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The Only Basis for Our Unity

May 2, 2017

There’s no doubt that our attitude to Easter is absolutely crucial. The Christian faith hinges on the events of Passover AD 33 (or possibly AD 30): if the death of Jesus of Nazareth wasn’t the sacrificial death of the Lamb of God, and if the tomb he was laid in wasn’t vacated a few days later, Christianity is nothing, and all branches of Christianity agree on the importance of Easter and the Resurrection.

But what about the things we don’t agree on? Even within our own fellowship, there are different views about a number of issues, some of which are fairly important. What should we do about that?

To begin with, it’s NOT the case that everybody has to agree with the pastor! 🙂

Secondly, we need to distinguish between primary and secondary issues. Primary issues are ones that directly affect our salvation: the character of God, the identity of Jesus, the truth of his death and resurrection, how you become a child of God etc. When it comes to such issues, the Bible is quite clear, and when that’s case we obviously need to adhere as closely as possible to what the Bible teaches.

Now, some people feel the Bible is too old-fashioned and we should move on to another basis of faith. But how could we do that? The Bible is the only authorised record of God’s self-revelation to mankind; it may be hard to understand at times, but we simply don’t have another basis for knowing God. If we “move on” from the Bible, we will simply be making up our own religion, using our own limited reason and experiences, probably heavily influenced by the current persuasions of society around us. How is that in any way better than trusting God’s own inspired Word?

Thirdly, we need to remember that our salvation is by grace, not by doctrine. You can be wrong on a number of issues, even important issues, and still be a child of God. Our entry to heaven is not predicated on giving the right answers to tricky doctrinal questions, but on whether we have received the forgiveness and restoration that is offered in Jesus’ death and resurrection.

That’s why those events so long ago are still so important. We’re not just safeguarding a set of doctrines, we’re worshipping a risen Saviour – and since that is the most exciting news the world will ever hear, let’s carry on celebrating his victory all year round, not just at Easter!

 

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From → Christianity, Faith, Jesus

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