In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus tells a parable of two builders. The wise builder uses a strong rock foundation and the foolish builder uses a weak sand foundation. When the rain came, only the wise man’s house survived. The meaning of this parable is that we must have a strong foundation in Christ in order to survive what this world throws at us. Throughout this paper, five foundations of the Christian faith will be explained followed by my personal testimony. GOD
I believe in God the Father! He is described as compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love and faithfulness (Exodus 34:6). He is also described as sovereign (Deuteronomy 3:24)! Matthew 6:26 says that the father feeds the birds, and in verse 30, it says that he clothes the grass of the field. In the next two verses, Matthew goes on to say that we never need to worry about what to eat, drink, or wear, because if God even provides for the birds and the grass, he will provide for us. I believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God! He came to Earth as a baby born of the virgin, Mary. Jesus claimed to be one with the father (John 10:30), suggesting that he is not only the Son of God, but he is God the Son. He was the first and only man to live a perfectly sin-free life which was why he was worthy to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). Three days later, he was resurrected from the dead. His resurrection is what gives life and hope to all who believe. I believe in the Holy Spirit! He is described as having the qualities and performing the works of God. He guides people through difficult times and helps us to make good decisions.
He convicts men of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11). He gives new life (Titus 3:5-7). He gives gifts to the church (1st Corinthians 12:4-11). Together, these three make up the Trinity, a perfect combination of three persons, but only one God. The Father is not the Son; the Son is not the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit is not the Father, but they are all God. These are not three gods; they are three separate persons, but one God! A good example of the Trinity is water. It is composed of three atoms, but only one molecule. Water can exist in three stages. There’s ice, liquid water, and water vapor. Each stage is very different, but they are all equally water, made of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms. This is similar to the Trinity, because though there are three parts: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit), there is only one God! MAN
This world has many different conceptions of what man is. Some of these conceptions include man as a machine, man as an animal, man as an economic being, man as a pawn of the universe, and more. However, there are some problems with each of the above conceptions. The view that is most compatible with experience is the Christian view of man! The Christian view of man is that we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26 – 28). This means that we always have a choice between right and wrong (Genesis 2:15 – 17), human life is sacred (Genesis 9:6); and respect is due to all humans (James 3:9). Man is different from all other life on Earth in multiple ways. One thing that makes man unique is a higher intelligence. Another is that man has a soul. That’s just a couple examples. Man is different in so many ways. So, how is man like God? God is eternal, meaning that he has no beginning and no end. Man does have a beginning, but like God, we too have no end. Death is not the end. After death, we continue to live either in heaven or hell.
God is omnipotent, meaning all-powerful. Man is not all-powerful, but we are the most powerful species on Earth. Both God and man are personal. We exist as individual beings with self consciousness and will, capable of feeling and choosing. Why is the Christian view so much better? This view considers each person to be a creation of God rather than a chance result of evolution. This gives man a sense of purpose and reason for existence. Man is made in the image of God, which makes man special! This view makes each person special and gives each one a unique identity. Everyone is valuable to God (Matthew 10:28-31; Luke 15:3-7). Finally, this view is universal; it applies to every human being. We are each a wonderful, unique, valued creation belonging to God! The image of God was not lost as a result of the Fall of Man which is an event I will mention in the next section. Man would not be human without it. The image of God does not change due to human nature. It is indivisibly connected to humanity, sinners and believers alike. SIN
When this world was created, everything was completely perfect, but one day, sin changed everything. God gave Adam and Eve, who were the first humans on Earth, only one command in the beginning. That command was to not eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17). The serpent was more crafty than any of the other animals (Genesis 3:1). He convinced the woman to eat from the tree anyway. She took some of the fruit and ate it and also brought some to the man. He too ate it. This disobedience resulted in the entrance of sin to the world. This event is known as the Fall of Man. What is sin? Sin is a condition of the heart, mind, will, and affection and the practical outworking of that condition in thoughts, words, and deeds that offend God and transgress his holy law (New International Dictionary of the Bible).
Now, thanks to Adam, there are many consequences for all human beings. The first consequences were severe pains in childbirth and that men will rule over women, because it was the woman who disobeyed first (Genesis 3:16). Men are required to work for food, because the ground will no longer produce food itself and the ground will produce thistles and thorns, making it difficult to work (Genesis 3:17). More effects are that sin is now a condition of every man’s heart (Romans 3:23, Proverbs 4:23), the human heart is now in a state of sin from birth (Isaiah 48:8), and sin affects every aspect of life. However, the worst effect of sin is death, both physically and spiritually. No one is worthy to live forever now! “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). SALVATION
That last section had a really depressing ending, didn’t it? Well, there’s good news. God has made a way for freedom from sin called salvation! Salvation is liberty from sin and death. When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we no longer have to fear death! We should have to die, but from the very beginning of time, God knew we would screw things up and he already had a rescue plan. He loved this world so much that he sent his only Son, Jesus, to Earth (John 3:16). Jesus lived a perfect, sin-free life, which is why he was worthy to pay the price for us. He gave his life and took the punishment for us so that we could live. Then, three days later, he rose from the dead. He won the victory over sin and death once and for all (1st Peter 3:18). There is no greater love than this (John 15:13)! God made it simple. Now, all we have to do is accept this gift by saying a short prayer. An example of that prayer is mentioned below. There is only one way to salvation, and that is Jesus! “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)! There is no way that we could ever save ourselves from sin. It is only by God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8)!
Prayer for Salvation:
I admit that I am a sinner. I have done many things that don’t please you. I have lived my life for myself. I am sorry and I repent. I ask you to forgive me. I believe that you died on the cross for me, to save me. You did what I could not do for myself. I come to you now and ask you to take control of my life, I give it to you. Help me to live every day in a way that pleases you. I love you, Lord, and I thank you that I will spend all eternity with you. Amen.”
The Bible is a book inspired by God. God put the words that he wanted written into the mouths of the many writers (Jeremiah 1:9). We realize by the gospels that each writer did still write the story in their own words, but they were guided by God so that what they wrote was what God wanted to be written. This is why even though the Bible is composed of 66 books written by different authors at different periods of time, they all fit together perfectly. So, how do we know that what we are reading today is really the same as what was written back then? Many things could have changed throughout the years. Well, here’s how. Scribes, the people who copied the writings, were always very careful to copy every single letter exactly. If they even made one error, they’d throw it away and start over. The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in 1947, dated from 300BC to 100AD, are some of the earliest copies of the Old Testament.
Since they were found to be practically identical to the Bible we read today, we can have confidence that the scriptures were copied with extreme care. The amount of fulfilled prophesies throughout the Bible also provide evidence that the Bible did in fact have a divine source. Also, over 25,000 archaeological sites have been discovered that have some connection to the Old Testament, verifying the historical facts of people and places in the Bible. If the Bible is truly from God, then it should take full authority over any other source of information: internet, books, television, etc. If anything goes against the Bible, then the Bible must be the book we choose to believe, because it is and always will be the Word of God! TESTIMONY
I have lived in a Christian family all my life so unlike some people, I don’t have a big amazing story of how I became a Christian. I do, however, have a big amazing story of something God did in my life a few years ago that really helps me when in hard times! When I was only three years old, I had my first seizure. The doctor said that I had epilepsy. The seizures went on for seven years. They came and went with no way of telling when they’d happen. One of them lasted nearly an hour. I had three doctors in Manila, Philippines, Springfield, Missouri and Seattle, Washington who all said that at my age I’d probably never grow out of the seizures, but I never gave up. In 2007, God finally proved them wrong! I had gone four years with no seizures, but all the doctors still said that it was too risky to take me off of the medicine. After arriving in Springfield on furlough, we decided to ask again.
The doctor said we’d try another EEG test. I had already had several EEG tests, so this wasn’t very encouraging. Right before the test, I said a quick prayer asking God for different results this time. That prayer was answered! This was my first one ever to come out completely normal! God had healed me! Since then, there have been many more hard times in my life, but none as great as this one. Now, whenever I go through difficult times, I have something to look back at and say to myself, ‘If God got me through that, he can help me through this as well! Actually, I believe that that’s why He waited eleven years to heal me. If God healed me right away, it would’ve been cool, but not that big. After waiting so long, and going through all the doctors telling me that the epilepsy would never end, I realize that nothing is impossible with God! CONCLUSION
It is important for us as Christians to know what we believe so that when we are asked to give the reason for our hope, we can be prepared to give an answer (1st Peter 3:15). With a strong foundation in Christ, we can be ready for what this world says.