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Question

I have been struggling with my faith for a long time. I believe in God, and Jesus Christ, but over the years I have came across so much conflicting teaching. I'm worried I've received the wrong teaching all my life.

Answer

I am so very sorry to hear of your situation. Without knowing what you have been taught or by whom, it is hard to comment on what you may know as being right or wrong. However I hope that this practical advice will help you:

1. If you have been to multiple different churches then I would encourage you to work towards finding one church in which you can stay committed and from which you can learn with confidence. Such a church will accept and systematically teach the Bible as God's infallible Word and our sure guide for everything about our faith and our lifestyle.

2. I suggest that you read the Bible for yourself in a spirit of humility and prayerfulness, trusting that God's Word is a certain guide. You will come across issues that are hard to understand and so I would recommend that you read books and resources to guide your bible reading. A study Bible and a book on systematic theology can prove very helpful to your walk with God. Obviously, only the Bible is infallibly true so you shouldn't simply believe what someone else says without checking in the Bible for yourself, and you will get better at that by reading it regularly in the way I have described.

3. It is important to distinguish between primary and secondary truths when you are studying the Bible and its teachings. The primary truths are not open to debate, especially that:

  • God is a Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit;
  • The Bible is His revelation and is dependable and authoritative;
  • Human beings were created by God without sin but rebelled against Him as described in Genesis so that we are now sinners who deserve God's wrath and condemnation;
  • God nevertheless loves us and sent His Son Jesus to be born of a virgin, live a sinless life, die for our sins and to defeat satan and death on the cross;
  • Jesus has risen from death physically and has ascended to heaven where He reigns with God the Father;
  • He will return visibly and in glory when He will judge the living and the dead, receive His own into heaven and send away forever those who have rejected Him (to a place the Bible calls 'hell').

Secondary truths are things like how churches should be managed, what exactly it means to be baptised and take communion, gender roles in church life, worship styles, whether or not miracles still happen today and many other matters. These things are important, but Bible believing Christians may have disagreements about them. Getting them wrong won't lose your salvation; whereas getting the primary truths wrong may well do so, especially concerning Jesus.

The main question that all of us must answer, though, is: who is Jesus and what did he do for us? The answer to this question is essential. It can be summarised in this verse:

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you— unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep (1 Corinthians 15:1-6)

The Good News or Gospel is what is at the centre of the Christian faith: that Jesus died for our sins and rose again.

In summary I want to encourage you to work towards finding a local group of believers. Stick closely to the word of God for yourself and test what teachers say. I do hope and pray you can make steps towards being comfortable in your faith. God is with you.

I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video

I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church

Please feel free to submit a question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question

*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline


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Losing Your Religion

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