The Bible – The Bible is made up of sixty-six books and is divided into two parts – The Old Testament and the New Testament. These books were written by men, but they were inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20-21). They are without error and totally trustworthy in all they say (Proverbs 30:5). The Bible has Supreme Authority over any topic it chooses to speak upon, however, it primarily speaks on matters related to salvation (John 20:31), faith and conduct (2 Timothy 3:15).
God – There is only one God who is living, eternal and true (Deuteronomy 6:4). God is Spirit and He is infinite (John 4:24). God is infinitely wise (Psalm 104:24), powerful (Psalm 147:5), holy (Leviticus 11:44), just, good (Psalm 86:5) and loving (Jeremiah 9:24).
Trinity – Though God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:6), He is revealed to us in three distinct persons– Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14). Each has distinct personal attributes yet there is no division in the nature, essence or being of God (Matthew 1:23, Hebrews 1:3, John 4:24). This is a mystery that is taught in the Bible.
God’s Sovereignty – God is totally in control and King over all. He has determined all things to come to pass. Nothing surprises God. (Psalm 103:19; 1 Chronicles 29:11; Romans 11:36)
Creation – God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them in six days (Genesis 1:31; Exodus 31:17). God created man and woman in His image in perfect righteousness (Genesis 1:27). Therefore men and women are equal in dignity and worth (Galatians 3:28). All creatures owe God love, reverence and obedience. (Revelation 4:11)
Man – Adam and Eve were created without sin (Ecclesiastes 7:29), however, their disobedience in the Garden of Eden resulted in all men and women falling into a sinful condition (Genesis 3:13) which corrupts every aspect of our human nature. Our inbuilt desire to do the wrong thing, together with our actual sin makes us guilty before a holy God and deserving of judgment (Ephesians 2:2-3).
Jesus Christ – The Lord Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God the Father (John 3:16). He is mysteriously fully human and yet fully divine (Colossians 2:9). He was without sin and He perfectly fulfilled the law of God (Matthew 5:17). He suffered and died on the Cross in the place of sinners and bore God’s punishment for sin for all who believe in Him (Philippians 2:6-8). God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice as a complete work and raised Him from the dead on the third day (Romans 3:25-26). Jesus ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of God where He lives today and intercedes on behalf of His people (Luke 22:69).
The Holy Spirit – The Holy Spirit is God and He is sent from heaven to glorify Jesus Christ (Acts 5:3-4). His work is necessary in applying the saving work of Jesus to sinners. The Holy Spirit convicts sinners of sin (John 16:8-9); He imparts spiritual life (John 6:63) and gives us a true understanding of the Bible (John 16:13-14). He dwells in believers (1 Corinthians 3:16), assures us that we have been saved and works in us to make us more like Jesus day by day (Romans 8:9-11).
Salvation – This is entirely the work of God. He saves sinners freely by way of a gift and we cannot earn this salvation or deserve it in anyway (Ephesians 2:8-10).This salvation has been accomplished by Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection as a substitute for sinners (Isaiah 53:5;2 Corinthians 5:21). This is the good news (gospel) and is proclaimed to all. God in His mercy forgives sinners whom He calls to Himself, granting them new birth that results in repentance and faith (Galatians 2:16). All who put their trust in Christ as Saviour and Lord are made right (justified) with God (Romans 3:28), adopted into His family and inherit eternal life (John 3:16).
Growing as a Christian – Those who believe in Jesus are also united to Jesus (Ephesians 1:13). Although Christians have been made holy through Christ’s work (positional sanctification)(1 Corinthians 6:11, Acts 20:32), the Holy Spirit dwells in them (Romans 8:9-11) and progressively works in them to produce obedience to Jesus’ commands (progressive sanctification) (John 16:13-14). Though believers never achieve perfection in this life they will grow into Christ’s likeness (sometimes not as fast as we would wish) and persevere to the end in Christian living (2 Peter 1:2-4).
The Church – Jesus Christ is the head of the Church (Colossians 1:18) .The Church universal is composed of all those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. However, believers are commanded to gather in local, visible communities – local churches (1 Corinthians 14:26). (Whilst it is the goal of local churches to only admit into membership those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, no local church achieves perfection.) It is in this context that individual members use their gifts (Romans 12:6-8) and exercise ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13). God calls certain men to leadership positions and the Church recognises elders and deacons as and when they fulfil the requirements stated in the Bible (1 Timothy 2:12, 1 Timothy 3:1-13, 1 Timothy 5:17).
Worship – Whilst all of Christian living is worship to God (1 Corinthians 10:31). The gathering of local churches for public worship is commanded in the Bible (Colossians 3:15-16). The local church is responsible to administer worship, the ordinances (baptism and Lord’s Supper) (1 Cor. 11:23-26) and discipline (Hebrews 12:6). Following the resurrection, the first day of the week (Sunday) is the day given to Christians to rest from normal occupation and give of ourselves to worship and service of God (Exodus 20:8-11; Mark 2:27-28; Revelation 1:10).
Baptism – This is an ordinance commanded by Jesus Christ as King of the church. It is a sign given to believers who are immersed in water in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew. 28:19). It is a sign of a believers union with Christ (Galatians 3:26-27) in His death and resurrection, of remission of sins, and of their walking in newness of life in Jesus Christ (Romans 6:4).
Lord’s Supper – This is an ordinance commanded by Jesus Christ as King of the church (1 Corinthians 11:23-34). It is a sign given to believers to remember Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross (Matthew 26:17-30). The Supper is also a sign of the communion of believers with each other and with the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 14:12-26). It is to be administered with the elements of bread and grape juice. It is in no sense a sacrifice or the means by which sins are forgiven.
Marriage – Marriage was instituted by God at creation. Marriage is a lifelong union of one man with one woman, voluntarily entered into, excluding all others. (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:6; Ephesians 5:22-33) The purposes of marriage in God’s design are lifelong companionship, social stability and the natural procreation and nurturing of children. (Genesis 2:18; Ephesians 6:1-4; Psalm 127 & Psalm 128).
Evangelism – It is the privilege and duty of every Christian to tell the good news (gospel) of Jesus Christ and His work to all men everywhere (Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 10:10-17).
The Future – The Bible promises a visible, personal and bodily return of Jesus at the end of the age (Acts 1:9-11). Jesus will return as Judge and He will judge everyone according to their deeds. (Revelation 20:14-15)At this time there will be a resurrection for all men (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). Believers will be given immortal, resurrected bodies (Philippians 3:20-21) and will be with Jesus forever and ever. Jesus Christ will reign forever in His Kingdom in all its completeness and glory. Those who have rejected Jesus will also be raised to everlasting punishment in hell (Jude 1:7, Revelation 21:8).