Connections Hour: 9:00 a.m.
Worship Service: 10:30 a.m.

(Mueller, Christian Dogmatics, pp. 48-56)

  1. What is a Primary Fundamental Doctrine?

    1. Those doctrines from God's Word that can not be denied consistently with faith and salvation, being the very foundation of the Christian faith.
    2. Those doctrines from God's Word which are so necessarily known that, when they are not known, the foundation of faith is not apprehended or retained.
    3. Simply stated, to deny any one of these doctrines is to deny the Christian faith.
  2. The Five Primary Fundamental Doctrines of the Christian Faith.

    1. The Doctrine of Sin and Its Consequences
      1. The true Christian believes in both the divine Law, which condemns sin, and the divine Gospel, which pardons sin. (Romans 6:23)
      2. When a person fails to realize that their sins, both original and actual, merit eternal damnation and trust their own goodness for eternal salvation, they have no interest in the forgiveness of sins obtained by Christ for the condemned sinner. (Luke 18:9-14)
    2. The Doctrine of the Person of Christ
      1. The true Christian believes that Jesus Christ is simultaneously true man and true God. (Matthew 22:42; Matthew 16:13-17; 1John 1:1-4)
      2. The true Christian believes that Christ is the second person in the Trinity.
        1. Christ can not be known without the Father. (Matthew 16:17)
        2. The Father can not be known without Christ, the Son. (Matthew 11:27)
        3. The Father and the Son can not be known without the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:15; 1 Corinthians 12:3; John 16:13-15)
        4. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one Name. (Matthew 28:19)
      3. Saving faith is trust in the divine-human Redeemer, Jesus Christ. (John 3:16; Romans 10:9,10; Acts 4:12)
    3. The Doctrine of the Knowledge of the Work of Christ
      1. The true Christian believes that saving faith is trust in Christ as the only mediator between God and men who has given his life as a ransom for all. (1 Timothy 2:5,6; Romans 6:10; 2 Corinthians 5:14,15; 1 Peter 3:18)
        1. The true Christian trusts God's grace, secured by Christ's substitutionary death, for reconciliation to God and pardon from the penalty of sin.
    4. The Doctrine of the Word of God
      1. The true Christian believes the Word of God, the external Word of the Holy Gospel, is both the object and the means of saving faith.
        1. It is the object of saving faith because saving faith trusts Jesus Christ, who is the Gospel, the Word of God. (Mark 1:15; Romans 1:1,2; Luke 8:11-15; John 6:68)
        2. It is the means of saving faith since saving faith is kindled only through the Gospel. (Romans 1:16;10:17; John 17:20; 1 Corinthians 15:1,2; 1 Peter 1:23)
        1. True saving faith is always God-made, never man-made. (1 Corinthians 2:5; 2 Corinthians 4:6)
    5. The Doctrine of the Resurrection
      1. The true Christian believes that as Christ was raised from the dead (John 21:14; 1 Corinthians 15:4), so all people will also be raised from the dead on Judgment Day. (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 20:13)
        1. To deny the Resurrection is to deny the entire Gospel. (1 Corinthians 15:12-19)
  3. What is a Secondary Fundamental Doctrine?

    1. A doctrine that is not essential to faith, but is intended to support faith.
    2. A doctrine that serves as a foundation of faith, but not primarily and absolutely.
  4. Secondary Fundamental Doctrines include the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper

    1. These two Sacraments, instituted by Christ, have been given to us as a foundation of faith in the same way as the Gospel Word; this is what makes them Fundamental Doctrines.
      1. The same grace and forgiveness that are offered and conveyed to us in the Gospel Word are also offered and conveyed to us in the Sacraments.
        1. Forgiveness through Baptism (Acts 2:38; Titus 3:5)
        2. Forgiveness through the Lord's Supper (Matthew 26:28)
      2. They are secondary because it is possible for a person to be ignorant of them or even in error with regard to them and yet be saved, provided the person clings to the promise of forgiveness offered in the Gospel Word.
        1. All that is needed for forgiveness has been secured for sinners by the death of Christ on the cross and is offered and conveyed to a person in the Gospel.
        2. This does not mean that the sacramental promise is unnecessary. The Sacraments are the visible Word and the individual application of divine grace.
        3. To the person who trusts the Gospel Word, the Sacraments offer nothing new with respect to salvation. They seal and confirm the same grace that the Gospel Word announces, gives, and confers. It is in this sense that the Sacraments are not absolutely necessary and why they are Secondary Fundamental Doctrines
      3. The distinction between the Primary and Secondary Fundamental Doctrines must never be abused in the interest of tolerating false doctrine.
        1. A denial or hostility towards the Secondary Fundamental Doctrines, which are, as seen above, the same Word of Gospel, must in the end overturn the foundation of faith for it implies resistance to the Gospel Word offered by the Holy Spirit.
        2. All the teachings of God's Word are so intimately interwoven with one another that, if one is denied, all the rest are likewise affected by such denial.