MATT BELL | FAITH & LEARNING STATEMENT
My core beliefs are as follows:
THE BIBLE is the inspired, divinely-breathed word of God. The Bible is authoritative and without error in the original writings, written by chosen individuals who were guided by the Spirit. (2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pet 1:19-21; 1 Thess 2:13; Heb 4:12)
HUMANITY was created in the image of God for relationship with the creator but sin has sent mankind into rebellion away from God. Humanity is incapable of self-rescue and in desperate need of reconciliation. (Gen 1:27; Rom 5:12, 18; 3:23)
SALAVATION is the work of God, not of man, extended to man as a grace gift of God and received in faith. (Eph 2:8-10; Col 2:13-15; Rom 5)
JESUS CHRIST, existing as God and with God from eternity past, entered the world as God in flesh, fully God and fully man. Jesus came to announce the kingdom of God, model a life he would call all to follow, and die a substitutionary death on the cross, paying humanity’s debt of sin and making a way for mankind to live in the fullness of new life. (Phil 2:6-11; Mark 1:14-15; Heb 2:14; 1 Cor 5:17)
THE RESURRECTION of Jesus on the third day was bodily in nature and authenticated the person and work of Christ while removing the power of death. After appearing to many witness and commissioning his disciples, Jesus ascended to heaven with the promise that he will one day appear again to consummate history. (Matt 28)
THE HOLY SPIRIT draws humanity to Christ and indwells the believer to direct and empower his/her life. The Holy Spirit also equips the believer with gift(s) in order to serve the kingdom. (Jn 3:3-8; Titus 3:5; 2 Thess 2:13; Rom 8:2; 1 Cor 12)
THE CHURCH is the united body of Christ on earth and exists for the glory of God and the benefit of others. (Acts 2:42-47; Eph 4)
As for FUTURE THINGS, history is headed somewhere. God has a plan he will initiate at a time only he knows that will involve the bodily coming of Jesus Christ to claim his people and set all things in order. (Acts 1:11; 24:15; 1 Thess 4)
It is my great privilege at NorthPointe Christian to walk with freshman through the Old and New Testament, paying special attention to the big story God is telling through this collection of individual stories. The Bible is first and foremost God’s self-revelation, so before we ask what God wants us to know about Moses or Joseph or Paul, we must begin with asking what God wants us to know about himself. We have a God who can be known and makes himself known to us, taking the initiative to draw humanity to himself.
The Bible also turns the mirror on the reader. We are able to see ourselves in the text, both who we are and who God has enabled us to become in Christ. The three mandates play an integral part in understanding our part in the story.
IMAGE MANDATE (Gen 1.26-28): My desire is that every student would realize that they are not an accident or a result of cosmic chance, but rather created in the image of God by a heavenly Father who loves them deeply. Humanity was created to resemble and represent “the king who rules the land,” and we find great purpose and responsibility as image bearers.
LOVE MANDATE (Matt 22.37-38): Another aim of my teaching is that students would respond to God’s love by loving him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. This is the vertical relationship we were all created for. A right relationship with God then leads to wholeness in our horizontal relationships. We love our neighbors (the one next to us) with the very kindness and care we would desire to experience. I absolutely believe that this kind of love changes the world, because it is so rare to see it in action.
MISSION MANDATE (Matt 28.18-20): An understanding of God’s mission for Israel in the Old Testament (Gen 12.1-3) reveals a missionary God who desires his people to be a blessing that brings God’s blessing. God sent Moses to Egypt. God sent Jeremiah to Jerusalem. God sent Jesus to us. Though our mission may not be international (though it may!), every follower of Jesus has been called to help make other followers of Jesus. Our lives have incredible missional significance, and this is the life I long for every student who enters my room to discover.