What must we believe?


#1

All Christians believe that faith is essential. But what exactly is the content of the faith that justifies us? Is there an absolute Bare Minimum? Is there some kind of sliding scale by which our faith is judged?


#2

In my undereducated and humble opinion, it can be summed up in the two great commandments: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. And, the sliding scale by which faith is measured is one’s good works performed in that faith.


#3

Hey Bob,

In your view, is there no absolute Bare Minimum? e.g. could one be justified with a faith in Jesus that is deficient in some respect. e.g. If one didn’t believe that Jesus is fully human.

cordially

ferd


#4

Just to help clarify your question to try and give you a better answer, why would anyone WANT to just do the minimum? In all other areas of life, someone who would be satisfied with just the minimum would be not well thought of.


#5

Just to help clarify your question to try and give you a better answer, why would anyone WANT to just do the minimum? In all other areas of life, someone who would be satisfied with just the minimum would be not well thought of.


#6

Hi Ferd__,

We are jsutified by faith AND baptism. The baptismal ceremony contains the following :

Priest: Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and
earth?
R: I do believe.

Priest: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was born
into this world and suffered for us?
R: I do believe.

Priest: Do you also believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of
the body, and life everlasting?
R: I do believe.

This is the minimum required for baptism. But by saying that you believe “in the holy Catholic Church”, you also accept everything that she has taught, teaches and will teach.

Verbum


#7

Simple, the Apostle’s Creed.

If you believe that you are a Christian. :smiley:

(Of course you will then wish to expand your faith within the church with baptism etc, but it is the bare minimum.)


#8

[quote=ferdgoodfellow]Hey Bob,

In your view, is there no absolute Bare Minimum? e.g. could one be justified with a faith in Jesus that is deficient in some respect. e.g. If one didn’t believe that Jesus is fully human.

cordially

ferd
[/quote]

That’s the bare minimum. love God and love your neighbor. Everything else we believe should lead us toward that end. I am Catholic, by the way, and believe everything the Church teaches. I feel that all the theology in the world is of no avail if it doesn’t lead us to those two commandments.


#9

[quote=ferdgoodfellow]All Christians believe that faith is essential. But what exactly is the content of the faith that justifies us? Is there an absolute Bare Minimum? Is there some kind of sliding scale by which our faith is judged?
[/quote]

(1) Faith Alone does not justify us. That is a heresy.

(2) We must believe everything the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic teaches, because God – Who can neither deceive nor be deceived-- revealed it.

However, there is a hierarchy of beliefs within the Church’s teachings.

JMJ Jay


#10

First off, faith is faith/trust in God. At its base, it is not quite a list that there must be at least these 10 item on. But faith in God means we believe what he has to say about himself. Our knowledge of what he has said will grow over time. I think it is okay to be where we are at a specific time.


#11

[quote=geezerbob]That’s the bare minimum. love God and love your neighbor. Everything else we believe should lead us toward that end. I am Catholic, by the way, and believe everything the Church teaches. I feel that all the theology in the world is of no avail if it doesn’t lead us to those two commandments.
[/quote]

Nicely put geezer, I wholeheartidly agree. Love God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul. Love your neighber as I have loved you…the 10 commandments will flow from us when these two commandments are followed. It is the bare minimum of beliefs provided we act accordingly with the purest intent.

GBU


#12

As far as the bare minimum, see Heb. 11:6. Faith is indeed a bare minimum without which we cannot please God. But this is just the beginning of the process leading toward justification. It is by God’s grace that we have faith to begin with. Faith alone does not justify a person. Justification is only achieved by faith and works. Also, this gratuitous gift of faith from God also includes the grace of hope and love the moment the person is justified.

Paul teaches us that faith is the root of justification (Eph. 2:8-9) and that faith excludes “works of the law” but not that it excludes other types of work. This verse also does not say we are justified by faith “alone.” It only indicates that it comes first.

We must also have a “broken and contrite heart,” not just an intellectual assent of faith. (Psalm 51:17 my favorite Psalm!)
Obedience is also necessary, it is a good “work,” an act of the will which leads to rightousness before God. (Rom. 6:16).

Titus 3:8 says that good deeds are excellent and profitable to men(just like the Old Testament Scriptures in 2 Tim. 3:16). Good deeds further justify us before God as opposed to Titus 3:5 where it says that we are not saved by works of rightousness “we have done.” Those works refer to works of the law - Mosiac law - or obligation for which we seek payment - not with a faith in Christ but a faith in the law. Verse 5 also mentions the “washing of regeneration” - baptism. Baptism saves, it is a work of grace for which we are rewarded by God in Christ. There is a difference between “works of the law” or obligation and “works of grace”.

There are probably a thousand more verses that speak to faith and works being inseparable (works of grace not works of the law). It’s not works by themselves and it’s not faith by itself. The 2 go hand in hand.


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