Full disclosure – I am a Paulinian Dispensationalists.
Exploring Scripture~ has been a passion of mine since my late teens. Raised in a Roman Catholic home, I always knew “of ” God, that He existed and was real. But I didn’t “know” God, much less have an intimate, personal relationship with Him. In those days my church didn’t read or revere the Bible. The catechism & missal was the closest things we had to holy books. In my late teens’ circumstances (otherwise known as the Holy Spirit) encouraged me to purchase my first Bible, a Living Bible. While reading, it became quite clear that my religion and the Bible were often in opposition with each other. But religion is deeply ingrained, often making it difficult for the light to shine through.
I have absolutely no credentials. I’m not a seminarian—which is actually, an advantage—and have no formal education in theology or religious matters. In terms of Biblical education, I have only that which springs up form an intense personal need to know God because of my own internal emptiness. Again, this is the calling of the Holy Spirit. In terms of my formal education, the best takeaway is knowing how to do research and find resources needed to gain knowledge and understanding. Interestingly, scripture teaches that “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7 (KJV)
After my Vietnam era military service, I was spiritually hungering, moving from church to church. Organized religion wasn’t satisfying or providing the relevance I needed as they all spring from the same corrupt root. While lost and floundering I continued studying the Bible, listening to Christian radio and devouring relevant books and commentaries. As TRUTH’s light began to shine in through the darkness, gradually I began to see. For me, this has been a long and continuing journey. Sometimes frustrating, always exciting. One of my biggest discovery was that God is not a secret keeper. Everything He wants us to know He has revealed through Creation and in His, I repeat, “His,” book. How graced we are to have a God who authored a book. A book which He desires us to read, study, and devour.
My wife and I agree that the intensity of God’s light greatly increased when we stopped talking about what “we think” and began asking, “What does God say?” Consider how special we humans beings are, being created in the image of God. The heavens and all of nature declare to us and us alone the glory and majesty of God. No other living creatures on Earth can shares this incredible experience. Only we who are created in His image can have this dynamic experience. His Word teaches of His intense love for us and draws us into intimate fellowship with Him and His precious Son, who makes all things possible. Sometimes we Christians feel abandoned and confused. But we aren’t. For as the Bible says, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16 (KJV).
Another great truth we have discovered is that Religion is NOT Faith. All religion all over the world, including christendom’s cults, is about WORKS. The things we must DO to earn salvation. FAITH is about GRACE. What Jesus Christ has done for us, to save us. Faith is trusting in God. Otherwise, there just aren’t enough works to save us. Works are man reaching up to God. Grace is God reaching down to man.
Exploring Scripture~because it matters.
It really does!