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saved by Grace alone,
through Faith alone,
in Christ alone,
according to Scripture alone,for the glory of God alone.
THE WORD OF GOD
Song of Solomon
HOW-TO KNOW CHRIST
The Word of God proclaims how-to know Christ and come into a living relationship with Jesus.
First, acknowledge you are a sinner. While some may think they are good people everyone has committed sin. Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Second, recognize you deserve death. Because God is holy, He must judge sin. The penalty for sin is eternal separation from God. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Third, understand Jesus died for your sins. The Gospel or good news of the Bible is that God graciously supplied a substitute for the penalty you deserve. Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Fourth, put your trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior. God invites you to come into a relationship with Him through faith in the death of Christ on your behalf. Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Fifth, by faith alone in Christ alone through grace alone, you will come into a loving relationship with Jesus. 1 John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
DEITY OF JESUS CHRIST
The Bible directly states that Jesus is God in a number of passages.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 20:28 Thomas answered and said to Him, My Lord and my God! Romans 9:5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. Philippians 2:6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, Titus 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,
Hebrews 1:8 But of the Son He says, Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom. 1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. John 13:3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God,
Colossians 1:15-19 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,
1 Timothy 3:16 By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory. Hebrews 1:3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.
When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Taken by themselves, these verses provide enough evidence for the church to believe in and teach the deity of Jesus Christ. But the indirect evidence of Scripture is equally compelling. The names of God are often applied to Jesus. He is called the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and Immanuel which means God with us. Elsewhere Jesus is called The Lord Jehovah our Righteousness, God, and Son of God. The Bible ascribes the characteristics of deity to Jesus Christ.
He is described as eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, and immutable. Jesus Christ is equal with God the Father. He is worshiped as God. His name is assigned equal standing with God the Father in the church's baptismal formula and in the apostolic benediction. Christ performed works which only God can do. He is creator. He is the upholder of all things. He forgives sin. He will raise the dead and execute judgment.
Jesus Christ Himself claimed deity. He taught His disciples to pray in His name. He claimed that He and the Father were one and that He was the Son of God. He claimed that to know Him was to know God, to see Him was to see God, to receive Him was to receive God, to believe Him was to believe in God and to honor Him was to honor God, while to hate Him was to hate God.
VIRGIN BIRTH OF CHRIST
The eternal Son of God took upon Him our nature, being conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. The virgin birth is implied in the Old Testament as early as Genesis which promised that the seed of woman would be the victor over Satan and sin. It is expressly predicted in Isaiah with Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
According to Matthew, this prophecy was fulfilled in Mary. She is called a virgin in Luke. The Greek term parthenos normally referred to an unmarried woman of marriageable age. Mary did not conceive through ordinary means, but through the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:35 The angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.
This was God's miraculous intervention, producing offspring without a human father. No man or angel was involved. Christ, who was God from all eternity, took hold of this human nature thus conceived and joined it to Himself. What called for the virgin birth? The fundamental need was found in the nature of the human race. Every normal, human birth produces another sinner, just as Adam, as sinner, produced a race of sinners.
Our Savior had to be genuinely human and truly sinless in order to be our perfect substitute and pay our penalty of guilt before an infinite God by His death. This doctrine stands at the heart of the Lord's person and saving work. Without the virgin birth, there would be no salvation for sinners. Jesus Christ would be a sinful human being. If the virgin birth did not occur, then the Bible is not true and cannot be trusted.
In short, it is an essential part of salvation and of Scripture.
ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST
According to the Scriptures, sin must be paid for. 1 Peter 1:18-19 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
When Jesus Christ died, he suffered as a substitute in the place of and on behalf of fallen humanity. Christ's death made it possible for men and women to be declared righteous, based on their faith in Him. Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
Christ's death was not merely a statement against evil or an expression of love, but a payment that satisfied God's demand. Christ's death was necessary for several reasons.
First, sin alienates us from God. Ephesians 2:12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
Those who are controlled by sin cannot please God. Romans 8:5-8 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Jesus Christ's death made peace with God possible. Colossians 1:20-21 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,
Christ came, not just to provide us with a godly example, but to die on our behalf and to bear the cost for sin. Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—
Second, God is holy. 1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
God's holy character requires that sin be punished. Sin makes us the objects of God's wrath until the penalty of sin is paid. By laying down His own life, Jesus paid the price on our behalf, satisfying God's demand. This payment was made, not to Satan, but God.
Third, the presence of sin renders us helpless. We cannot save ourselves. We do not have the will or the ability to offer anything acceptable to God on our own behalf. We not only suffer from the guilt and penalty of Adam's original sin, but also from the effects of our own sinful nature and actions. God, who is rich in mercy, sent Jesus Christ to die in our place, so that He might be righteous in dealing with sin while at the same time providing His own righteousness to those who believe in Jesus Christ. Christ's death was more than an attempt to reverse the human course started by Adam; it served as substitute payment for trespasses of all mankind.
RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of our Christian faith. 1 Corinthians 15:17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.
This event, which occurred almost 2,000 years ago is the best attested fact in human history and experience. The resurrection of Christ was predicted in the Old Testament and by Christ Himself. During the 40 days following His resurrection, Jesus showed Himself to be alive from the dead by many infallible proofs. Acts 1:3 To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.
He appeared at various times and places to many people who told others what they had seen. Christ's resurrection has been at the heart of the church's message from the Day of Pentecost to the present. By rising from the dead, Jesus Christ demonstrated that He had cleansed the guilt of our past and is able to help us in our present lives. His resurrection assures us that our future is safe and secure.
Without Christ's resurrection we would have no salvation from sin, and no hope for our own future resurrection. The empty tomb is proof of Christ's deity. Romans 1:4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,
It guarantees the future resurrection of believers. The resurrection of Christ also provides believers with spiritual power today. The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is evidence that God will one day judge the world in righteousness.
SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST
During the second coming of Christ, His return from heaven will be personal, visible, and glorious. A blessed hope for which we should constantly watch and pray. Revelation 1:7 Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.
Before He establishes His kingdom on earth, Jesus will come for His Church, an event commonly referred to as the Rapture. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
In this resurrection, those who have died in Christ will have their redeemed souls and spirits united with a body similar to Christ's glorified body. Christians living at the time of this event will not die, but will be changed to be like Christ. This expectation is a motivation for holy living, as well as a source of comfort. No man knows the day or the hour when this will take place. Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
After the Rapture of the Church, Christians will be brought before the judgment seat of Christ. He will reward them on the basis of the works they have accomplished. This is not a judgment to determine their salvation but a reward for labor on Christ's behalf. The Rapture will also inaugurate a period that the Bible characterizes as the great day of His wrath, the great tribulation and the time of Jacob's trouble.
This time of unprecedented difficulty will affect Israel and all nations. Its purpose will be to prepare Israel for her Messiah. At the end of the Tribulation, Jesus Christ will return with the hosts of heaven as well as the Church to establish the Messianic Kingdom on earth. Zechariah 14:9 And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one.
His Kingdom will last for a 1,000 years. At this Second Coming, the Antichrist will be cast into the Lake of Fire and Satan will be bound for a thousand years. The nations and their representatives will be judged. Israel will be restored to her land, never more to be removed. Christ will reign with firmness and equity. His kingdom will be marked by material and spiritual blessing, since the curse upon the earth will be removed. The Messianic kingdom will close with apostasy and rebellion. God will crush this uprising in the last battle of the ages and Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire.
All those who rejected the Word of God will be resurrected. They will be judged by Christ and cast into the lake of fire, the place where they will suffer final and everlasting punishment. After this judgment there will be a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness is the norm. There will be a new Jerusalem and the everlasting presence of God among all the redeemed.
Revelation 21:2-3 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, Revelation 2:3-5 and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.
PERSON & WORK OF THE SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with God the Father and God the Son and is of the same essence. Yet He is also distinct from them. Scripture describes the Holy Spirit in personal terms, not as an impersonal force, when it says that He teaches, guides, comforts and intercedes.
John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. He possesses emotions, intellect and will. Ephesians 4:30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit spoke to Philip and gave counsel to the church at Jerusalem. Acts 8:29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, Go up and join this chariot. He was sinned against and lied to.
The Scriptures also attest to the deity of the Holy Spirit. He is spoken of as God and is identified with the title of Jehovah. The Christian who is indwelt by the Spirit is indwelt by God. The Holy Spirit possesses the attributes of deity, such as omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence and eternality. He does works only God can do, such as creating, regenerating and sanctifying.
He is equally associated with the other members of the Trinity. The work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament differed somewhat from His work in the New Testament. The possession of the Holy Spirit by the believer was not permanent in every case. The Spirit had a ministry of restraining sin and in the creation of the world. The Holy Spirit today plays a major role in the application of salvation to the individual. It is the Spirit who brings conviction to the unbeliever and causes him to see the truth of the gospel in a clear light.
Those who respond to this conviction and place their faith in Jesus Christ receive eternal life and a new nature. The Holy Spirit unites the believer with Christ and places him in the body of Christ, the church. He also unites the believer with Christ in His death, enabling him to live victoriously over sin.
The Holy Spirit controls the believer who yields to God and submits himself to God's Word. When these conditions are met, the believer lives in the power of the Spirit and produces the fruit of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit indwells the believer permanently. While the child of God may sin and grieve the Spirit, the Spirit will never leave the true believer. Absence of the Holy Spirit is the mark of the unsaved. The Holy Spirit seals the believer. This ministry guarantees the security of the believer until the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit sovereignly bestows spiritual gifts or abilities for service to every believer.
Although His restraint of evil in the world today will cease with the rapture, He will continue to be present in the earth. In the tribulation period the Spirit will be involved in salvation and filling. In the coming kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Spirit will be in God's people and the Spirit will be upon the King.
SIGN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
There is one baptism of the Holy Spirit that occurs at the time a person is born again. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Placing that one into the body of Christ. Romans 12:4-5 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Spiritual gifts distributed to believers to equip them for ministry. Ephesians 4:7-13 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says, “When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, And He gave gifts to men. Now this expression, He ascended, what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ and the sign gifts which are understood to have been manifestations of the Holy Spirit to authenticate the messenger and the gospel message during the foundational period of the church.
1 Corinthians 1:22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 1 Corinthians 14:20-22 Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature. In the Law it is written, By men of strange tongues and by the lips of strangers I will speak to this people, and even so they will not listen to Me, says the Lord. So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe.
Sign gifts are not normative for the church today.
BIBLE INSPIRATION & INERRANCY
The Bible is God's word. The Bible, including both the Old and New Testaments, is a divine revelation, the original autographs of which were verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit. Revelation is God's self-disclosure. It is God making Himself known to men. God has revealed himself in a limited way in creation. But the Bible is a form of special revelation. The Bible is special revelation in the sense that it goes beyond what may be known about God through nature.
It is divine in origin, since in the Bible God makes known things which otherwise could never be known. The Bible is unique because it is God's revelation recorded in human language. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
This implies that God is the source or origin of what is recorded in Scripture. God, through the Holy Spirit, used human authors to write what He revealed in the Bible. They were not mere copyists or transcribers. The Holy Spirit guided and controlled the writers of Scripture, who used their own vocabularies and styles but wrote only what the Holy Spirit intended. This is true only of the original manuscripts, not the copies or translations.
Although the original manuscripts have been lost to us, God has preserved the biblical text to a remarkable degree. The Bible is verbally inspired. This means that the words of the Bible, not just the ideas, were inspired. What is more, this is true of not just some, but all the words of the Bible. As a result, the Bible is free from error in what it says. The factual, verbal, historical inerrancy of the Bible.
That is, the Bible, in its original documents, is free from error in what it says about geography, history and science; as well as, in what it says about God. Its authority extends to all matters about which the Bible speaks. It is the supreme source of our knowledge of God and of the salvation provided through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is our indispensable resource for daily living. Even though the Bible is God's revelation, it must still be interpreted.
Interpretation has to do with our reception and understanding of that which God revealed and recorded. Revelation is a divine act. Interpretation is a human responsibility. Divine inspiration guarantees the truthfulness of God's word but not the accuracy of our interpretation. The Bible is infallible in all it affirms to be true and therefore absolutely reliable. We, however, may be fallible in our interpretation of the Bible.
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