What is your basis for truth? Where do you get what you believe? Did you get it from your environment, your culture, your family? Did you get it off of TV, off some website? A lot of people say they believe in God, but what do they have to base that belief on? What are the characteristics of God? If they know the characteristics of God, how do they know those characteristics? What’s their basis for their belief of these characteristics?
Christians have a basis for their belief – the Bible. It’s the whole Bible or none of the Bible. People who only take part of the Bible and leave other parts out – what is their basis for who God is? if you are a Christian, your belief in God must be based on all of the Bible. We can’t pick and choose what to believe, based on our personal opinion. That is not being a Christian. If you take out part of the Bible you won’t have a full comprehension for who God really is. (Of course, you must also understand the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant – unlike many who want to attack Christians on this issue).
You could be saying that God is love, but God is not judgment, based on what parts of the scriptures you like and which ones you don’t like. But God is love and God is judgment. By picking and choosing, you can say that God forgives all sin, but we never have to ask for forgiveness of them. That is unscriptural. That is not rightly dividing the Word of God, which is what God calls us to do. If we can rightly divide the Word of God, then it is possible to wrongly divide the Word of God, which is what many have done.
For those who don’t have a Bible, or reject it, those who have not received Jesus Christ or will not receive Jesus Christ – what is their basis for who God is? The way they were brought up? Who says the way they were brought up is right? How do they know that what they believe is true? How do they know that this idea of who God is, is really the truth and not some lie based on a lie that they just want to accept as truth?
People say that God loves, that God wouldn’t kill. Well, what is their basis for that? How do they know that God loves them? How do they know God doesn’t kill. Or what if they say that God does kill, that God took their baby? How do they know that? What is their basis for that belief?
The problem is that they don’t. They don’t know. What are the basing their beliefs off of? Some people, most people base their beliefs off of their experiences. The problem is, the topic of God, the character of God is a universal issue. God’s character is not one way for one person and another way for someone else. God is universally the same. But our experiences are not. Some may have experiences of a good life, and thus say God is good. Others may have had a bad life, and thus say God is mean, or even doesn’t exist. Our experiences do not determine the character of God, the character of God however, can determine our experiences.
The problem is that our experience is no determiner of who God is. We must have a basis for that belief on something more concrete, something more absolute. And that is what Christianity is – absolute truth. Whether or not your experience is good or bad, that does not change who God is.
There was a young Bible student that came up to one of his teachers after having a rough day. He was steaming and wanted to talk to him. The teacher took the student into his office, calmed him down a bit and asked him what the problem was.
The Bible student, catching his breath, told his teacher, “I was just hit by another car right down the road. I was driving back to school and this guy pulled out of the gas station and hit me in the side. Now I want to know, who’s fault is it – God’s or the devil’s?”
The teacher looked at the student, knowing he wasn’t prepared for the answer, but still answered him – “Neither. It was the guy’s fault.” Too often we want to spiritualized things that don’t have any spiritual content in them. The man that hit him was the one who pulled out and hit the student. In like manner, a person can have a bad life and blame God for it all and say that God is evil. Yet God’s not the one who decided to start using drugs, He’s not the one who robbed a gas station, He’s not the one led a life that led to poverty, abuse, and imprisonment.
God however is the one who loved the world so much that He sent Jesus to save us, to heal us, to rescue us. We know that this is true, not by experience, but by the Word of God. Now our experience may back this up, but that’s just because our experience is inline with the Bible.
We must remember that our beliefs must be based on the Word of God and those who beliefs are not based on the Word of God have a skewed belief system. Their point-of-view will be skewed, and we must understand that. For our life to be all that God has called us to do, we must learn to line up our believing and our life with the Word of God. When we do so, we will see a profound difference on our life and our attitude in life.