- Category: The Church: The Higher Calling
Theme Text– 'For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ' - 1Corinthians 3:11.
1) How do we know whether someone belongs to the Body of Christ?
Anyone who has dedicated his/her life to follow Christ’s footsteps after understanding the Bible’s foundational doctrines of the gospel of the kingdom of God belongs to the Body of Christ.
2) The Bible is huge. Can we really identify the essential foundations of the biblical Christian gospel?
As a matter of fact, Apostle Paul has written it down for us -
'the elementary teaching about the Christ... foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment' - Hebrews 6:1-2.
The Great Foundations of Original Christianity
Repentance from dead works and faith toward God – An acknowledgment that we are born sinful & can never justify ourselves by our own efforts, and hence we need to repent and turn toward faith in Yahweh, the One True God Almighty and in His only begotten Son Jesus Christ, by whom He freely provides salvation from death.
A zeal to do deeds of faith to prove that faith, even under hostile conditions.
Instructions about washings and laying on of hands – Understanding baptism as a consecration to die to the world and to live for Christ and his gospel, running for the heavenly calling.
Belief in the anointment of the Holy Spirit (done in Paul’s times by the laying on of hands) that Jesus Christ has sent us from God, to understand the deep things of God and to help us fearlessly proclaim His gospel to the world. A realization that the Holy Spirit is not a person but the power of God, and that miraculous gifts of the Spirit (like tongues) were only for the Early Church and have ceased now.
The resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment – Faith in the ransom price paid by Jesus on the cross, by means of which all who die in Adam i.e. all of mankind shall rise again from their graves - both believers and unbelievers.
An understanding that Judgment includes a trial where the risen unbelievers would get a fair shot to learn righteousness under favorable conditions (with Satan bound) in God’s Kingdom on earth ruled by Christ and his risen Church, and that God would ultimately judge justly through Christ, sending those who stick to their evil ways to their second death.
A realization that false doctrines like Hell and eternal torment are not in God’s plan.
3) Can anyone be part of the body of Christ if they differ in the above foundational doctrines?
None can be a true Christian unless they understand and believe in these basic doctrines of Christ.
'For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ' - 1Corinthians 3:11.
Paul warns us not to let our ‘minds be led astray from our sincere and pure devotion to Christ... if someone comes and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached' - 2Corinthians 11:3-4.
Yes, anyone can claim to follow “Jesus Christ”. But the question to ask ourselves is - Are they following the real Jesus Christ of the Bible?
We should run our race together only with such true brothers and sisters in Christ.