My Beliefs

The following is a brief statement of my beliefs. 

God the Father 
I believe in “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. . . . from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist” (Ephesians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 8:6). 

I believe in Jesus who “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-3, 14). Jesus “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:15-16). He is God’s “Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,” and was buried and “raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” “After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4). 

Holy Spirit
I believe in one Holy Spirit, the helper and comforter that comes from the Father and the Son. This Spirit of truth will teach us all things, and guide us into all truth, as well as filling us with power. To receive the Holy Spirit we must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness sin. Through the Spirit, God gives us special gifts of ability so we can serve others. Overtime those who have the Spirit will produce the godly characteristics called the fruit of the spirit (Ephesians 4:4-6; John 14:16-17, 26; 16:7,13; Acts 1:4-8; 2:38; 1Corinthians 12:4-10; Galatians 5:22-23). 

I believe “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth’” (Genesis 1:26-28). Sadly, starting with Adam and Eve, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Genesis 3:1-19; Romans 3:23), and “the wages of sin is death [in the Lake of Fire], but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:14-15; 21:8). If we repent and are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, we will receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). Then “all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:14-23). We are now God’s children and “we know that when [Jesus] appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is,” as we partake “of the divine nature” (1 John 3:2; 2 Peter 1:4). 

Commandments and Sin 
I believe that Jesus did not “come to get rid of what is written in the Law or in the Prophets,” but he came “to give full meaning to what is written” (Matthew 5:18 NIRV). Jesus answers the question: “which is the great commandment in the Law?” by saying “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew22:36-40). “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). The Ten Commandments are a more detailed expression of this law of love, (Exodus 20:1-17; Romans 13:8-10). This law of love is also holy, righteous, good, spiritual and perfect (Romans 7:12-14; James 1:25).

I believe God expects us to obey his law of love, When we fail to do so we commit sin and are “guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4 RSV). According to Jesus not everyone who says to him “‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven.” Those who enter are the ones Jesus says do “the will of my Father who is in heaven,” which includes obeying God’s law. For Jesus tells those not allowed to enter the kingdom of heaven to “depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21-23). Salvation is by grace, and not by our works (Ephesians 2:8-9). But once saved, God does expect us to have good works (verse 10). After receiving the “the grace of God that brings salvation,” “we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,” “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts.” We should be “zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14 NKJV). We cannot earn salvation, but God will only give salvation to those who are obedient. Jesus is the “the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him” (Hebrews 5:9). 

I believe “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), but we “are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a [sacrifice of atonement] by his blood, to be received by faith” (Romans 3:24-25). I believe we must “repent and be baptized . . . in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness” of our sins, and then we “will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Salvation is a process: past, present and future. We are saved from our past sins by grace, not by works (Ephesians 2:5, 8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5). We are now being saved (1 Corinthians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 2:15). Finally, at Jesus’ return, he will save us (Matthew 24:13; Mark 13:13; Romans 5:8-10; Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 1:3-5). 

I believe Jesus has built a church that “the powers of death shall never conquer” (Matthew 16:18 REB). “Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. . . . The church submits to Christ . . . . Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. . . . [Christ] nourishes and cherishes . . . . the church, because we are members of his body (Ephesians 5:22-30).

I believe the church, like a body is made up of many parts. Whether this is a local congregation, a collection of congregations called a denomination, or the entire body of Christ scattered around the world. The church like a “human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.

“Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. . . . and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you.’ The head can’t say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you.’ . . . So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

“All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church: first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who have the gift of  leadership, those who speak in unknown languages” (1 Corinthians 12:12-28 NLT). 

Sabbath and Festivals 
I believe in observing the fourth commandment to: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work” (Exodus 20:8-10). As the Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus said “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27-28). I believe “there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:9-10). “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation” (Genesis2:1-3). 

Not only do I believe in observing the seventh-day Sabbath, but also the biblical festivals of Leviticus 23. Which along with the Sabbath are “shadows” teaching us about Jesus who is the body, substance and reality casting the shadow (Colossians 2:16-17). Jesus (Matthew 26:17-29; John 7:1-2, 8, 10, 14; 37-38), the apostles and early New Testament church (Acts 2:1-21; 18:21; 20:16; 27:9; 1 Corinthians 16:8; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8; 11:23-29) observed these love feasts (2 Peter 2:13; Jude 12).

I believe that “man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4). The Bible, both the Old and New Testaments are God’s complete revelation to mankind. I believe in the inspiration and infallibility of the scriptures as they were originally given. “The sacred writings, which are able to make [us] wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus;” are “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:14-17). 

Kingdom of God
I believe the kingdom of God is the rule and governance of God over all things. The Bible refers to the kingdom of God being in the eternal past (Psalm 10:16; 29:10; 103:19; 145:11-13; Daniel 4:17, 25, 34; 5:21). In this present world now (Matthew 12:28; Luke 17:20-21; Colossians 1:12-14). And a future kingdom established at Jesus’ return (Daniel 2:44-45; 7:13-14, 18, 21-22, 27; Revelation 11:15-18; 20:4-15; Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:1-10; Micah 4:1-4; Revelation 21:1-22:5). 

Second Coming and Resurrection
I believe “Christ . . . will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:28 NIV). “We who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). When “the seventh angel [blows] his trumpet, and there [will be] loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” And [then] twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God [will fall] on their faces and worshiped God, saying, “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth” (Revelation 11:15-18). After Jesus’ return there will be “thrones, and seated on them [are] those to whom the authority to judge [is] committed. Also . . . the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They [will come] to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead [do] not come to life until the thousand years [are] ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4-6). 

Great While Throne Judgment
I believe following the thousand year reign of Jesus on earth, there will be a resurrection and judgment, called the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:4-6, 11-15). This resurrection, sometimes referred to as the "second resurrection," is different from the "first resurrection" or the "resurrection of the just,” which happens at Jesus' second coming (Revelation 20:4-6; Luke 14:14; 1 Corinthians 15:51-55; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). The Great White Throne Judgment is a resurrection to physical life since the second death has power over those in it (Revelation 20:12-15). As opposed to those in first resurrection who rise to everlasting life, with the second death having no power over them (Revelation 20:4-6; Luke 20:34-36). Those not yet saved, the unjust, rise in this resurrection to a period of judgment known as the “day of judgment.” These are the “great and small," "the unjust," and those who have "done evil" (Revelation 20:12; Acts 24:15; John 5:28-29), Israelites and non-Israelites (Matthew 10:15; 11:21-24; 12:41-42; Luke 10:12-15). During this judgment, the book of life is open, not closed (Revelation 20:12). Those never given the chance for salvation now receive thier opportunity. At the end of the Great White Throne Judgment, anyones name “not found written in the book of life, [is] thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14-15). 

New Heaven and New Earth 
I believe following the Great White Throne Judgment there will be “a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth [will pass] away, and the sea [will be] no more. And . . . the holy city, new Jerusalem, [will come] down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And . . . aloud voice from the throne [says], ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true’” (Revelation 21:1-5).

Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version.  

NIRV - New International Reader’s Version 
NIV - New International Version 
NKJV - New King James Version
NLT - New Living Translation 
REB - Revised English Bible
RSV - Revised Standard Version

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