Our generation of Messiah-followers is in crisis. Plagued by division, bizarre beliefs, and the overall watering-down of the Bible, we simply cannot afford to take the fundamentals of our faith for granted. So in order to determine if we can walk together as brothers and sisters in Messiah, here are six areas of non-negotiable belief that identify whether we share an essential, biblical faith.
1) The God of Israel—the one true God—is the Creator of everything (Genesis 1:1, Exodus 20:2, Deuteronomy 6:4, 2 Samuel 7:22). He is not a generic “higher power,” nor is He the god of another religion. Neither is He a host of sacred beings to whom we may worship or pray. He is our sole Creator—He is One—the only true God. To be precise, our God is Adonai, יהוה, the God of Israel, the God of the Bible.
2) It is wrong to sin, and God alone is the one who defines it (Isaiah 59:2, Proverbs 6:16ff, Romans 7:7). The Scriptures make it abundantly clear that God hates sin. It separates us from Him. And just as God Himself will not tolerate it, so are we instructed to separate from other believers who are in unrepentant, repeated sin (1 Corinthians 5:11ff). God’s word is replete with instructions, principles and specific prohibitions that tell us exactly what sin is, and we are expected to abide by His definitions.
3) Because of sin, man is in need of salvation (Genesis 8:21, 1 Kings 8:46, Psalm 53:3, Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:18, Romans 6:23, Matthew 25:46, Luke 12:5). Regardless of how good any of us perceive ourselves to be, sin is impossible to completely avoid. And the price which that sin exacts is extremely high: the cost of our very lives. The unavoidable destiny of every one of us, then, is eternal punishment, so we require rescue. We are in need of release from that debt to death. Fortunately for us…
4) There is one way that we can be saved: by grace through faith in the Messiah Yeshua (John 14:6, Acts 4:12, John 3:3ff, Hebrews 4:15 & 9:26, 1 John 2:2, Romans 10:9f, Ephesians 2:8f). God has made a way out of our sin problem—but only one way. Through Yeshua alone, being born again by the Spirit of God, we can come to Him and receive salvation. There are not many paths to God, or even just a few. There is one, which was opened through Yeshua’s once-and-for-all sacrificial death, paying our debt in full. Why is there only one way? Because…
5) Yeshua alone is qualified to save us, since He is the one and only Son of God, who is both fully human and fully God (John 1:1-14, 3:16 10:30; Matthew 1:1, 1:23; Hebrews 1:3, 2:14ff, 4:15; 1 John 4:2; Colossians 1:15, 2:9; Philippians 2:10). The Scriptures don’t depict Yeshua as half-God and half-man, nor a conjoined, superhuman God-man, but one person, both and simultaneously fully human and fully God. And because He is both, Yeshua is uniquely qualified to save us. Only the humanity in Yeshua could be our suitable sacrifice; only the deity in Him could afford the ransom for our souls.
Finally, in order to truly hold any of these essential beliefs, and to remain in agreement and fellowship with one another, then we must first hold this most fundamental belief of all:
6) The Bible alone is the written word of God, and therefore the only authority to tell us what to believe and how to live our lives (2 Timothy 3:16, John 10:35, Deuteronomy 4:2, 1 Corinthians 4:6). A lack of conviction about the source and nature of the Bible is why we accept other voices and religious writings as having a similar or even higher authority. If we do not limit our beliefs and boundaries to only what is taught in Genesis through Revelation, then our entire faith has no true foundation.
We need to come together on the essentials of our faith, not according to the teachings of any man, but only based on what the Scriptures say. Let us work to become perfectly united under the sole authority of the word of God, so that we may confidently serve Him side by side as brothers and sisters in our Savior: Messiah.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below!