You Must Believe In…
The Absolute Essentials
…To Be a Christian
You Must Believe…There Is A God
The Bible says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6). Please take note of what this verse is teaching us about the Doctrine of God: (1) If you want to be saved and become the possessor of eternal life, you must believe that there is a God in Heaven to whom you are accountable. (2) You must believe that God is a personal and loving God who reaches down to man in answer to a prayer of faith and, (3) God actually cares enough to respond and remunerate/“reward” those who seek Him. He is not some impersonal “force” or some “influence” of nature that does not care (2 Pet. 3:9). He is a real person. He can answer prayer and perform miracles. He is the all-knowing, power God who is, “a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1). He is a God who made us, loves us, hears us and will answer when we call (Rom. 10:12-13). He is that kind of a God. Unbelievers are without excuse! “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:19-20). Faith is, …seeing Him who is invisible” (Heb. 11:27; cf., 1 Pet. 1:8; 1 Tim. 6:16). You cannot be a Christian without believing that there is a God.
You must believe…The Bible Is Verbally Inspired and Infallible.
The Bible is a divinely-inspired revelation from God. It does not simply contain the Words of God; it is the Word of God! “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 2:15). The Bible is not a collect of “words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches” (1 Cor. 2:13). It is clear that God gave the very words of the Bible so that there would be no misunderstanding. Originally God gave His message of salvation and eternal hope in the star pictures of the Mazzaroth – the twelve signs of the Zodiac, each of which brought forth in their season, not by men, but by the Lord (Isa. 40:26).
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof” (Ps. 19:1-6).
In time, God updated His Word when He gave a spoken and written revelation. The Apostle Peter said, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Pet. 1:19-21). The Lord Jesus Christ said, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Mt. 4:4). In the book of Psalms, God connects the Word of God with the “converting the soul” (Ps. 19:7). And again, the Apostle Paul does the same thing saying, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world” (Rom. 10:17-18).
God has said exactly what He means and means exactly what He says. Why? Because the Word of God is the source of our salvation and hope! If a man does not believe the Bible, he will not believe what the Bible says about God, about Christ, about Heaven, about Hell, and about salvation. You cannot be a Christian without believing the Bible!
You must believe…Man Is A Sinner:
Mankind has fallen from the image of God (Gen. 2:17). “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12). For that reason God declared the human race to be sinners. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). If that indictment will not be accepted, then what is the explanation for sickness, warfare, evil, death, and bloodshed in the world? How do we explain the big four evidences of sin every time we look in the mirror – Baldness, Bifocals, Bulges, and Bunions? The marks of sin are clearly evidence, universally, around the world and the consequences of that sin are all wrapped up in the definition of the word “death” – both physically, spiritually, and eternal (Rom. 6:23).
If death is real and if it is a true , undeniable fact, that death is unavoidable and man is doomed and righteously damned because of his sin and he must meet his Maker (Heb. 9:27) – has he forgotten that “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31)? Has he no fear? Should he not seek a pardon and forgiveness if one is offered? God has said, “As I live, says the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die” (Ezek. 33:11)? You cannot be a Christian without first believing that you are a sinner!
You must believe…A Supernatural Regeneration Is Necessary.
Regeneration is the passageway to Heaven. There is no other way to become a Christian! “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5-7). You must be regenerated or forever be lost in Hell (Rev. 20:14)!
Regeneration is the supernatural washing, cleansing and transforming work of God the Holy Spirit by which eternal life is given to the person who puts their faith in the blood of Christ (The death, burial and resurrection of Christ – 1 Cor. 15:1-4). The Apostle Paul in describing the conversion of the Corinthian Congregation said, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11). Reading further about the blood we read, “In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7); “In Whom we have redemption through His blood even the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:14); “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1:7). When the Lord Jesus was talking with Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, He likened regeneration to being “born again” and added the warning that, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:3). You must be regenerated, you must have a new heart, you must have a new nature, you must become a child of God or you will go to Hell that was prepared for the Devil and his angels (Mt. 25:41). You cannot be a Christian without first being regenerated.
The sad truth of the matter is that the vast majority of the human race is rushing headlong into a Christless eternity (Mt. 7:13). They have rejected what the Bible identifies as absolute essentials if they want to be saved:
(1) You must believe that there is a God in Heaven that loves you.
(2) You must believe God’s Word.
(3) You must believe that you are a sinner in need of saving.
(4) You must be regenerated by faith in the blood of Christ.