There is one and only one true and living God. Deuteronomy 6:4 He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Nehemiah 9:6 Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being. II Corinthians 13:14; Matthew 28:18-19; I Chronicles 29:11; Acts 17:24
Election is the gracious purpose of God, Romans 8:29; Romans 9:11; Romans 11:5; Matthew 13:20 according to which He regenerate sanctifies and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is a glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility. James 4:6; I Peter 5:5-6
All true believers endure to the end, those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall preserve to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, Ephesians 4:30 impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the cause of Christ, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
God as Father reigns with providential care over His Universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purpose of His Grace. He is all-powerful, Genesis 1:1; Psalm 93:1-2; Psalm 95:3-5 all loving, John 3:16 and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men. Matthew 6:9
Christ is the eternal Son of God. I John 1:1-2 In His incarnation as Jesus Christ, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Luke 2:26-33; Matthew 1:23 Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself the demands and necessities of human nature and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. John 12:45; John 14:9 He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His death on the cross. He made provisions for the redemption of man from sin. I Corinthians 15:3-4 He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. John 20:11-29; I Corinthians 15:5-9 He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God Acts 1:9-11; Matthew 28:18 where He is the One Mediator, I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 4:14-16; I John 2:1 partaking the nature of God and man, and in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord. John 17:21-23
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. John 15:26; John 16:7 He inspired men of old to write the scriptures. II Peter 1:21 Through illumination, He enables men to understand truth. John 16:13 He exalts Christ. John 16:14 He convicts of Sin, of righteousness and of judgment. John 16:8-11 He calls men to the Saviour, and effects regenerations. He cultivates Christian character comfort believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. Ephesians 1:13; II Corinthians 1:22 His presence in the Christian is the assurance of God to bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. Ephesians 4:13; Colossians 2:9 He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service. I Thessalonians 2:7, 13
Man was created by the special act of God, in His own image, Genesis 1:27 and is the crowning work of His creation. Genesis 1:26 In the beginning, man was innocent of sin and was endowed by His Creator with freedom of choice. Genesis 2:16-17 By his free choice, man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 5:12; Romans 5:78 Through the temptation of Satan, man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence; whereby his posterity inherits a nature and an environment inclined toward sin, and as soon as they are capable of moral action, become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the Grace of God can bring men into His Holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. Ephesians 2:8-10 The sacredness of human personality is evident in the God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for men; therefore every man possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love. John 3:16; I John 1:8; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption of the believers. In its broadest sense, salvation includes regeneration, sanctification, and glorification. Titus 3:5; Matthew 11:28-30; I Corinthians 15:3-4; Revelation 1:5
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of God's revelation of Himself to man. II Timothy 3:16-17 It is the perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter. It reveals the principles by which God judges us; and therefore is and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian unions and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ. II Peter 1:19-21; Psalm 19:7-8
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19 It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believers faith in a crucified, buried and risen Saviour, the believers death to sin, the burial of the old life and resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is a prerequisite to the privilege of church membership and to the Lord's supper. Acts 2:41-42; Acts 2:46-47
The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipates His second coming. I Corinthians 11:23-34
Question: "What is the importance of Christian baptism?"
Answer: Christian baptism is one of two ordinances that Jesus instituted for the church. Just before His ascension, Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19–20). These instructions specify that the church is responsible to teach Jesus’ word, make disciples, and baptize those disciples. These things are to be done everywhere (“all nations”) until “the very end of the age.” So, if for no other reason, baptism has importance because Jesus commanded it.
Baptism was practiced before the founding of the church. The Jews of ancient times would baptize proselytes to signify the converts’ “cleansed” nature. John the Baptist used baptism to prepare the way of the Lord, requiring everyone, not just Gentiles, to be baptized because everyone needs repentance. However, John’s baptism, signifying repentance, is not the same as Christian baptism, as seen in Acts 18:24–26 and 19:1–7. Christian baptism has a deeper significance.
Baptism is to be done in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit—this is what makes it “Christian” baptism. It is through this ordinance that a person is admitted into the fellowship of the church. When we are saved, we are “baptized” by the Spirit into the Body of Christ, which is the church. First Corinthians 12:13 says, “We were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” Baptism by water is a “reenactment” of the baptism by the Spirit.
Christian baptism is the means by which a person makes a public profession of faith and discipleship. In the waters of baptism, a person says, wordlessly, “I confess faith in Christ; Jesus has cleansed my soul from sin, and I now have a new life of sanctification.”
Christian baptism illustrates, in dramatic style, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. At the same time, it also illustrates our death to sin and new life in Christ. As the sinner confesses the Lord Jesus, he dies to sin (Romans 6:11) and is raised to a brand-new life (Colossians 2:12). Being submerged in the water represents death to sin, and emerging from the water represents the cleansed, holy life that follows salvation. Romans 6:4 puts it this way: “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
Very simply, baptism is an outward testimony of the inward change in a believer’s life. Christian baptism is an act of obedience to the Lord after salvation; although baptism is closely associated with salvation, it is not a requirement to be saved. The Bible shows in many places that the order of events is 1) a person believes in the Lord Jesus and 2) he is baptized. This sequence is seen in Acts 2:41, “Those who accepted [Peter’s] message were baptized” (see also Acts 16:14–15).
A new believer in Jesus Christ should desire to be baptized as soon as possible. In Acts 8 Philip speaks “the good news about Jesus” to the Ethiopian eunuch, and, “as they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?’” (verses 35–36). Right away, they stopped the chariot, and Philip baptized the man.
Baptism illustrates a believer’s identification with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Everywhere the gospel is preached and people are drawn to faith in Christ, they are to be baptized.
Source: Got Questions Ministries 2002 - 2016
Loaf - His broken body. Cup - His shed blood.
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local body of baptized believers who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the two ordinances of Christ, committed to His teachings, exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:6
This church is an autonomous body, operating through democratic processes under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In such a congregation, members are equally responsible. Its Scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. I Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; Acts 14:23; Acts 20:28
The New Testament speaks also of the church as the body of Christ, which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages. Colossians 1:18; Colossians 1:24