What We Believe
I believe that God will join together other men and women with us that desire fellowship in the Lord centered on His abundant grace and love, and so will, in anticipation of that, keep the title of this page, with the plural personal pronoun “We” as “What We Believe” even though what I will put here in the short term will be my personal beliefs as of now.
Below I will attempt to lay out my beliefs as they are currently (2013), knowing full well that they may change at any moment due to illumination by the Holy Spirit of God. What I have come to believe has been in the making for many years and I fully expect my beliefs to change in the future. Why? Because God is not through with me yet. He has many new experiences for me to experience, and each one may need a new, more full understanding of Him, His universe, and His Word. I accept that God does not change, but also fully embrace that I will and must.
I have learned over the last few years, for instance, that as a believer I cannot hold one of His attributes over and above any other attribute. He is all He says He is as we discover in the Bible, as He has revealed Himself there to be. For anyone to lift up one of His attributes over another is to imply that all His attributes are not continuous and may be suspended for given situations. This would make His attributes not intrinsic to His nature but merely actions dictated by outside stimuli. That is not the God I serve. I used to say silly things like, “God is love BUT He is also just,” as if His love and justice cannot and do not coexist simultaneously in every moment of our existence. God is outside time and space, and is spirit, and necessarily does not succumb to limitations that we have (of time and space). If God is not always love and always just then He is not and cannot be God. I will explain this more below.
I will sum up the essence of God’s character as I believe God does biblically: God is love. This is what the apostles and early disciples believed as they met from house-to-house. This is what they believed as they were sent off to die as martyrs (witnesses) for the faith. They were known for their love. Their love for each other and for their “enemies” was a normal and necessary outworking of their love for God. They knew what was meant by “we love because He first loved us.” God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, for all mankind. I reserve the right (and necessity) to expand on any of these beliefs as necessary to more accurately define who I am in Christ and who God has created me to be and what He is revealing about Himself to me. Below I now share some basic beliefs I hold about God and His creation:
There is only one God. He is both living and real. He is spirit, intelligent and personal. He describes Himself as Creator and Sustainer of all that exists. He is love. He does not merely show love, but is the pure embodiment love. All characteristics that He exhibits to His creation are embodied in His love and are descriptive of true love.
God the Father
The Father protects His creation and shows us that protection through many examples, especially that of a loving family, with Him as father and us as His children. The Father loves His children and takes ultimate care of them by providing them everything they need physically and spiritually. Physically He cares for all of His creation, but has a special love and care for those He created in His image, which is all humanity. He provides for us physically by giving us animals and plants for sustenance. He grants us knowledge to use His creation that we may find protection, comfort and worth. Because Adam and Eve, the first of human creation, created in His image, sinned and brought death to all subsequent mankind, we are spiritually estranged from God our Father. We act as disobedient children and require our Father to continue to watch over and protect us from ourselves. He does this partly by causing it to rain on the just and the unjust, by providing the physical things necessary for life. And though original sin brought to death to mankind, God has a plan to redeem all mankind from death through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. (1 Tim 2:4)
Here are a few succinct statements with supporting Scripture references:
1. God is the Creator of all men (Acts 17:26)
2. God is the Father of all men (Mal 2:10)
3. God is the owner of all men (Eze 18:4)
4. It is God’s will that all men be saved (1 Tim 2:4) We are to pray for the salvation of all men (1 Tim 2:1). Jesus came to do the will of the Father (john 4:34; Heb 10:9) and the will of God cannot be resisted (Dan 4:35).
5. God is love and love works no ill (1 John 4:8; Rom 13:10). God loves all mankind (John 3:16) even His enemies (Luke 6:35). And since we are commanded to love our enemies, we know God could not hate His enemies.
6. God is wise and His wisdom is full of mercy and without partiality (James 3:17)
7. God created all men for His pleasure and not for ultimate death (Eze 33:11; Rev 4:11) and His pleasure will be accomplished (Isa 55:11; 46:10)
8. God promised three times (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) that He would bless all mankind of the earth through them (Gen 12:3; Gen 22:18; Gen 26:34; Gen 28:14, and also Acts 3:25-26; Gal 3:8, 16 for Peter and Paul’s understanding of the blessing)
God the Son, Jesus Christ
1. God has given all things to Christ as the moral ruler of the world (Psa 2:8; John 3:35)
2. God gave all beings to Christ that He might save them (John 17:2)
3. Christ will save all that the Father has given him (John 6:37)
Jesus is the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). He is the Son of Man who was lifted up on the cross (John 3:14) and the One who was sent by the Father to save the world (John 3:17).
All those that the Father gives Jesus will never be cast aside and will be raised up in the last day. (John 6:44-45)
We believe that to manifest his love for the human race, God sent his Son Jesus Christ into the world, to reveal more perfectly the divine character and purposes, and finally, through death and resurrection, to bring life and immortality to light. We believe that Christ is the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of his person. We believe that he is appointed by the Father, heir of all things, and is Lord of all, and the he must reign, till he has subdued all things to himself, when he himself will deliver up the kingdom to the Father that God may be all in all. Thus he will save his people from their sins, and be what inspiration proclaims him to be, the Savior of the world. To this end we believe he gave himself a ransom for all, and tasted death for every man, for God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.
(Matt. 1:21; Acts 10:36; 1 Cor. 15:25, 28; 2 Cor. 5:19; 1 Tim. 2:6; Heb. 1:2-3; Heb. 2:9; 1 John 4:14)
God the Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the spirit of God, the spirit of truth, the Comforter, the guide, who convicts the world of sin and of righteousness, and of judgment, and whose fruits in the believing soul are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
(John 14:16-17; John 16:7-13; Gal. 5:22-23 )
We believe in the importance of and necessity of repentance, that is, godly sorrow for sin, and a true reformation of heart and life. We believe in the new birth, or a change of heart, effected in the soul by a sincere belief of the gospel truth, accompanied by the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit.
(Acts 3:19; Heb. 11:6; John 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal 5:22-23)
We believe the authenticity, genuineness, and inspiration, of the Holy Scriptures; that both the Old and New Testaments contain the revealed will of God and that the Bible is the only and sufficient rule of faith and practice.
(2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21 )
We believe in a just and equitable, and at the same time, a parental administration of the divine government; in which God renders to every man according to his works, so that he that does wrong shall receive for the wrong which he has done, and there is no respect of persons. Beyond this state of rewards and punishments, we believe a state of immortal felicity will be conferred upon the whole human family, as a free gift, by the infinite grace of the Father, through Christ Jesus.
(Ps. 62:12; Rom. 5:12-21; Eph. 2:4-9; Col. 3:25 )
We believe in the universal resurrection of the dead; for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Cor. 15:22)
We believe in a life and immortality for the human race beyond the grave, where the mortal shall put on immortality, and where man can die no more, but shall be as the angels, and be children of God. (Luke 20:36; 1 Cor. 15:23)
We believe that, in the fulness of time, God will bring together all things in Christ, when, in the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, of things in heaven and in earth, and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father; when, as by one man’s disobedience, many are made sinners, so, by the obedience of one, shall the same many be made righteous; in one word, when Christ shall have taken away the sin of the world, accomplished the great mission on which he came, done the will of God, seen the fruits of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied, and GOD BE ALL IN ALL. (Isa. 53:11; Rom. 5:19; 1 Cor. 15:28; Eph. 1:9-10; Phil. 2:10-11)
In summary, there are “Five Basic Principles” we hold as a complete Biblical system of faith. They are the belief in:
The Universal Fatherhood of God (see note below)
The spiritual authority and leadership of His Son Jesus Christ
The trustworthiness of the Bible as containing a revelation from God
The certainty of just retribution for sin
The final harmony of all souls with God
Note: By creation, God is the Universal Father of all humans, and loves and cares for them with a Father’s love.