Essentials of the faith

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Michael Wrenn, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
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    I wonder if we might come to a consensus on what are the essentials of the faith. What would you list as the things necessary to be believed in order to call yourself a Christian? Do you think the Apostles Creed is a sufficient statement of the Christian faith?
     
  2. billwald

    billwald
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    Sure. Apostle's Creed, Nicene Creed, Athanasian Creed.
     
  3. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
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    Yes, and if that is the case, why shouldn't the teaching of the church focus on these elements or aspects of the faith and leave everything else to the conscience of the individual -- in other words, do as Wesley said: "As to all opinions which do not strike at the root of Christianity, we think and let think." This would include doctrines of baptism, the Lord's Supper, and every other thing that divides people and creates animosity between them.
     
  4. The Biblicist

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    In scripture "the faith" includes all essentials for two classifications; (1) salvation; (2) service.

    If we are talking about essentials for salvation that is one thing, but if we are talking about essentials for Christian service that is quite another thing.

    Sacramentalists cannot make this distinction because they confuse salvation with service making what YOU DO equally important for salvation as what CHRIST DID.
     
  5. Doubting Thomas

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    I think there are two issues regarding what is essential to being a Christian:

    (1) What one must believe (intellectually) to be saved--ie the content of the faith; and
    (2) What must one do to be saved, because we know from Scripture that intellectual belief is not enough to save (see James 2)--in other words what does a lively faith in Christ look like in practice?

    Regarding #2, it is important to keep in mind the distinction between: (a) what Christ accomplished on the Cross; and (b) how what Christ accomplished is appropriated in the life of the individual. (The conflation between these leads to confusion and endless debates).
     
    #5 Doubting Thomas, Sep 24, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2012
  6. The Biblicist

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    In regard to being a Christian I would say the essentials are:

    1. What one must intellectually understand and receive

    2. What God must do for one to be saved.

    3. What fruits indicate one is saved.
     
  7. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
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    And what are the basics of number 1, in your opinion?
     
  8. The Biblicist

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    There is a postive and negative aspect:

    1. Postive

    The simple realization that one is a sinner in need of salvation from sin and that simple faith in what the true God has provided in the true Person and work of Jesus Christ is completely sufficient to save you.

    2. Negative

    There must be no conscious denial of any essential aspect of what is listed above.

    For example, any denial or distortion of the God of Scripture. Any denial or distorion of the Christ. Any denial or distortion of the provision for salvation.

    In 1 Corinthians 15 there was a denial of the resurrection of Christ.

    In Galatians there was the addition of works to the gospel and thus a denial of the sufficiency of Christ's atonement.

    In my opinion if there was conscious denial of the penal substitutionary atonement of Christ at the point of professed salvation, that salvation is invalid and false.
     
  9. billwald

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    > why shouldn't the teaching of the church focus on these elements or aspects of the faith and leave everything else to the conscience of the individual -- in other words, do as Wesley said: "As to all opinions which do not strike at the root of Christianity, we think and let think." This would include doctrines of baptism, the Lord's Supper, and every other thing that divides people and creates animosity between them.

    AGREE!!! If Reformed theology is correct it should not matter to which denomination one belongs. BUT follow the money! One can't pay the bills by preaching that all Christian denominations are acceptable.
     
  10. Michael Wrenn

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    Well, you know I don't believe that.

    But let's continue: So, if you believe these are the essential elements of being a Christian, then why so much emphasis on other doctrines which are thus secondary, even to the point of disfellowshiping those who have different beliefs? And I would address this same question to all, not just you.
     
  11. The Biblicist

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    Simply because there are essentials for proper service as God's children just as there are essentials to be a Christian.

    Just as there are essentials to be recognized as a christian there are essentials to be recognized as a true New Testament church.

    2 Thessalonins 3:6 deals with a "brother" not a lost person and calls for separation from that "brother." 1 Cor. 5:11 deals with a "brother" and calls for separation from that "brother."
     
  12. Yeshua1

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    Are the doctrines of original Sin and Virgin birth seen as being essential ?
     
  13. savedbymercy

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    The Truthes of the Gospel. Who Jesus Christ is, whom He died for specifically, His Church Eph 5:25 and what His Death accomplished for them He died for, for those accomplishments provides the good news of their Salvation !
     
  14. Yeshua1

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    For by grace were you saved THRU faith!
     
  15. savedbymercy

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    Thats True, but that is not the Gospel per say ! And from what I read of your testimony via your posts, you believe and teach salvation by works, by what a man does !
     
  16. Doubting Thomas

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    What about faith and repentance? We're saved by grace THROUGH FAITH. Does God have faith for us? Does God repent for us?
     
  17. The Biblicist

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    Both repentance and faith are merely the human experience of regeneration. This is illustrated in the Old Testament statement "Turn us Lord and we shall be turned." The Lord does the turning (regeneration) and thus we are being turned from something (repentance) to something (faith).

    Or this can be seen in John 3:19-20. Turning from darkness to light is repentance and faith but it is God who turns them (regeneration).
     
  18. Yeshua1

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    what did you do to get saved by God, or were you already saved when born?

    When did you receive jesus by faith?
     
  19. billwald

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    My congregation welcomes any person to join us in communion who has been baptized as a Christian and is a member of a Christian Church. That doesn't mean they are free to criticize our way of doing things.

    I joined First Everett (WA) because I like the people, I like their way or doing things, and I like the preaching. There are other congregations in my denomination I would not join and congregations in other denominations that I could join.

    In other words, united in essentials, the rest is personal preference.
     
  20. billwald

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    >When did you receive jesus by faith?

    Maybe before I was born.
     

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