The Gift of Truth
Often times, we overlook the reason behind our own personal belief and experiences. Why my wife makes such good spaghetti? Or, even though the thermostat says 65-degrees in the house, why is she going to be freezing all winter? Well, in terms of understanding the gospel for someone to call themselves a Christ follower, it doesn’t always mean the same thing from one person to the next. The truth is much more important knowledge than understanding why my wife’s pasta sauce is good.
At HBC, we have spent about 20 weeks of 2018 going through the New City Catechism as a Church on Sunday nights at 6pm. We have a desire to know what it really means to say “I am a Christ follower.” The only way for us to be on the same page with that statement is using the Word of God as our baseline and key resource to know the truth of Christianity.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,…On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23)
The truth is simple, knowing Christ is much more than simply doing religious things. We want that truth to be engrained and taught to everyone at all ages.
Everyone Has a Doctrine
In a culture where individualism is touted as the key to happiness, the idea of ‘doctrine’ has taken a back seat and I dare say, gotten a bad wrap. Yet, the truth is this: everyone has a doctrine. Even if you say, “No I do not, I don’t believe anything specifically”. Well that means, that is your doctrine. A doctrine is a reason for believing something. Christianity gives us a reason and a foundation we can believe. On the Hill, we are looking to unwrap these truths of the Christian doctrine so we can know what it is we actually confess and why we call ourselves Christians.
The New City Catechism is a modern-day resource aimed at helping children and adults alike learn the core doctrines of the Christian faith via 52 questions and answers.
We have been using the New City Catechism, to catechize (or instruct) ourselves, the church body of Hillview Baptist. The NCC uses questions and answers – which can be abbreviated for children – to teach us why we believe and what we believe. We have had overwhelmingly positive feedback, seen and experienced our Church develop a deeper grasp of what the gospel truth is in this confused world. NCC provides us many resources and tools for teaching and memorizing these truths – children’s songs that help the youngest children learn the catechisms, both video and written commentary to solidify, back questions and answers, and a free application for phones and tablets that make the NCC easy to use and accessible to all ages. Probably the most important aspect to this tool is the fact that each catechism is rooted in a contextual scriptural truth. We have been working to unwrap doctrine since May so all ages can see and know the amazing gift we have in Christ.
Good Doctrine = Good Discernment
“ The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.” (1 Timothy 1:5-7)
When it comes to preaching and teaching the gospel, we want to have “a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” in what we are doing. That is why we hold fast to the Word of God, contextually and literally. We preach and teach using expositional application, by teaching ‘verse-by-verse’ from our Bibles. The NCC is a great resource that will help us see, know, and be able to spot those that look to “swerve” others from the truth. In our society, social media, the internet, and TV are all being used by those that are “desiring to be teachers of the law”. They are “without understanding” we must be on guard against the lies and have a discernment based on a clear understanding of scripture – and catechizing or teaching yourself, your family, and your church will lead to a clear understanding of Jesus Christ and the good news of the gospel.
Please join us on a Sunday evening for our study with the New City Catechism at 6pm. Come Grow in Christ With Us at Hillview Baptist Church!