A couple of days ago, I endeavored to lay out what I saw as the essential tenets of the Christian faith. Problem is, I may have gone too far.
Now certainly, the things I did list, most Christians everywhere would generally agree upon. There would be some quibbling, but likely most would be okay with the list as it stands. The problem–a rather large one–I’ve run into is that the Bible sets the bar even lower. In fact, the Scriptures, insofar as I can tell, contain only one prerequisite for salvation: belief in Jesus.
Witness the words of Paul in Romans 10:9: “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Consider also the question of the Phillippian jailer in Acts 16:30, and Paul’s subsequent response: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
None which means I’m dismissing my list of “essentials,” but rather pointing out the foundational thing: all that’s required to be saved is belief in Jesus. (The debate about differentiates mere mental assent from a saving belief is for another day). That is the bedrock upon which our soteriology–our theology of salvation–must be based.
Anything else can come later, else we who are currently followers of the Way run the risk of sidelining the seeking by an over-emphasis on propositional truth (by which I mean our pet doctrines). Which they, in an arguably post-Christian culture, are likely to be confused by.
There is a very real risk of becoming like the Judaizers detailed in Scripture, whereby we put up far too many obstacles between hungry, hurting, weary souls and their Savior. Think about it.
Those are my few words on soteriology. I’ll leave you with:
Would you like to be known as a stumbling block, or a stepping stone, on another’s way to Christ?