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God is the creator of everything that exists. He knows everything, sees everything, has power over everything, and has a plan for everything. We know he exists in three persons (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit), we see his amazing creation all around us and we feel his personal touch in our lives. But that doesn’t mean we'll ever fully grasp who God is or how he works. We’re just glad he loves us! (Gen 1:1, 26-27; Psalm 90:2; Matt 28:19; 1 Pet 1:2; 2 Cor 13:14)
Jesus is God, sometimes called the Son of God or the Son of Man because he is God in the flesh, fully God and fully man at the same time. He was born of a virgin so that he was never introduced to the sinful nature of man. He lived a sinless life and showed us what God is like. Because of Jesus, we found out that God loves us unconditionally and eternally. He became our bridge back to a right relationship with God when he paid the penalty for our sins and died on a cross. He then demonstrated his power over sin and death by rising from the grave three days later. When we acknowledge that Jesus is God and submit our lives to his leadership, we receive forgiveness for our sins and eternal life with God. (John 1:1-5, 3:16, 14:10-30; Heb 4:14-15)
God’s spirit, called the Holy Spirit, comes and lives inside us the moment we put our faith in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit helps us understand the truth, comforts and strengthens us in times of need, guides us in doing the right thing, gifts us in order to serve others, and continually reveals God to us. (John 14:16-17, 14:26, 16:13-15; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor 2:12; Gal 5:25)
We are made in the image of God – to be like him in character. It’s what separates us from everything else that God created. His desire was for us to be in a loving relationship with him. But love can’t exist without free will. One must choose to love. So God gave us free will, which means we’re also free to reject God and his ways – something the Bible calls “sin”. From the beginning, all of humanity chose to sin and separate ourselves from God. And the incredible gap that sin places between us and God can only be bridged by God, not by good works or something we do. So God, because of his unbreakable love for us, provided the bridge through belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. (Gen 1:27; Psalm 8:3-8; Isaiah 53:6, 59:1-2; Rom 3:23)
The Bible is God's perfect and complete word. It’s the blueprint for our lives and the framework for how we relate to God and relate to each other. We trust its unchanging truth and learn from every part of it. We don't edit out the parts we don’t like, redefine what it says to appease our culture or add religious rules to it. We just study it, rejoice in its message, apply it to our lives and share it with others. (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20-21; Psalm 12:6, 119:105; Rev 22:18-19)
Salvation is a gift from God. We don’t deserve it and can’t earn it. It doesn’t come because we do more good than not. It doesn’t come because we do more good than others. It is given to us by God when we realize our sinfulness and believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This “belief” in Jesus is defined in the Bible as faith – a faith that submits to God's leadership, allows him to transform our heart and mind, and produces “fruit” in our life - which are his amazing and life-changing characteristics revealed in us. (Rom 6:23; Eph 2:8-9; John 1:12, 14:6; Titus 3:5; James 2:14-26)
We enthusiastically obey Christ’s command to baptize those who choose to follow Him. Baptism is an outward expression of an inward faith in Jesus. As believers are immersed in water, it represents their old life going away. As they’re brought up out of the water, it represents the new life that God has given them. Baptisms are a big celebration at Compass because they’re a vivid demonstration of a great truth, that God can and does transform your life! (Matt 28:18-20; Rom 6:3-5)