I grew up in the Christian faith. I heard the stories of Samson, David, Moses, Noah, and the like. I was taught the Ten Commandments and the Sermon the Mount. I went to Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and youth group. And there came a time in my life when I accepted the truths of what I had been taught. It became personal. I repented of my sin and confessed Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
As I grew in my faith, I understood I had a responsibility to share it with others, but quite frankly that was intimidating. In spite of being immersed in Bible stories as a boy, I didn’t know very much Scripture. What if people rejected me? Even worse, what if people rejected Jesus?
There were other times when I was challenged on my faith. I discovered in college that not everyone believed like I did. They seemed to have no problem defending their religion or lack thereof, but I struggled to defend the faith that I found so precious.
I determined that to share my faith and defend my faith I must know my faith. This began a lifelong pursuit of truth … but I still have a long way to go. All of us who hold the Christian faith dear should have a passion to know more of what we believe and why we believe, but there is a further threshold that must be crossed. People will not believe us merely because of our knowledge. They must see our faith is real.
Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jesus gave the world permission to examine not just our knowledge of what we believe but whether our lives have been changed by what we claim to believe. We may have an encyclopedic knowledge of the Bible, but people will not believe our doctrine if our faith is not marked by love.