INTRODUCTION: The Christian faith is not a function of abstracts, but it is anchored on robust pillars that confirm the establishment of any believer in Christ. The strength of the Christian faith is in her beliefs; her beliefs are borne out of the teachings of the scriptures (2 Tim.3:16). They are not mere teachings, they are instructions for life and means to God-ordained ends for believers. Whosoever comes to Christ must believe and be ready to practice these beliefs of the Christian faith. The beliefs of the Christian faith chart the course to predetermined divine benefits and experiences (2 Pet.1:3-5). This is the reason why faithful believers hold tenaciously to the teachings of the Word of God because for us, it is our life. (Deut.32:46-47).
1. THE AUTHORITY AND INERRANCY OF THE SCRIPTURE (WORD OF GOD)
Biblical inerrancy is the doctrine that the Bible is without error or fault in all its teachings. The Word of God itself claims to be perfect and it is infallible. The claims of infallibility, purity and perfection of the scripture are absolute statements, not relative statements (Psa. 12:6; Psa. 19:7; Pro. 30:5, 2 Tim. 3:16). The Word of God is God’s breath and completely considered to be the final authority in every affair of life and humanity. It is the supreme judgment of God concerning every issue related to man and humanity.
- Inerrancy doesn’t mean everything in the Bible is true. We have the record of men lying (e.g. Joshua 9) and even the words of the devil himself. However, we can be sure these are accurate records of what took place.
- Inerrancy doesn’t mean apparent contradictions are not in the text, but these can be resolved. At times different words may be used in recounting what appears to be the same incident. For example, Matthew 3:11 refers to John the Baptist carrying the sandals of the Messiah, whereas John 1:27 refers to him untying them. John preached over a period of time and he would repeat himself (like any preacher) and would use different ways of expressing the same thing.
- Inerrancy doesn’t mean every extant copy is inerrant. It is important to understand that the doctrine of inerrancy only applies to the original manuscripts.
The View of the Old Testament Writers
The Old Testament writers saw their message as God-breathed and therefore utterly reliable. God promised Moses He would eventually send another prophet (Jesus Christ) who would also speak God’s words like Moses had done. “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and I will put My words in His mouth; and He shall speak unto them all that I shall command Him” (Deut. 18:18). Jeremiah was told at the beginning of his ministry that he would speak for God. “Then the LORD put forth His hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me: Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth” (Jer. 1:9). As a result, they frequently identified themselves with God that they spoke as though God Himself was actually speaking.
The New Testament Agrees with the Old Testament
Peter and John saw the words of David in Psalm 2, not merely as the opinion of a king of Israel, but as the voice of God. They introduced a quotation from that Psalm in a prayer to God by saying, “Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?” (Act. 4:25).
Similarly, Paul accepted Isaiah’s words as God Himself speaking to men: “Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers” (Acts 28:25b). So convinced were the writers of the New Testament that all the words of the Old Testament Scripture were the actual words of God that they even claimed, “Scripture says,” when the words quoted came directly from God. Two examples are Romans 9:17, which states, “For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh…” and Galatians 3:8, in which Paul wrote, “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham…” In Hebrews 1 many of the Old Testament passages quoted were actually addressed to God by the Psalmist, yet the writer to the Hebrews refers to them as the words of God.
The Word of God possesses divine power to do great things in man. It has the great ability to transform a man and make him into what God wants him to be (Acts 20:32, Heb. 4:12, 2 Cor. 10:3-6). The Word of God is active and powerful and able to convert the soul and build men up in the will of God. The creative power of God resides in His Word (John 1:1-3, Heb. 1:1-3). Faith in the Word transforms a man, translates him from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son (Col. 1:12-13).
2. THE TRINITY OF THE PERSONS IN THE GOD-HEAD
“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (I Joh. 5:7). The doctrine of the Trinity is not something you struggle to understand in your head, it is something you believe in your heart. Remember that scripture: “For with the heart man believeth unto…” (Rom. 10:10). To believe with your heart is to believe apart from your head; and of course, your heart is your spirit. Philip at one time struggled along this line and requested, “Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” See the Master’s response in John14:9, 18-20. So the doctrine of the Trinity is about God manifesting Himself (at various times and in diverse moments) as God, the Father; God, the Son; and God, the Holy Spirit. Remember, the audacious statement from the lips of the Master, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am” (Joh. 8:58).
3. BELIEF IN ONE GOD – THE CREATOR OF ALL THINGS (GEN 1:1)-THEOLOGY
The Christian belief also rests on the oneness of God; the God of creation, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Isa. 43:10, 44:6). This one God is three-in-one or Trinity, seen as Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Some among the many of the attributes of this one God are mentioned below (Mat. 3: 16-17);
- God is Omniscient or knows all things (Act. 15:18; I Joh. 3:20).
- God is Omnipotent or All-Powerful (Psa. 115:3; Rev. 19:6).
- God is Omnipresent (Jer. 23:23-24; Psa. 139).
- God is Holy (I Pet. 1:15).
- God is Just and Righteous (Psa. 19:9).
- God is Love (I John 4:8).
- God is Sovereign (Zec. 9:14; I Tim. 6:15-16).
- God is a Spirit (John 4:24).
- God is Infinite and Eternal (Psa. 90:2).
- God is Immutable; He does not change (Jam. 1:17; Mal. 3:6; Isa. 46:9-10).