archEvery structure has some parts that can be removed, while others are essential. Take away one stone in an old archway and the whole thing will come crashing down.

When you look at Christianity today, it can be difficult to determine what parts are essential, what parts are open to interpretation, and what parts are simply man-made additions. Unfortunately, people are often pushed away by ideas that are not necessary. My study of the Bible over the years has led me to identify six essentials.

  1. God created us to reflect his glory, but we sin by straying from this purpose.
  2. God has revealed the truths we need to know in the Bible.
  3. We are worthy of God’s condemnation for our sin, but he desires to save us because of his mercy and grace.
  4. God’s Son, Jesus, became human, lived a perfectly righteous life, died for our sins, and rose again.
  5. When we confess our sins to God and trust in Jesus alone to save us, God forgives us and accepts us.
  6. When we believe we begin to be transformed by God’s Spirit and will ultimately enjoy eternal life with God.

These ideas are not just important for Christianity. They are the building blocks that we each need for life. They give us meaning, purpose, and hope in a chaotic world. This is the gospel.

These ideas are found throughout the Bible, but they are particularly clear in the first eight chapters of the New Testament book of Romans. If you’ve never done so, I encourage you to wrestle with these great truths and adopt them as the structure for your life.

– Bryan Craddock

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