As Christians, we must know what we believe, and we must be able to share with others the faith and hope that is within us. Things like salvation, prayer, the Bible, the Trinity, water baptism, the church, worship, and giving are all issues pertaining to our relationship with God and the church that we all need to better acquaint ourselves with if we are to understand our ultimate purpose in life. Below is a description of some of the things we deem important for you to know.
God knew that humanity would sin and need to be reconciled to Him. At the heart of God's plan to reconcile sinful humanity to Himself is the Mediator, Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5–6).
The word salvation is defined as "deliverance from the power and effects of sin." All have sinned (Romans 3:23), but we cannot save ourselves because only a sinless person can save a sinful person. The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ died for sinners (1 Timothy 1:15; Romans 5:6–8).
The Bible is a book of history, science, poetry, and human behavior. Most importantly, it is a love story that reveals the heart of God through the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.
The Bible was written over a period of 1,500 years by more than 40 authors in three languages on three continents. Rather than contradicting one another, the writers maintained complete historical, moral, prophetical, and theological accuracy. They wrote with harmony and continuity from Genesis to Revelation.
Water baptism is not a personal choice, but a command for believers. Jesus established water baptism as an ordinance when He gave the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16).
Water baptism is a public, outward testimony that indicates a personal, inward faith. It gives evidence of the inner change that has already occurred in the believer's life when he or she was "born again" through faith in Jesus Christ.
Baptism identifies the believer with the message of the gospel, the Person of Jesus Christ, and other believers. It associates the believer with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and signifies the believer's death to the old life and his or her resurrection as a new creation in Christ (Romans 6:1–8; Colossians 2:12).
Communion, often called "The Lord's Supper," is a memorial in which Christians identify with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16; 11:20). It's a time for believers to remember the Lord's broken body and His shed blood for all people (Luke 22:19–20).
Jesus Christ instituted Communion on the eve of His death when He ate the Passover meal with His disciples (Matthew 26:26–29; Mark 14:22–25; Luke 22:14–20; 1 Corinthians 11:23–25).
Bread and wine were once served for the Lord's Supper. Today, many churches, including ours, use crackers and grape juice. The bread symbolizes Christ's body, which was beaten and broken for us as He died for the sins of humanity. The cup of wine symbolizes His blood, which was shed for us as He paid for our sins (John 10:17–18; Ephesians 1:7; Romans 5:8–9).
The greatest privilege a Christian has is the privilege of prayer. Not only is it a privilege, but it is also the responsibility of every believer. Jesus said, "Men ought always to pray and not lose heart" (Luke 18:1).
Prayer is simply talking to God and letting our concerns and requests be made known to Him. When we pray, we admit our need for God and our utter dependence on Him. Only through a relationship with Jesus Christ do we have access to God (1 Timothy 2:5). We approach God in Jesus' name, not our own.
Prayer is not a means of trying to get from God what we want, but it is rather a means by which we enable God to give us what He wants. Regarding prayer, Billy Graham said "Prayer is the rope that pulls God and man together, but it doesn't pull God down to us; rather, it pulls us up to Him."
The Bible clearly teaches that there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:11; 44:6; Mark 12:29; 1 Corinthians 8:4; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Timothy 2:5). At the same time, the Bible plainly indicates a plurality within God's nature, consisting of three eternal and coequal persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, each the same in basic nature, but distinct in existence.
Although the word Trinity does not appear in the Bible, the doctrine of the Trinity is a factual conclusion, reached by comparing and combining relevant scriptural truths. "We are setting these truths forth in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the [Holy] Spirit, combining and interpreting spiritual truths with spiritual language [to those who possess the Holy Spirit]" (1 Corinthians 2:13 AMPLIFIED).
God created humanity with a capacity to know, love, and worship Him. Worship is that place where the heart of God and the heart of His child meet.
Oswald Chambers said, "Worship is giving God the best He has given you." Worship carries the idea of showing reverence to God. It's an active, adoring response whereby we declare His worth. To worship means to bow down and pay homage to God: "Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker" (Psalm 95:6).
The Bible has a lot to say about Christians and their money. In fact, the Bible contains more than 2,000 verses on the subject. Time and again, the Bible associates our money with our commitment and relationship to the Lord.
The word give has been defined as "to make a present of." One of the many ways we can give to others is to give financially. Through giving, the early church helped one another and invested in what God was doing. Sadly, the concept of giving has become distorted today. Yet our giving is vitally connected to who we are.