What Rob Believes
The sixty-six books of the Bible were given by the inspiration of God's Spirit and are not the product of human creativity or ingenuity (2 Pt 1:20-21). Every word of the Bible is inspired by God in the original manuscripts (2 Timothy 3:16; Mt 5:18). The Bible in its original manuscripts is without error and is completely accurate in all that it affirms (John 17:17; Ps 19:7). The Scripture is to be interpreted considering the literal, grammatical and historical aspects of a given text.
God the Father
There is only one true and living God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; 1 Corinthians 8:4). God is one essence existing in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Mt.28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14). God is sovereign (Psalm 115:3), eternal (Isaiah 44:6), all-knowing (Ps 139:4), all-powerful (Job 42:2), holy (Isaiah 6:1-7), unchanging (Malachi 3:6), just (Ps 97:2) and loving (1 John 4:8).
Jesus is God in very essence and pre-existed as God in all His glory before His incarnation in time and space (John 8:57-58; Philippians 2:6-7). Jesus Christ became a man, virgin born (Matthew 1:23), to redeem mankind and at that time accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity without violating or detracting from His divine essence (Hebrews 2:14-15; Philippians 2:5-8). Jesus died on a cross for our sin (John 10:15; Romans 5:8; 1 Peter 2:24), was physically raised from the dead (Romans 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:16-20), ascended to the Father (Acts 1:9; Romans 8:34), and will return to receive his church (Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is coequal with the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4, 28:25-26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14). The Holy Spirit regenerates the Christian at conversion (Titus 3:5-7; John 3:3-8), places the Christian into the body of Christ at conversion (1 Corinthians 12:13), indwells the Christian at conversion (1 Corinthians 6:19), and is guarantee of the Christian's redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14), and leads the Christian on a daily basis as he or she submits to His leadership (Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 5:18; Romans 8:14). The Holy Spirit is the Christian's source of giftedness in ministering to the local church (1 Corinthians 12:7-11).
The human race began by the direct and instantaneous creation of God (Gen.1:26-27). Men and women are created in God's image (Gen.1:26-27) and exist to glorify God (Is.43:7). People forfeited their intended fellowship with God (Is.59:2), incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death (Gen.2:16-17; Rom.5:12), became subject to the wrath of God (Jn.3:36), and lost the ability to be independently acceptable to God (Rom.5:6-10) through Adam's one act of disobedience (Rom.5:12). People exist relationally separated from God and express that sinfulness in a variety of sinful acts (Is.59:2; Rom.3:10-18).
Salvation of individuals is wholly carried out by God's grace, based on the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross and is in no way contributed to or accomplished by the merit or work of the individual (Eph.1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Pt.1:18-19). Those who repent and put their trust in Jesus as their provision for their sinful condition (Mk.1:15; Lk.24:46-47; Ac.3:19; 11:18; 20:21) are declared righteous by God (Rom.3:21-22; 8:33). From a human perspective one is saved after hearing the message of the gospel (Rom.10:14), being convicted by the Holy Spirit of sin (Jn.16:8-9), mentally turning from sin to God (2 Cor.7:9-11), placing one's trust in Jesus as the complete and sole payment for sin (Jn.3:14-15). At this point God's Spirit indwells the individual (Rom.8:9), resulting in new birth (Jn.3:3) which is often referred to as conversion (Mt.18:3; Ac.15:3; Rom.16:5). Each step in the process of salvation is granted by God including repentance and faith (Ac.11:18; Eph.2:8). The converted individual then naturally bears fruit in keeping with the internal transformation that has taken place (2 Cor.5:17; Mt.3:8; 7:17-23; Jn.3:36).
The universal church is composed of all Christians from Acts 2 to the rapture and is considered the complete body of Christ (Eph.5:22-33; Mt.16:18; Jn.1:12-13). Christians gathered in geographical locations around the world with a biblical purpose (Ac.2:42-47; Phil.3:3; Heb.10:24-25; Ac.1:8), biblical leadership (Tit.1:5; 1 Tim.3; 1Pt.5:1-3), and practicing the biblical ordinances (Mt.28:19; 1Cor.11:23-26) is what the Bible most often refers to as the church—i.e. local churches (1Cor.1:2; Gal.1:2; 1Th.1:1).