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What Do We Believe?

 

Introduction: Often these sections of a church website or brochure are long, boring and confusing. One would think that without a six year degree from university, you would not qualify to be 'smart enough' to understand what is being discussed. In this section, we are attempting to make the basic beliefs of the Christian faith clear, simple and easy to understand. We will make every effort to avoid theological terms like 'expiatory' and 'pseudopigraphical' since they don't mean much to the average person. Our design is to set forth the teachings of the Holy Bible and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour.

 

  1. The Bible:
        We believe that the Holy Bible, consisting of 66 books in the Old and New Testaments, is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. It is God's way of revealing Himself to mankind, and is equally relevant to all men regardless of the race, religion, ethnic origin or country of residence. God spoke to holy men in ancient times and put His exact words in their mouths. They spoke the words of God, and these words were written down under the direct supervision of God's holy Spirit. Despite all attempts to corrupt God's words, He has made sure that they were retained exactly as He intended them to reveal His nature and work to His creation.

        We believe that we now have the words of God perfectly preserved in the English language in the Authorized King James Bible. We believe that attempts to subvert God's authority by appealing to "the original Greek..." are dishonest and smokescreens to conceal the desire to make human scholarship the final authority. "The originals"
    * do not exist, and have not existed for centuries. Just as God superintended the copying of the Hebrew laws and prophet's writings over centuries, He has also directed the preservation of the New Testament scriptures since the time of Christ and the Apostles. Even in their translation into the English language, God has preserved His words without error so that we may know what to believe about Him, and how to worship Him. If the scriptures are not God's words, then we have no sound basis for our faith or religion. To our Francophone friends, we recommend the Ostervald French Bible.

    * When a man says, "This word in the original Greek should be..." he is not being completely honest. There are over 5000 Greek manuscripts in existence today containing portions of the New Testament scripture. Some of these manuscripts are reliable, and others are obviously flawed. To be completely honest, the speaker should tell you which Greek manuscript he is using to correct what God said. The newer English translations come from a group of manuscripts that are missing many important words and verses. We cannot accept an incomplete translation (which is missing whole sections of verses) as being the authoritative words of God. We do not expect you to simply take our word for it; if you are in doubt, please complete the following
    Quiz from the New International Version of the Bible.

     

  2. God:
        We believe that there is one God. His name is JEHOVAH, which means "I am." [Exodus 3:13,14] God's name, "I am" is a statement of His eternal existence. He was there before there was space, time or matter and He will continue to exist independent of space, time and matter. He is the Creator of all things that now exist, or that ever have existed. Out of His creation He has chosen particular individuals from time to time to reveal His greatness to mankind. He chose Noah and his family to repopulate the earth after a flood that enclosed the earth in a blanket of water to the tops of the mountains. He chose a man named Abram to become the father of a family, which grew into a tribe, which became the nation of Israel. He distinguished Himself from all the other gods that were worshipped by noting Himself as "the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." the fathers of the Jewish nation [Exodus 3:6].

        God is the eternal king over all creation. Although some to whom He has delegated authority have been unfaithful, He remains in control of all things and maintains His creation by His own power. He is the beginning and the end.

     

  3. Jesus Christ:
        Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and existed eternally with Him from before the beginning of time. Jesus, as God, made all things that now exist, or that ever have existed. At the point in history from which our calendar is dated, God invested Himself in the womb of a virgin named Mary and formed the body of flesh that grew and came forth as the One we now know as Jesus Christ.
       
        This child developed into manhood, experiencing the full range of the human experience from our perspective. As an adult, He began to go about doing public miracles and teaching men and women about the God that they were trying to worship by good deeds and sacred observances. After three short years, jealous religious leaders rose up against Him and demanded that the government put Him to death. Together with these jealous leaders, the Roman government hung Jesus Christ on a cross to die in AD 33. After three days, Jesus Christ rose from the dead by the power of endless life that was within Him. He was seen alive by well over 500 eye witnesses and, after a short time of consoling His distraught followers, He left them with the commission to tell the good news of His great sacrifice to the whole world. His death, burial and resurrection served to appease God's wrath on sin and now God is willing to forgive any man, woman or child who will ask for forgiveness on the basis of Christ's suffering in their place.
     

  4. Man:
        Mankind, though part of God's original creation, is a special creation of God. He has been given a higher order of consciousness than all other creation, and was made in the image of God. Through disobedience, mankind fell out of favor with God and was banished from the direct, intimate relationship that they once held with Him. Since man's life came from God who is eternal, the first man had eternal life. When, through man's disobedience, sin came into the world man became subject to death - able to maintain life only as long as the body continues to function.

        All of mankind is subject to this same curse of death, which becomes and eternal state of separation from God in eternal torment upon our rejection of His gift of redemption through Jesus Christ. In order to live eternally with God (as originally intended), we need to have eternal life reintroduced to our soul. The scriptures record in [1 John 5:10-12], "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." Without the reintroduction of eternal life by faith in Christ, we have no hope but eternal death.

     

  5. Sin:
        Sin is clearly defined in the Bible as crossing the boundaries of God's commandments [1 John 3:4]. Whether we disregard a "thou shalt not...", or a "thou shalt...", violating God's laws is judged as SIN. Sin carries a very clear penalty as recorded in [Romans 6:23], "...the wages of sin is death;" If we could go through life without ever sinning, we would have nothing to fear; but the Bible is clear: "But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe." [Galatians 3:22]. That means that every man, woman and child that has ever lived has committed enough sin to be called a sinner; "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" [Romans 3:23]. The ONLY One who ever was successful in living an entire life and never sinning one time was God in human flesh, Jesus Christ. When He suffered and died for sins that He never committed, God was completely satisfied with the punishment that He took in our place [1 John 2:1,2]. Now whoever will trust in Christ's punishment to pay for their sin can be redeemed from the curse of sin and have eternal life [John 20:31] [Acts 10:43]!

     

  6. Spirits:
        There are three kinds of spirits in existence. There is God's spirit, called the Holy Spirit (or the Holy Ghost); and their are God's angels who are called 'ministering spirits' [Hebrews 1:13,14]. Secondly, there are ungodly spirits, called 'unclean spirits,' 'devils' and 'the devil' in the scriptures. There is also the spirit of man. As king over the unclean spirits, the devil is intent on waging war with God over the spirit of man.

        In the Bible, angels are connected with proclamations of God and acting on God's behalf in the affairs of men. Conversely, devils and unclean spirits are connected with witchcraft, wizardry, magic, necromancy and other perverse activities which commonly fall under what is now known as occultism. In the middle of this struggle is mankind with his own free will and rational mind.

        God has revealed Himself to man by the direct, straightforward revelation of scripture. The devil is deceitful and malicious, often masquerading as a 'minister of righteousness' [2 Corinthians 11:13-15]. We are instructed to test the spirits to see whether they are of God or not [1 John 4:1-3]. Everything religious is not of God. Everything spiritual is not of God. We can discern what is right from what is wrong by comparing our observations against the scriptures.

     

  7. Salvation:
        Many people today do not understand the term 'be saved' or 'salvation.' They think that if they are a reasonably moral person and they have never killed anyone that they don't need to 'be saved.' Others think of 'salvation' in terms of their quality of life. If they are not in trouble with the law, not facing an adverse financial condition, and have reasonably good health - they see no need to consider 'salvation.

        There are a few simple facts that must be recognized to understand the term salvation
     

1. Every man, woman and child has sinned before a holy God.

 

2. God demands a punishment for sin which is death and ultimately hell.

 

3. Jesus Christ paid that debt for us when He suffered in our place on the cross.

 

4. Once we cross the line of becoming a sinner, there is nothing we can do to redeem ourselves.

 

5. If you will confess your sins, and ask Jesus Christ to be your Saviour, He will give you eternal life!

The alternative is to continue in your present condition (if you have not yet trusted Christ). At birth, we have a sinful nature which we inherited from Adam and Eve. That makes us predisposed to sin and ultimately, we all fall prey to one temptation or another. Once sin has robbed us of our innocence, we are directly accountable to the holy Creator of the Universe for our disobedience. Since God is eternal, and sin separates us from God, our separation from Him is eternal unless we can come up with a suitable payment for our sins. The only thing that God will accept to pay for our sin is the death of someone who has lived an absolutely sinless life as a substitute for us. That rules us out, and every other priest, public official and private person that has ever lived. The only One who qualifies to pay for our sin is the Lord Jesus Christ. Presently (without Christ) you are without hope and without God in the world [Ephesians 2:12]. Without Christ you are facing the wrath of God on sin without any remedy [John 3:36]. Without Christ, you need to be SAVED from the awful penalty and punishment that awaits those who reject the free gift of redemption in Jesus Christ. Salvation is the only option to damnation - and it's entirely free to all men everywhere. While there is life, there is hope.