Jesus, the Gospel, and Other Essentials of the Christian Faith

The Gutenberg Bible

In the past I’ve written about Jesus, the Gospel and other Essentials of the Christian Faith.

Jesus is, of course the cornerstone of the Christian faith.  There’s a lot that I could say about our Savior.  The thing is, other faiths recognize Jesus as an important figure.  To some He’s a prophet.  Others claim that he is God’s son.  To others He is a divine or angelic being.  To every true Christian, Jesus is God.  He is the Son of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Period.  Bottom line.  There is no other Christian way of expressing who Jesus is.  This is not my opinion.  It is an essential of christian Faith.

The Gospel moves us to the importance of Who Jesus is.  In “The Passion of Christ”, I explained the importance of that event.  Christ’s divinity, His life and ministry on earth, His death and resurrection and His ascension back to Heaven make up what a Christian means when he or she believes in the Gospel.  Though an important part of the Good News is brutal in the extreme, it was necessary and the result is a thing of grace-filled beauty.  I believe in Christ and Him crucified, is a way to express the Gospel.  “The Lord is risen…” is another. It is the reason most Christian churches worship on Sunday instead of Saturday.  We remember Easter and the Lord of the sabbath not just the sabbath.  “He is risen indeed.”

Then we have the two “Great Commandments” that Jesus gave us which are to Love God and to Love Our Neighbor.  This simplifies Christianity but in no way renders it easy.  I submit that there is no such thing as an “Easy Gospel”.  If, as Paul says in Romans 14:23 “anything that does not proceed from faith is sin” then everything that we do that is not a response to the Gospel is sinful.  That means even the “good things” that we do are evil if we are not doing them because of our faith in a crucified Christ.  ANYTHING.  There is no room to judge anyone else about pretty much anything with that kind of mindset.  We, each of us, has enough of a log to gouge out of our proverbial eyes without worrying about the dust in our neighbors. Him or her we just need to concentrate on loving.  And like Jesus tells us in the story of “The Good Samaritan”, we don’t have to think too much about who, exactly, is our neighbor, we need to concentrate on being a good neighbor.  That’s the important thing.

What’s next? The Bible?  the Bible is the Word of God which, as God’s personal revelation of God’s self to humanity directs us toward Him.  Though I strive, personally, to learn what this means, I realize that the Bible is about God and it allows the faithful and the faith-filled to interact with our Lord in faith through and with the Holy Spirit, the Bible is not God.

The Holy Spirit?  Also God in the Christian, Trinitarian knowledge of the Godhead or triune God.  He is alive and well in the Christian walk, The Way of Jesus Christ.  Some corners of the Church know the Holy Spirit more personally than others, but I have no doubt that He knows all the other corners of the faith as well.

God the Father…. For me He is the most difficult to “pin down” if I may even say that.  I know that it’s not entirely truthful to separate the Three but let’s be honest, we all do it to one degree or another and it seems that this is by design or else we would find Biblical references in the Bible.  so I figure if the Scriptures can divide Them up, little old I can do it to if helps me understand Him more fully. Father is like a Dad who has set things up well for His family and now runs the household through His eldest Son and His Overseer.  They do the Father’s will and try to get the rest of us to do the same.

I’m sure others can add to this list.  But in my mind I’m thinking “Bottom Line Christianity” here.  It seems to me that if one believes these basic things, one can claim the name Christian. I’m a little more precise in my “Brief Statement of Faith”  because that’s my personal statement of faith. Other Christians may add or subtract or emphasize other aspects in their personal walks but I think what I’ve included in this post, I think, are the foundational essentials of Christianity.

But what do you think?  Yes?  No?  Too much?  Not enough?

God Bless,

Christopher

You should also read “A Christian is…”

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6 thoughts on “Jesus, the Gospel, and Other Essentials of the Christian Faith

  1. Greetings My Friend, I say yes, and I also say that this article is well written. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this matter. Peace and blessings be with you for a great day.

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  2. Adding to the essentials is a tricky proposition. I do have two that I think should be considered, however. When discussing Jesus, I think you have to include the belief that He is returning as an essential. The timing, circumstances, and such are much debated, but I would consider the Second Coming non-negotiable.

    The second “missing” essential would be the church – God’s people. God is not just saving individuals; He is creating a community. The essential thread of Scripture is that “He will be our God and we will be His people.” That is the end goal. (Note – this is not about church structure, denomination, or titles/roles.)

    And a quibble. I don’t understand “the Bible is not God” comment. I don’t know of any Christian group that makes such a claim.

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    • Good additions. There are many Christians who pay more attention to the Bible than they do to Jesus. I’ve noticed that they take the whole “Word” idea to an extreme that is akin to the Roman Catholic transubstiation of the eucharist. The Bible’s authority comes from the fact that it points to God and informs us of God. We may also (and should, I think) be interacting with God as we read and study the Bible, but without faith, the Bible is just a book. It is not divine or even holy by itself. Faith makes it so. Very much so though the Holy Spirit.

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      • Maybe I am one of those Christians you are concerned about. 😉 I think you are creating a false dichotomy. Faith doesn’t make the Bible anything. It is God’s Word whether I believe it or not. Someone without faith may not honor the Scriptures, but that doesn’t change its authority or essence. Psalm 119, 2 Timothy 3:15-16 indicate that God’s laws, precepts, and commands are light, life, sacred, and God-breathed. Trying to deny the Bible would be like dismissing the word of His prophets – a very bad idea. I cannot know Jesus without the Bible. I would not separate them so quickly.

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  3. Great article. I really never thought about what you said here, that the bible is not God. That is obvious but still…I never thought of that! Rather the bible is the word OF God, not God Himself. This a pretty good summation of our faith, thanks for sharing.

    Blessings
    Greg

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  4. Pingback: Jesus, the Gospel, and Other Essentials of the Christian Faith « Inspirational Christian Blogs

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