Central Idea Of Christianity
by Jesse T. Peck
and restated by Jeff Paton
can only be one central idea of the Christian
scheme, and that is, as it exists in the mind of God. If we start with
the wrong central idea, we will end
up with a system of belief that is full of errors.
my central idea for Christianity were the Church, as it is with the
Roman Catholic Church, then the “end” to all of Christian meaning
would consummate in the maintenance and existence
of this organization.
you can see, with any central idea we by nature will limit ourselves to
is evangelism, holy living, and outreach within the Catholic Church?
It is not there because the central idea of Christianity for them demands
that the highest meaning and purpose exists in the “Church.”
if we make the central idea to be regeneration as many Protestant
churches do? If this is the
central idea of Christianity, then we can safely assume that evangelism
is the highest goal for the Christian. Anything beyond the initial
new-birth would not be essential to the Gospel system. Anything beyond
“getting saved” is superfluous and expendable.
This is the attitude of many Protestant churches today.
To them, holiness is an option, but not really necessary, or even
possible. It is a nice "goal," but they feel they have already
reached the highest achievable state of religion, which is regeneration.
They have attained to the end of Christianity in this life, which in
their mind is regeneration. This makes "getting saved"
their central idea. Concern for holiness
is spoken of, but all that really matters to them is that people get
saved. Evangelism, and not holiness is their central idea. You
see, people generally only aspire to the highest level of living that
they believe is possible. They will generally only go as high as their
central idea will allow them.
The question of the central idea Christianity however, is not what we say that it is, but what God says that it is. In Scripture, what does God say is the highest acquisition of grace this side of heaven? To put anything less than this as our central idea is to set our sights short of the will of God. It is to aspire to a lesser standard than is commanded by God. So, what is God’s ultimate goal in our lives this side of heaven? The Scriptures are clear that it is not the church, and it is not regeneration; it is Holiness.
Central Idea of Christianity is not regeneration; it is holiness.
The choice of God for the moral condition of the human race was perfect
purity; hence he created man in his own image.
As this was once the choice of God, it must be eternally so, and the
divine preference or will can never be met but by perfect moral purity.
Sin interfered with this choice, to the full extent of its existence and
reign, and hence called out the severest divine displeasure.
There has therefore, never been and never can be the slightest
toleration if sin in any divine communications.
It is condemned with unsparing severity in its most secret and
As man, by becoming a sinner, has incurred the divine displeasure, he
can be saved from calamity and made perfectly happy only by entire
deliverance from sin.
Remedial measures, originating from God, must aim directly at the
destruction of sin. Excepting it in any of its forms, making provision
for its continuance, its justification, or excuse in the soul of the
saved to any extent, would be trifling and impossible in Him.
The sacrificial offering of Christ, and the means, and appliances of the
Gospel, reveal the plan of salvation by the destruction of sin and the
restoration of man to the image of God, and can in no way, be reconciled
with the idea of salvation in sin.
(adapted from a quote by William Booth)
THE CENTRAL IDEA– Matt. 1:21; 5:6-8, 48; Luke 1:74, 75; Jn. 17:17;
Acts 24:16; Rom. 6:22; 12:1, 2; 2 Cor. 4:12; 7:1; Gal. 2:17; Eph. 1:4;
4:10, 11; 5:25; Col. 1:22; 1 Thes. 2:12, 3:13; 4:3, 7; 5:23; 2 Tim.
3:16, 19-22; Heb. 6:1; 12:14; 1 Pet 1:15, 16; 2:24; 4:1;
Acts 24:16; Rom. 6:22; 12:1, 2; 2 Cor. 4:12; 7:1; Gal. 2:17; Eph. 1:4; 4:10, 11; 5:25; Col. 1:22; 1 Thes. 2:12, 3:13; 4:3, 7; 5:23; 2 Tim. 3:16, 19-22; Heb. 6:1; 12:14; 1 Pet 1:15, 16; 2:24; 4:1;2 Pet. 3:11-14; 1 Jn. 1:6, 7; 2:1; 3:9, 10; 5:4; Jude 24.