God’s character, purpose, instructions and truth is revealed to us in the Bible, and it is the supreme and final authority in all areas that it addresses, both directly and indirectly. The authority of Scripture cannot be separated from the authority of God. Whatever the Bible affirms, God also affirms because God is his Word (John 1:1). The teachings of Scripture are the supreme standard by which all human conduct, truths, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried.
The Identity and Divinity of ChrisT
Jesus is the second person of the Godhead and the Word made flesh. Full of grace and truth, Jesus came to earth to show us an example of how to live a life that was pleasing to God the Father in Heaven. Most of his teachings were about repentance from sin and about how to inherit the kingdom of God. Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, or the anointed one of God who has been chosen to be the savior of the world. He taught that we should all believe in him because he is the way, the truth and the life, and that there is no way to heaven except by him. In his divinity, he is fully God and fully man. His supernatural signs, wonders, miracles and healings were evidence that the Father was with and in him. His fulfilling of the Old Testament prophesies was proof that he was the Messiah. Jesus used his body as a scapegoat and laid his life down for us. By his suffering, innocent bloodshed and death on the cross, he appeased the wrath of the Father and completely paid the price for the sins of the world. In doing so, he delivered us from the law of sin that condemned us and brought grace to live a life of freedom by way of the Spirit. After Jesus died, and was buried in a tomb, he rose from the grave in three days, then ascended back into heaven where he is currently seated at the right hand of the Father as the Great High Priest, and where he is continuously making intercession for us to get saved. Jesus is both lord and savior. The identity and divinity of Jesus Christ is important because his uniqueness distinguishes him from others who claim (or will claim) to be him.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. The Holy Spirit can be used interchangeably with “the Holy Ghost” or “the Spirit of God”. Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit when he was on Earth carrying out His Father’s plans. Before he ascended back into heaven, Jesus told his disciples that he would not leave them as orphans, but he would send them a helper to be with them, in them and to stay with them forever. Jesus said that it was best for him to ascend back to heaven because if not, the Holy Spirit could not come. After Jesus died on the cross, he released the Holy Spirit from his mortal body.
The Holy Spirit is said to be our helper, comforter, advocate and teacher. He is the Spirit of Truth and will lead us into remembrance of all the things Jesus taught. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins and even prophecies to us about the things to come in the future. He births within us God's divine nature, or fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, meekness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. He gives us dreams, visions, and spiritual gifts, such as: the gift of wisdom, knowledge, prophecy, faith, healing, miraculous powers, discernment of spirits, speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues. These gifts are distributed to believers as the Holy Spirit sees fit, to help us fulfill the ministry of reconciliation and to help us edify and build each other up for the sake of the Kingdom of God. It is essential that every true believer be baptized, or filled with the Holy Spirit; If we do not possess the Holy Spirit, we do not truly belong to Christ. It is by the Spirit that we are adopted into Sonship and are sealed for the day of redemption. In order to be filled, you must sincerely understand and believe in your heart the gospel of Jesus Christ. Search, and you shall find. Knock, and the door shall be opened. Ask, and you shall receive. Your Father in heaven longs to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! The Holy Spirit is a gift of promise.
The Fall of Man into Sin
Sin, as defined in the original translations of the Bible means to “miss the mark.” The mark in this case is the high standard of perfection established by a holy, sinless and perfect God and evidenced by Jesus (Heb 4:15). Sin, then is a transgression of God’s standards whether intentional, non-intentional, by commission or omission, whether in thought, word or deed. Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. Lucifer was the first to sin, while in heaven. Once kicked out, he came to the Garden of Eden and tempted God’s first children, Adam and Eve, to sin. Once they fell into temptation and sinned against God, sin entered into the world, and all of mankind inherited a sin nature, for all of mankind came from Adam. Because of the fall of man, all have become slaves to sin and enemies of God. Sin is the cause of all the world problems: sickness, disease, wars, famine, death, hatred, sexual immorality, greed, pride, idolatry, fear and etc. Sin separates us from God.
The Plan of Salvation (The purpose of the Cross)
The cross is a symbol of ultimate deliverance which comes from the ultimate sacrifice, the blood of the perfect lamb–Jesus Christ. Hebrews 9:22 says, “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Without the shedding of perfect blood, mankind would be eternally condemned without any means to make atonement, or pay off the debt for their sins. Without the bloodshed of Jesus Christ, all of mankind would experience eternal death and total separation from God the Father. The cross bridges the gap between man and God. It delivers us from the wrath of God and into the peace of God. It takes us from being enemies of God to being friends of God. It ushers us from self-righteous works and into an eternal rest. The cross provides ultimate forgiveness for our sins of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
There are two ordinances, or ceremonial rites that Christ established for his Church: water baptism and communion.
Water Baptism Matthew 28:18-20, “Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Communion 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
Neither water baptism nor communion has the power to save us, but we do them symbolically in proclamation of our faith, and out of a clear conscious and our love for God.
Christian Conduct (The standard of holiness)
Holiness is a standard of living made possible only through right relationship with God. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord. God commands that we walk in love and live holy lives as an accurate spiritual reflection of himself. Christians should stand out from the ways of the world. They should be different in conduct and in speech. Always abounding in grace, peace and truth, Christians should let their light shine among the unbelievers so they may see their good deeds and glorify God who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16, Hebrews 12:14, 1 Thessalonians 4:7, 1 Peter 1:15, Isaiah 35:8, 1 John 3:3, 2 Corinthians 7:1, Romans 12:1-2, Colossians 3:10-17, Ephesians 4:1-3)
The Resurrection of the Dead
No one wants to be thrown into the lake of fire (the second death). Everyone hopes to be a citizen of the New Jerusalem. Thus, the resurrection is the hope of every believer that death will not have victory over us. The resurrection is the cornerstone belief of our faith. If it is not true, everything we believe is not true and we believe in vain. We have hope that there is a resurrection because Jesus resurrected Lazarus from the dead. Furthermore, Jesus himself was literally raised from the dead after being buried in a tomb for three days. A testimony takes 2-3 witnesses to be established as true and Jesus was seen by over 500 people after his resurrection. By our faith in him, he will raise us up on the last day to reward us with eternal life. But for all those who do not believe in his name, they will be resurrected and judged to eternal death.
The Promise of Christ’s Second Coming
“So also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him (Hebrews 9:28).” “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:1-4).” Christ promised that he would return and take all those who believe in him to a place where he now resides. His return is imminent and like a thief in the night, it will be without warning. It should cause you to live your life in a state of perpetual readiness.