Article 1: We believe in the one true and living God, the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one.
As we begin our study of what we believe there can only be one starting point. The beliefs of our church should work like Scripture. What I mean by that is that Scripture builds itself line by line and precept upon precept. (See Isaiah 28:10-13) Every word, and teachings, in Scripture builds to a full Revolation of God and His teachings. Our Articles of Faith are to hold the pattern of precept upon precept, line upon line. When considering that example and mold there can be no better place to start than with God himself. Scripture itself starts with "In the beginning God". It has been said that if you have issue with that you will have issue with everything else found in that book. That is absolutely true. God is the beginning, the fullness, and the end of our beliefs at Salem.
We believe in the One True and Living God. This point should be without contreversy, but sadly in this world there is nothing without contreversy. Let's start with the first point of this Article. We believe in the "ONE" God. In a world that tries to sell coexistance and acceptance of all things, you will find that God is not that way. Because God is not that way we can not be either. We do not believe that God, Allah, Budda, and all the other sundry named gods are the same God with differently understood names. Jesus, as He taught, in His ministry stated the Lord is "one" Lord. (See Mark 12:29) In our opening proof text, God declares there is no other God beside Him. We, in this world, make a god of many things. We see people doing this with jobs, money, popularity, self identity, and the list can go on and on. We have also over the ages made religion based off these other named gods; Such as Allah, Budda, Zues, and the such like. These little "g" gods are not God, and are not the God that we strive to worship at Salem. We believe in the One God the Father and none else. The God we believe in is the God of the bible. He is an omnipresent God. He is an omnipitant God. He is a creator God, not just an orchistrating God ruling over evolution. We believe in the God that created everything that is in existence. He is the God that is soveriegn and does what He wills. (See Isaiah 43:13) We believe in the God that has a nature that we can count on. His nature is an unchanging nature. (See Malachai 3:6) The second part of this statement speaks to His nature. We believe in the "Living" God. Unlike Egypt in Scripture, and all the other false gods of the world, He is not an imaginary friend we talk to. In Psalm 115, the writer makes a plain arguement comparing our God to the idol gods of the world. We believe in a God that has a mouth and has and does speak to us through His word. We believe in a God that has eyes and sees the lives of His people. We believe in a God that has ears and hears our prayers. We believe in a God that has a nose and smells the sweet savor of our worship and the stinch of our failures when they come. We believe in a God that has hands. His hands work and never tire or get tied. We believe in the living God of the Bible. He is alive and well today. Many question this because we try to make Him like us. We make statements like "If God is so good why doesn't he do A,B,C?". In misunderstanding these things we assume this means that God isn't there or doesn't care. We believe in a God Who's ways are so much higher than our own. (See Isaiah 55:8-9) We belittle God when we do these things. The reality is if we can fully understand God then He is not God.
We believe in the Triune God of the Bible. We believe in the biblical teaching of the Trinity. Genesis 1:26 is probably the first and clear teaching of a plurality in the Godhead. It says in the beginning God said "Let US make man in OUR image". This is a conversation being had prior to man's existence. It is being had in what we call the Godhead. This term is used to describe the unity found in the three in one God. The Godhead consists of God the Father, God the Son (The Word, or Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost). We beleive these three are equal in mind, power, nature, calling, and stature. John chapter one tells us in the beginning was the Word. This Word here is speaking of the second in the Godhead Jesus. It tells us Jesus was with God and Jesus is God. When it comes to the three in one God I am thankful that my full understanding is not required for my full belief. While we do not fully understand how this beautiful concept is true, we believe it to be so and defend that truth. Through-out Scriptue you will find this truth spoken of. One of our opening texts tells us that there are 3 in heaven bearing record and these three are one. They completely and whole heartedly agree one with another. As we continue our study we will see how this truth affects our beliefs in so many other things.
This is far from an exhaustive definition and explanation of the God that we believe in. However, I hope it explains who we believe the God that will never leave or forsake us is. I do hope this has been a blessing and possibly caused you to think a little. I look forward to sharing the remainder of our beliefs as we continue in this study. Please be in prayer and be sure to subscribe to our blog to get the most current updates. God bless you all is my prayer.