Sharing the Word of God With All the World
OnlineBibleStudy.blog is a cooperative, nondenominational, Christian ministry supported by people who are dedicated to working together in love to share the Word of God with all the world. We have no “formal” ties to any denominational groups or associations anywhere, but are bound in heart and faith to God’s people everywhere. Our goal is to provide in-depth, interactive, nondenominational Bible studies, and related content, that will help facilitate and strengthen our personal walk with the Lord, and enable each of us to share our faith with others.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
- We believe in God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and that, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).
- We believe that Jesus, the Son, is God – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men… And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-4 & 14).
- We believe in the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus Christ – “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:6-10).
- We believe that, “there is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10) because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and that “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us” (I John 1:8). Therefore, no amount of good works, faith, devotion, commitment, or religious service can justify any human being, make one righteous before God, or bring one into a life-giving relationship with God. We are saved only by God’s grace, through our faith in the redemptive sacrifice of Christ – “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:7-9); “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
- While we do not put any faith in ourselves or in our own works, we believe that a living faith in Christ expresses itself through obedience to His will – “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one, You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “and Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (James 2:14-26).
- We believe that “baptism” (a ceremonial immersion in water demonstrating our faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ) is the moment in time when we express our repentance from sin, surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ, and are saved by the sacrifice of Christ – “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:3-11).
- We believe that the Holy Spirit “indwells” every Christian at the point of baptism; as the apostle Peter’s said, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38); and that, as the apostle Paul stated, “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (I Corinthians 6:10). We believe that it is only by the power of the Holy Spirit working within us that we can “put to death the deeds of the flesh” (Romans 8:13); that we must rely on the Holy Spirit to “strengthen our weaknesses,” (Romans 8:26); for we are “strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16); and it is He who grows us and matures us more into the image of Christ each day, as He produces within us all the “fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” (Ephesians 5:22). While we are admonished in scripture to “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14), our sanctification is not simply the result of our own effort and devotion. Rather, it is the result of our surrender to the work of the Holy Spirit of God within us, letting Him take control of our lives, allowing Him to grow us into the image of Christ. “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13).
- We believe that all who have expressed their faith in Christ through baptism, and are saved by His sacrificial life and death, are called into fellowship one with another as the one body of Christ – “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it” (I Corinthians 12:13-27).
- We believe “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:15-17). The Bible is the message of God’s redemptive work among humanity down through the annals of history. It is all the authority we need for all that we believe, practice, and teach. God uses the holy scripture (inspired books, epistles, promises, and prophecies) as well as wisdom and insight poured out within us by the Holy Spirit, to continually write His law in the minds and on the hearts of every child of God: “for this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts, and I will be their God and they shall be My people” (Hebrews 8:10).
- We believe that the fundamental identifying mark of a disciple of Christ, and thereby the body of Christ, is “love” – for Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).
- We believe that the mission of every servant of Christ is to carry forth the redemptive love of Christ – to demonstrate by our lives, and to proclaim with our lips, the Gospel (good news) message of God’s love, as expressed through the sacrificial life, death, and resurrection of Christ, to a lost and dying world — “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age'” (Matthew 28:18-20).
“In essentials, unity; In opinions, liberty;
In all things, love!”
(Peter Meiderlin – 1627)