MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP)–Biblical truth centers around what to believe and how to behave — and how doctrine and behavior affect people’s relationships with God and others, pastor and author Roger Barrier said in a series of lectures at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.
“If what I believe and how I behave doesn’t lead me into a closer relationship with God, there’s something wrong with my beliefs and behavior,” said Barrier, the featured speaker for the Hester Preaching Lectures March 19-21 at the Mill Valley, Calif., seminary campus.
Barrier, who holds a doctor of ministry degree from Golden Gate, is senior pastor of Casas Adobes Baptist Church in Tucson, Ariz., and author of “Listening to the Voice of God: How Your Ministry Can Be Transformed” (Bethany House Publishers, 1998). He also is the speaking on “The Shepherd’s Heart” syndicated broadcast.
Citing Matthew 22, Barrier said the Scriptures tell believers to love the Lord “with all our heart and mind” and “love your neighbor as yourself. … God enjoys receiving your love, just as parents love to receive love from their children.”
Barrier also noted, “God has rules because if he didn’t, we’d hurt ourselves — they are for our own good.”
Lamenting the fact that “spiritual children fight over what to believe,” he noted that the five key things a Christian needs to believe are Jesus is God, Jesus’ virgin birth, Jesus died on the cross in our place, Jesus’ resurrection and Jesus as Lord.
Otherwise, Barrier said, a number of questions can be used when examining a scriptural passage or story:
— What does this passage reveal about God’s heart?
— What changes do I need to make in my thinking in order to bring it in line with what the Scriptures teach?
— What is the central truth of the passage?
— What are the principal lessons to be learned?
— Are there examples for me to follow?
— Are there sins for me to avoid?
— Are there commands for me to obey?
— Are there promises for me to claim?
— Are there prayers I should pray?
Barrier and his wife, Julie, travel nationally and internationally team-teaching marriage intimacy seminars. They have two daughters, Brianna and Bronwyn.
Eagan is a writer for Golden Gate Seminary.