Beliefs: The Essentials of Faith

When you lose your joy, you have lost it all.     

One Pastor's Thoughts . . .

John Wesley, the unintentional founder of the United Methodist Church, taught that we should agree on the essentials of faith, and in other, peripheral matters we should “think and let think.”

As I consider the essentials of the Christian faith, this is my list:

1. God exists.

2. God created man, woman, and all things.

3. Man and woman fell away from God due to sin.

4. People have tried many times and in many ways to restore the relationship with God but they were unable to do so.

5. God sent His son, Jesus Christ, to do what we could not do ourselves.

6. Jesus taught the people, loved them, and suffered and died on the cross and rose again.

7. His death on the cross is atonement for our sins.

8. When a person chooses to accept the person of Jesus Christ and the power of his acts on the cross, their sin is forgiven and they are filled with the Holy Spirit.

9. A new life begins for that person in that we are conformed to the image of Christ . . . a little bit at a time.

If Christians can stay focused on the essential parts of the Christian faith, then we stay on mission. Churches struggle when they focus on the non essentials.

Examples of peripheral, non-essential beliefs, non heaven or hell beliefs would include:

1. Opinions on baptism.

2. Opinions on the book of Revelation and how the world may or may not end.

3. Opinions on particular social or political issues.

4. Etc.


In this section . . .

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