Tenents 1 to 6

Tenent 1: The unity of the Godhead and the Trinity of the Persons therein.

The Bible reveals there is one God.  It also shows that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are God.  Therefore Christian teaching of the Trinity states that God exists eternally as three persons who, while distinct, are equally and fully God.

Why is it necessary that we believe this?
If we don’t believe in God, we fall at the first hurdle.
The Bible states there is one God.  This stands in contrast to society in general who don’t believe in God.
Other world religions offer other and many ‘gods’.  We need to be clear that the Bible says there is one true God; all others are false and ‘man-made’ (idols).
The Bible says that God exists as three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  This is difficult to understand, but at the beginning of Scripture God says ‘let us make man in our image (Genesis 1:26).
A very simplistic way to understand this is to look at water.  Water can exist in three states; liquid, solid form – ice, and as a vapour – steam.  At each state the water is different in form and appearance, yet still water.  God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Each distinct, yet each God.

Pause for thought
Don’t be alarmed if you can’t understand everything about God, it is impossible to do so – he is God!  He simply asks us to believe in Him.  That is possible.

Useful Scriptures  
Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14.

 

 

Tenent 2: The utter depravity of human nature, the necessity for repentance and regeneration, and the eternal doom of the finally impenitent.

Every part of human nature is deeply damaged by the Fall.  We are born with a powerful bias toward sin.  God commands us to confess our sin and turn from it to him as our Saviour and Lord.  We require the new spiritual birth which the Holy Spirit gives.  Any who refuse God’s command and offer of life will suffer everlasting separation from him in hell.

Why is it necessary that we believe this?
Every person, no matter how moral and good, will fall short of God’s standard because of a sinful nature (we have all done things we regret).  Therefore being ‘good’ is not ‘good enough’.
Being religious doesn’t make us acceptable to God (many have tried that).  Acceptance comes through a ‘right relationship’ with Him.  This is achieved by confessing our sins, seeking to live according to God’s ways.
This is actually impossible humanly speaking, but God the Holy Spirit works in our lives so that we can become ‘new people’ and serve him.
Many reject God or want Him on their ‘terms’.  We can’t bargain or argue with God.  He has made a way for us to be forgiven.  If we reject this, we reject God.  Sadly, the alternative is an eternal hell without God.

Pause for thought
God doesn’t want religious people, He wants people right with Him, not just for now, but forever!

Useful Scriptures
Romans 3:23, Ephesians 2, Acts 20:21, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Revelation 20:11-15.

 

 

Tenent 3: The virgin birth, sinless life, atoning death, triumphant resurrection, ascension and abiding intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ: his second coming and millennial reign upon earth.

God’s eternal Son was born to Mary, a virgin, from whom he received his humanity.  Fully human, he was nonetheless without sin, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit.  Having lived with perfect holiness, he bore in his death the penalty of all others’ sin.  After God the Father raised him from death he returned in triumph to heaven where he represents his people.  He will come again to rule over the earth for a thousand years.

Why is it necessary that we believe this?
Jesus became human like us.  But if he had been born through the sexual union of a man and woman, he would have inherited the sin problem common to us all.  Therefore he needed to become human in a miraculous way.  This was accomplished by the creative power of the Holy Spirit causing new life within Mary, so that a child was born to a virgin.
Being born without sin was not enough.  Jesus, as he grew from childhood to a man, had to remain pure in his mind, attitude and his actions.  Even if he had failed once, everything would have been lost!
The whole point of a sinless birth and life was that he could be a perfect sacrifice when he died for us.  When he was crucified, all the sin ever committed was ‘laid’ on him (accounted to him) and Jesus was then punished for that sin (which was ours).  He then died taking the full consequences for our sin.
God the Father was satisfied with Jesus’ sacrifice and therefore, according to the Scriptures, Jesus rose from the dead, triumphing over it, as the first one to rise.  He rose with a new, eternal body which one day all Christians will possess.  One day, he will return to reign as King of Kings.

Pause for thought
Jesus did all this for you.  Just consider for a moment, how much he must love you.

Useful Scriptures 
Matthew 1:18-25, Hebrews 2:9,  1 Peter 2:21-24, Acts 2: 29-32.

 

Tenent 4: The justification and sanctification of the believer through the finished work of Christ.

Through his life and death Jesus provided fully for our salvation.  When we trust in him as our Saviour we are completely forgiven and declared to be in right standing with God.  We are now set apart for God.  By the Holy Spirit’s power we can grow in the Christ-likeness God requires of us.

Why is it necessary that we believe this?
We could never in our own efforts make ourselves right with God; it is humanly impossible.  Many religions try to do this but all will fail.  It required that God did something which we couldn’t.  Jesus died for us, taking our sin upon himself.  When we believe this, God declares that we are forgiven and declared right with Him.
It is like a courtroom where someone pays the fine of the guilty person and the judge declares that since the crime has been paid for, the guilty person no longer has to face the consequences of the offence.
In addition to being declared ‘not guilty’ by God, he doesn’t leave us as being ‘just forgiven’, but calls us to be his people and live for him.  God is holy and pure and he requires that we also follow him in this way.  Not a ‘holier than thou’ attitude, but someone whose life reflects something of Jesus in every aspect.  The Holy Spirit helps us to do this.

Pause for thought
Imagine you were guilty of something and expecting to be condemned, but the one who was wronged says – “you are no longer guilty, but forgiven”.  That’s what God has done for us, and more.  He wants us to be set apart to serve him.  Instead of being guilty, we are forgiven and accepted into the family.

Useful Scriptures
Romans 3:21-24, 2Corinthians 3:17-18, Ephesians 4:23-24

 

 

Tenent 5: The baptism of the Holy Spirit for believers, with signs following.

God intends all Christians to know a definite experience of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.  This baptism will result in clear evidences of the Spirit’s work.

Why is it necessary that we believe this?
When we read the Bible there are many instances recorded where people had a definite experience of being filled by the Holy Spirit.  This is how the church actually came into existence.
This continued right through the New Testament and there is no record of this ceasing.  As a result, even today, people still have similar experiences.  If people needed this baptism in Bible times, they still need it today.
This baptism is to give the individual a strength or power to live as a Christian and not for a novel/nice experience.
The signs could be ‘speaking in tongues’ –speaking in an ‘unknown language’, or maybe speaking a word of encouragement (prophecy) which is clearly inspired by God.

Pause for thought
The whole aspect of the baptism of the Holy Spirit has generated many debates in the church in general for centuries.  Some accept it, some deny it.  What is clear though is that often unexplained miraculous events occur when God moves in this way.  This is difficult to deny.  Also church movements which believe in this teaching are the fastest growing in the world today.

Useful Scriptures
Acts 2, Acts 10:44-48

 

 

Tenent 6: The nine gifts of the Holy Ghost for the edification, exhortation and comfort of the Church, which is the Body of Christ.

The Holy Spirit grants Christians supernatural abilities.  Their use helps to build up, encourage and strengthen the church, a people in living union with Christ.

Why is it necessary that we believe this?
As we have discussed earlier the Holy Spirit empowers people to serve.  Also he gives special gifts to help the Church.  These gifts are extraordinary in their outworking.  The early church in the Bible needed such gifts and today, we also need them to help us.

Pause for thought
Today’s society is extremely complex and often confusing.  The Church can be affected by many issues/situations which are potentially disrupting.  God does not leave us alone; he knows we need encouraging and when this happens, God can dynamically work in a situation by using the gifts he has given.

Useful Scriptues
1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 1 Corinthians 13:9-12


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