God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He's perfect and holy in every way. He has no beginning or ending and has forever existed in three co-equal distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We call this unity of the Godhead, 'The Trinity.'
(Genesis 1:1,2; John 1:1-3; John 10:30,36; John 14:16-26; Philippians 2:6,6-11)
God made man in His image so that we could enjoy fellowship with Him and bring glory to Him. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us have disobeyed God in one way or another. The Bible calls our rebellion sin. Most of the problems in our world and in our individual lives are the direct result of sin. Because God is perfectly holy and perfectly just, sin separates us from Him. The Bible says that the penalty for sin is spiritual death; external separation from God.
(Genesis 1:26,27; Romans 3:23, 5:12, 6:23)
God loves us and wants a relationship with us, and so He came to us in human form. At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The Bible says that Jesus is God's Son, the second personality of the Trinity. In Jesus, we see what God is like. Jesus was fully human and fully God. He was born of a virgin, did many miracles, and lived a completely sinless life. On the cross, Jesus paid the penalty for our sin so that God's justice and holiness could be satisfied and the barrier that separates us from God could be removed. Three days after dying on the cross, Jesus rose from the dead, conquering sin and death. We celebrate His resurrection on Easter. Forty days after He rose from the dead, Jesus returned to Heaven. Someday He is coming back. When He returns, He's going to take us to where He is so that we can be with Him forever.
(Matthew 1:18-23; John 1:1-14, Matthew 27,28; Romans 5:8,8:3; Philippians 2:6-11; 1Timothy 3:16)
Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we can now have a living and vital relationship with God. Our sin doesn't have to be in the way anymore. Because of Jesus, we've been rescued from spiritual death and given eternal life. The Bible calls this salvation. Salvation is God's free gift to us. It's free, but we must accept it by faith. In other words, salvation is by grace through faith. Some people try to make up for their sin by being good or doing charity. God says that the only way to be made right with him is through the atoning work of his Son, Jesus. By putting our faith in Jesus, we can be confident that our sins have been forgiven and that we are in right standing with God. The Bible calls the story of Jesus and our redemption 'the Gospel' (or good news).
(Romans 3:21-31; John 3:14-17; Ephesians 2:8,9; Romans 10:9,10)
About Eternal Security
When we place our faith in Christ, we become God's children. Just as we've been saved by grace, we're kept by grace. Our standing with God isn't dependent on our ability to try harder or do better. It is dependent on God's grace and his keeping power. God doesn't disown his children, even when their behavior is less than good. As we trust in Christ, God gives us the desire to know him more and become more like him. As we surrender to these desires, God changes us from the inside out, we have less desire to sin, and our lives become transformed.
(John 1:12, 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Romans 8:29-30; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10,14)
About The Holy Spirit
The moment we surrender our lives to Christ, God's Holy Spirit takes residence in us. In other words, God comes to live inside of us! The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He gives us the desire to know God, makes us aware of our need for Christ, and empowers us to live in ways that are pleasing to God. In addition, He helps us understand the Bible, and gives us guidance in making important decisions. The more we yield to His leading in our lives, the more spiritual fruit our lives will bear. One of the ways that the Holy Spirit equips us to live productive lives is by providing each one of us with spiritual gifts. As we exercise these gifts in serving others, amazing things can happen in our lives and in the lives of others.
(John 14:14-17,26; John 16:5-15; Acts 1:6-8)
About The Bible
Along with prayer and fellowship with other Christ followers, reading the Bible is a powerful and essential resource for understanding God's nature and His work in the world. The Bible is God's Word to us. Each of the 66 books of the Bible, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament, were written by one of more than 40 different authors, from all walks of life, over the span of 1,500 years. Because the writers of the Bible were operating under the supernatural influence of the Holy Spirit, we can be confident that what they wrote is God's Word to us, that it is reliable (without error in the original manuscripts), authoritative in all it's teachings, and fully sufficient.
(Psalm 19:7-9 119:105; John 5:46; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21; Hebrews 4:12; James 1:22-25)
About The Ordinances
God has given us two symbolic activities to help us remember and declare that our lives are inseparably intertwined with Christ. We call these activities 'ordinances' because we've been 'ordered' to do them. One of the ordinances is Baptism. By going 'under the water', we tell others that we've become united with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. At Foothills, we teach believer's baptism and we practice baptism by immersion. Baptism is important. Jesus himself was baptized and he urges us to follow his example. Another way that we show our allegiance to Christ is by participating in The Lord's Table, the second ordinance. When we eat the bread and drink the cup, we remember what Jesus did for us on the cross and our union with him.
(Matthew 3:13-17; Acts 8:26-39; Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-34)
About Life After Death
Because we're all made in God's image, our spirits were created to live forever. Physical death is not the end of life...it's just the end to our mortal bodies. Once we die, our spirits will either go on to live eternally 'with God' or eternally 'without God'. To everyone who trusts Christ and receives His gift of salvation, God promises Heaven: eternal joy and life with Him forever. We needn't fear death if our faith is in Christ, because we have the hope of Heaven. The Bible indicates that the consequence of rejecting Christ is severe: eternal separation from God's presence. The Bible calls this hell.
(John 3:16-18, 5:24-29, 14:1-6; Romans 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15; Revelation 22:12-17)
About The Church
The Bible uses many metaphors to describe the church. Sometimes it's referred to as the 'bride of Christ' or 'the body of Christ'. Many times, the church is described as the household faith or the family of God. God's family is composed of everyone who has trusted in Jesus to be his/her savior. The family is big and sometimes it's crazy and imperfect! In God's family, everyone matters and everyone has something valuable to offer. Now that you've trusted Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are a part of the family.
(Ephesians 2:19-21; 1 Corinthians 3:9; Ephesians 4:1-16; 1 Peter 2:4-12)