Sep 10, 2021 08:00am
Here’s What We Believe-Part Two

Mankind was made in the image of God. Every human personality is uniquely created, possesses dignity, and is worthy of respect and Christian love. However, sin has separated us from God and His purpose for our lives. As a result, man cannot attain a right relationship with God. 

Humanity was created good and upright, for God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” But by voluntary transgression, mankind fell, and the only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. To receive forgiveness from God and new birth, we must repent of our sins, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and submit to His will for our lives. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ: His death, burial and resurrection. 

Salvation is a gift from God, not a result of our good works or of any human effort. 

Baptism, which follows salvation, is an ordinance symbolic of the Christian’s identification with Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Salvation makes us righteous before God, but sanctification is the development of Christ’s character in us through an ongoing process of yielding to God’s Word and His Spirit in order to complete the development of Christ’s character in us. 

It is through the present ministry of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God that the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.

The Holy Spirit is manifested through a variety of spiritual gifts to build and sanctify the church, demonstrate the validity of the resurrection, and confirm the power of the gospel. All believers are commanded to earnestly desire the manifestation of the gifts in their lives. 

These gifts always operate in harmony with Scripture and should never be used in violation of biblical parameters. 

The Holy Spirit’s work in our lives today is ongoing. He answers prayers and impacts lives via the miraculous and the supernatural in demonstrations of His love and power displaying His compassion and glory. The power of the Holy Spirit displayed in the New Testament continues to our present day. In John 14:12 Jesus says, “ . . . whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” 

God is both Creator and Judge of all men, so we should share his concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every kind of oppression. Because men and women are made in the image of God, every person – regardless of race, religion, color, culture, class, sex or age – has an intrinsic dignity that should be respected and served, not exploited. 

Life is valuable and should be protected from womb to tomb. Reconciliation with other people is not reconciliation with God, nor is social action evangelism, but both are part of our Christian duty. 

Both are necessary expressions of our doctrines of God and Man, love for our neighbor, and obedience to Jesus Christ. 

The message of salvation implies a message of judgment upon every form of alienation, oppression and discrimination, and we should not be afraid to denounce evil and injustice wherever they exist. When people receive Christ they are born again into his kingdom and must seek not only to exhibit but also to spread its righteousness in the midst of an unrighteous world. 

The salvation we claim should be transforming us in the totality of our personal and social responsibilities. Faith without works is dead.

The church has a sacred power and its significance necessitates believers to meet regularly together for fellowship, prayer, and the “breaking of bread.” The church is the body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of Jesus’ Great Commission. 

Every person born of the Spirit is an integral part of the church as a member of the body of believers. There is a spiritual unity of all believers in Christ. The Lord’s Supper is a unique time of communion in the presence of God when the elements of bread and grape juice (a representation of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ) are taken in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

Heaven is the eternal dwelling place for all believers in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and after living one life on earth, unbelievers will be judged by God. Scripture uses terms like “everlasting fire,” “torment,” and “wrath” to describe Hell. 

While no one can be certain of exactly what Hell is, we can be certain that it includes eternal separation from God.

Knowing, believing, practicing, and sharing these biblical, spiritual truths should encourage you, Christian, to share your salvation story and make disciples of all people, so Jesus’ sacrifice can be known throughout the world.

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