Realities-What We Believe
We live in a religiously "pluralistic" society. Our culture is represented by a great variety of beliefs and practices. The prevailing attitude in our nation is that one's faith or belief is a personal matter and if it works for you, then it's okay. What is true for me, may not be true for you.
As members of the body of Christ, we approach truth from an entirely different perspective. Christianity is unique among the world's religions in its claim that absolute truth has been revealed. All other religions have come about from man's attempt to know truth or a higher being. In Christianity, it was God himself who took the initiative to make Himself known to man. This is a very important distinction.
Therefore, we believe that there are some issues about which God has spoken clearly. If He had not spoken clearly about them, we too would be confused. But because He has, there are some truths we can hold to with full assurance. We do not claim to know all truth. God has not spoken clearly to man on all issues. Deuteronomy 29:29 says, "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and our children forever."
Below is a thumbnail sketch of some of the major Christian truths. This is not an exhaustive list and much more could be said about each one.
1. The Bible...
...is God's word to us.
...is composed to sixty-six books of the Old & New Testaments.
...was written by human authors under supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit.
...is without error in the original manuscripts.
...is our unique, full, and final authority on matters of faith and practice.
5 Key Scriptures: II Timothy 3:15-17; II Peter 1:20-21; Psalms 119:105, 160; Proverbs 30:5; and Romans 15:4
...is the eternal creator of the universe and all it's contents.
...exists equally in three persons: Father, Son, & Holy Spirit.
...is the ruler over the universe.
...is perfectly and consistently holy and just in all He does.
5 Key Scriptures: Psalms 145:8-21; Genesis 1:1; I Corinthians 8:6; Isaiah 40:10-31; and John 14:6-11
...is the eternal and only son of God.
...lived a sinless life on earth.
...offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on the cross.
...rose from the dead to demonstrate his power over sin and death.
...ascended to heaven where he reigns with God the Father.
...will soon gather those who believe and follow Him, return to earth to end history and begin the eternal plan of God.
7 Key Scriptures: John 1:1-14; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:1-3; Isaiah 9:6-7; Acts 1:9-11; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; and Revelation 19:11-14
4. The Holy Spirit...
...is eternally co-equal with the God the Father and the Son.
...makes people aware of their need for God.
...lives in every Christian from the moment they are saved.
...disperses spiritual gifts to members of Christ's church.
...guides, comforts, and empowers believers to live a life that pleases God.
5 Key Scriptures: John 16:5-15; Ephesians 1:13-14; Romans 8:1-27; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; and Joel 2:28-29
...have been created in the image of God.
...are unique in all of creation-therefore deserve love, dignity, and respect.
...have tremendous potential for good.
...have all chosen to rebel against God's desire for our lives-the Bible calls this "sin".
...have been separated from God because of our willful rebellion.
...will each answer to God at the Final Judgment as to how he or she responded to God's provision for salvation.
5 Key Scriptures: Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:23; Hebrews 9:27; Acts 17:26-27; and Ephesians 2:1-3
...moves us from slavery to sin and spiritual death to a new and real life in Christ.
...is a free gift; it cannot be earned nor taken away.
...was made possible by Jesus' dying on the cross on our behalf.
...is received by a personal faith in Jesus Christ accompanied by true repentance-choosing Christ as the ultimate manager of your life.
...begins the moment we commit our life to Christ, continues as God grows in us to be like him, and will be completed at Christ's return to earth.
5 Key Scriptures: Ephesians 2:1-10; John 3:16; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 5:24; Romans 6:23
7. The Church...
...is the "Body of Christ" and works in the world to bring honor to God.
...is made up of all believers in Christ from all time.
...is expressed in local congregations.
...is exhorted in scripture to practice the Lord's Supper (Communion) and baptism for new believers.
...is supernatural, equipped by God to accomplish his purposes in the world.
...is made up of imperfect people.
5 Key Scriptures: Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 3:10-11; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Acts 2; Revelation 1-3