I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth,and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate,was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. The third day he arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, whence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy universal Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Over the years I have heard hundreds of people begin a sentence with "I Believe". Because I am a minister many people want to set the record straight as to what they believe about God, religion, the supernatural and sometimes even aliens. Once after a service a man ask me if I believed in aliens and UFO's. We can talk about my answer in another post but for now let me ask you...What do you Believe?
From the age of 9-17 I grew up in a couple of small copper mining towns in Southern Arizona. Because the most common religion in these two towns was Catholic most often when someone would talk about religion and what they believed they began by saying "I am Catholic". I came to discover over the years, that very often this opening statement "I am Catholic" was to establish two ground rules for religious discussion.
1. To establish their religious position and support their arguments
2. To disarm me from talking about my church if it was not Catholic
Even at a very young age I understood that Catholics were Christians too. There was really not a lot of difference between a practicing Catholic and my home church when it came to the basics of Christianity. In fact the apostles creed listed above establishes the foundations of Christian faith and we would all be in agreement on this foundation.
My question was, why would a Christian want to distance themselves from me a Christian? What I discovered is that often when someone was defensive about their faith it was because they were not practicing it. I learned to ask one followup question that helped bring clarity for me and the friend I was speaking with. At the point in the conversation where they would say " I am Catholic". I would follow up with this question are you a practicing Catholic? In other words are you going to church regularly? About 90% of the time the answer was NO.
I am in no way picking on wonderful faith filled Catholic believers. If the towns I had lived in were primarily made up of Baptist I would have expected most people to preface their religious conversation with "I am Baptist". My point is this: You may not be practicing what you say you believe! No one is born a Catholic, a Baptist or in my case a Pentecostal. No one is born into their family a practicing Christian. We all need to make an individual decision for Christ. We must surrender to his Lordship/Leadership over our lives. We must confess our sins we must Believe for ourselves.
You do not Believe what you say you believe you believe what you are putting into practice. Belief is not collection of theories, and opinions belief is a practiced way of life. We are practicing what we believe because we settled the questions and we are applying the principles of what we firmly believe.
What do you believe about Jesus? Put your belief into practice. Christianity says Jesus is God. The implications of that truth are life altering for all of humanity. But for those who believe it, we need to put our beliefs into practice.