In Need of a Savior?
Why Did Jesus Come to Earth?3 Digging Deeper
What is the Covenant Jesus Offers?3 Digging Deeper
Did Jesus Really Rise From The Dead?3 Digging Deeper
What does Jesus' Resurrection Mean to Me?3 Digging Deeper
Who is Jesus?3 Digging Deeper
Why Should I Be Like Jesus?3 Digging Deeper
What Change Does God Expect of Me?3 Digging Deeper
How Can I Find Life Through Death?3 Digging Deeper
What Does it Mean to Repent?3 Digging Deeper
How Can I Be Born Again?4 Digging Deeper
The Foundation of our Faith
Followers of Jesus needs to know what they believe and why they believe it. While all truths are true, some are more foundational than others because they relate to the reliability of our faith and the trustworthiness of our convictions. What are your most foundational beliefs about Jesus?
In 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, the Apostle Paul wrote about matters of “first importance” or of “greatest consideration”, i.e., primary foundational doctrine. These are the truths that he preached, on which the believers stood and by which they were saved. Paul says that he “received” these truths when he became a believer in Jesus. This means that these truths were already the key ingredients of the faith when Paul became a believer about A. D. 33 or 34. This was within three or four years of the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. These truths are the foundation of the Christian faith. The apostle Peter proclaimed these truths in his sermon on the day of Pentecost, just a few days after their occurrence (Acts 2:22-36). Paul repeats the word “that” four times, indicating these truths are key ingredients of the Christian faith:
- “That Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures”
- “That he was buried”
- “That he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures”
- “That he appeared” and he names Cephas, the twelve, more than 500 brothers at one time, James, all the apostles, and later to Paul himself.
Paul writes further that if these things are not true then (1) the apostles are false witnesses, (2) our faith is vain and futile, (3) we are still in our sins, (4) there is no hope of life after death, and (5) believers are of all people the most miserable (15:12-19).
These fundamental truths comprise the gospel (the good news of Jesus Christ). Obeying this gospel, through our belief, repentence, confession of these great truths, and our baptism saves us from our sins and puts us in a right relationship with God (Romans 1:16-17; 6:1-14). No one is forgiven of sins or has eternal life who does not believe and confess these foundational truths. Paul wrote,
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (Romans 10:9-10)
Another foundational, initial confession of faith is that “Jesus is Lord.” That is also the daily confession of the believer. Paul explained,
For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. (1 Corinthians 8:5-6)
Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17).
Christians believe in Jesus and seek to practice his teachings. If Jesus was not raised from the dead then our faith is in myths and fables, our beliefs are worthless and we die without hope.