Thursday, September 12, 2013

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What Christians Believe

         For those who don’t realize it, Jesus is not a Christian.  Now that I’ve gotten some of you bent all out of shape, let me explain: Jesus is the Messiah. There is only one Messiah, and it is the belief in Him that makes us Christians.  If we repent (change our minds) and accept Him as our Lord and Savior, believe in Him with all out heart soul and mind, give Him his rightful place as Lord of our life and testify of Him before others, we qualify as Christians.  This is summed up in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” and Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”  To the contrary, if you haven’t received Jesus into your heart, confessed it, and believe that God raised Him from the dead, you simply don’t qualify as a Christian.

          If you believe in Jesus, you must also believe in the Bible, because “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”.  Jesus is the Word – that means that the Living Word of God is Jesus.

         If you are born again, Jesus is the Lord of your life.  If Jesus is the Lord of your life, do you trust what He says?  How can some people say they are Christian, but don’t trust the word of God to be true?  How can it be that you trust Jesus but not His Word: since He is His Word?  It has well been established that the Bible is the Word of God.  With all the different translations of the Bible, how do we know which one to trust?  I prefer the King James Version, however, God can get the gist of what He wants to convey through many different versions.

          It is not our faith that saves us but the Grace of God, in whom and by whom our faith is founded.  By repentance (changing our mind) and accepting the Grace that God offers through acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior, we are given the faith to live for Him.  There are rewards that we receive, once we make that first step: peace beyond understanding, eternal life with the Lord in Heaven, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the power to prevail against evil.  We are however, expected to grow in our Christianity.  Paul says we need to move on from the milk of the gospels to the meat of the gospels.  1 Corinthians 3:2 says: "I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able."  Hebrews 5:12 says:  "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat."  Paul also said: strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

The basic, essential beliefs of a Christian are:

          1.  Jesus is Lord: part of the trinity of God the Father, Jesus the Son( the Word)  and the Holy Spirit of God.

          2.  The Bible is the Word of God and was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  Biblical inerrancy is a fact.

          3.  Jesus was born of a virgin; conceived by the Holy Spirit.

          4.  Jesus died for all of the sins, for all of the people.  Although all of us sin,      those sins can't keep us from entering the kingdom of God.

          5.  Jesus rose again on the third day.

          6.  Jesus is coming back.

          7.  The resurrection of the Saints.

The Scriptural basis for those beliefs are:

          1. Jesus is Lord: part of the trinity of God the Father, Jesus the Son (the Word) and the Holy Spirit of God.   1 John 5:7-8 says: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."  Matthew 28:19 says: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"  John 15:26 says:  "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me:"  Galatians 4:6 says: "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."

          2.  Biblical inerrancy - 2 Peter 1:20-21 says: “ Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”2 Timothy 3:16 says: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" 

          3.  Virgin birth of Jesus - Isaiah 7:14 says: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."  Why does it matter if Jesus was conceived by a man or the Holy Spirit?  If Jack married Harriet and Bill got Harriet pregnant, the baby would be Bill’s and not Jack’s.  If Jesus was conceived by a man, through the seed which is corrupted by sin, He would not be God.  Mary had to be a virgin so that she would not have been defiled by man, when Jesus was conceived.  Matthew 1:23 says: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

          4.  Substitutionary atonement - 1 Peter 3:18 says: "For Christ also           suffered once for sins, the righteous ... ... For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in ..."  Hebrews 9:28 says: "so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins .. .. so also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again ...".  Romans 5:8 says: "But God  commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us"

          5. The literal resurrection of Christ - Jesus rose again on the third   day.  Romans 8:34 says: "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."  2 Corinthians 5:14 -          15 says: "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if  one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again."  Acts 4:33 says: "And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the         Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all."

          6.  Jesus is coming back.   The Nicene Creed, in current use, includes the following beliefs about Jesus: "...he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. ... We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come."  John 14:3 says: "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there   ye may be also."  Revelation 22:20 says: "He (Jesus) which testifies these things says, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord     Jesus."  Matthew 25:31-46 says:  “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne." Hebrews 9:28 says: "So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him." 1 Thessalonians      4:16-17 says: "For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God."

          7.  The resurrection of the Saints.  John 11:25 says: "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:"  Romans 6:5 says: "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:"  John 12:3 says: "I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." 

          The fundamentals of Christianity above are not the end all of Christian knowledge.  They are in reality a starting point for the knowledge of God.  As Paul said, we need to move on from the milk of the gospel to the meat of the gospel.  Hebrews 5:13-14 says: "For every one that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."  There are many other things that Christians come to believe, because of their growth in the Word.  Knowledge of the gifts and the fruits of the Spirit as well as knowledge of the evil forces in the world.  The Christian, however, has the assurance that the Holy Spirit is always there to guide them.  Hebrews 13:5 says: "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."  Just so you will know that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow: Psalm 37:28,says: For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off;  Joshua 1:5 says: "No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:8 says: Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."  Deuteronomy 31:8, "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."


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