Doing the Basics
By: Haans Erlandson
The basics are the good stuff.
With any success we experience in life, it can only be built on to the degree the foundation can hold it. As ministers of the Gospel, we continue to grow in wisdom and favor and stature with God and man throughout our lives, just as Jesus did (Luke 2:52). We haven’t arrived, but we have left (Phil. 3:13–14). We must humbly receive the goodness of God in our hearts daily (James 1:21).
I don’t know about you, but the Gospel is every bit and more as exciting today as when I first believed! We must keep doing the basics as to not lose touch or let our hearts become hardened from our experiences with what Jesus has done for us. It keeps us overflowing with Him and not the un-renewed part of us.
There are three basics that will keep us successful over the long haul. They help us to rightly divide the Word and bring understanding to our experiences from God’s perspective and His reality, which is the truth (2 Tim. 2:15)!
First, is faith righteousness.
Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone upon which our lives and the church are built (Eph. 2:19–22). Faith-righteousness is the complete foundation of the Gospel. It cannot be added to or diminished (1 Cor. 3:11). Anything that is not faith-righteousness is self-righteousness. Faith-righteousness is trusting His work over our works (Rom. 11:6). If righteousness by faith is the seed, then holiness is the fruit. It is a gift paid for by the perfect blood of Jesus (Heb. 9:14). It is the exchange of His innocence for your sin (2 Cor. 5:21). Therefore, we have been given the same value as Jesus in the eyes of God. Righteousness means right standing with God, peace with God, being as you ought to be, and equity. It is the only cure for a condemned heart (1 John 3:20–22). We trust the work that Jesus accomplished in His death, burial, and resurrection by believing that He is enough to overcome anything we will ever be walking through on the earth.
Second, is living in the balance of grace and faith.
The extremes of grace (lawlessness) or faith (legalism) will cause heartache and shipwreck in the life of a believer. Grace is what Jesus has done for us, or God’s part. Faith is being persuaded in our heart of God’s goodness and responding positively to it, or our part. Grace is God’s ability in our lives. Faith is our trust towards God’s ability. Grace is the divine influence upon the heart and the outworking in our lives. Faith comes from peace, the peace that can only be found in the Gospel! Grace and faith working together is how we experience all forms of salvation (the Greek word sozo)—healing, deliverance, protection, provision, and wholeness (Eph. 2:8).
Third, is understanding spiritual anatomy or how God says we are made.
We have a spirit, which is the part of us that is perfect and one with Jesus! Simply put, the heart overlaps both the spirit and soul. Our heart is where we believe. Our soul, which is made up of our mind, will, and emotions, is being renewed to the realities of our identity in Jesus Christ (1 Thess. 5:23). Our bodies house our spirit, heart, and soul (mind, will, emotions). God speaks to us spirit to spirit, where heaven’s realities are made available to us now (John 4:24). Our heart believes unto the righteousness we are in Christ Jesus, which causes us to speak out our salvation from our persuasion (Rom. 10:9–10). Our soul interacts with the world we live in. Our bodies give us authority on earth. Our authority is voice-activated. Without a body, we can’t translate heaven into the earth. Understanding how God has made us helps us to discern God’s Word and appropriate it correctly. If we read the Word and see a finished reality, it is speaking of our spirit. If there is a natural response needed to experience it, the Word is addressing the heart to be persuaded and affect the soul (mind, will, and emotions) and body.
- Stay encouraged by remembering that Jesus made you righteous.
- Be intentional about living in the balance of grace and faith.
- Stay focused on the realities of who you really are in your spirit.
- Remember that whatever you focus on becomes bigger in your heart and you experience more of.
These basics will keep you walking forward with the Gospel and cause maturity in Jesus that others so desperately need to see an example of!