More on Beliefs

 

The Bible The 66 “books” which have been canonized into today’s bible are the authoritative Word of God. Their original manuscripts are free from errors and contradictions. This bound volume is the one and only infallible, authoritative, and trustworthy rule for faith and life (2 Pet 1:21; 2 Tim 3:16). While other writings can provide valuable and historically reliable information, they are not authoritative in the same sense as is God’s Word as revealed to us in the Holy Bible.
Trinity There is one God in whom there are three eternal, distinct, simultaneous persons — the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. All three are one God in essence — coeternal and coequal. Together, these are only one God – not three gods. (Isaiah 44:6,8; 45:5; Gen. 1:26-27; 3:22; Matt. 3:17; 28:19; Luke 10:35; 2 Cor. 13:14).
Jesus Jesus is the prophesied Christ and the Word (God) who became a man in order that He might become a sufficient sacrifice to make an atonement for the sins of those who would receive Him by faith. He added human nature to His divine nature. He is both human and divine, and, therefore, has two natures. (Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 2:9; 1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 1:5-13; John 1:1-3,14). Jesus will eternally remain as a man and intercedes for us eternally as a high priest after the order of Melchezedek (Heb. 6:20; 7:25).
Sin and Man’s Fallenness All of mankind is fallen and corrupt. Man is able to believe in God by God’s grace through faith (John 6:28-29; 15:5; Phil. 1:29), and is unable to come close to God through his own efforts (John 6:44;Rom. 3:10-12). He is not born again of his own will (John 1:13). He can not understand the spiritual things of God on his own (1 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 8:7). He can not earn salvation by his attempt at good works (Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 4:1-6). Once saved, he does not maintain his salvation by his works (Gal. 3:1-3). Eternal punishment in hell and separation from the blessed presence of God are the consequences of the unregenerate person who has not established faith in the redemptive sacrificial work of Christ on the cross (Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 6:23).
Substitutionary Atonement of Jesus Christ God the Father so loved us that He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. Jesus, the Word, became man, bore our sins in His body on the cross (1 Peter. 2:24). He died in our place, suffering the consequences of the breaking the Law (1 John 3:4), which is both physical death (Rom. 6:23) and spiritual death (Isa. 59:2), that was due to us (Isaiah 53:4-6). Jesus Christ became sin on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21). His sacrifice was a legal substitution for us (1 John 2:2; John 19:30; 1 Pet. 2:24). It was legal since sin is breaking God’s Law (1 John 3:4) and substitutionary since Christ took our punishment (Isaiah 53:4-6) and tasted death for everyone (Heb. 2:9).  As a result, God’s justice was satisfied and the debt that sin brings against believers has been paid (Col. 2:14). Because of this, those who put their faith in Jesus Christ are released from eternal punishment (1 Pet. 3:18; Matt. 1:21; 25:46; Rom. 5; 1 John 2:2).
Crucifixion Following a false charge by the chief priests and a betrayal by Judas Iscariot, Jesus Christ died as a result of crucifixion, by order of Pontius Pilate (Mat 26-27). Jesus submitted willingly to the cross as an act of obedience and love – a sacrifice for Sin.
Resurrection Jesus Christ rose from the dead after being in the grave for three days. He was raised in a glorified, physical body, yet still retaining his crucifixion wounds. He ascended bodily into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and rules heaven and earth. (John 2:19; 1 Cor 15:1-58; Luke 24:39). Likewise, those who receive Jesus Christ by faith will be raised bodily from the dead and live eternally with the Lord.
Baptism Baptism is an act of obedience for believers who profess faith in Jesus Christ and in fact signifies a person’s identification with Christ, his death, and his resurrection. Baptism is an outward manifestation of an inward reality of trust in the sacrifice for Christ, of conversion, and of identification with Christ. The act of water baptism does not save anyone. We are made right before God by faith alone, not by faith with baptism (Rom. 3:28-30; 4:3,5; 5:1; Gal. 2:16, 21; Phil. 3:9; see alsoActs 10:44-48).
Salvation Salvation is a result of Christ’s atoning work on the cross; we are saved from the righteous judgment of God. Salvation is obtained by grace alone, through faith alone, in the work of Christ alone (John 3:16) and has nothing to do with our merit or works (Rom. 3:20; Eph. 2:8-9).
Justification by Grace through Faith Alone Those who are in Christ are made legally righteous by God. This justification is received by faith alone without any ceremony/baptism (Luke 23:32-43)(Rom. 4:1-6), in the work of Christ fulfilling the Law in his earthly ministry (1 Pet. 2:22), and his removing of sin by his sacrifice. Justification is a gift from God (Rom. 3:24) and is received apart from the works of the Law (Rom. 3:28; Gal. 2:21).
Regeneration Regeneration is the work of God that occurs with faith. This is the process by which a person is made a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), is able to resist temptation, avoid sin, and increase in sanctification before the Lord. Those regenerated do not seek to abide in sin. Though still sinners, they war against sin and the flesh and repent of sin before the Lord.
Sanctification Sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit makes us more like Christ in all that we do, think, and desire, and increases our ability to repent from sin — by God’s grace, (1 Thess. 4:7; Eph. 2:10; 1 Tim. 4:4; 1 Peter. 3:15; 2 Tim. 2:25). It is an ongoing process; the result of salvation, not a cause of it nor a contributing factor to it.
Christian Church God calls Christians to his Church where the Word of God is preached, where baptism and the Lord’s Supper (communion) are administered, where believers are discipled, and where believers serve to build up one another (Matt. 16:18). There is no one true earthly ecclesiastical body that is ‘the true church.’ Rather, the true Church consists of all true believers regardless of other affiliations.
Church Leadership God calls qualified Christians to be appointed and to serve the Church in special capacities such as elders, pastors, teachers, and evangelists. The offices of pastor and elder are limited to qualified individuals who are called by God, recognized by the body, and who meet the biblical standard (1Tim 3:1-7)(Titus 1:5-9). These functions are to be carried out with humility. While elders are responsible for oversight of the church, they are not appointed with authority to direct the personal affairs of (or impose any obligation to) individual believers. Elders and other leaders in the church are accountable to one another and ultimately to God.
Christ’s Second Coming Jesus Christ will bodily and visibly return from heaven to earth with great glory and majesty.
Spiritual Realm While often overlooked, there is a spiritual realm of angels and demons. Angels serve God and carry out his will. Demons are fallen angels (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6) who war against God and who will ultimately face eternal punishment (Matt. 25:41; 2 Per. 2:4). Whether recognized or not, spiritual warfare is normative in the life of a Christian.
Eternal Judgement All who are not justified by faith in Christ and by the blood of Christ will face eternal judgment away from the presence of God (Matt 8:12; Luke 16:19-31; Rev 20:14-15; Rev 21:8)
Bearing Witness However possible, those who bear the name of Jesus Christ are to live at peace with all men, suffering wrongs, false accusations, and misrepresentations with charity. However, they are free to defend themselves (Luke 22:36) and promote truth by correcting false teaching and refuting error (2 Tim 2:25; 1 Pet 3:15).  They are to live in the world as ambassadors to Christ – examples of godly character. They are called and empowered to be holy – set apart to not participate in sinful passions of the world, but to demonstrate Christ’s love to a fallen world.