Monday, July 21st, 2008 | Author:

Core Christian Beliefs

All this is not to say we don’t need doctrines, or that all doctrines are equal. Some obviously conflict with the Bible, and are built on short passages taken out of context. Others appeal to the flesh and lead us away from Christ, instead of closer to Him.

So I began to ask God, “What is required to be a Christian? What is the absolute minimum that gets someone into heaven?”

One passage that came to mind is this:

For indeed Jews ask for signs, and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1:22-24)

Christ crucified. Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. I like it.

Other verses came to mind.

Jesus to Nicodemus: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

Peter to the Jews who crucified Jesus: “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

Paul and Silas to the jailer: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:30-31)

And then I thought of the first man, as far as I know, who died as a Christian:

And one of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43)

I’m coming to believe that this nameless criminal, hanging on a cross, told us all we really need to know to be saved. Wouldn’t that be just like God, using the weak and foolish, to shame the wise and strong? (1 Cor 1:27) Read his words again:

  1. Do you not even fear God? We must acknowledge God’s existence. We must fear and respect Him.
  2. we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds We must acknowledge our sin, and that we deserve to die for it.
  3. this man has done nothing wrong We must acknowledge that Jesus is sinless.
  4. Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom! We must call on the name of Jesus Christ as our Savior, and have faith that He is King.

That’s it. That’s all we really know about this criminal. Well, one more thing. Jesus said he was saved – and that’s good enough for me.

Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise

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Category: Christianity
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2 Responses
  1. metamorphusthey says:

    Hi again,

    this is particularly beautiful. The simplest of people can be the greatest among the sons and daughters of God because repent and believe in Jesus Christ is so simple.

    One can go as deep as one wants, there is of course no limit to the vastness of God. But to be a child of God in the Romans 8:12-17 sense, one must receive the true gospel, repent, and turn to Christ alone for all things.

    You are on to something.

    Beks

  2. akaGaGa says:

    Having just responded to your other comments, Bek, this is high praise indeed. :)

    And to refer back to the other comments, I think many people know creeds and doctrines, but they don’t know Christ.