3 things EVERY Christian SHOULD know

A common prediction states that Christianity will die out within the next century; and more specifically, within the next two generations. While this is a jolting forecast, it does not exactly bother me since from the time of Jesus; people have predicted the demise of Christianity to no avail. Christianity is still alive, thriving and relevant. What troubles me now is not the survival of Christianity but the basis of our professions of faith.

Conversations with some friends and acquaintances that ‘tick the Christian box’ have saddened and disturbed me. I have heard opinions including the fact that the bible is only one of many ways God speaks to us and that there could be extra-biblical revelations; that God accepts us based on our innate goodness, with or without Jesus, and I have often heard Christians struggle to defend Jesus as God. This concerns me greatly; how can we always be ready to defend our hope, as 1 Peter 3:15 instructs, if we are not sure of what the hope entails?

Increasingly I have met and interacted with people who believe they are Christians because their parents were Christian or some other family affiliations, but the saying goes ‘God has no grandchildren’ because the only route to a relationship with Him, is one of adoption as sons (Hebrews 2:10, Galatians 4:4, John 1:12-13). Some others opine that being born into a western country or lifelong habits like church attendance saves them but as Joyce Meyer jokes ‘Just as sitting in a garage doesn’t make you a car, church attendance or Christian company doesn’t make you a Christian’, we become sons only by faith in Jesus Christ.(Romans 10:9, Galatians 3:26).

I pre-empt myself, but this issue has burdened me tremendously, and has motivated me to research and compile the foundations of the Christian faith so that we can examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith(2 Corinthians 13:5), because Jesus warned that not everyone who calls Him Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven(Mathew 7:21).

In this vein, I have compiled what I believe are THE three basics of Christianity, on many fine points we can disagree but there are certain incontrovertible truths that must be believed to claim Jesus as Lord, and these I have highlighted briefly.(Disclaimer: I don’t claim to have all the answers and this post is by no means conclusive on the issue, but I recognise that some of us have never had a chance to research the faith or search the scriptures for the basis of the faith so I hope this serves as a pointer ).

The dissent in this regard mainly concerns Jesus, whom many insist was a good teacher, a prophet or a mere man, but the bible explicitly teaches He’s God (John 1:1, Colossians 1:19) and every Christian must believe that, as there would be no basis for His sacrifice if He was and is not God, and did not have the divine, sinless nature.

We must believe that the eternal Son became man without ceasing to be God, to reveal God and redeem sinful man (John 1:1–2, 14; Luke 1:35, Galatians 4:4).

  • Sin-That man is inherently sinful and wicked (1 John 1:10). As RC Sproul says it’s not that we are sinners because we sin, but rather, we sin because we are sinners. Jeremiah 17:9 says the human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Jesus reinforces this in Mark 10:18, where He says there is none good but God (Also Romans 3:10, 23).

We must recognise that sin separated us from God and the only path to reconciliation with God was through the death and atoning sacrifice of Jesus(2 Corinthians 5:21, John 14:6, John 3:16-18). The bible reveals that He redeemed us through His death on the cross as our representative, vicariously bearing the recompense for our sins, and that He secured our justification by His physical resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:24; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3–5).

Unlike popular opinion which suggests that people are generally good, with a few bad eggs, the basic premise of Christianity is that we are intrinsically bad and cannot save ourselves. Because of Adam’s sin, we are enslaved to sin and totally disposed towards wickedness(Romans 5:12-14, Romans 6:20, 1 Corinthians 15:22); and that even our most well-intentioned acts are like filthy rags to God(Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3:22-23; 5:12; Ephesians 2:1–3, 12).

You are probably familiar with this argument but if you disagree, please consider this premise, since even our best deeds are despicable in Gods sight, and His standards so infinitely greater than ours(Isaiah 55:8-9, 1 Corinthians 1:25), how then can our goodness score us points with Him? The bible teaches that we are utterly unable to remedy our lost condition, hopeless and helpless without the sacrifice of Jesus.

Christians are therefore saved not by efforts, attempts or abilities but by believing what Jesus did and accepting it by faith(Romans 10:9, Ephesians 2:8-10).

  • The Bible- Every Christian must believe that the bible is God breathed, and wholly inspired by God. That it is the final authority for faith and life, to be received and obeyed in its entirety, free of error and infallible (2 Timothy 3:1617; 2 Peter 1:2021; Matthew 5:18; John 16:13).

Back to my friends statement from earlier as to God speaking to us in many ways, there is some truth to that as  the bible reveals that even nature communicates and reveals Gods glory (Psalms 19:1-3, Romans 1:20). However Gods FINAL and DEFINITIVE revelation is through His son (Hebrews 1:2); and all scriptures testify of Jesus (John 5:39, John 20:20-31).

We must believe that God even if God speaks now, it would never contravene His already revealed word and will in the bible, as the ultimate end of all God-given prophecy is to bear witness with the revealed work of Christ (Revelations 19:10).

Thanks for your time. I hope this has helped in some way, feel free to share the post with any Christians you know who are floundering in understanding the basics of the faith.

Shalom fam 🙂

POSTSCRIPT

There have been challenges to the  bible’s authenticity, a discussion of which is outside the purview of this post, but there is a plethora of resources  validating its history and legitimacy. I found the following particularly  helpful:

I found the following sites helpful in compiling the general post:

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Hajel
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 06:35:43

    Very very doctrinally sound and easy to read. I like all the research that so obviously goes into your posts, most of the time by reading up the Bible verses you refer to, I easily get an extra hour of Bible study. Keep up the good work.

    Reply

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