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Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who dwelt on earth, both fully God and fully man (Luke 24:39; John 1:1-14; Romans 9:5; Colossians 1:19; 2:9; Hebrews 1:1-3). He was born of a virgin and conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18-20; Luke 1:34-35). He lived a perfect and sinless life in order to offer himself as a holy and worthy sacrifice for our sins (John 15:10, 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 9:26; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 3:5). He was tempted as we are tempted and suffered as we have suffered yet He never sinned (Hebrews 2:18; 4:15; 7:26). He was betrayed by one closest to him, arrested, beaten, mocked, and then crucified on the cross, where He died (Matthew 27:27-30; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:16-37). Though he died at the hands of men, Jesus’ life was not taken from him. Instead, He gave it willingly as a sacrifice to God for humanity (John 10:18). Three days after his death, Jesus rose from the dead, conquering both sin and death and showing His power over each (Matthew 28:1-20; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-53; John 20:1-23; 1 Corinthians 15:20; Ephesians 1:19-20; Colossians 1:15-23; 1 Peter 1:3). After rising from the dead, He lived again on earth for forty days before ascending to the Father’s right hand in Heaven (Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:9-11). Jesus will return one day to rule and reign forever, judge the world, and usher those who follow Him into the presence of God for eternity (Matthew 25:31-46; John 14:2-3; Revelation 22:20).
GOD THE FATHER
As Creator and Sustainer of all things, God is both sovereign and infinite, which means He has no limitations (Genesis 1:1; Acts 4:24; Revelation 4:11). God has revealed His power to everyone through creation (Psalm 19:1-4; Romans 1:19-20), but His character can only be known through the special revelation of His Word, the Bible. God is absolutely holy and perfect, which means, as sinners, we can only have a right relationship with Him through Jesus Christ the Son (Matthew 11:27; John 14:6).
THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit serves as the seal of a believer’s salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14; Romans 8:16). The Spirit is the presence of God living inside each follower of Christ (Romans 8:9-11) and is promised to those who profess faith in Jesus and are baptized into Christ’s name (Acts 2:38). The Holy Spirit directs believers back to the words of Jesus and helps us apply Christ’s teaching to our lives (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7-15). He empowers those who follow Jesus for different forms of ministry (Acts 1:8; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; 1 Peter 1:12) and gives spiritual gifts to each follower of Jesus for the purpose of ministry (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). He empowers the prayer life of a believer (Romans 8:26; Ephesians 2:18) and strengthens Christians so that they may overcome spiritual opposition (Matthew 12:28; Ephesians 6:10-18). He sanctifies followers of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Titus 3:4-7), convicts the world of sin (John 16:8-11), and also guides believers in their faith (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:16-18).
God eternally exists as three persons, God the Father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit. The three distinct persons of the Trinity are each fully God in that all of God’s attributes are true of them individually and yet together they are One Being. While the word “Trinity” never appears in Scripture, it is an accepted doctrine based on the Bible’s teachings as a whole. Scripture offers evidence of the Trinity throughout both Old and New Testaments (Genesis 1:26; Psalm 45:6-7; 110:1; Isaiah 6:8; Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; John 1:1-5; 13:20; 14:15-17; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 1:3-14; 2:18; 1 Peter 1:2).
GOSPEL OF SALVATION
Salvation is a gift from God that cannot be earned through good works, ritual, or self-improvement (Galatians 1:3-8; 3:10-14). Salvation is given only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (John 1:12; 3:16; 14:6; Acts 2:37-41; 4:10-12; Romans 10:1-17; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-9). The Bible speaks of salvation in the past, present, and future tense. When Scripture uses the past tense, it means you were saved from the penalty of sin by faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5). When Scripture uses the present tense, it means you are still being saved from the power of sin through the work of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 1:18; 15:1-2; Philippians 2:12). When Scripture uses the future tense, it means that one day you will be saved from the presence of sin when you experience the fullness of God’s presence forever in heaven (Romans 5:9-10; 1 Corinthians 15:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; Hebrews 10:35-39; 1 Peter 1:5).
Humanity is the pinnacle of God’s creation, created in in His very likeness (Genesis 1:27; 5:1-2). Each of us has individually rebelled against God through sin and thus finds himself or herself separated from God’s presence and glory (Romans 3:23; 5:12; 6:23). We all need redemption and restoration in order to return to a right relationship with God. This occurs through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:23-25; Galatians 1:3-8; Ephesians 2:1-9; Hebrews 10:11-14).
The church is the community of all true followers of Jesus Christ. The Bible refers to the church as the body of Christ tasked with the mission of making disciples and spreading the Gospel of Christ (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Ephesians 1:22-23). All Christians should take an active part in the body of a local church (Hebrews 10:19-25) for the purpose of worshiping God, learning about His character and ways, serving others, being encouraged in the faith, and growing mature in Christ (Colossians 3:16; Psalm 9:10; Jeremiah 9:24; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Philippians 3:10; Colossians 1:9-10; Matthew 20:26-28; Acts 14:21-22; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Ephesians 4:12-13; Colossians 1:28; Hebrews 13:17).
After the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, baptism in the New Testament is performed only by immersion on those who understand their need for God’s grace through Christ. The Greek word for “baptism” means to plunge, dip, or immerse. Jesus modeled this form of baptism and also commanded his disciples to continue it at the Great Commission (Matthew 3:13-17; 28:18-20). Baptism by immersion represents the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and this signifies the death of our old self, being buried in the water, and the resurrection of our new self in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:11-13; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21). The clear pattern in Acts is that a person be baptized as soon as they recognize their need for God’s grace through Christ (Acts 2:37-41; 8:12; 8:34-40; 9:17-19; 10:44-48; 16:14-15; 16:31-33; 18:8; 19:1-7; 22:14-16).
Communion is known by many names, including the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist, and the Common Meal or Table. Regardless of the name, the practice is to be observed by Christians as an ongoing sign of the fellow- ship of Christ and a symbolic reminder of what He accomplished through the cross (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). The breaking of bread represents the breaking of Christ’s body and the pouring of the cup represents the spilling of His blood (1 Corinthians 11:26). Jesus commanded His disciples to regularly partake of the communion meal (Matthew 26:26-29). When followers of Christ participate in communion together it serves as an act and display of unity (1 Corinthians 10:17). At OCC, we take communion on a weekly basis, using it as a time of remembrance of and reflection on what Jesus accomplished through the cross and as a sign of our unity in Christ.
The Bible promises Jesus will one day return (Matthew 24:24; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Hebrews 9:27-28; Revelation 22:20) and at that time everyone will be judged (Romans 2:16; 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:11-15). For those who are in Christ Jesus there is no condemnation, meaning they will spend eternity with a resurrection body in the presence of God (Matthew 25:34; Romans 8:1; 1 Corinthians 15:12-58). This eternal life with God will take place in what Scripture calls the New Heaven and the New Earth (Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-7). Those who reject Jesus will be separated from Him by their sin in a real place of eternal conscious punishment called Hell or “the second death” (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:41-46; Jude 6-13; Revelation 14:9-11).