THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
- We teach that the Bible is God’s written revelation to man, and thus the 66 books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit constitute the plenary (inspired equally in all parts) Word of God (I Cor. 2:7-14; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).
- We teach that the Word of God is an objective, propositional revelation (I Thess. 2:13; I Cor. 2:13), verbally inspired in every word (2 Tim. 3:16), absolutely inerrant in the original documents, infallible, and God-breathed. We teach the literal, grammatical-historical, interpretation of Scripture which affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days (Gen. 1:31; Exod. 31:17).
- We teach that the Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice (Matt. 5:18; 24:35; Jn. 10:35; 16:12-13; 17:17; I Cor. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
- We teach that God spoke in His written Word by a process of dual authorship. The Holy Spirit so superintended the human authors that, through their individual personalities and different styles of writing, they composed and recorded God’s Word to man (2 Pet. 1:20-21) without error in the whole or in the part (Matt. 5:18; 2 Tim. 3:16).
- We teach that, whereas there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation. The meaning of Scripture is to be found as one diligently applies the literal grammatical-historical method of interpretation under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 7:17; 16:12-15; I Cor. 2:7-15; I Jn. 2:20). It is the responsibility of believers to ascertain carefully the true intent and meaning of Scripture, recognizing that proper application is binding on all generations. Yet the truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of it.
- We teach that there is but one living and true God (Deut. 6:4; Isa. 45:5-7; I Cor. 8:4), an infinite, all-knowing Spirit (Jn. 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14)–each equally deserving worship and obedience.
God the Father
- We teach that God the Father, the first person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His Own purpose and grace (Ps. 145:8-9; I Cor. 8:6). He by Jesus Christ created all things (Gen. 1:1-31; Eph. 3:9). As the only absolute and omnipotent ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Ps. 103:19; Rom. 11:36). His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. As Creator He has given life to all men (Eph. 4:6), and He is spiritual Father only to believers (Rom. 8:14; 2 Cor. 6:18). He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (Eph. 1:11). He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events (I Chron. 29:11). In His sovereignty He is neither author nor approver of sin (Hab. 1:13; Jn. 8:38-47), nor does He abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (I Pet. 1:17). He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own to be holy and without blame before Him in love (Eph. 1:4-6); He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ; He adopts as His own all those who come to Him; and He becomes, upon adoption, Father to His own (Jn. 1:12; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:5; Heb. 12:5-9).
God the Son
- We teach that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, co substantial, and coeternal with the Father (Jn. 10:30; 14:9).
- We teach that God the Father created according to His own will, through His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence and in operation (Jn. 1:3; Col. 1:15-17; Heb. 1:2).
- We teach that in the incarnation (God becoming man) Christ surrendered only the prerogatives of deity but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind. In His incarnation, the eternally existing second person of the Trinity accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God-man (Phil. 2:5-8; Col. 2:9).
- We teach that Jesus Christ represents humanity and deity in indivisible oneness (Mic.5:2; Jn. 5:23; 14:9-10; Col. 2:9).
- We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23, 25; Lk. 1:26-35); that He was God incarnate (Jn. 1:1,14); and that the purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God, redeem men, and rule over God’s kingdom (Ps. 2:7-9; Isa. 9:6; Jn. 1:29; Phil. 2:9-11; Heb. 7:25-26; I Pet. 1:18-19).
- We teach that, in the incarnation, the second person of the Trinity laid aside His right to the full prerogatives of coexistence with God, assumed the place of a Son, and took on an existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes (Phil. 2:5-8).
- We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross and that His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive (Jn. 10:15; Rom. 3:24-25; 5:8; I Pet. 2:24).
- We teach that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead and that He is now ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now mediates as our Advocate and High Priest (Matt. 28:6; Lk. 24:38-39; Acts 2:30-31; Rom. 4:25; 8:34; Heb. 7:25; 9:24; I Jn. 2:1).
- We teach that in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that God has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Jesus’ bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection for all believers (Jn. 5:26-29; 14:19; Rom. 1:4; 4:25; 6:5-10; I Cor. 15:20,23).
- We teach that Jesus Christ will return to receive the redeemed, unto Himself at the rapture, and, returning in glory, will establish His Millennial kingdom on earth (Acts 1:9-11; I Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 20).
- We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ is the one through whom God will judge all mankind (Jn. 5:22-23): a. Believers (I Cor. 3:10-15; 2 Cor. 5:10). b. Living inhabitants of the earth at His glorious return (Matt. 25:31-46). c. Unbelieving dead at the Great White Throne (Rev. 20:11-15)
- As the mediator between God and man (I Tim. 2:5), the head of His body the church (Eph. 1:22; 5:23; Col. 1:18), and the coming universal King who will reign on the throne of David (Isa. 9:6; Lk. 1:31-33), He is the final judge of all who fail to place their trust in Him as Lord and Savior (Matt. 25:14-46; Acts 17:30-31).
God the Holy Spirit
- We teach that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity including intellect (I Cor. 2:10-13), emotions (Eph. 4:30), will (I Cor. 12:11), eternality (Heb. 9:14), omnipresence (Ps. 139:7-10), omniscience (Isa. 40:13-14), omnipotence (Rom. 15:13), and truthfulness (Jn. 16:13). In all the divine attributes He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son (Matt. 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 28:25-26; I Cor. 12:4-6; 2 Cor. 13:14; and Jer. 31:31-34 with Heb. 10:15-17).
- We teach that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to execute the divine will with relation to all mankind. We recognize His sovereign activity in creation (Gen. 1:2), the incarnation (Matt. 1:18), the written revelation (2 Pet. 1:20-21), and the work of salvation (Jn. 3:5-7).
- We teach that the ministry of the Holy Spirit, who comforts and empowers in this age, began at Pentecost when He came from the Father as promised by Christ (Jn. 1:33; 14:16-17; 15:26; Acts 1:5). The broad scope of His divine activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and transforming believers into the image of Christ (Jn. 16:7-9; Acts 1:5; 2:4; Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 2:22).
- We teach that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign agent in regeneration. The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, illuminates, and empowers Believers for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption (Rom. 8:9; Eph. 1:13).
- We teach that the Holy Spirit is the divine teacher who guided the apostles and prophets into all truth as they committed to writing God’s revelation, the Bible. Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation, and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with the Spirit (Jn. 16:13; Rom. 8:9; Eph. 5:18; 2 Pet. 1:19-21; I Jn. 2:20,27).
- We teach that the Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the church. The Holy Spirit glorifies neither Himself nor His gifts by ostentatious displays, but He does glorify Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in the most holy faith (Jn. 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; I Cor. 12:4-11; 2 Cor. 3:18).
- We teach, in this respect, that God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of all His gifts for the perfecting of the saints today and that speaking in tongues, prophetic revelations and the working of sign miracles in the beginning days of the church were for the purpose of pointing to and authenticating the apostles as revealers of divine truth, and were never intended to be characteristic of the lives of believers (I Cor. 12:4-11; 13:8-10; 14:4,12; 2 Cor. 12:12; Eph. 4:7-12; Heb. 2:1-4).
- We teach that man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. Man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination, and moral responsibility to God (Gen. 2:7, 15-25; Js. 3:9).
- We teach that God’s intention in the creation of man was that man should glorify God, enjoy God’s fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and by this accomplish God’s purpose for man in the world (Isa. 43:7; Col. 1:16; Rev. 4:11).
- We teach that in Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, man lost his innocence; incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death; became subject to the wrath of God; and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. With no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, man is hopelessly lost. Man’s salvation is thereby wholly of God’s grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ (Gen. 2:16-17; 3:1-19; Jn. 3:36; Rom. 3:23; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3; I Tim. 2:13-14; I Jn. 1:8).
- We teach that because all men were in Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam’s sin has been transmitted to all men of all ages, Jesus Christ being the only exception. All men are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (Ps. 14:1-3; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:9-18,23; 5:10-12).
- We teach that salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works (Jn. 1:12; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-10; I Pet. 1:18-19)
- We teach that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (Jn. 3:3-7; Tit. 3:5). It is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God (Jn. 5:24). Regeneration occurs as the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works will be its proper evidence and fruit (I Cor. 6:19-20; Eph. 2:10), and will be experienced to the extent that the believer submits to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life through faithful obedience to the Word of God (Eph. 5:17-21; Phil. 2:12; Col. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:4-10). This obedience causes the believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3:18). Such a conformity is climaxed in the believer’s glorification at Christ’s coming (Rom. 8:17; 2 Pet. 1:4; I Jn. 3:2-3).
- We teach that justification before God is an act of God (Rom. 8:33) by which He declares righteous those who, excercise faith in Christ alone, for the remission of sins (Isa. 55:6-7; Lk. 13:3; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; Rom. 2:4; 2 Cor. 7:10; I Cor. 12:3; 2 Cor. 4:5; Phil. 2:11). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Rom. 3:20; 4:6) and involves the imputation of our sins to Christ (Col. 2:14; I Pet. 2:24) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (I Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:21). By this means God is enabled to “be just, and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:25,26).
- We teach that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and is therefore identified as a saint. This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification. This sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing, not his present walk or condition (Acts 20:32; I Cor. 1:2,30; 6:11; 2 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 2:11; 3:1; 10:10,14; 13:12; I Pet. 1:2).
- We teach that there is also by the work of the Holy Spirit a progressive sanctification by which the state of the believer is brought closer to the standing the believer positionally enjoys through justification. Through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ (Jn. 17:17,19; Rom. 6:1-22; 2 Cor. 3:18; I Thess. 4:3-4; 5:23).
- In this respect, we teach that every saved person is involved in a daily conflict—the new creation in Christ doing battle against the flesh—but adequate provision is made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The struggle nevertheless stays with the believer all through this earthly life and is never completely ended. All claims to the eradication of sin in this life are unscriptural. Eradication of sin is not possible, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin (Gal. 5:16-25; Eph. 4:22-24; Phil. 3:12; Col. 3:9-10; I Pet. 1:14-16; I Jn. 3:5-9).
- We teach that all the redeemed once saved are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (Jn. 5:24; 6:37-50; 10:27-30; Rom. 5:9-10; 8:1, 31-39 I Cor. 1:4-8; Eph. 4:30; Heb. 7:25; 13:5; I Pet. 1:5; Jude 24).
- We teach that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living and carnality (Rom. 6:15-22; 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13, 25-26; Tit. 2:11-14).
- We teach that separation from sin is clearly called for throughout the Old and New Testaments, and that the Scriptures clearly indicate that in the last days apostasy and worldliness shall increase (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; 2 Tim. 3:1-5).
- We teach that out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to us and because our glorious God is so worthy of our total consecration, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to God and so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior. We also teach that separation from all religious apostasy, and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of us by God (Rom. 12:1-2; I Cor. 5:9-13; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; I Jn. 2:15-17; 2 Jn. 9-11).
- We teach that believers should be separated unto our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thess. 1:11-12; Heb. 12:1-2) and affirm that the Christian life is a life of obedient righteousness demonstrated by a beatitude attitude (Matt. 5:2-12) and a continual pursuit of holiness (Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 7:1; Heb. 12:14; Tit. 2:11-14; I Jn. 3:1-10).