Things We Believe

The Story of Man and Salvation i.e. Things We Believe

• God is real! He is not a myth, legend, or product of the imagination. You, personally, can meet and experience Him!

    1 Thessalonians 1:9 NASBS  “…and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God…”


God is a Trinity. I know, that’s hard to wrap your head around but its still true. He is a loving Father. A Savior, Jesus Christ. And, a wonderful Comforter, the Holy Spirit.
    Matthew 28:19 NLT “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”


• God revealed Himself to human beings and told them to write about Him. The Holy Spirit inspired and empowered men to write, so that what was written was not from the man, per se, but from God Himself. These writings are called The Bible. This is why the Bible is not just a book written by men.
2 Timothy 3:16 TPT “Every Scripture has been written by the Holy Spirit, the breath of God. It will empower you by its    instruction and correction, giving you the strength to take the right direction and lead you deeper into the path of godliness.”


• There are no human words that can aptly describe God because God is a Person who is far far different from us. This separation of uniqueness is called holiness.
    Numbers 23:19 NIV “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind…”


• God is the Creator, which means that He brought physical things into existence from nothingness.
    Genesis 14:19 NIV “… God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.”


• God-Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, created mankind, male and female, to be like Him. Originally, Mankind was not created with any flaws or propensity to do things that God knew were bad.
    Genesis 1:27 NIV “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”


Marriage was created and defined by God, and the clear biblical pattern for marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman. No individual, government, culture, or church has heaven’s authority to redefine marriage or what it means to be male or female.
   Genesis 2:20-24 NASBS “… but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. [21] So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. [22] The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. [23] The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” [24] For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”


• Satan is a real spirit being, meaning he is a being who does not have a physical body like a human. Not being confined to a body he is able to roam the planet seeking to hurt and harm people anyway he can. Jesus said that Satan’s purpose is to steal from people, kill people, and destroy the lives of people.
   Job 1:7 NIV “The Lord said to Satan, ‘Where have you come from?’ Satan answered the Lord, ‘From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.’”


Satan came to the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, and through deception and lies, convinced them to step over God’s boundary lines, which are called commandments.
    Genesis 3:2-4 NIV “The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,  but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” ‘You will not certainly die,’the serpent said to the woman.”


•  God gave mankind commandments to protect people from what is on the other side of the boundary line. God, who sees everything and knows everything, knew that danger and death was hidden as a snare, and was just on the other side.
   Proverbs 19:16 NLT “Keep the commandments and keep your life; despising them leads to death.”


• Adam and Eve believed Satan, rather than God. Adam and Eve’s action is called sin. Sin is anything that goes against what God says. Going against God produces the condition called death. There are two kinds of death-spiritual death and physical death.
    Romans 6:23 NLT “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”


•  Death is separation. Spiritual death is separation from a right standing with God. Physical death is the separation of the spirit and soul from the body.
    Colossians 1:21 NLT “This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions.”


When Adam and Eve believed Satan and disbelieved God, they were instantly separated from a right relationship with the God who created them. In other words, they died-spiritually. Physical death would eventually come to them also.
   Genesis 3:6,8-9 NLT “…So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. [8] When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the LORD God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the LORD God among the trees. [9] Then the LORD God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’”


Through their own actions, Adam and Eve “fell”. They fell out of a right relationship with God and fell out of His good graces. Their DNA and gene pool also suffered massive trauma as sin and death effected everything about their spirit, soul, and body. As a result, unlike when they were created by God, their children would be born with internal corruption present at conception. This caused every child to be born in a spiritual state whereby they were not right with God.
   Genesis 4:8 NLT “One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him.” (Cain and Able were children of Adam and Eve)


• God loved Adam and Eve both before and after they fell away from Him. Because of His love God enacted a way for Adam and Eve to be made right in His sight once again. God established sacrifice to accomplish this. Sacrifice is when a living, innocent animal (in the OT) was put to death in place of the guilty person.
   Genesis 3:21 NLT “And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.”


• Because all humans were now fallen, Father, Word (Jan.1:1), and Holy Spirit put a divine plan into action-a plan that THEY had formulated before the beginning of the world. This plan was that the Second Person of the Holy Trinity would be born as a human being to become The Sacrifice for the sins of every person. He would be the Innocent One who would take upon Himself the sin, guilt, and spiritual death of all. Before His birth as a human being He was given the Name, Jesus, which means, The Lord Saves. He would be called, The Christ, which means The Anointed One or The Messiah.
    Revelation 13:8 KJV “…the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”


• Because of sin and spiritual death, every human being needs to be saved or rescued from their condition. We often hear people speak of being saved. This means that they have accepted and experienced the love of God as expressed in the Divine Sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
    Romans 10:9-11,13 NLT “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [10] For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. [11] As the Scriptures tell us, ‘Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.’ [13] For ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.’”


Being saved is a term that is expressed by other biblical terms too, such as being born again, being redeemed, or being forgiven.
    John 3:5-7 NLT “Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. [6] Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. [7] So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’”


• People who have personally received The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ are now right with God, and as a result will go to heaven when they die physically. In heaven people spend all eternity with God and will forever enjoy His presence, glory, and goodness.
    John 14:3 NLT “When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”


Heaven is also called paradise and is real.
   Luke 23:43 NLT “And Jesus replied, ‘I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.’”


• People who do not accept God’s greatest Gift, the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, must of necessity go to hell, which is a place of punishment.
  Matthew 25:41 KJV  “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels…”


Hell is a real place. It is not God’s will that anyone go to hell, and to prevent that He has provided the one and only way of escape-the death of His Son, Jesus, on the Cross.
    2 Peter 3:9 KJV “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”


An illustration-A great ocean liner is sinking in one of the earth’s huge oceans. A rescue ship arrives. Life lines are thrown to all who are in the water and in danger of perishing. As the line comes to John he says, “I don’t like this life line. I want a different one. I don’t even believe this line can rescue me.” He refuses the life line. Eventually he plunges beneath the waves and is drowned. Sarah, on the other hand, grabs onto the line that has been thrown to her. With gratefulness she holds on to it and is rescued and brought aboard the ship to safety.


   God wanted John and Sarah both to be saved, but they reacted differently to the life line. How you react to the Life Line, Jesus, will determine where you will spend eternity.


More About Jesus Christ-He was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thus He did not have a human father.
   Luke 1:34-35,37 KJV “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? [35] And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. [37] For with God nothing shall be impossible.”


• He lived a sinless life, meaning He never once thought, said, or did anything wrong.
   2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV  “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”


• Everything Jesus ever said or did was a picture of the Father’s perfect will for mankind.
   Hebrews 1:3 NASBS  “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature.”


• Jesus lived during the days of the Roman Empire when life was very difficult.
  Matthew 2:13 ESV
[13] Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”


• When men crucified Jesus they did not know that they were carrying out the Father’s plan of sacrifice.
   Acts 2:22-23 NASBS “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene… a Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.”


Jesus died on the Cross, was buried, and three days later was resurrected, by the Father, from the dead.
   1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NASBS “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, [4] and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”


Jesus appeared to more than 500 people AFTER His death.
   1 Corinthians 15:5-8 NASBS “…and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. [6] After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; [7] then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; [8] and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.”


• Jesus’s death, burial, resurrection, and ascension all occurred before eye witnesses.
   Luke 1:1-2 KJV “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, [2] Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word…”


• The message about Jesus Christ, especially His sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection is called the gospel. The gospel is the only message of salvation and should be the heart of every local church.
   1 Corinthians 15:1-4 ESV “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, [2] and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you-unless you believed in vain. [3] For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, [4] that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…”


• After His resurrection Jesus ascended back to heaven and took His seat at the Father’s Right Hand.
  Ephesians 1:19-20 NIV “…and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength [20] he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms…”


Jesus promised to return to earth at the end of the age. This is called, The Blessed Hope.
   Revelation 22:12 ESV “Behold, I am coming soon…”


• The last prayer of the Bible is, “Even so, come Lord Jesus.”
   Revelation 22:20 KJV “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”


More about the Holy Spirit-the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person.
    Matthew 10:20 KJV “For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.”


• While He has always been here, He came in a new dimension after the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. His arrival occurred on the Day of Pentecost.
   Acts 2:1-4 KJV “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. [2] And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. [3] And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. [4] And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”


• All of the believers in Jesus and the gospel were filled with the Holy Spirit.
   Acts 4:31 NLT “After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.”


The Holy Spirit emboldened the believers, also called disciples or students. This boldness inspired the disciples to preach the gospel, across the known world, in spite of opposition. Opposition to the gospel, and those who spread it, is called persecution.
   Acts 1:8 NLT “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere-in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”


• The Holy Spirit, when yielded to, gives believers abilities with which to help people. EVERY believer is called to share the gospel message with others.
    1 Corinthians 12:7 NLT “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.”


What is the church? Church literally means, “called out ones.” The church is the collective meeting of believers in Jesus, who by their faith in Jesus, have been called out of the world, and called to gather unto the Lord.
   Matthew 16:18 AMPC “And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek, Petros-a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra-a huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it].”


The purpose of gathering unto the Lord is set forth in Acts 2:42, and includes four basic elements. We gather unto the Lord for the teaching of His Word; for connection to others of like faith and love for God; for holy communion (The Lord’s Supper), and prayer.
   Acts 2:42 ESV “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”


The church is NOT a building. The church, the gathering of believers meet in a building, but the people are the church.
   Acts 14:27 ESV “And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them…”


The church must not be confined to an address or zip code, but Christians must permeate the world as each individual believer goes throughout the city conducting their daily lives, carrying the love of God, as revealed in the gospel, with them.
   Matthew 28:18-19 ESV “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. [19] Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”


An individual believer is called a Christian. A gathering of believers is called a church.
   Acts 11:26 ESV “…For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.”


God has called EVERY believer to be a part of a local church.
    1 Corinthians 12:13 ESV “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-Jews or Greeks, slaves or free-and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” (Note another name in the Bible for the church is the body or body of Christ.)


• The local church is governed only by those whom God has called, educated, and anointed to do so. These leaders must govern with love, integrity, right motives, hearts that are right with God, and with the highest moral standards. A true pastor will always seek what is best for God’s people.
   Ephesians 4:11-12 ESV “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, [12] to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…”


• A pastor has a God given right to earn his living from the ministry, but opulence and the love of money should never be tolerated.
    1 Corinthians 9:14 ESV “In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.”
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