By Joshua Stevens, Faith Contributor, Valley Ag Voice
What do you believe? If someone were to ask you what you believe, what would you say? I was speaking with a friend, and I asked her if her daughter were to ask, “Who is Jesus?” how would she respond? She laughed and said she would call me. We often find ourselves surrounded by many conflicting messages from core issues like the personhood of Christ to mundane and silly topics like does pineapple belong on pizza. And while it would be impossible and naive to implore us all to have an answer to every question, it is vital that we know the answers to the foundational questions.
There are many reasons why it is important to know what you believe, Paul says in Ephesians 4:14, “so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”¹ We should know what we believe because it keeps us on track. Regardless of what’s being said or proposed, we have a foundation of truth to rely on. It helps to keep us on that road so narrow.
What other reasons would there be to go through such an exercise of figuring out what you believe? Well, for one, it would be an excellent time to model to children how to go about the process, how to exegete scripture, and what makes a good argument and a bad one. What are the standards we have for belief? All of these are important conversations to have with loved ones, and this is a prime opportunity to not just talk about it but to do something together about it. In doing so, we can fulfill what was said, “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.”¹ Hebrews 13:7
A third reason would be to grow closer to God. While going through a foundational process on what does one believe, we find ourselves, inevitably, going to the creator in prayer and asking for guidance. Searching His word for answers and looking throughout history to see what others have said on the matter. In so doing, we find ourselves discovering more of God’s nature, creation, and glory. So that we may fulfill what a wise man once wrote, “Some people, in order to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you”²
What are these foundational questions that should be answered? They are the same questions that you would find across many churches’ “what we believe section.”
- Who is God?
- Who is Christ?
- What is the Trinity?
- How does Salvation occur?
- What happened at the resurrection of Christ?
- What is the gospel?
Certainly, this may seem overwhelming, and it is fortunate that none of us are alone in this journey of answering any of these questions. Not only do we stand on the shoulders of giants like Athanasius of Alexandria or Augustine of Hippo who wrestled with similar questions, but we also have brothers and sisters in Christ surrounding us who have studied and would love to help you answer these questions along the way. Do not be afraid to reach out to your elders or pastors to help you answer these, as I’m sure they’d love to have these discussions with you about not only what they believe but why it’s so important.
I pray that as we wrestle with these questions that we cling to the grace of the cross and the work accomplished there. That God would guide our hearts and minds toward answers that reveal Himself to us and to the world around us. I hope we find the courage, words, and ways to answer these questions and to go boldly proclaiming that gospel with which we have been entrusted. In Jesus’ name I pray,
1 Crossway Bibles. (2001). The Holy Bible English Standard Version. Wheaton: Good News Publishers.
2 Augstine, V. J. (1974). The Essential Augustine. In V. J. Burke. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.