WE BELIEVE IN THE TRUTH OF THE BIBLE
The Bible teaches us the whole counsel of God, and this teaching is sufficient for faith and life. The Bible contains on a basic level only two words: Law and Gospel. The law has a double function, it reveals God’s holiness and good will, and it condemns human sinfulness and rebellion against God. The law cannot save
man; it gives us insight into our own depravity and thus drives us to the end of ourselves and to the end of all our attempts to save ourselves.
While the law points to what we should do for God, the Gospel points to what God in Christ has done for us. The Gospel is the good news of God’s amazing grace, in which God declares ungodly sinners justified by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. On the cross all of our sin and guilt was imputed to Christ, and by faith in Christ, his perfect righteousness is imputed to us. In the gospel we receive the good news that we are reconciled with God and have peace with him.
WE BELIEVE IN THE STUDY OF THE BIBLE
We believe that the Bible has both a divine and a human dimension. It is “the word of God given in the words of men in history” (George Eldon Ladd). That the Bible is “the words of men in history” means that we must read the biblical texts as just that, text. This means that we must take into full account the biblical texts literary genres – historical narrative, law, prophecy, poetry, gospels, epistles and apocalypse – and not lapse into a simplified reading where we do not take the character of the texts seriously. This means that we must apply a responsible historical-grammatical method in which we interpret the biblical texts in light of the historical, cultural, social and political context in which they were written. That the Bible is the “Word of God” means that we approach the texts in faith and in a humble expectation to hear God address us personally today through the stories and teachings of the Bible.
© MAGNUS PERSSON – UNITED GLOBAL 2014
WE BELIEVE IN THE BIBLE AS GOD’S WORD
We believe in the divine inspiration of the Old and New Testaments, the truthfulness and authority in its entirety as the only written word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and life. Through the Bible the Holy Spirit also speaks today. We believe that God’s word is powerful to accomplish God’s work in the world when it’s rightly administered.
WE BELIEVE IN THE GOD OF THE BIBLE
Our faith in the Bible does not mean that we worship the book as such. We love the Bible as a woman loves the letters from her beloved, not because of the paper or print, but because of the person who speaks to us through them. The Bible is in its deepest sense God’s self-revelation. When we read and study the Bible, we encounter the Triune God – Father, Son and Spirit – and we get to know who he is, his attributes, character, plan, will, and deeds. Our love for the Bible is an expression of our love for the God of the Bible.
WE BELIEVE IN THE STORY OF THE BIBLE
The Bible is not a theological compendium on all sorts of things but the grand story of creation, fall, redemption and renewal of all things. This overall story – metanarrative – gives us the big picture of the Bible’s message, a biblical worldview and view of life, and shapes our theology in significant ways. At the center of the biblical story is the good news of Jesus Christ: His life, death and resurrection for our sake. The biblical story diagnoses the fundamental problem (sin), declares God’s response to this (redemption and reconciliation through Christ), defines our new identity as believers (united with Christ), and drives our mission in the world (ambassadors of Christ). Our conviction is that this story and nothing else should shape the church’s faith, life, mission and eternal hope, from generation to generation until Christ returns.
© MAGNUS PERSSON – UNITED GLOBAL 2014
“Our faith and doctrine rests first and foremost on the biblical revelation. Our understanding of the Bible and its central message is in full harmony with historical and classical Christian faith as it is summarised in the three ecumenical creeds: the Apostles’ creed, the Nicene creed, and the Athanasian creed. With this historical and classical faith as our foundation we are Reformational in our theology, Baptists in our view of baptism and the church, Charismatic in our spirituality and Missional in our expression and focus.”
Over the next few weeks, we would like to explain what this means.