10 February 2008
A Survey of the Core Beliefs of Christianity
The Christian faith is God's life-giving message to his people. Over the centuries Christians have cherished the precious heritage of God's Word recorded in the Holy Scriptures. The same gospel is as powerful today as it ever was before to give us freedom and eternal life.
The aim of the Christian faith is the experiential and intimate fellowship with God. 'Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!' (Ps 34:8). Without God, life is death, plenty is poverty, and happiness is but an illusion. Only when we walk with God can we truly enjoy life, endure trials patiently and look forward in the confident hope of everlasting blessedness in his presence.
While the Christian faith includes an intellectual understanding of certain truths about God and human redemption, it goes well beyond academics. It brings us to a personal love relationship with God through the mediation of Jesus Christ. 'This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent' (John 17:3).
The study of biblical doctrine, rightly undertaken, should humble us and implant a deep sense of adoration. When Moses caught sight of the burning bush, he thought in himself: 'I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.' God stopped him short in his tracks. 'Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground' (Ex 3:3, 5). God is not simply a curious vision. Wherever God's glory is manifested, it is holy ground.
Thus we cannot turn our thoughts towards God with a haughty attitude; he is not a phenomenon or a philosophical concept. Our approach must be guarded by reverence and awe. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. It would be a crippled theology if it doesn't drive us to our knees, confessing as John did, 'When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead' (Rev 1:17).
I pray that you will greatly benefit from this concise explanation of the main doctrines of the Christian faith - to strengthen your confidence in the Bible; to better know God and yourself; to experience God's salvation in Christ Jesus; and to glorify God and enjoy him more than you ever did before.
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