This page is dedicated to Bible Questions and Answers as well as topical articles. This article was written and previously published by Bob Russell.
On These Truths I Will Stand
Written on October 7, 2018
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of the All Saints Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Luther intended the list as points for debate, but his sharp criticism of the Roman church’s sale of indulgences and his contention that salvation was dependent on faith, not works, brought him into serious conflict with the religious and secular authorities of his day.
At the Diet of Worms (1521 Imperial Assembly), Luther was commanded to repudiate his writings. He stood alone against a gathering of powerful clergy and political leaders. He responded, “Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason (I do not accept the authority of popes and councils because they have contradicted each other), my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. So help me God. Amen.”
Luther’s courageous stand for his convictions resulted in him being labeled a heretic and eventually excommunicated from the church. But today Martin Luther is universally respected as a man who courageously stood for his convictions.
At the basis of everyone’s Christian faith should be certain doctrinal convictions that form the foundation of our behavior and our world-view. Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” We should each know what we believe and why. Like the Apostle Paul, we should be able to say, “It is written: ‘I believed; therefore I have spoken.’ Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak…” (2 Cor. 4:13).
Recently I’ve been compiling a list of Biblical truths that I am determined to stand for regardless of the consequences. These principles form the foundation of my faith and are my doctrinal “non-negotiables.” Since the world loves darkness rather than light, I understand these Biblical truths inevitably anger those who don’t know Christ. I also acknowledge that some fellow believers may want to tweak a phrase or two.
However, the following statements are Biblical certitudes, from Genesis through Revelation, that define doctrine for me.
God created the world, and we are ultimately accountable to Him as the ruler and sustainer of His universe. Every person has value to God, and every human life is to be treated with dignity and compassion from conception to natural death. Marriage between a man and a woman is the foundation of the family which is the basic building block of society. Sexual intimacy is a sacred gift from God and is a privilege to be reserved for marriage only. Satan is the ultimate source of evil in the world and the archenemy of all that is good. We have each inherited a carnal nature from Adam and consequently we have all disobeyed God and are hopelessly trapped in sin and in desperate need of redemption. Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, and He provides the only way to salvation through faith in His atoning death and bodily resurrection. The Bible is the inspired Word of God, the primary means by which we come to know Christ, who is the absolute standard of right and wrong. We place our trust in Christ by repenting of our sin, publicly professing our faith in Christ and being baptized into Him. The Holy Spirit indwells the believer to convict of sin, comfort us in sorrow, empower us to overcome temptation, embolden our witness and guide us in following God’s will. The church is the body of Christ on earth and is a divine source of fellowship, edification, and service. Jesus Christ will one day return to earth, and then every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord. Those who have trusted Christ will reign with Him forever in heaven;those who have rejected Him will be punished for their sins in hell. The primary purpose of life is to glorify God by living in obedience to His commands.
These Biblically-based statements form the basics of what I believe. While many of these principles go against a post-Christian culture that chafes against the concept of absolute truth, Jesus warned us that He would at times separate friends and family. But like Martin Luther we need to say, “Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen”
No one was persecuted for his beliefs more than the Apostle Paul. He reminds us, “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day” (2 Timothy 1:12).