THE BIBLE, which is composed of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is inspired by the Spirit of God and is free from errors in its original writings. It is the only written word from God and has final authority for what Christians should believe and how they should live. (II Timothy 3:16, 17; II Peter 1:21; 3:2; Jeremiah 23:29-32; Proverbs 30:5, 6; Revelation 22:18-19)
THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD, CREATOR OF ALL. He exists in three equal persons: The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:10-19; II Corinthians 13:14). God is Spirit. He is eternal, holy, and unlimited in power and know- ledge, perfect in Love and righteousness and sovereign Lord over his creation. His character never changes. (John 4:24; I Timothy 1:17; 6:16; Psalm 90:2; I Peter 1:15, 16; Revelation 19:6; Psalm 147:5; Exodus 34:6; Isaiah 45:21; Psalm 135:5, 6; Malachi 3:6) A. GOD THE FATHER, in his justice, will punish every sin without partiality; yet in his love, He desires every person to be saved. Therefore, He sent his Son into the world to redeem people from their sin. (Romans 2:2, 11; II Peter 3:9; John 3:16, 17; Revelation 3:19; Jeremiah 30:11) B. JESUS CHRIST is eternal God. He became man, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on the cross as God’s chosen sacrifice for sin, arose bodily from the dead, and was taken up into heaven where he is seated at the Father’s right hand as the only mediator between God and man. He will personally and visibly return. (John 1:1, 14; Matthew 1:23; Hebrews 1:3; 7:26, 27; I Corinthians 15:3, 4; I Timothy 2:5; Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:7; 11:15) C. THE HOLY SPIRIT Is God, equal with the Father and the Son. He has a personality with a mind, emotion and will. He convicts the unbeliever of sin and points him to Christ. The Holy Spirit comes to live within the repentant sinner from the moment he trusts Christ as Savior. He joins him into the body of Christ, which is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He guides, sanctifies and empowers the believer for service. He gives different spiritual gifts to different Christians as he wills. (II Corinthians 3:17; Acts 5:3-5; John 16:7-11; Romans 8:9, 13, 14; I Corinthians 6:19; 12:11-14)
SATAN is a created spirit who fell into the sin of pride. He is also called the Devil. He rules over the World of evil spirits and powers and opposes the work of God. He blinds unbelievers to the truth and seeks to deceive Christians. Evil spirits tempt people to sin, originate false teaching and religion, empowers African science and witchcraft, and encourages every form of wickedness, Satan and the spirits have already been defeated by Christ at the Cross, and they will be judged and cast into eternal punishment in the lake of fire. Therefore, believers should not fear them or become involved with their works; but resist and overcome Satan and his demons. (Isaiah14:12-15; I Timothy 3:6; Ephesians 2:2; 6:11; II Corinthians 4:34; I Timothy 4:1; Deuteronomy 18:10-14; Colossians 2:14; 15; Revelation 20:10; James 4:7; I John 4:4).
BECAUSE OF THE SIN OF ADAM AND EVE, everyone is born with a sinful nature. Therefore, no one is able to save himself. Everyone is personally responsible before God for his own sins. The wages of sin is death. (Romans 3:23; 5:12; 6:23; Ezekiel 18:20; Mark 7:21-23).
SALVATION is an undeserved gift from God by His grace. Salvation cannot be earned by human works. When a person turns from his sin and places his faith in Jesus Christ, his sins are forgiven through the cleansing blood of Christ, and he is immediately born again as a child of God and receives eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7; Ephesians 2:8, 9; I John 1:7; 5:13).
EVERY BELIEVER’S SANCTIFICATION occurs in two ways. First is the position of holiness given the believers the moment he trusts Christ. Second, sanctification is a life-long process by which the Holy Sprit changes the believer to become like Jesus Christ by enabling him to overcome sin and by producing the fruit of the Spirit. Each believer is responsible to obey the will of God, particularly as found in the Bible. (Hebrews 10:10; I Peter 1:2; Philippians 1:6; 2:12; 13; Galatians 5:22-25)
LIFE AND JUDGMENT AFTER DEATH. When a person dies, his body returns to the dust until the day of resurrection. The soul of the unbeliever is imprisoned in Hades awaiting final judgment; where as the soul of the believer is taken immediately to heaven into the glorious presence of the Lord. (Genesis 3:19; II Corinthians 5:6-8; Revelation 6:9-11; Luke 16:19-31)
RETURN OF CHRIST. At the end of this age, Christ will return to receive believers, both those who are living and those who have died, into his kingdom. They will be given immortal bodies without a sin nature. Unbelievers will be raised bodily from the dead and receive everlasting punishment for their sins. (Matthew 25:46; John 5:28-29; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Philippians 3:20, 21; I Corinthians 15:52, 53; I John 3:2)
CHURCH: UNIVERSAL AND LOCAL. The universal Church is made up of all those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ, having been at that time joined into his body by the Holy Spirit. The Church is the spiritual house of God with Christ as its cornerstone; it is the body of Christ with Him as its head; it is the bride of Christ that he loves and is sanctifying for himself. In every place believers are to be gathered together in local congregations to do his work on earth. (Ephesians 1:22, 23; 2:19-22; 5:25-32; Hebrews 10:24, 25)
THE GREAT COMMISSION. It is the responsibility of all believers to bear witness of Jesus Christ to every person by a godly life and public testimony in the power and under the direction of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; I Thessalonians 1:5)
BELIEVER’S BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER are the visible symbols of our faith given to the Church of Christ. They have no power to save a person, but are testimonies, to the believer’s salvation.
A. WATER BAPTISM. This is by immersion for believers only. It gives testimony to the fact of a believer’s spiritual life and is not to be understood as a mark of spiritual maturity. (Matthew 28:19; Acts 8:12; Romans 6:3, 4)
B. THE LORD’S SUPPER was introduced by Jesus as a reminder of his suffering and death for the forgiveness of our sins. It is not a means of forgiveness. The Lord’s Supper is to be regularly observed by all baptized believers whose lives demonstrate that they are seeking to live in obedience to Scripture. (Acts 2:41-42; Matthew 26:26-28; I Corinthians 11:23-29)