Faith

Here’s my personal faith statement. (click the link)

Grace alone, through faith alone, by Christ alone.

I’ve been “saved” for 38 years. During that time, I’ve been a part of a Methodist church, an Evangelical Free church, three different congregations of the Church of God (Anderson), a Vineyard USA church, an inter-denominational charismatic church, a non-denominational Calvinistic gospel-focused church, attended a Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) for about six months, and now a Bible Fellowship Church (BFC), which is a Reformed Baptist denomination with Presbyterian-type of church structure/government.

The majority of that time, I was without a theological clue. Just floating by attending the larger “happy-clappy” churches wherever we landed. When I first started looking up theological type questions, I identified with the Arminian camp, and now realize how far I had drifted in the more liberal direction. But God worked in me through a convoluted journey, to take the blinders off my eyes and grow in discernment and theology. At the same time, I studied church history and the traditional creeds, confessions, and catechisms that make up the historic orthodox church. I embraced the doctrines of grace, which I had seen in Scripture before, but not known there was a name or structure to them; and agree with the vast majority of the Reformed creeds, confessions, and catechisms that help give a structured outline approach to theology and doctrines in Scripture.

Below are some ways to read the Bible and to pray.


Reading the Scriptures

Friends, we need to read our Bibles. Plain and simple, open and read. No extra books, fancy Bible study workbook, or DVD’s needed. The richest study can be done with an open Bible, a pen, and a 99-cent spiral notebook. That’s beauty. That’s God’s Word speaking to us.

There’s a reading/study method called SOAP that is helpful for starting out with your Bible and notebook. It stands for:

S – Scripture – write out the passage or verses you are studying;
O – Observation – what do you see in the verses that you’re reading? Who is the audience? Is there a repetition of words? What words stand out to you?;
A – Application – What is God’s Word saying? Are there any changes I need to make or actions I need to take?;
P – Prayer – Confess any sins you realize you are dealing with. Use the Lord’s Prayer as a model. Or the ACTS model: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication.

Two books that are worth reading to help you study the Bible {affiliate links}:

Also, here’s a good article: 10 Simple Steps to Plain Vanilla Bible Study by Michelle Lesley.


Prayer

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.[a]
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,[b]
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,[c]
12 and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.[d]

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”


I pray that this space on the web will bring us to the feet of Jesus as we learn the Truth; that His grace will soften and transform our hearts; that we will repent and be saved; to love God and to love others; to spread the gospel and make disciples.