THE TRIUNE GOD
One God has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are co-equal and form one God. God is all-knowing (omniscient), everywhere present (omnipresent), all powerful (omnipotent), holy, good and just. He is the Creator of all that exists.
References: Genesis 1:1,26-27, 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; I Peter 1:2; II Corinthians 13:14
He is the Father of us all, including Jesus. He is the head of the Trinity. He initiates in His relationship within the Trinity. He also provides for and protects His children. The Father is creation’s architect and authored the plan of salvation.
References: Matthew 3:17; John 5:37; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 1:3-6; Hebrews 12:9
Jesus is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. He became a man (without diminishing His deity) by birth to a virgin named Mary. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. Jesus ascended to Heaven’s glory and serves us as our great high priest. He will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
References: Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 9:6, 53:6; John 1:1-5, 8:46, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14-15; I Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 1:3-4, 8:34; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Corinthians 5:21; I Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13; I Peter 5:3
THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift or gifts when they are saved. As Christians we seek to live under his control daily.
References: II Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13; 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 2:12; 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; 5:18; Galatians 5:25
Central to God’s pursuit of humanity is His voluntary revelation of Himself. It is impossible to gain any knowledge of Him apart from His revelation. He reveals Himself in both a general and special way. In a general way God has revealed that He is the all-powerful Creator, and the moral standard. He has done this through nature, His divine guidance in history, and through each person’s conscience. General revelation is limited, yet provides enough information to condemn each of us as a sinner and to establish our guilt before God. The Bible is God’s Word to us. Human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit wrote the original manuscripts. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because God inspires it, it is the truth without any mixture of error. God has faithfully preserved His revelation through trustworthy translations in many languages, guaranteeing that humanity can have unrestricted confidence in the Bible. In this Word from God we see God revealing Himself to specific people at definite times and places giving them the means to have a relationship with Him. This special revelation gives the clear redemptive truth that we need for our salvation. The climax of special revelation is Jesus Christ Himself. He was God who put skin on. Jesus brought the source and content of revelation together. Jesus testified to the authority of the Scripture and perfectly submitted Himself to its authority in His every Word and deed.
References: II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20-21; II Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105, 160; Proverbs 30:5
ABOUT HUMAN BEINGS
The entire human race is created in the image and likeness of God. The first humans, named Adam and Eve, chose to rebel and sin against God. We all have made the same rebellious choice. An attitude and actions that separate us from God corrupt all of us. These cause many problems in life. Each human is totally lost and unable to cure his or her corrupted condition.
References: Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1-2
Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood to cover our sin. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness, can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved. Eternal life begins at the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith. Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” it. The grace and power of God maintains salvation, not the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security. At the same time, scripture warns of those (in rare cases) who became “apostate” and fell away from or denied the faith.
References: Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 14:6; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1; John 10:29; II Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25; 10:10, 14; I Peter 1:3-5; Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26-29
ABOUT FUTURE THINGS
Jesus Christ, in person, is coming back at any moment for all that have a personal relationship with His Father. In the end those who do not have a personal relationship with Christ will be banished from his presence. At the conclusion of the thousand year reign of Christ, Satan will be judged by God to spend eternity in hell. Earth and heaven, as we know it, are destroyed. God brings into existence a new heaven and earth where His followers will live with Him forever.
References: Zechariah 14:4-11; I Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13-18; 5:9; Revelation 19:11-16
Heaven is a real place God has prepared for all that have personally received His son Jesus Christ. All those who die in Christ will be immediately eternally present with Him. Hell is a real place of eternal punishment away from God. This is the destiny of all those who die and have not personally received Jesus as their Savior.
References: John 2:25; 3:16; 5:11-13; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15; Matthew 1:8; 2:44-46
ABOUT ANGELS AND DEMONS
God created two kinds of being to carry out His will, humankind and angels. Angels are spirit beings who are intelligent, moral representatives. Those spirits that served God in holy obedience are referred to in the Bible as angels. They dedicate themselves to carrying out His will, assisting God’s creation and declaring His desire for reconciliation. Those spirit beings that rebelled against their Creator are referred to as evil spirits or demons. They are fallen angels that serve Satan, their supposed prince. Their minds are forever determined to oppose God, goodness, truth, the Kingdom of Christ and the welfare of human beings. Despite their continual persistence to fight the cause of the Kingdom, they can never hope to overcome God. Satan has been defeated and his fate sealed by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
References: Psalms 148:2-5; Matthew 25:41; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:14; Ephesians 6:11; I Peter 5:8; Revelation 4:5
Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God has established the Church. It is a single worshipping community permanently gathered together in God’s presence. However, it appears in the form of local congregations. The Church is designed to gather for worship, for teaching the Word, for prayer, for fellowship between believers, and for meeting the needs of one another. The very heart of the Church’s mission is to make disciples wherever we are going.
References: Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:42-47; Acts 6; Romans 15:8- 16; I Corinthians 14:23-26; Hebrews 10:25; I John 2:6