What We Believe (Part 2)
In last week’s article I mentioned that a few of us are working to prepare some materials to help tell others about our group and what we believe. I believe that this it is extremely important to be able to communicate these concepts to our friends and neighbors. In the process of developing the material I have gathered more information than we can fit in a brochure. However I wanted to still share this with you so you can share it with others. I hope you find it helpful.
We believe that God is Omniscient (all-knowing; 1 John 3:20), Omnipotent (all-powerful; Matt. 19:26), and Omnipresent (always present; John 4:20-24). More than this though, we believe that God is an inherently good being (Luke 18:19) who desires a personal relationship with His children (1 John 1:1-3). Unfortunately the problem with us having this personal relationship is that of sin! God is inherently Holy and Righteous and can therefore have no fellowship with sin (1 Pet. 1:14-16). Our own personal sin (as opposed to “inherited sin”) separates us from God (Isa. 59:1-2).
This is where God’s Word comes in. It was written by inspiration (literally God-breathed) with the Spirit guiding men (2 Tim. 3:16-17). The writers each had one piece of the puzzle, their portion of the clues to the “mystery” of how God was going to save man. They longed to know what has been clearly revealed to us…Jesus is the answer to the problem of sin (1 Pet. 1:10-12).
Jesus Christ existed as part of God from the beginning (John 1:1ff) and was the creator the same as God the Father and God the Spirit (Col 1:16). Although the creator, He humbled Himself and took the form of one of the servants that He created so that He could be the sacrifice that washes away our sins (Phil. 2:5-11).
The Holy Spirit is the part of God that has always been involved in teaching and instructing man. He helped the Apostles to remember everything that Jesus said and did on earth, as well as teaching them further truths about the Gospel (John 13:25-26). He empowered those in the early church to perform miracles and to do signs and wonders to confirm that the spoken Word was accurate and that the teachers really were from God (2 Cor. 12:12). He later inspired men to faithfully record on paper what we are to do to be pleasing to God (2 Tim. 3:16-17). We can be confident that what has been recorded, collected, and passed on to us is all we need for “life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3) and that we have everything we need contained in the faith that was “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Now that we have God’s Word revealed in whole, there is no need for miracles and signs for confirmation of God’s Word…but while these gifts have passed away LOVE is eternal and never will (1 Cor. 13:8-13).
As people, we realize that we cannot get to heaven through any means of our own for “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). God has sent His Son who died once and for all for humanity’s sins, past and present (Heb. 10:10-18). This leads us to two conclusions: we can have confidence to enter into God’s presence (Heb. 10:19) and we can be confident that Jesus our priest is constantly interceding for our sins (Heb. 10:21). This should lead us to 3 actions: 1) Draw near to God, 2) Hold fast and endure in our belief in Christ, and 3) Work together with other Christians to build each other up (Heb. 10:22-25).