Authority of the Bible
The Bible is God-breathed or inspired by God. All Scripture is God’s revelation to man. By this, we believe that includes all the words in the book, not merely the ideas. The actual record, every word is divinely inspired. “All Scripture is inspired by God” (2 Timothy 3:16). “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:17-18)
Attributes of God
There are many attributes that the Bibles teaches about our Sovereign Lord. We do not claim to list them all here, but below is a sampling of twelve attributes that we firmly believe.
- Limitless – “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.” (Isaiah 40:28) “Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.” (Psalm 147:5)
- Eternal (without beginning or end) – “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” (Psalm 90:1-2) “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’” (Revelation 1:8)
- Majestic – “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1) “Adonai! Our Lord! How glorious is your name throughout the earth! The fame of your majesty spreads even above the heavens!” (Psalm 8:1 CJB)
- Goodness – “The goodness of God endures continually.” (Psalm 52:1) “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble;” (Nahum 1:7).
- Justice – “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne;” (Psalm 89:14) “The King’s strength also loves justice; You have established equity; You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.” (Psalm 99:4)
- Mercy – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3). “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy… For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;” (Psalm 103:8,11).
- Grace – “For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.” (Romans 5:15) “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).
- Omnipresence (God is all-present or everywhere) – “‘Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?’ says the Lord; ‘Do I not fill heaven and earth?’ says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:24) “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:7-10)
- Omniscience (absolute knowledge) – “O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.” (Psalm 139:1-4) “Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord, how much more the hearts of men!” (Proverbs 15:11)
- Omnipotence (God is all-powerful) – “Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You” (Jeremiah 32:17). “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.’” (Matthew 28:18)
- Holiness (overwhelming, crushing, consuming fire) – “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!’ And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: ‘Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!’” (Isaiah 6:3-5) “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29)
- Perfection – “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5) “For I will proclaim the name of the Lord; ascribe greatness to our God! ‘The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.’” (Deuteronomy 32:3-4)
The doctrine of the Trinity is based on what God reveals about himself in the Biblical record. The Trinity basically means there is one true God who exists in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. “In the unity of the Godhead there be three Persons of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.” (The Westminster Confession of Faith)
The providence of God means that he is in control of all things. He reigns in heaven and on earth, and does so with divine purpose and will. “The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all.” (Psalm 103:19) “his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’” (Daniel 4:34-35)
The original state of Adam and Eve was free, meaning they were free moral beings able to choose to sin or to not sin. But this freedom was always dependent on God’s divine grace. So Adam’s original state is one of freedom and righteousness. However, when Adam chose to rebel against God, this free state ceased to exist. After the fall, Adam was enslaved to sin and unable to avoid its power and consequences. Adam’s sin led to the fallen nature of all men (Romans 5:12, 18-19), but just as one man’s sin led to the corruption and condemnation of all, also the righteous act of one leads us to righteousness through Jesus Christ.
Redemption only through Jesus
The Lord Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. It is only through his atoning work on the cross that we are saved from God’s wrath. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:11-12)
Necessity of the Atonement
Christ’s atonement on the cross is absolutely necessary for our salvation, to save us from our fallen state and to live in communion with God. “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:22-26)
Christ is King
The direct outcome of Christ’s atoning work on the cross is that he is King of kings, he has dominion over heaven and earth. “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11)
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third person in the eternal Godhead. He is spoken of as being the “Spirit of God” (Isaiah 40:7). Divine works attributed to him are: creation (Genesis 1:1-2, Job 26:13), inspiration of the Bible (2 Peter 1:21, 2 Timothy 3:16), and regeneration of fallen man (John 3:5). Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35), led by the Spirit (Matthew 4:1), empowered by the Spirit (Luke 4:14), anointed by the Spirit (Luke 4:18), resurrected by the Spirit (Romans 8:11), and baptized and empowered the Church by the Spirit (Acts 1:5, 8). The life of Jesus was ruled by the Spirit, so we also should have total dependence on the Holy Spirit and allow him to work his fullness through us.
Justification by Faith
We are justified (saved, regenerated) through faith in Jesus Christ. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand” (Romans 5:1-2). “we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.” (Galatians 2:16)
Gifts of the Spirit
As Christians, the Spirit of God gives us particular gifts for the edification and exhortation of the Body of Christ. God gives these gifts liberally, but as he wills for his purposes. “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:6-8) “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.” (I Corinthians 12:4-11)