Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Having an Answer For the Hope We Believe In

Several weeks ago during our family devotions I started asking my children basic questions about the christian faith.  Although they knew the answers in their hearts, they had a difficult time verbalizing their answers.  I found that it was even difficult for my husband and I on particular questions as well.  1 Peter 3:15 tells us to "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect". We as parents need to prepare our children to be able to answer basic questions about the christian faith such as:

What is justification?
What is sanctification?
Who is God?
What is sin?
How do you know there is a God?
What does it mean to be born again?
How can you know if you are truly saved?
Where did sin come from?

I have found the best way to teach my children the answers to these questions isn't just me reading the answers, but having them give the answers outloud themselves.  In our family devotions we let the children take turns answering questions about the christian faith. This will help them to witness to the lost in the future and help increase their own personal faith in Christ. Alot of children can have a strong foundation of faith and know what they believe, but still have a difficult time expressing themselves. 

A resource I highly recommend is something called a catechism.  Alot of christians are unfamiliar with this word and relate it to the Catholic faith, although this isn't true.  Catechism (from the Greek word catechesis) is simply instruction in the basic doctrines of the Christian faith.
A catechism is a summary of the basic Christian beliefs in a Q & A format. It's that simple. 
The use of a catechism does not and should not take the place of the Bible, but is a supplement to use to help children understand the basic concepts of faith from the Bible. Make sure when looking for a catechism that you purchase one of the christian faith.  Another one I recommend is The Westminster Shorter Catechism. 
The one we use for our family is called Training Hearts Teaching Minds  I highly recommend it as a family resource in teaching your children the basic beliefs of christianity.  It has even helped me have a better understanding of scripture and be able to explain myself better. 

Be ready to spread the word whether or not the time is right. Point out errors, warn people, and encourage them. Be very patient when you teach. 2 Timothy 4:2 God's Word Translation

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6


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