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Saturday, May 26, 2018

What is the Eucharist or Communion?


What is the Eucharist or Communion?
 
We have been discussing the basic Christian doctrines found in the Apostles’ Creed. The Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed both have much to say about Jesus, His crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection from the dead. His ascension into heaven, and the fact that He is seated at the right hand of the Father and will come again to judge the living and the dead!  The Apostles’ Creed also speaks of the doctrine of the “forgiveness of sins”.  And that is the gift that Jesus gives us that changes everything for us! He forgives our sins.
 
Just before Jesus was crucified, He ate the Passover meal with His disciples. As they were eating together Jesus asked His disciples to remember Him and His death for us by eating bread and drinking wine.  Jesus told them that the bread is His body, broken for us and the wine is His blood, shed for us.  Today we call this meal the Lord’s Supper, or the Eucharist or Communion. Down through the ages all the Christian churches have observed this holy Communion meal remembering Jesus’ death.  Jesus called it the meal of the “New Covenant” or new promise.  The “Old” was about to be fulfilled by the “New,” since Jesus’ death on the cross would change everything!
 
The Jewish Passover meal represented the “Old Covenant” where each year a lamb was sacrificed by each Jewish family and eaten with unleavened bread.  Since leaven represented sin, there could be no leaven in the bread. On that first Passover in Egypt, the blood from the sacrificial lambs was sprinkled on the door of each Jewish home. And on that night, death came to every Egyptian home, but the angel of death “passed over” each Jewish home that was covered by the blood of these lambs.  The next day Pharaoh ordered the Israelites to leave Egypt. Finally, God was freeing Israel from slavery to the Egyptians.  (Exodus 12)
 
But now Jesus was announcing a “New Covenant” where the Lamb of God was sacrificed once and for all to free anyone who will come to Him from the slavery of sin.  All the lambs that were sacrificed before were pointing to Jesus, the future Lamb of God that is the ultimate Sacrifice, taking away our sin. By calling for us to eat the bread and drink the cup, Jesus leaves us a reminder of His willing sacrifice – the foundation for forgiveness of sins.  Christ said these words: “This is My blood of the Covenant which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)   
 
 The Bible says: “When Jesus had given thanks, He broke the bread and said; ‘Take and eat: this is My body which is broken for you.  Do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper saying: ‘This cup is the New Covenant in My blood.  This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’  For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.  Therefore, whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a person examine herself or himself and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  For she/he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.”  (1 Corinthians 11:24-29) 
 
The Catholic Church and all Protestant denominations and the Eastern Orthodox Churches obey Jesus’ call to remember His death with the meal of bread and wine.  We call it different names, the Eucharist or Communion or the Lord’s Supper.  Many Christian Churches teach that the Lord’s Supper or Communion is a Sacrament.
 
When we take holy Communion, we are participating in the sacrifice of Jesus’ death.  We are participating in the foretaste of the feast to come with our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said that He will not eat that meal – the bread and wine until He eats it with us in Glory.  (Matthew 26:29)  The Lord’s Supper not only reminds participants of the redeeming death of Jesus, but it looks forward to His return, when the memorial supper will give way to the festivities of the marriage feast of the Bridegroom and His Bride (us). 
 
We are not to take Communion lightly. We are to love Christ and to repent of our sins before we take Communion. And forgive our enemies. We do not want to eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, or not show humble respect the body and blood of Christ!
 
A Sacrament is a holy act where God imparts grace to us.  Baptism is also a Christian Sacrament. When we take Communion, we receive a blessing. We believe when we take Communion that we are nourished and strengthened in the Faith.  We are anointed by the Holy Spirit as we take the bread and the wine.  We come closer to Jesus Christ when we take His body and blood into ourselves. And we are looking forward to the Day when we will eat this Meal with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in heaven at the marriage feast of the Lamb. Communion is a beautiful holy mystery and we earthly humans are not able to take it all in.  Now we see through a glass darkly but then we will see Face to face.   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

  


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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Jesus Christ and the Apostles' Creed


Jesus Christ and the Apostles’ Creed
 
For Christians, the beliefs expressed in the Apostles’ Creed are basic to the Christian faith. When we choose to believe the tenets expressed in the Apostles’ Creed, our lives are changed.  Here below is part of the Apostles’ Creed – the part that proclaims our beliefs about Jesus Christ:
I believe in Jesus Christ, Gods’ only Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died, and was buried:
He descended to the dead.
On the third day He rose again:
He ascended into heaven,
And is seated at the right hand of the Father,
And will come again to judge the living and the dead.
And I believe in the forgiveness of sins.  
 
What sets Christianity apart from all the other faiths is its’ specific beliefs about Jesus Christ.   But the most amazing thing is that the Christian faith is not just a set of beliefs or traditions, like other faiths. But the Christian faith is a “living” faith.  The “Word” which is a name for Christ is “alive.” (Hebrews 4:12) (John 1:1-4)
 
 Jesus Christ isn’t just a great Teacher and Savior who lived long ago, but He is Son of God who lives and walks right here in our world today. The Spirit of Christ “lives” in our hearts today when we believe.   Like a favorite Christian hymn goes, “And He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own.”  And He brings us His peace and joy.
 
The early Christians set out their beliefs in The Apostles’ Creed not only because they wanted to pass down the true faith – originally given to them, but also because so many false teachers were attacking the true Christian faith by spreading heresie.  So many false Christs!  Most of the heresies and apostasies were leveled at Jesus Christ and who He is!  If Satan can keep people from believing in the real Jesus, and get them to believe in another Jesus, he will have done his job, since the real Jesus is the only One who redeems and saves us.    So, who is the real Jesus?  And why is it so important for us to know Him?   
 
These popular heresies all strike at Jesus Christ, trying to make Him appear to be so much less than who He is.  They create false pictures of Christ, and this keeps people from knowing the real Jesus Christ. One blasphemous and terrible heresy that is out there is that Jesus did not save us from our sins but instead He was just a great example of love.  That he died on the cross for no reason but just to show his beautiful love.  That there is no sin and no judgment – just love. God forgives us without Jesus paying the price for our sins because God can’t love and judge at the same time, so the lie goes. God would be mean to allow Jesus to go through such a terrible death on the cross.  And these unbelieving scoffers rave that anyone who is a believer “is not intelligent.”
  
This apostasy and several others like it are believed by many. These horrible lies take away the real Jesus and put a false Jesus in his place.  A fake Jesus who didn’t shed his precious blood for our sins and who isn’t really our Savior and Redeemer.  A fake Jesus who isn’t God, just a wise man or a super star! The Scriptures warn us to beware, that there will be these false teachers and poisonous heresies – aimed at taking our precious faith away.  We are in a spiritual war and we must put on our armor and hold fast to our Christian faith!  
 
In both Matthew and Luke, the Bible records the birth of Jesus with the details that Jesus was “conceived of the Holy Spirit” when Mary was a virgin.  Is it difficult to believe that God could bring Jesus into the world any way He wanted?  God created the rules of nature and He can by- pass or transcend them. Jesus was not like any other person ever born on earth. He was not born in sin like all humans are.  If He were sinful like us He couldn’t forgive our sins. Jesus is God and He is also human.  So, His birth was different from ours because Jesus is different from all of us.  
 
There is a story in Scripture about some good people carrying a paralyzed man on a bed to Jesus to be healed.  (Matthew 9:2-8)   Jesus spoke to the paralyzed man with these words: “Son, be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven you.”  A crowd had gathered and some of the religious leaders were there watching, and they thought that Jesus was blaspheming.  The Old Testament Scriptures teach that only God can forgive sins.  So, it would be blasphemy for a human to say that he could do what only God can do.  Scripture says that Jesus knew their thoughts. 
 
So, Jesus asked the religious leaders: “Is it easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you.’ Or to say, ‘Arise and walk’?  But so you will know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said: ‘Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’.”  And the paralyzed man was healed and jumped up and walked away to his house.  Now all the of crowds seeing this marveled and they all glorified God.”  (Matthew 9:2-9) 
 
On another occasion Jesus was in a crowd healing and teaching, and there were religious leaders in the crowd criticizing Him as they so often did.  Jesus told the crowd: “If anyone keeps My word he/she shall never taste eternal death.” (John 8:52) The religious leaders immediately got upset and shouted back at Jesus these words: “Do you think you are greater than our father Abraham, who is dead?  And the prophets are all dead.  Who do You make Yourself out to be?” 
 
Jesus answered that Abraham rejoiced to see Him, the promised Messiah. And the religious leaders answered back: “You are not yet fifty years old, so how could You have seen Abraham?”  And Jesus answered them: “Most surely, I say to you, before Abraham was, I Am.”  (John 8:58) Jesus was saying that before Abraham lived, He was there – eternal and timeless. That He is the “I Am” – the Jewish name for God. 
 
When the religious leaders heard that they picked up stones to throw at Jesus because they understood that Jesus was saying that He is the “I Am” – or that He is God the Son, and if that wasn’t true then it would have been blasphemy.  Several thousand years earlier Moses had asked God what the Jewish people should call Him, or what was God’s Name.  And God answered that His Name was “I Am”.  (Exodus 3:14) All of the Jewish people knew this.
 
Jesus is saying here in John 8:58 that He is eternal or timeless and that He is divine or is Son of God.  Skeptics will say that Jesus never claimed to be God.  But this passage, along with many others in the Bible say otherwise.  When we put our trust in the real Jesus, the “I Am”, we are in good Hands because He can and will forgive our sins.  He couldn’t do that if He was just a wise man.  But He is the true Son of God -  the “I Am”.    
 



 




  
    
 
 



 

 
 
 
 





































Jesus Christ and the Apostles' Creed



Jesus Christ and the Apostles’ Creed
 
For Christians, the beliefs expressed in the Apostles’ Creed are basic to the Christian faith. When we choose to believe the tenets expressed in the Apostles’ Creed, our lives are changed.  Here below is part of the Apostles’ Creed – the part that proclaims our beliefs about Jesus Christ:
I believe in Jesus Christ, Gods’ only Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died, and was buried:
He descended to the dead.
On the third day He rose again:
He ascended into heaven,
And is seated at the right hand of the Father,
And will come again to judge the living and the dead.
And I believe in the forgiveness of sins.  
 
What sets Christianity apart from all the other faiths is its’ specific beliefs about Jesus Christ.   But the most amazing thing is that the Christian faith is not just a set of beliefs or traditions, like other faiths. But the Christian faith is a “living” faith.  The “Word” which is a name for Christ is “alive.” (Hebrews 4:12) (John 1:1-4)
 
 Jesus Christ isn’t just a great Teacher and Savior who lived long ago, but He is Son of God who lives and walks right here in our world today. The Spirit of Christ “lives” in our hearts today when we believe.   Like a favorite Christian hymn goes, “And He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own.”  And He brings us His peace and joy.
 
The early Christians set out their beliefs in The Apostles’ Creed not only because they wanted to pass down the true faith – originally given to them, but also because so many false teachers were attacking the true Christian faith by spreading heresie.  So many false Christs!  Most of the heresies and apostasies were leveled at Jesus Christ and who He is!  If Satan can keep people from believing in the real Jesus, and get them to believe in another Jesus, he will have done his job, since the real Jesus is the only One who redeems and saves us.    So, who is the real Jesus?  And why is it so important for us to know Him?   
 
These popular heresies all strike at Jesus Christ, trying to make Him appear to be so much less than who He is.  They create false pictures of Christ, and this keeps people from knowing the real Jesus Christ. One blasphemous and terrible heresy that is out there is that Jesus did not save us from our sins but instead He was just a great example of love.  That he died on the cross for no reason but just to show his beautiful love.  That there is no sin and no judgment – just love. God forgives us without Jesus paying the price for our sins because God can’t love and judge at the same time, so the lie goes. God would be mean to allow Jesus to go through such a terrible death on the cross.  And these unbelieving scoffers rave that anyone who is a believer “is not intelligent.”
  
This apostasy and several others like it are believed by many. These horrible lies take away the real Jesus and put a false Jesus in his place.  A fake Jesus who didn’t shed his precious blood for our sins and who isn’t really our Savior and Redeemer.  A fake Jesus who isn’t God, just a wise man or a super star! The Scriptures warn us to beware, that there will be these false teachers and poisonous heresies – aimed at taking our precious faith away.  We are in a spiritual war and we must put on our armor and hold fast to our Christian faith!  
 
In both Matthew and Luke, the Bible records the birth of Jesus with the details that Jesus was “conceived of the Holy Spirit” when Mary was a virgin.  Is it difficult to believe that God could bring Jesus into the world any way He wanted?  God created the rules of nature and He can by- pass or transcend them. Jesus was not like any other person ever born on earth. He was not born in sin like all humans are.  If He were sinful like us He couldn’t forgive our sins. Jesus is God and He is also human.  So, His birth was different from ours because Jesus is different from all of us.  
 
There is a story in Scripture about some good people carrying a paralyzed man on a bed to Jesus to be healed.  (Matthew 9:2-8)   Jesus spoke to the paralyzed man with these words: “Son, be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven you.”  A crowd had gathered and some of the religious leaders were there watching, and they thought that Jesus was blaspheming.  The Old Testament Scriptures teach that only God can forgive sins.  So, it would be blasphemy for a human to say that he could do what only God can do.  Scripture says that Jesus knew their thoughts. 
 
So, Jesus asked the religious leaders: “Is it easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you.’ Or to say, ‘Arise and walk’?  But so you will know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said: ‘Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’.”  And the paralyzed man was healed and jumped up and walked away to his house.  Now all the of crowds seeing this marveled and they all glorified God.”  (Matthew 9:2-9) 
 
On another occasion Jesus was in a crowd healing and teaching, and there were religious leaders in the crowd criticizing Him as they so often did.  Jesus told the crowd: “If anyone keeps My word he/she shall never taste eternal death.” (John 8:52) The religious leaders immediately got upset and shouted back at Jesus these words: “Do you think you are greater than our father Abraham, who is dead?  And the prophets are all dead.  Who do You make Yourself out to be?” 
 
Jesus answered that Abraham rejoiced to see Him, the promised Messiah. And the religious leaders answered back: “You are not yet fifty years old, so how could You have seen Abraham?”  And Jesus answered them: “Most surely, I say to you, before Abraham was, I Am.”  (John 8:58) Jesus was saying that before Abraham lived, He was there – eternal and timeless. That He is the “I Am” – the Jewish name for God. 
 
When the religious leaders heard that they picked up stones to throw at Jesus because they understood that Jesus was saying that He is the “I Am” – or that He is God the Son, and if that wasn’t true then it would have been blasphemy.  Several thousand years earlier Moses had asked God what the Jewish people should call Him, or what was God’s Name.  And God answered that His Name was “I Am”.  (Exodus 3:14) All of the Jewish people knew this.
 
Jesus is saying here in John 8:58 that He is eternal or timeless and that He is divine or is Son of God.  Skeptics will say that Jesus never claimed to be God.  But this passage, along with many others in the Bible say otherwise.  When we put our trust in the real Jesus, the “I Am”, we are in good Hands because He can and will forgive our sins.  He couldn’t do that if He was just a wise man.  But He is the true Son of God -  the “I Am”.    
 
 
 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Apostles' Creed


 
The Apostles’ Creed
 
Many Christian throughout the world recite either the Nicene Creed or the Apostles’ Creed regularly in their church services.  These creeds have been a standard of belief for most all of the Christian churches down through the ages and have been passed down to us by our Christian forefathers. 
 
It is believed that the Apostles’ Creed was originally developed by the early Christians in the first or second century and was influenced later by the Nicene Creed.  The earliest historical evidence of the Apostles’ Creed’s existence is in a letter written by the Council of Milan in 390 A.D.  Below is a copy of the Apostles’ Creed (English Language Liturgical Consultation). 
 
Apostles’ Creed
 
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died, and was buried:
He descended to the dead.
On the third day He rose again:
He ascended into heaven.
He is seated at the right hand of the Father,
And He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
The holy catholic Church,
The communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins,
The resurrection of the body,
And the life everlasting. Amen
 
Let’s talk about what Christians believe, and why it matters. What difference does our Christian faith have in our lives?  The Apostles’ Creed begins with who Christians believe that God is.  We will discuss the other beliefs in the Apostles’ Creed in future blogs. But today we will discuss what the Apostle’s Creed says about our Father in heaven. “We believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.”   We believe that God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1) And He created you and me. Our God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is a creating God and He calls us through His Son to work with Him.  
 
There are taught popular scientific theories teaching that the earth started out with a big bang and the stuff or matter that eventually evolved into humans, animals, birds, and plants came out of the big bang.  After that we humans evolved gradually over billions of years into what we are today!  Amoebas first then fish, then apes or monkeys and humans on all fours and finally humans the way we are today.   
 
What are the mathematical odds of all of us starting from nothing but a big bang?  Could our world and all that is in it have just put itself together without a Creator?  If life forms did gradually evolve, wouldn’t it make sense that an intelligent powerful Being was behind it all?  When we view a beautiful painting, we know that an artist painted it.  So, when we view our world and all that is in it, why can’t we recognize that Someone had to be responsible for it?
 
Do we ever think that a house could have just evolved, without any person planning it or working to build it?  The lumber and the glass window panes and the roofing and sheet rock and nails and cement foundation just all mystically coming together by themselves without a truck driver in his big rig bringing the supplies.  The house building itself without an architect designing it!  Or carpenters and masons building it, and roofers and foundation contractors doing their part. 
 
We know that behind every house, whether large or small, someone worked and planned and saved money to build it and make it happen.  It is easy to believe that the house was built by a real person or persons. So why is it not easy to believe that our world and all that is part of it, ourselves included -   came together with an intelligent powerful Being or Creator behind it all?   
 
Our holy Scriptures tell us that “In the “beginning”, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) The “beginning” in Genesis 1:1 could have been trillions and trillions of years ago! The first chapter of Genesis tells the story of creation and of how each “day” for six “days” God put together the heavens and the earth.  A “day” in the Bible wasn’t necessarily the twenty-four hour period that we are thinking of.   Scripture says that a day can be a thousand years – or longer.  A “day” in Scripture means “a period of time”.    
 
Many consider “God” to be a creative and powerful force.  But Christians believe He is much more than that.  Most Christians believe in the God of the Bible, a God who is personal, all powerful, all knowing, holy, pure, sinless, loving, just, merciful, good and much more. A God who loves us, is with us everywhere we go, talks to us through His Spirit, strengthens us and leads and guides us if we will allow Him! ( 1 John 4:8, Isaiah 41:10, John 3:16)   A heavenly Father who created us, His children in His likeness.(Genesis 1:27)
 
God our heavenly Father answers our prayers, promises to go with us throughout our lives, watches over us and helps and keeps us. God our Father gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord, who died for our sins. (Ephesians 2:8-9) And God, our heavenly Father draws us to Himself, but He allows us to reject Him, if we choose.   
 
Why does it matter that we believe that God is the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth?  Believing in God as both Creator and Father adds an additional layer of meaning and freedom to our lives. God the Father Almighty becomes our “dwelling place” and our “comfort”.  (Psalm 90, 2 Corinthians 6:16, 2 Corinthians 1:3-5) We can rest in our Father’s arms. celebrate His love and rejoice in His goodness and mercy. (Psalm 23) Have peace about the struggles in our lives.  Cast all our cares on Him.  (1 Peter 5:7) Ask Him for anything that is good. (Matthew 7:7) Trust that He knows the way and is leading us. (Psalm 23)
 
When we walk through the entrance gate of believing in God as Father Almighty and Creator, a new door is opened to us.  We experience highs we never knew before.  And as we humbly walk along that straight and narrow path of believing, we find that our faith has caught the joyful sound. (Matthew 7:14, Phil. 4:4)   We receive grace when we believe.  Peace when we submit to His will.  Believing in our Christian faith changes us and makes us new persons in Christ.  (2 Corinthians 5:17) There is power in believing.   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 




Saturday, May 5, 2018

Have Faith in the Beliefs of Christianity



Have Faith in the Basic Beliefs of Christianity
 
Recently a fellow church member told me that all a person needs is faith.  “Faith in what?”  I asked.  “Faith in whatever you feel.” She answered. “It doesn’t matter what we believe, as long as we believe.”  She added. This lady believes that Jesus was a good teacher who taught love but would never judge. And she doesn’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God.  This conversation got me to thinking about how important it is for Christians to learn the basic beliefs of our holy Faith.   
 
When the Scriptures talk about the importance of having faith in Jesus, it doesn’t mean faith in any Jesus, but faith in the Jesus of the Bible.  There are many counterfeits out there.  God calls for us to get to know the core beliefs of our Christian faith and to hold onto them.  To contend for our faith. And to run from the many false doctrines that clamor to tear apart that faith
 
The core beliefs of Christianity are summarized here.  This is a short imperfect list.  But it is a start. The Christian Church down through the ages has had to contend for the Faith.  And one of the most central beliefs of our faith is who Jesus is. 
Core Beliefs about Who Jesus Is: Scripture says that Jesus Christ is God.  (John 1;1,14,10:30-33 and 20:28.  Colossians 2;9: Philippians 2:5-8 and Hebrews 1:8.)Jesus was born of a virgin – the Virgin Mary.  (Matthew 1:18: Luke 1:26-35) Jesus is fully God and fully man. (Colossians 2:9: 1 Timothy 2:5: Hebrews 4:15, 2 Corinthians 5:21) Jesus is perfect and sinless: (1 Peter 2:22: and Hebrews 4:15) And Jesus is the only way to God the Father (John 14:6; Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22) False teachers always try to attack who Jesus is, especially that He is the Son of God.  Jesus could not save us if He were not the Son of God. Jesus rose from the dead in physical form: (John 2:19-21)
 
Core Beliefs about God’s Plan of Salvation:  Humans were created by God in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26-27) All people have sinned. (Romans 3:23, 5:12) Death came into the world through Adam’s sin.  (Romans 5:12-15) Sin separates us from God. (Isaiah 59:2) Jesus died for the sins of each and every person in the world. (1 John 2:2: 2 Corinthians 5:14, 1 Peter 2:24)  Jesus’ death was a substitutionary sacrifice.  He died and paid the price for our sins so that we might live forever with Him. (1 Peter 2:2w4: Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45) 
 
Core Beliefs about God the Father:  There is only one God. (Isaiah 43:10: 44:6,8: John 17:3: 1 Corinthians 8:5-6: Galatians 4:8-9).  God is omniscient or “knows all things” (Acts 15:18: 1 John 3:20) God is omnipotent or “all powerful” (Psalm 115:3: Revelation 19:6) God is omnipresent or “present everywhere” (Jeremiah 23:23,24: Psalm 139). God is sovereign. (Zechariah 9:14: 1 timothy 6:15-16) God is holy. (1 Peter 1:15) God is just and righteous. (Psalm 19:9, 116:5,145:17: Jeremiah 12:1)  God is love. (1 John 4:8) God is true. (Romans 3:4: John 14:6)  God is the Creator of everything that exists. (Genesis 1:1: Isaiah 44:24) God is infinite and eternal.  He has always been and will ever be God. (Psalm 90:2: Genesis 21:33: Acts 17:24) God does not change.  He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  (James 1:17: Malachi 3:6: Isaiah 46:9-10) God promises to be with those who love Him (Isaiah 41:10)
 
Core Beliefs about the Holy Spirit and about the Word of God:  God is Spirit (John 4:24. And the Holy Spirit is God. (Acts 5:3-4: 1 Corinthians 2:11-12: 2 Corinthians 13:14) The Bible is the “inspired” or “God breathed” Word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16: 2 Peter 1:21). 
 
Core Beliefs regarding Our Part in Receiving Salvation: We do not work to gain salvation.  It is God’s free gift to us.  All we do is believe in Jesus as our Savior and Lord and accept the gift of salvation that He is offering.   “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works lest any person should boast.”  (Ephesians 2:8-9) We simply believe or have faith in Christ to save us from our sins.  Scripture says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus) that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  (John 3:16) “Therefore a person is justified by faith without doing the works of the law. ((Romans 3:28) “If you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) 
 
Core Beliefs Regarding Baptism and Taking Holy Communion or Eucharist:  Jesus asked the disciples and all of His followers to remember Him and His death by eating the bread which is His body broken for us and by drinking the wine which is His blood shed for us.  Jesus gave his disciples bread and told them: “This is My body given for you, do this in remembrance of Me.”  And then Jesus took the cup of wine and said: “This cup is the New Covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you.” (Luke 22:19-22) Scripture also teaches us to be baptized in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  (Matthew 28:18) We are proclaiming to the world our union with Christ when we are baptized. We are “buried” with Him in baptism – giving up our life and taking on His. “For we are all baptized by one Spirit into one body whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free – and we are all given the one Spirit to drink.”  (1 Corinthians 12:13) There is indwelling grace that is bestowed upon the partaker when he or she enters into the sacrament of baptism and the sacrament of  the Eucharist or Holy Communion.
 
Core Beliefs About the Trinity:  God is Three Persons in One.  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  (Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19., John 14:16-17, 2 Corinthians 13:14, Acts 2:32-33, John 10:30, 17:11 and 1 Peter 1:2) The Trinity is a mystery.  Our faith is a mystery and we accept it with faith.
 
Core Beliefs About Hell and Judgment Day:   Hell is real.  It is a place of punishment.  (Matthew 25:41-46, Revelation 19:20) Hell is eternal (Matthew 25:46) There will be a Judgment Day (Revelation 20:11-15, 21:8) 
 
Core Beliefs About the End Times:  There will be a rapture of the Church.  (Matthew 24:30-36, 40-41, John 14:1 and 3:1) Jesus will return to the earth (Acts 1:11) Christians will be raised from the dead when He returns.  (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17) There will be a Final Judgment. (Hebrews 9:27 and 2 Peter 3:7) Satan will be thrown in to the Lake of Fire (Revelations 20:10) God will create a new heaven and a new earth (2 Peter 3:13 and Revelations 21:1) 
 
Core Beliefs About How We as Christians Are to Live:  When Jesus was asked what commandments God’s people were to follow, He answered this way: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your mind and with all of your heart, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  (Matthew 22:36-40) Also, we are commanded in Scripture to forgive those who have sinned against us.  (Matthew 6:12) We are to obey the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17)  Give to the poor and needy. Live humble lives. (1 Thessalonians 4:11) We are to pray to our heavenly Father every day, read and study God’s Word and meet with other believers regularly. (Hebrews 10:25 and 1 Timothy 2:15) And most of all we are to believe in Christ as our Lord and Savior and give our lives to Him. (John 3:16) The Holy Spirit will guide us in these things.
 
Our God given faith has been faithfully passed down to us by our spiritual fore fathers.  We have a wonderful, joyful, living faith, not a dead stagnant legalistic tradition.  We will be persecuted and ridiculed for our faith and we will need to contend for our faith. These core beliefs are just the bare basics.  There is so much more.  But we as Christians need to know what we believe.