In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, love.Augustine (354-430AD)
Essential Beliefs in Plain Terms
There is one God and the Bible contains his message of loving truth. This one God has eternally existed in three persons: God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. He is the creator of the heavens and the earth and all living things. He created men and women in his own image and so that he might have an intimate and loving relationship for eternity. He gave men and women the opportunity to choose to trust and love him or to turn away from him. The first people God created were Adam and Eve. They chose to turn away from him. With their decision, sin entered the world. Ever since that time men and women have continued to follow their example and chosen to sin. The consequence of the decision to sin is the same today as it was in the beginning, death and separation from God.
God is both loving and just. Justice demands that the consequences of sin be met. Love desires to forgive and restore those who have sinned. Because God loved us he sent his one and only son, Jesus to earth. He lived a sinless life and therefore did not have to deal with the consequences of sin: death and separation from God. Jesus chose to give his life up to pay for the consequences of everyone else’s sin. This allows for our sin to be forgiven, but also for justice to be served. Forgiveness for sin is a free gift from God that he wants everyone to receive. The only question that remains is, will you receive God’s gift of forgiveness?
Receiving God’s gracious gift of forgiveness through what Jesus did on the cross allows us to have an intimate and loving relationship with God. God wants our relationship with him to begin as soon as possible. One of the characteristics of all loving relationships is that we want to do what pleases the one we love. Jesus said it this way, “if you love me, you will obey my commands.” The Bible is a record of all the things that God has asked us to do in order that we might have a right relationship with him and with other people.