This article continues the first part published last week.
What is your “line”? What do you preach? — Our sin requires punishment and death. Jesus bore our guilt. We were bought by the blood of Jesus. His death means our life. Our only mission in this world is to obey Christ and thus glorify God the Father. We take the authority of Scripture seriously for all our faith and practice. Where the Bible speaks, we speak; where the Bible is silent we are silent. We were rescued by the love of God, so that we might live in the love of his family, 1 Peter, chapter 1, verse 22. We make an open appeal to love God with our whole being, obey him fully, serve him gladly, accept all his Word, follow Jesus without reservation, erect no barrier but the cross, wait and pray for the Lord’s second coming, at which time we will, by his grace, enter into the celestial Kingdom.
Aren’t these ideas outdated? — The Good News of Jesus has always been considered either ridiculous or scandalous. Our Lord never tried to please either the crowds or the religious establishment. Humanity looks different on the outside from what it did years ago, but the human heart continues to be corrupted and need transformation. For all his material progress, his spiritual state worsens. (Just look at world events.) God is above history. His eternal plan took into account the needs of humanity throughout all time.
Are you charismatic or traditional? — By being immersed (baptized) in water to receive forgiveness of sins, we also receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, according to the book of Acts, chapter 2, verse 38. This gift is not one of the many miraculous gifts that served in the first century to ensure the authenticity of Christ’s message. This gift is the very presence of the Spirit who comes to dwell in the Christian’s life at the moment of his conversion to Christ.
But are you not Protestants, and your church, evangelical? — We’re just Christians, nothing more, nothing less. We do not belong to the Protestant Reformation that brought division and individualism to the Christian religion. We are not evangelicals, therefore, in the popular sense. We believe in the power of God in Christ for the salvation of man and for his full reconciliation. Christ joins us together; denominations divide us.
Are you not some cult or exclusive sect then? — We accept Jesus as God’s definitive revelation to humanity, being himself divine.
If the Creator sent his own Son, with all spiritual riches and all the knowledge of heavenly things, what more do we need? He is sufficient, complete, and the exclusive repository of God’s message of grace.
After God spoke long ago in various portions and in various ways to our ancestors through the prophets, in these last days he has spoken to us in a son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he created the world. The Son is the radiance of his glory and the representation of his essence, and he sustains all things by his powerful word, and so when he had accomplished cleansing for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Hebrews 1, verses 1-3.
Next week we’ll finish up with the third part. Please subscribe to Forthright. Don’t miss a single article!