Most of these truths are mysterious since their source is the very being of God, therefore I do not claim to totally understand them (1 Corinthians 13:9).
GOD: There is one God who is eternal and complete in himself. He is transcendent and holy. He is the Creator of all that exists, the source of life and love, goodness and joy, therefore is the true center and meaning of life. God is Triune – a threeness in a oneness. The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are inherently and intimately united in all of their characteristics and purposes.
GOD THE FATHER reigns with providential care and guidance over all. With righteousness and love, he is directing the flow of history to the completion of his Kingdom.
GOD THE SON became a human in Jesus of Nazareth. He lived a perfect life, taught the ways of God, died as a sacrifice, was raised from the dead and exalted to the throne of Heaven, to be the Savior and Lord of God’s eternal Kingdom.
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT has been involved in all of God’s work in the world from the beginning, yet was uniquely given to all of Jesus’ followers after Jesus ascended to heaven. He is activating and applying everything that accomplishes the completion of God’s Kingdom.
REVELATION: God reveals himself, his ways, and his will. His creation reveals general knowledge of God. The ultimate revelation has been the Son of God coming into human history. The Bible is the record of God’s revelation, originally written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and now empowered by the Spirit to speak to every person, with Jesus Christ being the criterion for understanding its message. We must comprehend the Bible intelligently without being academic and meaningfully without being sentimental.
SATAN: God created angels to be his servants and messengers. Satan was one of those angels but rebelled against his Creator and established his own kingdom within God’s creation. He continues to lead a spiritual war against God which pervades the universe. He is the ultimate source of the evil and suffering that exists in the world. The incarnation and death and resurrection of God the Son have assured God’s victory over Satan.
HUMANITY: God created humans in his image to be his partners managing the world as his Kingdom. All individuals are equal in significance and dignity before God. Deceived by Satan, all humans have turned away from God to a life of self-centeredness and rebellion, which is called sin. God continues to unconditionally love all people and desires for everyone to have life that is full, joyful and eternal.
REDEMPTION: God has taken action to redeem people by merciful and abundant grace. Jesus’ death and resurrection for all people of all times has broken the guilt and power of sin. Any person who becomes a follower of Jesus by faith enters into the Kingdom of God and into a real relationship with God. The Holy Spirit begins a life-long process of transforming that person from self-centeredness to God-centeredness, thus restoring God’s image and the ability to once again manage the world in partnership with Christ the Lord. Jesus commanded that his followers be baptized as a unique confession of their faith in him. He gave the Lord’s Supper (Communion) as a way to consciously remember and proclaim his death and resurrection and as a unique way to commune with him. Redemption will be completed when Jesus returns to earth in power and glory. He will finally defeat Satan and restore the universe to perfect love, righteousness, peace, and joy. His followers will be with him forever. Those who do not seek God by faith will suffer eternal destruction in Hell.
THE CHURCH: God has redeemed people to be part of his Kingdom. The visible representation of the Kingdom is the church, God’s people on earth – chosen to be holy, to glorify, enjoy, and serve God, and to be God’s agent for sharing his love and truth with the world, empowered by the Holy Spirit. The mission of the church is to build God’s Kingdom by serving the world, embodying Christ’s compassion for all people, especially “the least of these” (Matthew 25:40), and by inviting all people to faith in Christ.
LOVE: “God is love” and intends for his Kingdom to be characterized by love: loving God and loving people. The essence of becoming like Christ is love. Love, not keeping legalistic rules or mastering behavioral principles, is the paradigm of obedience to God.