The Apostle Paul, writing to Timothy, said, "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths."
(2 Timothy 4:1-4) Desiring to hold to Biblical truth and applying true principles of interpretation, we believe:
1. The Bible, both the Old and New Testament, is the revealed Word of God in written form (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13).
2. The Bible is the divinely inspired revelation of God to man, delivered through the superintending work of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19-21), taking into account the personalities, experiences, style, and language of its human writers, so as to communicate the perfect message God intended for man to receive, without error in whole or in part. We accept the sixty-six books of the holy canon of God, Old and New Testaments.
3. The Bible constitutes the only written infallible rule of faith and practice (Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:15-17).
4. It is the responsibility of the believer to carefully study the text of Scripture in order to accurately ascertain the meaning of the Word of God through proper interpretation (John 7:17; 16:12-15; 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 John 2:20).
5. The revelation of Scripture in written form was delivered in the original documents as an inerrant, infallible, plenary, complete, and divinely inspired truth, cohesive in its message from the book of Genesis through the book of the Revelation, as God-breathed (1 Corinthians 1:2:13; Thessalonians 2:13).
THE HOLY TRINITY (Theology proper)
1. God is numerically and essentially one (Deuteronomy 6:4; John 10:30; James 2:19).
2. God’s essence is indivisible (Isaiah 45:5-6; 46:9) and belonging fully to three divine Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19; John 15:26; Matthew 3:16-17).
3. Each Person of the Holy Trinity is distinguishable from each other Person, and God the Father is the divine Source of all things (Romans 11:36); God the Son is the divine Agent of all things (John 1:3); God the Holy Spirit is the divine Completer or Applier of all things (Psalm 104:30;John 16:8; John 3:8).
4. Full and complete comprehension of the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity is impossible for finite human minds, but this in no way denies the truth of the Scriptural doctrine (Deuteronomy 29:29).
GOD THE FATHER
1. God the Father is revealed in Holy Scripture as: self-existent (John 5:26), infinite in regard to His perfect Being (Matthew 5:48), infinite in regard to His eternality (Psalm 90:2), infinite in regard to His omnipresence (1 Kings 8:27), immutable—changeless (James 1:17), a personal Spirit (John 4:24), all-knowing (1 John 3:20), all-wise (Psalm 33:10-11), truthful (Romans 3:4), faithful (Lamentations 3:22-23), benevolent (Psalm 145:9), loving (1 John 4:8, 16), gracious (Ephesians 1:6-7), merciful (2 Corinthians 1:3), long-suffering (2 Peter 3:15), holy (Isaiah 6:3), righteous (John 17:25), the sovereign Ruler of the universe (Psalm 135:6), and all-powerful (Revelation 1:8).
2. God the Father is known by His attributes, but His attributes as seen in revealed Scripture do not exhaust His essence (Romans 11:33-35).
3. God has freely decreed all things for His own glory(Romans 11:36; Revelation 4:11), but He was not and is not the efficient cause of sin (Ezekiel 28:15).
JESUS CHRIST (Christology)
1. Jesus Christ shares the exact same essence as God the Father, being God the Son (John 10:30) and while there is only one divine nature (Deuteronomy 6:4; James 2:19), there are three entities or Persons: called the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; John 15:26; Ephesians 1:1-14). They exist as a Trinity, three distinguishable divine Persons, that are indivisible in essence (Isaiah 45:5-6 versus Matthew 3:16-17).
2. Jesus Christ was eternally pre-existent, un-created (John 1:1) and He became fully man through the virgin birth (Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 1:27;Isaiah 7:14). While being fully man, Jesus was and is fully God in one Person without confusion of attributes (Colossians 2:9; Philippians 2:5-8), and therefore, did not sin, in fact (1 Peter 2:22; 2 Corinthians 5:21), was unable to sin (Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:2-3), and yet is fully able to come to the aid of sinful man (Hebrews 2:14-18, 4:14-16).
3. Jesus Christ, being fully God, did not give up any of His divine attributes, but voluntarily limited the use of them (Philippians 2:5-8; John 1:14). Jesus came to manifest (make visible) God (John 1:18), to redeem mankind (Titus 2:11-14), and will come to rule God’s kingdom (Isaiah 9:6).
4. Jesus Christ, motivated by divine love and on the basis of God’s holiness, satisfied divine justice concerning sin by His life (1 Peter 2:21-23; John 3:16), His ministry (Matthew 11:2-6; 12:28), and His substitutionary death (2 Corinthians 5:21; Mark 10:45; Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2).
5. Jesus Christ has baptized all believers in the Holy Spirit for the purpose of uniting them into one body (1 Corinthians 12:13) at the moment of their union with Christ in salvation (Galatians 4:6; Romans 8:9).
6. Jesus Christ was raised bodily after death from the grave(Matthew 28:5-6; Acts 2:30-32), which demonstrated His deity (Romans 1:3-4), revealed God’s acceptance of His atonement for sin (Hebrews 1:3, 10:5-7), and guaranteed the future bodily resurrection of every believer to life everlasting(John 14:19; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23).
THE HOLY SPIRIT (Pneumatology)
1. The Holy Spirit shares the exact same essence as the Father and the Son (see above).
2. The Holy Spirit is a distinguishable Person (John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11, 12:11; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 3:7) and divine (Acts 5:3-4).
3. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (John 15:26) which does not imply subordination, but perfect orderliness within the triune Godhead (Matthew 28:19; John 14:26; Acts 28:25-27).
4. The Holy Spirit executes the divine will in the world (Job 33:4; Isaiah 40:13-14), has executed sovereignty in relation to the incarnation (Luke 1:35), has inspired the written Word of God (2 Peter 1:21), and is actively involved in the salvation of man (2 Thessalonians 2:13; John 16:7-11; John 3:7-8; Titus 3:5) and the restraint of sin (Genesis 6:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7).
5. The Holy Spirit indwells every believer (1 Corinthians 6:19), is the Seal of eternal salvation (Ephesians 1:13, 4:30), and fills (or controls) every believer who yields (Ephesians 5:18).
6. The Holy Spirit manifests His power and presence through gifts of ministry within the body (1 Corinthians 12:7; Romans 1:11-12) and these gifts are to benefit the Church (1 Corinthians 14:12, 26) and bring glory to God (1 Peter 4:11).
7. The Holy Spirit empowers every believer to convey a witness for Christ in the world (Acts 1:8) and thrusts Christian workers into various parts of the world (Acts 13:2-4; Acts 8:39-40).
1. Angels are created beings (Psalm 148:2-5; Colossians 1:16); some of which serve God (Matthew 26:53; Hebrews 1:14) and others of which have sinned (2 Peter 2:4), are called demons (James 2:19), and serve Satan (Mark 3:22; Revelation 12:7), who himself is a fallen angel (Ezekiel 28:14-15; Isaiah 14:13-15).
2. Satan has been and is actively engaged in seeking the overthrow of God’s kingdom (Isaiah 14:12-13). He is now the ruler of this world system, seeking to keep unbelievers from coming to know Christ (2 Corinthians 4:3-4), trying to dissuade believers from trusting God (Genesis 3:1-7; 1 Peter 5:8-9), and endeavoring to establish counterfeit religion (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).
3. Satan acts as the accuser of believers before God’s throne (Job 1:6, 9; Zechariah 3:1-2; Revelation 12:10).
4. God provides the believer with divine protection from Satan and his demons (Ephesians 6:10-11; 2 Thessalonians 3:3).
5. Satan has been judged at the Cross (John 12:31,16:11; Hebrews 2:14) and will suffer the torments of eternal fire forever after the millennium (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).
1. God created man immediately from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7) and in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27).
2. Man was created a rational being (Genesis 1:28,2:15,20) and morally responsible to obey God (Genesis 2:16-17), but he willfully sinned (Genesis 3:1-7) and brought spiritual and physical death upon the whole human race (Genesis 2:17, 3:19, 22-24; Romans 5:12).
3. Man has been assigned the guilt and penalty of Adam’s sin (Romans 5:12), has an inherited sin nature [humanity] (Psalm 51:5),and is totally depraved (Romans 3:10-18; Ephesians 2:1-3); but he still reflects the image of God (James 3:9; 1 Corinthians 11:7; Colossians 3:10).
4. Man is hopelessly lost apart from salvation in Christ (Acts 4:12) and is subject to God’s wrath (John 3:36).
5. Saved man is still subject to personal sin because of his sin nature [humanity] (Romans 6:12, 7:17-21), the present world system(1 John 2:15-16), and the devil (Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 Peter 5:8-9).
6. The sinful believer reaps divine chastisement(Hebrews 12:4-13; 1 Corinthians 3:15, 11:30), but he can receive forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32; 1 John 1:9), and can never suffer loss of eternal salvation (1 Corinthians 3:15; John 6:37-40, 10:27-29).
1. All Salvation is by God’s grace which is His free and sovereign gift of unmerited favor (Ephesians 2:8-9) to men through the agency of the Holy Spirit at the point of belief in the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:13), and is only possible in the Person and work of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12;1 Timothy 2:5; John 14:6).
2. Christ died for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2; Hebrews 2:9; John 1:29) and whosoever will accept Christ as personal Savior will be saved (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10; John 1:12; Acts 16:31).
3. Salvation is a work of God the Father wherein He chose the believer (Ephesians 1:3-6; Acts 13:48); the Son has provided divine satisfaction for sin (1 John 4:10; Ephesians 1:7-12) and the Holy Spirit is the Seal which guarantees eternal salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14).
4. Salvation occurs when man, confronted with God’s Word (Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 1:23), repents of his personal sin (Acts 17:30; 1 Thessalonians 1:9) and receives God’s grace through faith in the Person and work of Christ (Romans 3:21-22).
5. Upon salvation man is regenerated or born anew from above by the Holy Spirit (John 3:5; Titus 3:5-6), forgiven his sins (Ephesians 1:7), made a new spiritual creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), declared righteous by God based upon the imputation of Christ’s righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21) bringing reconciliation to God (Romans 5:10-11).
6. Justification is that judicial act of God in which He, on the basis of the righteousness of Jesus Christ in satisfying all the claims of the Law, declares and treats the believing sinner as righteous (Romans 5:1; Galatians 2:16; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:24-26; Isaiah 53:10-12).
7. The saved individual is adopted by God and declared to be His child with all the privileges of an heir (Romans 8:16-17;Galatians 4:4-5); is brought into an eternal, indwelling union with Christ (Ephesians 1:4; Galatians 2:20; John 5:24; 1 John 5:12-13; 1 Corinthians 6:19); and is responsible for participating with the Holy Spirit in sanctification which is God’s gracious and continuous operation by which He delivers us from the pollution of sin, renews the whole nature in the image of God, and enables and empowers the believer to perform good works (2 Thessalonians 2:13; Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 2:13; Colossians 3:10; John 15:4-5).
8. God secures the final salvation of all believers (Philippians 1:6; John 6:39; Jude 1); keeps the believer from that continued and open practice of sin or apostasy that would end in eternal damnation (2 Thessalonians 3:3; 1 Corinthians 11:32); and, as to the future, will bring all believers to that ultimate salvation which is entrance into the eternal of blessedness in His presence (John 10:27-28; Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 2:7).
LAST THINGS (Eschatology)
1. Upon death a believer passes into Christ’s presence immediately (2 Corinthians 5:8), and a non-believer passes into the abode of death and suffers torment (Luke 16:22-23) as he awaits the resurrection of the lost (John 5:28- 29).
2. There will be a bodily resurrection for both the saved and the lost (John 5:28-29; Revelation 20:4-6, 13).
3. At the end of the Church age, Christ will descend to take up (rapture) His Church (John 14:2-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) and judge each believer according to his deeds (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).
4. Following the consummation of the Church age, the tribulation period of God’s dealings with the nation Israel and the unbelieving world will begin (Daniel 9:27; Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:3-31; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Revelation 6-19).
5. The end of the tribulation period will usher in the return of Christ to the earth with His saints (Revelation 19:11-16) to judge the living (Matthew 25:31-46) and to establish a universal 1,000 year reign (Millennium) of righteousness on the earth (Revelation 20:6; Isaiah 11).
6. At the end of the millennial reign of Christ will be the Great White Throne Judgment when the unsaved will be raised from death, judged according to their works, and committed to a literal place of judgment in what is called "the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:11-15).
7. Also folowing the millennial reign of Christ and the Great White Throne Judgment, the heavens and earth will be destroyed or melted (2 Peter 3:10), the new heaven and earth with the new Jerusalem will be established (Revelation 21:1-2), the saints of God will enjoy eternal bliss in the presence of God (Revelation 21:3-5), and God will reign eternally over all spheres (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).