Statement of Belief
- The Scriptures We believe all the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are inspired by God. This refers to the autographs as written by the prophets and apostles. Thus the Bible is inerrant and without mistakes in the original. We believe Scripture reveals the mind of God to man, and points to the Lord Jesus Christ and the only way of Salvation through Christ. The Scriptures are the only infallible guide for our daily thought-life as well as our practical, moral, and spiritual instruction (Mark 12:26, 36; 13:11; Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Acts 1:16; 17:2-3; 18:28; 26:22- 23; 28:23; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 10:11; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21). As such we do not accept any “special” teaching of the so called “moving of the spirit” apart from the Word, or a denomination teaching that runs contrary to the Bible.
- The Interpretation of Scripture The way the Scriptures are interpreted is extremely important, and so becomes an essential doctrinal issue. Hermeneutics is the discipline of interpretation. Conservative, normal, and literal hermeneutics give us an understanding of the Bible that should include close observation of its grammatical and historical components. would argue for but one sense or meaning for each passage of Scripture, leaving no room for a complementary or theological approach. Though taking the Word of God literally, and at face value, in classical hermeneutics there is room for poetry, figures of speech, illustrations, types, and symbols, but these literary genres do not take away from the foundational or normal interpretative understanding of Biblical truth. Normal interpretation also argues for progressive revelation, i.e., that the Holy Spirit over a period of time revealed certain truths in a progressive fashion. For example, the revelation of Jesus Christ starts in Genesis, but is not fully complete until the book of Revelation. Literal interpretation stands in opposition to allegorical interpretation. Though the Apostle Paul in Galatians creates an allegory in order to make an isolated point or illustration (4:21-26), allegory as a system is an unacceptable philosophical approach to understanding the Word of God. It is clearly contrary to proper Biblical interpretation. (Luke 1:1–4; 24:35; 44-46, 48; John 21:20–23; Acts 10:8; 17:11–12; 26:6–7; 26–27
III. The Godhead We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – and that these three in their essence are one God, having the precise same nature, attributes, and perfections and worthy of precisely the same honor, confidence, and obedience. (Matthew 28:18-19; Mark 12:29; John 1:14; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Heb. 1:1-3; Revelation 1:4-6)
- God’s Grace We believe that according to the “eternal purpose” of God (Eph. 3:11), 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 dispensation, but that man has not at all times been under an administration or stewardship of grace as is true in the present dispensation of the Church. (Corinthians 9:17; Ephesians 3:2; 3:9; Colossians 1:25; 1 Timothy 1:4)
- The Sovereignty of God Though God is absolute sovereign over all creation and history, He has a “determined plan for the whole world” and no one can alter His purposes (Isaiah 14:26- 27). What He has planned, that He will accomplish (Isaiah 46:11). And, He “works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will” (Ephesians 1:11); “Surely as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand” (Isaiah 14:24). Sovereignty also describes God’s providence whereby He sustains all creatures, giving them life and removing life as He pleases (Deuteronomy 32:39). In sovereignty, all things were created for the glory of God and all things exist for Him (Revelation 4:11). The sovereignty of God also extends to the doctrine of divine election whereby those chosen by the council of the Lord’s own will, shall come to Him in faith. And yet, even though difficult to reconcile in human understanding, the sovereignty of God does not remove the responsibility of man. God is not the author of sin. Yet in some mysterious way, His decrees include all that takes place in the universe. (John 6:37, 39, 44; Ephesians 1:3-18; II Thessalonians 2:13; Habakkuk 1:6, 11; Acts 2:22-23, 36)
- Angels, Fallen and Unfallen We believe that God created an innumerable company of sinless, spiritual beings, known as angels; that one, Hallal (aka Lucifer) “the anointed cherub” –the highest in rank – sinned through pride, thereby becoming Satan, the adversary; 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 until the judgment of the great day.” (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; 1 Timothy 3:6; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6)
VII. Man, Created and Fallen We believe that man was originally created in the image and after the likeness of God, as God’s representative ‘vice-regent,’ and that he fell through sin, in consequence losing his spiritual life. As “fallen” man is “dead in trespasses and sins” and became subject to the reign of sin and the power of the devil. Paul adds that the lost are mentally blinded by Satan, the god of this world, and that the truth of the gospel is veiled from those who are destroying themselves (II Cor. 4:3).
Nevertheless, God commands fallen men to seek Him (Deuteronomy 4:29; 12:5; 1 Chronicles 16:11; 22:19; Psalm 27:8; 105:4; Isaiah 55:6-7; Jeremiah 29:13; Acts 17:22–27; Hebrews 11:6). This being true, it must be maintained that while fallen man retains the volitional ability to seek God, he chooses not to do so. Moreover, the Word of God makes it clear that there is no one who seeks after God (Rom. 3:11), but this must be understood to mean that no one seeks God without God prompting him or her to do so (cf. John 6:44–46). It does not mean that people are constitutionally incapable of seeking God. Fallen human beings can and should seek God (Acts 17:26–27), and they are responsible for not doing so. God has given humankind over to the lusts of his heart and to a depraved mind (Rom. 1:24, 28). Theologically, this darkness of mind and heart has been rightly called total depravity (Romans 1:28). Following the sin of Adam, humankind can only produce descendants who are sinners.
Therefore all human beings are under the death sentence and penalty of sin (Romans 5:12-18) and thus are all condemned. Only through the reconciliation of Christ, by His death, and thus all are enemies of God and all are condemned. Only through the reconciliation of Christ, by His death, are human beings “saved” (Romans 5:10). Sinners are justified by Christ’s blood, and are rescued from the wrath of God (Genesis 1:26; 2:17; 6:5; Psalms 14:1-3; 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Ephesians 2:1-6). Clearly then, the sinner is “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1b), but it must be maintained that given God’s command for fallen man to seek Him it must also be true that fallen man can exercise faith. In fact, any doctrine of total depravity that excludes the possibility of faith is an unscriptural doctrine of total depravity and leads to an unscriptural and inconsistent plan of salvation.
VIII. The Incarnation of Christ We believe that, as provided and purposed by God and as preannounced in the prophecies of the Scriptures, the eternal Son of God came into this world that He might reconcile men to God and become the Redeemer of a lost world. To this end God the Son joined himself to a human body with His sinless human nature was born of a virgin. We believe that in fulfillment of prophecy He came first to Israel as the Messiah-King, and, being rejected by that nation, He gave His life as a ransom for all sinners who would believe on Him as Savior according to the eternal counsels of God. We believe that, according to the Scriptures, He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, 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 (Luke 1:30-35; John 1:18; 3:16; Hebrews 4:15; John 1:11; Acts 2:22-24; 1 Corinthians 15:4; 1 Tim. 2:6; John 20:20; Phil. 3:20-21).
IX. Salvation Only through Christ We believe that, owing to spiritual death through sin, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless born again; and that no degree of reformation however great, no attainment 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. The salvation planned by God the Father and secured by Christ on the Cross, is the imparting of a new nature from abovend a new source of life implanted by the Holy Spirit. The new source of life, is God’s eternal life and communicable attributes shared (in a participatory way) with the saved (in a measure suited to finite beings), cf. 1 John 3:9, “his seed.” The Holy Spirit uses the Word to convict but the Spirit Himself does the work of conversion. Only those thus saved are Sons of God. (John 1:12; 3:16; Romans 1:16-17; 3:22; Galatians 3:22).
- The Believer Complete in Christ Though the saved one may have occasion to grow in the realization of his blessings and to 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 (positionally speaking), and is therefore, in no way required by God to seek a so-called “second blessing,” “second work of grace,” or a “second baptism” (1 Corinthians 3:21-23; Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 2:10; 1 John 4:17; 5:11-12).
- The Extent of Salvation We hold that Christ’s atonement was unlimited as to its provision for fallen humanity but limited in application to the elect. Thus, we reject the Reformed doctrine of Limited Atonement. (2 Peter 3:9; 1 John 2:2; 1 Timothy 4:10). We affirm the doctrine of Unlimited Atonement/Limited Redemption.
XII. Lordship Salvation We reject what is called Lordship Salvation. This teaching, that salvation is conditioned on a complete turning from sin and a commitment to Christ’s Lordship, before one can be saved, goes against the clear biblical teaching that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. The single condition for salvation is “belief or faith or trust” in God’s provision of His Son (salvation by grace through faith alone), and adding anything else to that is to pervert salvation with man’s works – to preach another gospel. Nothing can be added to Christ’s work on the cross.
XIII. Eternal Security We believe God keeps eternally all those He has elected and called to salvation and that none can be lost. God will, however, chasten and correct His own 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 faultless in Christ, and on His merits, before the presence of His glory and conformed to the image of His Son. We believe that saints (i.e. all believers) can have eternal assurance that they are the children of God and so are eternally kept by the power of God. This assurance gives confidence and peace, helping the believer grow in spiritually maturity (John 5:24; 10:28; 13:1; Ephesians 1:3-17;I John 3:2; 1 John 5:13; Romans 8:29; Ephesians 1:3-17).
XIV. The Holy Spirit We believe that the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, though omnipresent from all eternity, took up His abode in the world in a special sense on the day of Pentecostccording to the divine promise. By His baptism He unites all to Christ in one body and indwells every believer. As the indwelling One, He is the Source of all power, all acceptable worship and service, and all spiritual gifts. We believe that the foundational spiritual gifts, such as tongues, prophecy, and knowledge, as well as the role of apostleship and the function of signs, miraclesnd wonders, have ceased (John 14:16-17; 16:7-15; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 12:1-14: 31; Ephesians 2:22; 2 Thessalonians 2:7).
- The Great Commission We believe that it is the explicit command of our Lord Jesus Christ o make disciples of others in accordance with His Gospel, through evangelism of non-believers and instruction of believers, for the building up of the body of Christ (Matthew 28:18-19; John 17:18; Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 1:17; 2:11).
XVI. The Blessed Hope We believe that the next great event in the fulfillment of prophecy will be the coming of the Lord in the air to receive to Himself into heaven both His own who are alive and remain unto His coming, and also all who have fallen asleep in Jesus (i.e. the rapture), and that this event is the blessed hope set before us in the Scripture, and for this we should be constantly looking (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-14).
XVII. The Apostasy of the Church Without designating a specific time table, the apostle Paul warns of a “falling away” from the faith (2 Timothy 4:1) that will lead to a heeding of deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons (I Timothy 4:2)aul simply says it will occur in the “latter times” and produce hypocrisy and a searing of the conscience. This apostasy will be religious and moral in nature (II Timothy 3:1-7) and will happen prior to the rapture of the Church and before the revelation of the son of destruction, the Antichrist (II Thesslonians2:1-5).
Paul further teaches that the seeds of apostasy are present in the Church but they will also completely mature in the last days, which he describes as “difficult times” (II Timothy 3:1).
XVIII. The Tribulation We believe that the rapture of the church will be followed by the fulfillment of Israel’s seventieth week (Daniel 9:27; Revelation 6:1–19:21) during which the church, the body of Christ, will be in heaven. The whole period of Israel’s seventieth week will be a time of judgment on the whole earth, at the end of which “the times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24) will be brought to a close. The latter half of this period will be the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7), which our Lord called the great tribulation (Mt. 24:15–21). We believe that universal righteousness will not be realized previous to the second coming of Christ, but that the world is day by day ripening for judgment and that the age will end with a fearful apostasy.
XIX. The Second Coming of Christ We believe that the period of great tribulation in the earth will be climaxed by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth as He went. The millennial age will follow, with Satan bound. Israel will be restored to her own land and the Abrahamic Covenant will be fulfilled by the consummation of its three divisions: Land (Land Covenant), Seed (Davidic Covenant), and Blessing (New Covenant finally brought to complete fruition). The whole world that survives will be brought to a complete knowledge of the Messiah (Deuteronomy 30:1-10; Isaiah 11:9; Ezekiel 37:21; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Matthew 24:15 – 25:46; Acts 15:16–7; Romans 8:19-23; 11:25-27; Revelation 20:1-3).
- The Eternal State We believe that at death, the spirits and souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation will pass immediately into His presence in heaven. There the believer will be in conscious bliss until the rapture, when his/her body will be resurrected and glorified, whereupon soul and body will be reunited and shall be associated with Christ forever in glory.
But the spirits and souls of the unbelieving remain after death conscious of condemnation and in misery until the final judgment of the Great White Throne at the close of the thousand-year Messianic Kingdom. At that time, the soul and body of the unsaved will be reunited and cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with differing degrees of everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power (Luke 16:19-26; 23:42; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Judges 6–7; Revelation 20:11–15).
XXI. Dispensationalism We believe that the Bible presents the fact that God has not always dealt with mankind the same way in every age. According to Biblical terminology these distinct periods are called “administrations” in regard to the purpose of Godstewardships” concerning the responsibility of man, as originated from the New Testament usage of the Greek word, oikonomia. We believe that traditional Dispensationalism is the system that best represents the Biblical teaching on this matter. Traditional Dispensationalism is distinguished by a consistent literal interpretation; a clear distinction between Israel and the Church; taking into account progressive revelation; recognizing the glory of God as the ultimate purpose of God in the world (Ephesians 1:10; 3:2, 9).
XXII. On Current Issues We believe that corruptive influences have always been working against the Church, the body of Christ. Along with immoral forces, we reject the man-created philosophies of secular humanism, materialism, macro-evolution, feminism, contemplation, emerging churchapostolic reformation, and the influences of secular psychology. While some truths may be imprinted into these and other opinions, basically they run counter to the revealed truths of Scripture (Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:8-11).
XXIII. Women and Ministry We believe that in the body of Christ men and women stand spiritually equal and constitute the Church universal. We believe women have had and always will have their unique God-given gifts and roles within this body. Accordingly, as the primary role of believing men is to be husbands and fathers, so the primary role of believing women is to be wives and mothers. We encourage women to have personal ministries, but the Scriptures are clear that male leadership is called to the local church positions of deacon, elder, and pastor-teacher. No amount of debate can water down what the Bible says about the individual and distinct callings of both sexes, in regard to gifts and positions. We encourage women to pursue study but the role of pastor-teacher is Biblically reserved for men. Women may teach preadolescent boys and other women (1 Timothy 2:9-15; 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 2:1-8; I Corinthians 14:34-35).
XXIV. Openness of God We reject what is known as the Openness of God theory that says, in so many words, that God does not know the future. That He is “open” to the free choices people make, and then responds to their free agency. This view violates the omniscience of God. It also violates the fact that in sovereignty, He has ordained all things. As difficult a doctrine as this is, it is still clearly stated in Scripture. The view of the Openness of God should be considered a heresy (Isaiah 44:24-28; 45:3-7, 18-21; Romans 8:28-30; 11:36; Acts 15:18).
XXV. Progressive Dispensationalism We reject the theories of Progressive Dispensationalism. The central disturbing tenet in this view is that the Lord Jesus Christ is now reigning on the throne of David in heaven. We reject the complementary hermeneutic, including the use of the “already/not yet” as an interpretive principle. We also reject the softening of progressive revelation and the forcing of a false continuity between the Testaments. The Lord is seated at the right hand of the Father presently in glory, but this is not the prophesied Davidic rule that will take place in time and history (Luke 2:32-33; Revelation 3:21; 1 Corinthians 10:32)
XXVI. The Nation Israel We believe that the Lord has elected the nation Israel for His own special purposes. They have a rich history, which includes writing the Bible and being the vehicle through which God brought His Messiah (John 1:11). God has not yet fulfilled His plan for the nation Israel as promised (Romans 11:25). As such we reject the concept of the New Testament Church replacing the nation Israel (replacement theology).
XXVII Biblical Definition of Marriage. God’s gift of marriage is between one man and one woman. Jesus taught this when He said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let no man separate” (Matthew 19:4–6). This definition of marriage provided by Jesus includes several important truths:
- Marriage is a covenant designed by God.
- Marriage is not conditioned by culture or personal perspective but ordained by God from the beginning and expected to continue until ended by physical death.
- Marriage is intended to be between one man and one woman as God biologically created them male and female from conception. Hence, any other proposals for marriage are outside of God’s intended design (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26–27; 1 Corinthians 6:9–11; 1 Timothy 1:9–10).
- The marriage covenant is sealed through sexual intercourse reserved for one husband and one wife after they have entered into the holy covenant of marriagend is designed to last until the death of one of the spouses.
Marriage as a divinely designed biblical covenant between one man and one woman with the marriage bond representing the lasting relationship of Christ and the church. This view of marriage is affirmed in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament (Genesis 1:27, 2:23–24; Malachi 2:14; 1 Corinthian 7: 1–16; Ephesians 5:22–33; Hebrews 13:4).