Today I was filling out a form and I was asked to define who God is, explain Jesus Christ’s relationship to the church and discuss my own personal faith commitments in 250-500 words. My first thought was, “That’s a ridiculous assignment.” But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it should be possible to articulate the essentials of the faith in relatively few words. It would, of course, take multiple volumes and a whole lifetime to explain all the mysteries of the faith. I, for one, don’t think we’ll ever plumb the depths of those mysteries. But still, we should be able to assert the essentials of what we believe without wandering off into a philosophical discourse on the problem of evil or the nature of the Trinity. And so I went for it. It came out to 355 words. I didn’t use any reference works or a Bible and I didn’t cite verses–though I hope (and believe) that all of the content is biblically defensible. I just wanted to see what came out from inside me. I think if I spent a little more time on it I could tighten it up. But this is what came out. Thought you might like to see it.

“God exists eternally in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is the author and sustainer of all things. He is infinite and therefore we creatures cannot know Him comprehensively. And yet, He has condescended to make Himself known to us through creation, the Scriptures and the sending of His Son. “God’s character is unified and perfectly consistent within Himself. Perfect love, mercy and goodness meet with perfect righteousness, holiness and justice in the Triune God of the Bible. All of these qualities same as were on full display through the sending of Jesus Christ the Son of God to live a perfectly loving and obedient life and to die as a gracious and merciful provision to atone for the sins of God’s people. God’s justice and opposition to evil was upheld while at the same time His mercy and grace were displayed on the cross of Jesus Christ. “My Christian commitment begins with Jesus Christ who is my Lord and Savior. Through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit I have called on the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of my sins, was made an heir of the promises of God and have become a follower of Jesus.

“The church universal is Christ’s Body here on earth. His visible witness and the primary means through which He is accomplishing His will on earth, gathering His people and building His Kingdom. Jesus Christ is the head of the church and He has promised that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. “I personally believe that Jesus Christ came in the flesh and died and was raised again. That He died for my sins in order that I might be reconciled to God. I believe in the truth and trustworthiness of the Scriptures. I affirm the creeds and confessions of the church that have united Christians throughout the centuries. And I believe that one day Jesus Christ will come again to claim His Bride and will establish the new heavens and the new earth in which there will be no more sin, suffering or dying and we will worship Him in His presence forever. “Amen.”

Well, that’s it. Not a defense or an explanation of my faith or my poker addiction in Just a plain old assertion: This is what I believe. What would you write if you were given that assignment? Try it. Seriously. I think you’ll find the exercise extremely edifying and faith building. I did.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.