The Faith Once Delivered to the Saints

"Isn't it better to have 'heart knowledge' rather than 'head knowledge'?"

Dear Wounded Pilgrim,

Christianity is faith in a set of objective facts.  How I feel, think, or even if I ever existed will not change these facts. (I:Cor.15:1-8).  These set of facts are also called, "The Gospel", wherein is revealed the gift of God for men -- our salvation.  It is an announcement of glad tidings that God has done something wonderful through His Son Jesus Christ on the Cross.  It is also called the "Grace of God in truth."  Grace, because it is all of God's unmerited favor toward us; a freely given gift that we don't merit, and never will.

The above set of facts are set forth in the Bible via words.  When we hear the announced facts and place our faith in them we immediately receive the full benefit of the promise of salvation.

As we study the facts of what the Bible teaches regarding salvation, the nature of God, and the Christian life  we develop a theology, or a systemized view of The Faith once delivered. GG did not like the word "theology" or even of "bible study", as he was opposed to this kind of objectivity.  Truth to GG was "inner truth" and to "study" the Bible meant you would "intellectualize" the truth (a bad thing in his estimation).

The Gospel facts bring salvation if received, but bring a curse if twisted or rejected.  This is why these facts must be earnestly contended for.  This is why Paul publicly rebuked and corrected Peter. The objective facts of the Gospel are the fount of eternal life and clarity is absolutely necessary.

When I first left the Assembly I studied Evangelical Christian theology intently, and still do.  By giving my mind to the facts of the Bible God brought stability, healing, restoration, and balance to my life with God.

Assembly instruction was primarily devotional in nature and aimed to stimulate the emotions (guilt, loyalty to the group, yielded-ness to group goals, self loathing, etc.)  Restoration of objective thinking skills turn the heart away from self centeredness and to the wonderful reality of the Grace of God in Truth.  God's Holy Spirit works through us by means of our minds.  It is not enough to be yielded in attitude, if I don't understand the message of God; we must be taught!

When I speak of this objective instruction, I am not speaking of something difficult, but the simplicity that is in Christ.  None of us is "more" Christian than the next one, because this pursuit is not about higher levels of inner consciousness, but what each and every believer already has in Christ at the new birth.  It is our inheritance.

God has blessed us in Christ!  Mark C.

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