In essential beliefs—we have unity.
“There is one Body and one Spirit…there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of us all…” [Ephesians 4:4-6]
In non-essential beliefs—we have liberty.
“Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters…Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls…So then each of us will give an account of himself to God…So whatever you believe about these things, keep between yourself and God.” [Romans 14:1, 4, 12, 22]
In all our beliefs—we show charity.
“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains—but have no love, I am nothing.” [I Corinthians 13:2].
The Bible is God’s Word to us. We cannot accept the misleading statement, “The Bible contains the Word of God." It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error. Its teaching enables us to more fully understand who God is and the role of His Son, Jesus Christ, as well as the Holy Spirit who works in our lives.
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. He was born of a virgin, Mary. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. When he returns, those who have died as believers (Christians) will be resurrected bodily and those who are alive when He returns will join them in the air. This resurrection not only preceded His return to earth to reign for 1,000 years, but also precedes the Tribulation.
His Sinless Life—Hebrews 4:14-15
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
All people are born with a depraved nature and are lost sinners in need of salvation. People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin”. This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
God has provided salvation through offering His Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross of Calvary and allowing His blood to be shed to atone (make the payment) for our sins. Salvation is God’s free gift to us but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty (eternal separation from God). When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security.
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.