The building blocks of faith provide the foundations we need to grow in faith. They are how we are formed into the likeness of Christ. The blocks are four statements about faith. As they become more true for us, we grow in our faith. As we strive to grow in faith, we recite these building blocks daily and try to live into them. We also reflect upon how they are becoming more real for us each day.
1. I Belong to God and to God’s family, the church.
God created us with a need to belong, and we seek to belong. Belonging means acceptance as a member or part of something. We belong to God and the church. We are members and an integral part.
Psalm 139 tells us that our loving Creator knit us together and that God's Spirit is with us no matter where we go. Paul's letter to the Romans tells us that we are children of God and have the right to call God by the very intimate name of Abba. Because God lovingly created us, and we are children, we can be assured that we belong to God.
We also belong to God's family, the church. In Corinthians, the church is described as the body of Christ, and each of us is a part of that body. Other members of the body support us, just like an arm supports a hand. We can also think of the church as a community of people who all belong to God and who support each other through the joys and challenges of life.
2. I know and understand God’s salvation story, and I have a part to play in it.When we understand that we are so special to God that God was willing to die for us, that transforms us. We aren't perfect all the time; in fact, sometimes we behave rather badly. Yet, God doesn't give up on us just as God didn't give up on the Israelites who would move forward in faith one day, then turn their backs on God the next.
We read the stories of the Israelites and of God's people from Adam through the disciples and continue to grow in faith as we realize that these people aren't so different from us. Some were rich; some were poor. Some were beautiful; some were plain. Some behaved well; some behaved badly. All, however, were part of the salvation story throughout time.
Understanding isn't enough; however, We need to actively participate with God in bringing about transformation in us and the world. The patriarchs, matriarchs, prophets, and disciples all actively worked for God. Perfection isn't required, but faithfulness is.
3. I have confidence, through Christ, in all of God’s promisesFaith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. We see that throughout all history, God has been faithful to God's people. We know that God kept God's promise to deliver us through Christ. We have faith that God will continue to do so.
Every day, we remind ourselves of God's faithfulness to us. We remember that God has sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within us, giving us confidence that we can accomplish what God asks us to do. We also have confidence that even when we face challenges, God will help us find a way through them and to be content.
One way to help us stay confident is to repeat to ourselves, Philippians 4:13, "I can do all this through him who gives me strength."
4. I am called to work in God’s kingdom, and I am equipped to do that work.
An important part of belonging to a family is contributing to it. In our families of origin, most of us probably did chores based on our gifts and abilities. When we were small, we may have set the dinner table. When we grew older, we may have cut the grass. Our parents asked us to do the chores, and we did them because we were asked and because we were called to do them by virtue of being part of the family.
We also are called to do work in God's kingdom on earth because we are part of God's family. Just as any good parent, God doesn't ask us to do things we aren't equipped to do. Rather God asks us to use the gifts God has given us. God also supplies anything else we need.
God calls each person to specific tasks, just as our parents gave each person in the family a specific chore to do. We discover what God is calling us to do through prayer and through talking about it with other members of God's family, the church. We also equip each other through common worship, Christian education, and fellowship.
What are the building blocks of faith? The first is that we belong to God and to God's family. Because we belong, we are not alone. We gain support and love from this family. The second is that we understand how God has worked to save God's people throughout history. We, just like the saints before us, have a role to play in God's salvation history. The third is that through Christ, we have confidence in all the promises God has made. We gain our strength and hope from Christ. The fourth is that God calls us to be contributing members of the family, to do work to further God's kingdom. God also equips us to do that work.
Love in Faith t-shirts reflect the four building blocks of faith. Some quote Scripture that assures us of God's promises. Others reflect our place with the saints of God throughout salvation history. Others talk about our sense of belonging and being loved by God.