WHAT I BELIEVE AND WHY I BELIEVE IT
The apostle Peter wrote: "[B]ut sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord: being ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear" (I Peter 3:15, American Standard Version).
These words are directed to every Christian, and every Christian has an obligation to know what he believes and why he believes it and to effectively communicate that belief to others "with meekness and fear (humility, reverence, respect, hf)." In fulfillment of that divine requirement I set forth below some of the fundamental things I believe and why I believe them. They are stated succinctly with relevant scripture citations given to back up my reasons for believing them. I respectfully ask my readers to check the scripture references for what they say about the matters mentioned.
· I believe in the one and only God. Hebrews 11:6; Genesis 1:1; Psalm 90:2; Psalm 8:3-5; Psalm 19:1; Acts 17:24-25; Romans 1:18-20; Hebrews 3:4; Ephesians 4:6; I Timothy 2:5.
· I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. John 3:16; Luke 1:34-35; Matthew 16:13-17; John 8:24; John 20:30-31.
· I believe that Jesus Christ died to redeem mankind from sin. Matthew 20:28; Matthew 26:28; Romans 5:8; I Corinthians 15:1-4; Hebrew 9:27-28; I John 2:2.
· I believe the Holy Spirit is a divine person, co-eternal with God the Father and Christ the Son. Matthew 28:19-20; II Corinthians 13:14; John 16:13; Ephesians 4:4; Ephesians 4:30.
· I believe the Bible is the divinely inspired word of God. II Timothy 3:16-17; I Corinthians 2:12-13; I Corinthians 14:37; I Thessalonians 2:13; II Peter 1:20-21.
· I believe the Bible is the only authority in religion, and that it is not to be added to, taken from, something else substituted for it, or modified in any way. II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:3; Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:6; Revelation 22:18-19; I Corinthians 4:6; Colossians 3:17; I Peter 4:11a.
· I believe that Christ established His church, that it exists today, and that people today can be members of that very church. Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:47; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 4:4; I Corinthians 12:20, 27; Acts 2:47; Luke 8:11.
· I believe that the Lord provided the church with a simple yet effective form of government. Acts 14:23; Philippians 1:1; Titus 1:5-9; I Timothy 3:1-13; Acts 20:17,28; I Thessalonians 5:12-13; Hebrews 13:17; I Peter 5:1-4.
· I believe the gospel is God's only power to save a sinner. Romans 1:16; James 1:18, 21; Luke 8:11; I Peter 1:22-25.
· I believe that in order to be saved the gospel must be believed and obeyed by every accountable person on earth. II Thessalonians 1:6-10; I Peter 4:17; Matthew 7:21-23; Hebrews 5:8-9; Romans 6:16-18.
· I believe that obeying the gospel includes being baptized (immersed in water) for the remission of sins. Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Galatians 3:27; I Peter 3:21; Acts 8:36-39; Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12.
· I believe that once one has been saved from his sins and added to the church by obeying the gospel, he must continue to be faithful to the Lord in all things. Acts 2:42, 47; I Corinthians 15:58; II Peter 1:5-11; Revelation 2:10.
· I believe that one must worship God in spirit and truth, engaging only in those acts of worship that have been divinely authorized in the New Testament. John 4:24; John 17:17; Acts 2:42; Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:1-2; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16.
· I believe that the Lord's Supper is to be observed every first day of the week. Matthew 26:26-29; I Corinthians 11:23-26; Acts 20:7.
· I believe that singing is the divinely authorized and specified kind of music to be offered to God in worship and that the use of instrumental music in the worship of God is an addition to what God has authorized for Christians. Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 13:14; Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:6; Revelation 22:18-19.
· I believe that Christians must live lives of moral purity, righteousness, and zeal, showing themselves to be distinct from the people of the world, becoming more and more transformed into the image of Christ. Romans 12:1-2; II Corinthians 3:18; II Corinthians 6:14-7:1; Titus 2:11-14; James 1:27; James 4:4; I John 2:15-17.
· I believe in eternal life in heaven for all the faithful children of God. John 14:1-3; Philippians 3:21; I Peter 1:3-5; Revelation 21:1-8; Revelation 22:1-5.
· I believe that eternal punishment in hell awaits those who refuse to obey God and who refuse to live as He instructs in His word. II Thessalonians 1:6-10; Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:14-15; Revelation 21:8.
· I believe that every Christian must know what he believes and why he believes it and that he must share the truth of the gospel with all according to his ability and opportunity. I Peter 3:15; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 8:1-4; John 15:8; Romans 7:4.