By: Gary L. Hutchens
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6). When considering doctrines (“teachings”) that are absolutely fundamental to Christianity, faith in God would have to head the list. Either God is the creator and designer of the universe, or He is not. Either He is the author of all life in this world, or He is not. Either He is the source for eternal life for mankind, or He is not. There is no middle ground on these matters. Faith in God, as God, is basic to our spiritual identity. Without faith in God all other teachings pertaining to Christianity are meaningless.
God created man in His own image (Gen. 1:26-27). Man has a moral consciousness directly as a result of being so created. Among all beings on this earth, only mankind inherently understands the concept of right and wrong, good and evil, righteousness and unrighteousness. Whatever goodness is inherent within man’s nature, God is the source of it. That faith underlies every teaching of Christianity.
Just about as basic as is faith in God, so is faith in Christ as man’s Savior. God created man without sin and warned him that entering into sin would result in death (Gen. 2:17). The initial death that results from sin is spiritual, a separation from God (Isa. 59:1-2). But, as a further result of sin God removed man from Eden and access to the tree of life (Gen. 3:22-24). As a consequence, physical death became a reality for all mankind (Ps. 90:10). The scriptures also teach that if man dies physically, while already dead spiritually, then eternal death (condemnation in Hell) will be his lot (Rev. 21:8).
Because of this reality, man needed God to intervene on his behalf, to make a way for mankind to be reconciled to God, to be redeemed from the curse of sin. God did this by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, in the role of Savior (Jn. 3:16). Christ paid the price for the guilt of man’s sin by giving His own life on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice (Rom. 5:8; Heb. 7:27; 9:28). Christ is man’s only Savior (Acts 4:12), and faith in Him as Savior is essential to salvation.
The devil is man’s adversary (1 Pet. 5:8). He seeks to lead mankind away from God and to eternal destruction. Sin is the avenue Satan uses to lead people astray (Rom. 6:23). It was the devil who led the first man and woman into sin in the beginning (Gen. 3:1-7), and he continues to do his work of evil today. As certain as is the reality of God and Christ, just as certain is the reality of the devil.
God has a home prepared in Heaven for the redeemed. The way to that blessed eternal home is through Christ (Jn. 14:1-6). The reside of the devil and those he deceives into following him will be, literally, eternal Hell (Matt. 23:33; Matt. 25:41; Rev. 21:8). God, Christ, the devil, Heaven, Hell… All are fundamental aspects of Christian faith…
Gary L. Hutchens