Bible, Christian Living

Rules, Obedience, and Knowing God

You did it. Someone stopped you on the street. A family member was over at your house for dinner. You stopped into a church without any clue as to what awaited you inside. And suddenly it all made sense. God is real. Jesus did everything you couldn’t do. Now you believe. You’re a follower of Jesus. The old is gone, the new has come, and you’re ready to start down the journey.

Before long some well-meaning but misguided person or group is going to start imposing rules on your life. Don’t do this. Do that. Fill your days here and not there. At first it sounds simple and you desire God so much that you go along with it. As the days turn into weeks, months and years, you learn to gauge how well you and those around you are doing at knowing God. You read your Bible and pray everyday. Your car can almost always be found in the church parking lot because you never miss a service.

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Some of us really like rules. We like to-do lists and have apps for that. That’s right, we don’t just have one, we have a few. Because we don’t want to miss anything, don’t want to leave anything undone. So we’re going to work at it. One of the categories for your to-do’s is simple named, “God.” Your Bible reading plan is there. A list of prayer needs is there. There’s even a calculator for your tithes, missions support, child sponsorship and food bank donations. Plus a calendar with all of those services you wouldn’t want to miss, your discipleship course, conferences, book reading deadlines, and so much more.

Is this the relationship we are called to with Jesus Christ? Is it about to-do lists and rules? We want to stay close to Him and far from evil. Growth is the name of our game; we aren’t staying still because staying still is moving backwards because it ain’t moving forwards. I wonder what Jesus would have to say about all this doing and obeying.

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Bible, Christian Living

Sola Scriptura: How One Rule Keeps Us Straight when it Comes to God

There is a moment from my opening days of Bible College that I love to share. It comes from the first day of our Systematic Theology course. Who knew such a simple exercise could have such an impact on my heart?

The professor asked us to take out a sheet of paper. We were given a few minutes to write out everything we knew about God. After we finished and the papers were collected, we were told to expect the same assignment at the close of the semester. Sure enough, that day came and we wrote new descriptions about God, and they were much longer, filled with the theological words and ideas we acquired over those months of study.

Young man reading small Bible

It is incredibly helpful to take a course in theology. Doing so forces the student to “unlearn what he has learned” on his own in order to grow and accept what Scripture actually shows about God and how He relates with humanity. So many don’t have such an opportunity. Left to develop an understanding of God on their own, there is a great danger that can cause serious problems for us. Thankfully there is a simple rule to keep us safe.

Continue reading “Sola Scriptura: How One Rule Keeps Us Straight when it Comes to God”