One True God
God is called by many different names because of the different dimensions of His personality, but He is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4). God is super-dimensional and eternally self-existent (John 8:54-59). God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. He is the creator of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1&2). While God is one, He has revealed Himself in three persons (The Trinity): Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity, the eternal Son of God. The Scripture declares His virgin birth (Matthew 1:18-23); His sinless life (Hebrews :26 & 1 Peter 2:22 & John 3:4,5); His miracles (Acts 2:22 & 10:37-38); His substitutionary death on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:22 & 1 Peter 2:24 & 1 Corinthians 15:4); His bodily resurrection from the dead (Matthew 23:1-6 & 1 Corinthians 15:4); His exaltation to the right hand of God (Acts 1:9, 11 & Philippians 2:9-11).
The Holy Spirit
The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) are the by-product of a Spirit-filled life and evidence of spiritual maturity. The gifts of the Spirit are different manifestations of the Spirit to build up the body (1 Corinthians 12:1-11). We are instructed to diligently seek the gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31, 14:1), but they must be exercised in an orderly way (1 Corinthians 14:26-33) in the context of love (1 Corinthians 13:1-13).
The Fall of Man
Man was created in the image of God (Genesis 2:26). However, by a voluntary act of the will, Adam and Eve disobeyed God (Genesis 3:6). That first sin had several repercussions. Man was excommunicated from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:23), a curse was pronounced (Genesis 3:14-19), the process of physical death began (Genesis 2:17), and man died spiritually (Romans 5:12-19), Sin separated humankind from God (Ephesians 2:11-18) and left man in a fallen or sinful condition (Romans 3:12).
The Salvation of Man
The only means of salvation is Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12 & John 14:6). He died on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins (1 Peter 2:24). He offers each of us a pardon for our sins (Hebrews 9:26) and wants us to become children of God (John 1:12).
When we put our faith in Christ, it triggers a spiritual chain reaction. We become the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). Our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 3:5). We become citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20-21). We are given eternal life (John 3:16). We are adopted and become children of God (Galatians 4:4-7). Our sins are forgiven and forgotten (Hebrews 8:12). We are credited with the righteousness of Christ (Romans 4:4-5). We are born-again (John 3:3). God takes ownership of us (1 Corinthians 6:20). We receive an eternal inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14 & 1 Peter 1:3-5).
The evidence of salvation is two-fold. The internal evidence is the direct witness of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16). The external evidence is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23). We became a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and are transformed into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18).
The Old and New Testament are inspired by God, the only written revelation from God to man. The Bible is infallible and the authoritative rule of faith and conduct for mankind (2 Timothy 3:15-17, 1 Thessalonians 2:13 & Peter 1:21).
The Ordinances/Sacraments of The Church
Renew practices two forms of baptism, neither are for salvation but instead are outward expressions of an internal work.
1. Believers Baptism (a traditional Baptist view). The Scripture teaches that all who repent and believe in Christ are to be baptized (Matthew 28:19). Baptism is a public profession of faith in Christ. It is symbolic of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. It is a declaration to the world that we have died to sin and have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).
2. Infant Baptism (a traditional Reformed view)
What does child baptism signify?
· An outward sign of God’s promises to the children of believers. According to Scripture, baptism signifies the promise of God that He will give His Spirit to believers and their children. We take this to mean two things: First, that the child will be exposed to the work of the Spirit as he / she is raised in a Christian home and church where the Word of God is taught and lived. Second, that the child’s parents can look expectantly to God for the salvation of their child, as the child is brought up in the ways of God.
· An outward sign of the child’s inclusion in the community of faith. Like circumcision, in Scripture baptism represented the child’s inclusion in the church community. By virtue of his / her baptism, the child becomes a “non-communing member” of the church, and is entitled to all the benefits of a full church member, except (1) the right to receive the Lord’s Supper, which first requires a credible profession of faith in Christ, and (2) the right to vote as a church member.
· An outward sign of Jesus’ heart for children. Through child baptism the entire church community acknowledges Jesus’ statement that the kingdom of God belongs to little ones. Jesus regularly included little children and babies in His fellowship.
What child baptism does not signify.
Baptism does not signify that the child is instantaneously saved upon baptism. There is no “magic” that takes place in this sacrament. The child’s salvation will be secured, as far as his / her parents and church are concerned, at the moment in which the child is converted to Christ through faith and repentance, not at the moment of baptism.
Communion. The Lords’ Table consists of two elements: the bread and cup. Those elements are symbolic of the body and blood of Christ. Communion is a memorial of Christ’s sufferings on the cross and celebration of our salvation. It is an opportunity for a believer to examine himself and experience forgiveness.
The Church is the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-27) and has a three-fold purpose: To evangelize the world (Acts 1:8 & Mark 16:15-16), to worship God (1 Corinthians 12:13), and equip for ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16 & 1 Corinthians 12:28, 14:12).
God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the Gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are, therefore, under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer’s cause on earth.