Summary: There are aspects of the Christian faith in which there can be opinions. The Bible also lists some things in which there is a "Thus saith the Lord." Ephesians 4:1-6 is a passage dealing with essentials of the faith.
SEVEN FOUNDATIONAL PILLARS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH
This is remake of a portion of the sermon preached at Dorn Ridge, May 18 and 25, 2014 titled: “Building Up and Restoring the Body of Christ”
1.) A traditional motto in our churches has been “In essentials unity; in opinions liberty; in all things love.”
2.) This morning’s message will deal with part of that phrase: “In essentials unity.”
A.) This portion of Scripture from Ephesians deals with what I would term as seven essential pillars of the Christian faith which the Word of God shows as essentials of our faith.
I. THERE IS ONE BODY.
1.) Christ desired the church to be one body.
A.) Wherever Christians are gathered in this world we are to be one body -- the body of Christ.
B.) Shortly before Jesus offered himself as a sacrifice, he prayed for the church that it would be one.
ba.) John 17:20-23
C.) The prayer of Jesus Christ was that the church would be one united together just as the God-head is united together.
2.) The goal of the Restoration Movement has always been to unite Christianity on the basis of the Inspired Word of God.
A.) Eph. 4:2
B.) The only way this unity could ever be accomplished is for all Christiandem to get back to the inspired Word of God, and that lone as the sole authority for the Church.
C.) The Reason the Churches of Christ/Christian Churches do not have a statement of faith like most churches have is because we envision unity in the church which Jesus prayed would happen.
ca.) This can only happen when the inspired Word of God is the sole authority for the Church.
cb.) When churches develop statements of faith there is always the danger of going with the prejudices of man.
ccb.)It is when a church uses the Word of God only, that God himself can speak through Scripture to hearts willing to read and study the Word.
D.) We use a Bible name on the church to promote and encourage the uniting and restoring the Church of Jesus Christ.
da.) The value of such a name is that it is a name by which all who bear the name of Christ can be identified without further dividing the body of Christ.
db.) Jesus strongly prayed for the unity of the church.
dba.) Two or three times in the verses I just read from John 17, Jesus expressed that His reason for this prayer of unity is that the world would know that God had sent Christ.
dc.) Can you imagine the kind of power and testimony the church would have if the world had one church across this world untied together on Scripture going out into this world.
dca.) How much more powerful and believable would the message of Christ be in this world from a united Church.
dcb.) When the church of Jesus Christ is divided into hundreds of denominations in competition with each other, and each of those further divided as well, how could the world ever begin to take the church or Jesus Christ seriously.
.01) Is it any wonder that the testimony of Jesus Christ is so weak in this present world?
II. THERE IS ONE SPIRIT.
1.) Another foundation pillar of the church is that there is one Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God.
A.) 1 Cor. 2:10
B.) Eph. 4:30
2.) Scripture also refers to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
A.) Acts 16:7
B.) Phil. 1:19
C.) It does not bother me that in some Scriptures, the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of God, and in other passages He is referred to as the Spirit of Jesus.
ca.) Some people in the church will be get very defensive on which is the proper designation of the Holy Spirit.
caa.) Some Christians get pretty upset if you refer to the Holy Spirit as anything but the Spirit of God.
cab.) There are Christians who are used to the King James Bible who insist that the proper name is to be the Holy Ghost.
cac.) Likewise there are some in the charismatic circles that consider Jesus to be the name of God, and that the Holy Spirit must be referred to as the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
cad.) From the Scriptures we see that every one of these titles is Biblical, and any or all of them are equally correct.
3.) Another reason I have no trouble with these titles is that God is one.
A.) Rather we look at God as the Father, The Son, or the Holy Spirit, God is still one person though revealed in three ways.
aa.) From the earliest of times when Jews would meet together in the synagogues, or temple part of the worship service always read or recited of what was called the Shema.”