1) Understanding the necessity and sufficiency of the cross, both for our initial salvation (justification) as well as our ongoing growth in Christ (sanctification).
While most Christians affirm the necessity of grace for initial salvation, many times they view the Christian life as if God's favor is based on good works. This fails to understand the reach and totality of Christ's blood and righteousness. ("His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness." 2 Peter 1:3)
2) Looking at life in all its elements through the big lens of God's grace and sovereignty, instead of through the small lens of our circumstances and feelings.
This means that in the deepest place in my soul, I choose to believe that God is at work in my circumstances, whether it feels like He is or not (or whether I like the circumstances or not). This is the truest application of the Christian "walking by faith." It is that stabilizing, ongoing trust that God's favor is toward me, and that no circumstance of my life is outside His divine control and eternal purpose as His beloved child. (". . . for we walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7)
3) Recognizing that the old sin nature remains within us after salvation, and knowing how to effectively address its effects.
There is a teaching by some today that says when I trust Christ, my old sin nature (also called the "old man" or the "flesh") is taken away. We believe Scripture teaches that the old nature remains within us, but is rendered powerless to control our lives unless we yield to its temptations. We believe that while we are secure in Christ, we must continually "walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16).
4) Acknowledging that simply modifying our behavior is not adequate to accomplish genuine maturity in Christ; it's primarily a matter of the heart.
Sometimes Christians believe that if we can just get the formula right, we will experience spiritual growth and the resulting blessings. The more Christ-like I become (because of the good Christian things I do), the fewer difficulties I will experience. If I can just do more for God, and do it better and better, He will smile on me and reward me with a smooth and happy journey. So I tend to address the externals and overlook my hidden life, the condition of my heart. It is my heart condition that is of first importance. The cry of King David was "create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10)
5) Making the nature and character of God our focus and touchstone.
This is that settled belief that God always acts consistent with His nature and character. And these attributes are always consistent with His Word (the Bible). He does no evil, nor can He. He is perfect in holiness and truth. I am to align myself with Him, not seek to align Him with me! We discover God's nature and character in Scripture, we see it evidenced in creation, and it can be observed in the life of Christ on earth. (Genesis 18:25; Romans 1:20; John 14:9; Peter 1:16, Psalm 119: 128, 142, 151,160)