In a previous post, I pointed out that a general understanding of Christianity often revolves around moral goodness. Moral goodness in and of itself is certainly not bad, but it is not the basis of genuine Christian faith.
And yet, true followers of Christ ought to be good examples of moral goodness. But what is this moral goodness based on? It is not relative to any culture, nor is it gained by upholding certain laws. It is not even based on what a person believes.
But what a person believes and why they believe it is important.
5 Foundational Truths of the Christian Faith
There are at least five basic, foundational truths essential to genuine Christianity. This is from an evangelical perspective. The work of Christ's redemption is received only by faith because of God's kindness and favor referred to as grace.
- Jesus is the Cornerstone of the Christian Faith
- Jesus is the core of the Essential Gospel and the core of our Christian faith
- Jesus personally calls us to follow Him
- Jesus gave one all-encompassing command—to love one another as He loved us
- Jesus gave one primary mission to His followers called the Great Commission
Do you see the constant in all five of these foundational truths? It's Jesus!
Instead of rattling off Scripture references to base these on, I'll give a few references followed by some questions. Why?
Western Christian believers have a tendency to take in biblical knowledge without fully understanding it. This may enable someone to spout Bible references and beliefs, but it doesn't necessarily lead to internalizing truth.
When the truth is internalized it becomes embedded in us and readily available to share with others. But for a truth to be internalized a person needs to process the truth through their own thinking. This often involves some form of struggle to gain understanding.
Jesus the Cornerstone
There are several places where Jesus is referred to as the Cornerstone. One of those is found in Ephesians 2:20 another is in 1 Peter 2:4-8.
Why would this be an important and foundational truth of the Christian faith?
Has this truth been foundational for you?
The Essential Gospel
The Essential Gospel—He Came, He Died, He Rose—is laid out in my book, The Mystery of The Gospel: Unraveling God's Story.
The key is to understand who "He"—Jesus—is. When Jesus asked His disciples who they thought "the Son of Man" is, Peter made an important and accurate declaration in Matt 16:16.
What are the two things Peter declares about Jesus?
Do you understand the significance of these two truths?
Jesus' call to follow
This basic invitation to follow Jesus is found in all three of the synoptic gospels (Matt 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23) and is preceded by the revelation of who Jesus is and His relating the Father's plan for man's redemption.
What are two things Jesus says need to happen if we want to follow Him?
What do these expressions mean to you?
The supreme command
Jesus gives one general command that He calls "new" in John 13:34-35, and it is by this we are to be known as His followers.
What is different about this new command of Jesus and the command to love our neighbor as we would our selves (Mark 12:29-31)?
This final instruction of Jesus to His followers is found in all four of the gospels and the beginning of Acts. It is not optional. It is our primary mission and the heart of God for the world.
The first place we see the Great Commission is in Matthew 28:19-20. The other ones? Here's a hint—look at the end of the other three gospels and the beginning of the book of Acts.
Can you find each occurrence of it? How is this foundational truth at work in your life?
If you still aren't sure where these expressions of the Great Commission are, then check this post out—What Do You Not Understand About "Go"?
What's your view on these 5 foundational truths?
This post is not intended to be a complete guide to the Christian faith, that would require much more attention.
If you're looking for that, find a good book on biblical theology, such as—What Is Biblical Theology?: A Guide to the Bible's Story, Symbolism, and Patterns
Because I'm a proponent of intentional, relational discipleship and biblical theology, I see the Christian faith as a way of life, not a set of beliefs.
The Bible is our source for truth, but remember what Jesus says—
You carefully study the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. They do in fact tell about me... (John 5:39 NCV)
What are your thoughts on these five foundational truths?
I'd like to hear them and also your responses to the other questions in this post.
Please feel free to share it with others. Thanks for reading!