Debating Bible Basics Duncan Heaster  



A Summary Of The Christian Gospel

1. GOD

1.1 There is a personal being called God

1.2 whose character is a perfect blend of righteousness and mercy

1.3 having a real, personal existence,

1.4 whose image we bear.

1.5 The angels are His messengers

1.6 who cannot sin,

1.7 sharing God's nature.

1.8 The Christian hope is to be given God's nature in a bodily form at Christ's return.


2.1 God's spirit refers to His power, breath and mind,

2.2 through which He achieves all things

2.3 and is everywhere present.

2.4 The Holy Spirit refers to this power used to achieve certain ends.

2.5 At various times in the past, men possessed the miraculous gifts of the spirit.

2.6 These are not at present available,

2.7 God's power now being revealed to us through His Word.

2.8 The Holy Spirit does not force people to be spiritual against their own will.

2.9 The Bible was completely inspired by God's spirit.

2.10 The Bible is our only authority in our relationship with God.


3.1 The Gospel was preached in the form of the promises made to the Jewish fathers.

3.2 The seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15 refers to Christ who was temporarily 'bruised' by sin, the seed of the serpent.

3.3 In fulfilment of God's promises, planet earth will never be destroyed.

3.4 Abraham's and David's seed is Christ;

3.5 we can be in Christ by belief and baptism,

3.6 so that these promises have relation to the true believers.


4.1 By nature man is mortal, prone to sin, and

4.2 cursed as a result of Adam's sin.

4.3 Christ had this human nature.

4.4 The soul refers to 'us', our body, thinking or person. There is no such thing as an ‘immortal soul’.

4.5 The spirit refers to our life force/breath and disposition.

4.6 Death is a state of unconsciousness.

4.7 At Christ's return there will be a bodily resurrection only of those who have heard the true Gospel and are accountable for their response.

4.8 Knowledge and appreciation of God's word will be the basis of the judgment.

4.9 The full granting of immortality will occur at the judgment seat.

4.10 The punishment of the responsible wicked will be eternal death.

4.11 'Hell' refers to the grave. It is not a place of torture for the wicked.

4.12 'Gehenna' was an area outside Jerusalem where rubbish and criminals were burnt.


5.1 The people of Israel were the Kingdom of God in the past.

5.2 This has now been ended, but will be re-established at Christ's return,

5.3 in the form of a world-wide Kingdom on earth, ruled over by Christ on God's behalf.

5.4 The first 1000 years (or 'Millennium') of this Kingdom will see the true believers of all ages ruling over the ordinary mortal people who are alive at Christ's return.

5.5 The Kingdom is therefore not now established politically.

5.6 We are saved by grace through our faith, rather than by our works.


6.1 The 'devil' as a word means 'false accuser' or 'slanderer'.

6.2 'Satan' as a word means 'adversary',

6.3 and can refer to both good and bad people.

6.4 Figuratively, the devil and satan can refer to sin and the flesh.

6.5 The serpent in Eden was a literal animal;

6.6 the Genesis record of man's creation and fall is to be understood literally rather than in symbolic terms.

6.7 'Demons' as sinful spirits, departed spirits or forces of sin do not exist.

6.8 Christ 'casting out demons' means that he cured sicknesses.

6.9 Lucifer does not refer to a sinful angel.

6.10 God is all powerful; He does not share His power with any sinful being who is opposed to His ways.

6.11 Trials in the life of a believer ultimately come from God rather than being the result of 'bad luck' or a sinful being called ‘the devil’.


7.1 The 'trinity' as widely understood in Christendom is a doctrine which is not taught in the Bible.

7.2 Christ was born of the virgin Mary

7.3 who was an ordinary woman of human nature.

7.4 Jesus had human nature,

7.5 but had a perfect, sinless character,

7.6 Jesus died as a perfect sin offering of his own free will.

7.7 Jesus was raised after his death on the cross.

7.8 Jesus did not physically exist before his birth;

7.9 although he was in God's mind/purpose from the beginning.

7.10 Jesus died as a sacrifice for our sins

7.11 in order to gain salvation both for us and himself.

7.12 Jesus died as our representative,

7.13 not as a substitute as widely believed in Christendom.

7.14 The Law of Moses was ended by Christ's death,

7.15 therefore we do not have to keep it now, including the Sabbath.


8.1 Without baptism, there can be no hope of salvation;

8.2 belief and baptism allow us to share in the Abrahamic promises,

8.3 and is for the forgiveness of sins.

8.4 Baptism is by complete immersion in water

8.5 of an adult who knows the Gospel.

8.6 Those immersed without a full knowledge of the true Gospel must be baptized again, properly.

8.7 Understanding the true Gospel is required for baptism to be valid.


9.1 After baptism, a believer must seek to be separate from the ways of this sinful world,

9.2 and develop Christ-like characteristics.

9.3 Participation in occupations and pleasures which lead us to break the commandments of God are incompatible with a truly Christian life.

9.4 Baptized believers should meet with and have fellowship each other, whenever and wherever humanly possible.

9.5 Baptized believers should regularly break bread and drink wine in memory of Christ's sacrifice.

9.6 Regular prayer and Bible reading are necessary for the baptized believer.

9.7 A baptized believer only has fellowship with those who hold true doctrine and seek to practice it.

9.8 Therefore whose who cease to believe or practice the Truth cease to be in fellowship with the body of true believers.