The Bible is God’s own Word and His word is His great gift to all people everywhere. The Bible is not an ordinary book; the men who wrote it were inspired and moved by God’s Holy Spirit to write the Truth exactly as God gave it. Every word is TRUE; filled with God’s power and authority. We should read our Bible as if it was God Himself speaking to us directly and personally. The Word of God is the only authority in ALL matters and no doctrine can be true or essential if it does not find a place in God’s word. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Matthew 5:17; Isaiah 46:9-10)
Salvation is freely offered to all, but is conditioned upon the acknowledgment of our sins, repentance and faith in Christ. We must believe that Christ died for us and rose again; and we must receive the risen Christ by faith as our personal savior, and then we must confess Him as our Lord. Salvation proceeds from the love of God, not by works, and is realized in forgiveness, regeneration and sanctification. Finally, salvation culminates in the resurrection and glorification of all true believers. Christ dwells in us; He gives us eternal life, and the power to lead a life of righteousness and victory over sin. (Romans 10:9-10; John 3:16-17; Ephesians 2:8-9)
Grace is one of the key attributes of God. It is His favor or kindness shown without regard to the worth or merit of the one who receives it and in spite of what that person deserves. Grace is always associated with mercy, love, compassion, and patience and it came by Jesus Christ. We are also justified freely by His grace that we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Ephesians 2:8-9; Exodus 34:6; Titus 2:11; Romans 5:2)
The mercy of God is that part of His love that causes God to withhold His wrath from us who have broken his law. God’s mercy keeps us until our day of salvation. (Ephesians 2:4-6)
Believing in Christ produces an inward change in our hearts; being baptized in water (full immersion) is a visible representation and an outward act of obedience, by which we testify of the change that has taken place in our hearts. In Baptism we identify with Christ in His death, burial and His resurrection, and we also give Notification to our Soul of being dead to sin but alive to Christ! When we are raised up from the watery grave, we are ready to go forward into our destiny under an open heaven, filled with the Spirit of Christ (Matthew 28:19; Acts 8-12; Romans 6:3-6; Luke 3:21-22)
SPEAKING IN TONGUES
The Gift of the Holy Spirit is the promise of power coming from the Divine Spirit. He gives not only comfort and insight into the truth, but powers of utterance, spiritual language (tongues) spoken not unto men, but unto God. Besides being an evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit, the primary use of speaking in another tongue is for personal worship and edification. (Acts 1:8; Acts 19:6; and Acts 2:38; 1 Corinthians 14:2; 1 Corinthians 14:4; Acts 10:44-46)
These are special abilities given by the Holy Spirit and manifested through individual believers as the Spirit of God wills. This “manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit all.” They are not given specifically for the individual but are to be used to minister to the needs of the body of believers. All spiritual gifts come from the (same) Holy Spirit and their purpose is to effectively build up the body of Christ (Church), by the exhibition of the power of God. (1 Corinthians 12:1-12)
The fruit of the Spirit is the product of the Holy Spirit’s work in a life submitted to God. They are the character traits that are found in the nature of Christ, and are renewed in us upon His saving grace, by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Concerning Gifts and Fruit, one is not a substitute for the other. God’s provision is for all Christians to have both). (Galatians 5:22-23)
These are ministry gifts given to those in the body of Christ for the “Perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ; till we all come into the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” The operation of the five-fold ministry is intended for the Church universal, with the Pastor and Teacher being that part which is to guard and ground the local church. The term five-fold is only descriptive of the number of Ministers mentioned. (Ephesians 4:11-14).
All through the Bible, God promises to bless and prosper those who trust and serve Him. In order to receive God’s financial and material blessings, we must learn to follow God’s rule of faith (Luke 6:38) “Give, and it shall be given unto you”. We begin by Returning God’s Portion to Him, which is the first tenth of all that we receive. This is called our “Tithe” and God says this is holy to Him. Over and above the “Tithe”, we “Sow Seed according to our Pleasure” and above that we Give offerings to God according to His Promptings”, as the Holy Spirit directs us. God in turn through our faith blesses us and supplies all our needs. (Malachi 3:8-12; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8).
The Lord’s Supper commemorates the Passover meal Jesus ate with His disciples. Its eucharistic significance comes in thanking God for Christ’s work for us. The word “communion” is descriptive in that we commune with God and other believers. As we come together, we are remembering not only Jesus’ death, but also the glorious hope of His return. Jesus took two traditional parts of the Passover meal (the passing of bread and the cup) and made them a visible representation of His Body and Blood, and in the process, setting forth what He was about to do on the cross. As often as we eat this bread and drink this cup, we are celebrating the deliverance from sin by the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30).