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What do Christians Believe? Day Three.

What do Christians Believe? Day Three.





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Christine Todd DiGiacomo added a photo in Morning Briefings .



Christine Todd DiGiacomo
May 19 at 6:47am

What do Christians Believe? Day Three.

Ah, we hear it bandied about – ‘America is a Christian nation’ – really? ‘Christian – well, I was raised in a Christian family, so of course I’m a Christian!’ Hmmm… ‘Am I a Christian? I think so. But hey, I’m not really sure what that means. Isn’t everyone a Christian?’

Several years ago now, I pulled out the non-negotiables of biblical Christian faith—oh, not the things Baptists sometimes argue over, or Catholics and Episcopalians differ on, or the non-denominationalists look right past sometimes, but the things that we who follow Christ ought be able to identify as foundational to our faith.

In the last couple briefings, we identified that:
1. God is eternal ~ no beginning, no end. From Genesis 1.1 to Revelation 22.13
2. God is triune ~ Father, Son, Holy Spirit three Persons, one God
3. God is the Creator ~ and he created us in his image
4. Sin separated us from God ~ because God loved us, he gave us free will

5. Grace ~ God's way of redemption. Sin separated us from God. One moment, the crown of God’s creation, Adam and Eve, were walking and talking with God in the cool of the day … then, because of their willful disobedience—sin—they were out of the garden. Mankind was now separated, but pursued by our loving God. Before we erred, God knew, and he was making a way of escape for punishment of our sin.
Ephesians 2.8 – “For by grace are you saved by faith. It is the gift of God . . .” It is free! We do not have to work for our salvation.

As with all gifts, we must take hold of grace for ourselves to experience it. Salvation, being saved from ourselves and from separation from God now and forever cannot be earned by maintaining a code or being a certain percentage holy. God does not grade on a curve.

‘Wait!’ Some of you are saying, ‘what’s the big deal about holiness? Of course, we will not be as holy as God.’ True, but no unholy thing can be in the presence of God.

6. God's instrument of grace was Jesus Christ, God Incarnate.
Jesus was born of a virgin, foretold by the prophet Isaiah--chapter 7, verse 14. Jesus was fully human, fully divine. He put aside royalty, to enter the womb of a woman, and enter the universe in an old barn. The birth of Jesus was announced to Joseph by the angel:
Matthew 1.21 - She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. Matthew 3.17

Eternal life was made possible for us because of Jesus' death on the cross. Jesus' suffering was foretold by the prophet Isaiah . . . 53.1-6. Philippians 2.8

John 3.16 - For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. I’m wondering, have you ever made that personal? For God so loved me that he gave Jesus …

For God so loved Leslie that he gave his one and only Son—just like she has one son!
For God so loved Lisa that he gave his one and only Son--just like she has one son!
For God so loved Linda that he gave his one and only Son—just like she has one son!
For God so loved Eric that he gave his one and only Son—just like he has one son!
Wait, named friends, could you give up your Brad, your Josh, your Daniel, your Eric? Of course not. But he did. What heartache. What grace!

The other day I was in a medical office building elevator with several others, and suddenly my phone went off—as it were, totally on its own—and a song blasted into the silence, “You’re a good, good Father ~ it’s who you are, and I’m loved by you…” Smiling, I moved my hand to silence my phone. A reminder? O, I do believe so. Friends, we have a good, good father. Is he yours?

Christine

What do Christians Believe? Day Three.

Ah, we hear it bandied about – ‘America is a Christian nation

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