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, however, 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. Therefore 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. 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 to interact with our Lord in faith through and with the Holy Spirit. It is important to remember that the Bible is only divine in as much as it points to or reveals God. The Bible is not divine in and of itself.
The Holy Spirit? Also God to 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.
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 what I’ve included in this post, I think, are the foundational essentials of Christianity.
You should also read “A Christian is…”
This article was originally posted on 5/9/2012.