The Holy Scriptures
Scripture, or the Bible, is the Word of God written to man. It consists of the 66 books Starting with Genesis and ending with Revelation. God inspired human authors who wrote His Word (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20–21), so the Bible is correct in everything it addresses, including matters of faith, science, and history (Proverbs 30:5). The Scriptures will accomplish what God intended for them (Isaiah 55:11), and are clear and useful for “mak[ing] gullible people wise.” (Psalm 19:7). They can teach us about God and how we should live; they “equip God’s servants so that they are completely prepared to do good things” (2 Timothy 3:17).
The only true interpreter of Scripture is a person who has trusted Christ and his finished work for salvation, and as a result can receive knowledge of the things of God through the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:1-16; John 14:17,26; 16:13, 1 John 2:27). The Bible was written at a specific time in history, and cannot be properly understood without this historical background. The Bible was written so that we can understand it with careful study under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Correctly interpreting any passage in the Bible requires it to be considered in the immediate and wider context of the Bible. This consistency means that the Bible does not contradict itself, and the interpretation of all Scripture should include the comparing different parts of the Bible to better understand what is being said.
The Nature of God
God has many attributes, among them are that God is eternal (Psalm 90:1-4), immutable (Psalm 102:26,27), the creator of all things, and nothing exists apart from Him (Psalm 8:3, 102:25, John 1:3). He is all powerful (Psalm 135:6), present everywhere (Psalm 139:3-12, Jeremiah 23:24), all knowing (Isaiah 46:10, Colossians 2:3), and beyond our understanding (Isaiah 55:8,9). He is infinite in all His attributes and with perfect foreknowledge, so He will not change His mind (Numbers 23:19) and will accomplish His eternal purpose (Isaiah 46:10, 11; 55:11). There is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4), but within the Trinity there are three eternal and co-equal persons who are the same in essence but distinct in function. The Scriptures show that this is true: the Father is God (John 6:27; Ephesians 4:6); Jesus Christ is God (John 8:58; Hebrews 1:8); the Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4); and all three are equally one (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
Jesus, The Christ
The Lord Jesus Christ has existed forever with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (John 1:1,2,14; 6:33, 38, 41, 50, 51, 58, 62; 8:58; 17:5). He was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:16,18,20; Luke 1:34- 35) and was born of the Virgin Mary (Matthew 1:18, 22-23; Luke 1:24, 34-35). This made him like man (Philippians 2:6-11), but He kept His divinity so that He is both completely man and God. During his life He was tempted in every way, but did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus Christ came into the world to do the will of the Father (John 6:38), to glorify God the Father (Philippians 2:11), and to be highly exalted (Philippians 2:9). He also came in order that He might reveal God (John 5:19-30), redeem mankind from sin (John 12:27; Matthew 1:21; Romans 3:23-24; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:7), provide an example for Christian living (1 Peter 2:21), and destroy the works of Satan (1 John 3:8). Christ’s sacrifice on the cross makes it possible for God to be just and also the justifier of those who believe (Romans 3:26; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Our redemption is made possible through His death on the cross as a sacrifice in our place. Redemption of people is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:24-25; 4:25; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:20; 1 Corinthians 15). Jesus Christ is now in heaven and exalted at the right hand of God the Father where he is our High Priest and fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9-11; Ephesians 1:20; Hebrews 9:24; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 John 2:1,2).
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is, in relation to Salvation, the Person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He is the Supernatural Agent in giving new life, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ, living in them and sealing them for the day of complete redemption. Spiritual gifts are given by the Holy Spirit to all believers (John 1:13; 3:3-6; 16:8-11; Romans 8:9,14; Titus 3:5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11).
God created people in the image and likeness of Himself (Genesis 1:26; 2:7). Sin separated people from God and makes them subject to the power of Satan. This spiritual death has been transmitted to every person, except for the Man Christ Jesus alone. Every person is born into the world with a nature which does not have divine life and is essentially and unchangeably bad apart from divine grace from God’s point of view (Genesis 3:1-24; 6:5; Psalms 14:1-3; 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; John 3:6; 5:40; 6:53; Romans 3:10-19; 5:12-21; 8:6-7; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 Timothy 5:6; 1 John 3:8).
A Relationship with God
Every person is born with a “sin nature” that separates them from God. This is the part of us that rebels and leads us to do wrong even when we know what is right. It even prevents us from coming to know Him if He does not act first. Thankfully, He offers Grace to us that saves us from this separation, we just need to accept his Grace with faith. When this happens the Holy Spirit comes to live in us and give us a new life and nature (Isaiah 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 1:21-32; 3:10-18, 23; 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3, 8, 9; Romans 10:13-17; Philippians 3:4-9; John 3:5, 18; 1 Peter 1:23; James 1:18). We can find this faith, or belief, through the knowledge of the Word of God (John 3:15-18; Acts 13:39; 16:31; Romans 4:5; 10:13-17; Ephesians 2:5, 8, 9; 1 John 2:6).
The new life offered by God is not something that we can work to earn, it can only happen because of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing we do, even going to church and doing everything they say, can improve on what Christ did for us on the cross. Our salvation can happen only because of the finished work by Jesus who is both God and a sinless man (Romans 3:10-18, 23; Ephesians 2:5,8,9; Galatians 2:16; 3:2, 11; John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus Christ died to pay for all of our sins on the cross, and was raised to life again so that we only need to trust in Him and what He did so that we can know God (Leviticus 17:11; Matthew 1:21; Luke 1:35; Ephesians 1:7; Romans 3:23-25; Galatians 3:23; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:19,21; Hebrews 10:4, 10-12; 1 John 2:2; 4:10).
Every person who has received new life from God can know that they will never lose it because it is not based on anything they have done or will do. Christians do not live a good life and stop sinning so that God will accept them, they live well out of love and gratitude towards God for having already accepted them(Luke 10:20; 21:32; Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 10:22; 1 John 5:13). We can be sure of our salvation because of God’s nature and his eternal love for us. God has the freedom to give grace to the merit-less because Christ, who is God, has payed for our sins. Also, Christ is in heaven pleading on our behalf to the Father, and the Father does not ignore the Son. Finally, God has given the Holy Spirit to live in the hearts of all who are saved and give them new life, and God does not change His mind. (John 5:24; 10:28; 13:1; 14:16-17; 17:11; Romans 3:24-25; 8:29; 9:6; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 1:4, 13-14; 2:4,5,8,9; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 John 2:1-2; 5:13).
The Universal Church is the body and the Bride of Christ, it is a spiritual organism made up of all believers from this present Age of Grace, no matter their individual church membership (Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:24-27, 30,32; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2). The Body of Christ should be represented by local assemblies (or churches) that are made up of professing Christians. Every church should always recognize the headship of Christ in every aspect of the life of the church. Its leadership needs to be made up of God-ordained people who take on specific responsibilities in the body of Christ Revelation 1:4; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Acts 11:22; 13:1; 1 Corinthians 5:12-13; Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18). They must stand strongly for the fundamentals of the faith as contained in the Scriptures (1 Timothy 3:15; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; 4:1-2) and teach Scripture so that others can mature and and be strengthened for the work of God (Acts 20:27; Romans 15:1-2; 1 Corinthians 14:12; 2 Corinthians 1:4; Galatians 6:1-2; Ephesians 4:11-16; 2 Timothy 2:2; Titus 2:1-3; 3:8; Hebrews 10:24-25). This also means that they give the world an opportunity to hear the Word of God and the claims of Jesus Christ (Luke 24:46-48; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:13-17), and must glorify Jesus Christ, meaning it does all things in the name of and for the honor and glory of our Savior, the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:10-11; Galatians 6:14; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Revelation 19:16). Part of this is administering the ordinances of Water Baptism and the Lord’s Supper for the members of the Church. Everything done should be with order (1 Corinthians 14:40), love (1 Corinthians 16:14), for building up others (1 Corinthians 14:26), and in the name of the Lord Jesus (Colossians 3:17). They leadership bears the responsibility to discipline church members for immorality (1 Corinthians 5:1-13), false doctrine (1 Timothy 6:3-5; 1 Timothy 1:19-20; 2 Timothy 2:16-18), a disorderly walk (2 Thessalonians 3:6,14), divisive tendencies (Romans 16:17-18), or unrepentant attitude toward sin (Matthew 18:15-17).
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
Baptism by immersion is a symbolic representation of a spiritual transformation within and does not give a person new life. Being baptized is the logical response to the New Birth (Acts 2:38; 10:47; 16:31-33; 1 Corinthians 1:13-18; Ephesians 2:8,9; Matthew 3:13-17). Fellowship among all true members of the Body of Christ should be encouraged, including participation in the Lord’s Supper. The bread and the wine of the Lord’s Supper are representations of the sacrificed body and blood of Christ, and are a memorial to Christ’s death for our sins (Luke 22:19,20; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 11:23-26).
The Responsibility of Believers
All Christians should live a Christ-centered life. The normal expression of this kind of life is for each person to engaged in individual ministry according to their gifts and attitudes, which builds up the entire Body of Christ, not bringing shame to the name of Jesus Christ. Any Christian who is not living like this may be disciplined by the Father and the local church (Romans 12:1-21; 1 Corinthians 11:28-32; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17; 7:1; 5:10; Galatians 5:16, 25; Ephesians 6:10-18; Colossians 2:6-7; Hebrews 12:1-15). Every Christian has the privilege to remember the work of the Lord in prayer and to support this work with what the Lord has given them (1 Corinthians 16:2; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Galatians 6:6; 2 Corinthians 9:7). It is also our privilege to show the world the truth of the Holy Scriptures by the way we live and speak according to our spiritual gifts (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Timothy 2:2; Romans 12:1-21).