We all have them, but may be unaware. They are the things that are not open to negotiation in our lives, and usually follow our core values. Might involve parenting, work, exercise, nutrition, and certainly, our belief system. Like, as a mother of four – I never ever failed to get up and get my school-age children off for the day, all the way through high school, making sure they ate, had their books and team workout clothes, and a kiss ‘good bye’. Non-negotiable. So, some of our non-negotiables are individual, personal – not absolutes that have no gray. But with God, as laid out in the Scripture, there are distinctives** that are absolutes.
Friends, there is plenty of false teaching out there today, just as Paul warned in the Scripture there would be. In order to not be taken in, we must know what we believe to be true about our Christian faith, and be able to back it up with the Word of God.
What are the things biblical Christians ought to believe? from last briefing:
1. The Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God; it is absolute truth.1
2. God is and always was; he is eternal, not a created being.2
3. God exists in three persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
4. God is the Creator--our Creator.4
5. Sin changed everything, separated us from God.5
6. God made a way for our redemption.6
These absolutes - these convictions we followers of Jesus Christ hold can be costly. Again, look at what was happening in Acts 7 and 8:
-Stephen stoned to death
-great persecution broke out, the people dispersed
-men and women dragged out of their houses, imprisoned
Make no mistake, the reason the believers were being persecuted was because of their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior, their Messiah; otherwise, there would have been no threat to Judaism/the Torah. It is the reason the Jewish leaders had him put to death under false charges (of sedition against Rome). The seventh distinctive of biblical Christianity is:
7. God's instrument of grace was Jesus Christ, God Incarnate
You see, Jesus Christ came, the perfect lamb, the once-and-for-all sacrifice for the ransom we could not pay. Though we celebrate his birth on Christmas like it is the greatest day ever, it is not. The fact is-Jesus came to die.7 His birth would mean nothing if Jesus did not do what he came to do - go to the cross, suffer and die. And then, that would have been the end of the story, dramatic though it would have been, there would be no Christianity, if he did not do what he said he would do ~>
8. All of Christianity hangs on the Resurrection. Though confirmed dead and buried, Jesus Christ rose from the dead.8 Check the historians of the day--not just the writers of Scripture. The Resurrection was a recognized miraculous occurrence. We serve a risen Savior. Yes!
9. And only because Christ was raised from the dead, so shall we be raisedon the last day.9 This is the how and the why we have eternal life.
While I have included the supporting scripture references at the bottom of these Morning Briefings, these two verses must be shared this day, and in them we rejoice:
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command,
with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God.
And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive, who are left,
will be caught up together with them in the clouds to
meet the Lord in the air,
and so we will always be with the Lord. !!!
Throwing it back with this great song: The Creed, Third Day & Brandon Heath - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3i-_VWxOAc
Until the morrow,
**http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=distinctives This is interesting, because it seems like oft times when I look up something in Urban Dictionary, it has prurient value, this does not. Thankfully
1 - 2 Peter 1.20-21; 2 Timothy 3.16-17
2 - Genesis 1.1; Revelation 22.13; Revelation 4.11
3 - John 1.1-3; Colossians 1.15-16; Genesis 1.2; Romans 8.26-27
4 - Genesis 1.1- Genesis 2.32
5 - Genesis 3.8
6 - Ephesians 2.8-10
7 - John 3.16; Romans 5.8; Galatians 2.20
8 - 1 Corinthians 15.3-8, ancient evidence from non biblical sources for the resurrection of Christ: https://www.bethinking.org/jesus/ancient-evidence-for-jesus-from-non-christian-sources
9 - Romans 6.5; 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17