What are "The Essentials"?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Jack Matthews, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Jack Matthews

    Jack Matthews
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    I'm posting this in this forum, rather than in a "Baptist only" forum because I suspect that for people in different denominational traditions, there may be differences of opinion.

    Is the direct object of the revelation found in the Bible the salvation of the individual, including repentance, sanctification and justification of the soul through the blood of Jesus the Savior? And is the essential point, after an individual has been under conviction and brought to repentance by the Holy Spirit, a matter of "Believing in Jesus as the Christ, or Savior."?

    Is there any requirement directly relating to salvation beyond that?

    What I see in many posts here, and in the Baptists only forums, is a clear expression of faith in which salvation is maintained through a system of works, varying from adherence to doctrinal purity, to a virtual check list of specific commands which must be followed. I think, if someone who wasn't a Christian was reading this board, and using the comments to determine what he must do to be reconciled to God, he would think that there was a list that included avoiding association or membership in churches that have specific beliefs regarding rituals and church practices.
     
  2. kyredneck

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    ...It behoveth you to be born from above; the Spirit where he willeth doth blow, and his voice thou dost hear, but thou hast not known whence he cometh, and whither he goeth; thus is every one who hath been born of the Spirit. Jn 3:7,8 YLT
     
  3. mont974x4

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    My usual answer to the what is essential would be those doctrines which deal with the person and work of Christ. Underlying those is a desire to glorify God above all else.
     
  4. Jack Matthews

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    Specifically, which doctrines would those be, and what Biblical evidence accompanies your conclusion?
     
  5. mont974x4

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    Read 2 John for one. Truth must rule the day.
    Look also at Paul's writings when he corrects false teachers. What issues dies he address?
     
  6. Jack Matthews

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    There are about 10 places in I John where he states, "this is how you know." The two most mentioned "essentials" are the acknowledgement that Jesus is the Christ, and loving your fellow brethren. There is mention of obedience to "unburdensome commands," which Jesus stated were loving God with all your heart, and loving your neighbor as yourself, which, to me, re-emphasizes the evidence of loving your fellow brethren.

    It seems that the doctrinal issues addressed by Paul were mainly related to Judaizers who wanted to make obedience to the law and conforming to Jewish ritual requirements for Christian practice, and that the greatest danger the early church faced was seeing people go back to Judaism. Later on, I suppose, it was gnosticism. But for the most part, it had to do with those who had lots of trouble understanding that Jesus was God in the flesh.
     
  7. OldRegular

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    You are seeing something that I am not if you see anything from Baptists
    Could you present some specific examples?
     
  8. Jack Matthews

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    There is a member of this board who calls himself "The Biblicist" who insists that church membership in a congregation that doesn't hold a strict view of water baptism cannot be saved. This same person advocates a position that individuals must arrive at a correct interpretation of doctrine in order to be Christian. That negates the belief that receiving the grace of God through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and acknowledging him as Savior, is all that is needed.

    Virtually every Christian group has its theologians and scholars who not only study the scripture and its various historical interpretations but who seem compelled to provide an apologetic for their own denominational perspective. As I've read through some pretty hefty tomes written by Baptists, Pentecostals, Lutherans, Methodists, Catholics, I see much in common, and some pretty solid arguments favoring their own interpretation, as you would expect. The Pentecostals seem to be most insistent on their way being the right way, but Baptists are not far behind with a similar tone of superiority.

    So I guess, as far as essentials are concerned, what matters is that where, when you are putting these things in some kind of order, do you get to the point where something you do, or believe, or don't do, nullifies your belief in Jesus as God in the flesh, who sacrificed himself for human sinfulness?
     
  9. kyredneck

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    "...church membership in a congregation that doesn't hold a strict view of water baptism cannot be saved. This same person advocates a position that individuals must arrive at a correct interpretation of doctrine in order to be Christian....."

    Typical Landmarkist dogma, IME.
     
    #9 kyredneck, Dec 27, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2012
  10. DHK

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    Biblicist can answer for himself, but I am sure that you have misrepresented his position, having interacted with him for some time now.
    First, he does not insist that church membership or any view of baptism is a requirement for salvation. You are mistaken there.
    Second, what do you mean by a "correct interpretation of doctrine"?
    Do you have a correct interpretation of who Christ is; what salvation is? how one is saved? etc. If not, then how can one be saved? There are certain essentials regarding salvation that one must have correct doctrine on. You cannot believe, for example, the view of the J.W.'s of who Christ is (Michael the Archangel) and still be saved. You need proper doctrine.
    Thus if you do not have proper doctrine concerning salvation he is right, you cannot be saved.

    Your confusion comes in his definition on certain terms in specific areas: the bride of Christ, the body of Christ, etc. He has different views concerning those subject areas, and his definitions are no doubt different than yours. But his definition of salvation is not.
    His interpretation of salvation is very orthodox and evangelical. It does not differ than most of those here except, of course the Catholics, whose view is salvation by works, and that is heretical.
    Salvation is by grace through faith and not of works. It is that simple.
    The grace is the grace of Christ provided on the cross through Jesus Christ.
    Faith is faith alone in that sacrifice that it paid the penalty for our sins, a penalty that we could never pay.
    No merit of our own could ever earn our way to heaven. Salvation is not of works; not of our own selves. It is the gift of God.
    No, no amount of works, in fact no works at all can ever merit eternal life.
    Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
    Salvation is the free gift of God.
    It is the new birth wherein one is born from above being regenerated by the Holy Spirit having nothing to do with water baptism.

    I believe that Biblicist would agree with all that is written above.
     
    #10 DHK, Dec 27, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2012
  11. Doubting Thomas

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    In my experience, the list of "essentials" seems to vary with whom you ask. It seems to be that one needs to be worshipping the TRUE God, and trusting the TRUE Jesus (who His is and what He did) , knowing that it's FAITH in Him alone that saves. Implicit in this last statement is knowing WHAT this 'FAITH' is (or is not) according to Scriptures--that it's not an intellectual assent alone (per James 2) but a faith which works through love (per Gal 5:6)
     
  12. Tom Butler

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    My understanding of Landmarkism is different from this. I don't believe this is Landmarkism at all.
     
  13. DHK

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    I also think that this is a mischaracterization of Landmarkism.
     
  14. Earth Wind and Fire

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    And if we are born from above, by the grace of the Holy Spirit why do we thrash around so? Grace is a gift given through Gods great love, mercy & sacrifice. It is to recognize that its all around us, above us & beneath us; speaking to us through every person, every thing in nature, every trial & situation. So Id say stop knocking on the door....if your born anew, you're already inside!
     
  15. Yeshua1

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    essentials to get right with God would be that we are all sinners, that Jesus died for our sins, in our place before the Father, and that we are saved by that acr, received thru faith...

    Would also see trinity as essential, for IF we err on the nature of God, we real hvae no salvation!

    That gets one right with God, after that , we have the cardinal truths such as inspired/infallible Bible, Virgin birth, Second Coming etc!
     
  16. kyredneck

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    And I agree with you, I posted before thinking what I was commenting on, and I apologize to the Doc for that. The problem here is that I read 'saved' to mean something other than the birth from above or the acquisition of eternal life, and that was the position I was commenting from, forgetting that 'you people' totally take 'saved' in the eternal sense.

    I know that he doesn't hold that our eternal destiny is dependent upon our correctness, in fact, I agree more with his soteriology than not.

    [edit to add] But trust me, he IS Landmarkist.
     
    #16 kyredneck, Dec 27, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 27, 2012
  17. kyredneck

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    To enter into the kingdom of His dear Son while here on earth (read saved) is the grandest of privileges that is available only to His redeemed, born from above children.
     

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