Summary: Five things you must do to be right with God.
FIVE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT THE FUNDAMENTALS OF CHRISTIANITY
I. FIVE THINGS YOU MUST DO TO BE RIGHT WITH GOD
For the past two years I have been reading the standards of SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) and the academic people have been talking to me about “must” statements. These are the things that a school “must” perform to meet the high academic standards of accreditation.
Christianity has some high “must” statements. I can preach the gospel with five “must” statements.
First, there is the need for all men, “Marvel not that I said to you, you must be born again” (John 3:7).
Second, “He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Third, once you become a Christian, then, “They that worship Him (God), must worship Him in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
Fourth, to grow as a Christian, You must take the following attitude.
“He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
Fifth, we live all of our life in light of our accountability to Him. “For we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (II Corinthians 5:10).
These are the five things you “must” do to be rightly related to God.
II. FIVE THINGS YOU MUST BELIEVE
Sometimes I am called a Fundamentalist, that’s because I want to be identified with what I believe. I believe in the fundamentals. Other times I call myself an Evangelical because I want to be identified with those who believe in the evangelistic mandate of the church, i.e. the Great Commission, and I want to fellowship with those who believe in evangelism, hence I am an Evangelical.
First, a Fundamentalist is completely committed to the verbal-plenary inspiration of Scripture (Hebrews 1:1-2, II Tim. 3:16, II Peter 1:21). He believes every word was written by the direct influence of the Holy Spirit and that Scripture is without error and accurate in all details. A Fundamentalist believes the Word of God is the foundation of Christianity and, if there were any “inconsistencies,” even in one verse, then the Bible would be inconsistent and faith would be vain (Matthew 5:18, John 10:35).
Second, a Fundamentalist believes in the virgin birth of the Son of God (Luke 1:27,31,35, Isaiah 7:14, Galatians 4:4). Sin is the great destroyer and is passed from parent to child so that all perish. But Jesus Christ, the eternal son of God, was conceived by the Holy Ghost in the virgin Mary; hence, He was not contaminated by sin (Hebrews 2:17, 4:15). He had a sinless birth, lived a sinless life and died a sinless substitute (II Cor. 5:21, Hebrews 4:15). One who denies the virgin birth of Christ cannot be a Fundamentalist because belief in the sinless Son of God is an indispensable foundation to Christianity.
Third, a Fundamentalist believes in the vicarious- substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ for the sins of the world (Matthew 20:28, I Peter 3:18, John 6:51, Romans 5:6-8, 8:32, I Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 2:9). Vicarious means Christ identified with us and we with Him in death. He became sin for us and in return we were made righteous (II Cor. 5:21, Romans 3:24-25). As a substitute, Christ died for the sinner and suffered the terrible consequences of sin. Those who deny the efficacy blood atonement are not Christians. Without the blood of Christ a sinner could not be forgiven, redeemed or justified.
Fourth, a Fundamentalist believes in the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (Romans 4:25, Acts 2:23-24, Matthew 28:5-7, I Cor. 15:4,14). If the body of Jesus Christ had remained in the grave, then the benefits of Calvary and the promises of Jesus Christ were unfulfilled. But Jesus arose on the third day, as He predicted and demonstrated His victory over sin and death.
The physical resurrection is an absolute necessity to complete the plan of salvation (I Cor. 15:17). Therefore, it is a fundamental of the faith.
Fifth, a Fundamentalist believes that Jesus Christ will return to earth to fulfill all that He promised (Acts 1:11, John 14:1-3, I Thess. 4:13-17). The plan that God began must be completed. Christ is coming for His own. He will judge the sinner and reward the saint. His promises to Israel will be fulfilled and those who are saved will live with Him forevermore.
III. FIVE RESULTS OF CHRISTIANITY THAT ARE “MUST” STATEMENTS
1. Cardinal doctrines. The Five Fundamentals are called the Cardinal Doctrines of the Faith. This means they are the first things for a person to believe.
Inspiration of The Bible. If you don’t believe the Word of God, you have no basis for anything else. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16).