STATEMENT OF BELIEFS

 

 

The Bible- 2nd Timothy 2:15 says to “study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  As a Christian, we are called to study God’s Word.  The Bible is a revelation that tells us what we need to know who God is like.  2nd Timothy 3:16 is probably the best verse to describe what the Scriptures are like.  It says, “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”  Under the inspiration of God, human authors wrote the divine words of God accurately, reliably, and inerrant or without error on the original manuscripts.   In order to fulfill the Great Commission, we have to study God’s Word and not only tell others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but it also helps us to live for Him as well.  The Bible is the book where we should learn what to believe about God and how we can live for Jesus.  The Bible should be the only book to do this, not by a textbook or a creed or another document. 

 

God the Father- The Father is the first person of the Trinity.  He is the Father of Creation according to James 1:17 and Genesis 1:1. He made the world out of nothing and continues to sustain it.  The Father is the Father of Israel according to Jeremiah 31:9 and He continues to protect His people.  He is the unique Father of Jesus Christ when He announced that Jesus was His Son in Matthew 3:17.  The Father protects those who are poor and oppressed (Psalm 68:5), and a redemptive Father when we become a child of God according to John 1:13 and Romans 8:15.  His nature is eternal or always existed, immutable or unchanging, omnipresent or everywhere at all times, omniscient or all-knowing, and omnipotent or all-powerful.

 

Jesus the Son- The Son is the second person of the Trinity.  Jesus was fully human and fully Spirit.  John says in the beginning of his gospel that Jesus was “in the beginning the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1).  Jesus created the world and humans and He knows everything about us.  He has the same nature as God the Father.  He was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem supernaturally.  He was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  Jesus claimed in John 14:6 that he is the way, the truth, and the life.  No one goes to the Father but through him.  In order to see God the Father, you look at Jesus Christ.  He taught His disciples as a Prophet, He offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sins as the Priest, and He is our King because He rules all.  The only way to attain our salvation is through Jesus Christ.

 

Holy Spirit- The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity.  In John 16:13, Jesus identifies the Holy Spirit as a person.  He is equal in nature with the Father and Son and He submissive to them in duty.  It helps us to pray, worship, and glorify Jesus.  The Holy Spirit inspired men from all walks of life to write the Bible.  The Holy Spirit is also responsible for leading us to salvation.  It convicts the world of sin according to John 16:8. The Spirit also indwells in the believer at the moment of conversion according to Romans 8:9.  Throughout the Book of Acts, the Holy Spirit leads the Apostles to establish the early church and to spread the Gospel.  The Holy Spirit is given to every believer, to serve as our counselor when we go through a difficult time and to make decisions, to give us strength to carry out the work of Christ, and to teach us about Christ.  It also gives us our spiritual gifts such as those recorded in Romans 12, 1st Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4.  Finally, it assures us that we are safe in salvation with Jesus.

 

Salvation- God created humans because they were to be the crown of His creation.  Humans were made in God’s image and were made up of body, soul, and spirit.  But we were given a choice on whether to obey God or not.  Adam and Eve chose not to obey God and sin entered the world.  From then on, all human beings have a sin nature.  God created us to have us be able to achieve our fullest potential, which would be salvation with Christ.  When we sin, God cannot look upon us and we can’t have a relationship with God.  But John 3:16 says that God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins so that we could have everlasting life.  Christ was our substitute on the cross for us.  Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death and all humans are worthy of it.  But Christ took that punishment for us and was a sacrifice for our sins.  He was that perfect unblemished Lamb of God who was worthy for this kind of atonement.  He redeemed us from our sin where it will not rule our life anymore.  He reconciled us to so that we could have a relationship with God and to be clean again.  The way that we receive salvation is to admit that we are a sinner (Romans 3:23), believe that Jesus is God’s Son and accept His gift of forgiveness (Romans 5:8), and to confess with our mouth that Jesus is our Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-10, 13).

 

Justification- Justification is the act of God whereby our legal standing in heaven is changed and we are declared righteous.  We will be judged by the laws that God has made known to man in the Bible.  If we have obeyed these laws, then we are declared righteous.  But Romans 3:23 says that all people have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  Romans 6:23 then says that our punishment for sin is death.  But God gave us the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.  He died for our sins so that we can live.  We just have to profess our faith in Jesus Christ to be able to accept this gift.  There is no amount of works that a person can do to satisfy God’s justice.  Once we accept this salvation, there is nothing that can take that away from us.  John 10:27-29 talks about this guarantee.  Jesus says that His sheep will never perish and no one will be able to pluck them out of His hand.  Once you are saved, you are always saved and you will have eternal life with Jesus in heaven.

 

Eschatology- God has a plan for the future that cannot be defeated.  When a Christian dies, his soul will be with the Lord according to 2nd Corinthians 5:6, 8.  Those who die without Christ will go to a state of punishment.  However, these locations are not the final places for these people.  What I believe will happen is that those who are living that believe in Christ will be captured up.  Those who are dead in Christ will be resurrected. Both will meet Jesus in the clouds and descend up into heaven.  This is called the rapture (1st Thessalonians 4:17).  A literal Antichrist will then rise up and establishes His earthly kingdom (1st John 2:22).  This will begin a literal seven-year period called the Tribulation.  He will establish a seven-year covenant with Israel to protect them, but break it after three and a half years.  He will then persecute the Jews for the next 3 ½ years starting the Great Tribulation.  The Jews will come to salvation like the Gentiles did during the Tribulation (Matthew 24:21).  When this period is up, Jesus will return to earth and defeat Satan, the Antichrist, and their forces in the Battle of Armageddon and will establish his literal 1,000-year kingdom.  Satan will be bound during this time.  After 1,000 years, Satan will be released and will rebel one more time.  This will be the time when the unsaved will be resurrected and judged at the Great White Throne judgment.  It will be then that Satan and those unsaved will be cast into the lake of fire to be punished forever and eternally separated from God.  The believers will spend eternity with Jesus forever on the new heaven and earth (Revelation 20:1-15). 

 

Church- The church is an assembly or a group of baptized believers that are under the discipline of the Word of God.  It is organized to carry out the Great Commission, the administration of New Testament ordinances, and the exercise of spiritual gifts.  By carrying these out, we are fulfilling the primary purpose of the church, to worship.  The church can also refer to not just one local church but to all assemblies of Christians that meet around the world.  Jesus is the Head of the church, and Christians make up the Body of Christ.  All Christians are to be united under the Word of God and to follow the purpose and will of God.  We are all a family of believers (Galatians 6:10 and Ephesians 2:19) and are God’s new people (1st Peter 2:9-10) and we should always have fellowship with one another.  Christ loves and takes care of His church because we are His bride according to Revelation 19:7-9 and 2nd Corinthians 11:2. Every member should set an example for those outside of church of how to yield their life to Christ (Colossians 1:13).

 

Baptism and the Lord’s Supper- Spiritual baptism happens when a person accepts Christ and is united with him and with His people.  Water baptism serves as a symbolic act that says that the person has changed his or her life and is allowing Christ to wash away their old self and come out of the baptism waters as a new creature.  Water baptism does not convert you.  The Lord’s Supper is a symbol of Christian worship where we remember the sacrifice that Jesus did for us and that we anticipate His return here on earth.  It should only be taken by those who have an active relationship with Christ.

 

 Evangelism and Missions- The Great Commission is given in Matthew 28:18-20 and it says that we are to teach all nations and baptizing them in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  This means that we have a responsibility to make sure that all people, no matter where they are or what race they are, hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and make disciples of Christ when they are converted.  If we fail to do this, then it is a sin.

 

Stewardship- It is important for us to realize that our money comes from God.  There are 38 parables in the New Testament that talk about money.  We should use the money God has given us by donating 10% of our earnings to the local church and we have to use the other 90% wisely to support ourselves as well.  It is a sin if we continually get things that we don’t need.

The Family- The man is the head of the family and is the one that is responsible in taking care of the family.  He is to love his wife as he loves himself (Eph. 5:28) and the wife is to love her husband and submit to him. (Eph. 5:22) Children are to obey their parents according to the commandment with a promise. (Eph. 6:1) The marriage in the family should not be between two men or two women because it is sin.