God is one divine Being in three eternal,co-essential, yet distinct Persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is the one true God, eternal, immutable, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent. He is Creator of heaven and earth, Sustainer of the universe, and only Source of human salvation. Though transcendent, God has a direct and personal relationship with human beings. God has revealed Himself as love, infinitely good and perfectly just.
1 Timothy 1:17;
1 John 4:8;
2 Corinthians 13:14;
1 Corinthians 8:6)
Jesus is the Word, by whom and for whom God created all things. As God manifest in the flesh for our salvation, He was begotten of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, fully God and fully human, two natures in one Person. Jesus is the Son of God and Lord of all, worthy of worship, honor and reverence. Every believer is to live under the lordship of Jesus Christ, who is risen from the dead and is alive in our midst, demonstrating his living presence as he accomplishes his mighty works through his people today as he himself did when he walked on the earth. As the prophesied Savior of humanity, He died for our sins, was raised bodily from the dead, and ascended to heaven, from where He mediates between humanity and God. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.
1 Timothy 3:16;
1 Corinthians 15:3-4;
1 Corinthians 1:4-9
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead, is the Comforter promised by Jesus Christ, sent from God to the Church. The Holy Spirit lives in us, transforming us through repentance, sanctification, and continual renewal. The Holy Spirit is the Source of inspiration and prophecy throughout the Scriptures, the Source of unity and communion in the Church, the Provider of gifts for salvation and for the work of the gospel, and the Christian's constant Guide into all truth. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit and his gifts continue as God's empowerment to his people until Jesus returns. The Holy Spirit not only works to bring us to faith in Christ, but also preserves us in the faith, gives the office of the ministry, and empowers and guides his people through a variety of ways, at his initiative and disposal, including gifts of the Spirit for mission and ministry.
1 Peter 1:2;
2 Peter 1:21;
1 Corinthians 12:13;
2 Corinthians 13:14;
1 Corinthians 12:8-11;
1 Corinthians 1:5-7;
1 Corinthians 12:1-11, 18, 28;
The Sovereignty of God
God is absolute sovereign in creation, revelation, redemption, and final judgment. He has absolute and exclusive right to exercise authority in the universe. He holds this prerogative because of the perfections of His character and because of His position as Creator and Sovereign of the universe. As Creator, His dominion is perfect and His decrees are final. Because of his authority as Sovereign, He is to be obeyed.
(1 Samuel 2:6-8;
I Chronicles 29:11-12;
Understanding The Trinity
I had a telephone call recently that inspired me to provide more informaiton on this subject.
Trinity: The Christian View of God.
The Holy Scriptures (The Bible)
The Holy Scriptures comprise the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments. They are the inspired Word of God, absolutely inerrant in the original documents, the foundation of truth, and the accurate record of God's revelation to humanity. The Holy Scriptures constitute ultimate authority in all matters of doctrine, and embody the infallible principles that govern all facets of Christian living and the source and norm for all matters of faith and life, not only in the sense that they speak truly of events that God did in the past, but also as the dynamic power which accomplishes what God does in our lives and in the Church today.
(2 Timothy 3:15-17;
2 Peter 1:20-21;
1 Thes. 2:13)
Humanity was made mortal, male and female, in the image of God, and endowed with mental and spiritual faculties. God formed the first man, Adam, of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. He formed the first woman, Eve, from Adam's own body. They were given dominion over all the earth and the freedom to choose whether to obey their Creator. Because they chose sin, they and their descendants became alienated from God and can be reconciled only by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ and his saving work. The destiny of the saints is to inherit eternal life in glory through Jesus Christ in the kingdom of God.
1 Peter 1:3-9;
Sin is lawlessness, that is, a state or condition of rebellion against God. From the time sin entered the human race through Adam and Eve, humanity has been under its yoke -- a yoke that can only be removed by God's grace through Jesus Christ. The sinful condition of humanity is manifested in the tendency to consistently choose self and self-interests over God and God's will. Sin causes alienation from God, and suffering and death. Since all humans are sinners, all humans need the salvation God offers through his Son.
(1 John 3:4;
1 John 5:17;
I affirm the doctrine of justification by grace through faith as the central teaching of Christianity. Justification is through the work of Christ alone, a free gift of God wholly apart from any merit in man. By it man is declared righteous and given eternal life. Salvation is deliverance from the bondage of sin and death, and the restoration of human fellowship with God. It is the gift of God, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not earned by personal merit or good works. God gives salvation, not only for the present life, but for eternity, to all who truly accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is possible to know and be confident of one's salvation through the testimony of God's Word.
1 Corinthians 1:4-8;
1 Peter 1:4-5;
Grace is the free, unmerited favor God bestows on a sinner who repents. In its broadest sense, grace is expressed in every act of God's self-disclosure and intervention in human history. By grace, a person comes to know God and Jesus Christ, is justified, and is saved.
Grace is God working in us to empower us to know His will and accomplish His purposes in our life. Grace is not to be understood as the opposite of law or as condoning lawlessness, but the empowering of God to live according to His plan and pattern. This empowering is underserved and is given freely. Without this gift of grace man can do nothing pleasing to God.
Justification is God's gracious act of pronouncing a believer righteous in his sight. It follows repentance and is made possible through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ and acceptance of him as Lord and Savior.
Faith is belief and trust in God as our righteous, omniscient, and omnipotent Lord and our gracious, merciful, and faithful Savior. Mature faith includes the conviction, based on natural and Scriptural evidence, that God exists, that He rewards those who seek Him, and that He gives eternal life to all who are in Jesus Christ. Faith is possible only by God's grace and is not the product of intellect, reason or education. Faith is purely a gift of God and exists in everyone to whom He gives it. Faith comes by the power of the Holy Spirit through His Word, whether in an infant, as with the infant in Jesus arms (Mt 18:2-6) John the Baptizer in the womb (Luke 1:15) and Timothy (2 Tim 3:15), or as an adult.
Sanctification is a divine work of God, received by faith, involving a process and series of experiences in the life of the believer in and through which God works by His Word and Spirit to restore His image in the life of the believer (2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:24). Though all Christians sin, the Holy Spirit leads them in a life characterized by repentance, obedience, and Christian growth--that is, a converted, or changed, life evidenced by the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Sanctification follows justification and is not complete until Christ's return. It is made possible by God's grace, through faith in Jesus Christ. Every saved person is involved in a daily conflict--the new creation in Christ doing battle against the devil, the world and the flesh--but adequate provision is made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The struggle nevertheless stays with the believer all through this earthly life and is never completely ended. Eradication of sin in this life is not possible and all claims to the eradication of sin are unscriptural, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin. Therefore, continual Christian growth through the Spirit is to be sought and desired by every Christian.
2 Peter 1:2-16;
1 John 1:8,
Repentance is a change of mind and attitude toward God that inevitably leads to a changed life. It follows conviction by the Holy Spirit and is grounded in the Word of God. Repentance entails an awareness of personal sinfulness, accompanied by a positive response to God's call. Repentance toward God leads to faith in Jesus Christ and a converted life sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
2 Timothy 2:25;
2 Corinthians 7:9-11;
In water baptism an official transaction takes place so that all who have faith are, in baptism, intimately identified with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is so integrally tied to faith that Peter says "Baptism doth also now save us". While no one can look into another's heart, baptism should be reserved for those believed to have faith in Christ.
1 Peter 3:21;
The Lord's Supper
The evening before Jesus was crucified, he took bread and wine, saying, "This is My body ... This is the new covenant in My blood." At the Lord's Supper service, Christians participate in the new covenant by partaking of bread and wine in remembrance of the Savior, who gave His body and shed His blood for all, to redeem humanity from sin and death. This sacrament should be regularly and often offered to God's people. Participants must prepare their hearts and lives to properly participate by repentance acknowledging that to come unworthly dishonors the Lord and harms the spiritual, and perhaps their physical, life.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26;
The Church - The Communion Of Saints
The Church, or the Body of Christ, consists of all who have faith in Jesus Christ and in whom the Holy Spirit abides. The Church is commissioned to preach the gospel, to teach all that Christ commanded, to baptize, and to nurture the flock. In fulfilling its mission, the Church is directed by the Holy Scriptures, led by the Holy Spirit, and looks continually to Jesus Christ, its living Head. Believers are to be one in Christ, and not be divided over peripheral doctrines or issues. In spite of differences that do not contradict the gospel of Christ, believers are not to break fellowship, but love, care for, and encourage one another.
1 Corinthians 12:13;
2 Timothy 2:23;
Evangelism and Missions
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every congregation of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. This process begins with the gospel message to the unregenerate and continues to bring each believer into full, mature discipleship. 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. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ and to see them grow into disicpleship by personal effort and by all other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.
Acts 1:8; 2,
1 Thessalonians 1:8;
2 Timothy 4:5;
1 Peter 2:4-10;
The Christian is the person who lives by faith in Jesus Christ and in whom the Holy Spirit abides. The Christian experiences a new birth through the regeneration of the Holy Spirit and is placed in a right relationship with God and fellow humans by God's grace. This grace continues to work in him to make him more and more like Christ. The Christian's life is characterized by the fruit of the Holy Spirit which is the character of Christ.
(Romans 8:9, 14;
1 Peter 2:21;
1 John 2:4-6;
The gospel is the good news about salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, not by works. It is the message that Christ died for our sins, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to His disciples. It is the good news that the kingdom of God has been inaugurated by the saving work of Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4;
The Law of Christ
Christian faith includes allegiance and obedience to our Savior, who gave Himself for us. The purpose of this law is summarized in His commands to love God and neighbor. Therefore, faith in Christ leads to works of love and service. Through the Holy Spirit, Christ transforms the hearts of his followers, producing in them the fruit of love, joy, peace, faithfulness, meekness, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control, righteousness and truth. Genuine transformation empowers us to do the works He has ordained for us; works of service and compassion as we function together as His body.
(2 Corinthians 5:15;
The setting aside of one day of the week for Corporate assembly is part of the regenerated life of faith in Jesus Christ, in whom every believer finds true rest. The weekly seventh-day Sabbath, which was enjoined upon Israel in the Ten Commandments as a day of rest, was a shadow that prefigured the true Reality to whom it pointed--our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Though physical Sabbath keeping is not required for Christians, the Bible commands that Christians meet together to encourage and upbuild the faith of one another. The New Testament pattern is a balanced approach between small group and large group, "In the temple and house to house" (Acts 2:46, 20:20). Participation in the "community of the saints" is both a joy and a necessity for personal growth, joint worship and to fully function as Christ's body on earth.
The Second Coming
Jesus Christ, as He promised, will return to earth to judge all nations. His second coming will be visible, and in power and glory. He will also bring with Him the spirits of the saints. This event inaugurates the resurrection of the saints, who will receive glorified bodies. The rapture, an event associated with the coming of Christ, is the catching up of believers by Jesus at the time of His return. There is some debate among Christians whether this event will occur pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, or post-tribulation. Christians are warned to expect tribulation and persecution. Whether one calls it tribulation or The Great Tribulation, we should prepare to fully serve and obey Christ regardless of the troubles that come.
1 Corinthians 15:40-53;
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)
The Intermediate State of the Saints
Though the resurrection is yet, from the perspective of time, in the future, for those who die now there is an immediate reward. The spirits of those who die in Christ go to be with Him at the time of their physical death.
2 Corinthians 5:1-10;
The Fate of the Unrepentant
Unrepentant sinners are those who deliberately and ultimately reject the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. Their fate is to perish in the lake of fire. This death is eternal, and the Scriptures refer to it as the second death.
"The Ecumenical Creeds"
The three ecumenical creeds are an embodiment of the fundamental beliefs of the Christian faith. If there is any document, beyond Scripture, which has the authority to define Christianity, it is these three ancient documents. While denominations would like their own creeds and dogma to be the doctrinal expression of what constitutes a Christian belief system, the ecumenical creeds, The Apostles Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and the Nicene Creed, have that distinction alone.
Last modified: 07 February 2012