Foundations of Christian Faith
You and I may have absorbed the foundations of Christian Faith over the years as we heard Bible stories since we were in the toddlers class in Sunday School. We might know most of them sub-consciously. We cannot take for granted that others have all that under-the-surface knowledge though. This means we may have to study the foundations of our Christian faith so we know them clearly with our mind and can explain them to others plainly.
What basic knowledge of the foundations of Christian faith do I mean?
Well, like God is the Creator of all, and Jesus is His Son ~ About Adam and Eve, and their sin ~ That there is a Heaven and a Hell, and what they are like ~ our common Christian words like love, faith, being saved ~ the whole difference between true science and evolution (a big topic) ~ how the Bible is God's infallable Word - utterly trustworthy ~ that our conscience, including theirs, is the way God convicts us of sin . . . . truths like that.
The important thing is that we must show people gently where they have errors in understanding. We cannot beat the truth into them.
It is wonderful though, how when we reveal a truth to a spiritually hungry and thirsty person, the Holy Spirit will often convict them in their conscience that what we are sharing is the truth. Our job is not to do the convicting, our job is just to share the truth in a loving way.
Remember that just filling their minds with all these truths, the foundations of Christian faith, is not what saves them. Our main purpose is to share the gospel, and lead them to a relationship with Christ. Once they have that, God's Holy Spirit will abide in them, and teach them many of these things as they need to know them.
It helps individuals to come to faith in Christ if they know some basic truths about God and Christ, for how can they come to a conviction of sin and that there is a holy God to face, but also that He loves them and desires to forgive and bless them? However, sometimes we can leave the detailed study of the Bible until they have made their transaction of faith for salvation and new life. The entrance of the Holy Spirit into their lives will help tremendously their understanding of spiritual truth - our foundations of Christian faith.
Others, though, cannot seem to believe until they have a good grasp of the whole Bible story of God and His dealings with mankind. That is why some missionaries, (I'm thinking now of the New Tribes Mission) feel the best approach is to move in with a tribe, learn their language and then introduce the Bible stories to them, beginning with creation in Genesis. By the time they reach the Easter story in the New Testament, these tribes people are primed and very ready to make a decision to receive Christ as their personal Saviour. They have a good grasp of the foundations of Christian faith, all that came before, and they understand that this is a complete and life-transforming decision.
We need to be discerning and wise about how much time to give to this before we ask for a decision.
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