About God God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He exists in three “persons”: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This Trinity or unity is everlasting and has infinite power, wisdom, and goodness. Genesis 1:1, 26, 27; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13: 14.
About Jesus Christ Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father as the very eternal God. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He rose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-15; 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14-15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13
About the Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. The Holy Spirit is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. At the very moment of salvation the Holy Spirit endows us with spiritual gifts. As Christians, we should seek to live under the daily guidance, hope, protection and peace of the Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13; 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25
About the Bible The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Psalm 12:6; 119:105, 160; Proverbs 30:5
About Salvation Salvation is God’s freely-given gift to all persons who need only believe in Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. The gospel that Christ died for our sins, He was buried and He was raised from the dead must be received as a gift and be understood as the only means of salvation. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by believing in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:12; 14:6; Titus3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1; 1 Corinthians 15:1-5
About Church We believe the church is the world-wide body of Christ. It is comprised of all believers who have been united through the sacrifice of Jesus. God has also called these believers to be part of a local church family. Matthew 16:18; Hebrews 12:22-24
About Eternity People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or eternally with God through the righteousness bestowed by the forgiveness and grace of Jesus Christ. To be eternally separated from God is hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and hell are real places of eternal existence. John 3:16; 12:25; 14:2-3; 17:3; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15
ON PRAYER by Dr. Carmen M. Gaud One of the themes I hear very often about prayer is: why should we pray if God knows everything? In a way the question and the statement make sense. The discipline of prayer is not as easy as it looks. There is a certain human inclination to believe that we can solve every problem by ourselves, in which case, why should we get God involved?
Somehow the thinking implies our difficulty to recognize who is God for us. If what we are expecting is to pray to a God who will respond like a Santa Claus, we can definitely say: why pray? From this point of view, all we need to do is to tell God what we want, and God will agree to it or simply say no to our petition. When we limit our prayer to the perspective of God knowing or not our petitions, we are looking at prayer in a mechanistic way.
The gospels talk about Jesus spending the night in prayer, getting away to pray (Matthew 14.23; Mark 1.35; Luke 6.12; 9.29). All the great figures of the Christian Church who has written about prayer refer to it as an interaction with a real Being. Prayer is not a formula, nor a position, or a posture or a method. Prayer is communion with the Creator of the Universe, is a conversation in which we receive as much as we communicate. In real prayer we are not only expressing what is in us, but we are being transformed by the One to whom we speak.
This God is not managed or controlled by our human limitations. While praying, if this is our God, we are not telling God to run our errands, but we are worshiping and hearing what He has to say. In a prayer like this we need time to receive what God has to say, as well as willingness to be transformed in the process. This God has authority over us; we do not have the capacity to control Him. At the same time, this is a loving God who wants to be in dialogue with his creatures. So, even when we may think that we should not be saying what God already knows, it is important to be in dialogue to let ourselves be transformed by the One who can renew our lives daily.
Dr. Carmen M. Gaud is the retired International Editor of El Aposento Alto.