About the bible
The Bible is the infallible Word of God and the ultimate authority for salvation and Christian living. (See II Timothy 3:15-17.)
(The word infallible means “incapable of error.” If something is infallible, it is never wrong and thus absolutely trustworthy. Similarly, the word inerrant, also applied to Scripture, means “free from error.” Simply put, the Bible never fails.
The Bible claims to be infallible in 2 Peter 1:19, “We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable.” Peter continues with a description of how Scripture came to be: “No prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20–21).
Also, we see infallibility implied in 2 Timothy 3:16–17, “All Scripture is God-breathed” and has the effect of producing servants of God who are “thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The fact that God “breathed” Scripture insures that the Bible is infallible, for God cannot breathe out error. The fact that the Bible equips God’s servants “thoroughly” for service shows that it guides us into truth, not error.
If God is infallible, then so will be His Word. The doctrine of Scripture’s infallibility is based on an understanding of God’s perfection of character. God’s Word is “perfect, refreshing the soul” (Psalm 19:7) because God Himself is perfect. Theologically, God is His Word; His visible image, His body (Lord Jesus) is called “the Word made flesh” (John 1:1, 14).
It should be noted that the doctrine of infallibility concerns only the original documents. Mistranslations, printing errors, typos and add-ons are obvious human mistakes and are easily spotted, most of the time. However, what the biblical writers originally wrote was completely free from error or omission, as the Spirit superintended their task. God is truthful and perfectly reliable (John 14:6; 17:3), and so is His Word (John 17:17).
The Bible declares complete (as opposed to partial) perfection in Psalm 12:6, Psalm 19:7, Proverbs 30:5, and many other places. It is factual throughout and judges us (rather than vice-versa), “The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
The Bible is the sole objective source of all God has given us about Himself and His plan for humanity. As God’s infallible Word, the Bible is inerrant, authoritative, reliable, and sufficient to meet our needs.
There is one God, who has revealed Himself as our Father, in His Son Jesus Christ as our redeemer, and as the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is God manifested in flesh. He is The Eternal Spirit wearing a body of sinless flesh. (See Deuteronomy 6:4; Ephesians 4:4-6; Colossians 2:9; I Timothy 3:16.)
The Bible declares that The One ever-living, eternal God is: infinite power, Holy in nature, and possesses absolute, indivisible deity. This one true God has revealed Himself as Father in creation, as Son in redemption; and as the Holy Spirit in regeneration. (1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:6; 2 Cor. 5:19; Joel 2:28).
The Scripture does more than attempt to prove the existence of God; it asserts, assumes and declares that the knowledge of God is universal. (Romans 1:19, 21, 28, 32; 2:15). God is invisible, incorporeal, without parts, without body, and therefore free from all limitations. God is Spirit (John 4:24), and a spirit has not flesh and bones. (Luke 24:39).
The first of all the commandments is, hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord” (Mark 12:29; Deut. 6:4). “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Eph. 4:6).
This one true God manifested Himself in the Old Testament in divers ways, and in the New Testament as the Son while He walked among men; as the Holy Spirit after the ascension.
About Sin and Salvation
Everyone has sinned and needs salvation. Salvation comes by grace through faith based on the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. (See Romans 3:23-25; 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9.)
The New Testament experience of salvation consists of faith in Jesus Christ, repentance from sin, water baptism by immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which enables the Christian is to live a godly life (See Acts 2:36-41).
(Sin is the transgression of the law, or commandments of God (I John 3:4). The guilt of sin has fallen upon all humanity from Adam until now (Romans 3:23). The wages of sin is eternal death (Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:14) to all those who refuse to accept salvation as set forth in the Word of God. We cannot cover up our sins by simply being good enough, because our goodness stinks in the nostrils of God (Isaiah 64:6). Salvation consists of deliverance from all sin and unrighteousness through the blood of Jesus Christ. The New Testament experience of salvation consists of faith in Jesus Christ, repentance from sin, water baptism by immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which enables the Christian is to live a godly life (Acts 2:36-41).
The Greek word is metanoeo, which literally means “to perceive afterwards” and hence signifies to change one’s, mind or purpose. In the New Testament, this word always indicates a change for the better.
- Basically, then, repentance is a change of mind, heart, and direction.
- Many Bible references affirm this. God chose Paul as a preacher to the Gentiles “to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God” (Acts 26:18). Paul fulfilled this by preaching that everyone “should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance” (Acts 26:20). One of the fundamental doctrines of the church is “repentance from dead works” (Hebrews 6: 1).
- In the context of biblical preaching, then, repentance is a turn from sin and a turn to God.
- Most passages, however, use the word in a more restricted way to mean the first step away from sin and to God, prior to baptism of water and the gift of the Spirit (Acts 2:38).
In this sense, repentance is a radical transformation of mind, attitude, conviction and direction. It is a voluntary act of man in response to the call of God. It denotes an active turn, not just a feeling of regret or an apology. It is more than a moral resolution or reformation; it is a spiritual decision and a spiritual change.
- Before someone can repent from sin, he must first realize he is a sinner. Jesus said, ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance’ (Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32).
- All men have sinned, so Jesus actually came for the whole world. However, His statement points out that He will save only those who recognize their sins.
- Repentance can take place only when man recognizes his sins and acknowledges his need of God.
Water baptism is to be administered by immersion. Paul said, “We are buried with him [Jesus Christ] by baptism (Romans 6:4; see Colossians 2:12), Jesus came up “out of the water” (Mark 1:10), and Philip and the eunuch went down “into the water” and came up “out of the water” (Acts 8:38-39).
Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection are applied to our lives when we experience New Testament salvation: “Repent [death to sin], and be baptized [burial] every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost [resurrection].” (See Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-7; 8:2).
3FORMULA FOR BAPTISM
Jesus’ last command to His disciples was, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19). We should notice that He said name (singular) not names. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not names, but titles of positions held by God. An angelic announcement revealed God’s saving name in the New Testament: “She shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
The apostles understood that Jesus was the name to use at baptism, and from the day that the church of God was established (the Day of Pentecost) until the end of their ministry, they baptized all nations (Jews–Acts 8:16; Gentiles–Acts 19:5) in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In fact, Jesus is the only name given for our salvation. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
4BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST
It was prophesied by Joel (Joel 2:28-29) and Isaiah (Isaiah 28:11), foretold by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:11), and promised by Jesus to His disciples (John 14:26; 15:16). The Holy Ghost was first poured out on the Day of Pentecost upon the Jews (Acts 2:1-4), then upon the Samaritans (Acts 8:17), and later upon the Gentiles (Acts 10:44-46; 19:6). “The promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:39).
Speaking in other tongues as the Spirit of God gives utterance is the manifestation God has given as the definite, indisputable, supernatural witness or sign of the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:4; 10:46; 19:6).
It was prophesied by the prophet Isaiah as the rest and the refreshing (Isaiah 28:11-12), foretold by Jesus as a sign that would follow believers of the gospel (Mark 16:17), and experienced by Jews and Gentiles alike.
The gift of “divers kinds of tongues,” mentioned by Paul in I Corinthians 12:1-12 and concerning which he gave regulations in I Corinthians 14:1-40, is given by both for self-edification (I Corinthians 14:4) and for the edification of the church (I Corinthians 14:27-28).
In church meetings the gift of tongues is used to give a public message, and it is to be interpreted. Since this gift can be misused in public, it needs proper regulation (I Corinthians 14:23-28). Not all believers exercise the gift of tongues, which is different in function from tongues given by God as the initial sign of the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Paul said, “Forbid not to speak with tongues” (I Corinthians 14:39) and “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all” (I Corinthians 14:18). Who dares to teach or preach to the contrary?
Speaking in tongues means speaking miraculously in a language unknown to the speaker, as the Spirit gives utterance. Tongues can be classified in two ways, according to function: (1) speaking in other tongues as the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost and (2) the gift of tongues as mentioned in I Corinthians.
About Christian Living
As Christians we are to love God and others. We should live a holy life inwardly and outwardly, and worship God joyfully. The supernatural gifts of the Spirit, including healing, are for the church today. (See Mark 12:28-31; II Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; I Corinthians 12:8-10.)
After we are saved from sin, we are commanded, “Go, and sin no more” (John 8:11).
We are commanded to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world (Titus 2:12) and warned that without holiness no one shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
We must present ourselves as holy unto God (Romans 12:1), cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit (II Corinthians 7:1), and separate ourselves from all worldliness (James 4:4).
If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (I Peter 4:18).
No one can live a holy life by his own power, but only through the Holy Spirit. “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you” (Acts 1:8).
About the Future
Jesus Christ is coming again to catch away His church. In the end will be the final resurrection and the final judgment. The righteous will inherit eternal life, and the unrighteous eternal death. (See I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 20:11-15.)
(SECOND COMING OF CHRIST)
Jesus Christ is coming back to earth in bodily form, just as He went away (Acts 1:11). He will catch away a holy people (His bride, His church) who have accepted redemption through His blood, by birth of water and of the Spirit, and who are found faithful when He comes.
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).
“One shall be taken and the other left” (Luke 17:36). Will we be ready?
The signs of His coming are everywhere. The days of peril are here indeed, with forms of godliness void of the power of God; society and politics corrupted; and people’s hearts filled with pride, blasphemies, unholiness, love of evil, and love of pleasures (II Timothy 3:1-13). These things, together with multitudes running to and fro, the increase of knowledge (Daniel 12:4), the persecution of the Jews and their return to Palestine (Luke 21:24), and scores of other things are warning signs that Jesus’ coming is drawing near.
Wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, storms, floods, distress of nations, perplexity, and people’s hearts failing them for fear are sounding the solemn alarm that Jesus’ coming is at hand (Matthew 24:6; Luke 21:25-28).
There will be a resurrection of all the dead, both just and unjust.
“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:28-29).
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God . . . and the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them” (Revelation 20:12-13) (See also Daniel 12:2; I Corinthians 15:13-23.)
“It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). For this reason there will be a resurrection for everyone. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (II Corinthians 5:10).The eternal destiny of every soul shall be determined by a just God who knows the secrets of everyone’s heart. “And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. . . .Then shall he also say unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. . . . And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal” (Matthew 25:32-34, 41, 46).
About the Gospel
The saving gospel is the good news that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again. We obey the gospel (II Thessalonians 1:8; I Peter 4:17) by repentance (death to sin), water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ (burial), and the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial sign of speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance (resurrection). (See I Corinthians 15:1-4; Acts 2:4, 37-39; Romans 6:3-4.)