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We finish our examination of foundational Christian beliefs, how they work together and apply to our lives and what that means in our relationship with other believers. These are the fundamental beliefs...essential to genuine Christian life.

Continued from Statement Of Christian Faith

6. All we have to do is believe in Jesus to be forgiven of all our wrongs and to spend eternity with God…or…we can choose not to:
a. Jn 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
b. I Ti 1:16 "…I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life."

7. If we accept His gift, He lives in us, empowering us to live, love and help others know Him:
a. Ga 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
b. I Jn 4:7 "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God."
c. Mt 28:18-20 "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Here are all seven statements rolled into one:

One God wrote in His Word that He created us, we wandered from Him, He sacrificed His Son, so, if we believe and accept His offer He will restore our relationship with Him and give us His love forever.

As we can easily see, this is one story. Even though the Bible is comprised of 66 books, penned by over 40 people, it's one story…His story…our story…a story of perfect love. Our seven 'essentials' are all elements of what enables us to fully believe in Jesus. I have trouble removing any part of this foundation without having the whole house fall down. It may be that…

If we deny part-we deny it all.

Let's go back over the seven and consider some examples.

1. If we don't believe in one supreme God who lives forever as Father Son and Holy Spirit, we're wasting our time. There's no use in following an imaginary god, fictitious Bible or empty philosophy. If we can't buy # 1, let's not waste our time on the other 6.

2. If we believe the Bible is just some ancient writings of primitive people trying to make sense of their universe and teach their children; that it isn't God's Word for us as well as them; that it isn't as infallible as God, Himself…then we can't believe or rely on anything it says. We can't believe in Jesus, the resurrection, God, faith, miracles, salvation, heaven, love, mercy, power...none of it. Believing the Bible is what it claims to be…God's Word…is our basis for believing in everything else it says. That's why it's so important to study it, because God will speak to you today through His Word.

3. If we don't believe God created us and deserves our love and obedience, we can't believe in the salvation of Jesus Christ. That's where it started! If God didn't create us, He has no authority. No authority-no disobedience. No disobedience-no spiritual death. No death-no salvation. No salvation-no Savior.

4. If we don't believe death started with Adam's disobedience, refer to 3 above…no salvation.

5. If we don't believe the death and resurrection of Jesus allows us to reconnect with God, how can we call ourselves Christian?

6. If we don't believe all that is necessary for eternal life is to believe in Jesus Christ, then, we don't believe He can give us eternal life. That's right!  If we believe some action on our part is required for Jesus to save us, then we believe it's our action, not His that saves us. We deny Christ if we try to earn that which He gave us freely.

7. If we don't believe accepting God's gift means he lives in us, giving us true life, love and power, forever…what do we believe? Certainly nothing we've discussed, today. "Christ in you, the hope of glory."

Now we can see why the Statement Of Christian Faith is called 'essential'.

Conclusions from the seven Essentials:

a. Everyone who has accepted God's gift of salvation is God's child and part of our family, regardless of denomination, church affiliation (or none), race, nation or gender.

b. Everyone who has not accepted God's gift is still loved by God, and therefore, loved by God's children. God's children "are like Him in the world".

c. Differences in interpreting God's Word in non-essentials is an opportunity for acceptance, learning and growth, not conflict and dissention.

"In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, charity." Augustine

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