Our Foundations of Doctrine series laid out foundational doctrines for the Christian faith. We find it needful to expand upon that and to lay out 9 Cardinal Doctrines of True Churches: the Deity of Christ, the Virgin Birth, Original Sin, Salvation by Grace, Salvation by Christ Alone, The Resurrection, Monotheism, the Holy Trinity, and the Gospel.
These are not only foundational teachings but they are doctrines that cannot be negotiated upon as being requisite for the Christian Faith. These particular doctrines, in fact, are so important that they transcend denominations. A repudiation of any of these doctrines is considered anathema to Biblical Christianity. That may sound harsh but, given the widespread nature of false teaching, we must encourage Christians to take a firm stand.
We hope the coming series will be helpful to you. To begin, here is a summary
The Deity of Christ
John 8:24, “I said, therefore, to you, that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am, you will die in your sins.”
This is where Jesus clearly taught what you cannot deny and you must affirm.
Jesus is God in flesh (John 8:58 with Exodus 3:14). See also John 1:1, 14; 10:30-33; 20:28; Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 1:8
Salvation by Grace
“You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” (Gal. 5:4).
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9).
Both these verses show salvation is by grace through faith and not by works, and that to add works is to not be saved.
The Resurrection of Christ
“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith,” (1 Cor. 15:14). “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” (1 Cor. 15:17).
These verses clearly state that if you say that Jesus did not rise from the dead in the same body He died in as he prophesied in John 2:19-21, then your faith is useless.
“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!” (Gal. 1:8-9, NIV).
1 Cor. 15:1-4 defines what the gospel is: “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”
There is only one God (Exodus 20:3; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8)
“You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” (Exodus 20:3-6).
Jesus is the only way to salvation
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.'” (John 14:6)
Jesus declared that he was the only access to God the Father. To deny this is to deny what Jesus said.
Jesus’ virgin birth
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us.’” (Matt. 1:23).
Without the virgin birth, we cannot substantiate the doctrine of the incarnation of Jesus being God in flesh. This would put at risk what Jesus said above in John 8:24 where he said, “I said, therefore, to you, that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am, you will die in your sins.”
Doctrine of the Trinity
Matt. 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” (See also, Matt. 3:16-17; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6.)
This doctrine is not represented by a single verse per se though it is hinted at. The doctrine of the Trinity is arrived at systematically by looking at the totality of Scripture. It is, nevertheless, the proper representation of scriptural revelation concerning the nature of God.
Sin is not just murder, rape, or robbery. “Sin” is a word that describes any thought, word, deed, or state of being that fails to meet God’s standard of holiness and perfection. The Bible unambiguously proclaims that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). While the notion of generational curses and spirits is foreign to the text of Scripture, there is a sense in which all people are cursed as a result of an ancestor’s sin. Adam’s rebellion brought death to us all and tainted every aspect of our being (Genesis 3; 1 Corinthians 15:21–22; cf. Ephesians 2:3). God, however, has provided redemption through the atoning work of the “Second Adam,” Jesus Christ (Romans 5:12–21).
We will go into more detail in coming lessons. Until next time, Grace to you.