The Bible is the inspired Word of God. It is our sole authority for discerning and putting into practice God’s Will. The Bible is a perfect revelation from God which points us to the Living Word, Jesus Christ. God’s Word is the truth which leads men and women to salvation.
There is one living and true God who reveals Himself to us in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This triune nature comprises one Supreme Being who is omnipotent, eternal, holy, and infinitely loving. To Him we owe our highest obedience, reverence, and love.
Jesus of Nazareth is the incarnation of Almighty God. The Bible say that “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). Jesus is completely God and completely man, miraculously born of a virgin. He is the earthly son of a heavenly Father and the heavenly son of an earthly mother. Jesus came to reveal God to mankind and to offer himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world when he died on a cross. God raised him from the dead on the third day in order to prove that Jesus was victorious over sin and death and hell. After forty days the risen Christ ascended into heaven, and the Bible says that he will come again in power and glory in order to bring this world to a triumphant conclusion.
The Holy Spirit is the active presence of God in the world and in the hearts and lives of God’s people. The Spirit of God brings about conviction of sin and regeneration, or a new birth, in the lives of believers. Also, the Holy Spirit empowers the Christian to live out his/her faith, provides assurance of salvation for the believer, and bestows upon every believer spiritual gifts for use in God’s ministry.
Men and women were created by God in His own image. This means that men and women have dominion over the earth, they have the ability to choose right from wrong, and they have the opportunity to relate to God and to one another. Because of their “free will” all people choose to sin against God and, therefore, are separated from God. People cannot overcome their sin on their own in order to be reconciled with God. Rather, they must totally depend upon the saving power of God. We are created in the image of Adam and Eve and have received their sin nature. Jesus is the “new Adam” who did not sin against God. It is through him that we take on a new nature in which our sins are forgiven and cleansed.
The Bible says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Also, the Bible says, “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Sin separates us from God and there is no way that we can get rid of the sin in our life. There is nothing that we can do in order to overcome this terrible plight. Fortunately, God loves us, and He sent Jesus into the world in order to solve our sin problem for us. Because of his love for us, Jesus died on a cross as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. The Bible tells how Jesus took our sin upon himself; he took the punishment for our sins. Therefore, salvation (forgiveness of sin and a personal relationship with God) is a gift provided for everyone by God. However, we must receive this gift by placing our faith in Christ and surrendering to Jesus as the Lord of our life. Salvation is purely a gift of God’s grace which we receive by faith. Then, we are reconciled with God and will live in heaven with Jesus for all of eternity and Jesus will live on earth with us.
A New Testament church is a local body of believers in Christ who gather together in order to carry out the mission of Christ on earth. The purposes of the church are to build up the believers in their faith through worship, Bible study, and fellowship, and then to spread the Good News of Jesus and the love of Christ around the world through evangelism, ministry, and missions. Every Christian is a minister, and every Christian has spiritual gifts to be used in the ministry of the church. The Biblical ordinances of the church are believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
The New Testament sets forth two specific “ordinances” for the church to observe: The Lord’s Supper and Baptism. These are both powerful, symbolic practices which Jesus instructed the church to carry out to remind us of His death, burial, and resurrection. One is primarily focused on building up the church (the Lord’s Supper) and the other is primarily targeted toward presenting the Gospel to the world (baptism).
We do not call Baptism and the Lord’s Supper sacraments. The reason we do not use that term is because the word sacrament means “it saves you.” The Lord’s Supper and baptism do not provide salvation, but rather, they are both powerful symbols of the salvation that has already been provided through faith in Christ. We call them ordinances because they were ordained by God for Christians to use in order to remember Jesus’ death and resurrection.