Doctrinal Beliefs

 

Concerning the Bible

 

I believe in the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Bible (both the Old and New Testaments) without error or contradiction (1 Cor. 2:13; Matt. 5:18; 2 Tim. 3:16). The Bible is God’s written revelation to man, and it is objective, propositional revelation (1 Cor 2:13; 1 Thess. 2:13). It is absolutely inerrant in the original documents, infallible and God-breathed. 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). Scripture is completely inerrant and infallible in all it affirms (2 Tim. 3:16; John 10:35) and it is accurate and reliable in science, history, and every other matter that it discusses. Yet the truth of scripture stands in judgment of men, never do men stand in judgment of it.

 

 

Concerning God

 

I believe that there are three eternal distinctions, or persons, in the one divine God, known respectively as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19). These are co-eternal and co-equal (Deut. 6:4). This does not conflict with the doctrine of the unity of God. They are equal in every divine attribute and execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of redemption. These three are worthy of the same confidence, honor, and worship (John 16:7-16; 2 Cor. 13:14).

 

Concerning the Father

 

I believe the Scriptures present God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, as a personal, living, invisible, and immaterial being. He is the creator and sustainer of the universe (Gen. 1:1). He self-exists (Exod 3:14) eternally (Ps. 102:27) and spiritually (John 4:24) as the first person of the Trinity, undivided in His Divine nature. He originated creation and is the originator of all the Scripture. He directed the work of Christ in His incarnation and redemption. He is the Heavenly Father of all who have come to a saving knowledge of His only begotten Son. His moral attributes are: holiness (Lev. 11:44, 45), righteousness (Ps. 145:17), justice (1 John 1:9), truth (John 17:3), and goodness (Matt. 5:45) which are manifested in His love (1 John 4, 7, 8, 16), mercy (Eph 2:4), and grace (Eph 1:7). His non-moral attributes are omnipresence (Ps. 139:7-12); omniscience (Ps. 139: 1-4), omnipotence (Matt. 19:26), and immutability (James 1:17).

 

Concerning the Son

 

I believe in Jesus the Christ as the second person of the Trinity. In the eternal (Col. 1:17) past Christ was “with God,” indeed He “was God” (John 1:1). He had a distinct personal existence during the Old Testament period and had definite and repeated dealings with men during that time. He was virgin born (Matt. 1:23) being begotten of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35; Isa. 7:14). He was totally God (Col. 2:9), being the true incarnation of the Godhead (Heb. 4:15), and totally man (1 Tim. 2:5) possessing both the human and Divine natures (John 1:14; Rom. 1:2-5), without confusion, in one indivisible person. He was totally without sin (Heb. 4:15) and was incapable of sin. He has no beginning or ending. Scripture represents Christ as the creator (John 1:3) and preserver of Creation. At the incarnation, Christ voluntarily surrendered the independent exercise of his divine attributes (Phil. 2:5-8) in order to function as the servant of God in the plan of redemption. His vicarious death (Rom. 5:8) as a substitutionary atonement (2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13) appeased God’s wrath (1 John 2:2) and satisfied God’s justice (Rom. 5:9-31). His shed blood was given as a ransom (Eph. 1:7) for the sin of all men (Heb. 2:9) and is essential for man’s salvation (1 John 1:7-10). His death is sufficient for all but it becomes effective only for those who believe. I believe in His actual bodily resurrection from the dead (1 Cor. 15:4) and ascension (Acts 1:9) and exaltation (Eph 1:20-23) to the right hand of God as Lord, Mediator, Priest and Advocate (Heb. 7:25). I believe in His personal, imminent, pre-millennial, and pre-tribulation return to bring into consummation His work of redemption and the ultimate triumph over Satan and his hosts.

 

Concerning the Holy Spirit

 

I believe in the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Trinity. I believe in His deity and personality (Acts 5:3-34). By his ability and work he brings glory to Christ (John 14:26), illumines the Word (1 John 2:27), convicts men of sin (John 16:9-11), draws men to Christ for salvation (Eph. 1:13-14), give gifts (1 Cor. 12:11), seals (Eph 4:30), and indwells (1 Cor. 6:19) Christians. Through Him men are regenerated and sanctified. He is, until He is withdrawn, the restraining power against evil in this world (2 Thess. 2:6-8).

 

 

Concerning Man

 

I believe that man was created, apart from any evolutionary process (Gen. 1:27), on the sixth day of creation (Gen. 1:26), in the “image and likeness” of God (Gen. 1:26-27), as the crowning glory of His creation for the purpose of bringing pleasure and glory to God (Isa. 43:7; Rev. 4:11). The first man, Adam, was made holy and without sin (Gen. 1:31, 2:16-17) from the soil of the ground. God breathed into him breath of life. Through disobedience Adam fell, bringing spiritual and physical death upon himself and the entire race (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 5:12-19). All men are now, apart from God, sinners by state, disposition, and act; alienated from God (Rom. 7:18), spiritually dead, wholly depraved (Eph. 4:18) , under just condemnation of God without defense or excuse, incapable of pleasing God (Rom. 8:7), and unable to remedy their lost condition. Man is created a free moral agent (Heb. 3:15; John 7:17). Man is born a sinner (John 3:6), and apart from the saving work of grace in his heart, he dies a sinner (John 3:3-21; Eph. 2:4-9). With the fall of man God promised a redeemer and the plan of salvation whereby man becomes a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).

 

 

 

 

Concerning Sin

 

I believe that sin is any personal lack of conformity to the moral standards, character, law, or desire of God (Rom. 3:23; James 4:17; 1 John 3:4) Through the one sin of Adam, sin and death entered into the world an are the lot of all mankind (Rom. 5:2-19). Human sin originated in man’s free act of revolt against God. We cannot tell how the first unholy emotion arose in the soul of a holy being, but we know the fact that it did. Sin has affected man in his entirety so that he is totally depraved (Rom. 3:10), having no natural desire to please God; the intellect is blinded, the emotions corrupted, and the will is placed in bondage to sin (John 5:42; Eph. 4:18). The source of sin in man is from within and man is personally accountable for his sin. Man is incapable of saving himself (Rom. 7:18). Ultimately, apart from salvation, the result of sin is physical death (the separation of the soul from God), and eternal death (eternal spiritual death) (James 1:15), together with accompanying remorse and outward punishment in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15). There is no remission of sin apart for the shed blood of Jesus Christ (Heb. 9:22).

 

 

Concerning Salvation

 

I believe that Christ came into the world to give His life a ransom for men (Matt. 20:28). His death on the cross paid for the sins of the world and for the penalty of sin — death (1 John 2:2; Rom. 5:19, 21). His bodily resurrection from the grave secured salvation and its blessings for all who believe (1 Cor. 15:17-23). Therefore, there is no remission of sins apart from the vicarious death and shed blood of Jesus Christ (Heb. 2:9; 9:14-16, 22). Man is saved only by grace through faith in Christ alone. He is unable to earn his own salvation by good works, the practicing of religion, or the like (Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-6). The blood of Christ cleanses the guilty soul from sin (1 John 1:7), turning aside God’s wrath (1 John 2:2), and placing him in a position of righteousness before God (Rom. 3:25-26). Salvation is the work of God from its commencement to its consummation. Those whom He saves by grace He keeps by grace, and they are eternally secure (John 10:27-29). The believer’s salvation will be brought to completion with the glorification of his body (Rom. 8:30).

 

 

Concerning the Church

 

Organism

 

I believe that the church age began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:15, 11:15-16) and will continue until the rapture (1 Thess. 4:13-18). Christ is the head of the church (Eph. 1:22-23) and the church is the body of Christ (Col. 1:18, 24). The universal church is made up of all those, in this present age, who have been born of the spirit of God and have, by the same Spirit, been baptized into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13; Col 1:18).

 

 

 

Organization

 

I believe the local church is God’s program for the perpetuation of His truth and work in this world. It is an assembly of baptized believers (Acts 2:41, 47), voluntarily associated by covenant in the faith for fellowship, worship, pray, observe the ordinances and service that its mission is the spread of the Gospel to all men and to earnestly contend for the faith (Matt. 28:18-19). It is a visible, autonomous congregation (Matt. 18:17; 1 Cor. 16:19; Gal. 1:2; Rev. 2-3). I believe in the congregational form of church government (2 Cor. 8:19; 1 Cor. 11:2). Faith in Christ, on the part of the individual, must always be made the condition for membership. The church should be supported by the free-will offerings of its people and should not depend on any outside sources of income (1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:7). There are two ordinances: Baptism (Matt. 28:19) and the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:23-26). There are two offices: Pastor and deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly set forth in the Scriptures (1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11). The local church is commanded to evangelize the world as well as its community (Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8). I hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations, religious or governmental; that its only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; and that each local church is the sole judge in the measure and methods of its government, discipline, benevolence, and rule, the will of the local church is final.

 

Ordinances

 

Baptism

 

I believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19-20), which publicly identifies him with Christ and His body (Acts 8:36-37). Baptism does not have any saving power; it is an act of obedience after salvation and is a prerequisite for local church membership (Acts 2:41).

 

Lord’s Table

 

I believe that the Lord’s Table is a commemoration of the Lord’s death to be observed until he comes; that the elements—the bread and the fruit of the vine— are symbols of His broken body and shed blood, and that our observance of it is a pictorial testimony of the believers fellowship with the crucified Savior and should be preceded by solemn heart search and self judgment (Matt. 26:26-30; 1 Cor 10:16-21; 11:17-34).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concerning Satan

 

Satan was the greatest of all God’s created beings (Ezek. 28:12-19). However, through an act of rebellion (1 Tim 3:7) against God, he fell, drawing a great number of angels with him (Matt. 2:24-26; 25:41). These angels are now called demons, and together with Satan, they work to appose God and strive to defeat His will. Satan is the god of this age (2 Cor. 4:4) He is a being and not simply an evil influence (1 Pet. 1:12). He and his demons have great power but it is limited by the permissive will of God (Job. 2:1-6). The lake of fire was created for Satan and his angels (Matt. 25:41) and will be their final doom (Rev. 20:10). Satan is to be resisted by the Christians (James 4:7)

 

 

Concerning Last Things

 

I believe that Jesus Christ, having ascended to Heaven and sitting down at the right hand of God, awaits for His return to the earth (Acts 1:9-11). His second coming shall be in two distinct stages: the rapture of the church and His revelation and descent to rule bodily upon the earth for one thousand years (1 Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 19:1— 20:5). Also, in connection with His return shall be the Great Tribulation, the resurrection of the dead, and the judgment of all men. Believers will be raptured prior to the Tribulation (1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9) and will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10). Unbelievers will experience His wrath at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15). The save shall live eternally with the Lamb in the New Heaven and the New Earth (Rev. 21); the unsaved shall face a literal punishment in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:15; Matt. 25:46).

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