God is the greatest possible being by and for whom all things exist (Colossians 1:16). There is one God who exists in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4). Each person is united in the essence of God, equal in the divinity of God, yet distinct in person and role (1 Corinthians 8:6). God, in his trinity, has eternity existed in perfect, joyful love and fellowship (John 17:4-5). God is love (1 John 4:16). From his love, God holy, just, gracious, merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.. He is an intimate God, yet an infinite being (Exodus 34:5-6). It is in him that we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).
Before creation, God was in a glorious relationship with himself (John 17:4-5). The love that God had within himself overflowed into creation. God created a world beaming with life and potential. At the height of his creation, God created his image bearers to love like God, look like God, and lead like God (Genesis 1:27-31). Humanity was designed to share in God's glory (2 Peter 1:3-4), reflect his glory (Isaiah 43:1,7), and to expand his glory (Genesis 1:28).
Humanity, though beautifully made by God, is tragically broken by sin (Genesis 3, Psalm 8). Beginning with the first humans, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). God is, however, so committed to ruling and reigning this world through his human representatives, that he became one in the person of Jesus Christ (John 1:14). Jesus fully fulfilled the Father's created intent for humanity. For those who trust his person and work, his Spirit now dwells in us so that we, though broken, can begin again to love like, look like, and lead like God.
Currently, creation is subjected to futility and groaning for the redemption of the children of God (Romans 8:20-21). Upon the return of Christ, redeemed humanity and all of creation will be fully restored in order for the human project to continue for all of eternity (1 Corinthians 15, Revelation 21-22).
The Son of God is the second person in the Trinity (Matthew 3:17). Fully united and equal to God the Father and Spirit, yet distinct in person and role. The Son of God is the exact imprint of God the Father (Hebrews 1:1-4). Remaining what he was, fully God, the Son of God became what he was not, fully human (Philippians 2:5-11). Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived the perfect life that we could not, died a death we deserved for our sin, and conquered the death that we could not conquer (1 Corinthians 15, 2 Corinthians 5:21).
Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the authoritative ruler over all of creation. All things were made by him, through him, and for him. He is the head of his Church, the body and bride of Christ, whom he advocates for (Colossians 1:15-20). He rules over every square inch of creation without contest as he sits at the right hand of God the Father (Hebrews 10:12-13).
God's ultimate purpose for creation was for Jesus to be glorified through his sacrificial love (Ephesians 1:3-10), for Jesus to be glorified in his people (2 Corinthians 4:4-6), for Jesus to be glorified for all eternity with his people (John 17:22-26), and for Jesus to glorify God the Father (Philippians 2:5-11).
The gospel is the good news that God ushered in his kingdom, that he himself is the king, and that he is inviting into his kingdom all who would believe in the person and work of Jesus Christ (Mark 1:15). This access to the kingdom of God was purchased by Jesus Christ on the cross. He who knew no sin, became sin, in order that we would receive the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). This great exchange placed our sin on Jesus and the punishment thereof while placing his right standing upon us. In his death he died to sin. In his resurrection he offers life both now and forever to all who would trust him as Lord (Romans 6, Romans 10:9-11).
God's love radically gives in unmerited favor. We call this giving "grace." Humanity is called to respond in a radical receiving, not based on works, merit, or effort. We call this receiving "faith" (Ephesians 2:1-10). All people of all time have only been saved from sin, death, and eternal separation from God by grace, through faith, based on the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
The Spirit of God is the third person in the Trinity (Acts 5:1-4). Fully united and equal to God the Father and Son, yet distinct in person and role. The Spirit of God is not silent, but highly active. The Spirit baptizes, regenerates, seals the believer, and guarantees our inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14). The Spirit delights in pointing to the word, work, person, and power of Jesus Christ (John 16:14). The Spirit makes his home in the believer to rule and reign (John 14:17). The Spirit reveals the truths of Christ, his righteousness, and how to live in righteousness (John 16:6-13). The Spirit moves in and through the believer to live a life worthy of Christ. Our response to the Spirit is to walk by the Spirit as we yield to the Spirit’s work in us and through us (Galatians 5:16-26).
God's plan before creation includes people from every tribe, nation, and language collectively worshiping him for all eternity (Revelation 7:9). Beginning with Abram, God chose one man to become a nation in whom he desired to be the means to reach the world (Genesis 12, Exodus 19). God would ultimately redeem his own people by coming amongst them in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus was the final remnant of Israel who truly and fully walked in a loving obedience to God the Father. In his ascension, Jesus calls his Jewish followers to "make disciples of all nations" (i.e. Gentiles) (Matthew 28:18-20). The Church, then, is the collection of both Jew and Gentiles who confess Jesus as LORD.
God saves those who trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9-11). God is both saving us from sin, but also to himself. God's salvation is both past, present, and future. In the past, God justifies sinners by saving them from the punishment of sin (Romans 3:21-Romans 5). In the present, God is sanctifying his children by saving them from the power of sin in their lives (Romans 6-8:17). In the future, God will glorify his children by saving them fully and finally from the presence of sin (Romans 8:18-39).
Jesus will return, render judgment, redeem, and reign forever. Jesus will rule forever in his kingdom with his resurrected people as we continue to co-create, co-rule, and co-lead this world with him (1 Corinthians 15, Revelation 19-22).
God has spoken through the world (Psalm 19), the word (2 Timothy 3:16), and the Word that has come in the world (John 1). The Word of God is that which comes forth from God himself. The Scriptures, commonly referred to as God's Word, are written by men inspired by the Spirit of God in order to record without error exactly what God intended to communicate to his people (2 Peter 1:16-21). Because they come from God, they are true and trustworthy for all things pertaining to life and godliness.
The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testament, center on the person and work of Jesus Christ (John 5:39). They do not merely lead to Christ, but are fundamentally about Jesus. It requires the Son of God to open up the word of God so that the people of God can see the glory of God (Luke 24:27,44-45).