The Planks of the Faith: Remembering for Re-Membering, Part 21
As a reminder, we have been greatly, marvelously blessed—as those “running the good race” (2 Timothy 4:7; Acts 20:24; 1 Corinthians 9:25; Revelation 6:11), and regularly gathered at the Training Table for the spread of spiritual sustenance and spiritual family fellowship—that we have ingested numerous “Planks of the Faith”:
Article 1: The Only God
Article 2: The Means by Which We Know God
Article 3: The Written Word of God
Article 4: The Canonical Books
Article 5: The Authority of Scripture
Article 7: The Sufficiency of Scripture
Article 8: The Trinity
Article 9: The Scriptural Witness on the Trinity
Article 10: The Deity of Christ
Article 11: The Deity of the Holy Spirit
Article 12: The Creation of All Things
Article 13: The Doctrine of God’s Providence
Article 14: The Creation and Fall of Man
Article 15: The Doctrine of Original Sin
Article 16: The Doctrine of Election
Article 17: The Recovery of Fallen Man
Article 18: The Incarnation
Article 19: The Two Natures of Christ
Article 20: The Justice and Mercy of God in Christ
Article 21: The Atonement
Article 22: The Righteousness of Faith
Article 23: The Justification of Sinners
Article 24: The Sanctification of Sinners
Article 25: The Fulfillment of the Law
Article 26: The Intercession of Christ
Please take just a moment (each day…) to thank God that He has been so clear, by so many Biblical, canonical, historical, apologetical, anecdotal, personal, cultural… and lots more ways… to reveal His most marvelous Plan of Redemption!
A Plank Preface of Personal Note
I have a great, great deal of pleasure and blessings in my every day life of waking each day—by adoring, thanking, confessing, and making requests of God—and then proactively and systematically engaging two different sorts of people throughout the day: Believers and Non-Believers.
According to the Bible, that’s what the entire world consists of: Bone fide, born-again Christians, and non-Christians.
Understandably, this Biblical truism is rarely the opening line in most Diversity Training Seminars. But the Bible refers to what I’m talking about as those who belong to “The Holy Catholic Church” and those who do not…
Yet: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16)!
Until Jesus returns it’s not too late to believe, and be adopted into God’s family. Belief first (orthodoxy), not works or practice first (orthopraxy) is what distinguishes Biblical faith from all other forms of faith.
All people have faith in something—which SOMETHING is SAVING is the key to life, temporal and eternal!
It’s very simple really… and yet made more complex because of sin and the cultural chaos that ensued: During life, I am either encouraging in some general or specific fashion a fellow follower in the family of Jesus Christ, or I am encouraging a non-believer to consider life on a different, deeper, and more divine level.
It makes life sort of simple… in a challenging sort of way.
Once we get it, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin) It’s All God; It’s All Good; It’s What Makes Life Truly Worth Living!
A quick and fun “family anecdote” of my everyday routine (not hardly…):
Recently, as my wife Peggy and I stopped for gas in an out-of-the-way gas station in the back country of Tennessee, I overheard a conversation between a customer and attendant behind the counter: The customer bought a lottery ticket and the attendant wished him the best of luck.
Before I spoke a word, I was listening carefully and lining up how “winning the lottery and being saved for eternity” would provide me the chance to engage with the gas station attendant—who I didn’t know at the time whether she was a Christian or not. But I did knew I would have about sixty seconds to strike gold!
“That guy may or may not win big, eh?” I queried as I stepped up to pay for gas, powdered doughnut gems (a traveling weakness), and a cup of crank.
“Yessir… Ya never know…” she responded. “Well, I bet you know how to win in the biggest and the best way possible, don’t you?” I said (the offer and open door being extended).
For what seemed like a very long time (maybe five seconds) the attendant stood up a bit straighter, turned her head slightly askew, revealed a toothless grin and slight twinkle of glee and suspicion in her eye… “Well…” as she saw the twinkle returned in my eye… “I know my Lord and Savior Jesus made me a winner on the cross for eternity!”
BANG! Struck Gold! What fun! “Amen and Amen, Sister. Praise God! You have a blessed day today, okay?!” I said as the next person in line stepped up to pay.
“Bless you too, sir. You’ve made my day!” were the words of mutual encouragement between God’s family members as we parted company to meet again in heaven to regale on how awesome is our Lord and Savior—having made all things new and gathered His family to celebrate like there’s no tomorrow… because there’s not!
The Planks of the Faith: Article 27: The Holy Catholic Church
“We believe and confess one single catholic or universal church—a holy congregation and gathering of true Christian believers, awaiting their entire salvation in Jesus Christ being washed by his blood, and sanctified and sealed by the Holy Spirit.
This church has existed from the beginning of the world and will last until the end, as appears from the fact that Christ is eternal King who cannot be without subjects.
And this holy church is preserved by God against the rage of the whole world, even though for a time it may appear very small in the eyes of men—as though it were snuffed out.
For example, during the very dangerous time of Ahab the Lord preserved for himself seven thousand men who did not bend their knees to Baal. (1 Kings 19:18)
And so this holy church is not confined, bound, or limited to a certain place or certain persons. But it is spread and dispersed throughout the entire world, though still joined and united in heart and will, in one and the same Spirit, by the power of faith.” (Article 27, The Belgic Confession of Faith, 1561)
In Love, Truth, and Hope,
Your Brother JohnDoz