The Bible \ God \ Humanity \ Sin \ Salvation \ Sanctification
The Church \ Marriage \ Baptism \ Communion \ Return of Christ
The Bible is God’s revelation to man. It is comprised of 66 books between the Old and New Testaments and had 40 different human authors contribute to it over the course of 1500 years. The Bible’s unity is due to the fact that, ultimately, it has one Author—God Himself. The Bible is “God-breathed” (II Timothy 3:16). The human authors penned the exact words God intended.
We believe in one God, the God of the Bible, eternally existing as one essence and three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, each of whom is fully God, yet there is one God. God alone is a self-existent being and the first cause of everything else that exists. John 5:26 simply says, “The Father has life in Himself.” Paul preached, “He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breathe and everything else” (Acts 17:25). God is a triune God. We believe in God the Father, the Creator of heaven and earth. We believe in the Son, God from God, eternally begotten but not made, who in history assumed to Himself a human nature for the sake of our salvation (John 1:14; Heb. 1:3). He is fully God and fully man. Through Him, all things came into being and were created. He was before all things, and in Him, all things hold together by the word of His power (Col.1:15-20). He suffered, died, was buried, resurrected, ascended, and sits at the right hand of the Father until He returns for the final judgment and consummation of the Kingdom. We believe in the Holy Spirit who eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son and is sent by the Father and Son to give new life (John 15:26-27). The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth and dwells within the regenerate (Eph. 1:13-14). The Holy Spirit has come to glorify the Son who, in turn, came to glorify the Father. The Spirit will lead the Church into a right understanding and rich application of the truth of God’s Word. He is to be respected, honored and worshiped as God, the third person of the Trinity.
Mankind was made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). God made humans as male and female, and we honor the distinction between men and women as something that is sacred and intentional. Distinction in roles does not equate to distinction in value. We are not divine, but we reflect divinity. Like God has a mind, emotions, and volition, we, as image-bearers, have intellect, emotions, and a will. We possess creativity, invention, fabrication, synthesis, music, and creation of all types of artwork. We possess the gift of language, relating coherent thoughts from one self-aware mind to another, learning thousands of words and coining new words when we need them. However, the worship of the humanities instead of God will always leads individuals away from God and towards sin. Any decision to change, alter, or modify God’s will in sex or gender is a part of man’s brokenness and leads to despair.
Sin is described in the Bible as a transgression of the law of God (1 John 3:4) and rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7; Joshua 1:18). Sin is a desiring to be god and a complete act of rebellion, and the very desire of the first sin seen in Genesis 3. Sin entered the world through one man (Romans 5:12) and therefore sin passed to all people (Romans 3:23) and because of sin, death entered the world (Romans 6:23). The Bible affirms that all humans are sinful, and need the transformative power of God, through the redemptive sacrifice of His Son, to be released from the prison of sin (Romans 3:23-26).
Salvation is the moment of adoption out of the sinful life that we were once held captive in that lead to death and being brought into the Kingdom of God to experience eternal life. Salvation is not based on the merit of man, but a complete work of God on our behalf (John 3:16, Colossians 1:12-14, Ephesians 1:3-5).
Sanctification is the process by which God guides us towards holiness (Philippians 1:6, I Peter 1:15, Hebrews 12:14). It is an ongoing work that will not be completed until we meet God.
The word “church” is a translation of the Greek word ekklesia, which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones.” The Church is a people - not a building. Paul said in Romans 16:5, “Greet the church that is in their house”. The people that make up the “the Church” are anyone, from any point in time of history/present/future that have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 12:13). The local church is where believers can fully apply the “body” principles of 1 Corinthians 12: encouraging, teaching, and building one another up in the knowledge and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Marriage is designed by God and declared to be a good gift, a reflection of the love and respect between Christ and the Church. As God created man and woman, the woman was shortly later declared to be the man’s wife by the blessing of God (Genesis 2:25). The author of Genesis then records the standard by which all future marriages are defined: “A man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). While the world is attempting to provide their own definitions for what they call “marriage,” the Bible still stands. The clear definition of marriage is the covenantal, intimate union of one man and one woman for life. Any other intimate union would be outside of God’s design and would be considered a perversion of what is holy. God’s covenant design for marriage is broken by abuse and disloyalty, and He mandated the liberty of divorce for dangerous situations, out of compassion for the abused, not for the license of emotionality.
Baptism is an ordinance commanded by Jesus to His followers (Matthew 28:19-20). When we are saved, we are “washed clean” by the Spirit and enter into the Body of Christ, which is the church. I Corinthians 12:13 says, “We were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink”. Baptism by water is a public reenactment of the baptism by the Spirit. Baptism is identifying as a member of the Christian community called the Church.
Communion is also an ordinance that is commanded in scripture. During the Last Supper—a Passover celebration—Jesus took a loaf of bread and gave thanks to God. As He broke it and gave it to His disciples, He said, “‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you’” (Luke 22:19-21). The Lord’s Supper/Christian Communion is a remembrance of what Christ did for us and a celebration of what we receive as a result of His sacrifice.
Return of Christ
After Jesus ascended into heaven, the angels declared to the apostles, “‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven’” (Acts 1:11). Zechariah 14:4 identifies the location of the second coming as the Mount of Olives. Matthew 24:30 declares, “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.” Titus 2:13 describes the second coming as a “glorious appearing.” We do not know the date or time of his reappearing, but we know it will happen. Our lives must be lived in preparation of his return, by using the time we have been given to spread the Truth and make disciples of all people.