- The Divine Inspiration of Scripture – God’s Word to Mankind
- The One True God of the Bible
- Made in the Image of a Triune God
- Man’s Fall and God’s Plan to Redeem
- A Just God
- The Purpose of the Law
- The Person of Jesus Christ, the Promised Messiah
- The Plan of Salvation
- Baptism in Water
- Baptism in the Holy Spirit; The Promise of the Father
- A New Covenant Officiated by a New Priesthood
- The Church and the Five-Fold Office Gifts
- Sanctification is a Process
- The Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion)
- Divine Healing
- The New Covenant’s Family Emphasis
- The Consummation of All Things In Christ
The Bible is God’s verbally-inspired revelation of Himself to mankind; and written down inerrantly in its original form under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit who retains the role of teaching its reliable truths to humble hearts (2 Timothy 3: 16 – 17; James 4: 6). God is the rightful judge over all of creation and the Bible documents His views on faith and godliness; innately superior to man’s sometimes faulty conscience and reasoning (Hebrews 4:12).
The Bible has often suffered at the hands of carnal people; misused and misquoted throughout history in an effort to enslave rather than liberate people (Matthew 23: 4 – 35; 2 Corinthians 3: 6 – 7), illustrating the distinction between inspiration and interpretation—i.e., the infallible Holy Spirit versus man’s fallible opinions (2 Peter 1: 20 – 21). The Holy Spirit faithfully confirms truth within the receptive human spirit (John 16: 13); with a promise that we will know the truth, and that this Truth (Jesus) will set us free from the world’s corrupt influence, our fleshly tendencies, and our adversary the devil (Matthew 11: 6; John 5: 33 – 40; John 8: 30 – 36; John 16: 12 – 13).
God revealed Himself to Moses as the Self-Existent, Self-Sufficient One; “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3: 14; Isaiah 43: 10 – 13). The Godhead embodies the principles of companionship, simultaneously existing as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—a triune being (three persons) existing together in eternity past, present, and future in unity of plan and purpose (Genesis 1: 2; Deuteronomy 6: 4; Matthew 28: 19; Mark 12: 29; John 1: 1; 2 Cor. 13: 14). The Godhead is co-eternal in being, nature, power, and glory!
Mankind was fashioned by God to mirror His Image. Theirs was to be an ideal, triune companion relationship born out of innate equality and dignity modeled after the Godhead’s triune existence: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit / man, woman, and the Spirit of God (Ecclesiastes 4: 12; Genesis 1: 26 – 28; Genesis 2: 18 – 24). This image replication had no gender comparisons couched in it; simply that man and woman, in community with God’s precious Spirit, reflected the Companionship of the Godhead, and endowed mankind with the power resident in Companionship and Unity. They were designed to function in mutual submission to God and one another, and bear much fruit. This documented a model for marriage—one man and one woman for life—and was validated in scripture by Jesus (Mark 10: 5 – 9).
In equal and volitional transgression, the man and woman together sought to take a Place that didn’t belong to them (Genesis 3: 5), and instead fell from their intended “place”—a beautiful union with God and one another meant to be lived out in a lush Eden created just for them. As a result of sin against God by encroachment on His reserved Place in their mutual relationship, their only hope of redemption was a Messiah who would crush the head of their newly-realized adversary, the Serpent. This redemption was graciously prophesied to mankind soon after their fall from grace (Genesis 3: 15). Put another way, when grace was lacking in mankind’s relationship with God due to sin, God supplied the missing grace Himself by promising a Savior (Romans 5: 19 – 20). God is a “giver;” not a “taker” (John 3: 16; Hebrews 11: 6).
The first chapter of Romans makes it clear that all of mankind has an inward witness to God’s existence, and the moral boundaries He imposes. It also explains that the intricacies of nature alone speak of an intelligent design woven throughout creation. Scripture says that on this basis alone mankind is without excuse when standing before Him in judgment (Romans 1: 20).
Scripture also foretold of a friend that would stick closer than a brother (Proverbs 18: 24) in reference to the fact that Jesus would one day come and dwell in the hearts and lives of mankind (Isaiah 7: 14; Matthew 1: 23; Revelation 3: 20), making it possible for us to have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (overflowing to others)!
As God is an eternal being—and we have been created in His image as eternal creatures; this means that we will live forever—regardless whether or not we accept Christ as our Savior. The only question left yet undetermined is where we will spend eternity after we leave this earth: 1) in heaven with a God in whom we share harmony and agreement, or 2) forever separated from God to a place of eternal torment; one that corresponds with our chosen allegiances in rejection of Christ and His teachings (Revelation 3: 31 – 46).
When the human race fell from right standing before God, sin had wreaked devastation on every aspect of their beings. It left them in such depravity that they were insensitive to their need of God (spiritually disconnected from Him). The Bible teaches that the Law of Moses written about in the Old Testament, also known as the Ten Commandments, was given to mankind as a tutor, to show him the depth of his fallen condition and utter hopelessness, and his desperate need of a Redeemer (Isaiah 53: 6: 31; Galatians 3: 24; 1 Peter 2: 24 – 25). God never intended that we merely internalize a set of rules, but rather that we would be brought to desire a personal relationship with Him through His Son. Emmanuel—“God with us” on the inside, rather than an external relationship based on a rule sheet (Isaiah 7: 14; Matthew 1: 23: Romans 12: 2; Titus 3: 4 – 7).
Throughout scripture, the birth of a Messiah was prophesied. He would be from the tribe of Judah (King David’s tribe), and would be born of a virgin in the town of Bethlehem (Isaiah 7: 14; Matthew 1: 18; Luke 1: 26 – 35; John 7: 42; Micah 5: 2). Up to that point, all of humanity was fallen spiritually but God had made a covenant with the nation of Israel that provided for blood sacrifices to atone for their sins (Exodus 30: 10; Leviticus 1: 20; Leviticus 6: 7; Leviticus 8: 34; Leviticus 9: 7; Leviticus 10: 17; Leviticus 16: 10). Within that context, the virgin Mary was considered pure in the eyes of God; atoned for by blood sacrifices (Hebrews 9: 22 – 28). The Spirit of the One True God overshadowed Mary and she miraculously gave birth to the Messiah as promised to her by God’s angel (Luke 1: 26 – 35). Jesus was “God made flesh,” fully human yet fully divine—“Emmanuel; God with us” (Isaiah 7: 14; Matthew 1: 23).
As also foreshadowed, Jesus came as a kinsman redeemer who would save His people from their sins once and for all (Leviticus 25: 49; Ruth 3: 9; Ruth 4: 14). He led a sinless life by the bodily empowerment of the Holy Spirit in constant communion with His Father; our example for a victorious life In Him (Hebrews 4: 15; Colossians 1: 22). His substitutionary death on the cross, at the demand of the Jewish ruling class and hands of the Roman soldiers, left all of humanity guilty by association (Jews and Gentiles).
While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, offering complete forgiveness to all who believe on Him (John 3: 16; Romans 5: 8). His blood was poured out for our complete atonement and reconciliation with God (Colossians 1: 22). Through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, man is saved by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. The inward evidence to the believer of their salvation is the direct witness of God’s Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16). The outward evidence to others is a life set apart for God’s purposes (1 Thessalonians 4: 7; 2 Timothy 1: 9).
As commanded by Scriptures, the ordinance of baptism should be observed by all that have repented of their sins and in their hearts have believed on Christ as their Savior and Lord as public identification with Him. In doing so, they declare to the world that they have died with Christ, and raised to walk with Him in newness of life (Matthew 28: 19; Roman 6: 4; Colossians 2: 12 – 15).
The experience of personal salvation precedes further understanding of the supernatural kingdom of God, such as Baptism in the Holy Spirit. All believers should ardently expect and earnestly seek the Promise of the Father; the baptism in the Holy Spirit. This experience is typically distinct from, and subsequent to, the experience of the New Birth as demonstrated in Acts 2: 38, Acts 10: 44 – 46, Acts 11: 14 – 16, and Acts 15: 7 – 9. With this immersion in the Spirit comes the infilling of power for life and service, and the sensitivity and ability to move in the gifts of the Spirit as needed for the edification of the Body of Christ (Mark 16: 16; Luke 24: 49; Acts 1: 4 – 8; 1 Corinthians 12).
In establishment of the Old Covenant, God ordained Aaron as the Israelites’ High Priest, and designated his tribe, the Levites, as priests (Exodus 28: 1 – 4). Among the Levite households, firstborn sons were to be set apart for God’s service. Because of the Levite’s overall failure to lead Israel to a life of holiness and right attitude toward God, God repented of this arrangement. Instead—because David, of the tribe of Judah, cared about God’s opinion and yearned to implement His heart (1 Samuel 13: 14; 1 Samuel 16: 1; Psalm 78: 67 – 69; Acts 13: 22 – 23), God promised him an heir who would reign forever on his throne (2 Samuel 7: 8 – 16; 1 Chronicles 17: 7 – 14).
Hebrews 7: 11 – 19 explains this change ushered in by Jesus through the New Covenant (Genesis 14: 18 – 20; Psalm 110: 4; Hebrews 7; Hebrews 10: 7 – 9). The priesthood would now be defined differently, with Jesus as our new High Priest over a new Israel (Hebrews 5: 4 – 10). Those He sovereignly calls as priests (Ephesians 4: 11 – 16; 1 Peter 2: 3 – 9) have no need of any other intermediary (1 Timothy 2: 5). The appeal of salvation would be made to “all flesh” (Isaiah 28: 16; Mark 16: 16; John 3: 15 – 16; John 12: 44 – 46), opening it up beyond the Jewish nation to include the Gentiles—i.e., non-Jews (Romans 3: 28 – 30; Romans 11; Galatians 6: 15). Those who call upon His name are made to be new creations (2 Corinthians 5: 17; Galatians 6: 14 – 16); earthly distinctions such as class and gender are set aside (Joel 2: 28 – 29; Matthew 22: 29 – 30; Acts 2: 17 – 18; Galatians 3: 26 – 29; Colossians 3: 10 – 11). Jesus’ reign is an eternal one, and of His Kingdom there will be no end (Isaiah 9: 6 – 7; Psalm 110; Revelation 11: 15).
The church is the holy Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission. Scripture teaches that Jesus gave gifts to His Church, i.e., the Five-Fold Office Gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4: 11). Divinely called and scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for: 1) preparation of God’s people for works of service, 2) to build up His Body to bring them to spiritual maturity into the full stature of Christ, and 3) evangelization of the world (Mark 16: 15, 20; Ephesians 4: 11 – 16).
They function at the Holy Spirit’s discretion in whatever capacity meets His purposes at the moment—not as “owning” a particular calling, but rather flowing with His will and purposes (Matthew 6: 10; John 6: 38; Acts 17: 28; Hebrews 10: 7). This is the church model that Jesus designed; a demonstration of the Holy Spirit operating in miracles, signs, and wonders—where no man will glory in His Presence (1 Corinthians 1: 29). Each believer is an integral part of the church, and their names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Philippians 4: 3; Revelation 13: 8; Revelation 17: 8; Revelation 20: 12; Revelation 20: 15; Revelation 21: 27).
As Christians, we have two forms of righteousness, both made possible for us by Jesus Christ. Firstly, our position before God has been secured through salvation: Christ’s completed work on the cross has established us as sons and daughters of the living God, and joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8: 14 – 17; 1 John 3: 1 – 2; 2 Peter 1: 3 – 4). We stand before God in confidence, knowing that we have been made righteous in His eyes—justified by faith—adopted into the family of God. This describes our legal position as heirs of His covenant. Secondarily, our ongoing righteousness has also been made possible by Jesus Christ (Romans 12: 2). He hasn’t just cleansed us once on the occasion of our acceptance of His gift of salvation; instead, the word used for this cleansing is a verb that speaks of perpetual action—of the ongoing cleansing of our hearts. As we walk in the light of His precious Holy Spirit, Jesus oversees our sanctification and intercedes on our behalf (1 John 1: 7 – 9).
Jesus became for us our justification and our sanctification (Acts 17: 28; Romans 9: 30 – 32). We rest in the completed work of Jesus Christ; whereby He was made to be all that we would ever have need of: our wisdom, our righteousness, our sanctification, and our redemption (1 Corinthians 1: 30; Philippians 2: 13; Galatians 3: 26 – 27). His offer of salvation by faith, and not of works, humbles the fallen human desire to achieve righteousness on our own merit or strength (i.e., self-righteousness) (Ephesians 2: 9 – 10).
Scripture tells us that, on the night before Jesus was to be crucified, He shared a Passover meal with His disciples. While they were dining together, Jesus said that, when they shared bread and wine together in the future, they were to remember Him and what His death accomplished (Luke 22: 14 – 20; John 6: 48 – 57). His body would be broken like bread; His life’s blood would be poured out like wine (Deuteronomy 8: 2 – 10; Matthew 4: 4; Luke 4: 4). This shared corporate moment in the Church has come to be known as the Lord’s Supper; a memorial to His suffering and death, and a prophecy of His promised return (i.e., “until He comes”) (1 Corinthians 11: 25).
Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement of Christ, and is the privilege of all believers (Isaiah 53: 4 – 5; Matthew 8: 16 – 17; Mark 16: 18; John 5: 1 – 14).
The New Covenant officiated by Jesus also brought a new family emphasis to the forefront: an expansion of the definition of God’s kingdom family (John 1: 12; Romans 8: 14 – 17; Galatians 6: 10; Ephesians 2: 19; Ephesians 3: 15; 1 Timothy 3: 15; 1 John 3: 1 – 3). While it’s understood that a true believer would see to the spiritual and physical needs of his own household (1 Timothy 5:8), Jesus defined family as those of the household of faith, not by traditional natural bloodlines (Matthew 12: 48 – 49; Mark 3: 33 – 34; Luke 8: 21). The focus shifted from the Old Testament’s human family and its mandate to populate the earth, to the Bride of Christ, His Body—both metaphors emphasizing their exalted importance. No longer were we to be constrained by the myopic self-interest of our natural families, but rather to shift our focus to a selfless life which reaches out to meet the needs of the spiritually poor and earthly disempowered, both in our neighborhoods and in the world (Matthew 28: 18 – 20; Acts 1: 8).
Jesus taught in Acts 1: 7 that it was not for any man to know the exact hour of His return. Scripture assures us of the resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ (1 Thessalonians 4: 13 – 5: 5), together with those who are alive at His coming. His physical return is imminent, and the blessed hope of the church (1 Thessalonians 4: 16; Romans 6: 23; Romans 11: 25; Titus 2: 13; 1 Corinthians 15: 51 – 58; 2 Thessalonians 1: 7; Revelation 19: l – 16).
We, as promised in the Scripture, look for a new heavens and a new earth wherein righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3: 13; Revelation 21: l). The devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, and whosoever is not found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, shall be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burns fire and brimstone; the second death (Revelation 19: 20; Revelation 20). We are also told to expect a “great falling away from the faith by some” (John 16:1; 2 Thessalonians 2: 3; Hebrews 3: 12; Jude 24), but our Great Commission is to evangelize the lost (Acts 1: 8), and equip those already In Christ for the fulfillment of their individual calling (Ephesians 4: 12).