WE BELIEVE GOD IS GOD.
He is the one and only God. There is no other. Here is where it gets a bit confusing. We believe Jesus is fully God, too, and the Holy Spirit is fully God, as well. The Godhead are three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, and their nature is beyond our comprehension. They are three, and they are ONE. Much like a married couple in a perfect marriage are one –they are two people, but ONE. When Jesus is added to that equation, the husband and wife and Jesus are three, and they are ONE.
WE BELIEVE WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT JESUS.
He is fully God. He left his home in heaven to come to this earth. While here, he was fully man, even though He was also God. If that sounds a bit confusing, one must get comfortable that a really huge God is too much for human mind to fully comprehend. Jesus lived a perfect life, fully healed the sick and lame, taught timeless truths more masterfully than any other teacher, and lived a model life. A life we try to replicate (though we do it poorly). He fulfilled every prophesy told about him hundreds of years before, including a really big promise that God made to man – that He (God) would send a perfect sacrifice to pay the price for our sins. Jesus died on a cross (a horrific death), to pay the price for the sins of the world (including you and me). But, being God (and just like the prophesies said), He was raised from the dead after three days, and appeared to hundreds of people. These people knew He was alive. Many of them were killed because of this belief – if they didn’t believe it, they would have said so rather than die. Who would die for a lie?
WE BELIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT IS ALIVE TODAY.
We believe He worked to inspire the writers of the Bible to write what they wrote, so that the Bible is truly the Word of God – His words, written by human hands. We believe the Holy Spirit uses the Bible as the primary way He teaches and leads and guides us today. We also believe He can speak to us, and give us a gentle nudge to do right, and work in us to produce qualities we would not naturally possess (like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control). He lives inside believers, and makes us better.
WE BELIEVE IN THE BIBLE.
We believe it is true – all of it. If it says it, we believe it. We also believe it tells us all we need to know about how to be saved, and how God wants us to live.
WE BELIEVE MAN IS LOST BECAUSE OF SIN.
Sin separates us from God. Sin is any selfish action that is against God’s plan. Everyone sins. Everyone deserves to die. Instead, Jesus paid the price for our sin, and we can receive forgiveness. That is important. We believe faith in Jesus is the only way to get right with God. This is also a free gift from God. Some think there is something we can do to receive this, but if someone gives you $100 as a free gift, and you only reach out and take it, you are not really doing anything. It is the giver who deserves all the glory. So what does the Bible say? It says we do some things, but we should never, ever assume our actions are good enough for salvation. Our actions are the natural response to receiving that gift. First, we believe that God is God, and Jesus is Jesus, and his death paid that price for our sin and shame. Second, we confess. That means two things. Confession is an admission to God that we are sinners and need Jesus. Confession is also admitting to our family, friends, and anyone else that Jesus will be the boss of our life. Next, we are baptized. Baptism symbolizes our participation in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Our old self of sin dies and is dead forever. We bury that in the water of baptism, and we are raised again to live a new life with Jesus in charge. God could have asked us to climb a tree, or wear special clothes, or cut our hair. He didn’t. He asked us to be baptized. So, we are baptized, primarily because we want to enjoy sharing with Jesus in this way. Jesus was baptized, and we want to be like him. The first Christians were told to be baptized, and they were (usually immediately). Someone may ask if one can be saved without being baptized. That’s God’s call, but the Bible says the Christians were, so we don’t question that, we just teach what the Bible teaches, and do what God asks. We also repent. That’s a churchy word for change. If Jesus is to be boss of our life, we have to change to do things His way. His way is not hard. The old way is hard. Jesus’ way is easy, and it works, and life is much better when we do it His way.
WE BELIEVE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES HELPS US GROW CLOSER TO GOD.
We read our Bible (daily, when possible). We pray every day. It’s hard to build a relationship if you don’t talk to nor listen to the other person. We memorize scripture, because it helps us when times get tough. We occasionally fast, which means doing without something we really like, so we can focus on God instead. We talk to others about God – we talk to those who know less than us, because we want to share what we’ve found, and we talk to those who know more than we do, because we can learn from them.
WE BELIEVE THE PRIMARY CHARACTERISTIC IN CHRISTIANS IS LOVE.
We love God, and we love our fellow man. We love those who are easy to love, and we love our enemies. We love the poor and the hurting enough to help when we can, and we love those who are in our church. We love those who don’t know God, because we are not better than they are, we’re just saved from our sin because God loves us. He loves everyone, and wants everyone to come to know Him.
WE BELIEVE IN LIFE AFTER DEATH.
We believe those in Christ will spend eternity in a perfect place called Heaven. We believe that anyone who rejects God in this life, will reject Him in the next life too, and will be separated from God for eternity (that’s called Hell). We are happy that we will spend eternity in Heaven, and want everyone to be there, too. We really have a heart for those who need God. Most of this can be summed up in one word – faith. Faith is believing in something you cannot see. While most of us can tell you about ways we know God is alive in our life, the fact is that we live by faith, and make no apology for that. It is the one thing God wants most, and we are happy to live by an active faith that God is God, and He knows best. We believe a lot of other stuff, too, but it’s all in the Bible, and we just can’t write it all here. Come find out more, by visiting us at CHRIST Church Irving. EVERYONE is loved, EVERYONE has hope.