If you say you believe one should stick to [only] the basics [not loose sight of it], answer all the following questions individually and honestly as an exercise.
Assume each has only a true or false option. Then continue reading this paper with your Bible and Jesus Christ (Jn 14:6,26).
You are a Christian because you
(a) Attend church services regularly
(b) Have a membership with a mainline church (is a church member)
(c) Don’t care much for doctrinal detail but just love Jesus
You are a child of God because
(a) You believe so, but can’t really know for absolutely sure, only God does
(b) Your preacher told/convinced you so
(c) You are an active church member
(d) You are included in a covenant since you were baptized as a babe
A Christian must follow the ten commandments
(a) God says so
(b) This is how you show you are a child of God
(c) This is how you get/remain saved
(a) Is forgiven when [because] you confess it
(b) Every new sin has to be confessed to be forgiven
(c) God will not use [talk to] you until you confess your [every] sin
About God’s sovereignty…
(a) God is in control – He does everything/is ultimately behind everything
(b) God determines when you should die
(c) Jesus then comes to fetch you, when it is your time
(d) You have a house build for you in space somewhere (where heaven is)
(e) God uses sickness and adversity to build your character/faith
Your death is a certain (determined) fact because
(a) All people must/will die
(b) No one has seen someone recently getting older than 200 years
(c) You will be better off in heaven – it is a Christian’s destiny
You cannot be exactly like Jesus, or really do more than what He has done
The NT starts at Matthew 1:1
No one has the right to interfere with what you believe – you are OK
Now, take your Bible, and assess all to:-
- What did Jesus Christ say about it? What does the Bible say about it? In other words, say what Jesus says, as Holy Spirit counsels or teaches or reveals, not thieves [false teachers]. We will do well to trust the Word of God (Gal 1:6-12; 2 Tim 3:16-17).
- How does Jesus’ obedience to His death, His resurrection, and His present position as Lord [maximum authority], relate to what we say or believe?
- What did Jesus the Christ [Anointed] of God demonstrate about it?
Then as for the questions, if you answered YES to any of the statements above, you probably need to seriously reconsider your faith. You – like all of us – need to desperately [genuinely] line up with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The paper “The Gospel” expands on this; but for now, let’s consider the following as Scriptural answers to the questions above.
Whoever says, I know Him [I perceive, recognize, understand, and am acquainted with Him] but fails to keep and obey His commandments (teachings) is a liar, and the Truth [of the Gospel] is not in him – 1 John 2:4 (Ampl).
If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands (Words) – John 14:15
Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My Word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him. Anyone who does not [really] love Me does not observe and obey My teaching. And the teaching which you hear and heed is not Mine, but [comes] from the Father Who sent Me – John 14:22,23 (Ampl)
[These weak woman will listen to anybody who will teach them]; they are forever inquiring and getting information, but are never able to arrive at a recognition and knowledge of the Truth. Now just as James and Jambres were hostile to and resisted Moses, so these men are hostile to and oppose the Truth. They have depraved and distorted minds, and are reprobate and counterfeit and to be rejected as far as the faith is concerned [Ex 7:11] – 2 Tim 3:7,8 (Ampl). Now read 2 Tim 4:1-5; Gal 2:4-6,14.
As far as “church” goes, study the following Scriptures. Remember now to show your unconditional love for God and His Word, Jesus Christ. You will reveal to yourself how many of these Scriptures you [do and want to] really read and contemplate and how many of them you will discuss with Jesus Christ in Person. He already knows you, but you now have the opportunity to reveal your real inner self and your true relationship with Jesus Christ. And please, do not bluff yourself with “I will read the Scriptures later and first scan the rest to get the idea”. Unless you take all these Scriptures at heart, you will miss it.
- Church is not a building [made by human hands].
(Acts 7:48-53; Ps 127:1; Isaiah 66:1,2; Heb 9:1; Acts 17:24)
- Church is the Body of Christ, the people in whom He dwells.
(Eph 1:22,23; 2:18-22; 4:12-16; 5:32; Col 1:24; 1 Pet 2:4-10; 1 Cor 3:9,16; 1 Jn 4:16)
Note: “dwells”, not “visit”, or [occasionally] “work”, not an office, but His ecclesia.
- This is His heavenly city (Jerusalem – Gal 4:24-31; Is 60:14b; Mt 5:14), the true Israel (Amos 8:2; Mt 21:43-45; Acts 10:35; Rom 2:28-29; 3:19-28; 6:14-17; 7:4,6,9,10; 9:7-9, 25,26; 10:1-4,12,13,17-21; Gal 2:4-6,13,14,16-19; 3:7-13; 4:21,30,31; 5:4,18,25; Eph 1:22-3:6,18-21; Rev 21; 1 Cor 3:9,16; and so on). You are already a citizen of heaven if you are in Christ -Eph 2:19; Heb 12:23; 1 Cor 2:13-16; 2 Cor 10:5; 1 Jn 4:17; 5:4-5; Jn 16:33! Gen 11:4-7; Acts 2:1-6; Rev 21:1,2,24; Heb 11:10,13,16; 12:22; 11:39,40 (Is 60:14; Mt 5:14; 1 Pet 2:4-10)
- Jesus Christ – resurrected – is the Head of the church, and cannot be “de-nominated” (Col 1:18; 2:19; Eph 1:22; 3; 4:15; 5:23; 1 Cor 3:11,17-23; Heb 11:10)
- God’s kingdom is for believers, not achievers [it is God’s grace & mercy, not our merit] (Is 1:18; Rom 8:3; 9:16; 10:4; Heb 8:12,13; 1 Jn 3:20-23; Rev 12:11)
For the answer to 1(c), consider Hos 4:6-10; Mk 7:12; 12:24; Phil 3:9; Eph 4:11-20; Jn 10:10.
(a-c) Ask Jesus to help you with Rom 8:14-16; 2 Tim 1:7-10; Rom 1:16-19; Rom 9; 10:9-11
(d) The promise [covenant] was that a Messiah would be sent by God, and that He would be our Savior, Intercessor, and Prince of peace (between God and man; not man-man). This promise is fulfilled. His Name is Jesus Christ. You or I cannot alter or comply with that promise. We can only inherit by faith [in Jesus Christ] what God fulfilled [paid for].
As for the meaning of Baptism, It is only genuine – and useful – if it is accompanied by a complete and permanent change of mind (submission, βαπτισμός, baptismos). To be reborn
(Jn 3:3; 2 Cor 5:17; 1 Pet 1:18) also means to renew your mind. If you don’t move away from it, you will stay there – by your own choice! Israel was in slavery for about 458 years. Once through the Red sea (water baptism), they had to move on to the promised land. Note it was due to their own rebellion that they found themselves in the wilderness (Rom 9:31-32; Dt 9:6,13; Acts 7:51). They were in the desert and walked around that mountain (Gal 4:25) for 40 years. An infant cannot grasp this concept and Jesus said in Mark 16:16 that those that believe (grasp, confess) this be baptised. Not infants who would not comprehend this and grow up confused and under the false impression that a ritual included them into a covenant because someone made a promise on their behalf. (See paper on baptism and 1 Tim 2:5). The wilderness is not your camping place as a Christian. Try it on your own, or swim back through the Red sea, and you are back in slavery [law; self-righteousness]- by your own choice. Jesus has paid and has His Spirit available to indwell you permanently (Jn 14:23-26)
Try just Rom 3:20-27; 5:9,15; 7:4,6,10; 8:1-4,14; 10:1-4; 2 Cor 3; 4:4-7; Gal 1:6-12; 3:1-29; 4:7,21-31; 5:4,18… Think about Gal 5:4,18; Jn 1:17; 9:28. See the papers “Mixing of Old and New” and “The Covenant and the Law” by the author. No, we are not to ignore the fact that Jesus Christ is our righteousness and that He over-paid once for all! When we follow Him [Jn 10:27,28], observers will notice that we do not commit adultery, fornication, speak or live a lie [like religious play-actors], etc. Because we eat not from the tree of knowledge between good and evil, blessing and calamity; but because we eat from the Tree of Life, because we follow and hear His Voice continually and habitually. His name is Jesus Christ, not Moses or my own theological clever self. His name is Jesus Christ, the Name above all.
The Law was given unto them (the Jews) to reveal to them their futile self-righteousness (Rom 9); and only for the intended period from Moses to Jesus Christ (Gal 3:19). Check your Bible.
It is very important to understand I Jn 1:9 correctly. The confession of sin does not save anyone; confessing the Truth that the Blood of Jesus Christ paid for all sin once for all, is what saves the sinner. Neither do we have to confess sin in order to remain saved, but we admit wrong to come back into agreement with God and out of agreement with the devil. The confession, then, is aimed at killing all double-mindedness (Js 1:5-8; Jn10:27), not to pay for that sin. Jesus Christ paid – once for all – for all sin of all mankind on His cross at Calvary – it is done (Heb 10:14)! Confessing [admitting] sin stops Satan [a defeated foe, Col 2:15!] from dominating us [our thought-life] through that sin – by our choice – and we admit [submit to God’s grace] that we draw the forgiveness and purity of Jesus Christ, that is already in our born-again spirits, out of our flesh [unrenewed way of thinking, Rom 8:6-15; Gal 2:4-6,14,19; 3:11-13]; and get in Him when He is in us. If we genuinely love Jesus, we will hate what He hates (Rom 12:9), and follow Him [His teaching, Spirit-Words that is Life continually and habitually and with joy because we see results on prayer and prophecy].
As for 4(c); contemplate Heb 2:16 (Gal 3:29); 4:12-16; 1 Jn 3:18-23.
(a) God’s sovereignty does not mean He does (cause) all, it means He is above all. Consider James 1:13-17; 1 Cor 10:13; Jer 17:9-10; 29:11-14; Is 5:18-21; 1 Thess 5:9… The paper entitled “The Will” by the author, expands on this. Suffice for now to point out that God’s character is beyond reproach. We might be at a loss to understand due to our own distance and ignorance but never due to His “harshness” or “unfairness” on our poor humans…
(b) Does God want you to die? Has He ordered it? Really? What about suicides and murders and reckless drunk drivers and the insane? Note that Jesus nowhere used the word [concept] afterlife as His good news [Gospel] like the denominations do, although He understood it (Jn 11:25; Lk 16:19-31!!!); but always said He wants us to enjoy everlasting life (Jn 11:26; 3:15,16; 5:37-47; 6:48-51; 8:51; 10:10… Paul knew this in 1 Thess 5:23; 2 Cor 4:12; and so did prophets long before them, such as Isaiah [25:8; 38:16-20] and David [Ps 102:18-20; 119:104,116,144,175] and Ezekiel (18:31,32) and Moses [Dt 30:11-19]…
(c) Jesus is not the angel of death, He is our Intercessor (1 Jn 2:1; Heb 7; Lk 16:19-31)
(d) Read Jn 14 again to the end. Note verses 23-27; also Jn 17:15; 1 Tim 3:15; 1 Cor 6:19-20; Is 60:14; Mt 5:14; 1 Pet 2:1-10; Rev 21:3… The cubical measurements (Eph 3:17-21; Rev 21:16) speak of perfection (equal in 3 dimensions, Father, Son, Spirit; spirit, soul, body)
(e) God (Jesus Christ) is the Healer, not a sadist or manipulator or extortionist/blackmailer! Jesus only did what He saw His Father do and said what He heard His Father say and never laid hands on any one to be sick or to teach them a lesson – it is wicked man’s idea! Why would Jesus command Mt 10:8 (Jn 17:20) if He wants you to be sick at all or die???
(a) Grasp 1 Thess 4:13-18; 5:23; try and absorb Heb 12:1-2; Jude 21; with Jn 11:26.
(b) Get 2 Cor 4:18;5:7; Heb 10:38; 11:1; and hear Jesus in Mt 24:37-39 (they probably scoffed at Noah for preaching his testimony by asking “when have you ever seen so much rain, Noah?”. Interesting to read Heb 11:5-6,40; and 1 Jn 5:16 with Jn 3:15,16; 11:26; 16:9… And don’t omit Rom 5:12; 6:23; 8:1-3,11-21!!!…
(c) And Mt 5:5; and (a) above?…
Hear Jesus in Jn 14:12-19; Mk 11:23-24. All you can do more than Jesus Christ is to not loose your body to death (Rom 8:29-39; Lk 1;37). Think about it and ask Jesus to explain it to you.
Understand Heb 9:16-17. At the soonest, the NT commenced at Jesus’ crucifixion. This sounds simple but is profound. Major church doctrines fall right here (they think Jesus was referring to some future point for us in Jn 14; yet it was His cross sacrifice! Ps 118:24 and the Book of Revelation now [repeatedly] points to Jesus Christ crucified as the Lamb of God! Yes, He was not overcome (He is resurrected and is Lord) – but do you grasp 1 Cor 1:23; 2:2?
Consume 2 Tim 3:16-17; 4:1-5; 2 Pet 1:18,21; Gal 6:1-10; Eph 4:11-32…
Go in peace and joy in the Lord Jesus Christ and consider the other papers on this website as well?