It was about 12 years ago, and some questions I was being asked spurred me into kicking around the need for clarifying the essentials of Christianity. I was walking with another soccer mom, and turned to her and blurted out, 'So Roxanne, what do you think we absolutely should believe in-you know, to have an authentic Christian faith?' Yeah, that was at the start of our walk, and she turned and looked at me like 'Really? Is this what it means to get some exercise with you?' In hindsight, maybe I feel a little bad. It was the first time we had walked together, and she just thought we were out for a little chitchat and some exercise while our boys kicked the black and white ball around. But these are the things that keep me up at night ... thinking, always thinking.
In Day One1, we established from the Scripture, [which is our Standard]2
#1 - God is eternal - has always been, always will be
#2 - God exists in three persons, the Trinity
3. God is the Creator, our Creator.
Genesis 1.1 through Genesis 2.32
God created the Heavens and the earth ~ Genesis 1.1
God created man in his image* Check this out: "Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." Genesis 1.26-27
*Created in God's image vs. the incredible leap that evolutionary origins propose, that we evolved from what?? Seriously. More on this?3
4. Sin changed everything. Mankind was separated from God by sin.
What is sin? Rebellion against God, choosing our way over his way; pride, self-absorption. Teen-aged students regularly say to me, 'but I don't sin.' because they think the definition of sin is restricted to the 'big' things-murder, rape, stealing, etc. Frankly, because so many folks can make a case for white lies, as in the instance of protecting someone's feelings, lying does not even make most people's mental sin list anymore. Troubling. Hence the reason that finite, imperfect beings do not set the standard for morality-the holiness of God does.
Because God loved us, the crown of his creation, he gave us free will--free will to choose to love him or not~> to choose evil, (rebellion) . . . or good (obedience).
Romans 5.12 - One man-Adam, one woman-Eve: given everything to enjoy in the Garden of Eden, with the exception a single tree. Of that, they were forbidden, but they chose their own way, rather than God's. From the beginning, God required obedience of his children.
Thankfully, God did not leave mankind in the lostness of that choice. He enacted a plan, a person, and a promise. More to come . . .