As Seen on Sunday: The Bones of Our Belief - God Creates and Sustains
We provide a recap of the Sunday sermon to encourage you in the faith each week but it's not the same thing as being here.
As Seen on Sunday is the weekly sermon recap from the EC crew. When we gather together the Word of God is proclaimed, Biblical doctrine is taught, and God is worshipped. Each week we try to answer the question, "How should we then live?" on the six days between Sundays.
What You believe dictates how you will act
What you believe will determine how you live. Your actions are a direct result of what you believe.
When your actions don’t match what you say you believe you are called a hypocrite. Nobody enjoys being called a hypocrite.
When you become a Christian you start a life-long journey of learning, engaging, and implementing a new belief system. It never happens overnight. It is a slow and thorough process.
This process is called sanctification: the shedding of the former way of life and the “being made into the likeness of Jesus.
Learning how to believe
How does a Christian learn what to believe? or how to believe? Since your beliefs will ultimately change the way you live it should be of utmost importance to cultivate your belief and that begins with cultivating and growing your knowledge.
One of the reasons we go to church is to learn what the Bible has to say. The Bible is God's gift to us that informs us of how God wants us to live and what happens when we choose to do it on our own.
We also go to church to learn to listen to what the Holy Spirit has to say to us. The Holy Spirit works through the Word of God - they will never contradict each other. The Spirit makes the Bible come alive and aide in the direct application of the Word to our lives.
Most importantly, the Bible and the Holy Spirit helps us identify when our lives do not match up with what God wants for us or what we proclaim that we believe.
Listen in on the EC crew talking about God as creator.
Put it on Repeat
As a church, it is important to constantly review what we believe. Why?
- Because we forget.
- Because truth takes time to change the heart.
- Because new Christians need to know the basics, too!
If we really believe that our actions will be based on our beliefs then it is important that we gain as full of an understanding as possible concerning what we claim to believe.
So what exactly do we believe?
That is the purpose of this series - The Bones of Our Belief. These 5 beliefs are the skeletal system that all of teaching at Empty Church. It is a basic structure for life application. We build all teaching on these five truths.
1. There is One God who created and sustains everything
It can be very easy to just say, “God created everything.” Sometimes the deepest truths, when reduced to a pithy maxim, lose their significance in our lives.
Do we as Christians take this truth for granted? Probably.
Do the non-religious passively roll their eyes and dismiss it without giving it an honest look? Probably.
We as people can also trip up over the concept of God.
- If he exists, how does he exist?
- What does he do?
- What does it matter?
We want to address two foundational principles wrapped in one succinct sentence:
There is One God who created and sustains everything.
Critical Bible Verses:
There is One God
First, there is One God. Packed into these four words are cardinal declarations of Christian truth that tell us of:
- The unity and community of the Trinity
- The supremacy of Jehovah God
- The illegitimacy of pantheism, humanism, and other false gods
It is important to note that when these words were spoken to the Israelites they were moving into a land where they would be surrounded by many cultures who worshipped other created and false gods. The pre-eminent command was to remember Jehovah God for who he is.
This should be very important for us today, as well. There are many other created and worshipped gods that tempt us to look away from Jehovah God and break our covenant with him.
This concept of God being one is also necessary for understanding the nature of the Trinity.
We will talk about God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - all are the same, all are distinct, all are God…this is confusing - we will have to work through it, but it is utmost importance that we remember that God is one.
God Created and Sustains Everything
God also is the creator - the sole proprietor of all that we know - and all that we are yet to know - of the universe.
He crafted through the power of his words and the skill of his hand
He created the world ex nihilo - out of nothing.
This is an important difference from all other origin world views. Something had to react with something else to mutate into something else ad infinitum.
Christianity begins with God as first cause, supreme cause, and final cause.
And that will change the way that we live. but how?
How this changes how we should live
With God, a first, supreme, and final cause an order is established. All humans are equally positioned in reference to God - no one better or worse than the other. We should, therefore, live for each other, die for each, sacrifice for each other - as Christ, as God, did for us.
Contrast this with the idea of “Survival of the fittest” - We as humans are set against each other to fight and claw and scrap our way to the top.
What we believe will change the way that we live.
We as the Church hold true that we all stand in the same condition on front of God. This is the true equality of the universe. God is over all and sustains all. And as we move through the rest of our beliefs we will see how this truth speaks to our need for a Saviour.