September 2021 Student Newsletter

Have You Stopped Paddling?
Russell Haffner

Jesus has not promised Christians a trouble-free life (Matthew 10:16-28). Christ warned His disciples, "If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub (ruler of the demons), how much more will they call those of his household!" (Matthew 10:25).

Living the Christian life requires enduring persecutions and hardships. Christianity is not easy. It takes true commitment and complete devotion. In 1 Corinthians 15:58 the apostle Paul called Christianity "work" and "labor" because it is hard and it requires effort. If we are to be successful we must give ourselves fully to the ongoing work of the Lord.

The life of a Christian is like paddling a canoe upstream. Some areas of the river are wide and slow, but some areas of the river are narrow and fast. We should not think the trip is going to be easy when we reach those wide, slow places in the river. There is often a temptation to relax and forget that we still need to paddle. If we don't paddle the current will soon slow us down and gradually send us backward.

The lesson is this - there is no time in our lives when we should take time off from serving God. If we don't keep paddling we will soon drift away. James 1:22 tells Christians to "be doers of the word, and not hearers only." James 4:17 says "to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin." Luke 10:27 says "we must love the Lord with all our heart, soul, strength and mind." Matthew 6:33 tells us to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness."

Too many Christians think they can simply "float on the river" to heaven without any effort. James 2:24 says, "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only." Those who teach "faith only" salvation have missed the point. We must pick up our paddles and keep paddling our way up the river that leads to our heavenly home.

Statement of Faith

The WVBS Online Bible School has no statement of faith, creed book or religious manual. The only statement of a Christian's faith which is needed is the Bible. If a statement of faith says less than the Bible it has left something out. If a statement of faith says more than the Bible it has added to God's word (Revelation 22:18-19). Let us abandon the opinions of men and seek to practice and teach only that which is found in God's word. The staff of the school is composed of Christians seeking to teach others about the Bible. The material produced is designed to be used by anybody seeking a greater understanding of God's word.

The goal of the school is to serve God and His people by doing His will to the best of our ability. We have a genuine desire to glorify the Father, His beloved Son, His word and His blood-bought church and not to glorify ourselves or any other men.