JBLM Statement of Faith
Jesus Christ is the living God; the Son (Matt 3:17, Matt 17:5; Mark 1:11; 2 Peter 1:17) within the Trinity-Father, Son, Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19). Through Him the heavens, the earth, and all that is in them was created. (Gen 1:1, 31, 2:1; John 1:1-4; Eph 3:9)
Unlike God, people were created, and therefore have a beginning (Gen 1:27). Yet, in His likeness, a person exists on into eternity (Matt 25:26). Mankind was created for relationship with God and with one another (Luke 10:27; John 13:34-35, 15:13-15). Mankind was created with the ability to make choices for themselves (Josh 24:15). Without the ability to choose there is no faith-trust and love. (John 14:15)
Adam- (the first of mankind)
God originally gave Adam the power and responsibility to rule and care for this natural world, and to perpetuate that power in his descendants. (Gen 1:28)
Satan (originally created as an angel of God) is the fallen (Luke 10:18) angel-turned devil- because of his contempt for God which he showed in his desire to overthrow Him. Satan is revealed in the Word of God as the original evil one, the original liar, and the father of lies (John 8:44).
Adam stopped trusting God (the original sin) and disobeyed Him (Gen 2:15-16), destroying the initial relationship with God, corrupting mankind, and perpetuating that broken condition in his descendants. Therefore, every person will distrust and disobey God even after they’ve matured enough to take responsibility for their actions (Rom 3:23). When Adam stopped trusting God, he trusted the liar. Adam wanted be in God’s place (Gen3:4-6) and instead handed over his God-given power to Satan (Eph 6:12). Ever since, people have been continually influenced by the cares and deceit Satan perpetrates. (1 John 5:19)
The corrupted human condition
Without God, humanity does not innately have the control we might think we have, and are blinded from seeing certain realities; especially blinded to the hopelessness of life separated from God (2 Cor 4:3-4). Without God, reality for mankind is without hope of receiving the fullest potential of life and love available during their earthly existence; leaving no hope throughout eternity (Eph 2:11-12).
Through Adam the sinful human condition has perpetuated. Every responsible person (except One-Heb 4:15) has sinned (1 John 1:8)— not trusted God, breaking His commands—thereby His heart for them remains broken.
The perspectives and nature of mankind have been distorted, and are getting worse. The impact of this cannot be ignored (Rom 3:10-12).
In God’s presence is fullness of joy, patience, peace … all the fullness of love (Eph 3:14-20). Because God is entirely just, justice must be satisfied (Deut 32:4). Sinfulness must be erased in order to be made just; in order for right relationship to be restored, in order for justice to be fulfilled (James 2:10). Only in right relationship with God is there true love and peace. Yet there is nothing we can do for ourselves or for others to erase the actions and attitudes of the past. Our own resources leave us without hope. Life separated from love is eternally hell (Luke 13:27-28).
Grace and Mercy
With God is the fullest potential of love and life (1 John 4:8-9). Only through the intervention that God initiated is there hope (John 8:24). Jesus came from heaven to live a lifetime as a man.
Jesus laid down His own life during His physical time on this earth (John 10:18), carried the instrument of His final torture, and suffered crucifixion to fulfill justice for mankind’s sake (John 19:17-18), which we are incapable of doing for ourselves (John 3:16-20, 2 Cor 5:21).
He was resurrected because He Himself is the only One who had never sinned (2 Cor 5:21). Death had no right to Him, and His completed work on this earth fully covered the debt that all men owe. Through this He made life-giving relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit-the One living God in all the fullness of the Trinity- available to all (Matt 4:16). The reach and scope of Christianity is relationship—the life of Jesus Christ to all and for all, and not a narrow sphere of religiosity (Rom 6:10-11).
Christianity is life in Christ—God’s answer to the problem of perspective (2 Cor 10:5) and nature of mankind (2 Cor 5:17; Rom 12:2). Biblical Christianity is not a mind science, nor a formula of religion or regulations. Life in Christ—Christianity—is the power of Jesus that changes the perspectives, and transforms the corrupt nature of people, not only in morals, but in pure active love. We’re talking about the real fullness life. Entering the life-giving relationship in Jesus is the beginning. Being transformed in His fullness of life is a continual growing process (2 Cor 4:16, Eph 4:20-27).
Jesus’ made the way for our justice through His work on this earth. In Him is the way of relationship in which we receive grace and mercy (Rom 5:8; Heb 13:20-21).
Faith—trust and love
When faith is real, actions flow out of trust and love through words and deeds (James 2:17-18; Rom 12:3). It is through faith in Jesus that we’re brought into right relationship with God. Through this enduring relationship of active love with Jesus a person becomes a member of His family (John 1:12). A persons faith—trust and love—in Jesus one is born-again (John 1:13) into life-giving relationship with God, and the work Jesus did on this earth places His sinless record in the life of that faithful one (Rom 5:1-2).
The Holy Scriptures-
Christianity is the truth (John 1:14). The reality of relationship with God is life in His family through Jesus Christ. This relationship is described and pointed to throughout the Holy Scriptures (Gal 6:10). The Bible is God's very own word to mankind (2 Tim 3:16-17). It is completely inerrant in its totality; as written in the original languages (1 John 1:5). God, the very Creator of all, worked on and through some 40 different persons who recorded His words in the 66 books, which fully comprise Holy Scripture—the Word of God—over a span of some 1500 years. All of which are united in agreement with one another to give us His guidance and wisdom with a degree of clarity otherwise unattainable (Luke 1:79). He has absolutely spoken of His creation and to every aspect of the human condition in His Word. Therefore, the Bible is the clarifier God has given mankind to measure all wisdom and discernment (2 Tim 2:15; Heb 4:12).
Church-the Whole Family of God-the Body of Jesus Christ
The direction and clarity God has given in His written word is to be lived out. True spirituality is a relationship of family in Jesus. Family is irrespective of physical proximity. The family of God is the Church—the whole body of Christ—the aggregate of all the people from every nation and every generation who love Jesus in word and deed. The Church is alive—an organism—not simply the organization of an institution, and is biblically referred to as a person in the female gender (Eph 5:25-27).
Being made up of many people, she is joined and knit together by what every relationship supplies (Eph 4:11-16). Living in this, perpetually growing, life-giving relationship with Him it is vital that true spirituality be seen through love with Jesus Christ being lived out (1 John 4:20-21) in and through the smaller communities (churches) that are the makeup of the whole family of God.
Through individual and communal we pray looking to God for His strength and guidance among His many provisions to take action in love (1 Thess 5:16-22). This love being seen in and through the churches is manifold as the active involved participation of each member looks to the good of those within, and reaches for the good of those outside themselves, in word and deed (Rom 12:4-9).
The Church is the most common earthly means through which God touches others, outside of herself, with His power in grace. For the good of all, she desires and encourages people to become enjoined in her, alive and growing in relationship with the Triune God through faith in Jesus Christ.
It is not possible to love God and have life-giving relationship with Him from outside of the Church.
The Holy Spirit and Power -
God is continually active. Jesus laid down His life, was resurrected, and ascended again into heaven where He is our advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1). It is through the person of the Holy Spirit that the Triune God is active on this earth (Acts 1:8-9). We move into a new depth and strength in that life-giving relationship in Jesus when the person of the Trinity that is the Holy Spirit comes and lives within and through us with power (Rom 15:13). He opens our understanding to see the Word of God rightly. He opens our ears to Him as He still speaks with His people in prayer and through one another also, and God never contradicts Himself. His written word is the scale by which these can be checked as to whether or not they are indeed from Him.
He works among and through people as He provides, exerts, and gives of His power to bring healing, working towards peace in many ways (Rom 14:17).
The Fall, the human condition, and the kingdom of this world
Until Christ returns we and the world we live in will be affected by the disfigurement of sin (1 Cor 15:52).
* An explanation for the fullness of life in Christ cannot be fully accomplished in many lifetimes over. Admittedly, there are some things here that seem redundant. However, just as the systems of an organism work in conjunction with one another and the organism does not function when they are separated; much less can the aspects of the fullness of life in Jesus Christ be removed from one another.
Honest questions are welcome. (1 Peter 3:15)