Christianity is Not Based on Principles

Christianity is not based on principles. It is based on a Savior. It is an ancient mistake that defines much of American religion today. Common misunderstandings include:

1. I’ve always been a Christian
2. I was raised a Christian
3. Living by Christian principles make us a Christian
4. Living by the 10 commandments make us a Christian
5. Living by the Golden Rule makes us a Christian
6. Being religious (the Jesus kind ofcourse) makes us a Christian

I don’t write this to be mean or judgmental, but to warn against making a foundational mistake in Christianity. Paul wrote to the Galatian church, “…we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified” (Galatians 2:16). In fact, what the the law (including the 10 commandments) did was show Israel how truly sinful it was (along with the rest of mankind).

I wence when I somebody say that they are a Christian only to find that it is based on the fact that they follow the same principles as did their American forefathers. Nobody will enter the Kingdom of Heaven based on living a moral life. It would be better to deny the Bible altogether than to claim that it teaches something that it doesn’t. Jesus did not come to point the way to a moral life. He did so, but that was not His purpose. Jesus said, “For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matthew 9:13). Why? Because the Bible says that none are righteous (Romans 3:10-12). We have all sinned and therefore fall short of a Holy and perfect God (Romans 3:23). One sin falls short because God, by nature, cannot look upon sin. That is why we needed a Savior! That is what the Bible is all about… one cohesive love story about redemption!

This can only be recieved by faith. True repentant faith; that is realizing the need for a Savior because of your sin and in then accepting the free gift given by God through Jesus Christ (Romans 3:24-26). This is what the Bible means by being “born again” (John 3) or being made a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). It is an act of salvation in which the one repenting and placing their faith in Jesus Christ recieve His Holy Spirit into their life. Only then can a moral life be acceptable to God as one walks in a personal relationship with Him; not because it saves the individual but rather Christian principles become an overflow of gratitude toward the One that saved them.

If Christian morals save, then the cross was pointless. As a pastor friend of mine often says, “Think about it.”

Scott Hescht

Author: Scott Hescht

I serve as the lead Pastor of the Haven Community Church. My wife Courtney and I have two children, Zane and Daxton. I love reading, writing, graphic design, and pretty much all things creative. Bring up the topic of sports and you’ve got a friend for life. I also love to teach and preach God’s Word to anyone who will listen. I strive to be a constant learner as well, understanding that education isn’t something that we receive, but rather a lifelong journey. Above all, I strive to be a friend to those around me, seeking to be a light for Christ despite my own shortcomings.
I have a BFA at Stephen F. Austin State University and a MA in Christian Leadership at Luther Rice Seminary. Prior to establishing The Haven in 2012, I have served as a pastor at Life Spring Church and an elder at Freedom Fellowship Church. In addition to pastoring the Haven, I serve on the board for Relationships for Christ Ministries, a missions organization working in Africa and Latin America.

One Response to "Christianity is Not Based on Principles"

  1. Randy Turner Posted on November 21, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Our salvation was accomplished through the righteousness of One who actually exists, actually created all things, actually came to earth, actually lived a perfect life, was acually crucified, actually rose from the dead, and is now actually interceding for us. He actually took the penalty for our sins on the cross and we are actually to be found before God not having a righteousness of our own derived from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ; the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.

    Our faith rests in a real God who worked in real history to save real people for His own glory. Principles and practices are a crippled counterfeit for true, God-glorifying, Christ-exalting, Life-changing, Works-producing, faith in the living and true God and in the way He made provisions for our salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.

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