what we believe
God, the Father is supreme. Interestingly enough, while He is the infinite Maker of all, He is still aware of every man (Jere. 23:24) and, even before the beginning of creation formulated a plan for man’s salvation. (Eph. 1:3-4) Unto Him, Jesus Christ prayed and pledged to do His will (Luke 22:42). Unto the Father, Jesus will return the Kingdom at the end of all things (1 Cor. 15:24).
Christ was also involved in the creation of everything. (John 1:1ff). While He was equal with God (John 1:1, 14, Phil. 2:6), He voluntarily subjected himself to the Father’s authority and came to earth as a man to offer Himself as a redemptive sacrifice for man. He could pay for the sins of man because He Himself had no sin, (1 Pet. 2:22) and did so with His death on the cross. (Rom. 3:23-26; Phil. 2:8) Yet, He not only died, but was also raised from the dead (Matt. 28:1) which gives us hope for our own resurrection! (Cf. 1 Cor. 15). He ascended to the Father and is exalted above all (Phil. 2:5-11). He will come again for His followers someday (John 14:1-4).
The Holy Spirit was sent to the apostles to guide them into all the truth (John 16:7-15) We are told by Peter that “no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Pet. 1:21) Now, the Spirit is a gift received as one is baptized (Acts 2:38). He is a down payment for the inheritance that the Christian will receive in eternity (Eph. 1:13-14). He is an intercessor for the believer aiding in his or her prayers. (Rom. 8:26) Through Him, we are able to address God the Father in the dearest of terms. (Rom. 8:15-16)
The Bible, the very Word of God is to be our standard of authority. Paul said, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:15). If there is training, there must be a standard by which one is to be trained. If there is correction, there must be a standard from which one can deviate. If there is to be teaching, there must be a source of learning. We are blessed with that source given, not through fallible human wisdom, but through God’s inspiration—the Bible. There are two divisions in the Bible—the Old and the New Testament. At this point in human history, the Old Testament leads us to Christ (Romans 15:4; Gal. 3:23-24); but it is the New Testament that declares His will for us. As the will of Jesus was put into effect after His death on the cross (Heb. 9:15-22), it is the New Testament that is the authority and guide for this age which will end with His return and the end of the world. We look to the Word of God in all matters of faith and practice. We have neither the right nor the freedom to add to take away from that Word, but rather we must adhere to its truths (Rev. 22:18-19).
Humankind was placed in a perfect environment, the Garden of Eden (Gen. 1:1-2:15). There both the man and woman exercised the freedom of choice given by God to disobey the Lord’s specific command. (Gen. 2:16-3:1ff) As a result of their sin, they had to leave the perfect garden (Gen. 3:23) and the perfect world was corrupted (Gen. 3:17-18).
Sin is the breaking of God’s law (1 Jn 3:4). It is a very serious matter for sin separates us from God. (Isa. 59:1-2) While sin entered into the world through Adam and Eve’s sin, each person is only accountable for his or her own sins. (Ezekiel 18:20; 2 Cor. 5:10). All sin and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:10, 23).
Redemption is the price that Jesus paid for our sins. His blood, His death, was given for us while we were still sinners (Rom. 5:6-8). (See section designated “Christ” for more on how He paid this price for us.) It is this action–the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ–that makes up the heart of the Gospel story in which we find salvation. (Rom. 15:1ff; Rom. 1:16) God has gone to a great extreme to save mankind from sin! He loves us enough to give His only Son for us (John 3:16)!
Response is required of mankind. While God wants all men everywhere to repent and come to Him (Acts 17:30); He expects us to accept that offer of salvation and His grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-10). Faith comes from hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). If acted upon correctly faith will, through godly sorrow, lead one to repent (2 Cor. 7:10). One will allow Jesus to be Lord of his or her life and will also confess that truth. (Rom. 10:9-10). The believer will then be immersed in water for the forgiveness of his or her sins as we find the crowd of 3,000 doing (Acts 2:37-41). Baptism places one into a new relationship “in Christ” (Romans 6:3) as one goes through a death to self and sin, a burial, and then rises to walk “in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). One then continues faithfully, showing the Christian life in action (James 2:14-26), “even unto death” (Rev. 2:10).
The Church is not a mere building, but rather all Christians (Acts 8:1, 9:1). It will exist wherever men and women go to God through Jesus as they read and obey the Word. The church is not to be taken lightly or neglected. It is important to Jesus for He founded the church (Matt. 16:18). It is so important that it is considered the body of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23) and His bride, for whom He shed His blood and gave His life (Acts 20:28, Eph. 5:22-32). Paul described the church as “the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.” Understanding the importance of the church, one then will assemble with fellow Christians to praise God and to encourage others (Heb. 10:24-25).
The priesthood of believers means that every Christian is part of the “holy” and “royal priesthood” (1 Pet. 2:5, 9) and can pray to God directly through Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5). Every Christian, male and female, young and old, experienced and inexperienced is equal in standing in the sight of God (Gal. 3:26-28). Equality, however, does not mean that all the roles in the church are the same. To grasp the fact that equality can exist where roles are different, one only has to think of the Godhead. The Father, Son, and Spirit are all equal in standing, yet perform different functions and roles. In the same sense, while each and every soul is of equal importance to God, there are still different roles for women and men in the church. This is not a question of superiority, but of God’s decision—a decision based on events that occurred in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:1ff; 1 Tim. 2:9-14). So it is that males and females have different roles when it comes to teaching (1 Tim. 2:9ff) and the eldership (1 Tim. 3:1-2), for example. Even so, everyone is part of the “one body in Christ” (1 Cor. 12:13) and each part is of that body is of vital importance (1 Cor. 12:14ff).
Service and Missions are important as Christians are told to “do good to all men, especially the household of believers” (Gal. 6:10) and to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15). God wants all men everywhere to be saved because there is coming a day of judgment (Acts 17:30-31).
Eternity is never-ending and is placed within our hearts by God (Eccl. 3:11). We will either spend that eternity in bliss or punishment (Matt. 25:45). Therefore, we must prepare ourselves to meet Him, for no one knows “the day nor the hour” when that will occur (Matt. 24:26).
Obviously, He wants to include you in that number of saved. May God’s blessings be yours…and May you be always His!