What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. — A.W. Tozer
Belief so amazingly important! Because belief is the bridge to a real relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Relationships can either be based on works and legalism or belief and grace. When Jesus was asked what works God requires in our relationship with Him, Jesus’ answer must have stunned them.
Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:28-29)
Jesus knows that life transformation does not come from your performance, but it comes from your belief in Him. Jesus knows that if you trust Him, your works will be a natural extension of the relationship you have with Him. That was a radical shift in thinking back then, and it still is today!
Prayer: Jesus, am I really doing the work God requires when I believe in You? Transform my mind according to this truth, Lord! I don’t want to be conformed to the ways of the world. I want the kind of belief that sets me free by setting You free to live through me. Give me that kind of belief according to the truth of Your Word! Amen.
God is the creator and ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God. Genesis 1:1, 26, 27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14
Man is made in the spiritual image of God, to be like him in character. He is the supreme object of God’s creation. Although man has tremendous potential for good, he is marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin.” This attitude separates man from God. Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1, 2
Man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is hell. To be eternally in union with him is eternal life. Heaven and hell are places of eternal existence. John 3:16; 1 John 2:25; 1 John 5:11-13; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15; Matthew 25:31-46
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all men by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to heaven’s glory and will return again to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14, 15; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 1:3, 4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14, 15; Titus 2:13
Salvation is a gift from God to man. Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works – only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can man be saved from sin’s penalty. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith. Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8, 9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1
Because God gives man eternal life through Jesus Christ, the believer is secure in salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25; 10:10, 14; 1 Peter 1:3-5
THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian seeks to live under his control daily. 2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16, 17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:1
The Bible is God’s word to all men. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without any mixture of error. 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5
Biblical baptism is the immersion of a born again believer upon their profession of Faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior. Baptism is an outward expression of an inward change that has occurred in the life of the believer. It is an act of obedience symbolizing Jesus Christ death, burial and resurrection and the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus.
Communion, or the Lord’s Supper, is an ordinance given to all believers by Jesus Christ to remember his sacrifice for us and to symbolize the new covenant.The elements of bread and wine or juice are symbols of Christ’s broken body and shed blood. Communion is not a means of salvation. Rather, it is a testament of a believer’s faith in the atoning work of the cross. Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:19,20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29
Grace is the unmerited favor of God and shows us His goodness. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8). All who accept Christ are saved, set apart and will not fall from grace. Believers may sin and grieve the Holy Spirit, but they will be kept by the power of God. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local congregation of baptized believers who have voluntarily bonded together to carry out the Great Commission. The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ, which includes all believers who have trusted in the finished work of Jesus Christ and are born again regardless of denomination, race or nationality.
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the preaching of the gospel to all nations. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness under girded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.
Mankind is called to steward God’s creation by working to take care of all that was created in humble obedience to God. We are to continue this responsibility and take care of the world, and everything in it.
MEN AND WOMEN
Both men and women enjoy equal access to God by faith in Christ Jesus and are both equally valuable as image-bearers of God. Men and women were made to complement each other in marriage, which ultimately serves as a type of the union between Christ and His Church. In God’s wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable, but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways. God ordains that they assume distinctive roles, which reflect the loving relationship between Christ and the Church; the husband exercises headship in a way that displays the caring, sacrificial love of Christ, and the wife submits to her husband in a way that models the love of the Church for her Lord. In the ministry of the Church, both men and women are encouraged to serve Christ and to be developed to their full potential. The distinctive leadership role within the church given to qualified men is grounded in creation, fall, and redemption.
THE PLAN OF GOD
From all eternity God determined in grace to save a great multitude of guilty sinners from every tribe, language, people, and nation, and to this end He foreknew them and chose them. We believe that God justifies and sanctifies those who by His grace have faith in Jesus, and that He will one day glorify them to the praise of His glorious grace.
The Gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead. Folly to the world, yet the power of God to those who are being saved, this good news centers on Jesus,His cross, and His resurrection. This good news is biblical, theological, saving, historical, apostolic, and intensely personal.
Christ, by His obedience and death, fully paid the debt of all those who are justified. By His sacrifice, He bore in our place the punishment due to us for our sins, satisfying God’s wrath. His perfect obedience is credited to all who trust in Christ alone for their acceptance with God. On the cross God’s wrath on sin and His love for sinners meet in perfect justice and grace.
We believe that those who have been saved by the grace of God through union with Christ by faith and through regeneration by the Holy Spirit enter the kingdom of God and are sanctified by an inward transformation that awakens a desire to glorify, trust, and obey God. Good works constitute indispensable evidence of saving grace for we are God’s workmanship created for good works. Living as salt in a world that is decaying and light in a world that is dark, believers should neither withdraw into seclusion from the world, nor become indistinguishable from it. We are to do good and glorify God by being part of God’s restoration of His creation.
THE LOCAL CHURCH
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel, observing the two ordinances of Christ (Baptism & Communion), governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through a plurality of elders, deacons, and church members.
We look forward to the personal, glorious, and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ, when He will exercise His role as final Judge, and His kingdom will be consummated. There will be a bodily resurrection of both the justified and the unjust—the unjust to judgment and eternal conscious punishment in hell, and the justified to eternal blessing in the presence of God, in the new heaven and the new earth. On that day the church will be presented faultless before God by the obedience, suffering, and triumph of Christ, all sin will be purged, and its evil effects forever removed.
We are called to clothe ourselves in humility and as we hold our doctrinal convictions firmly we do so out of humility. We do so that we may continually repent deeper and allow Christ, through the work of the Holy Spirit, to conform our imperfect doctrine more and more in line with the Truth.
Awakening Church aligns doctrinally with the SBC and the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.