Monday, June 02, 2008

Basic Essentials

What are the basic essentials of faith?

I know that the following are definitly essential:
  1. All are sinners. Romans 3:23

  2. God loves us and gave His Only Son to die for us so that if we believe in him, we may have eternal life. John 3:16


But could the following two be considered essentials of faith?
  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul

  • Love your neighbor as yourself

Matthew 22:36-40

If so, than wouldn't it be essential to be obedient to scripture? Not essential for Salvation, but essential for Faith? James 2:14

6 comments:

Carrie C. said...

This is exactly what I've been pondering lately. Especially in regards to requirements for a spouse. I am quite uncertain as to what I should and should not be compromising on.

Marc said...

this all seems too... cold and under-qualified.

Salvation is something that we get through trust in Jesus, work out as we grow in our faith, and hope in God's grace to eventually yank us completely out of a sin-drenched world. It's a mystery, like the Trinity.

Does he love the Lord? Does he show his love for the Lord like you want someone to show their love for you?

that's really all I'd ask for...
(oh, and different pronouns)

Lost in Academia said...

y'know Chica,
I was going to comment...but I think your terms are, in fact, under defined. What is "Faith"? Does it include other religious beliefs? (That seems unlikely, given the "all have sinned" belief is pretty exclusively Christian) Yet you say it isn't salvation (The entire point of Christianity)? Those two have been inextricably linked in Christian Theological thought from its inception. I think you have an interesting thought in the making, but it is only half a thought. Tantalizingly so.

I guess this is just my way of Saying: "Please, [Ma'am], I want some more."

Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves said...

Marc,

This wasn't so much a list of what I'd have for my husband.

This is what I would consider essential for my faith.

However, I would expect to see in my husband the out-workings of his faith, similar to what James had in mind in 2:14. Thing is, we constantly say that we should only be agreeing on the "essentials of faith" and then they list of that we are sinners, need a savior, and Jesus died for us and rose again.

Now, they're right...to an extent. But James made it quite clear that faith without works is dead.

So, my question is...would that make the out-workings of faith an essential, as well? Evidence of the Holy Spirit?

In which case, I would seriously expect my husband to take his faith seriously and to see some evidence of it in his daily life.

Chris,

This was just a ditty of underdeveloped thoughts that I was curious about other opinions on...

But, faith meaning the "Christian Faith", meaning believing in the God of the Bible contrary to any evidence that might state otherwise =p

But as James stated, even the demons have faith that there is a God.

Rachael said...

Faith vs. works is complex to me...salvation is through grace alone, and not works of course... we know that in our heads...but the fruit is important, too...

For your questions about love...I think they are outpourings of God's love toward us. I think faith naturally correlates with loving God (though of course we don't always whole-heartedly, mindedly, and souledly love him), though loving God I think is a fruit...and that loving others is also a fruit..."We love because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19).

Once I asked my pastor about salvation...I feel that in Christianity even the evangelistic presentation or way of thinking about conversion can differ ...sometimes, I feel, works seem to be emphasized (making him LORD of your life)...and to me, repentance even seems to be kind-of a work, though in my mind I know that it is an attitude and desire to change and that our faith is supposed to have a repentant nature...anyway, in response to my question, my pastor reminded me of Acts 16:30-31:

"Then he brought them out and said, 'Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, 'Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.'"

Yet I know that faith without works is dead...it's all very complex ;)

Christina said...

Rachael,

I understand what your saying...

I've struggled with the delicate balance between faith and works for a LONG time...including what constitutes a "work" and evidence of the Spirit.

I realized that its ok if I'm not doing VBS or tutoring kids in the local high schools, or volunteering a lot of my time to the community and people around me. There's still evidence of Christ in me in my daily life - Self-control, love, occassionally peace, kindness and sometimes patience...

The fruit of the spirit IS evidence of Christ in me. And I may not display all at once, but as long as I let God work in me, then he's gonna constantly be showing himself off through me using those various fruits :)