These past 10-12 months have been very hard for me spiritually. I have had a lot of questions about what I believe and why. I have been unsettled by beliefs that came from poor interpretation of scripture and disenchanted with my own lack of proper exegesis. As a person who values knowledge and intelligence, I was shook. I was humbled as I wrestled with theological viewpoints on determinism, radical depravity, the interplay of the work of free will and Holy Spirit during the process of salvation, and more. For a while I lost sight of the simplicity of the Gospel. My eyes drifted from the solid foundation toward lofty, highly debated insight I began to covet. It threw me off course, as does anything that takes attention away from Christ.
With the help of amazing leaders at much church and very patient discipleship leaders over the last few months I have found a peace as I have returned to look at the foundation of my faith. The Christian faith, which I hold, rests on a belief that Christ came as the Son of God, lived the sinless life humanity couldn’t, died on a cross, was buried, and rose again. Intertwined in this are the teachings and words of Scripture, but they are all validated by belief in the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
To the Corinthians, Paul expressed the Gospel in this susynced fashion preaching the life, death, and resurrection as crux of the faith. He call it the “most important”.
“For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers and sisters at one time; most of them are still alive, but some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one born at the wrong time, he also appeared to me.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
I look back at that not far off period with thankfulness. I reaped a more teachable spirit and a heart that is no longer pridefully pursuing knowledge for knowledge’s sake. Most of all God, who was patiently and mercifully with me through every moment of doubt and questioning has returned to me the joy of my salvation. He has strengthened my desire to pursue His Kingdom and seek to bring Him glory.
As I meditated on Good Friday and the Resurrection, I am overcome with the display of love and might that is unsurpassable. Christ will forever stand as the Name above all Names. This is the foundation which everything else can be sustained upon.
“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” 1 Corinthians 15:17
But we can rejoice because Christ was raised from dead. Our faith is not worthless, it is priceless. It is through this faith that we have access to the Holy God and can come boldly to Him. It is through this faith that we have the ability to have right standing with our Creator. We are not lost in darkness but we have been brought into the glorious light with the promise of life and life abundantly because we have God with us in Spirit. My hope is that this truth rings so loudly in your hearts that it not only affirm you, but it causes you to reach out and share it with others. Christ’s death is the foundation of our life!