In my post last week, 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. However, 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, which is referred to as grace.
- Jesus is the Cornerstone of the Christian Faith
- Jesus is the core of the Essential Gospel and this gospel is 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, which we call the Great Commission
Instead of rattling off Scripture references to base these on, I'll give a few references and ask some questions.
Why? We 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.
Do you see the constant in all five of these foundational truths?
Christian believers have a tendency to take in biblical knowledge without fully understanding it.
Jesus the Cornerstone
There are several places where Jesus is referred to as the Cornerstone. One of those is found in Ephesians 2:20.
Why would this be an important and foundational truth of the Christian faith? How has it been so 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 understanding who "He" (Jesus) is. Peter makes his declaration of who Jesus is 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 command than 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. It is not optional, but 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.
Can you find each occurrence of it? How is this foundational truth at work in your life?
If you still aren't sure where they are leave a comment or drop me a note via my contact page.
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 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 your responses to the other questions in this post.
Please feel free to share it with others. Thanks for reading!