“Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.” ~2 John 9 NKJV
The Essential Doctrines of Jesus, the Christ:
- The Deity of Jesus, the Christ
- Jesus is the proper object of faith
- That Jesus is both God and man (Hypostatic Union)
- Salvation by Grace
- A gift offered to us by God, an olive branch
- We are offered life despite our imminent death
- The Resurrection of Jesus, the Christ
- Jesus had to be crucified and resurrected
- Jesus was to be our sacrificial lamb
- The Gospel
- Christ is God in flesh
- Salvation is received by faith, by grace
- and the resurrection of Jesus
- There is only one God
- Understood to be in three persons
- Holy Spirit
First, Jesus was, and is, the center of the faith in order to gain access to God, forgiveness and access to Heaven. We must understand the Deity of Jesus, that He is wholly God and at the same time wholly man. Jesus was very forward about who He was and His belief in His own Christology.
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” ~John 8:58 NASB
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” ~Exodus 3:14 NASB
Jesus understood where he received His identity from and His purpose on this earth. Jesus claimed divine title by quoting Moses. He also claimed Divine authority when he publicly read the Book of Isaiah.
And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed, To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” ~Luke 4:17-21 NASB
Jesus acknowledged that He was the center of and the proper object of faith. That through Himself that all could receive forgiveness of sins and gain access to God the Father and entrance to Heaven.
Second, that Salvation is by Grace. Salvation is a gift from God offered to man through the person of Jesus, the Christ, through whom we can receive forgiveness of sins through substitutionary sacrifice.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. ~Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB
You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. ~Galatians 5:4 NASB
IF there is a true religion then there is a religion that we must follow and believe. That said, we cannot add to God’s works with our works in order to be saved…as God has already done the job. Remember the final words of Jesus on the cross:
“It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. ~John 19:30 NASB
The works were finished on the cross. You and I, imperfect beings, cannot accomplish perfect works. Our salvation is based upon the perfect work of God through Jesus on the cross.
Based upon the writings of James, the brother of Jesus, we show our faith through our works, in that we will inherently act differently once we are saved and have dedicated our lives to Jesus. When we do something, as such, we will act differently. Those are the works that the world will see Jesus through. In that light we will be a beacon to the world.
Third, we must believe in the Resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. It is a historical fact that Jesus lived, based upon Biblical, extra Biblical, Christian and non-Christian sources throughout history. It is also understood, and therefore factual premise, that Jesus died on the cross based upon Biblical, extra Biblical, Christian and non-Christian sources throughout history, as well as medical determinations from the historical documentation of history (refer to On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ). And based upon all of the above references, as well as, the empty tomb and the fact that the Apostles began their preaching on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus in the city of Jerusalem, where the crucifixion had taken place. Where were the objections to their preaching, if Jesus really didn’t die on the cross, or for that matter did die and was not resurrected? Nothing mentioned in history, or historical documentation, provides any objections to or refutation of the Biblical narrative.
Jesus had to be crucified and resurrected and the best-known prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures concerning the death of Messiah, Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 certainly stand out. Psalm 22 is especially amazing since it predicted numerous separate elements about Jesus’ crucifixion a thousand years before Jesus was crucified. Here are some examples. Messiah will have His hands and His feet “pierced” through (Psalm 22:16; John 20:25). The Messiah’s bones will not be broken (a person’s legs were usually broken after being crucified to speed up their death) (Psalm 22:17; John 19:33). Men will cast lots for Messiah’s clothing (Psalm 22:18; Matthew 27:35). (Where do the Hebrew Scriptures prophesy the death and resurrection of the Messiah?) Jesus had to be sacrificed for our sins was, for brevity, explained in Isaiah 53, Hebrews 10, and 1John 2:2.
The conclusion of a paper written in 2010 seems to hit the nail on the head concerning the issue.
The resurrection is the ultimate confirmation of Christ’s identity as Saviour, Messiah and Lord (Romans 1:3-4, 14:19). The empty tomb, and the fact that none of Christ’s enemies were ever able to produce a body are important pointers to the historical value of the event. The numerous post resurrection appearances noted by the Gospel writers and Paul, together with the transformation of the Apostles into in some cases martyrs and the subsequent growth of the Church also give credence to the biblical accounts.
Numerous theories (including conspiracy theories) attempt to provide rationalistic explanations for the resurrection. Many of these do not fit the facts and do not appear plausible in the light of the Gospel accounts.
Fourth, The Gospels must be believed to be true in order that we can understand the purpose of Jesus and the doctrines He taught us and which were carried on by His disciples.
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! ~Galatians 1:8-9 NASB
Verses 8 and 9 here in Galatians are a self-declarative statement that you must believe the gospel. The gospel message which in its entirety is that Jesus is God in flesh, who died for sins, rose from the dead, and freely gives the gift of eternal life to those who believe. (Essential Doctrines of Christianity, Matt Slick, 2008) Also, it would not be possible to present the gospel properly without declaring that Jesus is God in flesh.
Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. ~1 Corinthians 15:1-5 NASB
Within these verses are the essentials: Christ is God in flesh; Salvation is received by faith; therefore it is by grace; and the resurrection is mentioned in verse 4. Therefore, this gospel message automatically includes the essentials.
And, finally, fifth, the Monotheistic understanding of God and the Trinitarian doctrine. There is one God (Exodus 20:3; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8) as depicted in the Bible. Many mentioned scriptures of of God being “we” (Genesis 1:26; Genesis 11:7) ; however, He is one entity. While the Trinity is not expressly mentioned in the Biblical text, it is inferred throughout the Old and New Testaments.
I hope this is and will be helpful to you!
May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!