The Scriptures

The Bible was written by men as the Holy Spirit spoke to them revealing the truth of God. (2 Peter 1:21)

 

The Bible is the only infallible and sufficient source of saving knowledge, faith, and obedience in the Lord Jesus Christ. While creation, nature, and providence demonstrate the goodness and power of God and also leave humanity without excuse to the knowledge of God, it is not sufficient to give necessary knowledge of God unto salvation. God, in His wisdom, revealed Himself in certain times and in certain ways to declare His will and His word to the church. (2 Timothy 3:15-17; Isaiah 8:20; Luke 16:29,31; Ephesians 2:20; Romans 1:19-20; Romans 2:14-15; Psalm 19:1-3; Hebrews 1:1-2; 2 Peter 1:19-20)

 

The Word of God that is written contains all the books of the Old and New Testaments, as listed (Jude 3): 

OLD TESTAMENT: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings, I Chronicles, II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

 

NEW TESTAMENT: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, The Acts of the Apostles, Paul's Epistle to the Romans, I Corinthians, II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians, I Timothy, II Timothy, To Titus, To Philemon, The Epistle to the Hebrews, Epistle of James, The first and second Epistles of Peter, The first, second, and third Epistles of John, The Epistle of Jude, The Revelation 

 

All of these books are God-breathed. They are profitable for teaching and for training up in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16)

 

The Apocrypha, not divinely inspired, is not part of the canon of Scripture and therefore is not a measure of authority for the church. (Luke 24:27, Romans 3:2) 

 

The authority of the Scripture depends not on the testimony of man or church, but it is entirely dependent upon God, who is Himself truth and is the author. Therefore, Scripture is to be received because it is the very word of God. (2 Peter 1:19-21; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 John 5:9).

 

The entire truths of God concerning man’s salvation, faith, godly living, and God’s glory, is contained in the Bible. Nothing at any time is to be added, either by traditions of man, or new revelations of the Spirit. In this regard, we also acknowledge the necessity of the Holy Spirit to illuminate the Scriptures in order for saving faith and further understanding of the Bible. (Galatians 1:8-9; John 6:45; 1 Corinthians 2:9-12; 1 Corinthians 11:13-14; 1 Corinthians 14:26, 40; Revelation 22:18-19)

 

The infallible rule for interpretation of Scripture is Scripture itself. When issues arise about the true sense of any Scripture, it should be searched by other parts of Scripture that speak more clearly. (Acts 15:15-16; 2 Peter 1:20-21)

 

God the Father

There is only one living and true God. God is infinite in being, pure, most holy, eternal, almighty, sovereign, without body, parts, or emotions. God works all things according to the counsel of His own will, for his own glory. God is perfectly loving, gracious, merciful, patient, abounding in goodness and truth, and the forgiver of sins. God is faithful to those who seek him. God is also a righteous judge. God hates sin, and he will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. 

(Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:4,6; Galatians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Jeremiah 10:10; Job 11:7-9; John 4:24; 1 Timothy 1:17; John 1:18; Ephesians 1:11; Proverbs 16:4; Romans 11:36; Revelation 4:11; 1 John 4:8; Exodus 34:6-7; Hebrews 11:6; Nehemiah 9:32-33; Romans 1:18)


 

God has all life, goodness, and glory in and of himself. He is self-sufficient, the supreme source of all being, by whom, to whom, and through whom are all things. God has dominion over all things and is sovereign to do with his creation that whichever he pleases. To God alone belongs to glory, honor, worship, and praise of his creation. (Jeremiah 10:10; Acts 7:2; 1 Timothy 6:15; Acts 17:24-25; Luke 7:10; Romans 11:36; Revelation 4:11; Daniel 4:25,35; Revelation 5:12-14)

 

God created, for the manifestation of his glory in his power, wisdom, and goodness, to create the world, all being very good. (Romans 11:36; 1 Corinthians 8:6; John 1:2-3; Genesis 1:2; Job 33:4; Romans 1:20; Jeremiah 10:12; Psalms 104:24; Psalms 33:5)

 

Jesus Christ

God, in His eternal foreknowledge, chose Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, to be the Mediator between God and man. God gave unto Jesus a people, from all eternity, to be his seed that, according to God’s purposes, would be redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified. (Isaiah 42:1; 1 Peter 1:19-20; 1 Timothy 2:15; Ephesians 5:23; Hebrews 1:2; John 17:6; Psalm 22:30; Isaiah 53;10; Ephesians 1:4; 1 Timothy 2:6; Isaiah 55:4-5; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Romans 8:30)

 

Jesus is the second person of the Trinity. He is the eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father. When the time came for Jesus to come to earth, to take on human nature, he did so without having a sinful nature. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary. In the person of Jesus Christ, the two distinct natures of deity and humanity were perfectly united, inseparably joined together, without conversion, composition, or any change whatsoever. Jesus is both entirely God and entirely man. (John 1:1,14; 1 John 5:20; Philippians 2:6; Galatians 4:4; Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 2:14, 16-17; Hebrews 4:15; Luke 1:27-35; Matthew 1:18-21; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 16:16; Colossians 2:9; Romans 9:5; 1 Timothy 3:16; Romans 1:3-4)

 

Jesus perfectly fulfilled the law of God. This means that Jesus was perfectly obedient; he never sinned. Jesus endured the most painful sufferings not only in his physical body but also in his soul. Jesus was crucified, dead, and buried. On the third day, he rose from the dead, in the same body in which he suffered and was crucified, and in this body he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father, making intercession for his beloved. Jesus Christ will return to judge all of humanity at his second coming. (John 4:34; John 10:18; Philippians 2:8; Galatians 4:4; Matthew 3:15; Matthew 5:17; Hebrews 5:8-9; Matthew 26:37-38; Luke 22:44; Mathew 27:46; Matthew 22:67-68; Matthew 27:27-50; Mark 15:24,37; Acts 2:24,27; Romans 6:9; Acts 13:29,37; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Luke 24:39; John 20:25,27; Luke 24:50-51; 1 Peter 3:22; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:24; Acts 1:11; John 5:28-29; Romans 14:10; Jude 6)

 

Jesus, in His sacrifice on the cross, which He through the Holy Spirit offered up unto God, has fully satisfied the justice of the Father and purchased not only reconciliation but also an eternal kingdom for all those whom the Father has given to him. (Romans 5:19; Hebrews 10:14; Ephesians 5:2; Romans 3:25-26; Daniel 9:24; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Colossians 1:20; Ephesians 1:11,14; Hebrews 9:12,15; John 17:2

 

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He is the Lord and Giver of Life. He proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son and should be worshipped and glorified with the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets to give us the Holy Scriptures. He is the only person who can breathe life into spiritually dead sinners, restore them into fellowship with God, and lead them in the life-long journey of sanctification. The Holy Spirit is God’s primary agent through which he accomplishes his mission on earth by empowering the local church and the saints in the body for the advancement of the Gospel. (John 14:26; Romans 8:9-11; 2 Timothy 1:14; John 14:17; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Acts 5:3-4; John 3:5; Titus 3:5; John 15:26; Luke 11:13; Matthew 28:19; 2 Peter 1:21)

 

The Trinity

The Trinity is a divine and infinite being in which there are three subsistences: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, of one substance, power, and eternity. Each person of the Trinity has the whole divine essence, and yet the Trinity is by no means divided. The Father is of none; he is neither begotten of proceeding. The Son, the second person of the Trinity, is eternally begotten of the Father. The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, proceeds from the Father and the Son. All three persons of the Trinity are without beginning and infinite, yet are one God who is not to be divided into nature or being. This doctrine is the foundation of all our relationships with God. (1 John 5:7; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Exodus 3:14; John 14:11; 1 Corinthians 8:6; John 1:14,18; John 15:26; Galatians 4:6)

 

Humanity

All humans are made in the Imago Dei, the image of God. As such, human life carries with it sanctity and value regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, dependency on others, disability, etc. Human life has sanctity and value from the conception until the grave. Humans were created to be in a relationship with God and to glorify Him. (Psalms 139:13-16; Romans 8:2-4; Genesis 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:20; Romans 2:14-15)

 

Sin

Even though God created man upright and perfect, in relationship with Him, man fell and was then unable to obey God’s commandments. (Genesis 2:16-17, Genesis 3:12-13, 2 Corinthians 11:3)

 

By sinning, Adam and Eve fell from their righteousness and communion with God, and in this sin, death entered into the world, unto all. All became dead in their sin, totally depraved in the heart, soul, and mind. Ultimately this sin leads to death and an eternity apart from God. This sin brings with it not only fallen humanity but also a fallen creation. (Romans 5:12-14; Romans 8:20-23; Acts 10:42; Matthew 10:28)

 

Being the first created man, and by God’s appointment the representative head for all humanity, Adam’s sin guilt was imputed to all mankind. Humanity is conceived in sin, being by nature children of wrath, eternally, unless the Lord makes us free. Because of this original sin, we are utterly impotent and unable to do good. We are totally inclined to evil, in complete opposition to good. (Genesis 2:7; Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22,45; Psalms 51:5; Job 14:4; Ephesians 2:3; Romans 6:20; Romans 5;12; Hebrews 2:14-15; 1 Thessalonians 1:10)

 

Even after conversion, this corrupted sinful nature remains in the believer in this life on earth. It is killed through Christ and forgiven, yet it is still truly sin. (Romans 7:18,23; Ecclesiastes 7:20; 1 John 1:8; Romans 7:23-25; Galatians 5:17)

 

The Gospel

The gospel is a result of the sovereign will and pleasure of God. It does not depend on any of man’s works or abilities. The gospel is that Jesus Christ lived the life we should have lived, and died the death that we deserve to die in order to reconcile us with God. He paid in full the sin debt that we owed, substituted in our place, satisfied the wrath of God, and rose victorious from the grave, appearing to the disciples and then ascending to the right hand of the Father. (1 Corinthians 15:1-11; 2 Corinthians 5:17-19; Romans 3:25; Leviticus 4:24; Acts 4:10; Psalms 147:20; Acts 16:17; Romans 1:18-32)

 

The gospel is the fulfillment of the promise of Christ which God was pleased to put forth after the fall of man. The gospel is revealed only in the Word of God. It is not revealed by works of man, natural revelation, creation, or any other means apart from the grace of God through the working of the Holy Spirit. (Genesis 3:15; Romans 1;17; Romans 10:14,15,17; Proverbs 29:18; Isaiah 25:7; Isaiah 60:2,3)

 

The gospel is God’s means for calling unto himself all those whom he foreknew before the foundation of the world. It is necessary, since man is dead in his sins, that the Holy Spirit does a supernatural act to make them alive. God initiates this work, through the Holy Spirit, granting them faith and repentance. Therefore, this act of salvation is effectual for not only conversion but also the eternal assurance of the salvation of the sinner.  (1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 1:19; John 6:44; 2 Corinthians 4:4,6)

 

Justification

All those whom God effectually calls unto himself he freely justifies. God does this not by making them righteous, but by pardoning their sins and crediting it to them as righteousness. God does this not because of anything in them or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone. He does this not through giving them faith, belief, or any other form of obedience. Rather, God imputes to them Christ’s active obedience under the whole law, his passive obedience in death for their righteousness, and this faith they have is not of themselves, it is a gift of God. (Romans 3:24; Romans 8:30, Romans 4:5-8; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30-31; Romans 5:17-19; Philippians 3:8-9; Ephesians 2:8-10; John 1:12; Romans 5:17)

 

This saving faith is receiving and then resting in Christ’s righteousness. It alone is the way of justification. However, saving faith is never alone; it is always accompanied by other saving graces and works in love. (Romans 3:28, Galatians 5:6; James 2:17,22,26)

 

Christ, in his death, fully paid the debt of all those who are justified before God. By his sacrifice on the cross, receiving the penalty due unto them, He fully satisfied God’s wrath on their behalf. Their justification is a free gift of grace, in order that the perfect justice and grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners. The basis for a sinner’s justification is the finished work of Jesus at the cross. God decreed from all eternity to justify the elect, and Christ died in the fullness of time for their sins and rose again for their justification. However, they are not personally justified until the Holy Spirit regenerates them by putting His Spirit in them. (Hebrews 10:14; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Isaiah 53:5-6; Romans 8:32; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:26; Ephesians 1:6-7; Ephesians 2:7-9; Galatians 3:8; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Timothy 2:6; Romans 4:25; Colossians 1:21-22; Titus 3:4-7; Ezekiel 36:26; Deuteronomy 29:4; Romans 11:8, Hebrews 7:27; Romans 10:13; Hebrews 10:140

 

The justification of believers in the Old Testament was one and the same with the justification of believers in the New Testament. (Galatians 3:9; Romans 4:22-24)

 

Sanctification

Those who are united to Christ, after having been called, regenerated, given a new heart and a new Spirit by means of the Holy Spirit working in them, according to Christ’s death and resurrection, are then further sanctified by the means of this same grace through the work of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 20:32; Romans 6:5-6; John 17:17; Ephesians 3:16-19; 1 Thessalonians 5:21-23; Romans 6:14; Galatians 5:24; Colossians 1:11; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14)

 

Sanctification is a lifelong process, yet it never reaches completion in this life. There are still aspects of sin and depravity that linger. This is the battle of the Spirit waging war against the desires of the flesh. (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Romans 7:18,23; Galatians 5:17; 1 Peter 2:11)

 

In this war between the flesh and the Spirit, though sin and flesh may prevail for a time, through the continual pouring out of the grace of God on the believer through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, the regenerate heart does overcome. In this manner, the Christian grows in holiness and in the fear of God, due only to the grace of God. (Romans 7:23; Romans 6:14; Romans 10:1-2; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Ephesians 4:15-16; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 7:1)

 

Glorification

One day, at the return of Christ, all believers and all creation will be presented to Jesus as glorified. This means that God will make the believer like Himself. We become like Christ, perfectly, showing the world the greatness and the glory of God. Glorification is the future hope of every Christian. This glorification will be the state of both the believer and creation for all of eternity. Glorification is the ultimate goal of the gospel. It results in covenant restoration and the ultimate redemption of mankind. Glorification removes us from the presence of sin we will live in a perfect relationship and worship God. God justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies all believers. (Romans 8:19,21,29-30; Jeremiah 30:22; Hebrews 8:10; Ephesians 1:12; Philippians 1:6)

 

The Church

The Church is not a building, it is not a place, it is not even a specific denomination. The Church is the people of God from the fallen human race who have been called by name, set apart, justified by Christ, and are being sanctified by the Spirit. Christ is the head of this church, and the church is his body and bride. (Revelation 7:9; Hebrews 12:23; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:10,22,23; Ephesians 5:23,27,32)

 

The Church exists to bring Glory to the triune God through both worship and service. (Romans 12:1; 1 Corinthians 14:26) 

 

Church membership is a covenant between believers and the local church to be a part of the body and to steward their gifts for the edification of the Church. The believers visibly demonstrate their obedience to Christ and agree to walk together, by the will of God, in submission to the gospel. The Church is a family and the means by which God advances his kingdom here on earth. The local church is the physical means by which God sanctifies believers. It is the will of God for Christians to be active members in local churches for their mutual edification. (Ephesians 4;11-12, Acts 4:32; Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Acts 2:41,42; Acts 5;13,14; 2 Corinthians 9:13)

 

Marriage

Marriage is between one biological man and one biological woman for one lifetime. It is not biblical for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband at the same time. (Genesis 2:24; Malachi 2:15; Matthew 19:5-6)

 

Marriage was ordained for the mutual sanctification of the husband and wife, for the growth of humanity, and to be a picture of Christ and His Church. (Genesis 2:18; Genesis 1:28; 1 Corinthians 7:2,9; Ephesians 5:25-27; Isaiah 54:5; Revelation 19:7-9)

 

Ordinances of the Church

Both baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances appointed by the Lord Jesus to be continued in his church until he returns. As Christians, we are called to be obedient in Baptism and the Lord’s supper. (Matthew 28:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:26)

 

Those who actually profess repentance towards God and in faith and obedience to Jesus Christ are the only proper subjects of this ordinance. Baptism is an act of obedience for born again believers as a public declaration of their faith. It is followed by their acceptance into the local church to edify the body. In Baptism, believers are identified with Jesus in His death, burial, and resurrection. (Galatians 3:26-27; 1 Peter 3:21; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Mark 16:16; Acts 8:36,37; Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12; Acts 18:8)

 

The Lord’s Supper is a regular observance and remembrance of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. It is meant to refocus our hearts upon the center of our faith which is the cross of Christ. The Lord’s supper is commemorated by remembering the breaking of Christ’s body and the spilling of his blood for the sins of his redeemed people. Christ is not physically present in the Lord’s supper; it is a picture of Christ’s death on the cross.(Matthew 26:26-28; 1 Corinthians 10:17; John 6:53-54; 1 Corinthians 11:17-33)

 

The Second Coming

Jesus Christ will return at an unknown time in the future to judge every person who has ever lived. God has appointed this day for Christ to judge in His righteousness. All persons will appear before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds, and then receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil. (Mark 13:32; Revelation 3:3; Matthew 24:44; Acts 17:31; John 5:22,27; 1 Corinthians 6:3; Jude 6; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Matthew 12:36; Romans 14:10; Matthew 25:32-46)

 

The purpose for this day and for Christ’s second coming is for the manifestation of God’s glory through his mercy, by means of his eternal salvation of all believers and in his justice, through the eternal damnation of all those who have rejected God. The righteous, who have been called, justified, regenerated, and sanctified, will go into everlasting life in the fullness of the joy and the glory of the Lord. All who do not know God, but have rejected Him will be thrown into eternal torment, everlasting destruction, where the wrath of God will be poured out against them for all of eternity.  (Romans 9:22,23; Matthew 25:21,34; 2 Timothy 4:8; Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:48; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10)