Christianity: Fundamentals and first principles (part 1)
I’ve recently been mentoring a young minister here in the Nashville area. He is a very serious young man in his early 20s who has a huge burden not only for the lost but also for those who already know Jesus as their Savior and Lord. In other words, God is developing in him the heart of a true pastor for the growth and well-being of believers entrusted to his pastoral care.
During our recent time together, this young man asked me, “What is the most important thing I can say to someone?” she asked. “What a great question!” I thought. To answer this question, you must immediately go back to the basics or first principles.
The most important truth you can tell a person is that Allah, the Creator of the universe, loves each and every one of them and has a wonderful plan for their life.
Every human being is in search of meaning and meaning in this life. What can you say more important than the fact that God never created anything; that everyone is a person for God?
Inside Psalm 139 God revealed to David,
You formed my internal organs; You knit me in my mother’s womb.
i will confess and to praise you because you are terrible and wonderful and for the terrible wonder of my birth! Your works are wonderful and my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You while I was forming in secret. [and] intricately and wrought with curiosity [as if embroidered with various colors] deep in the ground [a region of darkness and mystery].
Your eyes have seen my formless matter and all the days in your book [of my life] It was written before it took shape, when none existed. (Psalm 139:15-16, (Extended Bible).
And God says to his great prophet Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew and approved of you. [as My chosen instrument] and before you were born I separated you, separated you, blessed you, and appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jer. 1:5, Extended Bible).
And in the New Testament God tells us that “all the hairs on your head are numbered… you are far more valuable than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7, Extended Bible)
In the letter of the Apostle Paul to the church of Ephesus, Paul says to the reborn followers of Jesus in Ephesus: “For we are servants of God. [own] handicraft (His craftsmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] Let’s do the good works that Allah has ordained for us (by following the paths he has prepared in advance), let’s walk on that path and live the beautiful life (which he has prepared in advance). time)He We must walk in them, living the good life he has preordained and prepared for us to live” (Ephesians 2:10). Extended Bible).
The Christmas season is the perfect time to focus on the first principles of the Christian faith, which begins by declaring that every human being was created by God (you may have been a surprise to your parents, but not to God). . Every human being is the person God deems worthy of his only-begotten Son to come and die a cross death to save them for the life and destiny God has planned for them (John 3:16).
How can we connect with God’s plan and purpose for our individual lives? First, we must accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Next, it is indwelled by the Holy Spirit (as believers, our bodies are indwelled by the Holy Spirit):
“Don’t you know that your body is the temple, the very temple, of the Holy Spirit that lives in you and receives it? [as a Gift] from God? (I Corinthians 6:19).
Every believer who receives the Holy Spirit at conversion can discover God’s unique will for his life by deciding to offer their life as “a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1). When you do this, you “refresh your mind” and discover that “God’s will is God’s good, acceptable, and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).
And it all started with that first Christmas, when God sent his Son to deliver us from the bondage of our sins.
As the apostle Paul explains in the unique language of the second part of his letter to the church in Philippi:
same attitude and purpose and [humble] Let the mind that is in Christ Jesus be in you—Let him be your example in humility—
Who does not consider this equality with God something to be eagerly grasped or preserved, although in essence he is one with God and in God’s form (although he has all the qualities that make God God);
But he robbed himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity] To disguise himself as a servant (slave), he became like a man and was born a man.
And after appearing in human form, He humbled Himself and humbled Himself. [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even [the] to go past.
Then [because] He was so humbled that God so exalted him and freely gave him the name that is above every name” (Phil. 2:5-10, Extended Bible).
As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, let us remember that the shadow of the cross always appears over the manger. Our Savior came to voluntarily sacrifice Himself to free each of us from our sinful selves and “thus allow each of us to fulfill our divinely appointed destiny and purpose.”
Dr. Richard Land, BA (Princeton, magna cum laude); D.Phil. (Oxford); ThM (New Orleans Seminary). Dr. Land served as President of the Southern Evangelical Seminary from July 2013 to July 2021. Dr. Land previously served as Chair of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Commission on Ethics and Religious Freedom (1988-2013), where he was honored as Honorary President upon his retirement. Dr. Land has also been the Editor-in-Chief and columnist for The Christian Post since 2011.
Dr. Land explores many current and critical issues in his daily radio feature “Bringing Every Think Captive” and his weekly column for CP.
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