The Bible is the infallible Word of God breathed out by His Holy Spirit into written form, and therefore it is unique among all books in human history. No book has been attacked so much, yet repeatedly proven true by the science of archaeology. (II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:21).
Because it is the Word of God and not merely human words, it is the supreme and final authority in all matters of faith and behavior (II Timothy 3:16-17). It trumps, as God’s Word, all other voices and writings. It is the narrow gate to abundant life and the cure for so many problems in our life and culture. (Matthew 7:13-14; Matthew 7:21-23; Hebrews 4:12; Matthew 5:17-20).
There is only one God, eternal and unchanging, who created the universe out of nothing and who exists in 3 persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — each fully God, yet distinct. (John 1:1; Genesis 1:2; Matthew 5:16; Matthew 5:45).
Jesus is God who humbled and emptied Himself to be born of the Virgin Mary, fully God and fully human, to reveal to us fully what God is like. Because Jesus is fully God, to reject Jesus is to reject God. (John 1:1-3; Philippians 2:4-11).
Jesus lived a sinless life, wholly obedient to the Father’s will, even to the point of dying on the cross for our sins. His purpose in coming to earth from heaven was to save us from our sins by exchanging his perfect righteousness for our sin by dying on the cross. (John 14:10-30; I Corinthians 15:3-4).
God validated Jesus’ claims by raising Him bodily from the dead to return to the throne in heaven as the slain Lamb of God, still bearing the marks of the crucifixion. If Jesus is not risen, then there is no life after death, and our faith is in vain. (I Corinthians 15:3-15).
Therefore, Jesus is the only Savior; there is no other way of salvation than by Him. If we could be good enough to deserve resurrection from the dead and heaven, then Jesus died for nothing and was sadly mistaken. No, Jesus is unique in four ways:
• No other religious leader claimed to be God come from heaven.
• He claimed to pay for our sins.
• He claimed He could forgive our sins.
• He rose from the dead.
Jesus’ offer of forgiveness distinguishes Christianity from all other religions. The choice is clear: Either to ask Jesus for forgiveness or to believe other religions and try to earn our own way to heaven. (John 14:1-6).
Heaven is a real place, open to all who are willing to surrender to Jesus as Lord and depend on his forgiveness. Jesus died to save us, not to condemn us. But what if we reject Him and the offer of forgiveness? What if we refuse to be forgiven by Him? There must be a place for determined rebels, who refuse submission to the Lordship of Jesus, and who insist they do not need Jesus’ forgiveness. Jesus sends no one to Hell; you must insist on being away from Him. Finally Jesus says, ‘Your will be done.’ Hell is simply Jesus finally giving rebels their wish. (Romans 6:23; John 14:6; John 3:16-19; Revelation 20:11-15).
The Holy Spirit is the humble person of the Trinity, who magnifies Jesus, convicts us of sin, and draws people to salvation in Jesus. He indwells all believers to empower us to be transformed and obey the Word of God, to help us understand and apply God’s Word, to guide us in the will of God, and to give us spiritual gifts to serve the cause of God in a needy world. (II Corinthians 3:17; II Corinthians 12; Ephesians 1:13-14; Ephesians 5:18).
Our birth is not an accident. It is by God’s purpose that we were born and for His purpose. The purpose of our life is far more than personal success, or family, or even happiness. God created us for a reason: To know Him, worship Him on the Sabbath, and serve Him. We were created for a wonderful personal relationship with Him and a fulfilling mission. (Acts 20:24; Ephesians 4:11-16).
Jesus calls the church His Bride, whom He created by His crucifixion, and for whom He will return at the end of time. His love for the church (His Bride) is given in the Bible as an example of how a husband should love his wife. Therefore, to love Jesus is to love His Bride, the church. To bless the church is to bless Jesus. Of all things Christians are called to excel in, we are called by God’s Word to excel in building up His church. (I Corinthians 14:12; Ephesians 5:25).
We believe we were created for God’s pleasure. (Revelation 4:11). Worship brings pleasure to God. (Psalm 147:11). Therefore, worshiping on the Sabbath is a commandment which Jesus defends, not because God needs our worship, but because we need to worship. A weak commitment to the Sabbath inevitably translates into weak Christians. (Exodus 20:8; Matthew 5:17-20).
God says that the very heart of worship is surrender to His Word, even if it goes against our will and what our society sanctions. Believing God loves us means believing His commandments are a form of love for us, just as a good father loves enough to say ‘no’ to some things that look innocent to a child. Spiritual growth happens when we stop arguing with God and trust that His Word is a form of love for us. His commandments are grace. (Psalm 1; Psalm 119:32-35; Psalm 103; John 14:15; John 14:23).
One day every believer will stand before the throne of Jesus to give an account of their lives. There will be no secrets. Jesus told many parables about separating genuine believers from those who are not, the invisible church from the visible church. We cannot lose salvation, but we will be judged by the evidence of our life as to whether we were ever surrendered to Him as Lord, and if we loved Him. God is just; and therefore, it matters what we do and don’t do on earth. In the end, God’s justice rewards unselfish sacrifice and courageous obedience, especially that of martyrs who would not compromise even in the face of death. (Matthew 7:17-23; II Corinthians. 5:9-10; II Timothy 4:7-8).