Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Are You In The Faith?

The Apostle's Creed is an ancient statement of faith used as a profession and used as a measure.

Note: This isn't all that we believe, but it is a summary of the Essentials.

Touchstone Vs. 2 Cor. 13:5 (a) - "......... test yourselves....."
Focus = "whether IN the FAITH..." ?
(today we leave the content of the Creed and examine "in the Faith".)

4 levels/stages/applications of "in the Faith"

I. Entering the Faith (initial - saved/converted/accept Christ/Receive Christ/born again)
Rom. 10:9-11
A) = personal/choice/Action
B) more than verbal affirmation - this is necessary but not what saves.

So..... 2 Cor. 13:5 (a) - "test.... whether entered........"

II. Standing in (within) the Faith
Boundaries of ortho-doxy - (correct opinion/true doctrine) - what Jesus taught the apostles and the apostles taught the church.
Point: having accepted Christ, are you standing within the teachings of Christ??

Important??? Gal. 1:6-9, 11-12
1 Tim. 6:20 2 Tim. 2:2 Titus 1:9 Titus 2:1

So.... 2 Cor. 13:5 (a) - test and see where you're standing! (we often emphasize standing firm/1st. we should examine where we stand!)

III. Walking in the Faith (practice) Eph. 4:1 (hinge verse)
Point = can enter and stand without practicing!!
Contrast: Positional faith with Practical faith

The need? A) commitment
B) knowledge beyond the Creed

Example: Barna Breakdown
of Americans ........... 85% claim Christianity

(8% Atheist/agnostic --- 7% other faiths)

of self-proclaimed Christians.........
largest segment = "notional Christians" - ie: claim Christianity but without a born again experience/very little knowledge of basic beliefs/no visible commitment to the faith.

next largest segment = Born Again but not evangelical. Believe they have eternal life through Jesus Christ and a born again experience... yet don't necessarily believe in Basic, core doctrines of Scripture.

Smallest segment (of Christians) = Evangelical - Born Again experience and accept Bible as accurate and authoritative = 9% of American people
Question? What portion of that 9% is really attempting to order daily life according to Scripture???

Need??? 1) Commitment (to Christian lifestyle)
2) Knowledge beyond the Creed ("whole counsel of Christianity") - which leads to ...

IV. Representing the Faith - 2 Cor. 5:20

No comments: