is one God who is creator of all, who rules over all and by whose power
sustains all things. While God has revealed himself through creation
and the human conscience, he is supremely revealed through the Holy
Scriptures and especially in the person of Jesus Christ. Through the
Holy Scriptures, God has revealed himself to mankind as one God in
three persons who are co-equal, co-existing and have the same divine
power and nature in one triune godhead: Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
is all powerful, all knowing, all seeing and all present. God is both
transcendent in that is he is not limited by time and space, which he
created. He is also immanent in that he is present and active in this
world. God is Holy which means that he is both just and merciful. He
is Pure and Good. God is both "love" and "a consuming fire". All
moral beings, human and angelic, are accountable to him and will one
day stand before him as their judge.
Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. He existed before time and creation but at God's appointed time he came to earth in human form as the promised Messiah or Christ. He is the Son of God, born of the virgin Mary. Jesus did not cease to be God during his earthly ministry but for us and our salvation, did not use his divine power so that he might offer up himself as the perfect human sacrifice for our sin. Jesus tasted of human life in every way as we do but was without sin. The pain he experienced on the cross was as real as the two criminals dying beside him.
Jesus bore the sins of the world (past, present, future) in his body on the cross. God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us so that by repentance and faith in him, we might become the righteousness of God. After three days, God raised Jesus to life by the power of the Holy Spirit. He then appeared to many of his disciples giving them various proofs of who he was.
Jesus then ascended into heaven and will come again in bodily form
to gather his church to be with him forever. He will return a second
time to judge the living and the dead. Jesus Christ is truly God and
truly man. He is the King of kings, the Lord of lords and the Prince
of Peace. One day, every knee will bow and every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force but a personal and equal member of the one triune godhead. Through the Holy Spirit God created the world, made Jesus manifest in the flesh and raised him from the dead. The Spirit is the promise of the Father, sent by the Son to live in ALL who repent and believe the gospel. It is the activity of the Holy Spirit as he joins himself to the human spirit which brings regeneration, cleansing and new birth to the repentant sinner.
The Holy Spirit is the counselor, the comforter and the one who
leads us into all truth; the truth that sets us free; truth that is
centred in Jesus Christ who is Truth, and in the Word of God which is
truth (John 17:17) and which is the Sword of the Spirit. The Holy
Spirit gives power to live a holy life and to be God's witnesses in
this world. The Spirit's presence and activity in the believer's
life can be grieved and quenched by sin. The Spirit also convicts the
world of sin, righteousness and judgement.
The Bible, the Holy Scriptures, is the Inspired Word of God. It is the Revelation of God by God. As such it is therefore, authoritative, infallible and completely trustworthy. In faith it is to be accepted as inerrant in the original writings. Because of this, we are to trust and obey it and in so doing, trust and obey God whom it reveals.
The Word of God is not simply a manual for life. There are plenty of those in bookshops. The Bible is the eternal Word of the one and only living God; Jesus being the Word made flesh. The Holy Scrptures are living and active, sharper than a two edged sword, dividing the very soul and spirit of each person, judging the very thoughts and attitudes of their hearts. The Word of God is also the spiritual sword by which Christians fight in a spiritual war against the evil without and the sin within.
We are commanded to live by God's word, we are not to add to God's
Word or take away from God's Word. Anyone who claims to speak with
the authority of God must be judged by God's Word. God's word is a
lamp to our feet and a light to our path. It is useful for teaching,
rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness that the man of God
may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. God's Word makes a
person wise unto salvation. A sign of the end times before Christ
returns, will be doctrines of demons, lies that claim to be from God
but cannot be backed up by God's Word. Jesus said, "You will know the
truth and the truth will set you free". He also said, when praying in
Gethsemane, "Your Word is truth". We are to be seekers of God's truth
(Proverbs 23:23). The Bible itself says that while all people wither
and perish like grass, the Word of the Lord endures forever.
God created a perfect world and the people he first created, Adam and Eve, were perfect. God gave them free will so that while God was and is, Sovereign over all, people still have sovereignty over their own lives. They are not robots programmed to do only what God tells them to do. God created people for a relationship in which they were free to choose to return his love or not.
Sin came into the world when when they disobeyed God and took fruit
from a tree he had commanded them not to take fruit from. At that
moment, through that one sin, the curse of death entered the world and
mankind has been powerless since in the battle against sin. That is,
until Jesus came and died to save us from the wrath of God against our
sin. It is important to note that we do not just sin, but we also have
a sinful nature. We are born sinners. People are not naturally good.
We are naturally sinful. You don't have to teach young children to do
evil - they do bad things naturally - you have to teach them to do
good! But doing good, won't get you into heaven!!!
The church is not a building but the spiritual body of Jesus Christ made up of all who repent and put their personal faith in him: those who have died, those alive now and those yet to be born again into his eternal kingdom. A saint is not a perfect person but the biblical name given to those who put their trust in God for salvation, before and after Christ. As Christians, we all have access to the Father, by the Spirit, through the Son.
As the church, we are citizens of heaven but have a mission while
still here on earth to live a holy life that honours the sacrifice of
Jesus for our sins and witnesses to others proclaiming the way of
salvation through the cross. The church is the agent of God's
salvation here on earth, empowered by the Holy Spirit. The mission of
the church is mission. The church is also the bride of Christ and as
the bride, we are commanded to purify ourselves as we look forward to
the day of our Lord's return and the marriage supper of the lamb -
Jesus and his church.
Salvation from the penalty of sin is by grace alone and through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-10). Good works will not save anyone. Each person must individually come to his senses like the prodigal son, humble himself or herself BEFORE GOD, repent of sin (have a change of mind so that they agree with God that he is Good and they are not - the evidence of this will be seen in their daiy lives through "works of repentance"), turn from sin and put their personal trust in Jesus Christ as the risen Lord and God and in his death as a sacrifice and payment for all their sin.
A person is not saved by baptism, going to Church, taking communion
or the Lord's Supper, praying, doing good, giving money to the poor or
to the Church or by any other means except by God's grace through faith
in Jesus Christ. Until a person repents before God (not any human)
and puts their faith in Jesus (Mark 3:15) they are not saved. When a
person is "saved" they are forgiven, reconciled with God, made a
member of the body of Christ and given eternal life in heaven. The
curse of death, which has its ultimate fulfillment in the lake of fire,
has been lifted. They have passed from death to life.
The devil (Satan, Lucifer) is a fallen angel already damned to the eternal lake of fire. He exercises limited power in this world but is not to be underestimated in the damage he can do to the church. Neither is he to be blamed for the sin that Christians or the lost commit.
The devil rejoices when the church gets hit by friendly fire and especially when they retaliate. It helps his cause. He is masquerades as an angel of light and his chief weapon in fighting the church is lies! Jesus is the truth. The devil is a liar and the father of liars. The Bible says that all liars will have their part in the lake of fire which is where the devil and all who do not accept Jesus as the truth are going.
Before the return of Christ, the devil will deceive many with lies. That's why Christians need to take regular time to read, study and live out God's Word which is truth. The best way to protect yourself from lies, is to know the truth!
Contrary to popular opinion (even in the church) Satan does not run
hell nor will he be running the eternal lake of fire (Revelation tells
us that hell is thrown into the lake of fire). Eternal fire was
originally created for the devil and his angels - as punishment! In
Hell Satan will be the tormentee not the tormentor. It is God's wrth
that will punish the devil and people in the eternal lake of fire.
Hell is Real! Heaven is Real! One day, God will sit in judgement on all who have ever lived. Some will go into everlasting life in heaven and others into everlasting damnation in the lake of fire. Jesus spoke more of hell and judgement than he did of heaven. People like to avoid the issue of what happens when you die but Jesus wouldn't let it rest. He regularly told people that there would be a day of judgement where God would separate the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25) and told them how to be saved. How could he not warn them since he is Good and loves the world he created and does not want any to perish. As his disciples, how can we not warn people too!