Doctrinal Statement

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Section 1 - The Scriptures

We believe the Holy Scriptures to be the verbally inspired Word of God, authoritative,inerrant, infallible, and God-breathed. By this we understand the whole Bible, the Old Testament and the New Testament, is inspired in the sense that holy men of God "were moved by the Holy Spirit" to write the very words of Scripture. We believe that His divine inspiration extends equally and fully to all parts of the writings - historical, poetical, doctrinal, and prophetical - as appeared in the original manuscripts. We believe that all the Scriptures center about the Lord Jesus Christ in His person and work, in His first and second coming, and hence that no portion, even of the Old Testament, is properly read or understood, until it leads to Him. We also believe that all the Scriptures were designed for our practical instruction. (Matthew 5:18; Mark 12:26, 36; Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Acts 1:16; 17:2,3; 18:28; 26:22, 23; 28:23; Romans 15:4; I Corinthians 2:13; 10:11; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21)

Section 2 - The Godhead

We believe in the one true God, Who created all things; that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; each having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections, and worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:18, 19; Mark 12:29; John 1:14; Acts 5:3, 4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 1:4-6)

Section 3 - Angels, Fallen and Un-fallen

  1. Creation and Classification

    We believe that God created an innumerable company of sinless, spiritual beings, known as angels; that one sinned through pride, thereby becoming Satan; that a great company of the angels followed him in his moral fall, some of whom became demons and are active as his agents and associates in the prosecution of his unholy purposes, while others who fell are "reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day." (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:11-1; 1 Timothy 3:6; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6)

  2. Satan's Strategy

    We believe that Satan is the originator of sin, and that under the permission of God, he,through deceit, led our first parents into transgression, thereby accomplishing their moral fall and subjecting them and their posterity to his own power; that he is the enemy of God and the people of God; that he in his warfare often appears as an angel of light, even counterfeiting the works of God by fostering religious movements and systems of doctrine, which systems are characterized by a denial of the efficacy of the blood of Christ and of salvation by grace alone through faith alone. (Genesis 3:1-19; Romans 5:12-14; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; 11:13-15; Ephesians 6:10-12; 1 Timothy 4:1-3, Ephesians 2:8-9)

  3. The Judgment of Satan

    We believe that Satan was judged at the cross, though not then executed, and that he, usurper, now rules as the "god of this world"; that, at the second coming of Christ, Satan will be bound and cast into the abyss for a thousand years, and after the thousand years he will be loosed for a little season and then "cast into the lake of fire and brimstone," where he "shall be tormented day and night forever and ever." (John 12:31; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 2:15; Revelation 20:1-3, 10)

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D. Elect Angels

We believe that a great company of angels kept their holy estate and are before the throne of God, from whence they are sent forth as ministering spirits to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation. (Luke 15:10; Hebrews 1:14; Revelation 7:11)

Section 4 - Man Created and Fallen

We believe that man was originally created in the image and after the likeness of God, that he fell through sin and (as a consequence of his sin) lost his spiritual life, becoming dead in trespasses and sins, and that he became subject to the power of the devil. We also believe that this spiritual death, or total depravity of human nature, has been transmitted to the entire human race of man, the Man Christ Jesus alone being excepted; and hence that every child of Adam is born into the world with a nature which not only possesses no spark of divine life, but is essentially and unchangeably bad apart from divine grace. (Genesis 1:26; 2:17; 6:5; Psalm 14:1-3; 51:5; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-19; 5:12; 8:6,7; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:1-3)

Section 5 – Marriage

Marriage is a picture of Christ and His church. We recognize marriage as solely the union of one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24, Ephesians 5:31, Matthew 19:5).

Section 6 - The Dispensations

  1. Basic Concept

    We believe that the dispensations are stewardships by which God administers His purpose on the earth through man under varying responsibilities during different ages. We believe that these different administrative responsibilities are manifest in the Biblical record, that they span the entire history of mankind. We believe that three of these dispensations or rules of life are the subject of extended revelation in the Scripture: the dispensation of the Mosaic Law, the present dispensation of grace, and the future dispensation of the millennial kingdom. We believe that these are distinct and are not to be intermingled or confused, being chronologically successive. (Ephesians 1:10; 2:11-18; 3:2-6; Colossians 1:24-27)

  2. Salvation in All Dispensations

    We believe that the dispensations are not different ways of salvation. We believe that according to the "eternal purpose" of God, salvation in the divine reckoning is always "by grace, through faith," and rests upon the basis of the shed blood of Christ. We believe that God has always been gracious, regardless of the ruling dispensation, but that man has not at all times been under an administration or stewardship of grace as is true in the present dispensation.

    We believe that it has always been true that without faith it is impossible to please God, and that the principle of faith was prevalent in the lives of all the Old Testament saints. We believe further that their faith was counted unto them for righteousness. (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3-8; Hebrews 11:1-40)

Section 7 - The First Advent of Jesus Christ

A. His Virgin Birth

We believe that, as provided by God and as announced in the prophecies of the Scriptures, the eternal Son of God came into this world that He might manifest God to men, and become the Redeemer of a lost world. To this end He was born of the virgin Mary, and received a human body and a sinless human nature. (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-35; John 1:18; 3:16; Galatians 4:4, 5; Hebrews 4:15)

  1. His Two Natures

    We believe that, as to His human nature, He became and remained a perfect man, but
    sinless throughout His life; yet He retained His absolute deity, being at the same time true God and true man. (John 1:1, 14; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 4:15)

  2. His Rejection

    We believe that in fulfillment of prophecy He came first to Israel as her Messiah-King,
    and that, being rejected of that nation, He, according to the eternal counsels of God, gave His life as a ransom for all. (John 1:11; Acts 2:22-24; 1 Timothy 2:6)

  3. His Substitutionary Death

    We believe that, in infinite love for the lost, He voluntarily accepted His Father's will and became the divinely provided sacrificial Lamb and took away the sin of the world, bearing the holy judgments against sin which the righteousness of God must impose. His death was, therefore, substitutionary in the most absolute sense - the just for the unjust - and by His death He became the Savior of the lost. (John 1:29; 19:33; Romans 3:25, 26; 2 Corinthians 5:14; Hebrews 10:5-14; 1 Peter 3:18)

  4. His Resurrection

    We believe that He arose from the dead and was seen in the same body, in which He had lived and died, and that His resurrection body is the pattern of that body which ultimately will be given to all believers. (John 20:20, 24-28; 1 Corinthians 15:3-6; Philippians 3:20, 21)

  5. His Ascension

    We believe that, on departing from the earth, He was accepted of His Father and that His acceptance is a final assurance to us that His redeeming work was perfectly accomplished. (Acts 1:9; Ephesians 1:20, 21; Hebrews 1:3)

  6. His Present Ministry

    We believe that He became Head over all things to the church which is His body, and in this ministry He ceases not to intercede and advocate for the saved. (Romans 14:9; Ephesians 1:22, 23; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1)

Section 8 - Salvation

     A. The Sufficiency of the Work of Christ

          We believe that, owing to universal death through sin, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless "born again"; and that no degree of reformation, however great, no attainments in morality, however high, no culture, however attractive, no baptism or other ordinance, however administered, can help the sinner to take even one step toward heaven; but a new nature imparted from above, a new life implanted by the Holy Spirit through the Word, is absolutely essential to salvation, and only those thus saved are sons of God. We believe, also, that our redemption has been accomplished solely by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who was made to be sin and was made a curse for us, dying as our substitute; and that no repentance, no feeling, no faith, no good resolutions, no sincere efforts, no submission to the rules and regulations of any church, nor all the churches that have existed since the days of the apostles, can add in the very least degree to the value of the blood, or to the merit of the finished work wrought for us by Him Who united in His person true and proper deity with perfect and sinless humanity. (Leviticus 17:11; Isaiah 64:6; Matthew 26:28; John 3:5, 18; Romans 5:6-9; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; Philippians 3:4-9; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:18, 19, 23)

     B. The Appropriation of the Work of Christ

         We believe that the new birth of the believer comes only through faith in Christ and that repentance is a vital part of believing, and is not to be emphasized in itself as a separate and independent condition of salvation; nor are any other acts, such as confession, baptism, prayer, dedication, or faithful service, to be added to believing as a condition of salvation. We believe that anyone who desires God's free offer of eternal life may respond in faith to receive it. (John 1:12; 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 6:28, 29; Acts 13:39; 16:31; Romans 1:16, 17; 3:22, 26; 4:5; 10:4; Galatians 3:22; 1 John 2:2)

     C. Evidence of the Work of Christ

         We believe that the work of Christ is evidenced by a changed life (James 2: 14-17, 2 Corinthians 5:17).

      D. The Extent of Salvation

         We believe that when an unregenerate person exercises faith in Christ, he passes immediately out of spiritual death into spiritual life, and from the old creation into the new; being justified and accepted before the Father according as Christ His Son is accepted, loved as Christ is loved, having His place and portion as linked to Him and one with Him forever. Though the saved one should grow in the realization of his blessings and know a fuller measure of divine power through the yielding of his life more fully to God, he is, as soon as he is saved, in possession of every spiritual blessing and absolutely complete in Christ. (John 5:24; 17:22; Acts 13:39; Romans 5:1, 2; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 1:3; 2:1-7; Colossians 2:10; 2 Peter 3:18; 1 John 4:17; 5:11, 12)

      E. Sanctification

         We believe that sanctification, which is a setting apart unto God, is threefold: (1) It is already complete for every saved person. Since the believer is in Christ, he is set apart unto God in the measure in which Christ is set apart unto God. (2) We believe, however, that he retains his sin nature in this life. Therefore, while the position of the Christian in Christ is perfect, he is not perfect in this life. There is, therefore, a progressive sanctification wherein the Christian is to "grow in grace," and to "be changed" by the unhindered power of the Spirit and the Word of God. (3) We believe, also, that the child of God will yet be fully sanctified when he shall see his Lord and shall be "like Him." (John 17:17; Romans 7:18; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 7:1; Ephesians 4:24; 5:25-27; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 5:23; Hebrews 10:10, 14; 12:10; 1 John 3:2)

      F. Eternal Security

          We believe that, because of the eternal purpose of God toward the objects of His love, because of His freedom to exercise grace toward the meritless on the ground of the propitiatory blood of Christ, because of the very nature of the divine gift of eternal life, because of the present unending intercession of Christ in heaven, because of the unchangeable covenants of God, and because of the regenerating, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all who are saved, we and all believers in Jesus Christ shall be kept saved forever. We believe, however, that God is a holy and righteous Father, and that, since He cannot overlook the sin of His children, He will, when they persistently sin, chasten and correct them in infinite love; but having undertaken to save them and keep them forever, apart from all human merit, He, Who cannot fail, will in the end present every one of them faultless before the presence of His glory and conformed to the image of His Son. (John 5:24; 10:28; 14:16, 17; 17:11; Romans 8:29, 30; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 11:32; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1, 2; 5:13; Jude 1:24)

     G. Assurance

          We believe it is the privilege of all who are born again by the Spirit through faith in Christ to be assured of their salvation from the very day they take Him to be their Savior; and that this assurance is founded wholly upon the testimony of God in His written Word. (Luke 10:20; 2 Corinthians 5:1, 6-8; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 10:22; 1 John 5:13)

Section 9 - The Holy Spirit

  1. The Indwelling and Baptizing of Believers

    We believe that the Holy Spirit, during the present dispensation, dwells in every believer, and by His baptism unites them to Christ in one body at the point of conversion, and that He, as the Indwelling One, is the source of all power and all acceptable worship and service. We believe that He never takes His departure from the saints, but is ever present to testify of Christ; seeking to occupy believers with Christ and not with themselves nor with their experiences. (John 14:16, 17; 16:7-15; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 12:4-7, 13; Galatians 5:22, 23; Ephesians 1:13,14; 2:22; 3:16; 5:18-21; Philippians 3:3)

  2. Ministries of the Present Age

    We believe, that in this age, certain well-defined ministries are committed to the Holy Spirit, and that it is important for every Christian to understand them to be adjusted to them in his own life and experience. These ministries are: the restraining of evil in the world to the measure of the divine will; the convicting of the world respecting sin, righteousness, and judgment; the baptizing and regenerating and indwelling of all believers; and the provision of power, comfort, teaching, and illumination for those among the saved who are yielded to Him and who are subject to His will as revealed in Scripture.

    We believe that some gifts of the Holy Spirit such as speaking in tongues were given to be used as signs to authenticate the message of the first century church, and they are not normative for the entire church age. We believe that speaking in tongues was not the common or necessary sign of the baptism nor of the filling of the Spirit. (John 3:6; 14:26; 16:7-11; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13, 27-30; 14:12, 26; Ephesians 4:30; 5:18-21; Hebrews 2:3, 4; 1 Peter 4:10; 1 John 2:20-27)

Section 10 - The Universal Church is a Unity of Believers

We believe that all who are united by faith to the risen and ascended Son of God are members of the universal church which is the body of Christ.The church began at Pentecost and is completely distinct from Israel. We believe that by the Holy Spirit all believers in this age are baptized into one body that is Christ's, whether Jews or Gentiles, having become members of one another, are under solemn duty to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace rising above all sectarian differences, and loving one another with a pure heart fervently. (Matthew 16:16-18; Acts 2:42-47; Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 1:20-23; 4:3-5; Colossians 3:14, 15)

Section 11- The Local Church

We believe that God's primary, intended organization of believers beyond the family unit in the present age is through local assemblies of believers, committed to the Lord and to each other for the purpose of carrying out the visible activities of the universal church; that is, the communication of God's truth to the people of God, the worship and prayer of God's people to God, the loving care of God's people for one another, and the spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth; that these assemblies or churches, though they should endeavor to cooperate with other Christian assemblies, are to function under the lordship of Christ, free from external controls of any religious organizations, and that it is God's intention that all believers publicly identify with a visible, local assembly. (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 2:41-47; 1 Corinthians 1:1, 2; Hebrews 10:24, 25; 13:7, 15-17)

Section 12 - The Ordinances

We believe that water baptism and the Lord's Supper are the only ordinances of the church and that they are a Scriptural means of testimony for the church. We believe that water baptism demonstrates the identification of a believer with Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, and immersion pictures this best. We believe the Lord's Supper pictures the death of Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins. It is to be observed in remembrance of Him until His return. The cup pictures His shed blood; the bread pictures His broken body. (Matthew 26:28; 28:19; Luke 22:19, 20; Acts 10:47, 48; 18:7, 8; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Colossians 2:12)

Section 13 - The Christian's Service

  1. Spiritual Gifts

    We believe that divine, enabling gifts for service are bestowed by the Spirit upon all who are saved. While there is a diversity of gifts, each believer is energized by the same Spirit, and each is called to his own divinely appointed service as the Spirit may will. We believe that gifts were given to believers for the edification of the church. We believe that in accordance with the sovereign will of God, healing is available through prayer of believers, especially of the elders of a church. We believe some men are gifted by God to be evangelists and pastors and teachers, and that it is to the fulfilling of His will and to His eternal glory that these shall be sustained and encouraged in their service for God both in the local church and in missionary outreach. (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 11; 14:12; Ephesians 4:11-14; James 5:14-16; 1 Peter 4:10, 11)

  2. Rewards

    We believe rewards are promised according to the faithfulness of each believer in service for the Lord, and that these rewards will be bestowed at the judgment seat of Christ after He comes to receive His own to Himself. (I Corinthians 3:9-15; 9:18-27; 2 Corinthians 5:10)

Section 14 - The Great Commission

We believe that it is the explicit message of our Lord Jesus Christ to those whom He has saved that they are sent forth by Him into the world even as He was sent forth of His Father into the world. We believe that, after they are saved, they are divinely reckoned to be related to this world as strangers and pilgrims, ambassadors and witnesses, and that one of their primary purposes in life should be to make Christ known to the whole world. (Matthew 28:18, 19; Mark 16:15; John 17:18; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20; 1 Peter 1:17; 2:11)

Section 15 - The Blessed Hope of the Church

We believe that the believers in this age are to constantly live in expectancy of the coming of Christ for the church, yet continuing in their labor as unto the Lord. At His coming all dead church age believers will be raised from the dead and all living believers will be transformed, and both will be translated into the presence of Christ "in the clouds" and will be made like unto His glorious body. This event will precede what is commonly called the tribulation, Daniel's seventieth week, or the time of Jacob's trouble. (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:2-4; Titus 2:11-14; 1 John 3:1-3; Revelation 3:10)

Section 16 - The Second Coming of Christ

We believe that this period of great tribulation in the earth will be concluded by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth just as He went, in person "on the clouds of heaven" and with power and great glory. He will introduce the millennial age, bind Satan, and place him in the abyss, lift the curse which now rests upon the whole creation, restore Israel to her own land, give her the realization of God's covenant promises, bring the whole world to the knowledge of God, and reign on earth as king, Israel's promised Messiah. (Deuteronomy 30:1- 10; Isaiah 9:6, 7; 11:1-12; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Zechariah 14:9-11; Matthew 24:15-25; Acts 15:16, 17; Romans 8:19-23; 11:25-27; Revelation 20:1-3)

Section 17 - The Eternal State

We believe that at death the spirits and souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation pass immediately into His presence and there remain until the resurrection of their glorified bodies, where souls and bodies reunited shall be forever; but the spirits and souls of the unbelieving remain after death conscious of condemnation and in misery until the final judgment by God at the great white throne at the close of the millennium, when souls and bodies reunited shall be cast into the lake of fire with Satan and his demons not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power. (Luke 16:19-26; 23:42, 43; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 1:6, 7; Revelation 20:10-15)