One of our other authors, Michele, asked me to post the last several Hebrews interactive studies for her. I hope you’ve been reading through Hebrews with her as much as I have!
In Chapter 11 we are told about faith.
“Faith is what our mind has that our emotions cannot change.”
I may be paraphrasing this quote from C.S. Lewis in “Mere Christianity” but I feel this is one of the best definitions I have ever heard. As humans, our emotions can cause us to cycle back and forth on the way we feel, but our faith is something that our brain should never question.
Through our faith we come to understand the grace given to us. But we cannot come to faith without scripture. All of this works together to provide us with the food we need to mature in our faith.
The Reformation brought about a different thinking about the Scriptures then what was done before Luther’s time. Tradition and the Pope were considered authorities. In other words, what the Pope decreed was the truth. No matter that he is a human like you and me. Luther was against this and said that Scripture alone was the only authority that we needed to live by. Below is a portion of the speech that Luther gave at the Diet of Worms in 1521. This counsel of the Church was trying to get Luther to recant the 95 thesis and other writings:
Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience…. May God help me. Amen.
After Luther declared this he was considered a heretic and the church wanted him jailed and punished.
It saddens my heart to see that today, people set aside what the Bible says, going their own way and thinking that it doesn’t matter. The Scriptures are the Word of God and in them is all instruction for life. We all should read more of it.
Prayer and study: they’re like peanut butter and jelly.
A friend of mine once gave a talk on a Via de Cristo weekend about study, and she used this analogy. At first glance, it seems a little silly; but the more you think about it, the wiser it becomes. Prayer and study complement each other. They go together. We’ve talked about how prayer is a conversation: we speak and we also listen. Well, for me at least, when I pray, I talk to God and when I study, God talks to me. Maybe that’s because I love to read and study. I do think God gets our attention through the things that come naturally to us, the things we easily relate to. Beth Ann would probably say God speaks to her through music; a very sociable person might say God speaks to them through others, and so on.
Of course, the Bible is God’s Word and our primary source of information about Him. However, we can read the Bible simply as history and facts, or we can read it prayerfully. Here’s a suggestion for doing that:
This is not the only way study speaks to us. When I am thinking about a particular topic, it turns up everywhere! In the sermon, the hymns, the readings, other books I am reading, the people I am talking to. All of these things can be study and if study is God speaking to us, all of these things can be part of our prayer life.
So, how does God speak to you? Through art, nature, books, people? Pay attention and listen to what He has to say. Make all of that part of your prayer.
Well, I really didn’t have a lot more to say about this, but since I received a comment I feel it needs to be addressed.
The person who commented stated that in the KJV Bible we are told not to baptize infants. Well, that is not true. I have spoken to 5 different pastors/priests and none of them know of any verse that states that. Now if YOUR religion believes in that, that’s okay, but when you imply that it is in the Bible I require the back-up so that I can look for myself. If I am not mistaken Jesus just tells us to baptize the world, I do not believe he follows that with a disclaimer on infants or children. Now I may be wrong, but I have given the person who commented plenty of time to provide me with verification of the statement they made.
Does anyone else have a need for proof when they are told the Bible tells us to do something that we were not aware of???
Please comment and let me know. I invite all comments and discussions, even those that do not agree with me; HOWEVER, if you state that the Bible says something, be ready to back it up with Book, Chapter and Verse. Just Saying.
Remember – God Loves You And So Do I