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The Bible is where we will get most of our insights for living out our Christian faith. Good Bible teaching can also help us place biblical truth into modern day context so we can make better choices as we put God’s truth into practice. We can listen to our pastors as they preach the Scriptures, appreciate teachers on television, and read helpful books on biblical truths. Various works on systematic theology, which describe the whole range of biblical teaching, can assist us in keeping the whole of biblical teaching in view and help live out our faith more comprehensively.

I have read several systematic theology books to completion and made reference to some others in my blog. What I have read includes the following works:

“Truth Aflame: Theology for the Church in Renewal” by Larry Hart; “Christian Theology” by Millard Erickson; and “Evangelical Theology” by Michael Bird.

These three I have read from cover to cover including a few others. Each of these has its particular emphasis, ranging from: Charismatic, Reformed, to Evangelical. There are others you might find as your favorites. Recently I have picked up John Wesley’s “Scriptural Christianity.” Although he himself did not write a comprehensive systematic theology, Thomas Oden—a contemporary scholar—has compiled his sermons and essays into a systematic work of Christian teaching. I have found myself energized by some of his comments.

One such comment relates to “how faith requires decision.” People of faith in God are people in action; they are not “do nothing” people. The call to saving faith is a call to decision and, each day after that demands decision not only for engaging in the present but also toward eternity. Two events recorded in the Bible illustrate for us the choices we have before us. Two men of God—Joshua successor of Moses, and Elijah the prophet of Israel called the people to make a decision.

Joshua 24:15 choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

1 Kings 18:21 Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing.

Doing nothing is not an answer for us. We may quietly wait, but a choice of trust and faith has been made. We have decided to put our faith in God and devote ourselves to loving obedience. Right now, many of you have decisions to make. By faith you will make decisions pursuing the will of God. Maybe some of you are trying to decide whom you will serve. I pray and encourage you to make that choice that leads you into the will of God. Perhaps you have already made the choice to follow Christ. That choice will be challenged often and you will be able to reaffirm that choice time and time again. Be like those who followed God by faith as we find in Hebrews chapter 11. Take note what Moses did!

24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. (Hebrews 11:24-26, NIV)