“Our Biblical Faith”
A Course Of Study From
Blueprint For Revival Bible
©2008 Belleview, FL 34421 USA
BLUEPRINT FOR REVIVAL BIBLE INSTITUTE
BASIC BIBLE STUDY GUIDE
Dr. Ed J MacWilliams
COURSE: BIBLE DOCTRINE:
Part Two: Basic Bible Doctrine
Doctrine:Something taught as the principles or creed of a religion, faith, etc.; belief, dogma.
There are many individual doctrines in the Bible, but this course is designed to present the basic, most urgent doctrines which need to be communicated to our congregations and the community. We have not labored to make this a complete and thorough examination of the basic doctrines, but simply to present the facts so that the student may use them as a beginning of further studies. They are presented in a manner that should assist the pastor to help his church congregation to establish a Biblical Statement of Faith.
By no means do we suggest that other things taught in the Bible are unimportant. In fact, those other doctrines must be understood on the basis of these essential doctrines.
For an example, Jesus taught that the disciples could not understand the other parables unless they first understood the Parable of the Sower. He implied that all other parables related in some way to the heart of the Lord in bringing people to His salvation, and helping them to grow up in Him so they could produce more fruit for the glory of God. Mark 4:3-13.
Mark 4:13 “And He said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?”
In the same way, unless we understand these certain basic doctrines, we cannot comprehend the other teachings of the Bible as fully as God wouldwant us to.
What we believe is what makes us what we are, and what we shall become. The Christian’s faith is essential to being a true Christian. A person is not born from the womb as a Christian, nor does he become a Christian by joining a religious organization, or by doing some religious act (such as joining the church, communion, or baptism). A Christian, unlike those in most other religions, becomes one by an act of personal faith in Jesus Christ. This cannot be accomplished by someone else on his or her behalf. It is a personal and unique experience between the Believer and Jesus Christ.
There is a set of beliefs which bring a person to the point where he or she is ready to repent of sin. It is a specific set of beliefs which brings the person to respond to the call of the Lord from the heart with faith. These beliefs come to us from God, and are contained in the Bible.
Biblical Faith is MORE than a belief system. It is also the practical and outward exercise of God’s Word that dwells in our hearts. Biblical faith is where the Word of God lives through us in everyday living experiences.
James 2:18-20 “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Our faith, which is solely based upon God’s Word, the Bible, is alive, and practical for everyday use. There is no other book ever written which has the power to reach the spirit and soul of men as the Bible can do. Not only can it reach them with Good News, but it also can help them to discern those things that are right or wrong.
*(The word “quick” in the following Scripture literally means, “alive”).
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
All these beliefs come to us from God’s Living Word, the Bible.
1. FAITH EMBARRASSES THE ENEMIES OF GOD.
A. IT DEFIES PHYSICAL LAWS. HEB. 11:29
—IT DOES MIRACLES. HEB. 11:30
—IT CONVINCES THE HEARTS OF OTHERS.
B. IT BREAKS AWAY FROM THE “NORMAL” WAYS.
* GIVES US COURAGE TO DO WILL OF GOD.
2. FAITH EXPRESSES ITSELF OUTWARDLY.
—UNLIKELY ACTIONS. HEB. 11:8
—STANDS UP, THOUGH SURROUNDED BY EVIL.
3. FAITH MOVES US TO RECEIVE GOD’S BLESSINGS.
* ENOCH TRANSLATED. WHY ? FAITH. HEB. 11:5
OUR FAITH IN JESUS
THE ESSENTIAL DOCTRINES: WHO IS HE ?
HE IS THE ONLY-BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD.
This doctrine insists that Jesus was unique, and was a direct manifestation of God. The Greek word that was translated to “only-begotten” is ‘monogenes,’ which means, “unique, single of its kind, only one.” Jesus was the unique, one-of-a-kind expression of God toward us.
John 1:18 “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.”
John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:18 “He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.“
1 John 4:9 “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.“
THE WORD OF GOD CLEARLY STATES IT. John 20:31 “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.“
THE EARLY CHURCH BELIEVED IT. Acts 9:20 “And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.“ 2 Corinthians 1:19 “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in Him was yea.“ Hebrews 4:14 “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.“ 1 John 5:5 “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?“ 1 John 5:10 “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son.“
The Bible uses a term, “the only-begotten Son” because Jesus was the unique and only physical manifestation of God. We find Him appearing in the Old Testament and especially the New Testament. God the Father, Who is spiritual in nature, manifested Himself in Flesh. John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.“
HE IS VIRGIN-BORN. (Thus, He was conceived by other than a human man). Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.“
Matthew 1:23 “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.“
If Joseph was the actual father of Jesus (which he was not, obviously), Jesus would have inherited a sin nature. Furthermore, He could not have been the fulfilment of Messianic prophecy, since He was to be both the Son and the Almighty God. Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.“ *Note that even Scriptures conclude that He is the Son, while at the same time being “the mighty God,” and “the Everlasting Father.” This is a unique role which He alone fulfills.
If Joseph was His father, we could not have salvation, for a sinful man could not redeem us, nor would He be capable to fulfilling those prophecies made about Him.
HE IS GOD IN FLESH. When Philip desired Jesus to show the Father to him, Jesus made it clear that they had seen as much of the Father as they could see already by seeing Jesus Himself. John 14: 8-9 “Philip saith unto Him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?“
Other Scriptures clearly state that it is the glory of the Father and the fulness of God Himself dwelling within that physical Body Who was revealed as Jesus. John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.“ Colossians 1:19 “For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell;“ Colossians 2:9 “For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.“
To understand the nature of God, we must see how God reveals Himself from the very beginning of the Bible. God is a triune Being. (He is One God, but He has three basic parts: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit). We are told that He made mankind in His image. In fact, the Bible speaks of a plural Person stating this. Genesis 1:26 “And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.“
Just as God has three parts, He made man with three corresponding parts, too. So, man has a soul, a spirit, and a body. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. ” Jesus was that physical, fleshly part of God, but was just as much a part of God as your own physical body is a part of you.
HE IS THE KING OF KINGS. 1 Timothy 6:15 “Which in His times He shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;”
Revelation 17:14 “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”
Revelation 19:16 “And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written,”
HE IS KNOWN BY VARIOUS OLD TESTAMENT IDENTITY NAMES. Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
In the English King James Version of the Bible, the men who translated from the Hebrew to English refused to repeatedly print the Hebrew Name, Jehovah, for fear of using God’s Name in vain. Instead, where that name appears in the Hebrew, it most often is printed as LORD (capital letters only). You will find that Jehovah is the physical manifestation of God revealed in the Old Testament (thus, Jesus).
There are several places where this physical manifestation of God is noted. The first is the physical manifestation of God which walked with Adam in the Garden. Genesis 3:8 “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.”
Later, He appears to Noah. Genesis 7:1 “And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before Me in this generation.” It took a physical Being (the LORD) to shut the door of the ark when they were safely inside. Genesis 7:16 “And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.“
Abraham not only spoke with the LORD, but actually prepared food, and fed Him physical food (along with the two angels who were present with Him). Genesis 18: 1-8 “And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in Thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from Thy servant: Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said. And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth. And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it. And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.“
**Note that they ate physical food. A spirit cannot do this. Later, in the same Chapter, the LORD speaks with Abraham about the birth of Isaac, and the two discuss the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
What Jacob initially thought was an angel that he wrestled with, he soon came to realize wasn’t just an angel, but the LORD Himself. Genesis 32:30 “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” These are a few of the Old Testament references which speak of the physical manifestation of God, or Jesus.
Jesus was not a created being, but actually was involved in the Creation, and manifested Himself to certain people of faith throughout time. Colossians 1: 14-16 “In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him:“
Jesus planned before the foundation of the world to be the Sacrificial Lamb of God. 1 Peter 1:20 “Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,“
HE IS SINLESS AND WITHOUT FAULT
Hebrews 4:15 “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” 1 John 3:5 “And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin.“
2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.“
1 Peter 2:22 “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth:“
HE IS THE ONLY WAY OF SALVATION. THERE IS NO SALVATION WITHOUT JESUS.
Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” The word “the” in the above Scripture is a definite article in the Greek language, indicating exclusivity. In other words, “…I am the only way, the only truth,” etc.).
HE IS OUR MEDIATOR AND INTERCESSOR BEFORE THE FATHER.
1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”
Hebrews 9:15 “And for this cause He is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”
Hebrews 12:24 “And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”
Hebrews 7:25 “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
HOW MUCH DO WE UNDERSTAND ABOUT HIS DIVINE CHARACTER ?
1. WHAT DID HE WEAR ? JOHN 19:23
2. WHAT DID HE EAT ? JOHN 21:12-14, LUKE 14:14-20,
MATT. 26:17, LUKE 24:41-43.
3. WHAT DID HE LOOK LIKE ? MARK 14:44. (Judas could not describe Him as being different, and because He looked like so many others, Judas had to identify Him by kissing Him).
4. WHAT WAS HIS GREAT DESIRE ? LUKE 19:8-10
5. WHAT WAS HIS APPROACH TO LIVING ?
A. HOUSING: HAD IT IN JOHN 1:37-39,
DIDN’T HAVE IT IN MATT. 8:19-20
B. TRANSPORATION: HE WALKED. @ 72 MILES FROM
NAZARETH TO JERUSALEM.
*(WHAT IS THE LONGEST DISTANCE YOU EVER WALKED ?)
C. PHYSICAL FITNESS. NOT A MEMBER OF ANY
HEALTH CLUB, NOR DID HE PARTICIPATE IN ANY PHYSICAL
EXERCISE TECHNIQUES OR MEDITATION TECHNIQUES ADVOCATED
BY SEVERAL RELIGIONS.
D. HANDLING BUSINESS: DELEGATED AUTHORITY.
JOHN 12:6, MATT. 26:19, MARK 13:34
6. TECHNIQUE HE USED IN TEACHING:
JESUS MOST OFTEN USED THE “TEACH-EXPERIENCE-ANALYZE”
TECHNIQUE. He would teach, then put His disciples under a life-experience
test, after which, He would explain to them where they fell short of His
7. WHAT EMOTIONS DID HE EXPRESS ?
A. WOULD SING. MARK 14:24-26
B. WEPT (AT UNBELIEF): LUKE 19:41-44, JOHN 11:35
C. COULD BE LOUD: JOHN 11:43, MATT 27:46
D. COULD BE SILENT: MATT. 27:11-14
E. HAD SENSE OF HUMOR. PLAYED ON WORDS.
MATT. 16:18. (He used the Greek word for ‘Peter’ that literally meant,
“pebble,” or, “little stone,” while using the Greek word for gigantic rock when
referring to Himself.
F. HE COULD REVEAL ANGER.
–AT UNBELIEF Mark 3:5 And when He had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, He saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
–AT DISBEDIENCE. John 2:15 And when He had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;
–AT JUDGMENT TIME. Revelation 11: 17-18 Saying, We give Thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
OUR FAITH SHOULD BE CLEARLY STATED AND KNOWN
THE LOCAL CHURCH SHOULD HAVE AN ESTABLISHED STATEMENT OF WHAT THEY BELIEVE
1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
This is known as the CREED or STATEMENT OF FAITH. It should include the essential elements of what your church believes is taught in the Bible. The Pastor should guide the church into an understanding of everything contained within this document, and ask the church to vote their approval and agreement to the document.
The following is an example of a Statement of Faith.
We, the Members of ___________________________Church, hereby agree and verify that the following Statement presents an accurate and truthful view of what we believe the Bible teaches.
1. THAT THE BIBLE, CONSISTING OF SIXTY-SIX BOOKS OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS, IN THE ORIGINALS, IS THE INERRANT AND COMPLETE WORD OF GOD, AND IS OUR FINAL AUTHORITY IN MATTERS OF FAITH AND PRACTICE. 2 TIMOTHY 3:16-17, 2 PETER 1:20-21, JUDE 1:3
This statement establishes the source of authority for the Church. It clearly makes the Bible as the source for all issues within the Church. If any difficulties later arise within the church, they will be required to go back to the Bible to settle any differences or questions rather than depend upon human courts or man’s opinions. It also makes the Bible the authority which outweighs visions, dreams, sincere feelings, etc., which may contradict the teachings of the Bible.
The Bible is given by the breath of God, and simply written down my men. It is not mankind’s concepts or noble ideals. It is the Word of God, and is profitable in all areas of life. Almighty God has preserved His Word throughout all generations. 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (The word “inspiration” literally means, “breath,” so that this verse is saying that “…all Scripture is given by the breath of God…”)
Unlike all other books, God’s Word existed before the world was created. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. God’s Word is recorded in Heaven. Psalms 119:89 “LAMED. For ever, O LORD, Thy Word is settled in heaven.”
Even though many kings and rulers have attempted to outlaw, and even destroy the Bible from the face of the Earth, God has preserved it. Today, while some people still attempt to change God’s Word through paraphrases and false translations, we still have the Greek and Hebrew documents which allow us to see what is accurate and what is not.
2. THAT THERE IS ONE GOD, ETERNALLY EXISTING AND MANIFESTING HIMSELF AS THE FATHER, THE SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT. DEUTERONOMY 6:4, MATTHEW 28:19, LUKE 3:21,22.
This statement separates the Church from any other religious group or entity. God is One Person. He manifests Himself in three distinct ways, known as the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.
3. THAT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD, WAS CONCEIVED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY, AND IS FULLY GOD AND FULLY MAN. LUKE 1:30-35, JOHN 1:18, JOHN 3:16, PHILIPPIANS 2:5-11.
The Divinity of Jesus is encapsulated in this statement. If Jesus had a human father He would not be truly God in Flesh. It is essential to the truth of His Divine nature, that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and that His earthly mother was a Virgin.
4. THAT MAN WAS CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD, THAT HE SINNED, AND THEREBY INCURRED NOT ONLY PHYSICAL DEATH, BUT ALSO SPIRITUAL DEATH; AND THAT, AS A CONSEQUENCE, ALL MANKIND IS DECLARED BY GOD TO BE TOTALLY DEPRAVED, HAVING INHERITED A SINFUL NATURE AND HAVING BECOME SINNERS IN THOUGHT, WORD, AND DEED. GENESIS 1:26-27, 2:16-17, ROM. 3:10-23, 6:23, 7:18, 11:32, GALATIANS 3:22
The reality that every human being needs forgiveness because each person has sinned is clearly stated in this paragraph. Without an understanding that we all are sinners, there would be no universal need for redemption, nor for Jesus to have suffered and died as the sacrificial Lamb of God for us.
Human beings, wicked sinners that we are through even one sin, begin sinning as infants. Even a baby who has no ability to speak a standard language like English, French, or German, will use what cries it has to deceive parents. A child who is not in need of emergency help will often scream as if it is, simply to gain the attention of a parent. Psalms 58:3 “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.”
It is not a life of what the world calls “criminal behavior” that condemns a person to Hell. It is the result of even one sin. When Adam and Eve suffered the consequences of their rebellion, how many sins did they commit ? Only one. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
5. THAT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST DIED AS THE SUBSTITUTIONARY AND COMPLETE SACRIFICE FOR THE SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD, AND THAT ONLY THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN HIM ARE SAVED, AND THIS ON THE GROUND OF HIS SHED BLOOD AND GRACE. ROM. 3:24-28, ROM.5:8-10, I TIM. 2:5-6, I JOHN 2:1-2.
This decree insists that the payment of Jesus’ Blood on the Cross was sufficient to pay for the sins of all who would receive Him by faith. It states that the only way a person can obtain forgiveness is through faith in Jesus Christ. This eliminates the idea that anyone can work hard enough, or live good enough to be saved on their own merits.
6. THAT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST LITERALLY WALKED ON THE FACE OF THIS EARTH, THAT HE WAS CRUCIFIED AND AROSE FROM THE DEAD IN THE SAME BODY, THOUGH GLORIFIED, IN WHICH HE WAS CRUCIFIED; THAT HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN, AND IS NOW EXALTED AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER AS HEAD OF THE CHURCH. JOHN 20:1-29, ACTS 1:9-11, EPH. 1:20-23, HEB. 1:3
The physical coming of the Lord Jesus is essential in establishing the fact that He rules over all parts of human existence: spirit, soul, and body. Several Scriptures affirm not only the physical appearances of the Lord Jesus prior to His birth, but also His physical Second Coming. This is such a crucial doctrine that God says those who do not accept the past, present and future physical existence of the Lord Jesus is anti-christ. 1 John 4:3 “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” 2 John 1:7 “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” (The Greek word which is translated, “is come…” literally means, “has come, is now, and will come…”)
7. THAT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST WILL COME AGAIN PERSONALLY AND BODILY. HE WILL COME IN THE AIR TO RECEIVE THE CHURCH (HIS BRIDE) TO HIMSELF IN HEAVEN. THERE WILL BE A LITERAL FULFILLMENT OF THE HORRIBLE SEVEN YEAR TRIBULATION FORETOLD BY THE PROPHETS OF GOD. AT THE CLOSE OF THAT TRIBULATION, CHRIST WILL RETURN VISIBLY TO THE EARTH WITH HIS SAINTS TO INAUGURATE HIS MILLENIAL KINGDOM. ACTS 1:11. I THES. 4:13-18, I COR. 15:51-58, 2 PETER 3:1-13, REV. 19:11-16, 20:1-6.
The future physical return of the Lord is verified in several Scriptures, also. Among them is this promise. Zechariah 14:4 “And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.”
8. THAT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST ORDAINED TWO ORDINANCES TO BE OBSERVED BY HIS FOLLOWERS: BAPTISM, AND THE LORD’S SUPPER. THAT BAPTISM IS AN ACT OF OBEDIENCE, WHICH DOES NOT OF ITSELF SAVE ANYONE; AND THAT THE LORD’S SUPPER IS A MEMORIAL SERVICE DESIGNED TO BRING THE BELIEVER INTO DEEPER FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRIST, AND DOES NOT SAVE. I COR. 11:23-34, ACTS 2:38, ROM. 6:3-10.
Some sects within what is called “the Christian Church” believe that there are more ordinances than these. However, in the Bible, we are taught by the Lord to only observe these two. Obviously, there are many things which our Lord told us to do, and these are contained in Scripture. However, it takes a specific command for the entire church to continually do something as a rite, or ritual which makes an action an ordinance. These two things meet those criteria.
9. THAT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST COMPLETELY AND ETERNALLY SAVES AND SECURES EACH INDIVIDUAL WHO PLACES HIS TRUST IN JESUS CHRIST. NO MORTAL, NOR ANYONE, INCLUDING SATAN HIMSELF, CAN TAKE A BELIEVER’S SALVATION AWAY FROM HIM ONCE IT HAS BEEN GIVEN TO HIM BY GOD. JOHN 10:27-28, I PET. 1:5, ROM. 8:35-39
Within this statement is the assurance of our salvation. It acknowledges the only means to our salvation—through faith in Jesus Christ—and it notes our confidence in His ability to save eternally.
10. THAT THE GREAT COMMISSION WAS GIVEN TO THE CHURCH ALONG WITH VARIOUS MINISTRIES AND GIFTS. THAT IT BECOMES THE DUTY OF EVERY BELIEVER TO USE THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THEIR GOD-GIVEN TALENTS TO ACCOMPLISH THIS GREAT COMMISSION. THAT ‘THE GREAT COMMISSION’ IS THE PERSONAL DUTY, OBLIGATION, AND PURPOSE FOR EVERY BELIEVER IN THIS LIFE. JOHN 15:1-16, MATT. 28:18-20, ROM. 10:9-11, I COR. 12:1-31, EPHESIANS 4:7-17, MARK 13:34.
So far as the work of the Church is concerned, the Bible has clearly stated what the work of the Church should be. We live in a world where the devil will attempt to distract the Church from her Divinely appointed mission, and she must always base her actions and activities on the unchanging Word of God. The Church has a two-fold mission. She must preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to bring the lost to salvation in Christ, and secondly, she must build the Christian up in our never-changing faith.
A Statement of Faith is NOT designed to put into writing EVERYTHING that a Church believes, but it is valuable in that it established the basic essential code of beliefs for a local Christian church.
How a church conducts its’ business, and the organization of the local church should be explained in another document, called The Church Constitution.