Christian Growth Guide
The Bible: The Bible is the Word of God, the infallible, unaltered “Truth” (John 17:17), which is “forever settled in Heaven” (Psalm 119:89), and “shall never pass away” (Matthew 24:35). “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16).” Only the Words of the Bible are “the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).
God: God is the Eternal, Self-Existent, Unchanging, Creator of the Universe, “the Beginning and the Ending…Which is, and Which was, and Which is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8). God is a Trinity, one God in three distinct Persons, God the Father, God the Son (“the Word”, the Lord Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit (1 John 5:7). As the Moral Governor of the Universe, God is necessarily sinless or “holy” (Leviticus 11:44, 1 Peter 1:16), “just“(Deuteronomy 32:3-4, Revelation 15:3), “righteous” (Psalm 7:9, John 17:25), impartial or “no respecter of persons” (2 Samuel 14:14, Acts 10:34), “perfect” (Psalm 18:30, Matthew 5:48), benevolent or “loving” (Deuteronomy 7:13, John 14:21), and the Judge of all actions of moral agents (Ecclesiastes 12:14, Revelation 20:11-15).
Man: Man was the crowning achievement of God’s creation (Psalm 8:4-5), was created in God’s Own Image and Likeness (Genesis 1:26-27), and was created for God’s pleasure (Revelation 4:11). Though created morally innocent, man chose to exercise his will against the Will of God and sin by knowing what was good but choosing not to do it (Genesis 2:16-17, 3:6, James 4:17). Sin resulted in man being separated from the sinless God and incurring both physical and spiritual death (Genesis 2:17, 3:17-19, 22-24, Isaiah 59:1-2, Ezekiel 18:4, Revelation 20:11-15).
Sin: Every man and woman has chosen to sin and “come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Because of this individual choice to sin, every man and woman, though born morally innocent as was Adam (Ezekiel 18:20, Deuteronomy 24:16, James 4:17, Deuteronomy 1:39, Romans 9:11), has been blotted out of God’s Book (Exodus 32:33), separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2), sentenced to die physically and spiritually (Ezekiel 18:4), sentenced to be judged by God after death (Hebrews 9:27) and will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15). The only alternative to eternal damnation in the lake of fire is salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23).
Salvation: Christ declared “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5). Paul the Apostle stated that to receive salvation, every man, woman and child must choose to exercise “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). Repent” in the Greek is the word “Metaneo”, meaning to think differently or afterwards, to feel moral compunction (heartfelt sorrow for sinning against God), and to change one’s mind and course by getting new information (God’s Word), being displeased with one’s life (as an existence of sinful rebellion against the sinless God), and changing one’s actions (from living selfishly to living benevolently or lovingly by doing all to secure the highest well-being of God and all people). Salvation through repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ is being thoroughly and heart-breakingly convinced that you deserve to be cast into the lake of fire for selfishly sinning against the holy and benevolent God, being persuaded that Christ, as the only begotten sinless Son of God, died on the cross and was raised from the dead to provide an acceptable sacrifice to God for your sins, then choosing to turn away from all sin and self-centered living and commit your entire existence to living with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master by loving Him enough to daily read and obey His Word and sin no more (1 Corinthians 15:3-8, John 14:15, 8:11).
Being filled with the Holy Spirit: After you have turned from all sin and surrendered to the Lordship of Christ, your new Master commands you to be filled or baptized with the Holy Spirit in order to receive power to live as a witness of Him everywhere that you go: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
According to Scripture, the initial physical evidence of being filled with or baptized in the Holy Spirit, is speaking in unknown tongues: “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 1:8), “And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God…” (Acts 10:45-46), “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied” (Acts 19:6). You can be biblically filled with the Holy Spirit by turning from all sin, surrendering to Christ, asking God to fill you with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in unknown tongues, and then, believing that your prayer has been answered, lifting your voice and speaking aloud in an unknown tongue or language (Acts 2:38, Luke 11:9-13, 1 Corinthians 14:2, 4, 5, 14-15, 18, 39).
Christ’s Great Commission: Christ commanded His disciples or learners “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16), “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20). Preaching, teaching, or witnessing is a command given by God, not an option shared by man. Christ “became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9). Because of this, professed Christians must obey Christ’s command to preach, as much as they obey all of Christ’s other commands, in order to receive biblical salvation “by grace through faith” (Ephesians 2:8), “which worketh by love” (Galatians 5:6), and is expressed through obedience (John 14:15, James 2:20).