2017-11-08 / Columns

Back To Basics

By Pastor Marv Root

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to follow a pattern of living and thinking without revisiting the basics of our existence? With everyday activities and persistent challenges, we become creatures of habit.

This can be true in our personal lives, our families and friendships, our work and even our faith.

Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther, a monk and professor, was awakened from the status quo of Western Christianity through his study of the Apostle Paul’s writings. His uneasiness with the organized church drove him to the Bible and his knees.

As a result, he wrote 95 “protests” about the way the Church was practicing Christianity. He intended to start a debate about practices he believed to be unbiblical. Instead, he ignited a firestorm, which led to the Protestant Reformation.

He challenged the church to get back to basics. He believed that the Bible teaches that our relationship to God through Jesus Christ is founded upon three uncompromising principles.

• A right relationship with God is only attained by faith alone. It is not possible to purchase or earn our salvation.

• Peace with God is only through grace alone. We cannot earn God’s favor, not even by living a moral life and doing good.

• Knowledge of God comes to us from Scripture alone. The Bible provides all the information we need in order to know God.

In His power and wisdom, God raised up Martin Luther to call the Church to turn back to the Gospel as the central focus of Christian faith, worship and discipleship.

As we look at our own faith and practice, it may be helpful to go back to the basics and determine if we have left out any essential part or have added unnecessary traditions and conditions to our Christianity. God sends the Holy Spirit to help us understand and apply the Bible’s teaching to our daily lives.

Personally, I have found this discipline of reviewing and reforming my faith, worship and service to be quite helpful. I believe that I am able to continue to grow in my understanding of Christianity and in my spiritual vitality. I am also able to avoid getting stuck in a rut of doing things the same way with the same results.

Find a way to worship and study the Bible where you can learn the basics while applying eternal truth to everyday experience. Let God challenge you and change you.

May you discover that living in the present reality of God’s presence truly brings fulfillment and excitement. Thanks be to God!

Pastor Marv Root serves the Northfield Community Church and can be reached at 353-2443.

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