What does Calvary Believe and Teach?
The Bible is God's revelation of Himself and His personal word to His people. It is without error and contains all we need to know for life and godliness (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
God created man in His own image and placed Him as head over His creation. But mankind has been alienated from God since Adam's fall in the Garden of Eden.
That alienation is seen most vividly in our refusal to obey the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind" and "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matt. 22:37, 39).
Because of God's love for the world He sent His Son into the world to save us from our sins and to reconcile us to Himself. Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of the Living God who perfectly kept the law of God and then suffered as our substitute on the Cross outside Jerusalem. After His resurrection He commissioned His followers to go into all the world and proclaim the good news about salvation in His name. They preached that:
- God raised from the dead Jesus, the crucified Messiah, vindicating His claim to be one with the Father.
- Jesus has been exalted to the right hand of the Father but is vitally connected to His people on earth.
- The risen Christ will come again in power and glory to fulfill all the prophecies about Him, bringing history to a climactic closure in a display of divine judgment and wrath.
- In the meantime, God has opened the door of salvation for Gentiles as well as Jews.
- The basis for acceptance with God, for Jews and Gentiles alike, is receiving the righteousness of Christ by faith apart from human merit. The futility of righteousness through human effort is seen in a true appreciation of Christ's atoning death on the cross. Jesus said, "Come to me." When a person comes to Him and believes upon Him as Savior and bows before Him as Lord he will surely receive forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life.
The Holy Spirit was sent from the Father and the Son to regenerate and unite the believer to Christ. He is the "Spirit of Adoption" who witnesses to the heart of the Christian that he is not a slave but a son and enables him to live a life that is Christ-glorifying as he walks under His influence ( Romans 8:9-10; Galatians 5:16).
Water Baptism by immersion is the believer's outward testimony to all of his personal faith in Jesus Christ ( I Peter 3:21).
Every Christian is a minister and the responsibility of pastor-teachers is to equip and challenge them to do their work of ministry. The Holy Spirit has gifted every believer and motivates them to meet needs which others may overlook. This is how new ministries are to be given birth in the local church ( Ephesians 4:11-16).
The Lord's Supper is a commemoration of the Person whose body was given and blood shed for our salvation. It is to be taken only by believers as a vital part of living in fellowship with Jesus Christ ( I Corinthians 11:23-26).
The Lord Jesus is preparing a place for us so that we might be with Him forever. We live in expectancy of His coming to judge the world and bring in His eternal kingdom ( Daniel 7:27; John 14:2-3; I Thessalonians 4:17).