August 25th 2017
A recent title for an article within the National Catholic Reporter read: “The Muslim Jesus provides common ground for Christianity, Islam”. You can find the article here.
Robert Spencer easily dismantles the Catholic Reporter’s deceptive claim within a short post at his website, here.
Once one moves past the heart-wrenching grief that comes with understanding that thousands have been and will be deceived by counterfeit religions and their false claims, they then quickly move into the passionate space of wanting every man, woman, and child to understand and appreciate proper Biblical doctrines.
All religions outside of Biblical Christianity compromise, confuse, and contradict the essential doctrines that are taught within the Bible. Muslims, for example, dogmatically denounce the doctrine of Christ’s unique deity and label that teaching as the unforgivable sin of “shirk”. Muslims readily affirm the sinlessness of Jesus Christ, but they adamantly deny His sacrifice upon the Cross and his subsequent resurrection as the only hope of one’s salvation.
Must I scream this fact…? Doctrine Matters!
Essential Biblical doctrines are those teachings which are crucial to saving faith and everything contrary to those doctrines can be considered heresy. The importance of essential Christian doctrine cannot be emphasized enough. While we may debate nonessentials without dividing over them, when it comes to essential Christian doctrine there must be unity - In essentials unity, nonessentials liberty, and in all things charity.
It is critical for each Christian to become so familiar with the essential Christian doctrines that when a counterfeit is presented to them, they will recognize it without delay. In order to exercise that level of discernment, the Christian must be well studied in the essential doctrines that make up the Christian faith. So what are these “essential doctrines”? Well, there are several ways to narrow down what those doctrines are, but one helpful way is by using the word DOCTRINE as an acronym:
D stands for Deity of Christ. For salvation it is necessary to know that Jesus is God.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
O stands for Original Sin. All have sinned and the wages of sin is death. If we don't know we've sinned against a holy God then we can’t know what Jesus has saved us from.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
C stands for Canon, another word for the Bible, God's inerrant word. Without God’s word, we can’t know Him or the words for eternal life.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
[2 Timothy 3:16]
T stands for Trinity. God is one God in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Salvation is given by the Father, it is acquired through the Son, it is experienced in the Holy Spirit.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
R stands for Resurrection. Not only did Jesus rise from the grave, so do all who believe in Him. If Christ has not been raised, no one gets raised, and our faith is hopeless.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
[1 Thessalonian 4:14]
I stands for Incarnation, meaning that the Son of God put on flesh and dwelt amongst us. Jesus was fully man and fully God and was born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a sinless human life and died a sinner’s death to atone for sins. He rose again and ascended into heaven where He alone intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
N stands for New Creation. We must no longer walk in our old sinful ways, but live anew in Christ. All who believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and confess Him as Lord are reconciled to God and inherit eternal life in His glorious presence.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
[2 Corinthians 5:17]
E stands for Eschatology, the study of end times. Eschatology is the thread that weaves the tapestry of Scripture into a harmonious pattern. It is the study of everything we long and hope for. While there are many end times theories, we need to know that Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead, ushering in His peaceful kingdom and we will forever be with our Lord.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
[1 Corinthians 15:54]
These doctrines are the essential tenets of the Christian faith and they are the foundation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Biblical doctrine helps us understand the will of God for our lives. Biblical doctrine teaches us the nature and the character of God, the path of salvation through faith, instruction for the Church, and God’s standard of holiness for our lives. Ultimately, the Christian is to be careful about what they believe and what it is that they present as truth.
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
[1 Timothy 4:16]