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Essential vs Nonessential

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It has been well said that “there should be unity in all things essential, liberality in all things nonessential, and charity in all things!” The first is everyone believing the same doctrine concerning the receiving of faith (salvation). The second is respectfully allowing the variance of understanding of beliefs between one another. The third is always exercising love to one another within the first two conditions.

Essential doctrines (ED) are those which Scripture teaches concerning the requirements of receiving salvation; nonessential doctrines (ND) are teachings that are not related to receiving salvation but to increasing the strength of faith in salvation, i.e. spiritual growth in our understanding of Scripture (an unceasing progression).

An example of ED which I believe to be most inclusive is Romans 10:9; “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

An example of ND is the issue concerning teachings that relate to the permanency or temporality of one’s salvation, e.g. what one believes concerning either conclusion has no relation to that of receiving salvation but rather that of growing in the faith of salvation.

Looking at the ED of Romans 10:9, I believe the phrase “confess with your mouth that Jesus is the Lord” means to admit in your communication (signing for the impaired) that He is the Savior (Christ - sole source of redemption -1John 2:22). “Believe in your heart” to me means to always accept as true. “That God has raised Him from the dead” is a twofold conclusion in that believing in His resurrection presumes the ED concerning His incarnation (1John 4:3; 2John 1:7).

In my opinion, those who communicate with respect and kindness are the only ones who will increase their understanding (regardless of their knowledge of Scripture) in the Word of God because it shows their intentions are not out of opposition to one another, but to learn “the Word of truth.” My reason for sharing this article is not only for attempting to be instructional but more importantly so that we will remember the primary reason for learning God’s truths, to “come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ” (Eph 4:13 NLT), which sole standard is love to one another (John 15:12). The more we prioritize love to others as our motive in everything, the greater will be our practical love for God, regardless of the zeal for love to Him (1John 4:20).


For Christ’s Sake (Rom 15:30; 1Co 4:10; 2Co 12:10; Eph 4:32)
 
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It has been well said that “there should be unity in all things essential,...
It has been well said... a great any things have been "well said". But these things aren't in the Bible.
To say 3 or 4 verses in the Bible are essential and all the rest aren't, is also known a "cherry picking". We pick the parts of the Bible we like,
and say the parts we don't like don't apply anymore.

To categorize all of this of this under "unity of the faith" and say loving another another "is the sole standard" is another way of
saying, "let's be unified in the faith as long as you believe what I believe... (the rest is "non-essential").
In my faith.. it's all essential.
 
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Due to many misunderstanding the title of my article I found it necessary to post an attempt to explain it (which to me bears repeating where I have already mention this). All doctrine is essential, but not all doctrine concerns the same issue, i.e. to receive salvation it is required (essential doctrine) that one believe in Christ’s expiation for our sin, but believing or not believing in, let’s say OSAS or God’s omniscience concerning all things, is not required (nonessential doctrine) to receive salvation.

I think differentiating between these two issues (being saved and growing in the strength of faith) will aid us more in how we share our beliefs.

God Bless Us
 

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