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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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]
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.
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.