WHAT We Believe
From the very beginning God wanted to communicate His thoughts and love to people. God talked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Then He spoke through dreams, visions, and prophets in Old Testament times and had prophets write His words. Even the design of creation shows people His power and wisdom. Then Jesus Christ came into the world as God’s best communication. John 1:1 even calls Him the Word. God continued the process of having His words written by His servants. The written Word of God is called “Scripture” or “The Bible.” It miraculously and perfectly tells God’s thoughts and love to get people to respond to Him.
Scriptures: Gen. 1:26-28; Gen. 2:18; 3:8-9; Psalm 19:1-4; John 1:1-14; John 5:39; John 14: 9; John 16:12-13; Acts 17:28-29; Rom. 1:18-19; Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 2:13; 1 Cor. 10:11; 1 Thes. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 1:1-3; Heb. 11:3
God is the one supremely great and powerful Being. His might has no limit and cannot even be measured. He is able to do whatever He wants, being completely in charge. He is an invisible, living, personal Spirit, not just an impersonal “force.” Since He always was, there never was a time when He did not exist. God is perfectly faithful, true, just, and holy. He is love. He never changes and is present everywhere. God is perfectly wise and always knows all, past, present, and future. He perfectly designed, planned, and created all, especially the human race in His own image. The Bible speaks of the one God as three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all functioning harmoniously in love. God the Father lovingly cares for people and gave His only Son for us. God the Father, God the Son and God theHoly Spirit work toward completion of plans for the good of people who respond to Him.
Scriptures: Deut. 6:4; Psalm 90:2; Acts 17: 24-28; John 5:26; Rom. 11:33-36; 1 Tim.6:16; John 1:18; Isa. 42:8, 44:6’; Psalm 94:9-10; Psalm 147:11; Eph. 1:9-12; 2 Tim. 2:13;
1 Tim. 1:17; John 1:1-3; Heb. 11:3; Psalm 33:6; Rom. 1:20; Rev. 4:8,11; Hebrews 1:2,10; Col. 1:16-17; 2 Peter 3:5
God the Son
Jesus Christ is God and has always existed. The One True God is in three Person, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus carried out God’s plans to create the universe, including the world and people. He reveals the Father. Often in the Old Testament, He was called “The Angel of the Lord.” In God’s timing, Jesus became a human baby in His mother, Mary. He never stopped being God when He became human. He was born and grew up normally, but never sinned. God fulfilled His promise to send Israel their King (Messiah). At about age thirty, He left home and began teaching and helping people, proving by great miracles that He was God in the flesh. Jewish leaders refused to accept Jesus as their King. Instead they wanted Him killed. In His death He fulfilled God’s plan by taking the punishment for all of our sin! People can have forgiveness and eternal life because he died for us! He permanently rose from the dead and returned to leave, where He is getting ready for His people to be with Him forever.
Scripture: Matt. 1: 20:-21,8:23-27, 9:4-6, 11:27, 14:3316:15-16, 28:18; John 5:22, 11:38-44, 6:64, 67-69, 8:58, 14:9-10, 17:5, 24, 1:1-4, 9-18, 3:13-19; Col. 1:13-22; 2 Cor. 5:21; Rev.3:7; Acts 4:27-30; Isaiah 7:14, Rom. 1:3-4, 9:5; 1 Cor. 1:9, 2:8; Phil 2:5-11; 1 Tim. 3:16, 6:15-16; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:1-13, 4:14-16, 9:12-15, 10:10
God the Holy Spirit
The One True God has always existed as three Persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God the Holy Spirit was involved in the creation of the world. He worked in the hearts and minds of people to write the Bible, the true word of God. The Holy Spirit caused Jesus to be born of the Virgin Mary. As He works on people’s lives, He helps us know about our sin and of the need to be saved. He gives spiritual life to every believer (this is called regeneration) and makes each one a permanent member of the church. He also lives in every believer permanently to guide, to help in understanding God’s truth, and to produce Christian character in our lives. When Christians sin, we make the Holy Spirit sad; but then He goes to work to help us realize how wrong we are so that we will confess our sin to God. In fact, God wants us to let the Holy Spirit control our lives. The Holy Spirit prays for us and helps us worship God the Father and God the Son without calling as much attention to Himself.
Scripture: 1 Cor. 2:10-13, 12:7-13, 2:4, 6:11; Eph 1:13, 4:30, 5:16-25; Acts 16:6-10, 8:39, 10:19-20, 10:38, 7:51, 15:28; Rom. 8:26-27, 5:5, 8:9-14; Matt. 12:31, 28:19; Heb. 10:29; Is. 40:12-14; Ps. 139:7, 104:30, 33:6; 1 Peter 3:18; 2 Peter 1:21, Gen. 1:2, Dan. 5:11-14, 6:3; Micah 3:8; 1 John 2:27
From the dirt that God had already created God formed the first human, the man Adam, as he had planned, even saying that He would create man in His own image. God brought Adam’s body to life by breathing His own breath into him, giving him a spirit. God had not done this with any other creatures. Then, using a rib from Adam’s side, God made the first woman, Eve, so that they could be intimate companions, husband and wife. He gave them a perfect place to live, the Garden of Eden, where He put them in charge. They could help themselves to all the fruit they wanted, except not from one particular tree. Satan, wanting to upset the happy relationship between God and the first human pair, talked Eve into eating some of the fruit that God had put off limits. She liked it and gave some to her husband. This first disobedience made them and all the children after them sinners and brought death into the human race as punishment for sin. God put them out of the Garden of Eden. Their happy fellowship with God was broken; Sin and death spoiled the planet. No human effort could undo the damage
Scripture: Ps. 8:3-6; Gen. 1:26-31; Gen. 2:7, 15; Gen. 3:6-8; Gen. 5:1-2, 7:22; Heb. 2:8-9; Eph. 1:12; Eph. 3:10-12; Ps. 139:13-16; Matt. 6:25-34; Matt. 7:13, 10:28, Matt. 12:33-35; Matt. 16:26, 18:8; Matt. 19:29, 25:46; Matt. 26:41; Luke 9:25, 12:15; Luke 16:9, 18:30; Luke 24:39; James 2:26; James 3:2-6, 3:9; Ezek. 18:4, 20; Rom. 3:23, 6:12-13; Job 12:10; Deut. 34:9; 1 Cor. 2:11; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; Num. 14:24; 2 Cor. 4:7-11; 2 Cor. 4:16-18; 2 Cor. 5:1,4; Rom. 2:14-15, 7:18; Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Tim. 4:2; Acts 24:16
“Whatever weakens your reasoning, impairs the tenderness of your conscious, obscures your sense of God or takes away your relish for spiritual things, in short if anything increases the authority and power of the flesh over the spirit that to you becomes sin however good it is in itself.” –Susanna Wesley
Sin is willfully rejecting the goal God wants for our lives. Adam disobeyed God’s command about eating fruit from a particular tree. They missed God’s best for them and brought God’s punishment on themselves and all their descendants. All humans since then are born with sinful flesh. God hates sin, and because man is sinful we deserve His wrath and eternal punishment. Instead God made a way for us to escape His wrath by sending His Son to die in our place and take upon Himself our sin. Jesus became sin for all who believe in Him alone.
Scripture: Prov. 8:36; Isaiah 1:2; 1 Sam. 3:13; Num. 15:30-31; Ezek. 18:23; Ps. 51:4-5; Hab. 1:13; Matt. 5:27-28, 15:19-20, 23:25; Luke 12:47; John 1:29, 8:44; Rom. 1:21-32, 3:9-18, 23, 5:12-14, 6:20, 23,
7:20, 8:7; 2 Cor. 4:4, 5:19; Gal. 5:24; Eph. 1:7, 2:1-3, 4:17-19; 1 Peter 2:24; Rev. 20:11-15
When God created the first humans, he gave them responsibility to believe and obey Him. When they chose to disobey, they and all their descendants became sinners under God’s Judgment. God is so perfectly holy that He cannot have any sinners in His heaven. Yet He wanted people to be with Him forever. So, God spoke of the plan He had in mind even before creation, that His own Son would come as the “Seed of the woman” and would win the great battle with Satan (Gen 3:15). The Lord Jesus, God the Son, came to fulfill that plan by His death on the cross. Because he was completely perfect, He could take the punishment for all people’s sins by dying in their place. God showed that He was fully satisfied with the Jesus did on the cross by raising Him from the dead. God wants to give the benefit of Jesus’ finished work to anyone who will believe Him and accept His gift. In this way, a person can have his sins forgiven and enjoy peace with God. God’s gift includes eternal life when a person believes and accepts. Ultimately, all such believers will enjoy heaven forever!
Scripture: Mark 10:45; Matt. 20:28,1:21, 18:11; 1 Tim. 1:15, 2:5-6; Acts 17:2-3, 20:28, 10:43, 13:39; Gal. 3:13, 6:144:4-5,2:16, 20; Heb. 2:14, 7:26-27, 9:11-14, 25-26, Titus 2:13-14; John 1:12, 3:16, 10:11, 15, 17, 18, 11:49-52, 14:66:29, 51, 20:31, 1:12, 29, 36; 2 Cor. 5:14-15; Rom. 5:8-17, 3:25, 8:2-4, 3:21-22, 28, 4:5, 5:1-2, 1:16, 10:9-13; Eph. 2:13-16, 1:7
The Church is a group of believers coming together for teaching, evangelism, prayer, fellowship, ordinances (baptism, and communion), and corporate reproduction. God wants Christians to meet to worship Him, to teach the truths of the Bible, to grow in fellowship as individual members help each other, to pray together, and to tell others about Christ. The fact that Christians are placed by God the Holy Spirit into the church, the body of Christ, means that we are joined together permanently into a brotherhood of worship, of love, of care for one another, of service to the glory of God, of mutual teaching and encouragement, and of outreach. God has designed for us to have a concrete experience of this glorious reality by meeting with others in our area as a local church where spiritual gifts can function and flourish. The leaders are known as Pastors and Deacons. Sometimes the Bible refers to the church as the body of Christ and sometimes as the bride of Christ. One day Christ will come to take the church to be with Himself forever.
Scripture: Acts 2:42-47, 15:13-18, 8:3-4, 11:22-26, 5:11, 9:31; Heb. 2:11-12, 10:26-33; Eph. 2:15-22, 5:22-32, 1:22-23,5:18-20; Rom 12:5, 16:3, 5; 1 Cor. 12:12-28, 3:9-17, 1:10, 16:2, 5:3-5, 6:1-5, 2 Cor. 2:5-8, 8:1-12, 11:2; 1 Pet. 2:5, 9, 5:1-4; Philemon 1-2; 2 Thes. 1:4; 1 Thes. 4:16-18; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Tim. 3:1-15; James 5:14, Jude 4, 8, 10, 16-19
God’s great plans for the history of mankind allowed for sin. Yet He also showed the highest form of love by sending His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to overcome it. God is allowing Satan’s sinful schemes to grow very ugly. God wants Christians to experience the joy of Christ’s victory in spite of wickedness all around. At His appointed time, Christ will take all Christians, dead and alive, to be with Him. Then for seven years sin will reach its worst on earth, and God will pour out His wrath. One person will become the world ruler and insist that everyone worship him. Most people will cooperate, but a few will stand up for God’s truth. Finally, at the end of those seven years, Christ will return with His church to put down sin and rebellion. Christ Himself will become the true and good world ruler in His 1,000 year reign called the Millennium. At its end, the Lord will bring all sinners back to life to stand before His final judgment. Each sinner individually will hear from Christ, Depart from me; I never knew you and will go to the Lake of Fire for eternal
punishment. All the Lord’s own believers will enjoy Him
forever in heaven.
Scripture: Ps. 50:1-5, 96:10-13, 110; Isa. 9:6-7, 11:10-12; Jer. 23:5-6; Ezek. 37:21-22; Dan 7:13-14; Hosea 3:4-5; Zech. 2:10-12, 6:12-13, 12:10, 14:1, 3 4; Acts 3:19-21, 1:11; Rom. 11:25-27; 1 Cor. 4:5, 11:26; 1 Thes. 2:19-20, 3:13, 6:14-15, 1:9-10, 5:1-9, 23; Heb. 10:37; Rev. 1:3, 7, 2:25-26, 22:7, 12, 20, 16:15, 3:10-11, 7:9-17, 19:11-21, 20:1-15, 21:1-4, 22-27
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the two ordinances given to the church by Jesus Christ. Baptism is an outward expression of and inward decision. It is our first evangelism expression to the world that Jesus Christ has saved us. It symbolizes the death burial and resurrection. The greek word baptizo means “to immerse or dip under water.” Once someone has accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior they are to follow Christ example as an expression and an act of obedience.
The Lord’s Supper is an object lesson that represents a great spiritual truth for believers. The bread represents the body that was broken, and the cup represents the blood that was shed for our sins. The Lords Supper is a simple act, it’s a reminder, it’s a symbol, and it’s a statement of faith. The Lords Supper is a reminder for believers to remember the cost of their salvation. Before we take the Lords Supper we must prepare ourselves by self- examination, confession of sin, recommitment, and restoring relationships so that we are not taking it in an unworthy manner.
1 Cor. 15:3-4, Col. 2:12, 2 Cor. 5:17, Rom. 6:4, Eph. 2:8-9, Matt. 3:16, Acts 8:38-39, Acts 2:41, Acts 8:13, Acts 8:12, Acts 8:35-38, 1Cor. 11:23-26, Mark 14:22-26, 1 Cor. 11:29, 1 Cor. 11:27-28, 1 John 1:9, Rom. 12:1, Matt. 5:23-24
The Lords Day
The first day of the week is the Lord's Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should include exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. Activities on the Lord's Day should be commensurate with the Christian's conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Exodus 20:8-11; Matthew 12:1-12; 28:1ff.; Mark 2:27-28; 16:1-7; Luke 24:1-3,33-36; John 4:21-24; 20:1,19-28; Acts 20:7; Romans 14:5-10; I Corinthians 16:1-2; Colossians 2:16; 3:16; Revelation 1:10.
The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King. Particularly the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ. Christians ought to pray and to labor that the Kingdom may come and God's will be done on earth. The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and the end of this age.
Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Matthew 3:2; 4:8-10,23; 12:25-28; 13:1-52; 25:31-46; 26:29; Mark 1:14-15; 9:1; Luke 4:43; 8:1; 9:2; 12:31-32; 17:20-21; 23:42; John 3:3; 18:36; Acts 1:6-7; 17:22-31; Romans 5:17; 8:19; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 11:10,16; 12:28; 1 Peter 2:4-10; 4:13; Revelation 1:6,9; 5:10; 11:15; 21-22.
Evangelism and Missions
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The new birth of man's spirit by God's Holy Spirit means the birth of love for others. Missionary effort on the part of all rests thus upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life, and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the preaching of the gospel to all nations.
It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the
gospel of Christ.
Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-6; Isaiah 6:1-8; Matthew 9:37-38; 10:5-15; 13:18-30, 37-43; 16:19; 22:9-10; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 10:1-18; 24:46-53; John 14:11-12; 15:7-8,16; 17:15; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2; 8:26-40; 10:42-48; 13:2-3; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 3:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; 2 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 2:1-3; 11:39-12:2; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Revelation 22:17.