follow Jesus Christ. Please let us know how we can serve
you by sending us an e-mail to Info@FirstBaptistNorthPole.org.
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in
water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act
of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and
risen Savior, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and
the resurrection to walk in the newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a
testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church
ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of the church membership and
to the Lord's Supper.
The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the
church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine,
memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.
|Matt. 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20;
|Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26;
|Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20;
|1Cor 10:16, 21; 11:23-29;
|Col. 2:12 |
|Baptist Faith and Message, 9 May 1963, p.13|
The question is asked, What is the Bible?
We pose this question and seek now to answer it.
The Baptist Faith And Message offers an excellent starting point by
defining The Scriptures as follows:
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired
and is the record of God's revelation of Himself to man.
It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction.
It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without
any mixture of error, for its matter. It
reveals the principles by which God judges us; and therefore is, and will
remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the
supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions
should be tried. The criterion
by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.
One should view the Scriptures in
the context of the larger picture of God's message.
First, God reveals himself. He
is a loving God and desires to communicate to us and have fellowship with
us. God's communication to us
is defined as revelation, which simply means that God communicates to us.
Revelation comes in two forms, namely, natural revelation and special
revelation. Natural revelation
means that God speaks to us through creation.
The heavens declare the glory of God.
We learn something of God's majesty and sovereignty from his enormous
and meticulous creation. Special
revelation means that God communicates to us personally and specially. The
Bible is defined as the special revelation of God.
Through the Bible God has communicated to us using words, thoughts
Second, God inspired men in times
past to record his revelation to us. You
will read in the Bible from time to time phrases such as the word of God
came to a certain prophet or person. God
then moves in that person to record his word.
Thus, the Scriptures are born. When
God revealed himself to a particular prophet or apostle and moved that
person to record his message, it is called inspiration.
In essence, God inspired prophets and apostles to record his message.
Third, that inspired revelation
is then transmitted to us through the ages.
This is called the transmission of the word of God.
God governed the process of transmitting the Scriptures through the
ages to ensure that what we have today is in fact and in content, the very
word of God. We can take
comfort in the fact that the best, most ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts
are indeed the Word of God.
Fourth, that inspired revelation,
which has been transmitted to us, must be translated into an understandable
language. This is called the
translation of the Word of God. If
a given translation reflects accurately the content of the best most ancient
Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, then one can take comfort in the fact that
God's message is being communicated to you through that given translation.
Fifth, that inspired revelation,
which has been transmitted to us in the form of a translation, must be
understood. This process is
called interpretation. When one
seeks to understand and apply the Bible under the direction of the Holy
Spirit, he is then interpreting the Scriptures for himself.
A word of warning is in order at
We believe that God is love.
He has a desire to communicate to us.
Since he is love he has no desire to lie to us or mislead us
in anyway. We believe that
he is Lord. He is incapable
of being wrong or inaccurate. Since
he is Love, since he is Lord, we know that his special revelation, the
Bible, is infallible and without error.
If his word is fallible and imperfect, then he is neither Love
Not all translations are
equal. Care should be taken
in selecting a Bible for study. Make
sure that the particular Bible you are using for study is not a
paraphrase. Make sure your
study Bible is a translation from the best most ancient Hebrew and Greek
Care should be taken in
interpreting the word of God. The
text and the context of a given passage should be scrupulously studied
to understand it original meaning in the day it was written. Attention
should be given to word meanings, grammatical structure, and historical
content. With this
background in mind, one is better able to let the Spirit work to apply
the meaning of the Bible to heart and mind.
Well put are the words of The
Baptist Faith And Message: The
criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.
by Dr. Charles E. (Bobby) Holt Used