What helps you understand your faith?
2 Peter 2:1-12
Do you ever find that Christianity is a bit complicated? Do you just love it when someone comes along who can just explain things clearly to you to help it all fall into place and for everything to make sense?
Sometimes it can be hard to teach the Bible. There are lots of symbolic passages and long words, the whole of it is written in another language (and not all the same one either) and some of it just seems a bit strange. I mean, angels. Are we talking here about a heavenly creature with wings that resembles a 3 year old blond in the Christmas play, or what the translation of what the Greek word is – literally a messenger. What?
I remember once I was listening to a talk at my uni Christian Union, and the speaker made things clear. But a few years later, I remember thinking back and I realised that what they had said was totally wrong. They had suggested that God only listens to the prayers of Christians. But given that the way to become a Christian is to pray, how could that possibly even work? And what does it even say about God?
It’s easy when you’re trying to say something about God to end up tying yourself in knots and before you know it you’ve spouted some heresy. It’s not quite as bad as it sounds – they don’t tend to burn people here for that any more. But when we convince others that lies about God are the truth, it can be dangerous. Some people even do it deliberately to get money or something else. I once knew someone who was influenced by a cult. She was ready to give up everything to go and live with them, even giving away all her money. We convinced her not to in time, but it was a close run thing.
But how can you know whether someone is teaching you a bunch of porky pies, or the living and active word of God? Here’s where you have to measure things for yourself. Does it sound like the God you know? Does it match up with what the Bible says? Does it go against the fact that the Gospel is enough to save us – we don’t need to give more ourselves, or do anything except ask Jesus into our lives to be rescued by God. And if you’re still unsure, why not talk to a friend or mentor about it – they will be able to help.
Lord God, help us to take your word seriously. Help us to discern where someone is teaching us a lie and give us the wisdom we need to follow you with all that we are. Amen.
Spend some time praising God that his grace is enough for us, no matter who we are or what we’ve done.