The Need For Fundamentals
by Terry Broome
There are several kinds of students in the typical congregation of the Lord’s Church. There are some who have never been exposed to an in-depth study of basic Bible teachings and thus they are not fully aware of why we do the things that we do. There are others who once learned many of these sacred truths but later in life feel a need for a refresher course to sharpen our ability to teach others. There are some who continue to want to reexamine things they formerly learned to be truth so they can reaffirm that what they are doing is right. There might be some who never committed Bible passages to memory and yet fully understood what they were doing but don’t exactly know where to go in the Bible to find these things talked about. Wherever we are with our individual learning, there are some fundamental principles we must all hold dear. Both the Apostles Paul and Peter addressed this need:
Hebrews 5:12-14 (NKJV) 12 “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.”
2 Peter 1:12-13 (NKJV) 12 “For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. 13Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you,”
Both of the above have one thing in common. We all need to stay in touch with the foundational truths that separate us from a world outside of Christ. There are some basic Bible teachings that are “fundamental” to New Testament Christianity. Paul writes of these as being the “first principles of the oracles of God.” Whether we want to admit it or not, if a generation drifts away from foundational truths, the complete identity of the church can be changed. Picture the Bible as an architect’s blueprint for a house.
I need to keep going back to the blueprint to be sure I haven’t added inches here or there and to be sure the building is entirely that of the designer. In houses, we have the right to change the plans and draft an amended blueprint, but in God’s Word we don’t have that liberty – not if we want it to continue to be the Lord’s original building.
The Apostle Paul wrote a serious admonition to young Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12-13 (NKJV) 12 “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.”
Friends, we too need to be grounded in those fundamental truths that save one’s soul. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul stressed a means by which one would not have to bow his head in shame when standing before God: 2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV) 15 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth”.
The times in which we live demand that we properly understand and correctly handle the Word of Truth if we are going to offer a message of hope to a lost and dying world. A preachers charge, yes, also any Christian teacher’s charge is found in these words: 2 Timothy 4:1-4 (NIV) 1 “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
The author can be reached for comments at 256-574-2489.