What We Believe
Spirit and Truth Fellowship has adopted the Nicene Creed of the
First Council of Nicea (A.D. 325) as the church's general statement
of faith. A more specific explanation of church doctrine follows
the creed below.
We believe in one God,
the Father Almighty,
Maker of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Son of God,
begotten of the Father,
Light of Light, very God of very God,
begotten, not made,
being of one substance with the Father;
by whom all things were made;
who for us men, and for our salvation,
came down and was incarnate and was made man;
He suffered, and the third day
he rose again, ascended into heaven;
From thence he shall come
to judge the quick and the dead.
And in the Holy Ghost.
There is a supreme being that has always existed and will continue to
exist forever eternally (Psalms 90:2). We refer to this supreme
being as God, although he has a name (Exodus 6:3). God is invisible
(Colossian 1:15) and immeasurable (Isaiah 55:9), so the only
way to know about the existence and nature of God is to accept as fact
the information God has revealed about himself (Hebrews 1:1-2). God
is all love, all power, completely free of fault or wrongdoing, holy, and
This is a book containing information that God has revealed about
himself. The Bible was written over thousands of years by many authors
from different cultures and who spoke different languages
(Hebrews 1:1-2). These authors were all "moved upon" by
God and inspired to write down words that originated from God
(2 Timothy 3:16).
The verb "to create" means to bring into existence something
from nothing. The verb "to make" means to bring into existence
something using something else. The Bible records a single act of
creation in which God brought into existence all of the matter and energy
of the visible universe "in the beginning." (Genesis 1:1-2)
Then God shaped all of the "stuff" of creation to make
stars, the Earth, and all living things on planet Earth. The Bible
contains glimpses into the process of how the Earth was formed and came
to be filled with life, but the details of this account can be
interpreted in more than one way and do not, for example, preclude
the possibility that God could have used evoluationary processes to
carry out his work.
Human beings, like other living things on planet Earth, have bodies that
are made from the "stuff" of creation (Genesis 2:7).
However, man is unique among all other living things on Earth because God
placed into man a part of himself (Genesis 2:7). When an animal
dies, its spirit returns to the Earth (Ecclesiastes 3:19-21). When
a man dies, that portion of the man that came from God returns to God
The Bible tells us that there are other types of intelligent beings
besides man. Some examples of these beings are angels and cherubs
(Genesis 3:24). These beings exist outside of the confines of the
physical universe (Matthew 18:10) but are able to interact with man
and the rest of creation (Daniel 6:22); so by comparison, "man
is a little lower than the angels." (Psalms 8:4-5) God brought
these beings into existence separately from the creation of the universe,
and they were meant to serve God, but some have rebelled against him.
God has a great love for mankind, so the supernatural beings who are in
rebellion to God hate mankind and are man's worst enemy
(John 10:10), using all forms of deception to lead mankind astray
(2 Corinthians 11:14; Galatians 1:8).
Satan, "The Devil," or Lucifer
This is a particular supernatural being who personally lead the rebellion
against God (Isaiah 14:12; Revelation 12:4). Compared to God's
power, Satan's power is very small, yet Satan was able to strike a
significant blow against God by attacking man, God's most precious
creation (Genesis 3:1-6).
This is the depraved state of man that resulted from Satan's initial
attack against mankind. Through an act of deception, Satan tricked the
first man Adam and the first woman Eve to disobey God's command to them
(Genesis 3:4-20). God, being just, is obligated to judge sin
(Revelation 20:11-15), and the just consequence for disobedience
against God is death (Romans 6:23). God loves man and does not want
to see any man suffer the penalty of sin, so this was a great dilemma.
God devised a way to meet his obligation to judge sin and still allow
sin-stained man to escape the penalty of death. In a move that could be
described as exploiting a "substitution loophole," God could
choose to punish an innocent man in place of a guilty man
(Hebrews 2:9). Every man on Earth was corrupted by the original sin
and guilty (Romans 5:12), so it was necessary for God to send a man
to Earth who was not descended from Adam and Eve and therefore completely
free from sin and innocent (1 Corinthians 15:22). This man is
called the Christ and also the "Holy One." (Psalms 16:10)
He is God's "only begotten Son," (1 John 4:9) and his
name is Jesus.
This is the state of right standing with God, the opposite of sin. A man
with righteousness is not subject to the full extent of the death penalty
of sin. God demonstrated through a man called Abraham the wrong way and
the right way to obtain righteousness. To Abraham's descendants—the
people of Israel—God revealed the Law that described how a man would have
to live in order to obtain righteousness on his own. Over and over, the
Bible records how man is unable to keep the Law, and so it is impossible
for man to have righteousness this way. This is the wrong way to obtain
righteousness. However, God made a promise to Abraham, "and Abraham
believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness." Every
man—regardless of his birth, upbringing, history, past conduct, or life
situation—is able to believe a promise made by God, "to have
faith." This is the right way to obtain righteousness.
In about the year A.D. 33, the Christ suffered death by crucifixion
according to God's plan, and his body was laid in a grave. Long before
this happened, however, God made a promise that he would not let his
"Holy One see decay." (Psalms 16:10) Three days after his
death, God raised Jesus from the dead. Being made alive again, Jesus'
body did not complete the process of decomposition, and so God fulfilled
his promise (Acts 2:22-23; Acts 13:27-38). The Bible affirms
that anyone who believes that Jesus is God's Holy One and that God raised
Jesus from the dead "shall be saved." (Romans 10:9-10)
That person receives righteousness as a free gift in the same way Abraham
received righteousness for believing God (Romans 4:3, 20-24).
Christ's death on the cross substitutes for the man's own death penalty.
This is called salvation, because man is "saved" from his sins.
The work of Jesus Christ to die for the sins of mankind makes this
salvation possible, so he is the "Savior."
A man who receives Jesus Christ as Savior ceases to be the person he was
before and becomes a new person. The Bible plainly states that "if
any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)
This regeneration of the man is referred to as being "born
again." Jesus said, "You must be born again."
To "repent" means to ask God for forgiveness of past sinful
behavior and to avoid sinful behavior in the future. To truly become a
new person, it is essential to leave the old person behind: to repent and
strive to live a life consistent with righteousness that is by faith in
Jesus Christ (Luke 5:31-32; Luke 24:46-47; James 2:24). A
person who has received salvation understands that God loves him and
wants to show love back to God by living a life filled with good works.
Confession of Faith
Another essential part of the process of becoming a Christian is making a
public statement of one's faith in Jesus Christ. The necessity of
speaking about one's faith is made clear in Romans 10:9-10, "it
is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with
your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says,
'Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.'" In the
first century A.D., the confession of faith was almost always associated
with water baptism, so much so that John quotes Jesus as saying,
"Except a man be born of water..., he cannot enter into the kingdom
of God," (John 3:5) making water baptism tantamount to the
public confession. We know that the spoken confession of faith and not
the immersion in water is the critical element, because the thief who was
crucified with Jesus was never baptized in water, but upon the speaking
of his confession, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your
kingdom," (Luke 23:42) Jesus responded, "today you will be
with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43)
Jesus as Lord
The confession of faith is the point at which a new Christian makes a
commitment to live his or her life according to the teachings of Jesus
Christ. Romans 10:9 specifically says to "confess
with your mouth the Lord Jesus", and this means that the new
Christian makes Jesus the Lord of his or her life. Jesus lived a life
free of sin and commanded his followers to do likewise (Matthew 5:48),
so Christians who obey the Lord should strive always to rid themselves
of any sins present in their life (Hebrews 12:1-2).
This is why the Apostle Peter baptized "in the name of Jesus
Christ for the remission of sins." (Acts 2:38)
Things that accompany salvation
Salvation and repentance initiates a person into the family of God.
Henceforth, that person is a Christian. This is not an end but a
beginning. Life in Christ involves learning more about God, because for
the first time that person is able to "see the kingdom of God."
(John 3:3) Early in the Christian life, the believer will likely
receive water baptism: a symbolic death and resurrection with Christ
(Acts 6:3-7; Colossians 2:12). Some Christians will also
experience another kind of baptism called baptism with fire
(Matthew 3:11) or the baptism of the Holy Ghost: when the Spirit of
God comes and remains on a person (John 1:33) for the spiritual
comfort and education of that individual (John 14:26). For those
Christians with faith to believe, the things that accompany salvation
(Hebrews 6:9) can include divine healing, the working of miracles,
inspired knowledge and wisdom to minister to the hidden needs of others,
and the like (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). All of these things are
relevant for the Christian experience but secondary (and even unnecessary)
compared to being born again.
The Bible declares that "without faith it is impossible to please
God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that
he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (Hebrews 11:6)
Everlasting life after death is God's reward for people who receive
salvation. In the same verse where God promised that he would not let
his "Holy One see decay," he also promised "you will not
abandon me to the grave." (Psalms 16:10) Jesus declared for
everyone who receives the gift of salvation, "I will raise him up at
the last day." (John 6:39,40,44,54; John 11:24). Everyone
who dies as a Christian "will be made alive [again] when [Jesus]
comes." (1 Corinthians 15:22-23)
The Second Coming of Christ
The end of the present world will culminate with the bodily return of
Jesus Christ to the Earth. His purpose in coming—to all who have not
received the free gift of salvation—is to bring plagues and torments,
which are a part of the "just punishment" for the original sin
of mankind (Revelation 6:12-17). An eternal punishment awaits Satan
and all of his devoted followers (Revelation 20:10).
Spirit and Truth Fellowship /