God eternally existed. The first words in the Bible are, “in the beginning God”. Before anything was there was God. Before there were oceans, koalas or cosmic explosions, God eternally was. God exists without anything, but nothing exists without Him.
He is infinite, immense, unchanging, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty. He is perfect, just, true righteous, majestic, holy, dwells in unapproachable light, by no means clears the guilty, and works all things for His own glory. So, we rightly tremble before God. Yet, though He is perfect and just, He pours out unconditional love and grace, beyond measure.
God eternally existed as one being in three persons, Father, Son, and Spirit; what theologians call the Trinity. The members of the Trinity loves, serves, and glorified one other eternally. Out of His very essence, God is overflowing with love.
In fact, it is because God is Trinitarian that the Scriptures can make the profound assertion that “God is love” (John 4:8). No other world religion can make this beautiful claim. If God were one being in one person, there would be no one for Him to love. But our God is Love because our God is the Trinity.
Genesis 1:26, Psalm 110:1, Matthew 3:16, Matthew 12:28, Matthew 21:19, Matthew 22:44, Luke 3:22, John 14:26, John 15:26, John 17:20-26, Acts 1:5, Acts 2:33, Acts 10:38, Romans 1:4, Romans 8:9, 1 Corinthians 6:11, 2 Corinthians 13:14, Galatians 4:6, Ephesians 1:17, Ephesians 2:18, Ephesians 2:22, Titus 3:6, Hebrews 9:14, 1 Peter 1:2
Every human being has at one point, gazed into the stars and wondered about the meaning of it all. The Bible is God’s compelling, compassionate answer. The human soul gasps for truth. God exhaled Scripture to fill it up. We are not owed truth. It’s not ours to demand. But in His brilliant grace, God lifts the hood of reality through the Bible. What a precious jewel is Scripture! It makes visible the invisible God. It lifts the veil between Heaven and Earth. It divides soul and spirit. We aren’t left to speculation because Scripture is revelation. We aren’t abandoned to conjecture because we’ve received the holy Scriptures.
The Scriptures are not just true, they are the truth to which you can give your life. They are the inerrant, sufficient, and matchless revelation of God, salvation, life, and doctrine. They are God’s truth. Therefore, the Bible sits as judge above every other book, idea, and truth-claim. The Bible is the creative force that brings forth spiritual life from spiritual death, light from darkness, gardens from graves. Simply put, the Bible isn’t just a true book it’s a powerful book. It brings about new things. It redeems lives, revives hearts, renews minds, and restores relationships. It pries open strongholds and plants churches. It slays sin and opens eyes. The Bible brings about awakening.
They are God’s breath, God’s riches, God’s beauty poured into our broken world, so that all things are being made new. So, we sing with the Psalmist, “My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word!” Psalm 119:25.
Genesis 1:3, Psalm 12:6, Psalm 19:7-11, Psalm 119:160, Proverbs 30:5, Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 4:4, Matthew 5:18, John 10:35, John 17:17, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Titus 1:2, 1 Peter 1:20-21
“You can never take God by surprise. You can never anticipate him. He always makes the first move. He is always there “in the beginning.” Before man existed, God acted. Before man stirs himself to seek God, God has sought man. In the Bible we do not see man groping after God; we see God reaching after man.” -- John Stott
God started everything. But nothing started God. In the beginning God created everything from nothing. God is, therefore, the sole creative force from which everything came. This runs contrary to the narrative of our culture, which says at best, some form of matter always existed, or at worst, everything from nothing . So, there are essentially two narratives we can choose from: The impersonal matter created personal beings or 02. A personal God created everyone and everything.
We believe the universe was conceived in the mind of a personal God. Even the way God created was accomplished through personal means. God the Father created all things through the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures don’t describe the creation event in terms of God building, programming, or drawing the universe; instead, the Bible teaches that God spoke it into existence! The very act of Creation was done in personal relationship through relational means: Speaking. We do not live in a lonely, loveless, hollow universe. The Creation account of Genesis One reverberates with the continual refarian “God said...and it was”. God is personal, and established the Creation by speaking it into existence, with authority. He relates to it as a personal King. To this day the same personal King upholds all things by the word of His power.
Genesis 1:1-26, Job 12:7-9, Job 33:9, Job 37:5, Psalm 90:2, Isaiah 42:5, Isaiah 45:18, Nehemiah 9:6, Jeremiah 10:12, John 1:1-3, Romans 1:20, Colossians 1:15-20, Hebrews 1:3, Hebrews 11:3, 2 Peter 3:5, Revelation 4:11
As the narrative of Creation unfolds, God designs human beings--male and female--in His own image to glorify Him.
Christ is the Word of God that spoke all things into existence, and we are an echo of His Creative voice. This is what theologians throughout history have called the “Imago Dei”, the reality that human beings are made in the Image of God. God is the Artist whose signature is inextricably woven into the fabric of our being. From our inner life, to our external frame; from the way our genetics are composed, to the way our two genders are a harmonious compliment--God’s likeness is written into the very essence of our humanness.
This is why there’s no such thing as lesser humans. Regardless of our capacity, competency, color, or qualities, each and every person from the moment of conception is brimming with beauty and adorned with dignity because they are made in His image.
This is also why we are creative. From the Garden onward God assigned us the vocation of creativity; to take the raw materials of wood or words, stone or science, and draw out their potential. We are creative because He is Creator.
This is also why we are communal. The creation Narrative of Genesis One tells us everything was good but that “it’s not good” for Adam to be alone. This is true for all humanity. We long for friendship and to feel deeply loved--to know and be known by others--because of our Creator. God is a Community of unceasing love, so we are made for unceasing community.
Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 5:1, Exodus 31:3, Exodus 35:31, Psalm 139:13-16, Acts 17:28, 1 Corinthians 11:7, Colossians 3:10, James 3:9
If God made everything so seamlessly why, does life often feel like it’s unraveling? Every time a baby cries, every time a relationship is torn apart, everytime a loved one slips away, we feel it. Though this world is beautiful it’s clearly broken. But why?
God is love. And as our loving King He invited the first humans into relationship with Himself. Yet, rather than humbly love and worship God they were tempted by Satan--personified evil--to turn on God instead. By eating of Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil they broke relationship with the Creator.When they reached for the fruit they reached for the crown, and took hold of the lie that they could be their own gods, defining good and evil for themselves. And humans make terrible gods. Everything we were made to be was fractured by that Fall. By dismissing God’s ways we disintegrated ourselves. Sin ruins relationships and uproots us from purpose.
The tragic result is that every human being thereafter was plunged into sin and death in Adam. By nature and choice we all embrace sin as He did. We are all born both beautiful but broken because we are all marred, and contorted by sin. This doesn’t mean that we are as bad as could possibly be. But it does mean that every part of our being is affected and infected by sin. Sin messed everything up.
As if it weren’t bad enough that sin hurt our humanness, the creation itself was cracked. The cosmos were corrupted when we sank into sin. (Romans 8:19-21). It’s because of this that this day we feel the affects of sin all around us and within us. When relationships hurt, when our bodies break, when things fall apart we feel it: The Fall of Man.
So, we groan, “What can be done?” And in asking this question, we join with the story of Scripture itself. The Bible itself seems to be asking this question. A question that can only be answered in Jesus
Genesis 3:1-6, Genesis 3: 15-19, Genesis 5:29, Psalm 51:5, Proverbs 30:4, Jeremiah 17:9, Matthew 15:19, John 8:44, Romans 3:23, Romans 5:12-21, Romans 6:23, Romans 8:18-24,1 Corinthians 2:14, 1 Corinthians 15:22, 1 Corinthians 15:45, 2 Corinthians 4:4, 2 Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 4:18,
Where do you turn when everything has fallen apart? Self help, science, rules, or religion? From the beginning the human heart has sought a solution. Deep in our hearts, we’re looking for more. But no “more” is ever found.
At the fullness of time Jesus came down. To a Kingdom without a King, to a humanity without hope, to people without purpose, to sinners in need of a Savior, Jesus came. Jesus is the solution to our destruction, the healing for our harming, the restoration for our ruin. When we were proud, Jesus was perfect, when we were vandals Jesus is victorious, when we had given in, Jesus came to be given up. So who is Jesus?
Jesus is the God-man. Fully God and fully man. He is the second person of Trinity, uncreated, eternally existent, glorious, exalted, and worshipped by angels. Yet, He came down to be Born of an obscure virgin in Bethlehem, laid in a ramshackle stable, to live as sinless but suffering servant, and die on horrendous death on a cross. He died in our place for our sins to absorb the wrath of God in our place. The perfect Son died in the place of wayward ones so that they could be reconciled to the Father.
Because He was sinless, He can save us through His substitutionary death.
Because He rose again He can renew our hearts through His resurrection life.
So now, though we committed cosmic treason, Jesus cleanses our sin, covers us in His righteousness and calls us citizens of His Kingdom. We are changed by believing in Jesus’ name. His redemption unravels sin’s ruin and turns sinners into sons by his blood. And by believing in Jesus’ Truth Satan’s Lie is loosed and demons are disgraced. By receiving His grace, our sin is erased. This is the Gospel, or the good news about Jesus.
Salvation is exclusively possible in Jesus. Yet, it will include anyone who calls upon Jesus. We’re calling you to repents of sin and believe in Him. If you believe in His life, His death, His resurrection, and His return then you will be saved from death, Hell, and the wrath of God. You’ll be made new in life now, brought into His presence in death, and rise again with Him when He returns.
Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 53:2, Matthew 1:16-18, Matthew 1:21, Luke 1:31, Luke 2:7, John 1:1-5, John 1:14, John 3:16-18, John 4:11, John 6:44, John 19:16-42, Acts 3:15, 1 Corinthians 15:5-7, 1 Corinthians 15:22, Philippians 2:6-9, Colossians 2:9, Colossians 2:15, Colossians 3:15-20, 2 Timothy 2:8, 1 Timothy 3:16, Hebrews 1:3, Revelation 20:1-3
Why do we long so badly to be with others? Why is isolation so destructive? Why do we long to be included? Because we were not made to do life alone, evidenced by God saying of Adam, “It’s not good that the man should be alone.”
So, when Adam’s sin tore people apart, Jesus’ cross brings people together. . While Adam sinks all people into sin, Jesus raises up a new people to salvation. Because the cross not only reconciles people to God vertically, but it also reconciles people to each other horizontally. So, when Jesus died and rose, He brought His Gospel gives birth to a New Humanity called the Church.
All disciples of Jesus are a part of the universal Church historically and globally, and also called to commit to a specific church locally. The Church is made up of all those who are filled by the Spirit of Jesus, to believe in Jesus, and be conformed to Jesus, as they gather around Jesus, and proclaim Jesus, to a world that desperately needs Jesus, until the return of Jesus. The Church is made for Jesus and brought together by Jesus for the glory Jesus.
Jesus chose the Church, loves the Church, died for the Church, to unite Himself so closely with the Church that if you were to persecute the Church of Jesus you are actually persecuting Jesus Himself. The Church is the body and bride of Christ, the family of God, the temple of God, and living stones built upon Christ the cornerstone, filled with the Holy Spirit, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against Her. Jesus fills the Church, equips the Church, empowers the Church, and gives gifts and leaders to the Church to propel the church out on His mission.
Psalm 118:22, Isaiah 28:16, Acts 9:1-5, Romans 12:4-5, 1 Corinthians 1:7, 1 Corinthians 3:11, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 1 Corinthians 10:17, 2 Corinthians 11:12, 2 Corinthians 6:18, Galatians 6:10, Ephesians 2:19-22, Ephesians 4:12, Ephesians 5:23, Ephesians 5:25-26, 1 Timothy 5:1, Hebrews 3:6, 1 Peter 2:5-7, Revelation 19:7-8, Revelation 21:9
Have you ever felt sick and exhausted and met with the realization how extremely frail and insufficient your body is? Or have you ever felt an emptiness inside during a dark and draining season? It’s in those times you realize you are not enough on your own.
The Christian is never alone. Jesus and the Father sent the Holy Spirit. In a world that values independence, Christians are called to Spirit-dependence. In a world that says “believe in yourself” the Scriptures teach us to wait on the Spirit. In a world that throws off all restraint the Jesus-followers embrace being constrained by the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the second person of the Trinity, who was promised by Jesus and indwells and empowers the Christian individually and the Church corporately. He resurrects the hearts of unbelievers, indwells the hearts of believers, gifts Christians for ministry, enlightens the mind of disciples, and fills us with discernment.
Who is this Holy Spirit? While some think of the Holy Spirit and get nervous that He somehow brings about chaos, the Scriptures teach us to love and embrace the power of the Holy Spirit!
He is eternal God, the Author of Scripture, the Spirit of the Father, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of holiness, the Spirit of life, the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, grace and supplication, adoption, sonship, judgement and fire, the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead, the Helper, the Counselor, the breath that inspired the writing of Scripture and carried men along as they Spoke for God, He brings to mind all the things that Jesus taught the disciples, and . It was, in fact, so important that we have the Holy Spirit, that Jesus left in His physical presence so that we could have the Holy Spirit.
We need the Holy Spirit.
Genesis 1:2, Ezekiel 36:25-27, Matthew 10:20, John 14:26, John 16:7, Acts 1:4, Acts 1:8, Acts 2:33, Acts 20:22, Romans 8:11, Ephesians 1:3, Ephesians 1:17-18, Philippians 1:19, 2 Peter 1:21, 2 Timothy 3:16-17
The great enemy of humanity is death. Sadly, the narrative of our day says we’ve come from nothing and we’re going nowhere when we die. But that’s simply not true. The Bible says that after Jesus died and rose, He ascended to Heaven, and one day He’s coming again!
Death is not natural or normal but evil. Death is a thief and robber. The hope for the disciple of Jesus is that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord and then one day, Jesus is coming again. Then, wrap our souls in resurrection bodies again and do away with death. Once and for all, the same Jesus who conquered the grave will come again to rob our graves for good. He will make all things new, and all of the sad things will come undone. Jesus will wipe away every tear, and there will be no death, no mourning, no crying, nor pain--because the former things will have passed away. We will live eternal lives in an eternal reality of wholeness and healing. And the best part is that God Himself will be King once again.
Now, this calls for celebrating, but it is also deeply sobering.
There will be a bodily resurrection for everyone either to eternal salvation or condemnation. Either eternity in Heaven or eternity in Hell. And this is urgent because we don’t know when Jesus is coming, but only that Jesus is “coming soon.”
Right now, we are already citizens of that eternal Kingdom called to a world that is in dire need of the message of Jesus. The Holy Spirit Saves saves and we are sent. So we will rise up and saturate our city with the Gospel.
Matthew 24:14, Matthew 24:42, John 14:1-3, Acts 1:6-7, Acts 1:11, 1 Corinthians 4:5, Philippians 3:20, Colossians 3:4, Titus 1:2, Hebrews 9:28, Revelation 11:15, Revelation 16:15, Revelation 21:1-8, Revelation 22:1-5 Revelation 22:7, Revelation 22:12