John Bracamontes
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Address : St. Louis MO




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)


Share your faith that others might live

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8 NIV

This well-known passage shows both the commission to share the message of the gospel about Jesus and the power enabling us to carry out the mission.

Sharing the message of Christ is one of the ways we solidify our own faith as well as help others put their faith in God. We could elaborate on the words: witness, evangelism, and missions to give us a broader perception of the great commission.

Everyone is a witness to what God has done in their lives and can share their personal experience with others. This takes place in our day to day journey through life. Evangelism is more a specific planned activity with a strategy to get the gospel to the lost through various methods of communication, concentrating on one’s more local community. Although that geographical region may be very large. Missions has more of a world outreach mentality, requiring travel across the continents to help bring the lost to Christ through preaching and social outreach, helping those in great spiritual and physical need. But, it is helpful to remember there is the need for participation in local missions that accomplish the same things within our community.

What I want to encourage with this writing is that personal individual witness that every Christian is called to be. We have a testimony of God’s grace that we can share, how He has touched our lives in very unique ways. We touch our families, friends, and acquaintances with the words we speak and the lives we live. All of this is done as we trust God for it to be effective through the enabling and empowerment by the ever present Holy Spirit sent to help us and them in this worthy endeavor. Give words of encouragement, stories of God’s intervention, and promises God has spoken. Offer them hope in a living God who breathes life into death so that the dead may live.

I am sure many of us can recall when we have had opportunity to share the goodness of God. Several stand out in my mind, but one particular incident as I write this. Once, I was having dinner with my parents on the backyard patio during the summer. They invited a young man to join us that my step father played music with. As we talked I began sharing with him the love of God and the message of salvation through Christ. At the time, my parents were a bit embarrassed about it. It was not long after that however, this young man came to saving faith in Christ and even attended the Church I was involved with. When I talked with him about his Christian experience, he told me that what I had shared with him that evening put him on the path that lead him to Christ.

Your life is God’s letter of grace to those in need of great mercy. Share God’s compassion and watch people undergo healing life transformation.