Here is a brief overview of what I consider to be the essentials of Biblical Christianity.
By Thomas J. Short
The Bible is the inspired, written Word of God. We have in our English translations a highly accurate and trustworthy representation of the perfect and infallible original manuscripts which were written by God’s inspired prophets and apostles. This Word is the final authority on all doctrinal matters. Any issue not dealt with in Scripture, either specifically or as part of an overarching principle, is a matter of personal opinion and must never be used as a test of Christian fellowship. (1 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:21-22)
There is only one, true God. He is the Eternal Creator, and as such, His full nature is beyond our finite understanding. While we do not understand it, we know and believe that the Scripture teaches that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one God. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Colossians 1:15-29 & 2:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Matthew 28:19-20)
Sin is the failure to exercise our God-given free will within the parameters of God’s perfect intention for His Creation. The sin of Adam and Eve brought about physical death for all creatures, and marred the perfect nature of God’s original Creation. The sin of each individual brings about spiritual death, which will ultimately result in eternal separation from God. (Genesis 3:16-19; James 1:13-15; 1 John 1:8,10; Revelation 20:11-15)
God sent Jesus to become the atoning sacrifice for sin. This one-time act satisfied both His perfect sense of justice and His loving desire that each individual be reconciled to Him. Having died for our sins, Jesus rose physically from the dead on the third day, both in accordance with prophetic Scripture. (Romans 3:23-26 & 5:8-11; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
In order to be saved from the Second Death (Revelation 20:11-15), each person who sins must respond to the offer of salvation extended by the Father through the atoning death and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. This response includes several key elements:
Jesus will physically return to this world in order to bring final judgment upon those who have not accepted God’s offer of salvation and to fully redeem those who have. The Bible teaches that we should live our lives in constant expectation of His return, paying no attention to those who mock the fact of His return nor those who claim to have inside knowledge regarding the timing of His return. (Hebrews 9:27-28; Matthew 24:42-44; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; 2 Peter 3:3-13)