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The Bible is the inspired Word of God, giving a true history of the creation of heaven, earth, and humanity and containing a correct prophecy of the ages to come regarding heaven, earth, and the destiny of humanity. Moreover, there is no salvation outside of what is taught in its pages.
There is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4). He is the creator of heaven and earth, and of all living beings. He has revealed Himself to humanity as the Father (Creator), in the son (Savior), and as the Holy Ghost (indwelling Spirit).
Sin is the transgression of the law, or commandments of God (I John 3:4). The guilt of sin has fallen upon all humanity from Adam until now (Romans 3:23). The wages of sin is eternal death (Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:14) to all those who refuse to accept salvation as set forth in the Word of God.
Salvation consists of deliverance from all sin and unrighteousness through the blood of Jesus Christ. The New Testament experience of salvation consists of repentance from sin, water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, after which the Christian is to live a godly life (Acts 2:36-41).
Water baptism is an essential part of New Testament salvation and not merely a symbolic ritual. It is part of entering into the kingdom of God (God's church, the bride of Christ), and therefore, it is not merely a part of local church membership. (See John 3:5; Galatians 3:27).
Baptism of the Holy Ghost
The baptism of the Holy Ghost is the birth of the Spirit (John 3:5). This spiritual baptism is necessary to put someone into the kingdom of God (God's church, the bride of Christ) and is evidenced by speaking in other tongues (other languages) as the Spirit of God give utterance.It was prophesied by Joel (Joel 2:28-29) and Isaiah (Isaiah 28:11), foretold by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:11), purchased by the blood of Jesus, and promised by Him to His disciples (John 14:26; 15:16). The Holy Ghost was first poured out on the Day of Pentecost upon the Jews (Acts 2:1-4), then upon the Samaritans (Acts 8:17), and later upon the Gentiles (Acts 10:44-46; 19:6). "The promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:39).
Speaking in other tongues as the Spirit of God gives utterance is the manifestation God has given as the definite, indisputable, supernatural witness or sign of the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:4; 10:46; 19:6).It was prophesied by the prophet Isaiah as the rest and the refreshing (Isaiah 28:11-12), foretold by Jesus as a sign that would follow believers of the gospel (Mark 16:17), and experience by Jews and Gentiles alike.
The gift of "divers kinds of tongues," mentioned by Paul in I Corinthians 12:1-12 and concerning which he gave regulations in I Corinthians 14:1-40, is given by both for self-edification (I Corinthians 14:4) and for the edification of the church (I Corinthians 14:27-28).In church meetings the gift of tongues is used to give a public message, and it is to be interpreted. Since this gift can be misused in public, it needs proper regulation (I Corinthians 14:23-28). Not all believers exercise the gift of tongues, which is different in function from tongues given by God as the initial witness of the baptism of the Holy Ghost.Paul said, "Forbid not to speak with tongues" (I Corinthians 14:39) and "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all" (I Corinthians 14:8). Who dares to teach or preach to the contrary?
Speaking in tongues means speaking miraculously in a language unknown to the speaker, as the Spirit gives utterance. Tongues can be classified in two ways, according to function: (1)speaking in other tongues as the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost and (2)the gift of tongues as mentioned in I Corinthians.
After we are saved from sin, we are commanded, "Go, and sin no more" (John 8:11).We are commanded to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world (Titus 2:12) and warned that without holiness no one shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).We must present ourselves as holy unto God (Romans 12:1), cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit (II Corinthians 7:1), and separate ourselves from all worldliness (James 4:4).If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (I Peter 4:18).No one can live a holy life by his own power, but only through the Holy Spirit. "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you" (Acts 1:8).
God has made Himself known through the ages by miraculous healings and has made special provisions in the age of grace to heal all who will come to Him in faith and obedience. Divine healing was purchased for us by the blood of Jesus Christ, especially by His stripes (Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 8:16-17; I Peter 2:24).Jesus went everywhere healing those who were sick (Matthew 4:23-24), and He commanded His disciples to do the same (Matthew 10:8). He said concerning those who believe the gospel, "They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:18). Mighty healings and miracles followed the disciples wherever the gospel was preached.
There is no sickness or disease too hard for God. Any of us, our children, or our friends can be healed by the power of God."Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him , anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord shall raise him up: and if he have committed sins they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed" (James 5:14-16).
Second Coming of Christ
Jesus Christ is coming back to earth in bodily form, just as He went away (Acts 1:11). He will catch away a holy people (His bride, His church) who have accepted redemption through His blood, by birth of water and of the Spirit, and who are found faithful when He comes."For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thessalonians 4:16-17)."One shall be taken and the other left" (Luke 17:36). Will we be ready?The signs of His coming are everywhere. The days of peril are here indeed, with forms of godliness void of the power of God; society and politics corrupted; and people's hearts filled with pride, blasphemies, unholiness, love of evil, and love of pleasures (II Timothy 3:1-13). These things, together with multitudes running to and fro, the increase of knowledge (Daniel 12:4), the persecution of the Jews and their return to Palestine (Luke 21:24), and scores of other things are starting signs that Jesus' coming is drawing near.Wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, storms, floods, distress of nations, perplexity, and people's hearts failing them for fear are sounding the solemn alarm that Jesus' coming is at hand (Matthew 24:6; Luke 21:25-28)."Prepare to meet thy God" (Amos 4:12).
There will be a resurrection of all the dead, both just and unjust. "Marvel not this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:28-29)."And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God . . . and the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them" (Revelation 20:12-13)> (See also Daniel 12:2; I Corinthians 15:13-23.)
"It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). For this reason there will be a resurrection for everyone. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (II Corinthians 5:10).
The eternal destiny of every soul shall be determined by a just God who knows the secrets of everyone's heart. "And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. . . .Then shall he also say unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. . . . And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal" (Matthew 25:32-34, 41, 46).
Contending For Modesty
We are living in a time of moral confusion, and our generation's immorality is reflected in many of today's styles. Today's fashion industry has little regard for modesty, and its products often project a look that is inappropriate for someone who wants to mirror Christ.
The marvelous grace of God in our hearts compels us to reflect His holiness in the part of our being that other people see. When a person becomes a Christian, his experience changes every facet his life-not just the inward person but the outward person as well.
A Biblical Principle
The Bible instructs us to wear modest clothing, that is, clothing with a godly appearance. Of course, our outward appearance cannot substitute for inward holiness. Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves after they sinned, but God found their efforts inadequate. By making clothing of animal skins for them, He confirmed that they indeed needed modest clothing, but He also revealed that holiness in appearance must be associated with God's provision for our sins. Only by the death of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, do we obtain the righteousness of God that we seek to reflect outwardly.
God instructed Israel's high priest to wear "holy garments," for he represented a holy God (Exodus 28:2). God also ordered the priests to wear clothing that covered their nakedness and forbad elevated altars upon which priests would walk and thereby expose their nakedness (Exodus 20:26; 28:42).
Deuteronomy 22:5 enunciates the moral principle of a clear distinction between male and female in outward appearance: one sex must not wear styles of clothing associated with the other.
Proverbs 7:10 speaks of a woman with "the attire associated with sin and are not suitable for godly people to wear.
The principle that God wants His people to reflect His holiness applies to the New Testament church (I Peter 1:15-16). We are called to be living epistles read of all people, declaring to the world God's holy nature and His abiding presence (II Corinthians 3:3). Our outward appearance is one way in which we are an unspoken witness of the transforming power of Christ.
I Timothy 2:9 admonishes "that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamedfacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array." I Peter 3:3 gives similar instructions.
I Corinthians 11:1-16 teaches that a woman should have long hair, for it is her glory, and that a man should not have long hair. A person's hair serves as an important visible symbol of his or her submission to God's plan of authority and as a distinguishing mark between the sexes.
Revelation 16:15 uses clothing as a symbol to instruct the church to stay close to God: "Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."
Clearly, God puts emphasis on the outward appearance of a person. To an extent, clothing reflects the condition of the heart, and it sends message to others about a person's values.
A Response to God's Grace
Advocating modesty of dress and outward dedication does not mean advocating salvation by works. Wearing godly dress is not a meritorious work to earn salvation; rather, it is a response to the saving grace of God. The blood of Jesus is our only righteousness. Our salvation comes from God, never from our good works. To think that we could earn His marvelous grace by adhering to dress codes would be a terrible mistake.
But to accept the grace of God and then be indifferent to Christ's commandment for holy living would discredit His mercy. If the church preaches Christ and His saving grace without teaching biblical guidelines to live by, it leaves people open to confusion and failure. Deliberate and continuous disobedience to God's Word will lead to the loss of saving faith.
Who can view the Cross without wanting to conform to Christ? Who would want to continue his or her old sinful patterns of living when Jesus Christ died to bring deliverance from those sins? When people comprehend His holiness, they desire to become holy. While it is true that genuine love for Him restrains a person from presuming upon His marvelous grace.
In our success-oriented society, no one considers it odd if a corporation requires its employees to conform to a dress code. Why then should a church that teaches neatness and modesty for the purpose of honoring the holiness of God be considered narrow, restrictive, or legalistic?
If we are to honor God in our hearts, it is consistent to honor Him with an outward dedication. I John 2:15 instructs us, "Love not the world", surely, then, we would be foolish to mirror worldly values in our appearance.
The Protection of Modesty
Adhering to a modest, godly standard of dress and conduct offers protection from the surge of immorality that plagues our generation. Clothes and appearance transmit nonverbal signals. Christians who verbalize goodness and godliness but at the same time non verbally declare sensuality and ungodliness destroy the effectiveness of their gospel witness.
The primary purpose of many fashion designs is to exalt the ego, attract undue attention to the flesh, stir desires, and ignite passion in others, thereby appealing to the lust, of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, which the Bible condemns (I John 2:16). If we are in such styles and with such motives.
We must not naively ignore the complex causes of immorality and marital infidelity, but neither should we ignore the influence that sensual dress has on adultery and fornication. If a man looks with lust upon a women he commits adultery in his heart (Matthew 5:28). If people would dress in ways that do not provoke lust, the moral fiber of our society would be strengthened.
The danger of overemphasizing any discipline in the Christian life is that some people allow the discipline to become a legalistic code. Some people who harbor unholy attitudes such as hatred, bitterness, envy, and strife falsely think they are spiritual because they wear modest clothes.
Such distortions are hypocritical and wrong. But we cannot dismiss the need for modesty in dress because some distort it. The biblical alternative to legalism is not permissiveness or license but self-discipline motivated by grace, faith, love, the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit. (See John 14:15; I Corinthians 9:24-27; II Timothy 2:4-5; I John 2:3-6.)
For the sake of our children, we must teach them to respect the holiness of God in all areas of life. Allowing or encouraging preteens and teenagers to dress in many of today's fashions is an invitation to social and spiritual problems.
A dress code will not automatically remedy the decaying moral fiber among youth, but it does remind them of God's commandments. We must begin somewhere to teach children and youth moral responsibility, and standards of modesty in dress offer us this opportunity.
When we honor God and His Word in our hearts and in our outward appearance, He places an umbrella of protection over our families. While moral decay sweeps modern society and many modern churches, we are able to remain relatively untouched. The world may scoff at our modesty, but we dare not lay down our cloak of protection and our obedience to the Word of God.
Doctrine - 60 Questions on the Godhead
Read the answers to sixty questions concerning the Godhead as found in the Bible.
1. Is the word trinity in the Bible? No.
2. Does the Bible say that there are three persons in the Godhead? No.
3. Does the Bible speak of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? Yes.
4. Do these titles as used in Matthew 28:19 mean that there are three separate and distinct persons in the Godhead? No, they refer to three offices, roles, or relationship to humanity.
5. Does the Bible use the word three in reference to God? Only one verse in the entire Bible does so-I John 5:7. It speaks of the Father, the Word (instead of Son), and the Holy Ghost, and it concludes by saying, "These three are one."
6. Does the Bible use the word one in reference to God? Yes, many times. For example, see Zechariah 14:9; Malachi 2:10; Matthew 23:9; Mark 12:29, 32; John 8:41; 10:30; Romans 3:30; I Corinthians 8:4; Galatians 3:20; I Timothy 2:5; James 2:19.
7. Can the mystery of the Godhead be understood? Yes. Romans 1:20; Colossians 2:9; I Timothy 3:16.
8. Has the Christian only one Heavenly Father? Yes. Matthew 23:9.
9. Then why did Jesus say to Philip, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9)? Because Jesus is the express image of God's person. Hebrews 1:3. The Greek word for personin this verse literally means "substance."
10. Does the Bible say that there are two persons in the Godhead? No.
11. Does the Bible say that all the Godhead is revealed in one person? Yes, in Jesus Christ. II Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:19; 2:9; Hebrews 1:3.
12. Is the mystery of the Deity hidden from some people? Yes. Luke 10:21-22.
13. Who is the Father? The Father is the one God, particularly as revealed in parental relationship to humanity. Deuteronomy 32:6; Malachi 2:10.
14. Where was God the Father while Jesus was on earth? The Father was in Christ. John 14:10; II Corinthians 5:19. He was also in heaven, for God is omnipresent.
15. Did the prophet Isaiah say that Jesus would be the Father? Yes. Isaiah 9:6; 63:16.
16. When God said, "Let us make man in our image" (Genesis 1:26), was He speaking to another person in the Godhead? No. Isaiah 44:24; Malachi 2:10.
17. How many of God's qualities were in Christ? All. Colossians 2:9.
18. How may we see the God who sent Jesus into the world? By seeing Jesus. John 12:44-45; 14:9.
19. Does the Bible say that Jesus is the Almighty? Yes. Revelation 1:8
20. Whom do some designate as the first person in the trinity? God the Father.
21. Whom do some designate as the last person in the trinity? The Holy Ghost. But Jesus said that He was the first and last. Revelation 1:17-18
22. How many persons did John see sitting on the throne in heaven? One. Revelation 4:2.
23. If Jesus is the first and the last, why did God say in Isaiah 44:6 that He was the first and the last? Because Jesus is the God of the Old Testament incarnate.
24. Did Jesus tell Satan that God alone should be worshipped? Yes. Matthew 4:10
25. Does the devil believe in more than one God? No. James 2:19.
26. Does the Bible say that God, who is the Word, was made flesh? Yes John 1:1, 14.
27. For what purpose was God manifested in the flesh? To save sinners. Hebrews 2:9, 14.
28. Was Jesus God manifested in the flesh? Yes. I Timothy 3:16.
29. Could Jesus have been on earth and in heaven at the same time? Yes. John 3:13.
30. Does the Bible say that there is but one Lord? Yes. Isaiah 45:18; Ephesians 4:5.
31. Does the Bible say that Christ is the Lord? Yes. Luke 2:11.
32. Does the Bible say that the Lord is God? Yes. I kings 18:39; Zechariah 14:5; Acts 2:39; Revelation 19:1.
33. How could the church belong to Jesus (Matthew 16:18) and yet be the church of God (I Corinthians 10:32)? Because Jesus is God in the flesh.
34. Will God give His glory to another? No. Isaiah 42:8.
35. Was there a God formed before Jehovah, or will there be one formed after? No. Isaiah 43:10.
36. What is one thing that God does not know? Another God. Isaiah 44:8.
37. What is one thing that God Cannot do? Lie. Titus 1:2.
38. How many Gods should we know? Only one. Hosea 13:4.
39. How many names has the Lord? One. Zechariah 14:9.
40. Is it good to think upon the name of the Lord? Yes. Malachi 3:16.
41. Does the Bible say that God alone treads upon the waves of the sea? Yes. Job 9:8
42. Why, then, was Jesus able to walk upon the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 14:25)? Because He is God the Creator. Colossians 1:16.
43. Is God the only one who can forgive sin? Yes. Isiah 43:25; Mark 2:7.
44. Why, then, could Jesus forgive sin in Mark 2:5-11? Because He is God the Savior.
45. Is Jesus the true God? Yes. I John 5:20.
46. If God and the Holy Ghost are two separate persons, which was the Father of Christ? Matthew 1:20 says that the Holy Ghost was the Father, while Romans 15:6, II Corinthians 11:31, and Ephesians 1:3 say that God was the Father. There is no contradiction when we realize that God the Father and the Holy Ghost are one and the same Spirit. Matthew 10:20; Ephesians 4:4; I Corinthians 3:16.
47. When Paul asked the Lord who He was, what was the answer? "I am Jesus." Acts 9:5.
48. When Stephen was dying, did he call God Jesus? Yes. Acts 7:59.
49. Did Thomas ever call Jesus God? Yes. John 20:28.
50. How could Jesus be the Savior, when God the Father said in Isaiah 43:11, "Beside me there is no Savior?" Because "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself." II Corinthians 5:19.
51. Does the Bible say that Jesus was God with us? Yes. Matthew 1:23.
52. Did Jesus ever say, "I and my Father are one?" Yes. John 10:30.
53. Can it be proved scripturally that Jesus and the Father are one in the same sense that husband and wife are one? No. The Godhead was never compared to the relationship of a husband and wife. Jesus identified Himself with the Father in a way that husband and wife cannot be identified with each other. John 14:9-11.
54. Does the Bible say that there is only one wise God? Yes. Jude 25.
55. Does the Bible call the Holy Ghost a second or third person in the Godhead? No. The Holy Ghost is the one Spirit of God, the one God Himself at work in our lives. John 4:24; I Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19; 12:13.
56. Can Trinitarians show that three divine persons were present when Jesus was baptized by John? Absolutely not. The one, omnipresent God used three simultaneous manifestations. Only one divine person was present--Jesus Christ the Lord.
57. Then what were the other two of whom Trinitarians speak? One was a voice from heaven; the other was the Spirit of God in the form of a dove. Matthew 3:16-17.
58. What did the voice say at Jesus' baptism? "Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Mark 1:11. As the Son of God, Jesus was the one God incarnate.
59. Does the Bible say that God shed His blood and that God laid down His life for us? Yes. Acts 20:28; I John 3:16. God was able to do this because He had taken upon Himself a human body.
60. The Bible says that God is coming back with all his saints (Zechariah 14:5) and also that Jesus is coming back with all his saints (I Thessalonians 3:13). Are two coming back? No. Only one is coming back--our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Titus 2:13.