Unity in the Christian Faith

This entry is part 15 of 18 in the series Walk Like a Child of God

What is the essence of truth?

The answer to this question comes down to the fundamentals of the Christian faith, which Paul gives us in Ephesians 4:4–6.

“In All Things, Charity”

As we consider the fundamentals of the Christian faith, we need to remember to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). God intends for love and truth to go together. We need both in order to grow in unity as the body of Christ.

A good quote to keep in mind is this: “In the essentials, unity; in the non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”1

We do need to be unified in the essential points, but on non-essential points we can disagree. These non-essentials include topics such as your view of eschatology, the age of the world, spiritual gifts. While it is important to develop your own understanding on these topics, disagreements on them do not determine whether you are or aren’t a Christian.

Because Christ calls us to be unified as His body, we need to maintain an attitude of charity—or love—when it comes to these non-essentials.

The Essentials of the Faith

We find the clearest statements of the Christian faith in the Nicene Creeds. With only one small difference, Christians of all denominations—Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants—use these creeds.

The Scriptures are clear on the essential matters. We have to believe in one God in three persons—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We also must believe that Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully human, and that He came to earth, died, and rose again from the dead. He did so because we were dead in our sins and in need of His grace; we could not save ourselves. He bought us through His blood so that we can be adopted as children of God and given a glorious inheritance in Him (Ephesians 1:18).

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Footnotes

  1. This was coined by a Lutheran theologian named Rupertus Meldenius, although the Puritan Richard Baxter popularized the saying.