This is long overdue, but better late than never. Please do not read into my tardiness that I do not believe doctrine is as important as the other stuff I have been discussing. I happen to believe it is far more important and actually drives the whole reason for starting SeqHim in the first place. I mean, if Christ has not risen then we who suffer for Him are to be the most pitied, right? (First one to chime in with the verse reference gets a root beer dum-dum…or at least a picture of one.)
Without further delay, here is a brief summary of what we believe from a doctrine perspective. I think you’ll find that it is a pretty classic summary of orthodox evangelical theology, though I am certainly no theologian. As Mercy Me says, I’m just trying to find my way home. Nonetheless, this is the mental model we are operating under.
There is one God, existing in three persons (“triune”): the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God creates and sustains all things. He is eternal…that is, he has no beginning and no end from a time perspective. He is infinite…that is, we can learn about him forever. He is perfect…that is, he does the right thing always. He is Holy…that is, he is unique and separate from human beings in his majesty.
Though penned by man, the Bible is the one and only divinely inspired text available to man today. Because it is inspired by God himself, it is inerrant, infallible and is to be regarded as the final authority on all matters of faith and practice for all Christians of all time.
Jesus Christ (i.e. Jesus the Messiah) is the second person of the “triune” God. That is, Jesus is both fully God and fully man. Though Jesus is eternal, he was born into this world by the Holy Spirit approx 2000 years ago through the virgin, Mary. Jesus lives a sinless life and performed many supernatural miracles. He claimed to be God and the Jewish Messiah, was crucified, and then was resurrected three days later in authentication of his teaching. The resurrection was physical and bodily; many witnesses saw Jesus in the flesh after his resurrection. After appearing to these witnesses, Jesus ascended to Heaven where he is now exalted at the right hand of God the Father. He is designated as King and ruler of God’s Kingdom now and for eternity. As such, all people will bow to Jesus now or in eternity in submission to His authority.
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the “triune” God. He is a unique person within the triune God, distinct from Jesus Christ and from God the Father. His ministry is to convict the world of sin and to be a helper to all believers in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit indwells each genuine believer in Jesus Christ and seals them as a down payment on God’s promise to fully deliver the believer to Heaven.
Man was created in the image and likeness of God, but sin entered the world through the first man…Adam. Sin is moral imperfection present in every human being (except for Jesus) and cannot be tolerated by our Holy God. Without God’s intervention, the entire human race would be destined for Hell…a horrid place of permanent separation from God. Without God’s intervention, we would get what we deserve.
God sent Jesus Christ to earth with one primary mission: to redeem the human race from the consequences of sin (i.e. spiritual death). Jesus accomplished this through his death and resurrection. His sacrifice on the behalf of those who believe in him is accepted by God as full payment for our sins. Therefore, we can be “saved” from punishment simply by believing in Christ. Believing in Christ means: first, accepting His teaching in full; second, receiving God’s gift of salvation (usually through prayer); and third, following Him in his life of sacrificial love for God and for others (starting with baptism). God changes us so that we are able to believe, then it is by believing and receiving that we are pronounced “not guilty” of our sin. The natural behavior of a changed person is to follow Christ in his sacrificial love for God and others.
The Church is the universal and timeless union of those who have become God’s children through faith in Jesus Christ. While constantly under attack, the Church shall never be overcome by Satan and His evil forces.
All human beings are eternal and destined to live life one time, die and sometime in the future be bodily resurrected to face a judgment that will decide where they spend their eternity. By default, all human beings are sinful and deserving of Hell, a physical place of eternal torment through final and complete separation from God. If a person places their faith (i.e. trust) in Jesus Christ alone to be saved from Hell, God will accept Jesus sacrifice as suitable punishment for that person’s sin and accept them into Heaven, a physical place of intense intimacy with God.
Satan is an angel of God who chose on his own volition to rebel against God. Several angels followed his lead in the rebellion and thus became known as demons. Satan and his demons are powerful with respect to human beings but inept with respect to God. He has been given some freedom to rule this world for now, until God redeems it. He is to be respected but never feared, because God is our Father and has him completely under control.