A Summary of My Christian Faith
Key Verse: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."
2 Tim. 3:16-17
There is one God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and one body of believers. These are the bride of Christ, consisting of all who have trusted Jesus as their Lord and Savior throughout the ages (God knows who they are). This one body finds outward expression in a multitude of independent, local congregations (ekklesia = assembly), which are responsible for maintaining sound doctrine, strengthening believers and advancing the gospel.
The Bible is the only inspired Word of God and is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness. Therefore, Scripture supplies everything the believer needs to be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The One True God exists eternally in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All three are one God, and this God is love. God is holy, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. He is to be worshiped because He is the creator and sustainer of all things seen and unseen.
The Father is the initiator of all of God’s plans in accordance with His own character, which is both loving and just. He is the Father of all creation, the Father of the eternal Son, and the Father of all those who believe in the Son unto the salvation of their souls.
Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the Father. He was born into this world of a virgin and, in fact, was God Himself taking on flesh. Thus, He was fully God and fully man. After living a perfectly sinless life, Jesus died on the cross for our sins. He took our punishment and paid for our sins with His own blood, so that we might freely receive forgiveness by turning to Him in faith. Following His death, Jesus was buried and rose again the third day. Thereafter, He was seen by the apostles and by many others in order to prove the truth of His resurrection. Finally, Jesus ascended to the Father, from where He will return to this earth in bodily form to complete God's plan for the ages.
The Holy Spirit is a divine person equal with the Father and the Son, and of the same substance and nature. In this world, He bears witness to the truth and convicts of sin, righteousness and judgement. He is the agent of the new birth, and He thus seals, indwells, sanctifies, guides, teaches and helps every true child of God.
Satan was created by God as a beautiful spiritual being and chief of angels. However, he was not satisfied with his mission and desired to be like the Most High God. This battle against God led to Satan's fall and made him the spiritual adversary of both God and man. Therefore, his destiny is everlasting torment in a lake of fire, which was created for him and the angels that followed his lead.
Humanity came into existence by direct creation of God and is uniquely made in His image and likeness. Because of Adam's fall, sin and death entered the world and all human beings now sin by nature and by choice, falling far short of God's perfect standard. Therefore, all of humanity in its natural state is alienated from God and under His wrath. Only through Christ's death on the cross can they be reconciled to God and saved from eternal destruction.
Sin and Salvation: The wages of sin are death and eternal separation from God in the lake of fire, originally created for the devil and his angels. But... God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to die for sinners, so that all who believe in Him might be saved.
Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus also commanded that water baptism should follow a person's profession of faith. Therefore, whoever believes in Jesus and follows Him will be saved and spend eternity with Him in heaven. But whoever rejects Jesus Christ here on earth will be lost and will spend eternity with Satan and his angels in hell.
The 'Church': Christ's body on earth. It is not a building made from bricks and mortar but a living entity made of living stones, consisting of all those who have trusted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (God knows who they are). This one, true, universal church consists of all genuine believers and comprises many local congregations in various localities, each exercising autonomous government under the direct headship of Jesus Christ. These local assemblies are called to doctrinal unity, Christian love and encouragement of one another across ethnic, cultural, socioeconomic and denominational lines. The development of denominations is not a biblical concept (although seemingly unavoidable). All believers are to follow not men but Christ, who is the only head of His 'church'.
Individual Christians: Jesus determined to extend His love to human beings through those who live for Him. Therefore, Christians are to love others as Christ loved the church. They are to confess their faults to one another and to exercise mutual support. They are to esteem others more highly than themselves and treat their fellow believers as though they were dealing with the Lord Himself. God's children are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which He prepared beforehand that they should walk in them. Their desire should be to make every day count for their Lord, expressing His love by serving others.
Interpretation of the Bible: We believe that God's Word is to be interpreted according to the same principles we would use to interpret any other text. This historical-grammatical method of hermeneutics strives to discover the originally intended meaning of a text, taking into consideration it's immediate and wider context, grammatical structure and historical background. Interpreting the Bible literally, however, does not mean we must take all forms of expression within it literally. The writers of Scripture used metaphors, hyperboles and euphemisms just like we do today. Any visions, dreams and pictorial language are usually explained by the Bible itself, either in the immediate context or in a different passage. Therefore, no portion of Scripture is to be spiritualised unless the Bible itself determines it to be understood in that way. Like the Bereans of old, let us be diligent in searching the scriptures to find out whether the things we hear and see today are actually true according to God's Word.
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