10 Beliefs That Unite Christians Everywhere1
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There are certain beliefs that every Christian should have. There are certain doctrines that Christians can disagree on. Unfortunately, we spend a lot of time on the doctrines that we disagree on instead of the essentials that unite us.
Don’t get me wrong, doctrine is important. It shapes how we read the Bible and even how we live. However, people outside the church need to see Christians unite together on the non-negotiables of the faith and stand for the truth.
I’m a Presbyterian Pastor in the Presbyterian Church in America. I am in this Denomination because I agree with its doctrine, and I agree with its form of government. I have met hundreds of Christians who attend different churches of different denominations who love Jesus and are committed to following Him faithfully. I know they will be with me in Heaven one day because they have repented of their sins and put their faith and trust in Jesus. Do they agree with me on every single doctrine? No. Does that make them go to Hell when they die? No.
When I was in Seminary, my Professor Dr. Richard Pratt taught me “The Cone of Certainty.” In this diagram, Pratt described how at the top of the cone, it narrows, and this represents the beliefs that all Christians agree on. There’s more harmony and more conviction. As the cone begins to widen, there becomes less harmony and less conviction.
There are doctrines of the Church that have been debated for hundreds of years that will continue. Doctrines such as infant baptism, church government, the end times, or even predestination and free will. These doctrines are good to discuss. It makes sense why there are so many denominations because it’s important for the members of the church to be one of sound mind and accord (Philippians 2:2; Ephesians 4:4-6). BUT, these doctrines are further down the cone. It’s easy for pride to set in where our doctrines always become the talking points, and we forget what unifies us as Christians.
I disagree with Methodists and many Baptists on doctrine. Does this mean they are not my brothers and sisters in Christ? No.
So, what should all Christians everywhere agree on? What unites us?
Here’s a list of 10 beliefs that unite Christians everywhere...
- God is 1 God and 3 Persons - God is one substance ("what He really is"). The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God (2 Corinthians 13:14; Matthew 28:19). The 3 Persons are equal, but they take on different jobs in creation and salvation (I Peter 1:2; John 7:18; 8:50).
- God is the Maker of Heaven and Earth - In the beginning of time God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1-2; John 1:3; Hebrews 11:3; Isaiah 45:12).
- Jesus Christ is Both Human and Divine - Jesus is perfect God and perfect man. He is one person with two natures, and these natures exist "without confusion, without change, without division, and without separation." (John 1:1; 10:30; 11:25; 14:6; Colossians 1:15; Matthew 1:18; I Peter 2:22; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
- Jesus was Conceived by the Holy Spirit and Born of the Virgin Mary - The angel Gabriel told Mary, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God (Luke 1:30-35; Matthew 1:20-21)."
- Jesus was Crucified, He Died, and Was Buried (Matthew 27:35-61; Mark 15:21-47; Luke 23:26-56; John 19:16-42).
- Jesus Rose Again From the Dead and Ascended into Heaven - After Jesus rose again, He ascended into Heaven and is interceding on our behalf (Matthew 28: 1-10; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12, 50-53; John 20:1-9; Acts 1:1-11; Hebrews 9:24).
- Every Person is a Sinner, and Jesus Offers Forgiveness of Sins and Eternal Life - We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:23; 6:13; 10:13).
- There is a Heaven and Hell, and Every Person Will End Up in Either One After Death (Luke 18:22; Romans 10:6; Philippians 3:20; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1; Matthew 5:22; Luke 16:23; 2 Peter 2:4).
- The Bible is the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
- Jesus Will Come Again and Bring Heaven on Earth (Revelation 21:1-5; 22:7; Acts 1:11; I Corinthians 4:5).
It bothers me when churches and Christians begin to question and debate the essentials of the Christian faith. When this happens, Christians must stand for truth. When there’s a disagreement on certain doctrines that are non-essentials, we should follow Augustine’s rule:
“In Essentials, unity.
In non-essentials, liberty.
In all things, charity.”
If you’re a Christian today, let’s unite and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ who may disagree with us on non-essential doctrines and pray for one another. The Church in America needs to pray for revival. Perhaps another Great Awakening could occur in my lifetime. I hope so. The way for it to happen is if we can keep the main thing the main thing. People are looking for hope, and if we truly believe in the essentials, we have the hope they are looking for. Let’s work together because together is better.