The ONE Thing Christians MUST Believe

There's many beliefs Christians claim you have to believe. But in reality there's only one belief Christian's must have.

It seems that every church, every Christian, has a list of what they believe makes a Christian a Christian. Typically this is a rather lengthy list that they believe people must follow. The problem is Jesus didn’t seem to have that list.

I’m convinced we’ve overcomplicated what it means to be a Christain, and it’s time to stop excluding people over lesser issues.

The ONE Thing Christians MUST Believe

  • Jesus was the sacrifice for our sins and is the only way to eternity.

This to me is the one thing that defines what makes a Christian a Christian. That’s it. I know many people will disagree. I’m sure some will call this heretical. But I just can’t find anything in the Bible that says anything different.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:9-10

We’ve made following Jesus so convoluted. You have to believe Jesus is who he says he is AND follow these 586 rules. And that’s not founded in Biblical teaching.

The one thing that Christians must believe is that Jesus paid the price for our sins and is the only way to heaven. That’s it. And when we do that the proof of that decision is found in how we treat others.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:6-7

This isn’t saying nothing else matters… What we believe about the Bible, heaven/hell, communion, worship, and everything else really matters. But that’s not what makes a Christian. You can be a Christian and not believe in the inherent word of God. You can be a Universalist or a Calvinist and still be a Christian. You can be a Christian as long as you have put your faith in Jesus.

There is one primary belief; everything else is secondary or even tertiary. Not to say they aren’t important. But I’ve seen so many people that are genuinely following Jesus but believe something different about a secondary belief. And because of that belief they are labeled a heretic and not a Christian. I just can’t understand how we can do that.

Since I’ve mentioned some of the other beliefs, I thought I’d share how I view them in tiers of importance. Maybe for you it looks a little different, but this is how I view it. This certainly isn’t an exhaustive list, but you can start to see how things fall. 

2nd Tier Beliefs

  • Who is saved… Universalism, Calvinism, Arminianism, etc…
  • Baptism (sprinkled or immersed)
  • Authority of Scripture (inspired, inherent, etc)
  • Literal eternal hell, Annihilationism, or no hell
  • Views on what is sin and what isn’t
  • How we love God and love others (Implementation of faith)
  • The Trinity
  • Human sexuality

These things matter. But they aren’t an issue of salvation. And the reason I think this distinction is important is because I have seen many Christians say you cannot be a Christian until you do, or don’t do ________Whatever that is. But the reality is, is that a Christian is someone that believes Jesus came, died for their sins, and rose again. All these issues, while important, are not salvation issues.

To be frank I’m sick of Christians claiming you have to believe these 586, exactly as they do, otherwise you aren’t really a Christian. No you don’t. That’s not how this thing works.

We can disagree on some of these issues and still be Christians. That’s why Paul was able to say, “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility” Ephesians 2:14. We can live at peace with those that think and live differently than us.

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. John 5:24

3rd Tier Beliefs

  • Complementarian vs Egalitarian views/Gender roles in church
  • Creation theories: young earth, old earth, evolution.
  • View of end times: Pre-Tribulation, Post-Tribulation, Amillennial

I would argue these issues have less importance than the above issues. You can make a strong Biblical cause for either side. That is not saying we shouldn’t figure out what we believe and why. However we should certainly not hold others to our decision. 


  • Denominational preferences
  • How often do you take communion
  • Style of worship
  • Version of the Bible you read
  • Color of the carpet

These issues are simply preference. There is not Biblical standing one way or another. It just comes down to what you prefer.

I am convinced that there are some of my beliefs, my theology, that are wrong. I know there is. There’s no way that as a human I cannot fully fathom God. So I hold onto my theology loosely, because some of it is wrong. I just don’t know what parts. My guess is in your life you probably have a view you are convinced of, but one day you will find out you are wrong. Maybe instead of throwing stones at each other over our different beliefs we search for the beauty of different people being able to come together to learn from each other.

Listen. I certainly don’t have all the answers. I could very well be wrong; in fact I’m sure there are many areas I am. If you think differently I would love to hear from you. Comment below and let’s engage in a conversation.

26 comments on “The ONE Thing Christians MUST Believe

  1. Joe Butler

    Jeffery, I’m a little lost as to your reasoning that some of the things listed do not matter to God. Denominationalism for instance. The root of that word is “divide” which is definitely not what God would wish for his church. Or human sexuality. The Bible, and Jesus specifically, said that the practice of homosexuality is a sin and those who participate in that sin or many others will not inherit the kingdom of God. Baptism is another one. In every conversion experience we have recorded in the New Testament, baptism was required to “wash away sin” (Acts 22:16). I haven’t addressed all the examples you’ve listed, and you are correct that in Jesus, and only Jesus, is salvation found, but we should be careful to say that these other things don’t matter. I know you are not trying to say that these issues are irrelevant and that we are all trying our best to seek what God would have us do, but the real meaning of Christian (to follow Christ) means we must seek to do what Christ wants, not what we want. It’s not about rule following…it’s about trusting God enough to submit and do things his way, whether they were a direct command in scripture or whether we have a reliable example from the first followers of Jesus and the Christians of the first century church.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Joe! I certainly am not trying to insinuate that those things do not matter! I tried to be very clear on that in the article. I am saying that sexuality, baptism, etc are not what make a Christian, a Christian. You and I, after prayer and study, might disagree on one of those issues. And I think that’s okay. There’s room for different interpretations. Those issues STILL matter, but they don’t determine whether someone is following Jesus or not.

      What I’m trying to get at in the article is that we’ve made following Jesus so complicated. But it shouldn’t be. Those things matter, but they aren’t of ultimate importance.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joe Butler

        Oh I absolutely agree that we have made following Jesus too complicated. That “legalism” has no place in Christianity. The Bible was never meant to be a rules and procedures handbook. The Israelites made that mistake with the law and that was what caused their serious heart issues. There’s no way that we should keep people from a rewarding relationship with Christ by overbearing them with things that are not even in the Bible. I know that when I reach the end of my life, I won’t even have scratched the surface of all the things God would wish me to know. I guess our job is to take his word (the Bible) and do the best we can to follow it for it is the key to everlasting life and communion with Christ himself.


  2. Anonymous

    Question, what caused me to have original sin or what caused me to be separated from God? Please don’t answer disobedience because it is not.

    How would people know why they need to repent and be able to do repentance if they do not know the reason?

    Why do believers need to always repent when in fact they should already be under grace?

    What is the difference between a preacher and the apostles or disciples?

    What is the difference between idolizing and worshipping?


  3. And they asked him, What is the work we must do?
    And Jesus answered, To believe in the One He has sent.
    Yes that’s paraphrased, but Jesus did lay it as a base on which to build.
    So I agree. There’s a lot of stuff that can bog people down. I just met a couple whose theology did not entirely match my own. Does that mean we have to fix each other? No. Jesus can fix our differences if He needs to. Our job is to love each other. We are known as Christians not for our absolute agreement with each other but for our profound love for each other.
    Nice post. 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t entirely agree with all of this post, but I agree with a good deal of it. I certainly agree with your basic premise, which I think is your point. My agreements would not be the same as others, as I’m not concerned with denominationalism or interpretations of baptism, etc. I think we could do some work to define what constitutes “belief” and how to define “faith”, both of which are loaded concepts not readily understood by most Christians, except on a very surface level. Yet and still, your basic point remains.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I do believe that the Bible is the divinely inspired word of God. I don’t think a person would go to hell for not believing this, but I do believe it is important to us and to God.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I would argue faith and belief are two separate things. Our beliefs are what we think and our faith is how we live that out. I intentionally only focused on beliefs in this post. I did not address how we should live out our beliefs. Which is important, I just didn’t want the point to be missed by shifting to that. However I think your point is valid, we do have a lot of work to do to iron out and define our beliefs and faith.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes I believe you successfully made the point you were trying to make. I’m glad you properly understood my comment to not be a criticism but an add to the discussion.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with David M. LeBlanc. we need definitions of words,without which possibly the wrong things are being communicated:
    I am finishing writing a book on repentance in the NT and it’s crystal completely clear that no sins are forgiven without repentance, true repentance in the Biblical sense. Repentance and having one’s sins forgiven are permanently bound together. No repentance? No sins for given and thus no salvation, and one is not a Christian. So I think there needs to be a serious defining just what “believe on Jesus” means. If it does not include repentance, then it’s not the gospel and does not give salvation.
    I have in front of me a book written by Mark Boda (Return to Me) and he examines repentance in the complete Bible, in detail .
    He quotes Richard Owen Roberts “To assume that sinner can turn to the Righteous One without turning from their own unrighteousness is the height of theological nonsense.” Boda follows this with, “whether we use the word “repent” or “believe” or “follow”, or any other words, in inviting people to relationship with the triune God…the key is to define these words in the holistic ways we find in the biblical witness.”

    This puts John 3:16 (for example) and how is usually used, suspect for saving anyone. If repentance isn’t a core, central part of any Gospel message, then it’s not the Gospel. That’s not me speaking, it’s the 54 times it’s mentioned in the NT, mostly directly connected with forgiveness of sin. John the Baptist came with that message. Jesus started His ministry with it, continued with it, ended up with it.
    quote “The one thing that Christians must believe is that Jesus paid the price for our sins and is the only way to heaven”
    Fine, but that does not take it far enough. What does “believe” mean? If that isn’t explained, then one can repeat an incantation “the sinner’s prayer” and think they are saved and be further from it, because they are told they are, when nothing of the sort has happened. they have a false hope of salvation and heaven and thus feel no need to go any further.
    Biblical repentance is not only forsaking sin, but includes sorrow/contrition over sin and then turning to righteousness.

    FACT: there will no one in heaven who hasn’t repented of their sin.

    Look up all the references to repent and repentance in the NT and you will see this is true. So why is this left out? do we somehow think that it’s a “given”, that somehow we all agree what “believe” means so we don’t have to spell it out?
    We may agree on this but from your post, I’m not sure. You don’t define “believe”. And with something as important as ones eternal destiny, I would say we need to be pretty clear on what’s included in the Gospel, as well as what isn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The focus I took on this article was to examine what beliefs a Christian must hold. Repentance, while important, is not a belief it is something you do in response to your belief. It’s an action or step of faith. I didn’t want to focus on that in this article because I didn’t want my point to be overshadowed. I was rather critiquing how we pile on all these required beliefs that are good, but not ultimate.

      Repentance is indeed important and your views are valid. Although I would suspect you and I will differ on how important it is. I do agree it is needed.


      • I understand the focus. But people define words differently, mostly not Biblically, and I think it’s important to include repentance in with the word believe, always. If one does not believe they need to repent of their sin to “ask Jesus in their heart”, then their belief in the Gospel is no Gospel at all. What one believes is as important as that they believe it.

        quote “Jesus was the sacrifice for our sins and is the only way to eternity.” Satan knows this to be true, believes it. But it does him no good. To believe this does nothing. Belief by itself is dead. If Jesus believed that His death on the cross would save us from the penalty for sin, but then didn’t do anything about it, His belief was for nothing.

        God, through the NT writers, said that sins are only forgiven if one repents of their sin. If salvation can be had without repentance, then there are 2 ways to be saved, believe and also repent. If it can only be had through repentance of sin, then there is only one way for the Blood of Jesus to be applied to one’s soul. The means of appropriation of the contents of a belief is as important as what is believed.


  6. – Who is saved… Universalism, Calvinism, Arminianism, etc… This is evident in Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:9

    –Baptism (sprinkled or immersed): Ephesians 4:4-5 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one faith, one baptism; This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Water baptism was brought by John as a sign of what was to come. Although, I am not against water baptism, it is the same as circumcision or uncircumcision – it is the baptism of the Holy Spirit which matters not the water just as circumcision was an outward sign of covenant to the Lord so is water baptism. Otherwise the bible would have said that there are two baptisms – but it states there is only one baptism -that of the Holy Spirit.

    –Authority of Scripture (inspired, inherent, etc) 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, When Paul wrote to Timothy, he wrote these words meaning that the original Hebrew and Greek were God breathed and ordained. Other translations by man do not hold the same ordination.

    –Literal eternal hell, Annihilationism, or no hell 2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; Hell is mentioned 32 times in the NKJV and Peter explains the demonic angels will be held there until judgment.

    –Views on what is sin and what isn’t Romans 14:23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. Whatever is not of faith is sin – point blank

    –How we love God and love others (Implementation of faith)1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.

    –The Trinity Genesis 1:26 – And God said, Let us make man in our image God in Hebrew is Elohim (Plural as in Gods) 1 John 5:7-8 – For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. Case closed

    –Human sexuality 1Co 6:18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Know who you are through Jesus Christ.

    Kind regards,
    J Arnn


  7. 7sawdust repentance is not a requirement for the free gift of salvation. You are confusing the national requirement of repentance for Israel with the church. If the church were to be required to repent then the gift would not be free or freely given. When Peter was speaking to the Jews in Acts 2, this was a reoffering of the Kingdom of Heaven to the Jews and had nothing to do with the church. Later, when Cornelius was saved, there is no mention of repentance. At Acts 10, when Peter fades as Paul rises to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles the word repent or repentance used by Paul is meant as an act to change ones way of thinking about God as a fruit rather than a demand. The goodness of God leads us to repentance Romans 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? When we hear of His goodness, it changes the way we think and this is accomplished by the Holy Spirit in our transformation when we believe in Jesus’ finished works at the cross. If you could repent of your sins there would not be a need for a Savior or a Sacrifice – but you cannot of your own repent of your sins. This was done by the sacrifice of Jesus and the exchange at the cross – it was done for you in your place instead of you. Why? Because the Father, or Lord God loves you. You cannot mix what is for Israel with what is for the church. They are two very distinct and separate plans for each that leads to the same result – eternal salvation. For the church there was never a requirement of repentance for the church to be in right standing with God. For the church, the body of Christ the church is in right standing through faith in Jesus – believe, rest, and wait for the promised return. That is our hope. To think that you of your own can repent before God is hopelessness.

    Kind regards,
    J Arnn
    Jewish studies for Christians


    • It’s interesting that you skipped the Gospels. Repentance and forgiveness of sins are connected over and over. Or do I infer from you comment that all the verses in the NT about repentance were only for Israel in general and Jews specifically, and not for Gentiles? I think this is a conclusion looking for a text. No plain reading of the NT will give that result. I agree that God has designs for Israel, but to say that one can separate the text like that isn’t supported by a plain reading of the NT. When one starts dividing verses out or even parts of verses, “this is for Israel, this if for the Church”, it would be never ending and would be fraught with error and complications.

      Acts 26:.20 , Paul speaking: “…but declaring both to those in Damascus first and also at Jerusalem and then through the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent, and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.”

      Seems clear here that repentance is for Gentiles also. Paul mixed the 2 together. Was he in error in doing so? If the Gentiles could not (should not?) repent , then he would have made that clear in the text.

      Repentance does not give us right standing with God, you are correct. Only the Blood of Jesus can do that. But to have that blood applied to my sin, I must repent, forsake my sin. To think that I can receive Jesus’ forgiveness for my rebellion and sin without ever intending to forsake my rebellion and sin (repentance) is ultimate presumption on His grace and mercy. Nowhere in the NT are we given a free pass to heaven. Just do the sinner’s prayer thing and I’m in. Nothing more? What is it we are being saved from? And if it’s sin and the resulting hell it leads to, then aren’t there certain attitudes I need to have regarding the sin He is forgiving, like sorrow and contrition? Shouldn’t I be even somewhat sorry that my sin was partly to blame for the unthinkable suffering Jesus endured?

      The Holy Spirit’s role before one is saved is to convict of sin and empower to repent of that sin. Without this empowering, yes, it’s impossible. But with God all things are possible, and that includes a rotten sinner like me receiving forgiveness for my rebellion.

      Romans 2:4,5
      Paul is writing to….who? He is writing this to those in Rome. Is to the church there or to Jews or a church of Jews only? Do you suggest this text is only for Israel?

      v.3 “And do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment upon those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape this judgment of God?
      v.4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
      v.5 But because of the stubbornness and unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.”

      So is this wrath only for the Jews and not for Gentiles? Are you saying that only Jews will come under the wrath of God, and not the Gentiles? Only Jews will be in hell? These verses say the way out of the day of wrath is repentance. Is this only for Jews? Or does this also apply to Gentiles?

      In my study of the 56 verses that mention repentance in the NT, I find nowhere a distinction made between Israel/Jews and Gentiles. The statements are to sinful people,regardless of what was in their genetics. If they had been two separate groups of people, then I would think this would have been made clear, so the Gentiles wouldn’t worry about the forsaking sin part, and the Jews would just have to give up their sin.

      Also, if repentance was only for Israel, who is the Israel you refer to today? Is it only those with pure Jewish blood, back to Abraham? what about those who have intermarried and have half Gentile blood? What if they don’t know (which is just about all who claim to be Jews today) Or is it only for those who hold to the Jewish faith, Jew or Gentile? Which gets Gentiles mixed in with this repentance thing.

      Just because a statement isn’t mentioned in the text (as per your examples), does not mean they didn’t happen. One cannot argue from silence, especially from all else that is said about repentance by the NT writers.


      • If the gift is free then there would be nothing for man to do but accept the free gift. Yes the Gospels are primarily written to the Jew. Israel had a requirement of national repentance in order to gain the Kingdom of Heaven and Jesus as their Messiah. The church never had this requirement. Paul did teach repentance – but not as a requirement to gain or keep salvation. Paul taught the goodness of God leads us to repentance – a change of mind – not a confession of sin. As the Holy Spirit transforms us, we begin to change our mind about God and Jesus – it is a fruit of being righteous by faith – not a prerequisite for being righteous by faith – God justifies us when we believe in the finished works of Christ at the cross and to those who simply call on His name shall be saved and have eternal life – doesn’t say call on His name and repent – because there is no requirement for the church. As the Holy Spirit transforms us our minds are changed and we understand that grace and mercy came through Jesus and we are made righteous by faith apart from works. Prerequisite repentance is a self-work and places you under the law which is a curse. As far as who are Jews today – the Jewish law, which the nation of Israel and all of Judaism follows states that no one married outside of a Jew under Jewish law is a Jew – the are considered a heathen or a more gentile term – a Gentile. The Gentiles who do not accept Jesus Christ as their savior will come under the wrath of God, not because of the law – because the Gentiles were not given the law – but as Paul explains, that which is done out of conscious is a law unto itself. Therefore – by scripture the Jews who do not accept Jesus will be judged by the law and the Gentile who do not accept Jesus will be judged by their conscious and those who are believers have already been judged at the cross and found not guilty – or in biblical terms – justified by faith.


  8. Pingback: 4 Things To Do When You Read The Bible – rethink

  9. While I certainly believe in the Trinity, it should be pointed out that 1 John 5:7-8 was a much later addition to the text. It does not appear in any Greek manuscript copied before 1500, and half of those it appears in the margin as a “questionable” item. The fact the ancient church Fathers, who debated the Trinity in detail in the 4th, 5th and 6th centuries, never quoted this obvious trinitarian formula in support of their arguments, closes the case. For more information, see Dr. Daniel Wallace’s article at

    This adds to your point about the authority of Scripture. Dr. Allen MacRae put it well. To paraphrase, the Holy Spirit breathed the truth to the biblical writers, which they wrote with God-given guidance. Humans have copied and translated those Scriptures to the best of their abilities ever since. The original works were error free, but our copies and translations are not. We should all humbly keep that in mind, not basing too much on individual verses but aligning our interpretations with the wider textual and cultural context and the narrative of salvation as a whole – all guided by the Holy Spirit.


  10. you didn’t answer what Paul was doing preaching repentance to Gentiles:

    Acts 26:.20 , Paul speaking: “…but declaring both to those in Damascus first and also at Jerusalem and then through the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent, and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.”

    Paul was telling Gentiles to repent.

    Or Romans 2:4,5

    Or if anyone can be saved who does not have any intention of forsaking their sin.

    To say that to repent is a self-work, I agree this is not true (well maybe for some it is, only God knows the heart), but it is still a work in the heart of the sinner and, it’s a work of the Holy Spirit and is a result of His conviction of sin. It’s not my self work, it’s His mighty convicting work and is still a prerequisite having one’s sins forgiven.

    Will God forgive anyone who has no intention of forsaking their sin? (the definition of repentance with the further step of following after God, going a different direction)


    • Hi 7sawdust,

      Let’s look at this from a singular point of reference that we can both agree on. One the Holy Spirit does not convict you of your sin nor does the Holy Spirit reside in the unbeliever – that is not how it works. In many instances in the bible the unbeliever is referred to as Earth Dweller or Inhabitant of the Earth. Revelation 6:10 How long before God judges those who dwell on the earth. Revelation 8:13 woe woe woe to the inhabitants of the earth. Now, unbelievers can also be Jew or Gentile which one might think would put the nation of Israel (The Jews) in the category of earth dwellers but it does not. Isaiah 26:20 Come my people (Israel) enter your chambers, shut your doors, hide yourself for a little moment until the indignation is past. This is a picture of Israel going through the tribulation for 7 years. I type and shadow of this is the story of Noah, where Noah and his family represent Israel who will go through the storm but come out of it in the end. Enoch represent the church who will be called into the air with Jesus (the rapture) and then return with Jesus after the tribulation. For the unbelievers (the gentiles) it means death eternal. For the believer it means being kept out of the trial – Revelation 3:10 and Romans 8:18.

      Now for Paul in Acts 26:20. Paul was speaking of the gentiles of Damascus and the Jews of Israel – Paul is not speaking to believers – he is speaking about unbelievers and the message he has taken to them which includes repentance for the unbeliever (metanoao or metanoia in Greek which means to change ones mind). It has nothing to do with the confession of sin or repenting of sin – what Paul was preaching to the unbelieving gentile and Jew was to change your mind about the way you think of God. To the gentile – change your mind about false idols and turn to God through faith in Christ Jesus the only one who can truly save you. For the Jew – change your mind about who God is – change your mind about the law – the law cannot save you only faith in Jesus Christ can truly save you. Even Peter preached repentance to the Jews and told them they were the ones who crucified Jesus their Messiah. Repentance simply means to change your mind about the way you view something – such as your belief in false gods to believing in the one true God through faith in Jesus. In Romans 2:4 we learn that it is now the goodness of God which leads us to repentance or a change of mind about Him – Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? So, if it is the goodness of God that leads us – then it cannot be a prerequisite to salvation but a fruit of salvation – meaning it is not something that you do to gain salvation but it is something which occurs because of salvation. In Romans 2:4-5 Paul is writing to a particular sect of Jewish Christians who are judging gentile sin. Paul is correcting them on God’s perfect and just judgment for all and when Paul speaks of the Jew or the Gentile he is not speaking about the believer but the unbeliever. However, for those who have faith in Jesus they are no longer Jew or Gentile but believer who has been washed clean by the blood of Jesus and so much so that the Holy Spirit may dwell in them now. That they have been made righteous by faith apart from works – Romans 3:21 – so do you see that repentance is not a prerequisite to salvation – Look in Acts for the salvation of Cornelius, a member of a tribe of Italia, a Gentile, who did not confess, nor repent before he was saved. He merely changed his mind about his false gods and believed on Jesus.

      Kind regards,
      J Arnn
      Jewish Studies for Christians


    • Will God forgive anyone who has no intention of forsaking their sin? Absolutely. If you hold that Jesus and God are one (which is where I disagree a bit with this article: I think that the one thing that all Christians need to believe is that Jesus and God are one), which is what Jesus repeats throughout John 14: if we have seen Jesus we have seen the Father, then I do not believe that it is possible to argue that repentance must precede forgiveness. That has massive ramifications for our theologies. When Jesus was hanging, murdered on the cross by completely unrepentant political and religious leaders, his words were (Luke 23:34): “Father, forgive them.”. Not, “Father, forgive them if they repent”. I don’t believe it is possible to find anywhere in Jesus’s teachings, ethics or lifestyle a clear instruction that repentance is a necessary precondition for forgiveness. Rather, forgiveness allows the psychological space in which repentance can occur. That comes through time and again in Jesus’s (God”s) interactions with sinful people.


  11. Challenging post. I agree there is only one belief necessary for salvation. I’m grateful our Father made it that simple. We can disagree on all of the other topics you mention and hundreds more, because Jesus made our error possible. He paid that price. God still has a single correct answer for many of the things we tend to state as those other 586 things you mention. But thankfully Jesus paid the price for those errors.

    But our error is expensive. It cost Jesus dearly. James said faith without works is dead. If our belief in Jesus doesn’t cause us to live, spending our time and energy in a way that draws us closer to the guy who saved us and the other correct answers, we may be misleading ourselves. That’s why I also believe some of the other things. The more I study and learn about Jesus, the person who paid for my error, the more I seek to live according to what he says. Based on my belief that he paid for my error, I believe the other things he claims about himself in the bible, that he is almighty, that his word is inerrant, etc., and try to change my life to align with those beliefs.

    There are times when my transformation is more visible to other believers and there are times when it isn’t. There are times when I’m aware I’m not growing and times when I’m not even aware of it. My point, however is that I agree: simply believing is the way to heaven. But without some growth, we may be fooling ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very well said! Tying believing to actions is totally Biblical. “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” If we have had a true conversion, a true change of heart, if we have forsaken the sin (error?) He suffered and died for, if we claim we love Jesus for what he has done for us, it WILL show up in our actions. If it doesn’t, there hasn’t been a change of heart, which is James’ message.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree that right belief and right actions are linked, and that this is at the heart of the gospel message. I do believe, however, that we have misunderstood what ‘keeping my commands” means’. We read it as strict adherence to a holiness code. That’s not what Jesus argues for. In John 15:12-14 he makes it crystal clear how we are to interpret ‘obeying my command’: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. ” It is not about personal holiness, it is about how we relate to other people. That is the whole thrust of the letter of 1 John, where it should become abundantly clear that the theology that John perceives Jesus to be advocating is not an obsession with crime and punishment and personal holiness, but with how we treat other people, and which Jesus demonstrates so powerfully on the cross when he forgives his persecutors.


  12. Wonderful.. I love this
    Keep up the good work


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