We teach the Bible is the Word of God and is just as authoritative as God’s divine voice.
The Bible is a closed canon, consisting of 66 books. Nothing is to be added to or taken away from it. The formation of the canon was not based on church authority. Rather, the church recognized that God had already made certain books authoritative (Deut. 4:2; 1 Tim. 5:18; Jude 3; Rev. 22:18-19).
Scripture is both a divine and human book. Inspiration is the work of God, by His Holy Spirit, communicating His word without error. Though fallible humans were utilized, the Holy Spirit ensured the production of infallible writings. Thus, Scripture is a divine product. Everything in Scripture is God’s Word, not only the ideas or thoughts of biblical writers (2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Pet. 1:19-21).
Because God cannot lie, the Bible, as a whole and in its parts, in the original autographs, does not and cannot contain any errors. Therefore, it is truth and can be trusted. A translation is authoritative as long as it accurately reflects the original (John 10:35, 17:17; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 4:12).
Scripture contains all the divine words needed for salvation, to glorify God and to live the Christian life. There is no need for additional revelations, dreams/visions, or words of prophecy. Even though God’s existence, power, and divine nature are revealed through creation, general revelation is only able to condemn. Special revelation is necessary for salvation. Although not everything in the Bible is equally clear, everything necessary for salvation is clear enough that anyone can understand it, using the necessary means (Psalm 19:7-14; Rom. 1:19-20; 1 Corinthians 2; 2 Tim. 3:15-17).
Every passage of Scripture has only one true interpretation, based on authorial intent, understood by using a literal grammatical-historical method of interpretation. The Holy Spirit authenticates and opens our minds to its meaning. Scripture unfolds the story of God’s Kingdom, and God’s glory is the reason for the story (1 Cor. 2:7-15; 2 Tim. 2:15).
the character of god
We teach that God is an invisible, infinite spirit and perfect in all His attributes. Without God there is no meaning, truth and rationality; therefore God exists (Proverbs 1:7; Matthew 5:48; John 4:24).
Within the one Being of God, there exists eternally three coequal and coeternal persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each equally deserves worship and obedience (Deut. 6:4; Isaiah 44:6-8; Matt. 28:18-20; John 1:1; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 13:14).
Attributes of God
God is self-existent, not needing any part of creation to exist. He is unchanging in His being, perfections, purposes and promises. He is personal and holy, immanent and transcendent. He is eternal, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. He is wise, faithful, good, loving, merciful, gracious, patient, righteous, just, jealous and wrathful (Psalm 90:2, 102:25-27, 139:7-10; Isaiah 6:3; Acts 17:24-25; Romans 1:18).
God created all things approximately 6,000 years ago, out of nothing and in 6 consecutive 24 hour periods. Evolution as a theory is both unbiblical and unscientific. Creation is distinct from God and always dependent on God (Genesis 1:1-31; Exodus 20:8-11; Hebrews 11:3).
God has unchangeably decreed for His own glory, and for His own purposes, all things that come to pass, from the greatest even to the least. He is continually involved with all created things as He preserves, directs, and governs all creatures and events. In His sovereignty He is neither the author nor approver of sin, nor does He remove the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures. His absolute divine sovereignty is compatible with human significance and real human choices (Deuteronomy 32:39; 1 Chronicles 29:11; Proverbs 16:33; Habakkuk 1:13; Ephesians 1:11; 1 Peter 1:17).
Although God never directly does anything evil, He does cause evil events and deeds to occur. However, He never takes pleasure in evil, and human beings are always responsible for the evil they do. God uses evil for His glory and our good (Isaiah 10:5-15, 66:3-4; Acts 2:23; Romans 8:28).
We teach that Jesus Christ is Savior, Lord and King. He is the heir of all things (Heb. 1:2) and all things were made to praise His holy name (Col. 1:16).
The Person of Christ
Prior to the incarnation, Jesus eternally existed as the unique Son of God, appearing throughout the Old Testament as the Angel of the Lord (Gen. 16:7-13; Judges 6:12-14). In the incarnation, Jesus took on humanity and did not empty Himself of deity. Rather, by taking on humaity, He veiled the voluntary display of His divine attributes (John 1:14; Phil. 2:5-7). Jesus was truly and fully God as well as truly and fully man in one person, and will be so forever. He was born of a virgin without a human father, of the seed of Abraham and David (Matt. 1:1, 18). He had a real human body (Luke 2:40, 50-52). He never committed any sin during His lifetime (1 John 3:5). The union of His human and divine natures means it was not possible for Christ to have sinned (John 5:19, 8:29; Heb. 13:8).
Jesus voluntarily died on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for sin (John 10:18). On the cross, Jesus bore the penalty and guilt for our sins. He also bore God’s wrath which appeased God’s wrath and justice, and changed God’s wrath towards us into favor (Romans 3:25-26). The death of Christ was of infinite value. Yet, the purpose of Christ’s coming was not to merely make possible the salvation of all humans, but to render certain the salvation of the elect (John 10:11; Acts 20:28).
Resurrection and Ascension
Between Christ’s death and resurrection, He did not go to hell. Rather, His living spirit went to the demon spirits bound in the abyss and proclaimed that, in spite of His death, He had triumphed over them (1 Peter 3:18-20). Three days after Jesus died the Father, Son and Holy Spirit all participated in the resurrection (John 10:17-18; Acts 2:24; Romans 8:11). Jesus rose from the dead with a transformed body. The resurrection of Jesus provides irrefutable evidence that He is the Son of God (Romans 1:4). Forty days after the resurrection, Jesus ascended to and sat down at the right hand of the Father (Acts 1:9; Hebrews 1:3).
The Offices of Christ
Jesus fulfills the office of prophet as He reveals God and His Word to us (Acts 3:22-24; Heb. 1:1-2). Jesus also functions as a priest by offering Himself as a sacrifice to God on our behalf (Heb. 9:26). Presently He mediates as the believers’ advocate and High Priest (Romans 8:34; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1). Jesus is also king as He rules over the church and the universe (Eph. 1:20-22). He will come back and then establish His millennial kingdom on earth and judge all people (Rev. 19:11-20:15).
THE holy spirit
We teach that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He is the same in substance and essence, and equal in power, eternity, and glory as the Father and the Son, while also being distinct from the Father and the Son (Matt. 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 13:14). The titles of the Holy Spirit affirm His deity (Acts 5:9, 8:39). He is to be worshiped, loved and obeyed.
The Person of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is not merely the exerted energy of God or an impersonal force. Rather, He is a person in the same sense as the Father and the Son. Both His attributes and works affirm His personality which include but are not limited to: wisdom (Eph. 1:17), will (1 Cor. 12:11), teacher (John 16:13) and conviction (John 16:8). He is the creator of the universe and the divine author of Scripture (Gen. 1:2; Psalm 104:30; John 14:26; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).
The Work of the Holy Spirit in Salvation
The Holy Spirit presently works in the world to restrain and convict sin (Gen. 6:3; John 16:8; 2 Thess. 2:7). Towards the elect, He regenerates their hearts, imparting spiritual life and making them willing to believe, which is never resisted (John 3:3-7, 6:63; 2 Thess. 2:14; Titus 3:5). The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a work performed by Christ, where Christ is the baptizer who immerses each believer with the Spirit into unity with all other believers (Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; John 1:33; 1 Cor. 12:13). This work of baptism is received at the moment of conversion for every Christian, and is accomplished once for all, never repeated. The Holy Spirit permanently indwells every believer beginning at conversion (Rom. 8:9). He seals each believer guaranteeing their eternal security (2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13, 4:30).
The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Believer
Using the Word, the Holy Spirit is the power for living a life pleasing to God. Every believer is commanded to live continually under the influence of the Holy Spirit, as a repeated experience, by walking by, being filled with, and being led by the Spirit (Rom. 8:14; Gal. 5:15; Eph. 5:18). The evidence a person lives under the power of the Spirit is holiness, illumination, and power for service (Rom. 8:13; 1 Cor. 2:9-10, 12:7; Gal. 5:16-26; Eph. 5:19-21; Col. 3:16). Any sin that hinders spiritual growth quenches and grieves the Spirit (Eph. 4:30; 1 Thess. 5:19). The Holy Spirit empowers prayer and makes it effective (Rom. 8:26; Eph. 6:18). Experiencing the ministry of the Holy Spirit provides assurance of salvation (Rom. 8:16; 1 John 3:24, 4:13).
The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Church
Spiritual gifts are extraordinary powers, given by the Holy Spirit, used in love to edify the church (1 Cor. 13, 14:12).While Christ measures out the quantity of spiritual gifts, the Holy Spirit sovereignly bestows them at the moment of conversion (1 Cor. 12:11; Eph. 4:7). While no believer has every spiritual gift, every believer has one or more (1 Cor. 12:27-31). The Holy Spirit creates unity amongst believers (2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:3).
We teach that God made mankind to be higher than any other creature. We are made to serve Him, not the reverse.
Creation of Man
On the 6th day of creation, God created the first man, Adam, from the dust of the ground and then fashioned the first woman, Eve, from one of Adam’s ribs (Gen. 2:7, 22), not by an evolutionary process. Because God is independent and self existent, God did not need to create man because He has perfect fellowship within the Trinity (John 17:5). Yet, He created mankind for His own glory (Isaiah 43:7; Eph. 1:11-12). Therefore, our purpose in life must be to fulfill the reason that God created us: to glorify Him (1 Cor. 10:31). God created male and female in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27). Being made in the image of God means we, first, have intellect, a moral will and responsibility to rule over creation. Second, we also represent God. After the fall, God’s image became distorted but not lost (Gen. 1:26, 9:6; James 3:9).
Man as Male and Female
God created only two genders, male and female. A person’s gender is determined by God and not defined by nor does it change based on societal or personal decision (Gen. 5:2; Mark 10:6). God did not create male and female to be in isolation from each other. Rather, He created us to be in relationship with each other (Gen. 2:18). God designed marriage to be between one man and one woman for a lifetime (Gen. 2:24). Any sexual activity outside a heterosexual marriage is sinful before God (Eph. 5:3; Heb. 13:4). In the church, both males and females share equality in personhood and importance (Gal. 3:27-28). But, males and females maintain functional distinctions in role and authority (Gen. 2:18; 1 Tim. 2:9-15).
The Essential Nature of Man
Every person has a physical body and an immaterial soul or spirit. The Bible uses the terms “soul” and “spirit” interchangeably to describe the immaterial part of man, the part that lives on after our bodies die (Luke 1:46-47; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 1 Thess. 5:23).
God created man good, without any sinful thoughts or desires (Eccl. 7:29). When Adam and Eve sinned, they became mortal and died spiritually (Gen. 2:17). Adam’s sin was imputed to each member of the human race because each member of the human race actually sinned in Adam when Adam sinned (Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:21-22). Every person after Adam and Eve, from conception, inherits the guilt and punishment for sin (Psalm 51:5). This original sin affects all aspects of man’s being and it affects all people. Humans have the ability to make choices and are not always as bad as they could be. But, every person is born spiritually blind and dead (Rom. 3:9-18; Eph. 2:1), and is unable and unwilling to seek after God apart from the irresistible work of the Holy Spirit (John 5:40, 6:44, 8:34; Rom. 8:28-30). Because of general revelation, every person knows something about God’s existence. But, they suppress the truth because they love their sin (Rom. 1:18-20).
We teach that sin is any intentional or unintentional failure to conform to the moral law of God in act, attitude, or nature (Ex. 20:17; Matt. 5:22; Eph. 2:3; 1 John 3:4). Sin permeates every aspect of our existence (Gen. 3:14-19). It is to be hated and avoided (Rom. 12:9).
The Origin of Sin
God sovereignly ordains everything that comes to pass (Rom. 11:36). Sin is part of His decretive will and not His preceptive will (1 Thess. 4:3). Since God is fully sovereign and perfectly holy and good, He cannot be blamed for or approve of sin (1 John 1:5). It is impossible for God to do anything evil (Psalm 5:4).
The Nature of Sin
The guilt and corruption from Adam’s sin is imputed to every person at conception because he was the representative of all humanity (Rom. 5:12-21). By sinning against God, man brought hostility into human relationships and moral evil into creation. Sin separates mankind from God (Isa. 59:2). While acts of sin cannot break the believer’s union with Christ, they do have a negative impact on the believer’s communion with Christ by grieving the Holy Spirit, and harming one’s spiritual growth and testimony before the world (Eph. 4:30; 1 Pet. 3:1-2). God is ready to forgive all those who repent and believe (Psalm 86:5). Nevertheless, anyone who rejects the clear testimony of the Holy Spirit with hardened and willful unbelief has committed the unforgivable sin (Matt. 12:30-32; Heb. 6:4-6; 1 John 5:16).
The Punishment of Sin
God punishes sin because His righteousness demands it (Rom. 3:25-26). Any sin makes a person legally guilty before God and worthy of eternal punishment (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 5:16; James 2:10-11). Yet, some sins are worse than others because they have more harmful consequences or they arouse His displeasure more (Ezek 8:6; John 19:11). The unbeliever who dies without forgiveness must suffer eternal torment in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15). Because of the death of Christ, the believer will never suffer eternally for their sins (2 Cor. 5:21).
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