Giving Thanks When The Water Is Over Your Head
by Jim Brannon
1. The Bible is God’s Holy Word, written by men divinely inspired of God, and is the record of God’s revelation of Himself to man. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any error, for its content. It reveals the principles by which God judges us; and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the supreme standard by which we should live our lives and by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried.
2. There is one Triune God, the Trinity (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit), who coexist in unity, and discloses three distinct revelations of God.
3. Jesus Christ is God’s Son. He was born of a virgin as both fully God and fully man, lived a sinless life, died to pay the price for the sins of man, was buried, arose from the grave, ascended into heaven, and will literally return to earth one day, just as He promised.
4. The Holy Spirit is the divine helper, comforter, and instructor, and His work is to reveal Christ, convict of sin, lead to repentance, remind of scripture, empower and equip, guide believers, and sanctify the soul. The Holy Spirit enters the body of a believer at the time of salvation (i.e., when Jesus Christ is invited into one’s heart as Savior and Lord.)
5. Man was created by God in His own image, and is the crowning work of God’s creation. The sacredness of man is evident not only by virtue of God creating him in His own image, but also in that God loved him enough that Christ died for all mankind’s sins; therefore every human being possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
6. In the beginning, man was innocent of sin and was endowed by God with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Since that time, every human being has sinned against God and is in need of salvation.
7. Only the love and grace of God can bring sinful man back into fellowship with God and enable him to fulfill the creative purpose of God. Salvation is a gift of God offered freely by grace to all who repent of their sins toward God and through faith accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
8. Every person who is saved is eternally secure in the Lord Jesus Christ and will spend eternity in heaven, while those who die having rejected Jesus will spend eternity separated from God in hell.
9. Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior; the believer’s death to sin; the burial of the old life; and, the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus (a lifestyle committed to bringing honor and glory to God, following the commands and example of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and ministering and witnessing to others in the name of Jesus as we are lead by the Holy Spirit.)
10. Public profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and believer’s baptism are required for church membership and participation in the Lord’s Supper.
11. The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the family of God remember the death of their Savior, Jesus Christ, examine their own hearts and present walks with God, give thanks to God for their salvation, and rejoice in the anticipated second coming of Christ.
12. Each believer has direct access to God in prayer through the Lord Jesus Christ.
13. The church is a local body of baptized believers with the Lord Jesus Christ as its head. Its purpose is to be used of God to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people; to grow each church member to Christ like maturity, equipping them for ministry; and, to serve others in the name of Jesus Christ for the sole purpose of bringing honor and glory to God.