Foundational Concepts

Crossways Bible Studies are based on faith in the power and authority of the Holy Scriptures and its central place of God’s Word as the source and norm of our faith. Here are some of the key ideas that undergird our studies:

  1. To unravel the narrative in the Hebrew Scriptures, it is important to understand:
    • God’s covenants with: Adam; Noah; Abraham; Israel at Mt. Sinai; David; His New Testament people.
    • How the Israelites understood the nature of, and reason for, obedience;
    • That the law-codes in the Hebrew scriptures were given only to the Jewish people;
    • The convictions that developed concerning land, Jerusalem, the Temple, genetic uniqueness;
    • The post-exilic hope for eventual Jewish dominion over the nations of the world—as defined most clearly in the book of Daniel, especially in the vision of “the Son of Man” in chapter 7.
  2. To understand the message of the New Testament (the “Gospel,” the “good news” of the breaking in of God’s true Kingdom), and the manner in which Jesus fulfilled the Law (not merely commandments, but the narrative of Genesis-Deuteronomy) and the Prophets, it is essential to decipher:
    • The Old Testament narrative and the themes that surface within it;
    • The contents of the inter-testamental Apocryphal and other Pseudepigraphical writings;
    • Jewish belief/law systems in the Mishnah (A.D. 200) and Talmuds (A.D. 450-550);
    • The radical nature of the Messianic Age that broke in with the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth—humanity’s forgiving Savior and servant Lord;
    • How Jesus reinterpreted Jewish hopes concerning rescue from exile and political bondage—in ways that infuriated the Jewish leaders;
    • Jesus revealed and conquered humanity’s true enemy, the Satanic/demonic power.
  3. St. Paul declares that Jesus’ ministry and teachings are the “final word” in relation to all Old Testament beliefs and hopes. Jesus the Servant Messiah is God’s Living Word and ultimate model for life (not the ten or 613 commandments—given only to Jews). Jesus gives us only one commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you.”
  4. There is no secular realm. Life is directed by either the deadly trio of devil, world, and flesh, or the Living Word, Jesus the Servant Messiah, through His Word and Holy Spirit.
  5. The key theme embedded in the four Gospels is that of Jesus as Son of Man (82 times). In Daniel 7, the hope expressed is that the day will come when the Jewish people (the “son of man”) will be given dominion over the nations of the world forever. Jesus, the true Son of Man, created a community that is to focus on serving the world forever!
  6. Political systems have no right to impose any religious belief on constituents. However, Christianity and politics dare not be compartmentalized. Political leaders govern according to either the whims of the devil, the world, and our sinful selves, or according to the will of God revealed in the ministry of Jesus the Messiah, humanity’s forgiving Savior and servant Lord. There is no secular realm!
  7. God’s ministry must not be entrusted merely to professional, certified, salaried workers. It must be entrusted to all of God’s people who are to be equipped to understand, teach, live and share it. The most important school for developing discipleship is the Christian home and family circle.
  8. God’s people today need to be aware of the important implications of our creedal faith. In addition to the primary statements of Ecumenical Creeds (Apostles’, Nicene, Athanasian), believers recognize:
    • God as Maker and Owner: There is no such thing as Christian giving—only managing.
    • Jesus as Servant-Messiah: He is to be the model for all that we think, say, and do.
    • The existence of the satanic spirit: We are led by either the Holy Spirit or the satanic spirit.
  9. When God’s people understand the significance of these truths, they will embrace their implications for daily life as tenants (people whose body God made and owns) on God’s property, Planet Earth.