The most basic of Christian truths is found within the text of John 3:16. Coupled with the understanding that there is a sin-filled chasm between us and the Father and Jesus is the only bridge across, and we are left with the elementary principles to which every believer subscribes; the ABC’s of our faith.
However, the writer of Hebrews would also remind us that there are six (6) additional tenets that are basic and foundational to our faith, and as believers, we should possess an acute familiarity with them as well.
Do You Know Them
That is not an indictment, but an invitation. Honestly, I am not as familiar with them as I should be, so my re-listing of them here selfishly serves as a personal review and tutorial. In the order they are recorded in the Bible, the topics are: repentance from dead works, faith toward God, doctrine of baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
Repentance from Dead Works
This is not pertaining to a turning away from our sin and a turning towards Jesus Christ. This repentance is the rejecting of the false notion that we can somehow earn our salvation. The basic element of this tenet is that we cannot purchase what Christ has already bought.
Faith Toward God
It is all about God. Everything good was created by Him and for His good pleasure. A faith toward God continually recognizes this truth and endeavors to put Christ Jesus first in every aspect of our lives.
Doctrine of Baptisms
The first thing we notice is the ‘S’; there is more than one baptism. In addition to water baptism which symbolizes our death and resurrection, there are also baptisms of the Holy Spirit, into the Body of Christ, of suffering, and of fire.
This speaks of, but is not limited to the discovery of God-given gifts for the purpose of ministry and the empowering of individuals to move forward in service. I further believe it lends it self to both encouragement and judgment from one brother or sister towards another.
We need to know the basics of end-times theology. If you are one who believes in a pre-tribulation rapture, you might ask why we need to know this. The reason is for the sake of others, the fear of the Lord, after all is the beginning of wisdom. If you are a mid-trib, or post-trib subscriber, then the ‘need to know’ is much more relevant to you.
Speaking of the fear of the Lord…
Actually, there are two very basic things every Christian needs to know: believers are not judged for sins, unbelievers are; the sins of the Christian have been cleansed by the blood of Christ. However, the works of the Christian will be judged by fire. One day every believer will stand before Jesus and He will interpret what it is we have done with the time, talent, and treasure He has provided us.