Name Those Tenets

Christianity is based on a solid foundation of six basic tenets. They are the progression of a Christian’s life in God’s plan for us. Can you name all six of them, in order? It is unlikely that you can. But as Christians, we should know them as well as we know the alphabet. And the reason for our ignorance is that these fundamental tenets have been replaced by false doctrines brought in by false prophets who have “crept in unawares” as the apostle Jude pointed out. In their place, Churchianity has replaced them with corrupted versions, i.e., “sacraments,” of their own devising. So let’s make up for lost time, and establish the word of God in our understanding of Christianity as delivered to us in the first century by Christ and the apostles that we may be blessed.

These are the six basic tenets of Christianity as made clear by the apostle Paul, “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptism, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.” [Heb. 6:1-3]. 

To list the six:
1- repentance from dead works;
2- faith towards God;
3- the doctrine of baptism;
4- the laying on of hands;
5- resurrections of the dead;
6- eternal judgement.

These six tenets of Christianity from the first century are given to us in the order in which they occur. Our first step on the way to being a Christian is repentance from dead works. What are considered “dead works?” As Paul explains, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the God of the living.” [Heb.9:14]. The ultimate promise to Christians by God is the gift of eternal life. As Christ told us when talking to the Sadducees about resurrection from the dead, ”He [our Father] is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: you therefore do greatly err.” [Mark 12:27].

And as Luke pointed out Christ’s words to us, “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” [Luke 16:13]. Dead works are when we serve mammon, all the works of our hands, instead of serving first our Father and Jesus Christ. We are to “… seek first the kingdom [Greek, power and authority] of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” [Mat. 6:33; see the Sneakers article, All That Is Done Under The Sun].

Therefore, our first duty as a Christian is to change [repent] from dead works, following the ways of this world, and to serve our Lord and Saviour. When we do, we are promised that all our earthly needs will be taken care of. “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asks, receives; and he that seeks, finds; and to him that knocks, it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” [Luke 11:9-13].

This leads us to the second tenet, faith. Faith as defined in the Biblical record is the Greek word, pistis, which means the conviction of the truth. Once we have changed from chasing after the ways of this world, then we need to move forward with the conviction of the truth of the word of God in our lives. “Come to me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [Mat. 11:28-30].

We need to understand that God cannot lie. His word is His deed. “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” [Tts.1:20]. When God makes a promise, it is fact. It cannot be undone. But, we have to do our part as well. In this case, once we have changed from following the ways of mammon, and choose to follow our Lord and Saviour, we need to do so with the conviction that what we are told is indeed the truth, the true path for us to follow.

Once we have made a sincere and long-lasting commitment to the truth of the word of God, then the next step on the path to our promised eternal life is baptism. As the apostle Peter pointed out on the first day of Christianity, Pentecost, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” [Acts 2:38].

Once we have been baptized, which is an immersion in water, not a sprinkling, [Greek, baptismos not rhantismos] then we need to have hands laid upon us to receive the Spirit of God. “Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit: (For as yet the Spirit of God was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.” [Acts 8:14-17].

Once we have received the Spirit of God, we can begin to learn the way of God, being led into the truth. “Let that therefore abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning. If that, which you have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, you also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he has promised us, eternal life. … But the anointing [the Holy Spirit] which you have received of him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in him.” [1 John 2:24, 25, 27].

This is a very important point to consider. Once we have repented from dead works of the flesh, and have the conviction of the truth of the word of God, been baptized, and with the laying on of hands received the Spirit of God, we can move forward in living our lives with the knowledge that we are guided into the truth in all things by the Spirit that abides in us. And we do this by seeking first the kingdom of God, his power and glory daily in our lives. It is the prism through which we see this current world anew, through the eyes of God rather than of men.

These are the first four of the six basic tenets of Christianity. And to some extent, many of us may be familiar with them. However, it is the last two of the six where Churchianity makes a huge turn away from the truth. Christianity’s next tenet is the resurrections, plural. Churchianity’s dogma is dying and going to “Heaven.” [For details, see our Feature article, Heaven Can Wait]. Christians should know that when we die, we are asleep in Christ. We are not awake, cavorting around Heaven with harp playing angels as is the popular notion. And we don’t look down upon our relatives here on Earth.

As Paul pointed out, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [remain dead in the flesh], but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” [1 Cor. 15:51-54]. 

We need to keep in mind, resurrection to eternal life, Hebrew olam ha ba, the after life, is not a tenet of the Old Testament. It is unique to the plan of God revealed to us in the Christian age. As Job asked, If a man die, shall he live again?" [Job 14:14]. There is no concept of dying and then going off to Heaven to cavort with angels for eternity. [See the Sneakers article, All That Is Done Under the Sun].

Paul explains in detail in 1 Corinthians 15 the resurrection to eternal life. And as Peter pointed out to the New Testament church, it is our salvation by Christ that has given us the promise eternal life, “The reward for trusting him [Christ] will be the salvation of your lives. This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. The prophets wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ's suffering and his great glory afterward. They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this good news [gospel] has been announced to you by those [the apostles] who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.” [1 Pet. 1:9-12, NLT*].

Not only are we not going off to Heaven after we die, but there are two resurrections. “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” [Rev. 20:4-6]. This is the thousand years of peace, the Millennium, when Christ returns to Earth, and establishes the kingdom, the power and authority of God. [See details, The Hijacked Elephant, Christ’s Return, chapter 5, page 145, complimentary copy at the bottom of the Home page].

Then there is the second resurrection. “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell [the grave, not Dante’s inferno] delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” [Rev. 20:11-15].

The sixth tenet of Christianity is eternal judgement, of which we just read. Churchianity says we die and go to “Heaven” or “Hell.” But these are locations. Eternal judgement does not refer to locations, but rather is the ultimate life or death decision. Therefore, the basic tenet of Christianity, eternal judgement, has nothing to do with the false notion of “going off to Heaven.”

Most of us are familiar with the promise of eternal life. But there is the promise of eternal death as well. We aren't born with an "immortal soul" as the Roman Catholic church erroneously teaches. Therefore, eternal judgement is either to eternal life or to eternal death, which is the second death. All men die in the flesh. Then at the great day of judgement, those not raised up to eternal life in the first resurrection, are raised up and judged before God. Those written in the book of Life will have eternal life. Those who are not will be judged to eternal death and cast into the lake of fire, not for an eternal scorching, but for destruction.

Those judged to eternal life will live on a new Earth. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.

“And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” [Rev. 21:1-8; see the Feature article, Heaven Can Wait II].

These are the six basic tenets for anyone who is a Christian. As Paul mentioned at the beginning of verse one in Hebrews 6, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of these six basic tenets. It’s like learning the alphabet. Once we learn to write, let us not go back to having to learn the alphabet again. Let us go on to perfection in our lives before our Father and Christ.

But Churchianity has long forgotten these tenets, and in their place, we have been given deadly substitutes. So it is that we need to go back to laying the foundation of Christianity as it was once delivered to us by our Saviour and the apostles in the first century.

We would be wise to make sure that these six tenets form the solid foundation of our Christian lives on our path to perfection. For the way of mammon, dead works, leads to eternal death, but the path to God leads to the promise of eternal life.

Italics, and [ ] are the author’s.

*Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

© copyrighted material 2007-2020. All rights reserved.

Notice to readers. All redshoe generated articles may be hyperlinked or copied to PDF format for use as long as no editing or alteration of content is made. See Contact section for other terms of use.

Print Email

10 Things In The Bible Most People Don't Know

Contact & Questions?

Complimentary PDF Book Downloads

          BookCover icon    THE Cover icon2

Login Form