Three aspects of faith – Body of truth
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all (Eph 4:4-6)
The second aspect of faith is the body of truth contained in Scripture – Paul says “there is one faith” of body of truth concerning the Christian faith. This does not mean that there is only one denomination that has a patent on Scriptural interpretation; but the basics of Christian belief is one body of truth.
Paul spoke a little about this to his young preacher, Timothy, when writing to him about problems within the church –“ Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” The false teaching by some of his day that said the resurrection (the resurrection from the dead of believers was past and those at that time had missed it) had brought confusion and discouragement to the believers. Paul wrote to set the record straight and encourage them to stand firm in the truth of Christ’s coming – yet to happen. Paul also wrote to the Thessalonians concerning a similar problem – “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”
When we say “one faith” we are meaning the essentials of the Christian doctrine – the virgin birth, humanity, deity of Christ, His death, bodily resurrection and ascension into heaven. These basic truths are the one faith of Christianity – this is also our faith.
Jude encouraged believers to content for this faith – “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Paul expounded some of what the faith is – “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” Paul said they received the truth as outlined in the Scriptures and he elaborated upon them – this is the body of faith. What are the basic doctrines of the faith? They are:
- Belief in the triune God. God is one God manifest in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit -- each one being very God of very God, the great Elohim and Jehovah of the Bible. Each being a personage of God and performing the function of that personage in the order of the trinity. Christ, God the Son who became man and yet remained completely God, died in human form and rose again from the dead in a glorified body and now sits at the right hand of God the Father in heaven to intercede for mankind. The Holy Spirit is a Person and is the very Spirit of Christ, Who indwells every believer and works in and through believers to do the works of God on this earth.
- The Bible is the word of God. Not every word is God’s word, but it is inspired by God and written by holy men who were directed by God to record accurately what happened. It is historically, scientifically and in every way accurate and true. In the original manuscripts it is inerrant and true. There may be copyist errors but God has protected His word through the years to be a source of truth for mankind. (There are many corrupt translations that we need to be careful about, but in case of difficulty compare the version you use to the KJV and where such disagreement occurs, refer to the KJV).
- Salvation is only through the death of Christ and His finished work of making atonement for fallen man by His death on the cross. Trusting (faith) in His deity, suffering, death and resurrection for our sins followed by confession and repentance brings salvation to us.
- Living a holy lifestyle. God is holy and requires we also live a holy life. We will never fully attain to the holy life that Christ lived, but the Scripture is clear, we are to follow after peace and holiness all our life.
There are some who say that we only live by the New Testament and the Old Testament is of no use today. But the faith (body of truth) also consists of the teaching, commands and instructions contained in the Old Testament. The New Testament unfolds truth of the Old and this is why Paul urges us to read, study and compare.
The one faith spoken of is not contained in other religions but only in Christianity and the Bible.