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Why Should We Go Back to the Basics?

Every so often, we will come across some writing, whether it is an article, sermon, outline, research paper, etc., focused on going back to the basics over a hot topic of debate among denominations. They can vary from marriage, divorce, and remarriage, to the use of instruments in worship, to what the role of a Christian is versus the role of the church. Is this really necessary? What is it about the basics that’s so important? Consider the realm of sports. They will talk about going back to basics, but for what purpose? Former Head coach of the Packers, Giants, and Redskins in the 1960s, Vince Lombardi, who is ranked first among NFL head coaches at winning five total championships, once said, “Excellence is achieved by the mastery of the fundamentals.” This means that if you want to be exceptional in whatever you do, don’t focus on the fancy things; don’t chase outlandish theories of the judgment day or creation. Go back to the fundamentals, to what you first learned in becoming a Christian, and that’s how you can be excellent in your faith.

Consider the life of Christ here on earth. There are countless theories of who He was and what happened. Some say that He was nothing more than a Jewish zealot that fought against the oppressive Roman government through teachings of love rather than acts of violence. Some say that He is nothing more than a myth. Others say that He was here on earth, but never man. He was only the physical embodiment of the divinity of God. Certainly, it can be very discouraging to hear these theories, and if I am someone who is very weak in my faith, I can become detached from truth and entrapped in conspiracy. However, if we dispel these theories and go back to the basics, to what scripture says, we can know clearly who Jesus was on earth.

In spite of the theory mentioned earlier of Jesus only being a man and a zealot, in Luke 1:30-35 an angel told Mary of her son who is to be miraculously born, who will be the Son of God, and who will be given the throne of David. Also, when we look further in the life of Jesus, we see multiple confessions such as John 9 with the blind man who was given sight, or Mark 8 when Peter confessed that Jesus was the Son of God. However, Jesus was still a man. He still had fleshly temptations just as we do, which is seen in Matthew 4 when Satan tempts Jesus three times. There are other passages such as Hebrews 2:18 that says, “For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.” Hebrews 5:8 also says, “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.” These verses clearly indicate the humanity of Jesus. Yes, He is the Son of God, but He came to this earth and faced temptation, but He also learned what it means to be obedient to death, just as we have to.

Although Jesus’ life is only one example, keeping to the basics of understanding His life is a core lesson. Otherwise, if I entangle myself in fancy opinions or ideologies, I can completely lose faith and be lost as a result. Jesus came to this earth as a man, He was not a myth. Not only is He not a myth, but by the scriptures, we see that He lived as a man and not just as the Son of God. He did speak of love, but He showed by His miraculous deeds that He was much more than just a man, and because He is more than just a man, I should believe what He taught. When you get back to the basics of who Christ is, it will definitely help you move forward in your daily life. If you set aside all worldly opinions and ask yourself this question, “What does the Bible say about this subject?” then you are much better off and can grow in your faith.

Oren Caskey

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