God is the creator and ruler of the universe. He eternally exists 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 and woman are made in the image of God, to be like Him in every area of living. Humankind is the supreme object of God’s creation. Although humans have tremendous potential for good, every human being is marred by an innate disobedience toward God – a desire to be his or her own god – which Scripture calls sin. Sin separates humankind from God, which Scripture warns results in death in this life and the next. It is impossible for human beings to overcome this reality through their own efforts. Sin is a fundamental offense against God, and because of God’s holiness and justice, sin simply cannot be ignored by Him. It requires the payment of a penalty to satisfy God’s justice and to restore all humans 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 – He is fully God and fully human. Jesus is co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Because of God’s love for all human beings, Jesus was sent to overcome everyone’s separation from Him by paying, on everyone’s behalf, the penalty for sin that we could never pay for ourselves. Jesus lived a sinless human life, and offered Himself as the full payment for all sins of all humankind. This was accomplished by His dying on the cross. Jesus Christ rose from the grave after three days, and thus conquered sin and death. He is now with the Father, until the day when He will return again to earth to redeem and rule over all of creation. On that day, heaven and earth with finally overlap and be married in eternal existence.
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
Humans were created to exist forever. And we will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally in relationship with God, through personal acceptance of Jesus as our Lord and Savior. To be eternally separated from God is hell. To be eternally in relationship with God is eternal life – heaven.
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 and His resurrection – cannot be earned: it is a precious gift from God. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works – it is only by accepting the reality of our sin, accepting Jesus’ death in payment of the penalty for it, fully believing in His triumphant resurrection, and trusting Jesus as Lord and Savior in all aspects of our lives that we can be saved from the consequences of sin. Eternal relationship with God begins the moment one receives Jesus into his or her life by faith. Salvation, and the eternal relationship with God that comes with it, are unmerited gifts from God. The person who accepts and fully believes in Jesus’ death and resurrection on his or her behalf can never lose salvation. Salvation is guaranteed and sustained by the grace and power of God through His Spirit.
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 personal Agent of God’s living presence and power in the life of the Christ-follower. 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 – which is the Church. The Holy Spirit lives in all Christ-followers, 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 God’s family to overcome sin. He enlightens and empowers both the individual 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 – the Old and New Testaments, all 66 books – is God’s written word to all people. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is a “closed Canon.” It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. In all its teaching, it is in perfect accord with God’s 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 Christ. Baptism is a public declaration that the Christ-follower has accepted Jesus as his or her personal Savior. Baptism does not save anyone, but it shows the world that salvation has already occurred. And while baptism is not required for salvation, it is a biblical command, and demonstrates 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 everyone, and it symbolizes 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 Communion because Jesus directed us to do so, and because it testifies to our faith in what He did for everyone on the cross.
Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29