Essential Christian Doctrine

The following explanation of essential Christian doctrine was copied from  'The Bible Answer Man" webpage. Hank Hanegraaff often mentions the pail of orthodoxy which contains the essentials.  Whether one chooses to call the container a pail, box, cup, bowl, pot, or whatever, it is important to know that once one leaves the container that holds these essentials, then one is outside of orthodox Christianity and should not claim the name of Christ.  If any of the essentials are false, then none of the other essentials can stand.  This fact is found through a thorough study of the Bible and 'The Bible Answer Man' is a good source to find the necessary references to provide clarity to this fact. 

Without further comments, here is the explanation of essential Christian doctrine from Hank Hanegraaff: 

When we talk about the essentials of Christianity we're referring to the basic elements that make up and characterize our faith, and which, of course, separate it from other beliefs. Let's survey these doctrines.

First, we believe in the authority of Scripture, which is another way of saying that the Bible is God's inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word. It's the ultimate source for knowledge about God, as well as the definitive guide for our daily lives.

Next we affirm the existence of a triune God or one God in three distinct persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This God is self-existent, eternal, unchanging, omnipotent, omnipresent, holy, righteous, and loving. God created the universe from nothing and He rules over His creation sovereignly including both human and angelic beings.

We also hold that man is a physical and spiritual being who is created in God's image. But because of his sin or transgression, man has lost his fellowship with God. The extent of sin is so great that its effects continue to this very day in the form of cruelty, suffering, and death.

By God's grace, Jesus Christ - Who is fully God and fully man - was sent to save us from our bondage to sin. We believe that Christ was born of a virgin, died for our sins, physically rose from the dead, and will one day return to judge the world and deliver His people. Faith in Christ is the only means by which mankind can escape eternal damnation and judgment.

Finally, we recognize the church as God's ordained institution headed by Christ. The church is composed of all believers, and is organized for worship, for fellowship, for the administration of the sacraments, for spiritual growth and support, and for evangelizing the world.