God is the creator and ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
Genesis 1:1, 26, 27; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14
Man is made in the spiritual image of God, to be like him in character. He is the supreme object of God’s creation. Although man has tremendous potential for good, he is marred by an innate attitude of disobedience toward God – a determination, in effect, to be his own God – that we call “sin.” This attitude separates man from God, resulting in spiritual death, and is impossible for man to overcome through his own efforts. Sin is also a fundamental offense against God that cannot, because of God’s holiness and justice, simply be ignored by him. It requires the payment of a penalty to satisfy God’s justice and to restore man to a right relationship with him.
Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1, 2
About Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God and co-equal with the Father. Because of God’s love for all mankind, Jesus was sent to overcome our separation from God by paying on our behalf the penalty for sin that we could not pay for ourselves. He lived a sinless human life and offered himself as the full payment for the sins of all mankind by dying on a cross. He rose from the grave after three days to demonstrate his power over sin and death, and went back to be with the Father, until the day when he will return again to earth to rule over all of creation.
John 3:16; Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14, 15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14, 15; Titus 2:13
Man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally in relationship with God through personal acceptance of Jesus’ death on his behalf. To be eternally separated from God is spiritual death, or hell. To be eternally in relationship with God is eternal life.
John 3:16; 1 John 2:25; 5:11-13; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15; Matthew 25:31-46
Salvation – having our sins paid for and forgiven as a result of Jesus’ death on the cross – cannot be earned: it is a gift from God to man. Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works – it is only by acknowledging the reality of his sin, accepting Jesus’ death in payment of the penalty for it, and trusting Jesus as lord and guide in all aspects of his life that man can be saved from the consequences of his sin. Eternal relationship with God begins the moment one receives Jesus into his life by faith.
Because salvation, and the eternal relationship with God that comes with it, is a gift from God to man, the believer who has once acknowledged and accepted Jesus’ work on his behalf can never lose his salvation. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the believer.
Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8, 9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1 John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10, 14; 1 Peter 1:3-5
About the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the principal agent of God’s living presence and power in the life of the believer. He is co-equal with the Father and the Son. He calls everyone to Jesus Christ as Savior, causes conviction of sin, leads people to rebirth in Christ, gives new life in Christ, and baptizes them into the Body of Christ – The Church. He lives in all believers where He testifies to the truth about the life and person of Jesus Christ; He cultivates Christian character; provides comfort in times of struggle and grief; and empowers believers to overcome sin. He enlightens and empowers both the believer and the church in worship, evangelism and service.
2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25
About the Bible
The Bible is God’s word to all men. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. In all its teaching, it is in perfect accord with the truth.
2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105, 160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5
Baptism by immersion symbolizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, and is a public declaration that the believer has accepted Jesus as personal savior. Baptism does not save the believer, but shows the world that salvation has already occurred. And while baptism is not required for salvation, it is a biblical command and demonstrates the believer’s love for and obedience to Jesus.
Colossians 2:12; Acts 2:41; Ephesians 2:8-9; Matthew 28:19-20
Communion, or the Lord’s Supper, was instituted by Jesus to remind us of his sacrifice for us and to symbolize the new relationship we have with God through him. The bread and wine or juice are symbols of Jesus’ crucified body and shed blood. Communion is not a means of salvation. We celebrate it because Jesus directed us to do so, and because it testifies to our faith in what he did for us on the cross.
Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29