Below is part of a summer internship application I submitted to get involved with a church I am now attending. I thought it would be cool to document my thoughts on these topics, highlighting what I’ve learned and acquired thus far, before starting school in the Fall, which would probably expand some of these thoughts and beliefs:
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Gospel: The gospel is good news. The good news that Jesus Christ was sent to this fallen world, to love and die for sinners, not for the works or merits they have done or accomplished, but out of God’s amazing grace, to restore a rightful relationship that existed.
Jesus: Jesus is the son of Joseph and Mary. Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is a man who walked this earth over 2000 years ago, who spoke many parables, who demonstrated many miracles, and yet took time to pray to his heavenly Father. Jesus is the living God, who died and resurrected from the dead, proclaiming to the world that he is the savior of the world.
Jesus is someone who I was told about since my youth, but I have not done my part to build this relationship. Only until recently, have I been rediscovering Jesus knocking at the door of my recalcitrant heart, and not just allowing him into my life, but desiring to deepen this new love.
Sin: Sin was taught to me to be an immoral act, a socially unaccepted behavior, action, or habit. However, this was inconsistent as I continued to mature and experience different cultures, as there were external influences to what is socially unaccepted or immoral or even now unmoral.
Sin was also taught to me as the act that separated man from God. Particularly that sin entered this world when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. This idea of headship and federalism is harder to understand and contextualize as a product of the individualistic culture I was raised in.
As my relationship with God continues to grow and deepen, my understanding of sin continues to evolve (sometimes scarily), as God reveals to me beyond superficial behaviors and actions, deeper thoughts and heart postures, both personally and communally.
Bible: The Bible was one of the hardest things to grasp as something spiritual. It was hard for me to accept the fact that the Bible was formed by a group of men, who decided the canonicity of the collection of books chosen. It was also hard for me to grasp the fact that it is deemed the infallible, inerrant, and inspired word of God. The Bible then has to be the authoritative Word of God.
It wasn’t until an epiphany I had that my perspective began to change—let’s say there is concrete evidence of the infallibility, inerrancy, and inspiration of the chosen books of the Bible, would I still consider it authoritative over my life? There was a moment where my posture had to change towards the 66 books of the Bible, to not treat it any less significant than God and things that seemed more “spiritual” and intangible. I now read it with faith as my daily bread, with faith that God continues to speak into my life through the Word.
Baptism: I’ve had the privilege of witnessing two very different baptisms in the past few months. One was in Japan, where it takes an estimated seven years for someone to be baptized. This individual had been attending a church for four years or so, and she finally committed her life to following Jesus Christ, and thus wanted to be baptized. There was only one baptism that day with a little sprinkling of water over the believer’s head.
I also had the great opportunity to celebrate [ocean baptisms with a different church]. It was amazing to hear and see the many different testimonies all the individual’s shared. Each wanted to make the declaration to give their lives and follow Jesus Christ. It was quite a public spectacle with many onlookers.
I, at a young age, was also dunked in water with the church I attended. I’m not sure how that signifies my baptism. Although my understanding of baptism is that it is one of two significant sacraments of the Christian faith, I’m not sure how much of it plays a significance in an individual’s life thereafter. Something I’m still learning.
Christian: Christ-follower. Someone the world will persecute. Someone who is justified and sanctified. Hypocrite. Jesus-freak. Religious. Sunday church goer. Bigot. Marauder. Someone too holy, or not holy enough. Nice and moral person.
I’m not sure what a Christian is. Sometimes I don’t like to label myself as a Christian, as I probably fit or have fit all of those terms above.
My hope is that at the end of my days, God will know who I am. And God will determine if I have followed.