Inside View Sep/Oct 2019
As long as we believe Jesus is the Savior of the world, does it really matter what else we believe? After all, didn’t Jesus come to save mankind from its sins, and isn’t that fact the basic essence of the Bible?
Unarguably, there is no more important truth than the gospel of Jesus Christ. A believer is anyone who believes Jesus is God’s promised Savior who sacrificed His sinless life on the cross for our sins so that we can have a restored, eternal relationship with God. We believe in the importance of preaching the gospel. As the apostle Paul stated, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16).
Before Jesus departed this earth for heaven, He told His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing and teaching them to observe all the things He commanded. During Jesus’ First Advent, He taught more than merely the necessity of His suffering, death, burial, and resurrection.
There is so much more to Jesus’ life and ministry that God wants us to know in addition to the cross and resurrection. God gave all of Scripture to us for our benefit, to teach us doctrine, reprove us, correct us, and instruct us to live righteously. The entire Bible and what it teaches matters, and it does make a difference what we believe.
All Scripture matters because a complete understanding of God’s Word gives us a proper outlook on what God is doing in history—past, present, and future. That is why it’s important we understand what the whole Bible teaches.
Today some people are trying to tell us the Old Testament doesn’t matter to the church—that Jesus and His apostles walked away from the Old Testament, and so should we. Yet, in the New Testament, Jesus and His disciples commonly quoted the Old Testament as authoritative and relevant for us. How deceptive it is to dismiss a significant part of the Word of God that teaches foundational truth.
Others say the church is God’s agent to restore His Kingdom on Earth, and they commonly refer to the church and its work as the “kingdom.” The Bible teaches us to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and not the gospel of the Kingdom. According to Scripture, Jesus is the only One in all of history who is qualified to restore God’s Kingdom on Earth. Church Age believers are citizens of the Kingdom, but that doesn’t automatically mean the Kingdom is being restored through the church today. In fact, the apostle Peter clearly taught the Kingdom will not be restored until Jesus, the Messiah, returns to Earth (Acts 3:18–21).
This issue, titled “Here We Stand: What We Believe About . . .” captures the basic tenets of the Bible. As you read through it, you’ll see we hold the gospel of Jesus Christ as a paramount and essential teaching. We also know from studying the entire Word of God that Jesus’ First Advent was merely part of God’s greater and glorious plan to redeem all of creation. We look forward to Christ’s Second Coming, when He will restore all things and establish God’s Kingdom on Earth. Maranatha, come quickly Lord!