Believing and knowing..

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by xdisciplex, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex
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    Today I listened to a sermon and the pastor said he once talked to somebody who said that in christianity it's all about believing. He knows that 2+2=4 but in christianity you only believe. The pastor said that this is wrong. And then he went on to say that everywhere in the bible we find certainty and assurance. He said some christians don't even know if they are a child of God, they're not sure about it. This reminded me of myself. I mean how do you know that you belong to God?
    Do you simply assume it because the bible says if you do this and this then you are saved or do you automatically get an inner assurance, something metaphysical. Something which is simply there and which shows you that you're saved? I don't know what these people mean when they say they know.
    This pastor was so assured and determined it was really adorable but at the same time it also dragged me down because I don't have this. I imagine that if you have this strong assurance then nothing can shake you anymore and then you're an effective tool for God, but if you don't have this determination and this assurance then you're more or less useless because you're constantly busy with your own faith and don't even have time to focus on other people. :(
    It's like somebody who wants to run but he's constantly worried that his shoelaces might come undone and instead of running he runs and then stops and looks at his shoelaces and then runs and then stops again and so on. This way it's impossible to really do something productive.
    I ask myself how he become so assured. This means that he could never get doubts since he's so absolutely sure. I mean when you know something then you cannot doubt it. Nobody would doubt something which he knows, right? But if faith equals knowing then this would mean that no christian could ever doubt God and if he ever did it then this proves that he doesn't even have faith because faith means that you know it. But is this really true? I think this is a very burdensome thought.
     
  2. Amy.G

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    Hi XD, Yes fear is very burdensome. There is no peace where there is fear. Many Christians suffer from fear of losing their salvation or thinking they might not even be saved. A person who isn't really saved could care less about whether they're saved or not, so if it bothers you that's a good sign. I had problems with this myself for years and one day it just hit me...I can either believe God or not. If I trust in the blood of the Savior to pay for my sins then I'm saved. Period. Once I decided to believe that God doesn't take back His gifts or break His promises, I found confidence and peace. Even now, I have to remind myself God will never leave me. It's not an inner feeling or anything like that. It's just simply believing what God said. And also believing that He doesn't lie. Some people want to make salvation a complicated thing. It's so easy even a child can be saved!:thumbs:
    Also, part of the reason I had fears was because I was looking at myself too much. IOW, I thought I wasn't good enough, spiritual enough, Godly enough, bla, bla, bla. And I'm not! But Jesus is! God sees me through Him. So now I trust in His goodness, not my own. Wow, what a difference! Freedom, peace and confidence! All the fear is gone! Praise God!
     
    #2 Amy.G, Dec 5, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2006
  3. James_Newman

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    I only know because of what the Bible says. The inner assurance comes from knowing that God cannot lie. If God makes a promise, He keeps it.
     
  4. xdisciplex

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    Hmmmm...
    but the problem is you can still become scared and think what if God doesn't even exist? If he doesn't exist then it also doesn't help you when the bible says he cannot lie. Do you know what I mean? This is kinda tricky.
    I mean when you think what if the bible was just written by religious folks which had too much fantasy then all these arguments are useless. Maybe in the quran there is also a verse which says Allah cannot lie but just because the quran says it doesn't mean that Allah is real.
     
  5. James_Newman

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    That would be kind of strange, because if God didn't exist, you wouldn't need to be saved. If God didn't exist, neither would you. If you accept the existence of God, then it's just a matter of where or how did God choose to reveal Himself. Is God revealed in the quran? What is the evidence? The God of the Bible has issued a challenge to all other would be gods.

    Isaiah 41:21-23
    21 Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob.
    22 Let them bring them forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.
    23 Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.

    God proves His word with fulfilled prophecy. The bible is an amazing inspired book, not the ramblings of religious men.
     
  6. dispen4ever

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    Amy answered your question quite well, xdx. Hang your hat on her answer. Your sudden shift to "what if God doesn't exist" is troublesome -- its evasive. God does exist, His word declares that He exists, and faith comes by the Word of God. You can trust His word. You can believe His word. When you ask Him into your life, He doesn't say 'no'. He comes right on in, and He stays there forever. He will never leave you or forsake you. You should find comfort in these truths, such deep and abiding comfort that your doubts, fears, and confusion are held in check. Think about it. Take some time to carefully study His guarantee that you are saved. Take some time, as well, to study these scriptures:

    John 14:6
    2 Timothy 1:7
    1 Corinthians 14:33
    John 4:24
    Ephesians 5:17
    2 Peter 1:3


    :jesus:
     
    #6 dispen4ever, Dec 5, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2006
  7. Amy.G

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    XD, The Bible says, "the fool in his heart says there is no God." You know better than that. You can't look at creation and say there's no God. God made some really cool stuff. Your fears will go away if you just make a conscious decision to believe. Talk to God about it. He wants you to be totally honest with Him. Tell Him exactly how you feel. He won't get mad. Keep in mind that our walk with God is life long. Some days we move ahead, some days we don't, but on keepin' on. God will reveal Himself more and more as time goes on.
    There's also a really good book called "More than a carpenter" by Josh McDowell. It's a short read, but will answer a lot of your questions.
     
  8. xdisciplex

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    Hi everybody,

    actually there are many different things which point to God and when I think about all of them then it's also clear that God must exist. But the problem is that this doesn't protect me from these "what if" fears which I sometimes get.
    It's like I always have to take the route over the mind but when you believe because of clues and evidences then this is basically intellectual faith and intellectual faith isn't good. And when you're confused then you also cannot lean on it. I wish my faith was more independent. But if it was something like a feeling then it could also vanish and then I couldn't even tell if I still have it.
    Usually when you're convinced of something then you also feel confident and you also have this confident feeling inside. But what do you do when this feeling is not there? How can you be confident about your faith if this feeling disappears?
    I don't think that you can separate feelings and conviction. Picture an evangelist who preaches. He also has feelings and he's enthusiastic. What would he do if suddenly all feelings are gone? How we he know that he even believes what he says?
     
  9. Brother Bob

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    If all feeling left and he was in it to serve the Lord instead of himself, he would quit. You remove the feeling and there is nothing left but vain jangling. When I preach I feel the Spirit and when I feel that the Spirit has left me to preach, I bring my talk to a close. A church without "deep feelings" which pass from breast to breast or one to another until we are all of one mind and one accord, is not a church that is in full bloom. IMO

    You have an act for asking some very good pointed questions that bring on much discussion and debating. I think you have a "special" gift.
     
  10. James_Newman

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    Feelings do come and go, that is why you can't use your feelings as a barometer. Who told you that intellectual faith wasn't good? Paul reasoned from the scriptures. Reasoning is a function of your intellect, not your feelings. Your feelings (soul) need to be subject to your reason (spirit). When our feelings don't line up with what we know to be true, then feelings are wrong.
     
  11. dispen4ever

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    xdx, one has to be careful about distinguishing between our two natures. If you get involved in a discussion about it, relying only upon the "natural man," the flesh, the worldly aspect, then I'm afraid you'll get more confused. Far better to have these discussions leaning on and taking place in the spiritual realm. You may want to do a study based upon these critical issues. Do that using your translation of the bible, German or English, and a good concordance. You mentioned once that you have something like e-Sword. I don't think you can do any better than that. It comes with lots of extras that you can download. Take your time with it, try to slow down all these racing thoughts in that very busy brain of yours. Pray about your study before you begin. That's true in all inquiries into the wealth of information at your fingertips, even in reviewing the scripture references I gave you in an earlier post. Please know that lots of us are praying for you. We're hoping that you can go one-on-one with a competent Christian counselor in your home town. :flower:
     
    #11 dispen4ever, Dec 5, 2006
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  12. gekko

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    there's the "realm of belief" and the "realm of experience"

    you can believe that the heat register is hot -- but you won't know it is hot until you experience that it is hot by touching it.

    there must be balance - believe and knowledge - wisdom - understanding etc etc
     
  13. Amy.G

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    Hi Gekko, I saw your pic on my space. I assume that's you playing guitar. My son plays guitar (electric) also. Bye the way, you're hair is short in that photo so maybe you're not "perverse" all the time. :laugh:
     
  14. xdisciplex

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    Is it possible that when a christian says he knows that God is real that he means that he is totally sure of it? I mean how can you know something you haven't seen or touched? Somehow it confuses me when christians say something like this.
    When a christian says he knows that Jesus is God as much as he knows that 2+2=4 then where does this knowledge come from? It has to be something supernatural which was put into him, something which he can tap like a battery. Something which he can access and when he does this then he get this assurance, comparable to a closed circuit. He needs to access this supernatural faith and when he does this his mind receives the assurance as a feedback and then he can say that he knows it. This is how I imagine it. There is no other way to know something which you haven't seen. This is like me reading an old book from my grandfather who I never saw where he makes a claim and I cannot prove or refute it. Then I can say that I believe him based on what I know about him but how can I say that I absolutely know that he is saying the truth? This is what I don't understand. I mean I can say it but only because I say it doesn't mean that it couldn't have been different.
    I mean I'm sure there are also buddhists or muslims which are absolutely convinced of their faith which also say that they absolutely know that they are right but this doesn't make them right.
    Somehow this is all so vague. The bible also says that faith is a substance. This would fit to what I said before, that faith is something supernatural which is simply imparted into us. But if faith is something supernatural then you cannot even do anything to get it or to keep it. This would mean that you don't need the mind at all. You simply have to get this supernatural faith and then you simply have it and require no answers at all, but wouldn't this be a blind faith?
    The bible also says that faith comes from the word of God, but when you for example read an apologetic book about the bible or Jesus then you can also get faith this way. But this doesn't come from the bible. What does this mean? That this faith is not real? This is all so complicated. :tonofbricks:
     
  15. Amy.G

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    Not complicated unless you make it that way. Stop thinking so much. We don't know everything now, that's why it's called faith.
    1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
    We only need a tiny bit of faith to believe in God. Use that and build on it by reading God's word and obeying it regardless of your feelings. There's a few things you're just going to have to accept. Like you can't know everything. God didn't tell us EVERYTHING. He told us just the amount He wanted us to know and that is plenty. More than I can learn in a lifetime. Focus on what you do know and God will help you learn more each day or week or month or year. I'm still learning. Be faithful to God and He'll reward you for it.
     
  16. Saint #unknown

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    alright I red everyones replies phew... boy that took awhile! Anyway Disciple I feel your pain ad far as doubting goes and worrying about me being saved I must say that all throughout Amy has pin pointed every aspect. I just want to add that Thomas doubted God because he did not see him arise from the tomb. Now what did Jesus say to Thomas when he came, did he say Thomas you had great faith in me? No he told him to put his hand in his side where he was pierced through. Evolutionists have the problem of "Unless I see him with my own evolved eye balls and stick my conveniently evolved hand into his side then will I believe!" In order to know that you are saved... FOR SURE you need to STUDY not skim God's word. What does God say about a new christian he says that they desire the sincere milk of HIS Word, read his word, study his word and pray without ceasing! That helped me to see whether I was truly saved or not.

    Ho, my Comrades see the signal! waving in the sky, :praying:
    Reinforcements NOW appearing vitoryis nigh!
    Hold the fort for I am comming Jesus signals still
    Wave the answer back to heaven :jesus:
    By thy Grace we will!

    Your Brother in Arms for Christ,
    Mark aka Saint #unknown
     
  17. gekko

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    lol. yeah. my hair used to be much shorter than it is now. i guess i've fallen away. lol.
     
  18. xdisciplex

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    But the problem is that I'm somewhat frustrated of reading the bible simply because there are so many things I don't understand. It seems so futile to me to even try to figure out these answers if I cannot even be sure that I am right. Christians argue about so many things and they all think they are right. This makes it look so senseless to me. And when I read the bible I don't find answers at all. The bible is so hard to understand, this demotivates me. You cannot stay motivated and reading also idn't fun when you don't also get a reward from it. This is the problem. The bible is somehow intimidating because it's not easy to understand, at least for me.
     
  19. Amy.G

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    Try reading a different translation like the NLT. You can order one from Amazon even from Germany.
     
  20. dispen4ever

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    Man is of two natures:

    1) natural, physical, flesh, earthly worldly, AND

    2) spiritual.

    When one moves into the spiritual realm the fog of difficulty in understanding and applying scripture begins to lift until one day it is no more. You enter into this communication with God in prayer, humbling yourself before him. A quiet time, alone with God, computer turned off, phone off the hook, door closed, on your knees. I've been there many times until the "times of refreshing" come in. Whoa! Just think -- you are in direct communication with God, and, as someone wrote, in the Name of Jesus and the Power of the Holy Spirit. This is not a time to speak. It is a time to listen!

    I'm confident that you can achieve that inner piece, xdx. I do believe you need some medical intervention, a medical doctor who is a non-Catholic Christian, as well, one who himself or herself understands the power of prayer in the presence of God. I encourage you to explore the possibilities.

    :1_grouphug:
     
    #20 dispen4ever, Dec 7, 2006
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