Bible discussion group

Core Beliefs

1. We believe in God.

We believe that He is one true God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

 

Genesis 1:1

“In the beginning God …”

 

Genesis 1:26-27

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures along the ground.’ So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

 

Psalm 90:2

“Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”

 

2. We believe in Jesus.

We believe that He is truly God and truly man, existing for all eternity and having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a life without sin, was crucified on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins, rose from the dead and ascended to Heaven where He now reigns as our High Priest and Mediator. Without belief in Jesus as God, no one can reach Heaven.

 

Matthew 1:22-23

“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ – which means, ‘God with us.’”

Isaiah 9:6

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

John 1:1-5

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

John 14:6-9

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.’ Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’ Jesus answered: ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father …’”

 

1 John 2:18

“Dear children, This is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come.”

 

1 John 22-23

“Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist – he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”

 

3. We believe Jesus Christ is the HEAD of the Church.

Only those who have come to faith through Jesus Christ are part of the church both locally and universally. They must then submit to the authority of Jesus over the church and their lives.

Colossians 1:18

“And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy.”

Matthew 28:18-19

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore …’”

4. We believe Jesus will someday RETURN for His Church.

We believe that all the dead will be resurrected – the believer to everlasting joy with the Lord – the unbeliever to everlasting punishment. Heaven and Hell are both very real.

 

2 Thessalonians 1:8-10

“He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power on the day He comes to be glorified in His holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed…”

 

2 Peter 3:3-4

“First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this ‘coming’ He promised?’ Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’

 

2 Peter 7-10

“By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.”

5. We believe in the Holy Spirit.

We believe that His ministry is to glorify Jesus Christ and during this age, to convict men of sin, indwell, guide, instruct, comfort, and empower the believer for godly living and service. We further believe that all Christians have been promised the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Although we cannot dictate to the Holy Spirit as to when and where He acts, the promise of His presence may be claimed at the point of conversion.

Acts 2:38

“Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”

 

We further believe that the Holy Spirit gives gifts of ministry to all believers for the good of the body.

1 Corinthians 12:4-7

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”

We do not believe that the sign gifts exist to prove someone is saved nor should they be practiced to draw attention to the individual.

1 Corinthians 14:9-12

“So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me. So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.”

 

6. We believe in the Scriptures.

We believe that both the Old Testament and New Testament are the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings. They are the complete revelation of God’s will for the salvation of men and the divine and final authority for all Christian faith and life.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

 

7. We believe Satan is real.

We believe that Satan seeks to “kill, steal and destroy” the Church and all believers and that he is the ruler over this present world system.

 

2 Corinthians 11:14

“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”

 

Ephesians 6:12-14a

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, …”

8. We believe man is saved by GRACE through FAITH in Jesus Christ.

We believe that no amount of work on man’s part can earn salvation.

Ephesians 2:8-9

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”

 

There is an expected response to such a gracious gift.

 

Acts 2:36-38

“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. When they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

 

Acts 2:41

“Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”

 

This response is easily understood by examining three “P” words.

 

  • The PROCESS has a definite

  • PATTERN that is easily noticed in the history of the church found in the Book of Acts

  • and in this we discover the marvelous PURPOSE.

 

The PROCESS: (How to get on B.A.S.E. with God)

  • BELIEVE that Jesus is the Son of God and the only Savior for mankind.

  • ADMIT that our sin separates us from God eternally.

  • SURRENDER our lives to Jesus.

  • EXPRESS new belief in Jesus by being baptized by immersion under water picturing His death, burial, and resurrection.

 

The PATTERN:

  • The 3,000

 

Acts 2:36-38

“’Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.’ When they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” 41 “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three

thousand were added to their number that day.”

 

  • Simon and his followers

 

Acts 8:12-13

“But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women, Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.”

 

  • Lydia

 

Acts 16:13-15

“On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purpose cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. …

 

  • The Jailer

 

Acts 16:29-33

“The jailer called for the lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.’ Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.”

 

The PURPOSE:

  • The power of being CONNECTED to something greater than yourself.

 

Romans 6:3-5

“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection.”

 

  • The power of being COVERED with protection in hazardous situations.

 

Galatians 3:26-28

“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

 

Ephesians 6:11

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the Devil’s schemes.

  • The power of CLEARING one’s conscience before standing face to face with the Creator and Eternal Judge.

 

1 Peter 3:20-21

“…who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ…”

 

  • The power of CONFESSING a heartfelt vow.

 

Matthew 10:32-33

“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.”

 

  • Baptism is the OUTWARD response to an INWARD conviction based on a SUPERNATURAL action.

 

9. We believe that salvation is COMPLETE and ENDURING.

We believe that God promised His gift of salvation to be final and insured that Satan could not take it away. We further believe that God did not take away man’s free will at the point of salvation. We can know we are saved through the study of God’s Word. We are also instructed by Jesus to never get caught up in trying to determine if a person has “fallen away” from salvation or was “never saved” in the first place. Our only responsibility is to compare our lives to Christ alone.

 

  • The Bible teaches ASSURANCE of salvation, not INSURANCE from Hell.

 

1 John 5:13-14a

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God …”

 

  • JUDGING another person’s salvation is CONDEMNED in the Bible.

 

Luke 6:37

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

 

Matthew 13:25

“But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. …” 28-30 “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

Romans 2:16

“This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.”

 

Acts 5:1-11

“Now a man named Ananias, together wit his wife Saphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. Then Peter said, ‘Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.’ When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, ‘Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?’ ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘that is the price.’ Peter said to her, ‘How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.’ At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.”

 

  • Salvation is a COMPLETE event that produces CONTINUED growth.

 

Romans 12:1,2

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

 

10. We Believe God Calls Us to be Good STEWARDS.

Stewardship is the giving back to God in areas of money, abilities and time. God is the giver of all good and perfect

gifts and therefore the owner of all things before and after they have been given to us. He promises to reward with His blessings those who faithfully give back to Him. His blessings are given in accordance with man’s faithfulness and generosity.

 

James 1:17

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

 

Luke 6:38

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you

 

2 Corinthians 9:7

“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Malachi 3:8-10

“’Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.’ But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ ‘In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse – the whole nation of you – because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.’”