God is not silent. He speaks through nature and there is a sense in which He speaks through people, but the clearest and most helpful way He has ever spoken is in Scripture. Today, almost everyone on the planet can hear from God in the 66 books of the Bible. We call the Bible inspired because God breathed it out. We call it inerrant because the perfect God does not make mistakes when He speaks. We call it authoritative because the One who created us deserves our obedience. We call it wonderful because in it we hear who He is and how to be with Him for eternity.
The Trinitarian God
A human is one being and one person. God is one being and three persons—a trinity. Each person of the Trinity has always existed. Each person is worthy of endless worship. Each person works in conjunction with the others. “God created the world,” but it was the Father who created the world through the Son in the presence of the Holy Spirit. “There is salvation in Jesus,” but it was the Father who chose sinners to be saved and the Holy Spirit who opens their hearts to receive salvation. These three supreme Persons work together as a loving community. Which is likely the reason love is so central to Christianity.
God the Father
The Persons of the Trinity are equal in value and work together, but the Bible does reveal some differences. God the Father is spoken of as the one who directs and governs all that He has made. He is the one who sits upon the Throne in Heaven. He and the Son are equal, but Jesus prays to the Father. He and the Spirit are equal, but the Spirit is sent by the Father.
God the Son
The Son of God was not made by the Father. There was never a time in which the Father existed and the Son did not. When the time was right, the Father sent the Son to be born of a virgin in Bethlehem. In a human body, Jesus is fully God and fully man. He did not lose part of His deity when He became man, but only added humanity.
He lived the way humans should live. He loved God the way humans should love God. He obeyed God the way humans should obey God, but His obedience resulted in something that no human could ever do. He let Himself be crucified on a Roman cross to pay the penalty for the sins of His people. He was killed, but God raised Him from the dead on the third day. Sinners can look to the sacrifice of Jesus and be saved. He is the Great Redeemer. The Great Intercessor. The Great King. The Great Savior of His people. And He lives to this day, waiting until the time is right once again.
God the Holy Spirit
Jesus is God with us. The Holy Spirit is God in us. He is the one who handles the human soul. Who causes someone to be spiritually born again? Who lives inside the Christian from the day of their salvation? Who enlightens the heart, opens the eyes, and motivates the hands of the Christian? It is God the Holy Spirit.
He is no less God than the Father or the Son. Nor is He less a person. He is not a force. He is not an angel. He is not “another way to say God did something.” He is the infinite, eternal God; the third member of the Trinity.
Men and Women
The first book of the Bible says that God created males and females in His image. There is a sacredness and value that finds its way deep into our souls. Males and females share this profound identity. This does not, however, lock humans into uniformity. God has given different blessings and roles to men and women as they work together to do His will on earth. One of those roles is that of the shepherd-teacher (pastor) which God has given to qualified men.
Another sphere that displays the differences between men and women is marriage. God designed marriage as a lifelong union between one man and one woman.
This Broken World
God made two humans and placed them in an abundant garden. They were the beginning of the people of God—a people made by God, for God. A people loved and enjoyed. There was peace in the garden, fellowship, joy, and love. And there was also one rule. At the serpent’s enticing, Adam and Eve rebelled against God, choosing unbelief and self-rule. Peace turned to enmity. Fellowship turned to estrangement. Joy to shame. This was sin’s entrance into the world, leading to death, violence, and destruction. The very death, violence, and destruction that we see around us today.
Every human born into this earth is born into a sin-infected world with a sin-infected heart. We are abused and burdened by the evil around us and, yet, we also think, speak, and do evil ourselves. A perfectly good being must not only reject us but punish us for our sin. The just punishment is death. So Jesus died on the cross to endure the punishment that we deserve. Through Jesus we can be forgiven. Through Jesus we can be born again. Through Jesus our relationship with the Father can be what it was supposed to be in the garden—we can be God’s people, God’s children. Everyone is invited to come to God through faith in Jesus Christ.
The way to be saved is to trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins. There is no step two. The perfect life He lived—His righteousness—is credited to us as our sin is credited to Him. It is not a reward for doing good things for God or being a good person. God gives it as a gift—grace. Here is the concise way to say it: salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.
Growth and Obedience
Once a person is saved, they usually have days, months, and years left to live on this earth. After all that God has done in Christ, that time is not to be spent doing evil. Nor should it be wasted. Instead, it is spent in joyful service to the great God who brought about this amazing salvation. A life of obedience to His Word is a way to express our love, devotion, and thanks to God.
It is not an easy life to live. Jesus told us that the way would be hard—and no Christian has ever been perfect—but, with God, we struggle forward in faith and obedience until Jesus returns.
Cornerstone Community Church is one of many local extensions of the Universal Church, established by Christ on the Earth. The Universal Church is made of believers from everywhere on Earth, of every race and culture. Every member—young and old, male and female, with talents prominent or behind the scenes—is vital to the function of the Church.
Christians are sojourners in this world—we really belong in Heaven with God. We live in the “already but not yet” period of history between Jesus’ resurrection and return. “Already” because life and salvation have been opened to us by Christ. “Not yet” because the full joy of unhindered life with God, free from sin and evil, is still in the future. We long for our true home, a place of righteousness, where sin, Satan, and death no longer have power or influence.
When a person dies in Christ, he or she has the amazing experience of entering paradise before those of us who remain on earth. This paradise is the presence of God, a place of unimaginable satisfaction and great joy.
The rest of us wait for Jesus to return like He promised. At that time the dead will be resurrected and judged. Those who rebelled against and rejected God will be forever separated from Him, experiencing eternal torment in Hell. Those found in Christ will be gathered to him—to live with him eternally in the new Heavens and the new Earth.