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I believe there is one God who made mankind after His likeness. He is the Spirit and the Word of the Father. Now His Son is seated at His right hand in heaven. Begotten by His Spirit, His Word was the Seed, conceived in a virgin's womb to be made flesh and live among us. As the promised Son of God, He has become our glorious Comforter and Counselor. Jesus Christ is the eternal Word of God who became flesh as both the Son of God and Son of man.
By His Spirit and His Word, God expresses His divine nature and His will to mankind. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: the God of Israel. He appears as two in heaven--the Father and Son-- the Ancient of Days and the Son of Man. He is omnipresent by His Holy Spirit. The three are One with a common heart and will. The invisible Union in God is the mystery of perfect Love.
Jesus referred to Himself as the Son of God, calling God His Father; He also called Himself the Son of Man, the Scriptural title of the Messiah. His title signifies that He would
be born in our flesh though He was uniquely the begotten Son of God.
God spoke through the prophet to David, saying, "I will be to Him a Father, and He will be to Me a Son." (2 Samuel 7:14) Then "...God said to him,'You are my Son; today I have become your Father." (Psalm 2:7) This event did not change the character or nature of God. Also, Hebrews 5: 5b. He (Christ) has become "the firstborn among many brothers" (Romans 8: 29), i.e. the first Man to rise from the dead, His body having been raised to life by the Holy Spirit. He makes us His brothers in every way as we follow after Him by the power of His Spirit. Today, the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, is sitting at the Father's right hand in heaven and is preeminent over all creation.
By His Word, God created all things. Apart from His Word, nothing has been created; by His power, all things are held together. He made all that is visible from that which is invisible. These things were written thousands of years ago, and they are true today. The apostles couldn't see His internal, invisible Being; neither could they see God whom no one can see, because God is Spirit.
God is Love and Light; He is Holiness and Truth. There is no darkness at all in Him, nor will He tolerate darkness or unrighteousness. No darkness can enter His presence. Those who love darkness and unrighteousness, remaining in it, therefore, will suffer the wrath of God. However, in His compassion, God made a way of escape for all who repent and believe in Him, living by faith in His words.
By His resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ became the complete and final sacrifice for each of us who believes in Him. Today He forgives and cleanses all those who turn to Him and believe in the living Son who had died but rose to life out of death three days later. There is no other way to access the Father's grace and forgiveness except through Yeshua-Jesus, our Savior, the Jewish Messiah, the "Anointed One" who came from God. [Yeshua is His Hebrew name.]
Before He ascended to heaven, Yeshua promised His disciples that He will return to establish His throne in Jerusalem. After ascending, He sent His Holy Spirit to indwell true believers and to satisfy us with the fullness of His glorious Presence. His Presence is greater now than ever before because Jesus has been glorified by the power and authority of His Father in heaven. By His Spirit, the Father authors His Word, and His Word gives birth to His Spirit in us when we receive Him.
I believe God is unchanging, a Rock on whom we can rely; faith is our lifeline to worshiping Him and it is the only effective way we express our love for the magnificent Creator. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. (See the epistle to the Hebrews, 11:6)
I believe in baptism and holy communion, ordinances established by Christ and continued by the first congregations. By immersion, we declare our faith in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. Baptism [lit. immersion] symbolizes our union with Him since we have risen after dying to the sinful nature into a new life by faith in His resurrection. Baptism is the token of our covenant with God in Messiah. We receive holy communion, taking in the elements of bread and wine in remembrance of His death. The Word warns us to do this with a clear conscience and sobriety. (See 1 Corinthians 11:27-34)
I believe God gave us many moral laws, which He writes in our hearts as we grow into His holiness. I love the Ten Commandments, an outline for righteousness, written on rock by the finger of God. When Christ came, He elaborated on righteousness and more clearly defined it. He explained that our obedience to the moral laws prove our love for God and others. Our hearts are tested by the Word of God in Jesus Christ.
God distributes good and perfect gifts to those who pursue Him by faith. His intentions in giving us supernatural gifts by the Holy Spirit are multifaceted: to bless us, to satisfy our needs, to reveal His nature, to extend His love for mankind, and to prove His power to an unbelieving world as He did in the days of Elijah.
For those willing to step out of the boat and onto the stormy seas with Jesus, the victories are unlimited. We find the power of the Word is most effective when we're facing adversities and impossible odds. I'm only one of a multitude of lives that testify to His healing power. We serve a miracle-working God who cares for all of our needs and wants us to put our confidence in His words.
First, the Word comes to us; then faith takes it in and cares for it until its life produces the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We find Christ there; walking with the Word, we learn more of Him. He is the living Word, alive because His Spirit is in His Word. His Word is active because it is living, and it is sharper than a two-edged sword because it is true. Righteous faith is like the Word: faith lives when the Spirit is in us; we prove our faith lives by our actions as we walk in the Spirit, not the flesh. Faith grips the Sword, His Word by which we tear down strongholds and imaginations that oppose the truth. We expose the darkness by walking in the truth and we love in obedience to the One who sacrificed His life for us to live. There is nothing too difficult for God; therefore, nothing is impossible for the one who lives by faith in Him. This is the essence of what I believe.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it....
He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-5, 10-14 NKJV)
Joan H. Richardson
Faith on Earth ministries