Monday, January 26, 2009

Essential Doctrines of the Christian Faith

You may recognize this post.  I have modified a few things and hopefully better represented the truths of Christianity.

I will attempt to briefly lay out the essential doctrines of the Christian faith. These are doctrines that true Christians of any denominational stripe must believe. Denying any of these is denying the revelation of God. Note that the scriptures I provide are not the only passages that attest to these truths.

  1. The authority and inerrancy of scripture: The Bible was inspired by God and written through men. The books of the Bible have a divine origin, and are without error in their original autographs. (2 Timothy 3:16)
  2. The Trinity: God has revealed Himself to be one God in essence and nature (Deuteronomy 6:4, Isaiah 43) and exists as three eternally distinct persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19 , Hebrews 1:8, Acts 5:3-4)
  3. Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ: Jesus was born of the Virgin mary in a miraculous conception. She was, "found with child of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 1:18, Luke 1:26-38)
  4. Deity of Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man.  The Bible makes it clear that He created the universe (John 1, Colossians 1, Hebrews 1, Revelation 1). Jesus also clearly said that He is God (Mark 14:62-63, John 5:18, 20; 8:58; 10:30-33).
  5. The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ: The Bible teaches clearly that after three days, Jesus raised Himself from the dead and defeated death. This was not an apparition or vision, but a physical, bodily resurrection from the dead. (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20, Romans 10:9, 1 Corinthians 15:14-16)
  6. The atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross: Man is inherently sinful and has broken God's law (Romans 3:23). God is just must punish those who break His law. Man is unable to come to God himself. Because God loves His creation, He came as Jesus of Nazareth to suffer and die as the propitiation of our sins (Romans 3:25, Hebrews 2:17, 1 John 2:2), shedding His blood to cover our sins (Ephesians 2:13, Hebrews 9:14, 1 Peter 1:2, 1 Peter 1:18-19), and saving those who believe.
  7. Salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone: We are only able to come to God by His grace. We must repent of our sins and trust alone in Jesus Christ as our savior (Ephesians 2:8-9). There is no other way to eternal life (John 14:6, Acts 4:12). This faith is not simply an intellectual belief, but a relationship with the Savior that brings about a changed life (James 2:14-26).
There are many doctrines that have historically divided segments of the Church of Christ. They are important debates to be had, but the essentials make us brothers and sisters in Christ. So while we debate, let us debate in love and not divide.

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