By Debra Downey
A. The Godhead
God has at least 3 separate manifestations: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God has, in various ways, reached down to man in order to communicate His will and interests. The Bible, in John 1, shows that God has been revealed in every manner by which man understands:
- We heard Him (Jn. 1:1 - The Word)
- We saw Him (Jn. 1:14 - The Flesh)
- We felt the power of His presence, i.e. His "Spirit" (Jn. 1:32-33 and Acts 2:17 and many others).By revealing Himself in limited form (Word, Flesh, Spirit), the Infinite God makes Himself known to finite man.
- We find God expressed in the Word, both written and spoken (as with Moses and the Prophets)
- Later we find God expressed in the form of man (Jesus) when He became flesh and walked among men. Why? Christ was sent to us as God in the form of man to set an example for us by living perfectly through the same temptations we have; to teach us God's Word and show us God's love; and, in His love for us, DIE for us, and set the New Covenant upon us, so that we may have everlasting life through His intercession.
- Then we find God expressed in power to convert hard Israelite hearts of stone into believing hearts of flesh through the Holy Spirit, the animating power behind "the Body of Christ". This change of heart is done in accordance with the provisions of His Covenant to Abraham (Gen. 17:7) and the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31; Ez. 36:26; Heb. 8:8-12). All of these are ways in which God makes Himself known to man.
B. SinWe are sinners through Adam. What is sin? Sin is the transgression of the God's Law.
C. God's lawGod's law is to last forever (Mt. 5:17-19 and Rom 3:31). Israel is not to add or detract from God's law (Rev. 22:18-19). For those He has chosen, God's law is written in our hearts. But it is also in the written Word that confirms God's Law. It's there in black and white (and sometimes in red) and in both the Old and New Testaments. Reference to God's law and its importance in our lives is throughout Jesus' and Paul's teachings; with the greatest of all God's Laws as loving God, then love one another, and on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
D. The BibleThe writings of the Old and New Testaments were inspired by God. However, through the weakness and fallibility of mankind, the Bible has its share of mistranslations, interpolations and false interpretations. As is biblical, it is up to us to prayerfully rightly divide the word (II Tim. 2:15) so we can discern the Truth (I John 4:1). We profit from sound doctrine, for reproof, correction and instruction in what is right and wrong (II Tim. 3:16). We study God's Word on a daily basis to show ourselves approved (II Tim 2:15) in order to receive blessings.
E. The wages of sin is death.
F. Atonement for sinThe sins of our people in the Old Testament were atoned with the blood sacrifices of animals. The New Testament covenant of the "Blood of Calvary" replaced that, and that is the law that Christ did not abolish, but fulfilled. Salvation is obtained ONLY through the blood of Jesus Christ.
G. Christian ResponsibilityChristians are to be baptized (a symbolic act of washing, cleansing, purifying). Christians are to have solemn observation of the Lord's Supper, partaking Communion with Christ in a worthy manner, discerning the Lord's body (I Cor. 11:23-29).