As we all know preaching for your wedding, you can’t build a sound structure without first laying a good foundation upon which we can erect the main columns that will hold the weight of the rest of the building. Similarly, the three monotheistic faiths (Judaism, Muslim, and Christianity) all have main pillars that support the weight of the edification of their beliefs. The Jews have five pillars of faith, the Muslims have five2, and Christians have five.
Now, I’m not going to go into details about the pillars of other faiths, but we do need to know the five pillars of Christianity. We’ll do this because I’m sure that if we asked anyone here what the five pillars of our faith are, in other words, what we base our faith on; most of us may guess maybe two or three, but not all. So, what are the five pillars of our faith?
Five Pillars of Christianity:
The virgin birth of Jesus (3).
The deity of Jesus (4)
The blood atonement of Jesus (5)
The bodily resurrection of Jesus (6)
The second coming of Jesus (7)
These are the basic pillars of our faith, that is, the columns that support our belief in God, His Word and His redemptive work. But now we must ask; what columns support the weight of daily living? There are four columns that support the weight that the world produces in our life; therefore, this will be the topic that we’ll be exploring today. Today we will explore the four columns that we have to build upon the foundation.
As I’ve said and repeated many times, prayer life is an aspect of our Christian life that we often pay very little attention to, or completely disregard. And in most cases this is something that happens because of our impatience. I say this because although sometimes the Lord answers our prayers immediately, this is not always the case.And this is something that leads many to think that God doesn’t listen, or that He is not aware of what happens to us.
In other words, impatience leads many to become discouraged and stop praying. But the reality of it is that prayer is the only weapon that we have to defend ourselves against the powers of darkness. But more importantly, prayer unleashes blessings in our life.I say this because prayer brings peace, deliverance, and miracles. The best example that I can use to illustrate the point that I’m attempting to make is what happened to Peter, when he was imprisoned to be executed for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ (8).
Prayer brings peace into our life. Let’s take a closer look at what happened to Peter so that you better understand what I’m saying. In Acts 12:5-6 we find that we are told: “… Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.
6And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison… ” As we can see, Peter was thrown into prison chained to two soldiers, and was waiting to be executed.
What attitude did this man demonstrate? Was Peter begging the King to spare him? Was Peter worried and nervous? The answer is NO! As we can see in these verses, Peter was sleeping. How was this possible? How can anyone sleep with so much tension? He could sleep for two reasons.
Number one, he knew that his life was not in the hands of man but in God’s hands. Number two, “… constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church… ” Our prayers and the intercessory prayers of our brethren unleash peace in our life. Tell the person sitting next to you: prayer produces peace.
Prayer produces deliverance. In Acts 12:7 we find that we are told: “… Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands… ” The nonstop intercessory prayers by the church for Peter were heard and answered.
The chains that bound him to the two soldiers fell off, the cell door was opened, the soldiers who guarded the door of the prison never saw him, and the gates of the city, large fortified gates, automatically opened.
This is the God we serve; this is the God in whom we trust, an Almighty God. This is the God that we must speak about, the one true God who liberates us. But this doesn’t mean that our enemy will stop trying to separate us from God’s presence.
Our enemy will extended his trap in an attempt to imprison us and lock us in the prisons of this world, and the only way that we can defend ourselves against this is through prayer. Do you want to receive deliverance from the burdens of this world? Tell the person sitting next to you: start praying!
Prayer unleashes miracles. In Acts 12:12 we find that we are told: “… So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying… ” What happened to Peter can be described with one word.
What word? Tell the person next to you: it was a MIRACLE. Always remember that when we stop our rebellion, and genuinely seek God, the Lord tells us: “… It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear… ” (Isaiah 65:24). And what we find in John 14:13 when we read: “… And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son… ” Remember that He is here to free us from our difficulties, our fears, and our problems. He is present to break the chains that bind us, and to open the fortified doors that lock us in. Tell the person next to you: you have to pray.
The Word Knowing
The Word of God is of utmost importance, as the Word of God reveals God’s will for us; however, knowing the Word of God is not enough. Although knowledge of the Word of God is of utmost importance, the reality is that knowledge without action amounts to nothing.
For example, my wife really likes cookbooks. But although she may read all the cookbooks that she has, if she doesn’t take the time to prepare the dishes found in their content, then she will never know the true outcome of the recipe. She can memorize all the recipes that exist, but if she never puts them into use, then they are worthless. The same principle applies to the Word of God.
And that’s why we find that in James 1:22-25 he tells us: “… But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does… ”
The reality is we can’t just listen and learn (memorize) the Word of God; we have to live it. We have to apply God’s Word to our life at all times. The main reason for this is because the person who only listens and learns the Word, will soon forget what they’ve learned. Why? Because when you don’t practice what you learn, then that knowledge becomes part of our memory, but never part of our life. Let’s realize that if the Word does not become part of our life, then we’ll be just like the people in these verses.
We will be like a person who stands before the mirror and realizes that he/she needs to do something to compliment their appearance, but once they walk away from the mirror something distracts their attention, and they forget what he/she had to do. In other words we will hear the Word of God, He will give us conviction of an offense in our life, but if the Word is not part of our life, if we don’t practice what we’ve learned, then we will be distracted by the bustle of this world, and we will soon forget what God wants us to do. Tell the person sitting next to you: we must be doers of the Word.
Doctrine According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, one of the definitions for the word doctrine is: “a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief.” One of the biggest concerns that a pastor has about the church would certainly be the question of doctrine, and he will sooner or later have to account for what he has done. This is something that is well reflected in Hebrews 13:17 we read: “… Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you… “But this notwithstanding, there are many doctrines, in other words, religious and philosophical views, which only serve to separate man from God. So the question now arises: how can the Christian differentiate between sound doctrine, and falsehood?
Actually the answer to this question is very easy. I say it’s easy to find the truth because there is only one instrument that remains constant, and this instrument is the Word of God. Man changes his opinions, amends doctrines, and adopts philosophies, according to whatever suits him best. And that’s exactly why in 1 John 4:1 we find we find that we are told: “… Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world… ” Tell the person sitting next to you: be careful.
The Word of God is constant at all times. Look carefully at how the Lord said it in Matthew 24:35 when we read: “… Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away… ” The Word of God is constant and living, and there isn’t a situation or question that it can’t answer. This is something that is clearly reflected in Hebrews 4:12 when we read: “… For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart… ” Therefore, if you want to know if the doctrine that you’ve adopted or that you support in a church or congregation is true, all you have to do is compare what it teaches with the Word of God. Tell the person sitting next to you: don’t accept anything unbiblical.
A great reality is that there are many in the world who profess to preach the truth in order to manipulate, and deceive many, and to satisfy their greed. Many have abandoned our Lord Jesus Christ’s true teachings. And that’s why we should, and we must be very attentive to what we hear and/or read. The truth of the matter is that everyone here can be easily deceived by preachers who don’t really serve Christ, and this is something that we find clearly stated in 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 where we are warned: “… And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works… ” Tell the person sitting next to you: don’t accept everything that you hear.
When the Lord was teaching about the signs before the end, we find that He says: “… For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect… ” (Matthew 24:24). And I want to make it clear that with my next statement I’m not saying that the end will be soon, nor do I pretend to know when it will be. However, I will say that this world is full of false Christs (from the Greek: “pseudochristos”, pronounced: psyü-do’-khr?-stos, definition: “one who falsely lays claim to the name and office of the Messiah” 9). Let’s use the Mormon Church as an example. Look closely at what Joseph Smith (founder of the Mormon cult) said about himself: “I have more to boast of than any man had.
I am the only man that has been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I.
The followers of Jesus ran away from him, but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet10.”And as if all this were not enough Brigham Young, (second prophet of the Mormon cult) stated: “… no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith… “11. This man also said to be to be saved you must confess that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God12. I’m not going to continue citing examples of cults that seek to take the position of the Messiah, because if I did we wouldn’t have time to finish today. But suffice it to say that I chose the Mormon Church as an example because it’s a church that according to statistics continues to grow, despite the fact that what they teach and practice is unbiblical.
Preaching is one of the four pillars that we must erect on the foundation of our faith, because through preaching the Lord speaks to us. Through preaching we receive conviction of our errors and sin. Through preaching we are strengthened and invigorated. And this is exactly why in Hebrews 10:25 we find that we are told: “… not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching… ”
In conclusion; the five pillars of Christianity are the virgin birth of Jesus, the deity of Jesus, the blood atonement of Jesus, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and the second coming of Jesus. These are the five basic principles of our faith, in other words, the foundation on which we must build. What must we build on the foundation of our faith?
We have to build the columns that will support the weight of daily living. We have to build the four columns that support the weight that the world produces in our life.
We have to erect the column of prayer. Why? Because prayer brings peace, prayer produces liberation prayer produces miracles.
We have to erect the column of the Word of God. In other words, not only know the Word of God, but we have to live it. Why? Because when you don’t practice what you learn, then that knowledge becomes part of your memory, but never part of your life.
We have to erect the column of doctrine. In other words, we need to differentiate between sound doctrine, and falsehood. And this is something that can only be done through the Word of God.
We have to erect the column of preaching. In other words, we must be attentive to what we hear, and accept nothing that’s unconfirmed. Never forget that there are many false prophets and false Christs, that through soft beautiful words and false promises have deceived and continue to deceive many. So listen, test it, and if you must, run!
These are the four pillars that will help us sustain the pressures of daily living, but remember that in order to distribute the full weight in a building, it usually requires four columns. In other words, we can’t concentrate on only one and ignore the others, because this will only lead us to spiritual failure. It would be like having a table with four legs and taking one away, and let’s not even think about removing two. In any case, the table wouldn’t be able to support the weight of whatever you place on top of it. So now only one question remains:
Are you ready to build?
1. Five Pillars of Orthodox Judaism or Open Charedism by Rabbi Asher Lopatin
2. Encyclopedia Britannica
3 Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-38.
4 John 1:1, 8:58, 10:30, Romans 9:5.
5 John 3:16, Matthew 26:28, Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 1:18-19, 1 John 1:7.
6 John 20:1-20, Matthew 28:1-20, Mark 16:1-20, Luke 24:1-53, 2 ??Timothy 2:8.
7 John 14:1-3, Matthew 24:29-51, Mark 13:24-37, Luke 21:25-36, 17:25-36, 12:41-48, Acts 1:11, Revelation 1:1-8.
8 Acts 12:1-16
9 Blue Letter Bible Lexicon
10 History of the Church, Vol 6, p. 408-409, 1884
11 Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 289
12 Journal of Discourses, vol. 9, p. 312