What we believe informs how we live, whether we realize it or not. God told us to know and study His Word. As we learn who He is that knowledge impacts how we live. It affects how we love Him and how we love our neighbor.
Here are some ways that belief affects our day-to-day life:
Understanding God’s nature - He alone is deserving of worship and obedience. Is anyone or anything competing with Him, including my own will? If I understand who He is, obedience, worship, priorities, all become clear.
Understanding my nature - I am sinful. So are you. Because of my fallen nature I cannot attain salvation or even goodness of my own accord. Understanding this brings spiritual surrender that I need God’s mercy and grace. It also influences everything from my personal expectations, to societal goals and even to public policy.
But even though we are fallen, we are created in God’ image. Understanding our intrinsic worth as image bearers of God allows us to reject society’s valuation. It is not about our accomplishment, fame or contribution. Our grasp of this is shown in how we treat those around us - the broken, the unborn, the dying, and others the world would deem weak or disposable
Understanding grace – lets me live courageously in freedom and not under the pressure of performance. There is nothing I can do to earn salvation but receive His love and forgiveness. I can extend that same unconditional grace to you.
Understanding God’s love and its sacrificial nature – We must not let the world define love and then decide if God is loving or not. God is the definition of love and He shows how we are called to approach the world to teach and demonstrate that love.
Understanding the nature of the church - won’t let me live as a lone ranger but moves me into healthy community. I need you and our successes and failures affect the whole body of the church. We're connected.
Knowing there is truth – allows us to reject the relativism our world embraces and acknowledge there is right and wrong. It protects me from destructive decisions based on how I feel or how others have influenced me.
No separation exists between doctrine and behavior. We act on what we truly believe in that moment. Theology is practical. Wisdom shows us how to thrive. Not having an anchor of truth tempts me to see God how I want Him to be, not as He actually is, and that will warp my relationship with Him.
All the commandments are fulfilled in this command: love God and love your neighbor. It really is that simple. But I must know who God is to truly love Him, not just embrace what I want. And real love toward my neighbor is defined by God, not me, and may look different than the world defines it.
Lord, I want my life be filled with deeds that flow from Your creeds - deeds that have meaning and Truth and aren’t just fleeting emotions. Teach me Your way.
In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech, which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us. Titus 2:7-8