Summary: Looks at the essential beliefs of Christianity as the beginning of a series on the different religions of the world and how they compare with Christianity and what makes them false.
Good morning and Happy Easter.
We are glad that you are here today.
A couple of announcements before we get started.
Baptism Opportunity – next week
Ladies tea invitations available in foyer – Saturday, May 8th @ 3pm
Directories available next week - $4 each to have them in a binder
This morning, as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the defeat of sin and death that He accomplished, we are going to be beginning a new sermon series called Faithology.
If you have never heard that word before, it is because it is just made up, but it does have real meaning.
We have combined “Faith” - a term that refers to a confident belief in a transcendent reality, a religious teacher, a set of Scriptures, teachings or a Supreme Being.
Wikipedia – accessed 3/30/2010 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faith
And -ology – from the Greek word meaning “the study of”
To come up with Faithology – the study of belief’s that people have in regard to a transcendent reality or a Supreme Being.
Over the course of the next 7 weeks, we are going to be looking at some different religions of the world and the essential beliefs of those faith systems and we will be seeing how they line up with reality and also comparing them to Biblical Christianity to gain a better understanding of the differences in religions as well as a better understanding of the truth of Christianity.
Now, today we are going to be starting out looking at Biblical Christianity and what the essential beliefs of Christianity are so we will be able to better compare other religions and faith systems to it.
Now I say Biblical Christianity because there are many of us who have thoughts in our head of what Christianity is without any real support for why we believe that.
Baptism = Christian
There are some who believe if you were baptized as a baby, or any other age for that matter, that makes you a Christian.
Giving = Christian
There are others who believe that because I give money to charity, that makes me a Christian.
Kind = Christian
Still others believe that if you act kind toward others, that makes you a Christian.
Now, none of those things are bad, and in fact, Christians will do those things.
But being a Christian is about being in relationship with and a follower of Jesus Christ.
And it is not us who gets to decide who Jesus is. We can’t just believe that he was a good teacher or a moral man or a prophet who was wise.
To be a Christian in the Biblical sense means we have to believe in who Jesus really is and what He really did and we find that in the Bible.
So this morning, we are going to look into what the Bible says about who Jesus is what He did that are essential to believe for us to consider ourselves Christians and to have salvation in the biblical sense.
And if you have never really understood what salvation is or what it is to be saved, it means to be assured of an eternal life with the Lord after you die vs. an eternity apart from the Lord in hell, which is what happens to those who don’t have salvation.
I would ask if you have a Bible to Turn with me to 1 Corinthians 15:1-6
We are going to look closely at what the apostle Paul said was imperative to believe about who Jesus is and what He did to have salvation.
15:1 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
There is a whole lot tied up in these 6 verses that we are going to unpack for you, so that by the time you leave here today, you can leave knowing if you believe the essential beliefs of Christianity and if you do, to receive Him and follow after Him by faith if you haven’t already.