Truth in Christianity is simple: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died to save us, sinners, and rose three days later, ultimately defeating Satan. The Truth is God already won. I was not raised in the CRC tradition, Assembly of God instead, but I know one thing: both traditions believe in the cardinal Truth of Christianity. This Truth lies within Scripture, and knowing Scripture enables us to live our lives according to God’s will.
My peers at Calvin, I am going to ask you a question: do you know who you are? Most of you might not have a great idea, you might say that you are discovering who you are right now, but I’m going to say in response: you’re wrong. Let me tell you who you are. You are chosen. You matter. You have a purpose. You were created by a God who loves you with a love incomprehensible to our human minds. How do I know this? Scripture. John 17:17 (NLT) states, “Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.” Let me tell you who God says you are.
In Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV), the Lord gives prophet Jeremiah this message, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” As Christ agents of renewal, we are called to live out our God given purpose, prophesying to the nations and winning souls for the Kingdom of God. The book continues in Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) stating, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This is what we can rely on, it’s how we know we were meant to be. Do not wander in confusion any longer. Turn to the Way, the Truth, and the Life: Jesus Christ.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect,” states Romans 12:2. As Christians, we are not of this world, and if we think we are, have we forgotten what it truly means to be a Christian? Scripture says otherwise, and who am I to argue with the word of God.
The world is filled with flirtatious fun, but wisdom is necessary to discern what is fun and what is sin. Why are we so afraid of conviction? Lately, I’ve been influenced into thinking that what I want or feel is inherently true and right, but I know that’s not always correct. Jeremiah 17:9 (NLT) states, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” If I am to call myself a Christian and believe in the word of God, how can I only live according to my feelings? I can’t. Lizzo, famed American singer, songwriter, rapper, and flutist, says this perfectly: “Truth Hurts.” But it also is the only thing that saves us.
Recently, I’ve listened to many of my peers say that living a Christian lifestyle is for when they’re older, more “adult-ish.” We constantly hear the saying, if not now, when? Why does this apply to everything else in our lives except for the part that should be most important? The time is now.
My fellow peers, I am going to ask you another question: why did you decide to come to a Christian school if not to at least engage in your faith? I am well aware that not all Calvin students identify as Christian, which I acknowledge and respect, but we are all aware we attend a Christian school. I encourage you to not be afraid of your faith, but to delve even deeper into it, to learn what faith really means. After all, we are not saved by works of righteousness, but by faith alone.
It is only by reading the text that has defined our faith for centuries past and will for centuries to come that we can know what it means to follow Christ. I implore all of us to repent of our sins, turn to God, and rise up as the faith seekers we were created to be.
Let us read and understand how we are to live. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT), Paul states, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” Paul continues in verse 9, “For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time — to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.” These words are not old, they are the living Truth, in Scripture. So, let me ask you one last question: what are you choosing to believe and live by? Be bold and speak the Truth, know what you live by, and own your faith.