The Sweet 16: Essential Christian Beliefs

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All I need is Jesus.

#JesusJesusJesus

The change in me from confusion and heartache to love and clarity is because of Jesus and the gifts He freely dispenses to me.

Further, I find as I navigate life and wander towards journeying alone, His peace gently flees my mind. As I then realize the growing emptiness within me, I renew my focus on Jesus. His life giving Spirit reinvigorates me to an immensity of Joy and strength.

Thank you Jesus.

Its so easy to attribute the Christian walk to simply “Jesus and me”, disregarding the seismic trove of data encompassing the enormity of the Christian Faith.

Of course, sometimes with the disappointment of life, sometimes we just need “Jesus and me” to get through.

And when we get through, we realize we are the offspring of the All Powerful Transcendent Creator God of the Universe and Time.

So awesome.

And for this to be, as in “be in actuality”, there exists a concrete “Truth” in relation to Jesus and Christianity.

I am speaking of “Truth” here as in “Essential”. Essential beliefs that if they were untrue, there could never be “Jesus and me”.

If Christianity is everything your Pastor says it is, then these 16 Essentials MUST be TRUE.

Controversial Note:

Now, though these 16 must be true in actuality, they are not necessary for a person to believe in order to be a Christian.

There is a distinct difference between what must be true in order for us to be a Christian and what must be believed in order for us to be a Christian.

For instance, nowhere does the Bible say it is necessary to believe in the Virgin Birth in order to get into heaven; nonetheless, the Virgin Birth assures us that God took an active role in breaking the bonds of sin through His Son, Jesus.

There are certain essential beliefs that one may not believe and still be Christian (for example, the Virgin Birth, Ascension of Christ, the Second Coming), and there are certain things one must believe specifically in order to be a Christian.

A person must believe that Christ died for sins and rose again (Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 15:1-6). One must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ: (Acts 16:31). Since the word “Lord” when it refers to Christ in the New Testament means “deity,” one cannot deny the deity of Christ and be a Christian (Acts 2:21, 36; 3:14-16; 5:30-35; 10:39; 1 Corinthians 12:3).

So, start with “Jesus and me” and continue your journey in the Faith, growing in practice and belief into a mighty Christ follower.

The Sweet 16:

1. God’s Unity.

There is only one God, Creator of the universe. He has always existed and will always exist.

Deuteronomy 6:4; Exodus 20:2-3; Isaiah 43:10-11

2. The Trinity.

While there is only one God, He exists eternally in three Persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 3:17; John 1:1-5; John 10:30-33; John 20:28; Hebrews 1:8; Philippians 2:9-11; 2 Thessalonians 1:2; Matthew 3:16,17; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14

3. Human Depravity.

Every human is spiritually separated from God, totally incapable of saving himself. Without a new birth no one can enter life.

Ephesians 2:1; John 3:3; Romans 3:10,11

4. Christ’s Virgin Birth.

Jesus was born as a result of a miracle. Through the Virgin Birth, Jesus did not inherit a sin nature.

Isaiah 7:14; Psalm 51:5; 1 Corinthians 15:22; Romans 5:12-15; Matthew 1:18-23

5. Christ’s Sinlessness.

Jesus not only did not sin, he had no inclination to sin even when tempted. He was perfect.

2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22

6. Christ’s Deity.

The only way for humans to be restored spiritually to God was for God to build a bridge across the gap of separation. So God, while retaining his full God nature, became a perfect man in Christ in order to bridge the chasm. If He is not both God and Man He cannot mediate between God and man. Jesus Christ is the second Person in the Trinity.

1 Timothy 2:5; John 1:1; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:8

7. Christ’s Humanity.

Without being fully human, Jesus could not pay the price for human sin. He needed to be divine to have the power to save us, and he needed to be human in order to adequately represent us.

John 1:14; Philippians 2:7,8; Hebrews 2:14

8. The Necessity of God’s Grace.

Because of human depravity, we cannot save ourselves. It is by God’s grace alone that salvation is possible.

John 17:3; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 15:5; Titus 3:5-7; Romans 9:16

9. The Necessity of Faith.

Faith is trusting that God can and will save us. By trusting in Him and thankfully accepting His gift of salvation, we can be united with God.

Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 11:6; Romans 4:5

10. Christ’s Atoning Death.

The penalty for sin is death. The penalty we owe to God was paid by Christ through His death on the cross, the only acceptable payment.

John 3:16; Mark 10:45; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Peter 3:18; John 14:6

11. Christ’s Bodily Resurrection.

The atoning death of Christ paid for our sins, but the process was not complete until He had defeated death by being physically resurrected in the same body.

John 2:19-21; Romans 4:25; Romans 10:9; Luke 24:39

12. Christ’s Bodily Ascension.

Christ died for our sins and was physically resurrected for our salvation. Then 40 days later, He was ascended bodily into heaven. Because Christ has ascended to the Father, the Holy Spirit now guides us, shows us where we are wrong and comforts us when we hurt.

John 16:7; Luke 24:50,51; Acts 1:9-10

13. Christ’s Intercession.

Christ’s bodily ascension allowed Him to serve as our mediator before God. In God’s presence, Christ prays continually on our behalf.

Revelation 12:10; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1

14. Christ’s Second Coming.

Just as Christ left the world physically, so He will return in the same manner. When Christ returns, dead believers will receive their resurrected bodies. Believers that are alive when He returns will not die, but will be transformed into immortal, physical bodies. Christ’s bodily return to earth will be visible to all, and believers will rule with Him in His kingdom and live with Him forever.

Matthew 24:30; Revelation 22:12; Colossians 3:3,4; Luke 12:40; John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 13:12; Revelation 21:4; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:11-15

15. Inspiration of Scripture.

In order for us to have a sure foundation for what we believe, God revealed His Word (the Bible) as the basis of our beliefs. Without a divinely authoritative revelation from God, such as we have in the Scriptures, we could never be sure of the doctrines that are necessary for salvation.

Hebrews 6:18; John 17:17

16. Method of Interpretation.

All of the Essential Doctrines are derived from the Bible. By applying the literal, historical-grammatical method of interpretation to the Bible one can know which truths are essential for salvation.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

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So awesome.

| Rev. Daniel Gabriel |