It is essential to believe the right things
religions. If these elements are missing, a different gospel is presented to that in the Bible. The firmly established, fundamental
foundations of the Christian faith as found in the Bible include:
* The Bible is literally true, being inerrant (without error and free from all contradictions) and is the guide book for life (Prov 30:5,6; Jn 17:17; 1 Thes 2:13; 2 Tim 3:16).
* Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary. He was and is the Son of God, fully human and yet fully divine (Isa 7:14; Mt 1:20; Jn 1:1,14).
* All humanity, because of sin, is doomed to an eternity of torment unless, individually, they turn to Jesus (Jn 3:16,17,36; Rom 3:23, 6:23; 1 Jn 5:12).
* The death of Jesus Christ on the cross as a substitute for sinners. Through repentance, salvation is available by God’s grace – not any effort or works we do. Christ is the only way to God, and those who put their trust in God will inherit eternal life (Jn 14:6; Act 4:12; Rom 5:8; 2 Cor 5:21; Eph 2:8,9; 1 Jn 1:9).
* The bodily resurrection of Jesus on the third day after His crucifixion. He now sits at the right hand of God the Father (1 Cor 15:17; 1 Thes 4:14).
* The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in believers, assisting them to walk in newness of life (Jn 14:16,17; 1 Cor 6:19; Col 1:27; 2 Tim 1:14).
Can I give a clear explanation of these essential beliefs?
Scripture, our authoritative guide to all truth (Act 17:11; 2 Cor 11:4; Gal 1:6,7). Deception can subtly infiltrate through a wrong or over-emphasis on a particular matter. Increasingly there are people preaching ‘another gospel’ – they are both mistaken and misleading those who follow their teaching. If a person or group does not hold to these core values, we have a right to question what gospel they believe, as it doesn’t measure up to the Bible. If you are in a church that does not adhere to all of these core beliefs, seriously consider moving to a church that is true to the Bible. “The time will come when people will not put up with the truth (sound doctrine), instead they will run after the distorted teaching they want to hear” (2 Tim 4:3,4). Paul said church leaders “must hold firmly to the trustworthy word as taught, so that they may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it…But as for you, teach what is sound doctrine” (Tit 1:9, 2:1). While we are to be solidly grounded in the foundations of Christianity (with periodically revisiting these basics of the faith), we are to grow in our knowledge and outworking of the grace of God (Heb 6:1,2; 2 Pet 1:5-9,12).
The early church formulated the Apostles’ Creed as a short statement of faith, summarising these essentials.
See also: accountability, Apostle’s Creed, Bible, cheap gospel, compromise, controversial issues, deception, doctrine, ecumenism, error, false teaching, fundamental, heresy, interpretation, pluralism, truth.