DOCTRINAL STATEMENT (WHAT WE BELIEVE)
I. THE SCRIPTURES
- "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God."
- God, the Divine Author of Scripture, cannot lie, thus the Bible cannot lie or contain error.
- The Word of God is inerrant in the words of the original manuscripts, not just in “spiritual” matters, but on every issue it may touch.
- The human authors--holy men--wrote the very words of Scripture as “they were borne along by the Holy Spirit.”
- While certain portions of the Bible may be more applicable to various people at a given time, the whole of Scripture (history, narrative, poetry, doctrine, prophecy, etc.) is equally the very Word of God.
II. THE GODHEAD
- The Bible reveals One, truine God, existing in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - eternal in being, identical in nature, equal in power and glory and having the same attributes and perfections.
- They each command the same respect, trust, and obedience.
III. GOD THE FATHER
IV. GOD THE SON
- Jesus Christ, the Son, is the second member of the Trinity, who shares all the attributes of the Father.
- He became man by being conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb, and was subsequently virgin born.
- Jesus Christ is the only One who has two perfect and distinct natures joined in one Person forever.
- He is fully God and truly man, the only Mediator between God and man.
- He accomplished man’s redemption through His substitutionary death on the cross.
- He arose physically from the grave, guaranteeing the believer’s justification.
- He is now in heaven at the Father’s right hand interceding for the believer.
V. GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
- Mankind was created by God in the image of God on the sixth twenty-four-hour day of creation.
- Mankind fell when Adam, the representative head of mankind, sinned.
- As a result, mankind (except Jesus Christ) has a sin nature and is totally depraved, totally unable to change his sinful condition.
- Mankind is still in the image of God and is thus valuable, even though under the judgment of God, (which is eternal death and punishment, or separation from God in the literal, physical lake of fire.)
- God created angels.
- Originally they were all perfect, until Satan and the angels who followed him sinned.
- Those angels who did not sin remained in their original state.
- These good angels carry out God’s will.
- They will always live in God’s presence.
- The fallen angels carry out their evil plans against God and believers under Satan’s directions.
- They are totally evil in character, and will spend, (along with Satan), eternity in the lake of fire prepared especially for them.
- All of mankind are sinners, and declared dead in Adam.
- God’s justice was satisfied solely by the death and bodily resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ in our place.
- Jesus Christ was made to be sin and was made a curse for us, dying in our place.
- There is nothing a person can do or needs to do to add to or improve upon what Christ did on our behalf.
- The Grace of God in Justification is an unconditional free gift.
- God made the only way for all men to receive His free gift is through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.
- Faith (believe) is a personal response, apart from works, whereby one is persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that He gives everlasting life (that cannot be lost) to all who believe in Him for that life because of His death and resurrection.
- When an unbelieving person believes (faith) in Jesus Christ, he passes immediately out of spiritual death into spiritual life and from the old creation into the new.
- A believer is justified (declared righteous), and immediately accepted before the Father just as Jesus Christ is accepted, and loved as Jesus Christ is loved.
- As soon as one is saved, he/she is in possession of every spiritual blessing and absolutely complete in Christ.
- Once a person has everlasting life, he/she is saved forever.
- God's eternal purpose towards mankind includes His freedom to exercise grace toward those who do not deserve it.
- God is a holy and righteous Father who does not overlook the sins of His children, but disciplines them and corrects them in infinite love.
- God will keep believers forever, and He will in the very end present every one of them faultless and conformed to the image of His Son.
- Assurance is not founded upon any personal worthiness. Assurance of everlasting salvation is based only on the promise God Makes in His Word that everyone who trusts (believes) in Jesus Christ alone possesses everlasting life. Good works, which can and should follow regeneration, are not necessary for a person to have assurance of everlasting life even though they may have a secondary, confirmatory value.
- Sanctification is a “setting apart” unto God.
- Believers are sanctified positionally, having been given the same position before God as that enjoyed by Jesus Christ.
- Believers are being sanctified presently by the work of the Holy Spirit.
- The Holy Spirit’s work in the believer’s life is to produce spiritual maturity reflected in consistent Christ-like behavior and attitudes. Therefore, obedience to the Word of God, while not necessary for obtaining eternal life, is the essential responsibility of each believer.
- Believers will be sanctified completely (glorified) when they see Jesus Christ and will be “like Him.”
- Believers are called with a holy calling to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh, and to live in the power of the indwelling Spirit so that they will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
- The flesh with its fallen sinful nature, which in this life will never be erased, needs to be kept by the Spirit constantly in subjection to the Lord Jesus Christ, or it will surely manifest its presence in our lives to the dishonor of our Lord.
- Every Christian must stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, not to determine his/her destiny of heaven or hell, but to assess their faithfulness of life on earth.
- Anticipating either reward or loss of reward at the Judgment Seat should also motivate believers to perseverance and to faithfulness to God’s revealed will.
X. THE CHURCH
- All who believe in Jesus Christ are united to Christ and are members of the church.
- The Church is the body of Christ.
- The Church began at Pentecost and will be removed from the earth at the rapture.
- The Church and the physical nation of Israel are completely distinct.
- As members of the body of Christ, believers are also members one of another.
- Believers are 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.
- Local churches are under the leadership of elders, who are under the headship of Jesus Christ.
- Water baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper are the two ordinances of the church, and are for the testimony of the church to salvation and Christian living.
- Spiritual gifts (supernatural abilities) are given by the Holy Spirit to all believers at salvation, as the Holy Spirit decides.
- All spiritual gifts are for the equipping of believers so that they can do the work of ministry.
- The gifts of apostles, prophets, healings, miracles (including a word of wisdom or word of knowledge), and tongues were reserved for the initial stage of the church.
- Wholly apart from salvation benefits, which are bestowed equally upon all who believe, rewards are promised according to faithfulness of each believer in service for The Lord Jesus Christ.
- Everlasting rewards will be bestowed at the Judgment Seat of Christ after He comes to receive His own to Himself.
- Believers in Jesus Christ are sent forth by Him into the world, even as He was sent forth by the Father into the world.
- Believers are related to this world as strangers and pilgrims, ambassadors and witnesses.
- One of their primary purposes in life should be to make Jesus Christ known to the whole world.
- Dispensations are not different ways of forgiveness and eternal life, but different administrations of God as He superintends the way mankind lives on earth. Eternal salvation was, is, and always will be a free gift by grace alone through faith alone, based on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ alone.
- Dispensationalism is an outgrowth of a literal, grammatical, historical hermeneutic.
- God has administered His purposes on earth in varying ways known as dispensations. Though time is not a primary consideration, each divine administration, or dispensation, relates to a definite period of human history. The vast majority of the Bible deals with three such dispensations: the dispensation of Israel from the call of Abraham to Jesus Christ, the present dispensation of the Church from Pentecost to the Rapture and the future dispensation of Jesus Christ’s 1000 year kingdom reign theologically designated as the Millennium.
- The promises to believing Israel are not fulfilled in the Church, but will be realized by believing Israel in the future.
XII. THE FUTURE
- At death, the spirits and souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation during the present church age pass immediately into His presence until the resurrection of their glorified bodies when Jesus Christ comes for His own at the rapture.
- The next prophesied even is the rapture when the Lord Jesus comes in the air and takes the church to be with Him. This blessed hope should be constantly expected.
- The rapture of the Church will be followed by the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy concerning Israel’s seventieth week (the tribulation).
- This period will be a time of judgment on the whole earth, at the end of which the time of the Gentiles will be brought to a close.
- The period of the tribulation on the earth will be climaxed by the second coming of Jesus Christ.
- The return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth will be bodily as He went, with the clouds of heaven.
- Jesus Christ will come with power and great glory to introduce His Earthly Kingdom.
- Jesus Christ will bind Satan and place him in the abyss and lift the curse that now rests upon the whole creation.
- The Lord Jesus Christ will restore believing Israel to her own land and will give her the realization of God’s covenant promises, and bring the whole world to the knowledge of God.
- The believer's soul and body reunited shall be with Him forever.
- 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 millennium.
- Unbelievers, after the great white throne judgment, shall be cast into the lake of fire forever which is the second death.
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