Consistency in Christ 1: Acknowledge Consistency in God
One thing I have come to experience in my knowledge of the Lord is the need for consistency. This seems to be true on so many levels and one area I acknowledge it greatly is the area of behavior. But this can be very confusing. While we recognize there needs to be synchronization between our professed beliefs and our actions, there is very little of it going on.
What is even more difficult, is someone who seeks to honor the Lord in actions and in thought. While we can hide from one another by not doing evil, the Lord knows our hearts and can see the depths of our intentions. How good is it to have a God of mercy and a Christ who has paid for our sins and continually intercedes for us despite or shortcomings.
Now to come to my point; while I acknowledge there is so much we could share, I want to discuss how we need to have consistent beliefs so we can be lead to a proper behavior. I am not simply talking about methods to control our behavior, but a method that sees God for who He is, and because of this revelation, loving behavior will emanate.
Understanding Precedes Behavior
As a Christian we get our solid, meaty knowledge of who God is through the scriptures and it should be a staple for any Christian to love and cherish the bible and to read it continually. Through our bible we will have a right witness and testimony of who Christ is and then through prayers we will hopefully come to a wholesome understanding of Him. I believe you can gauge one’s love for Christ by how much they seek to read His word and pray. (Truly, what better way to love someone than to be in fellowship with them and learn who they are!) Since I can establish that without too much fuss, not saying I have here, I want to move on with my plea: consistency in understanding.
Seek to Understand
There are many times when people, rightly skeptical of who our Lord is, question major tenets of our beliefs. “Why do bad things happen to good people?” “If there is an all-powerful good God, why is there evil?” “Why can’t all you who call yourselves Christians get along?” “There are contradictions in the bible.” “Why don’t science and religion match-up?” etc etc etc. This is ok! This is actually something I like to hear because if someone is willing to bring up these objections then they are somewhat willing to discuss them. I am disappointed when critical questions aren’t even asked. But here is where I want to move from descriptions to giving answers; I don’t think a lot of these questions could be asked if Christians had a consistent, rational or systematic understanding of their faith.
I would suggest it is honoring to God to be able to answer questions like these and to answer them well. This comes from a verse often cited to support apologetics (the defense of the faith) 1 Peter 3:13-15, I will just insert v.15, “…sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”
This is a good verse for us who like to engage in intense fellowship eh? Some call it arguing or debating but either way we can find it is necessary in some situations.
To begin this little series I want to try and set a foundation for answering questions like I listed above. The first level and perhaps the most significant is understanding 'who' God is all about. For who does God make all things and for who does God seek to be lifted up? If we can recognize some of God's intentions in creating things and interacting in His creation we might be able to clear up some questions.
Stay tuned for 'Consistency in Christ 2: What are God's Intentions?'