We must learn the ABCs of Chrisitian life early

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 1, 2012

Years ago while I was in college, I attended a seminar on improving memory skills.  I can’t remember the name of the instructor, but I do recall some of the methods he suggested when it comes to names and places.

There’re all kinds of methods for storing information in your brain’s memory banks.  Two come to mind that most of us have used at one time or another.

First, there’s an acronym, meaning a word formed from the first letter or first few letters of a series of words.

For example, radar comes from the first letters of the words “radio detecting and ranging” and scuba from “self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.” You’ll need to know both of those acronyms if you ever play “Trivial Pursuit.” To recall the five Great Lakes, use the word, HOMES for Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior.

Next, there’s the acrostic, similar to an acronym except the letters represent a phrase or sentence. You can memorize the planets in our solar system by learning the sentence – My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas – for Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

Music teachers use “Every Good Boy Does Fine” to help students learn the five lines of the treble clef. “Good Boys Do Fine Always” represents the notes of the bass clef lines.

I could add several other words and phrases to this list, and I’m sure you could too. I learned these when I was in grammar school and when I took piano lessons.

Though theologically speaking, much could be said about the plan of salvation, the letters ABC summarize three important steps each of us must take to become a Christian.

A – Admit you are a sinner. As Romans 3:23 reminds us, “All have sinned….”

B – Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.  John 3:16 says, “Whoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

C – Confess and leave your sin.  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

There’s also a simple guide to help you pray based on the word, ACTS – Adoration (or praise to God), Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.

As the Apostle Paul said, “….in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 NKJ).

Living the Christian life means growing “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:18).  His grace, freely given to us though undeserved, has been defined as God’s riches at Christ’s expense.  Billy Graham once said, “Becoming a Christian is a work of a moment; being a Christian is the work of a lifetime.”


Jan White is an award-winning religion columnist.  Her email address is jwhite@andycable.com.