Staying TrueOur ability to stand in the midst of trials will depend on the focus of our gaze.
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I. The Inspiration of the Bible
We believe the Holy Scriptures, composed of the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, are the verbally inspired Word and Revelation of God. The Bible is inerrant, infallible-God-breathed. The initial miracle of divine inspiration of the original autographs also extends to the divine preservation of a pure text to this day. We have, therefore, the very Word of God preserved through the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus. In the English language, the only Bible translated from the aforementioned texts is the King James Version. Psalm 19:7-11; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:16-21; Luke 24:13-28; John 16:12-16; Psalm 12:6-7; Isaiah 40:8; Psalm 138:2.
II. The Trinity
We believe in the Triune God-God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit-coequal and coeternal. Each has His individual identity and separate responsibilities for the purposes of redemption, yet perfectly united as three Persons in One. 1 John 5:1-8; John 16:7-18; Matthew 28:19; Genesis 1:26.
III. The Deity and Virgin Birth of Christ
We believe in Deity of Jesus Christ. He is the only begotten, virgin born Son of God, the second Person in the Blessed Trinity, God the Son, God manifest in the flesh. 1 Timothy 3:16; John 1:1-14; John 14:9; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; John 10:36.
IV. The Blood Atonement
We believe in the substitutionary atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. He, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man, and all must be born again or be forever lost. Hebrews 2:9; John 6:44-69; John 3: 118; Romans 3:25; Revelation 1:5; Hebrews 9:22; 1 Peter 1:18-19. The Lord's atonement was not limited with respect to whom God's salvation is offered, i.e., His shed blood is sufficient for all sin and, therefore, "who so ever will" may believe and be saved to the uttermost. 1 John 2:2; Hebrews 7:22-25; Revelation 22:17. Also, the text "with His stripes we are healed" speaks of God's remedy for the sin-sick soul through the suffering and substitutionary sacrifice of the Lamb of God, and is not referring to the healing of the body as proposed by false charismatic teaching. Isaiah 53:4-6.
V. The Resurrection
We believe in the physical resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. He ascended bodily into the heavens and is now at the right hand of God as our Mediator, Priest, and Advocate. Acts 3:12-26; John 20; Hebrews 9:24; 1 Corinthians 15:12-28; 1 John 2:1.
VI. The Second Coming
We believe in the Rapture-the personal, premillennial, pretribulational and imminent return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ "in the air." This has been the "Blessed Hope" of every born-again believer in the Church Age. At that time He will receive to Himself the resurrected bodies of those who have "died in Christ" and also all those who are presently alive and "in Christ." 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:6-10; 1 Corinthians 15:50-55; Acts 1:11; Titus 2:13. He will then come "with His saints" seven years thereafter to execute judgment upon the ungodly nations before the inauguration of His earthly millennial reign at His second coming to the earth. Jude 14,15; Matthew 25:31-46. The Lord will cast the anti-christ and the false prophet into the lake of fire, send Satan into the abyss and establish His earthly kingdom. The Lord Jesus Christ will reign one thousand years, thus literally fulfilling the covenant promises made to a believing remnant of Israel through the Patriarchs of the Old Testament. Isaiah 11:1-16; Revelation 19:19-20; 20:1-6. After the earthly reign of one thousand years, He will bring all the unsaved dead to the judgment of the Great White Throne and all who stand before that Throne will be cast into the lake of fire forever. Revelation 20:11-15; Matthew 7:21-23. Satan will also be cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:10.
VII. The Personality of Satan
We believe in the personality of Satan, "that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world." He is actively opposing the cause of Christ on every hand and is the arch enemy of every true believer. His warfare incorporates the deception of mixing error and truth as well as that which is flagrantly vile and evil. 2 Corinthians 11:1-15; 2 Peter 5:8-9; Revelation 12:9-10; Matthew 4:2-11; Isaiah 14:12-17; John 8:24. He marshals a host of fallen angels that can also serve to deceive the unsuspecting by "transforming themselves into...apostles of Christ [and] ministers of righteousness..." (2 Corinthians 11:315). These false spirits can influence the unfaithful servant to say helpful and even true things and can also themselves energize ones to do the miraculous. Therefore, every experience and teaching must be examined in light of the Word of God to determine its true source. Isaiah 8:20; 1 John 4:1.
VIII. Heaven and Hell
We believe that Heaven is a real place of eternal blessedness prepared by God for those whose garments have been "made white" through faith in the shed "blood of the Lamb." Hell is a real place of eternal suffering for those whose names are not written in the "book of life." There is no intermediate state in which the unsaved can atone for his own sins. John 14:1-6; Revelation 7:13-17; 20:11-15; 21:22-27; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Luke 16:19-31.
IX. Creation and Man's Fall
We believe God created all things in a time frame of six literal, twenty-four hour days. We believe evolution in any form, and this necessarily includes so called "theistic evolution" and the "gap theory" to be contradictory to the clear teaching of Scripture. We believe in the universality and exceeding sinfulness of sin. In Adam all have sinned and, therefore, are guilty before God by nature as well as by deed. Man was created by a direct act of God and subsequently fell into sin in the Garden of Eden. Romans 5:12-21 Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 3:10-26; 6:23; Psalm 51:5 Genesis 1-3.
X. Justification by Faith
We believe that man is justified on the single ground of faith in the shed blood and bodily resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1 Ephesians 2:8-9. The all-sufficient and completed work of Redemption accomplished through His death and resurrection is fully appropriated at the moment in time by those who receive by faith the free gift of salvation offered in the one true Gospel. The adding of works, baptism, sacraments, or any other condition placed upon man in order to obtain God's gift of salvation by faith alone in the finished work of Christ results in "another gospel" that is under God's curse. Galatians 1:6-10; Romans 1:16 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; John 5:24; Ephesians 5:8.
XI. Eternal Security
We believe in the eternal security of all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. Once a lost sinner has be come a "new creature in Christ," he can never lose that new relationship in the family of God which is based upon Christ's imputed righteousness and not his own. The life that God imparts to the believing sinner is not "eternal life" if it can be terminated. 2 Corinthians 5:14-21; John 10:25-29. Sin in the life of the believer affects his fellowship with the Father not sonship. All who are truly born of the Spirit and who continue in sin will be dealt with by the chastening hand of God. 1 John 1:5-10; Hebrews 12:6-13 1 Corinthians 3:11-15. All who are in Christ are sealed unto the day of redemption and will be glorified. We are to "work out" our salvation not "work for" our salvation; Philippians 2:12. Texts used to supposedly teach one can lose his salvation are speaking of loss of reward, not the loss of salvation or the right to be called a child of God. 1 Corinthians 3:8-15; 2 John 8; Revelation 3:11; Romans 8:29-30; 1 Timothy 1:12; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30.
XII. The Holy Spirit and Body of Christ
We believe all regenerated people are baptized into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit the moment they receive Christ as their Saviour. 1 Corinthians 12:13; 1 Corinthians 10:32; Ephesians 2:13-18. The Holy Spirit indwells all who have been born again from above. Also, the baptism of the Spirit is not a separate event apart from the reception of the gift of the Holy Spirit upon believing on Christ unto salvation. Acts 15:6-11; Galatians 3:2,14; Romans 10:1317; Romans 8:9. The Church which is Christ's Body consists of all those who, in the present dispensation, truly believe and accept Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. Romans 8:14-27; James 1:18; John 1:12; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Matthew 16:16-16.
We believe that all Christians are first to be separated wholly unto the Lord, and as a necessary result, they must be:
1) Separated from worldly and sinful practices. They are to be holy, even as He is holy, and this desired behavior will always be diametrically opposed to the course of this present age. 1 Peter 1: 13-16; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 12:1-2; 1 John 2:15-17.
2) Separated from apostasy and unbelief. A believer must not be "unequally yoked together with unbelievers," thereby being identified with unbelief by association, whether in ministry, worship, or by joint religious activities. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; 2 Timothy 2:19-22; 3:1-5; Amos 3:3.
3) Separated from disobedient brethren and doctrinal compromise with respect to all ministry and service. A believer is identified with the doctrinal positions and practices of those he is in fellowship with, both before God and man. Separation from those who are not walking according to truth deters the leavening effect of compromise, and gives a faithful warning to the erring brother. Romans 16: 17; 2 Thessalonians 3:6,14-15; 2 John 10-11; Galatians 2:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:33.
XIV. The Local Church and Its Mission
We believe God has ordained the ministry of local, independent, indigenous assemblies of believers to accomplish His work in this dispensation extending from Pentecost to the Translation of Christ's Body at His appearing. The church's membership is to be composed of regenerated, baptized believers. The two ordinances of the local church are believer's baptism by immersion, and the memorial of the Lord's supper until He returns. The church is to be missionary and evangelistic in spreading the Gospel into all the world. It is not the mission of the church to "bring in the Kingdom," work for political or economic justice, major on social improvement, or "Christianize" society. It is to strive together for the faith of the Gospel, proclaim and maintain purity of doctrine and practice, and worship and serve the Lord in "spirit and truth." Acts 2:41-47; 20:17-32; Matthew 28:16-20; Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Corinthians 11:23-34.
XV. Good Works
We believe that all followers of the Lord Jesus Christ should maintain good works, a "good work" being that which is done in obedience to the will of God as revealed in the Word of God. Works will determine the reward or loss of reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ before which every Christian will stand. Every believer must realize his responsibility before God to "maintain good works," i.e., walk in the light of the Word of God. The Bible is the believer's absolute Standard of faith and practice, his perfect Counsel. The Word provides him with "all things that pertain unto life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3-4). The Bible, not any form of psychological counseling or therapy, is the answer. Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 2:11-14; 3:1-11; 2 Thessalonians 5:23; 1 Corinthians 1:18-29; 3:8-15; 2 Corinthians 5:9-11.