by Robert Krumrey
Yesterday we started the book of Jude in our continuation of our Summer Sermon Series “Brief”. We’re going through the shortest books in the New Testament and would love for you to join us either here in Amherst or online. You can check out the series here on SoundCloud. In the sermon, I mention a few resources that I think would be helpful in coming to a better understanding of what “the faith” even is. The importance of understanding the essential truth claims of the Christian faith cannot be overstated. The New Testament writers are all taking great pains to make sure that we get the truth that was “once for all delivered to the saints”.
The place to begin in understanding the faith is the Bible itself. We (along with Christians throughout the ages) believe that the Bible is God’s word and has been given to us by God so that we can understand who God is, what he has done, and how we should respond to both his person and work. One Bible App that many people have found helpful for reading the scriptures is the YouVersion and can be found in your app store. If you’d rather read one with actual paper and ink, pick one up at our resource table on Sunday.
You may find that the Bible can sometimes be confusing which is why it is also helpful for Christians to study sound doctrine. Sound doctrine (see Titus 1:9, 2:1 for this concept) is biblically faithful and practically helpful summaries of essential Christian truth. This kind of study helps us better understand the gospel for ourselves and for explaining it to others. The church through the ages has used Creeds and Catechisms to help teach sound doctrine to Christians. Creeds are short summary statements that can be recited in public worship while Catechisms are more thorough treatments of the same truths found in the Creeds.
I mention several examples of both Creeds and Catechisms in the sermon, but I want to draw your attention to two of the things I mentioned. The FIVE SOLAS which I briefly mentioned in the sermon are treated much more thoroughly in this sermon from 2017. This will be a tremendous help to you in discerning what the gospel is and whether or not people are teaching a true or false gospel. In regard to a Catechism, I would also like to direct you to another app which contains the New City Catechism. It is an outstanding resource for understanding basic Christian doctrine and can be used with kids or adults. Each “Question” in the Catechism is also accompanied with a scripture verse, two readings written by authors from different time periods, and a short prayer.
Take some time to explore at least one of these resources this week. While July is a little slower around MERCYhouse, God is continuing his work to build up the body of our church. Enjoy!