God (Hebrew: JHWH or HaShem)
There is only one true and living God. He is a personal God, and is revealed to man in three distinct but equal persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The three Persons are one in purpose and one in action. God is unchangeable in His holiness, justice, wisdom and love. He is the almighty Creator, Saviour and Judge who sustains and governs all things according to His sovereign will for his own glory.
Jesus (Hebrew: Yeshua, meaning “the Lord is salvation”) is fully God and fully man. Fulfilling all scriptural prophecies, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, and lived a sinless life in obedience to the Father. He taught with God’s authority and all His words are true. On the cross He voluntarily died in the place of sinners, bearing God’s punishment for their sin and redeeming them by His blood. Jesus rose from the dead and in His resurrection body ascended into heaven where He is exalted as Lord of all. He intercedes for his people in the presence of the Father.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit has been sent from heaven to glorify Christ and to apply His work of salvation. It is in this way that the Father and the Son make Their home with those who love Jesus. As the “Spirit of truth”, the Spirit leads believers into truth, gives a true understanding of the Scriptures, guides them through life, and gives them the power to reach out to a lost and needy world. He convicts people of their sin and draws them to Christ, and He intercedes for believers when they do not know how to pray.
All things, visible and invisible, are created and sustained by God. In the beginning all created things were “very good”. God created all things through Christ and by the Holy Spirit for Himself. So the heavens and the earth are God’s creation and belong to Him. All living beings, principalities and powers were created by God. All people are created in God’s image and so have a “body”, a “soul” and a “spirit”. The soul and the spirit of believers go to be with Christ at death.
God has revealed Himself in the Bible. The Bible is comprised of both the (Hebraic) Old Testament and the (Greek) New Testament. It is unique amongst writings in that it is absolute truth given to man by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the “Spirit of truth”. All scripture is inspired and the original text has been accurately preserved by God through the centuries. It is without error and is fully reliable. The Bible alone speaks with final authority and is for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction. It also reveals truth about the future.
Mankind was created in God’s image (male and female) and commanded to be fruitful and multiply for God’s pleasure. So all people are deeply loved by God and each individual’s life has real purpose which can only be found through faith in Him. Man’s greatest purpose is to know the Father and Jesus whom the Father sent. This purpose is seen through their obedience, worship and love of God.
Being created in the image of God, all people have inherent and equal dignity and worth. But as a result of the Fall of our first parents, every aspect of our human nature has been corrupted from birth. Because of our inherently sinful nature we are separated from God and deserve the judgement of God. But God’s free gift of forgiveness and a sure hope of resurrection and eternal life are available to all who turn to Him in sincere repentance and active trust. This free gift is through one Mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ and the shedding of His blood on the cross. This supreme sacrifice shows how much God loves us.
Salvation (reconciliation to God) is entirely a work of God’s grace and cannot be earned or deserved. It has been accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ and is offered to all in the gospel. God in His love forgives sinners whom He calls, granting them repentance and faith. All who believe in Christ are justified by faith alone, adopted into the family of God and receive eternal life (their soul lives on with God after death).
The Greek word translated “church” in the Bible is “ekklesia”, meaning “the called-out ones”. The true church is composed of those who are called by God not only outwardly but inwardly by the Holy Spirit. When Jesus calls someone to discipleship, He is calling that person to Himself, to belong to Him, to follow Him, and to learn from Him and of Him.
The universal Church is the body of which Christ is the Head and to which all who are saved belong. It is visible in small groups or as more formal congregations of believers. They are committed to each other for the worship of God, the preaching of the Word, the administering of the Lord’s Supper, for pastoral care, for discipline, and for evangelism. The unity of the body of Christ is expressed within and between churches by mutual love, care and encouragement. The true church of Jesus Christ keeps His commandments (His word) and shows His love to the world. Its main mission is to spread the good news of reconciliation to God through Jesus Christ. Jesus has given His church His authority and power to carry out this work.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper have been given to the church by Christ as visible signs of the gospel. Baptism is a symbol of union with Christ and entry into His Church, but does not impart spiritual life. The Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of Christ’s sacrifice offered once for all and involves no change in the bread and wine. All its blessings are received by faith.
Heaven and Hell
Each person has only one life on earth. All of us will, at some point in time, come before the judgement seat of Christ. Those who have been reconciled to God through belief and trust in Jesus Christ, that is ‘born again’, will receive rewards and immortality at the first resurrection (Rev 20:5). They then go on to be with the risen Christ for ever. Those who have consciously rejected salvation through Christ will be judged at the “great white throne” judgement (Rev 20:11). Here, anyone whose name is not found written in Christ’s “Book of Life” will experience Hell, that is, complete and eternal separation from God.
God made an unconditional and everlasting covenant with Abraham’s son, Isaac. Abraham’s descendants were to become a great nation (Israel) with their own land (ancient Canaan), and through Abraham God would bless all the families of the earth (through Jesus’ sacrifice). God made the nation of Israel His very own people for ever, to make a name for Himself and to be His witness and servant in the world. Israel’s true Messiah is the Lord Jesus Christ, and the nation comes under the same “New Covenant” as the Gentiles. At the end of this age the people of Israel will be “one” with the gentile Church.
At the end of this age Jesus will return to resurrect those saints who are “asleep” and to take to Himself those believers who happen to be alive. His return ushers in the fullness of the Kingdom of God on this earth, and He will rule the nations in righteousness as King from Jerusalem. The earth will be at peace, and gentile nations will honour the Jew. Jerusalem will be the focus of worship as gentiles regularly go up to worship the LORD. The “great white throne” judgment occurs at the end of the kingdom age when Christ raises the unsaved dead and judges men in righteousness. The wicked will be sent to eternal punishment and the righteous will be welcomed into a life of eternal joy and fellowship with God in a new heaven and new earth.