This is my personal statement of faith. It is always a work in process. In its current version, I have written it in the form of a Q&A.
Who are you?
I am Pauline, a child of God.
What does it mean to be a child of God?
I belong to God, who created me to fulfill His purposes, and who loves me and calls me His own.
Do you faithfully fulfill God’s purposes?
No, I sin in thought, word, and deed.
What is sin?
Sin is what I do that is wrong, or what I should have done that is right, but I didn’t. Sin usually hurts other people, and always hurts myself – often through outward consequences, and always inwardly by its corrosive effect on my mind, will, and emotions.
Is there a solution for sin?
Yes, thanks be to God – by grace God offers salvation through Jesus Christ.
How is that salvation offered and received?
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He came to teach, to heal, to forgive, and to give his life to redeem us. By his resurrection he broke the power of sin and death so that we may receive the abundant life he offers.
As I recognize my sin and need of forgiveness and grace, as I repent and turn from self and sin to God, I receive by faith that abundant life, that begins here and now in this life and continues, despite physical death, into eternity.
How do you experience abundant life?
Here is where this statement becomes very much a work in process – because I am a work in process. There are times my life seems far from abundant – but I consider that a shortcoming in myself and not in the promises or power of God.
I can see, as I look over the more than thirty years since I first prayed for salvation through Jesus Christ, ways in which God has reshaped my life and my character. He has used circumstances, and books I have read (including of course the Bible), but primarily other people. As I give thanks for what I have rather than complaining about what I do not have, I experience gratitude and a sense of God’s blessing. As I am willing to serve rather than be served and to give rather than take, as I listen to others rather than wanting them to know all about me, I experience the joy of doing God’s will and becoming the kind of person He desires. And as I admit my failures rather than justifying them, ask forgiveness, and learn good habits to replace the bad, I experience the joy and peace of forgiveness and the hope of living a holy life.
to be continued…