What is water baptism?
When you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are a new creation; old things have passed away and behold all things have become new- 2 Corinthians 5:17. So, water baptism is an outward showing of what takes place inside your heart; death to the old life, alive with the new. It is evidence of a changed life as the believer now identifies with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ- Romans 6:1-8. Water baptism is not essential for salvation; we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ- Ephesians 2:8-9. However, Jesus does command believers to be baptized in the Great Commission- Matthew 28:19.
What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit
When a person believes in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit comes and dwells within them- 1 Corinthians 3:16. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is for all who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior- Acts 2:38-39. Believers need the baptism of the Holy Spirit to understand God’s truths and to be empowered in their witness- Acts 1:8, so that they can go into all the world and make disciples- Matthew 28:19. The Holy Spirit will come upon a believer, and they will receive power to serve God and spiritual gifts to effectively do the work God has called them to and to build up the church- 1 Peter 4:10. Believers will be bold in their witness and testimony, when at another time they would have been timid- Acts 3:11-4:12.
What are spiritual gifts?
The Holy Spirit gives believers one or several spiritual gifts. It is the believers’ responsibility to recognize their gift or gifts and to nurture them and improve them. These gifts are tools to build up a healthy church for God’s glory, not our own. In Romans 12:6-8, the Lord identifies spiritual gifts as: prophecy, helps, teaching, exhortation, giving, administration, and mercy. In Ephesians 4:11-12, the Lord says that He has given some the gift to be: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip the saints. And in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, the Lord shares that He gives these gifts “for the profit of all”: word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, discernment, tongues, and interpretation of tongues.
What is the Trinity?
There is only one God, subsisting of three eternal coequal Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Three in one, but distinct in nature. God the Father is omnipotent- Mark 14:36, omniscient- Matthew 6:8, and omnipresent- Psalm 139:7-10. He is Sovereign- Revelation 4, and the source of forgiveness- Mark 6:14-15. God the Son is Jesus Christ. He has the same attributes as God. In John 10:30, Jesus says, “I and My Father are One.” Jesus forgives sins- Luke 5:20-24, and He is worshipped- Hebrews 1:6. God the Holy Spirit is a Person- John 16:13-15. The activities of God are attributed to the Holy Spirit. He is also called God- Acts 5:1-11.
What is the Rapture of the Church?
Jesus promises that His church will not have to face the Tribulation, but will be delivered from it. Jesus gives Christians this promise in Revelation 3:10 NLT, as He says, “Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to the world.” Jesus Christ will rapture His church before the Tribulation period. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NLT, Paul shares that Jesus Christ “will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the call of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, all the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with him forever.” Paul also shares in 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 that the Rapture of the church will happen in a twinkling of an eye. Not everyone will die, but our perishable earthly bodies will be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die. We are warned to watch for the signs of the times in Matthew 24. No one knows the day or the hour when Christ will return, only God knows- Matthew 24:36. But we know it will take place, so it is the call to “stay awake and be prepared”- Matthew 25:13 NLT; to live in the light that heaven is near and to be ready for Christ’s return. Jesus is returning.