Coke. It’s the real thing. The year was 1972 when that ad campaign began. The fact is Coca Cola is not Pepsi Cola or any other knock off. There is only one Coke. Biblical, historic Christianity is the same way. We ought be able to recognize what is true and what is a lie; we ought be able to back it up with chapter and verse. We ought to know the real thing!
Here are the first nine essentials of biblical Christian faith, (with greater description included in last two Morning Briefings), concluding with four more today.
1. The Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God.
2. God is and always was; he is eternal, not a created being.
3. God exists in three persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
4. God is the Creator--our Creator.
5. Sin changed everything, separated us from God.
6. God made a way for our redemption.
7. God's instrument of grace was Jesus Christ, God Incarnate
8. All of Christianity hangs on the Resurrection.
9. And only because Christ was raised from the dead, so shall we be raised
10. Jesus ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father10
After Jesus walked out of the tomb, leaving behind his grave clothes, he tarried 40 more days on earth. He was with his disciples indoors and outside too; he addressed a crowd of more than 500 people11 one time as well. And then, right after charging his close disciples and friends with taking the gospel to Jerusalem, Judea and the outer parts of the earth,12 to make disciples and baptize them, he ascended into Heaven. Jesus literally went up in a cloud as they watched him go into the sky.13
Now this is great news! We serve a living Lord, who intercedes…yes, he prays for us. “Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”14
11. The Holy Spirit indwells those who have chosen Jesus as Lord.15
Just as Jesus said he would, the Holy Spirit came to believers. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. 16
And because we have the Holy Spirit, we are never alone. Think of it--the Holy Spirit is the only representative of God on this earth! And therefore, we are to be people of the Holy Spirit until… Jesus comes again. We must seek to get to know him and his power in our lives. And further, as Paul exhorted us, we must continue to be refilled with the Holy Spirit of God.17
Do you need to watch something incredible?
Do you need hope--are you on your last leg? Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjKW59Tu4vw\ ~ Jim Cymbala
12. Jesus Christ is coming again!
Consider our Lord’s words: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.18
Right after Jesus ascended into Heaven from the Mt. of Olives, an angel said to those gathered there: “This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”19 And Jesus will catch us up with him in the clouds, to be with him forever!20
13. We are meant to be followers/disciples of Jesus.
Check it out. Some of Jesus’ last words: ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ Matthew 28.18-20
Disciples are students of Jesus’ words and life.
Disciples study God's Word, go to him in prayer, obey, follow Christ in baptism, partake of the Lord's Supper and share the good news of the Gospel.
Study . . . talk to Your Father . . . grow.
Maybe you always thought that becoming a Christian would mean checking your brain at the door or believing impossible things--now you know better! You now have enough information to know what is involved in being a Christian. Yes, it is far more than just a single decision! It is knowing who God is and all he has done to be in relationship with us, now and forever.
Do you want to become a Christian, a Christ follower? Here’s how: tell Jesus you want to follow him, that you recognize that among all other religious leaders, he is the only one who came to live with us, die for us, and then rise again—he is indeed the Son of God, the Messiah, and he is alive! Ask him to help you follow him ~ acknowledge that you sin and you want him to forgive you, to come and purify your heart and mind. Then start watching for God to show up in your life; be aware of his presence, his leading … because he makes all things new—especially you.
Times change ... the Word of God does not, nor do the essentials of the Christian faith. Times change ... but our God does not! Listen to "My God is Still the Same", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggPEQ_COpBA
Know what you believe, my friend!
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:
9) Romans 6.5; 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17;
10) Acts 1.9; Romans 8.34;
11) 1 Corinthians 15.6
12) Acts 1.8
13) Acts 1.9
14) Romans 8.34
15) 1 Corinthians 3.16
16) John 14.16-17
17) Ephesians 5.18
18) John 14.1-3
19) Acts 1.11b
20) 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17