To following Jesus requires more than having correct doctrine or truth about God. To possess knowledge of God is not the same thing as having a relationship with Him. A person can know the Bible, but be far away from God.

I don't want to make Bible study seem unimportant, because reading, studying, and meditating on God's Word is an essential discipline for spiritual formation. It is through the truth found in Scripture that God guides our lives. Therefore, correct doctrine is very important, and correct doctrine only comes through the Bible. The apostle Paul wrote this to Timothy; Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers (1 Timothy 4:16; NIV).

What we believe about God matters!

Remember, it doesn't matter how sincerely we believe something, if what we believe is wrong, then it is wrong. Our believing in a doctrine doesn't make that doctrine true. This is the reason why it is important that we study the Bible. The Bible reveals to us the truth we need to know what to believe and how to act. Part of Christianity is about knowing the truth God has revealed.

Knowing truth is of little value if it doesn't influence the way we live. We have all witnessed people who knew God's Word, but lived as if it wasn't truth. Truth without action makes no difference in our lives. Think back to what the apostle Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 4:16. He told us that there are two areas of our lives that we need to watch closely: what we believe and how we live.

To truly follow Jesus requires that we live out the truth we say we believe. This is what faith is all about. If we are going to live by faith, then we need watch both what we believe and how we live.

When our lives fail to live up to our beliefs, we damage our witness. Our lives are the best evidence there is for the truth of the Gospel. People want to see what difference Jesus makes in our lives. If people don't see a difference, they will conclude following Jesus is not worth the effort.

The way people discover the relevance of Christianity to their lives is to see it lived out in the lives of Christians. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord in your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it (1 Peter 3:15; NLT). Peter reminds us that people are watching the way we live. It is through the way we live that people discover the relevance following Christ Jesus brings to their lives.

Christ Jesus told His followers to be salt and light, two elements that make their presence known and produce change, in this world. The way we make an impact in this world, like the difference salt or light make, is by knowing truth and living right. The two go together.


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