– GOD: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is a mystery, but it is truth. He is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. He does have emotions, but He is not controlled by them.
– SCRIPTURE: the Old and New Testament Scriptures are an authentic, Divinely-inspired and reliable record of events, people, places, etc.. Collectively known as the Bible, these Scriptures contain nothing but truth. They are without error. They teach all that is necessary to faith and Christian living.
– CREATION: God made everything and everyone.
– MALE AND FEMALE: in the making of everything and everyone, God made man and woman, both of whom reflect His image. Man and woman are entirely equal before God. Man and woman are also complimentary to each other. Thus the only legitimate marital relationship, as defined in Scripture, is between one man and one woman.
– SIN: to sin is to violate God’s law. It is to say, in essence, that God does not know best, that He does not get to make the rules.
– SINFUL NATURE: man is sinful. All are born with a fallen nature and possess a drive to rebel against God. We must think of ourselves as being fundamentally warped, bent inward.
– ATONEMENT: sin separates man from God. Man cannot bridge this gap. Therefore, God sent Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, to live perfectly (or “fulfill the Law”) and offer Himself as a sacrifice. He was crucified, buried for three days and rose again.
– EXTENT: the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is offered to the whole of humanity, regardless of race, gender, class or past. Anyone may come to God through Jesus.
– ENABLED: due to the sinful nature of man, it is impossible to choose God without Him granting us the ability to do so. The loving action of the Holy Spirit known as prevenient grace, or the grace that goes before, prepares and enables the sinner to choose God.
– REPENTANCE: when one chooses God, one is choosing to repent. Repentance is required for a restored relationship with God. To repent is turn away from something. In doing this, we acknowledge the depth of our depravity and ask Jesus to apply His actions in the Cross and Resurrection to our lives. We commit to rejecting sin and obeying God.
– JUSTIFICATION: when we submit to Him in faith, believing that Jesus died and rose again, we are made right before God.
– SEALED: the Holy Spirit dwells within believers and speaks to them to convict, guide and comfort. Because the Holy Spirit lives inside of the believer, there is room for nothing and nobody else. Believers cannot be demon-possessed.
– SANCTIFICATION: believers are enabled by God to have victory over sin. We do not have to live defeated lives and should not continue in willful sin if we are in relationship with Christ. We are to be submitted to Him, recognizing that He has the authority to create the boundaries and define the way.
– WORKS: our faith in shown in our works, or how we live. Thus the Christian life should be marked by growth in grace and love toward all, a firm commitment to sharing the truth of the Good News and the eschewing of sin.
– PACIFISM: Christian faith should lead the individual to commit to peace. Violence, in any form, is contradictory to the Gospel. (While this is my firm conviction and I do not understand how others draw a different conclusion, I fully respect and do not question the faith of men and women who choose to serve in the military or on the police force).
– HEALING: God can and does heal miraculously. He also heals through medical treatment, nutrition and exercise. If healing does not come, if that is not part of His plan, then He will be faithful to pour out peace, patience and strength upon the suffering. It is wrong to believe that the sick are being punished for sin. It is equally wrong to assert that medical treatment and vaccinations are contrary to Christian faith.
– STUDY: Christians need to study Scripture in order to avoid being deceived. This should not take place apart from the community of faith. It is important to receive the input of other believers, both within our own congregations and the long history of Christianity itself, to aid in a proper understanding and application of the text.
– HEAVEN: those who have repented of their sin and come under the authority of God will live eternally with Him in Heaven, which is a real place.
– HELL: those who do not repent and acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior will be eternally separated from Him in Hell, which is a real place. God does not “send people” to Hell. Those who spend eternity there do so because they freely chose to reject God’s saving hand.
– ENDINGS: the Lord will one day return, the dead will be raised and the final judgment will take place.