The Bible itself reveals those doctrines that are essential to the Christian faith. They are 1) the Deity of Christ, 2) Salvation
by Grace, and 3) the Resurrection of Christ. These are the doctrines the Bible says are necessary. Though there are many other
important doctrines, these three are the only ones that are declared by Scripture to be essential. The truly regenerate may
be ignorant to some extent of one or more of them at the beginning of his/her new life in Christ, but he will come to a proper
understanding of these three issues as he studies the Word of God. A non-regenerate person, or a cultist (i.e., Mormon or
Jehovah's Witness), will deny one or more of these essentials.
1. The Deity of Christ
Jesus is God in flesh (John 8:58 with Exodus 3:14). See also John 1:1-14; 8:24; 10:30-33.
1 John 4:2-3(KJV): "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the
flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that
[spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."
above verse needs to be cross referenced with John 1:1-14 (also written by John) where he states that the Word was God and
the Word became flesh. 1 John 4:2-3 is saying that if you deny that Jesus is God in flesh then you are of the spirit of Antichrist.
John 8:24(KJV): "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am
[he], ye shall die in your sins." Jesus said here that if you do not believe "that I am" you will die in your
sins. In Greek I am is 'ego eimi,' which means 'I am.' These are the same words used in John 8:58 where Jesus says "...before
Abraham was, I am." He was claiming the divine title by quoting Exodus 3:14 in the Greek Septuagint.(The Septuagint was
the Hebrew Old Testament translated into Greek.)
Jesus is the proper object of faith. It is not simply enough to
have faith. Faith is only as valid as what it is put in. You must put your faith in the proper object. Cults have false objects
of faith; therefore, their faith is useless--no matter how sincere they are. If you put your faith in an organization, then
you will be in a lot of trouble on the day of judgment. You might have great faith, but so what? It is in something that can't
The Doctrine of the deity of Christ includes: The Trinity - There is one God who exists in three persons:
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They are all coeternal, and of the same nature. Monotheism - There is only one God
in all existence (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6-8; 45:5). Mormons believe that many gods exist though they serve and worship only one.
Therefore, they are polytheists which excludes them from Christianity.
The Hypostatic Union - That Jesus is both
God and man. The sufficiency of the sacrifice of Christ - The sacrifice of Christ is completely sufficient to pay for the
sins of the world. As God - Jesus must be God to be able to offer a sacrifice of value greater than that of a mere man. He
had to die for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). Only God could do that. As man - Jesus must be man to be able to be a sacrifice
for man. As a man He can be the mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5).
2. Salvation by Grace
by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should
boast." (Eph. 2:8-9 KJV). "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye
are fallen from grace" (Gal. 5:4 KJV). This verse and its context plainly teach that if you believe that you are saved
by faith and works then you are not saved at all. This is a common error in the cults. Because they have a false Jesus, they
have a false doctrine of salvation. (Read Rom. 3-5 and Gal. 3-5).
You cannot add to the work of God. Galatians 2:21
(KJV) says, "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."
"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge
of sin." (Rom. 3:20 KJV). "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith
is counted for righteousness." (Rom. 4:5 KJV). "[Is] the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if
there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law." (Gal.3:21
3. The Resurrection of Christ
"And if Christ be not risen, then [is] our preaching vain, and
your faith [is] also vain." (1 Cor. 15:14 KJV). "And if Christ be not raised, your faith [is] vain; ye are yet in
your sins." (1 Cor. 5:17 KJV). To deny the physical resurrection is to deny Jesus' work, sacrifice, and our resurrection.
These verses clearly state that if you say that Jesus did not rise from the dead in the same body He died in (John 2:19-21),
then your faith is useless.
A comment on on Gal. 1:8-9 (KJV): "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach
any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now
again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."
two verses here in Galatians could be considered a fourth self declarative statement of the essentials. But, Gal. 1:8-9 is
simply stating the necessity of believing the gospel message which, in its entirety, is that Jesus is God in flesh, who died
for sins, rose from the dead, and freely gives the gift of eternal life to those who believe.
1 Cor. 15:1-4 (KJV)
defines what the gospel is: "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also
ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless
ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins
according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:".
Within these verses are the essentials: Christ is God in flesh (John 1:1-14; Col. 2:9); Salvation is received by
faith (John 1:12; Rom. 10:9-10), therefore it is by grace; and the resurrection as mentioned in verse Romans 10:9. Therefore,
this gospel message automatically includes the essentials.