Jesus Christ is an inextricable part of my life. I have been a Christian all my life. Being raised in a Christian community has ensured that my faith does not waiver. The support of others in a community of Christians is a core component of the Bible. "For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them," (Matthew 18:20)." Because of my community of faith, and because of my inner spiritual compass, I have never once doubted my faith in God. I cannot personally imagine a life without Christ. I do believe that one of my duties, one of God's missions for me on Earth, is to help spread the word of the gospel so that others may also know the joy of Jesus in their own hearts. The world will be a better place as more people come to believe in Christ, which is why evangelism is a highlight of the Bible. "And he said to them, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation," (Mark 16:15). Jesus actually commands his believers to spread the Word.
My knowledge of the New Testament is not quite where I would like it to be. I do know more than some of my Christian friends, because I have studied the Bible my whole life and attend Bible study groups. However, I also have a bad memory and am constantly forgetting where I found certain verses in the Bible. Unless I want to be a preacher one day, forgetting verse numbers is not as important as retaining the core message of the Bible in my heart, mind, and soul. I would like to increase my knowledge of the New Testament by studying it deeply on many levels. Scholastically, I would be interested in encountering the Bible in some of its original languages and learning about the historical and cultural context of the Bible. More than that, though, I would like to learn more about what the New Testament says about the future of humanity. I am daunted by the visions in Revelations. The apocalypse and End Times are subjects that we sometimes discuss in our Church. How I feel about these matters varies from day-to-day. I have yet to work out precisely whether I feel that there is as much urgency as some say.
Regardless, my feelings about the New Testament are that it is divine revelation from God. Jesus is the Son of God, and the shepherd to the wayward flock of human beings. Jesus came to us and died for us, that we may know him. Yet so many humans continue to stray. Until each of us has found Jesus, there may be no true salvation on earth. I believe the Bible to be a Holy book, written by God and so that mankind will be encouraged and inspired to always turn to God.
I have seen how belief in Christ leads to great miracles and personal transformations. The power of prayer is enormous. My aunt has been saved personally by God, as her cancer was healed in the name of Christ. It is impossible for someone to witness such miraculous healing and ever turn his back on Christ. When I see people who suffer, I want to remind them that Jesus is the answer. The New Testament is like a spiritual medicine, a salve for the soul. Whenever we suffer, we can pick up the Bible and open to any page. Wisdom flows forth from that page and into our hearts and souls, healing us exactly the way God intended. What I find most interesting is that God often does not heal or gift us in the way we expect or even want, but what God wants is always better than what we want. The Bible has taught me humility, grace, and acceptance in the name of the Lord. "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you," (1 Peter 5:6).
The New Testament offers the only necessary tool for personal and spiritual development. There is nothing else necessary. If I were ever stranded on a desert island, the Bible would be the only food I would want, because I trust that God would provide me with whatever else I needed. The miracles that Christ performs in his lifetime are eternal miracles. They are timeless, and when we read the Bible, those miracles become alive in each of us. Biblical stories play themselves out over and over in our daily lives, if we are strong and wise enough to listen. Belief in Jesus is what sustains me in every time of depression or need. I know that Jesus did perform miracles, and that the apostles recorded those miracles so that we may study and reflect on God's love. Whether it is healing we need, or a sign, or even the conquering of death, Jesus will be there for us at our time of need. The Bible is the definitive book that shows us exactly how Jesus works in the world.
Jesus died and was resurrected: the ultimate mystery and miracle that defines human existence. I believe Jesus is still here with us always, permeating every aspect of our lives. Jesus inspires my thoughts, words, and deeds. When I reflect on Jesus by reading the Bible, I am serving as a beacon of light to others in my congregation and community. I know this to be true, because I see it in the faces of other people when we speak of the Bible. The Bible is the word of God and the word of truth, which has the potential to change bad situations into good. When we read the Bible, we encounter God directly. Prayer is the act of listening and speaking with God, which is essentially the same thing as reading the Bible. In other words, reading the Bible is a form of prayer that can be incorporated into everyone's life. No matter how busy a person may be, there is always time to read a few passages from the Bible to reflect on God, and allow Jesus to enter the heart.
Reflective Essay 2
Christian faith and practice are based on Biblical truth and promise. There is no aspect of our faith that cannot be traced in some way or form back to the Bible; or else we would not carry out these unnecessary tasks. All that we do as Christians should stem from the Bible. The New Testament offers several types of guidance for faith and practice. The Bible offers the direct words and teachings of Jesus, as they are recorded by His faithful disciples. These words and teachings often come to us in the form of parable, which are the most powerful method of teaching. Parable is like a painting in words: replete with symbolism. We can return again and again to the same parable and learn something new each time, just as we can look at a painting again and again and see new things. The parables of Jesus transcend the actual words written, too, as there is an essential spiritual message embedded in scripture.
Thus, another way the New Testament informs Christian faith and practice is through grace. Direct dissemination of spiritual truth and power is what the Bible is. Unlike the Old Testament, the New Testament is not a heavy, codified law. The New Testament is magical. It has life breathed into it by God, via the power of Jesus Christ. It is this magical power in the Bible that informs Christian faith and practice. We believe in Christ, and therefore we know the Bible to be sacred and holy always. The practices of prayer are embedded in the Bible in its text, but also in the act of reading itself. "Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up," (Luke 18:1).
The Bible also teaches us the necessity of meeting with others in Church, in a spiritual community. "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin," (I John 1:7). When we pray together, we create a spiritual bond that strengthens each member of the community. Jesus helped people to see this simple truth, and the disciples forever codified this truth in the Bible.
My personal understanding of the ways the Bible have informed Christian faith and practice have not necessarily changed. Since I was young, I always knew the power of the Bible. I slept with my Bible, and still keep mine by my bed. At times, I wake up in the night and read a few lines. My dreams are then filled with thoughts of Christ, and I awaken the next morning full of strength of purpose. Interestingly, the apostles did not necessarily know what final form…