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An important answer book for everyone, from seeker to long-time believer, systematically covering the fundamentals of Bible doctrine and Christian living.
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What Christians Believe

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Overview

An important answer book for everyone, from seeker to long-time believer, systematically covering the fundamentals of Bible doctrine and Christian living.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781575679600
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/25/1952
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 460,375
  • File size: 579 KB

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What Christians Believe


By Moody

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 1951 Emmanus Bible School Chicago
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-57567-960-0



CHAPTER 1

THE BIBLE

I. INTRODUCTION

Someone has called the Holy Bible "the divine library," and this is a true statement. Although we think of the Bible as one book, yet it is made up of sixty-six separate books.

These books, beginning with Genesis and ending with Revelation, are divided into two main sections. The first section is called the Old Testament and contains thirty-nine books. The second section is the New Testament and it has twenty-seven books.

These books, beginning with Genesis and ending with Revelation, are divided into two main sections. The first section is called the Old Testament and contains thirty-nine books. The second section is the New Testament and it has twenty-seven books.


II. WHO WROTE THE BIBLE?

From the human standpoint the Bible was written by not less than thirty-six authors over a period of about sixteen hundred years. But the important thing to remember is that these men wrote under the direct control of God. God guided them in writing the very words. This is what we mean by inspiration. The following Scriptures clearly teach that the Bible is inspired by God.

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Peter 1:21.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Thus the Bible is the Word of God. It is not enough to say that the Bible contains the Word of God. This might imply that parts of it are inspired and parts are not. Every part of the Bible is inspired. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God."

Another important point to remember is that the Bible is the only written revelation which God has given to man. In the last chapter of the Bible, God warns men against adding to the Bible or taking away from it. Revelation 22:18-19.


III. WHAT IS THE SUBJECT OF THE BIBLE?

Although the Bible is made up of sixty-six books, yet it has one main subject. Christ is the grand theme of Scripture. The Old Testament contains many predictions, or prophecies, concerning Christ. The New Testament tells of His coming.


IV. WHAT DOES THE BIBLE CONTAIN?

The Bible is the record of the world from the beginning of time until the future when there will be a new heaven and a new earth.

Genesis tells of the creation of the world, the entrance of sin, the flood, and the beginning of the nation of Israel. From Exodus to Esther we have the history of Israel up to about 400 years before the birth of Christ. The books from Job to the Song of Solomon contain wonderful poetry and wisdom. The rest of the Old Testament, from Isaiah to Malachi, is prophetic, — that is, these books contain messages from God to Israel concerning its present condition and its future destiny.

The New Testament opens with four Gospels, each of which presents the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts tells the story of the Christian movement in its infancy and the life of the great apostle Paul. From Romans to Jude, we find letters to churches and individuals, concerning the great truths of the Christian faith, and practical instruction concerning the Christian life. Revelation gives us a glimpse into the future,—to events that will yet take place in heaven, on earth, and in hell.


V. CONCLUSION

"This book contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be saved, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's charter. Here Paradise is restored, Heaven opened, and the gates of Hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It will reward the greatest labor, and condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents. It is the Book of Books—God's Book—the revelation of God to man." Selected.

CHAPTER 2

GOD

NO GREATER SUBJECT can occupy the mind than the study of God and of man's relationship to Him.


I. THE EXISTENCE OF GOD

1. The Bible does not seek to prove the existence of God. The fact that there is a God is assumed throughout the Scriptures. The first verse of the Bible is an example. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." God's existence is presented as a statement of fact that needs no proof. The man who says that there is no God is called a fool in Psalm 14:1.

2. However, even apart from the Bible, there are certain evidences for the existence of God. (1) Mankind has always believed in a universal being. (2) Creation must have a creator. The universe could not originate without a cause. (3) The wonderful design which we see in creation demands an infinite designer. (4) Since man is an intelligent, moral being, his creator must have been of a much higher order in order to create him.


I. THE NATURE OF GOD

1. God is a spirit. (John 4:24). This means that God does not have a body. He is invisible. However, He can reveal Himself to man in visible form. In the person of Jesus Christ, God came into the world in a body of flesh. John 1:14, 18; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3.

2. God is a person. Personal names are used in reference to Him. Exodus 3:14. Matthew 11:25. Personal characteristics are ascribed to Him, such as (1) knowledge, Isaiah 55:910; (2) emotions, Genesis 6:6; and (3) will, Joshua 3:10.

3. The Unity of God. Scripture clearly teaches that there is one God. I Timothy 2:5 (Read this verse.) The false teaching that there are many gods is contrary to reason. There can be only one Supreme Being.

4. The Trinity. The Bible teaches not only that there is one God, but also that there are three persons in the Godhead,—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is a mystery to the human mind, but although it cannot be understood, it can be believed because God's Word says it is so. The word "trinity" is not found in the Bible, but the truth is found in the following passages.

(1). Baptism of Jesus, Matthew 3:16-17.

(2). The great commission, Matthew 28:19.

(3). The benediction of II Corinthians 13:14.


The Father is called God in Romans 1:7. The Son is called God in Hebrews 1:8. The Holy Spirit is called God in Acts 5:3-4.


III. THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD

It is difficult to define God. One of the best ways is to describe certain of His qualities or characteristics. These are known as His attributes.

1. God is omnipresent. This means that God is present everywhere at the same time. Jeremiah 23:24.

2. God is omniscient. In other words, He knows all things. He knows every thought and deed of man. Proverbs 15:3. He knows everything that takes place in nature, including even the death of a sparrow, Matthew 10:29.

"Though limitless the universe, and gloriously grand, He knows the eternal story of every grain of sand."

3. God is omnipotent. He has all power. He created the universe, and now controls it by His power. There is nothing that He cannot do. Matthew 19:26.

4. God is eternal. He never had a beginning, and He will never cease to exist. Psalm 90:2.

5. God is unchangeable. "I am the Lord, I change not." Malachi 3:6.

6. God is holy. He is absolutely pure and sinless. He hates sin and loves goodness. Proverbs 15:9, 26. He must separate Himself from sinners, and must punish sin. Isaiah 59:1, 2.

7. God is just. Everything He does is right and fair. He fulfills all His promises. Psalm 119:137.

8. God is love. Although God hates sin, yet He loves sinners. John 3:16 (Read this verse.)

Note: In speaking to God in prayer, we use the words "Thou" and "Thee." The purpose of this is to show reverence for God. It is not proper to address Him in the same way that we would speak to our fellow-men.

CHAPTER 3

MAN


IF WE WANT to know the truth about man, we must turn to the Bible. "Truth is what God says about a thing." The Bible tells us about man's creation, nature, relation to other beings, his fall and destiny.


I. MAN'S ORIGIN

It is only natural that man should be curious about his origin. He always has been. Various theories have been put forward at different times by philosophers. The most modern is the theory of evolution, which asserts that man's ancestors are the lower animals.

But the Bible tells us: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth ... God created man. Gen. 1:1, 27.

God says concerning His creature man, "I have created him for my glory, I have formed him: yea, I have made him." (Isaiah 43:7). So the old question, "What is the chief end of man?" is properly answered, "The chief end of man is to glorify God."


II. MAN'S NATURE

Anyone who has witnessed a deathbed understands vividly that man has a physical body and also a soul or spirit. At one moment the person is alive ... the next he is gone. Yet his body is still there. But the life principle has departed; a dead body remains. Man is not merely a body, but also is or has a soul and spirit.

The Bible teaches us that man exists as a threefold being: body, soul and spirit (I Thessalonians 5:23). While it is hard for us to distinguish between soul and spirit, since both are in contrast with the physical body, the Bible shows that there is a difference. Animals have a body and soul, but no spirit. A man has body, soul and spirit.

The soul distinguishes a living being from a dead one, but the spirit distinguishes a man from an animal. The spirit of man makes it possible for him to have communion or fellowship with God.

The soul is the seat of the emotions and passions, while the term spirit includes our ability to know and reason. Man is responsible to God and it is his greatest duty to find out what God wants him to do, then do it.


III. MAN'S FREE WILL

There are other beings in the universe which God has created. These are angels or spirits. They do not have human body or soul. They are mightier than we are. They were also created to serve God, but since they have a free will, some of them fell into the sin of disobedience.

God could have made a number of machines to do His will mechanically. Instead He chose to create beings who could, if they wished, serve Him voluntarily and love Him freely. We can quite understand why He would desire to have it so. A man could get protection for his house by means of a burglar alarm system. But there is something about a dog which draws out our affections in a way no machine ever could.


IV. MAN'S SIN

When God created free beings, able to do His will or refuse to do so, He must have known that some would choose the wrong way. And so it turned out. A great angel called Lucifer, now known as Satan, decided to set his will in opposition to God's. He was immediately cast out of heaven, and many other angels were cast out with him. From that time on, Satan has sought to hinder the plans of God in every possible way. When man was created with a free will, Satan immediately planned to tempt him from the path of obedience. God had warned man, but Satan succeeded only too well in drawing him into sin as well. The wellknown story is found in Genesis 3.

Now God, as the moral Governor of the universe, cannot tolerate in His presence any being who deliberately disobeys His commands. This is why Satan was cast out of heaven when he defied God's will. The same treatment was necessary for man, and so Adam was driven from the presence of God.

Adam's nature has been passed on to every member of the human race. We are all born—with a tendency to sin. This nature responds to temptation from without and so we yield and grievously sin.


V. MAN'S FUTURE

Just as the Bible tells us of man's origin, as coming from the hand of God; and of man's shameful fall and the consequent separation from God; so it faithfully tells us that every man, woman and child will some day stand before God as his Judge. The fact of death is so common that everyone understands the inevitable end of every man. But the Bible adds, "After this the judgment." God has created man and revealed to him His will. God will absolutely hold every person responsible for everything he has done. This life is primarily a preparation for the next one. Man does not die like the animal. His spirit must go to God, his Creator and Judge.

CHAPTER 4

SIN

I. WHAT IS SIN?


NO ONE can read the Bible very much without realizing that a great deal of attention is given to the subject of sin, its cause and cure. We often think of sin in connection with crime and murder. But sin in the Bible refers to anything short of God's perfection. In Romans 3:23, we read, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." The "glory of God" includes the thought of absolute perfection. Sin is therefore falling short of the mark. All men are guilty of this.

Sin is also spoken of in the Bible in the following ways.

1. Breaking the law of God. Romans 5:13.

2. Rebellion against God, or lawlessness. I John 3:4 (Revised Version).

3. Moral impurity. Psalm 32:5.

Evil thoughts are sinful, as well as evil deeds. Matthew 5:28.


II. THE ORIGIN OF SIN

The first recorded instance of sin took place in heaven. The angel Lucifer became ambitious to be equal with God. Isaiah 14:12-14. For this sin of pride, he was cast out of heaven, and became the one whom the Bible elsewhere describes as the devil or Satan.

The first instance of sin on earth is described in the Third Capter of Genesis. It took place in the Garden of Eden. God forbade Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit. They thus became sinners.


III. THE RESULTS OF SIN

1. As soon as the parents of the human race sinned, they became conscious of the fact that they were naked, and they tried to hide from God. Genesis 3:10.

2. The penalty of sin is death. Adam became spiritually dead the moment he sinned. By this we mean that he became separated from God, and banished from God's presence. He also became subject to physical death. Although he did not die immediately, his body was doomed to die eventually.

3. Adams' sinful nature was passed on to all the human race. Every child born of sinful parents is a sinner by birth. Thus Adam's oldest son, Cain, was a murderer. Because all men are born sinners, they are all dead spiritually, and are all doomed to die physically some day. (Read Romans 5:12-18 carefully at this point.)

4. Man's sin brought God's curse upon all creation. Thorns and thistles, for instance, are an evidence of this. Other evidences are mentioned in Genesis 3:14-19. Sin needs no proof as long as we have prisons, hospitals, and funeral parlors. Tears, sickness, sorrow, pain and death are some of the results of sin.


IV. THE PENALTY OF SIN

"The wages of sin is death." Romans 6:23. God has pronounced the penalty of sin as being death. We have already seen that this means spiritual death and physical death. This penalty must be paid. God must punish sin.

As long as a man lives in his sins, he is dead spiritually and is facing physical death. If he is still in his sins when he dies, he is subject to eternal death. This means that he will be forever banished from God and will suffer for his sins in the lake of fire. This is the second death spoken of in Revelation 20:14.


V. THE REMEDY FOR SIN

God has provided a remedy so that men do not need to suffer everlasting punishment for their sins. He sent His Son into the world to provide a way of escape for man. The Lord Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary. He did not inherit Adam's sinful nature. He was the only sinless man who ever lived. On the Cross of Calvary He willingly suffered the penalty of sin, and satisfied all God's holy demands. Since the penalty of sin has been met, God can now give eternal life to every sinner who confesses the fact that he is a sinner and receives the Lord Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. (This will be more fully explained in the lessons on the New Birth and Salvation.)

When a person trusts in Christ, he is saved from the penalty and power of sin. This does not mean that he no longer commits sin. But it does mean that all his sins, past, present and future, have been forgiven, that he will never be judged for them, and that he has power to live for God instead of for the pleasures of sin.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from What Christians Believe by Moody. Copyright © 1951 Emmanus Bible School Chicago. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. The Bible

2. God

3. Man

4. Sin.

5. Christ

6. The New Birth

7. The New Birth (cont'd)

8. Salvation

9. Grace

10. Faith

11. Heaven and Hell

12. Future Events

13. Results of Regeneration

14. Sure Salvation

15. Permanent Preservation16. Triumph over Temptation

17. Christian Conduct

18. Buried in Baptism

19. Choosing a Church

20. Wanting God's Will

21. Prayer and Praise

22. Witnessing and Winning

23. Searching the Scriptures

24. The Life That Counts
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