The second step of FAITH involves commitment—a personal dedication and public declaration that the ideas you claim to believe will make a difference in the way you live.

Commitment is a necessary step that follows all the feeding God has been doing in our lives. Everything we learn from Scripture, everything we experience in relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit and the church, everything we hear in the gospel leads us to embrace ideas that are uniquely Christian. Those fundamental convictions lead—in turn—to a decision about what difference they will make in our lives.

Commitment is the point at which we acknowledge that truths we believe must also be truths we enact. We acknowledge God’s call on our lives. We accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. We turn away from doing what is right in our own eyes toward seeking and doing God’s will.  We welcome the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. We submit ourselves to the guidance of God’s word in Scripture. We eagerly enter the ranks of the church.

But while such commitment begins in the privacy of our own hearts, it does not end with the merely personal. There is a public component to commitment, an open declaration of the path we have dedicated our lives to follow. The Bible and the example of early Christians testify to the importance of:

  1. Verbal confession of faith in Jesus (Rom 10:9-10; Heb 13:15; 1Tim 6:12)
  2. Baptism in obedience to Christ’s command (Mt 28:19; Mk 16:16; Gal 3:26-28; Ro 6:3-4)
  3. A commitment to live as Jesus did (i.e., take up a cross—Mt 10:38; 16:24; Lk 9:23; Col 3:3)
  4. A commitment to witness to the truth in Jesus (Jn 15:26-27; Ac 1:8; Phm 1:6)

Because the North Central Church wants to foster faith that makes a difference, we encourage commitment to Jesus whenever it can be sincerely expressed: privately, publically, and often. We will celebrate confession and baptism as a sign of God’s grace and a promise of new life. We will cultivate opportunities for people to confess Jesus frequently and witness to the hope they’ve found in him. We will use the resources of the church (the people and programs of our congregation) to cultivate commitments that are sincere and life-changing.

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© 2012 by Tim Woodroof. Reproduction of this material requires permission from the author.