While there are various denominations that each bring their own unique perspective to the Christian faith (all of which are welcome here), there are seven essential beliefs that define the boundaries of orthodoxy and what it means to “Think Christianly.” The authors of this site do not believe a person can deny any one of those essentials and and still call their view “Christian.” These seven essentials are listed below. Follow the links for a Biblical defense of each position.
A Christian must believe in:
- The Trinity
- The full deity and humanity of Christ
- The spiritual lostness of the human race
- The substitutionary atonement and bodily resurrection of Christ
- Salvation by faith alone in Christ alone
- The physical return of Christ
- The authority and inerrancy of Scripture
Comments are welcomed.
A Personal Statement on Salvation
Salvation has always been by grace through faith. This is just as true today as was during the times recorded in the Old Testament. The only difference is the way in which that grace was revealed and that faith manifested. By grace God chose not to ‘reward’ the works of the man and the woman in the garden which would have resulted in the death they deserved (Gen 3:15). By grace God chose Abraham and formed the nation of Israel as a people set apart unto Him (Gen 12:1-4). By grace God offered instruction and direction to Israel as to how they might fellowship with Him through the Law (1 Tim 1:8). The system of the law and the sacrifices was not designed for perfect fellowship, rather it was designed to demonstrate to Israel their need for something more, their need for an inner change, for the law to be written on their heart (Jer 31:33). All of the law and sacrifices point forward to the need of the perfect sacrifice, the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Salvation now comes by faith alone in Christ alone. He alone is the way to God, and no one else (John 14:6). No work of humanity is sufficient for salvation (Isa 64:6; Eph 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). An individual can experience salvation by placing their belief, hope, faith, and trust in the person of Jesus Christ, His substitutionary death on the cross, and His resurrection and triumph over death (John 3:16; Rom 5:6-9; 10:9). This salvation can be described in several aspects:
The positional aspect of justification (John 5:24; 10:27-29; Acts 13:39; Rom 5:1; Eph 1:13-14; Col 2:10; 1 John 4:17): Upon this act of faith the individual is immediately justified in the eyes of God and has a secured place with Him for all eternity. At the moment of belief, we are declared righteous in the eyes of God. This is the imputed righteousness of Christ. We are by no means made instantaneously perfectly holy but at that moment God grants us the rewards of trusting in Christ’s sacrifice and we receive the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. The sin nature remains but its authority has been removed, and we are now capable (through the Spirit of God) to choose righteousness. Though we may never choose perfectly, through justification God sees us through the eyes of His Son, in the kingdom of light and no longer in the kingdom of darkness.
The progressive aspect of sanctification (2 Cor 3:18; 1 Thes 5:23; Heb 10:10; 12:10): While justification is immediate and complete, there also exists a progressive component of salvation in which the believer is sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit, being refined in grace. This is progressively becoming more like Christ. In justification the authority of the sin nature is removed but not the sin nature itself. We remain in a constant battle between God and sin, through which we learn and grow and God begins to shape us more and more into the character of Christ.
The future aspect of glorification (Rom 8:29-30; 1 John 3:2): The hope of all believers rests in the perfect completion of this process at the resurrection in the life hereafter. This is the perfection salvation which we all long for. Here the sin nature is finally removed and we are made to be in perfect, unhindered fellowship with God.