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The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were written by men borne along by the Spirit of God and are thus “God-breathed.” While the autographs have not been preserved, the text of them is preserved within the manuscripts we possess. Therefore, to all intents and purposes we have the reading of the original.
The Scriptures are the self-attesting ultimate authority for the child of God; the all-sufficient, certain and infallible rule of life. Wherever the Scripture speaks, and upon whatever matter it touches, it is authoritative. It is the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds and pronouncements should be tried. As such, it is imperative that we interpret them in accordance with consistent, literal (plain-sense) hermeneutics.
The Scriptures declare that there is only one true and living God who is the Creator and Sustainer of all things, inexpressively glorious and perfect in all His attributes. God is a Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each of the three Persons being fully and truly God. We subscribe to the Nicean-Constantinoplean formulation of the Godhead. None but God Himself can understand His essence. The three Persons, though not to be divided in nature or being, are distinguished by their personal relations within the Godhead, and by the distinct yet harmonious works which they undertake.
We reject the modern teaching of “open theism” wherein God cannot know the future with certainty.
The Triune God created the world and all things in it in six 24 hour days. After completing His work of creating, God pronounced it all “very good.” We reject any theory of evolution, along with so-called progressive creationism (although we do not consider progressive creationism a heresy).
The universe is not impersonal but owned and run; not purposeless but meaningful; not man’s playground but the theatre of God’s glory.
The God who created the cosmos now upholds, directs and controls it. Because God is all-knowing, nothing happens by chance or outside of the sphere of His providence. However, it is transparently clear that much that happens does not comport with God’s perfect character or His preceptive will. However, God permits things to occur, in thought, in deed and in nature, which He has declared against.
In a future day, when God creates a new heaven and a new earth, everything that occurs in every part of creation will please God. Presently, God’s providence works to guide all circumstances and actions, whether good or evil, to this ultimate end.
Man by voluntary transgression fell from the upright and happy state in which he was formed. Yet man is still the image and likeness of his Maker, though that image is marred. Since Adam is the seminal and federal head of all mankind, all humanity fell when Adam sinned. As a result, every person born into the world (with the exception of the Lord Jesus) is corrupted by sin in mind, soul and body.
The sins men commit are just the products of their sin nature. All human beings are fallen sinners, by nature contrary to the character of God and His truth, and utterly incapable of doing anything to merit God’s mercy. As depraved sinners, we are the proper objects of wrath, being positively inclined to evil, and are, therefore, under just condemnation to eternal separation from God’s countenance, without defense or excuse.
During this earthly life, sin still resides in those who are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and adopted into the family of God. The difference being that those who have been born again are not reigned over by sin as the unregenerate are.
We believe that solely due to the goodness and mercy of Almighty God, He chose and sent the Lord Jesus, His only-begotten Son, into the world to be the Mediator between God and man. Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the Divine requirements in order that any sinner could be reconciled to the Father. Jesus suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. He was buried, and rose again bodily the third day, then ascended to the father. He is the only Mediator, the way, the truth and the life; prophet, priest and king – the Sovereign of the Universe.
The only way of salvation is the way of grace; the finished atoning work of Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty for human sin vicariously at Golgotha. The blood of Christ was necessarily shed for sinners, and any sinner who truly believes in Jesus for salvation is forgiven by God of all his sins. Thus, salvation is purely by grace – through faith – without works.
Not only does God wipe away the believer’s sins, He gives the sinner the merits of His own dear Son, so that every saint is given the right to eternal joy in the presence of the Triune God.
Upon trust in Jesus Christ, God has promised to regenerate man’s spirit and make him a new creature in Christ by a radical change wrought in the soul by the Holy Spirit, who, once He has regenerated the individual, indwells him forever, imputing a holy disposition.
The redeemed sinner is separated unto God, adopted into God’s family, and placed into the Body of Christ.
Faith is the voluntary belief in the revealed truth of God in the Scriptures. Saving faith is that which simply yet fully trusts upon the finished work of Christ on behalf of the sinner. Repentance may be seen as the change of mind and outlook of the sinner toward God. It is often used as a synonym for faith. It is not, however, necessarily connected with turning from sin or submission to the Lordship of Christ, which things are properly part of sanctification and not justification.
Although we do not see any doctrine which places regeneration prior to faith, we do see the necessity of the sinner being convicted of his sin, illuminated about the Gospel and drawn to the Father. Except for this a sinner will not come to repentance.
The Scriptures teach that the atonement of Christ secures justification before God for the believer. Justification includes the pardon of sin and the promise of eternal life through Christ’s imputed righteousness, which is given to everyone who believes. This perfect righteousness brings us into a state of blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity.
Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of His holiness. It is a progressive work, begun at regeneration, and carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit works in the continual use of the appointed means – especially the Word of God, self- examination, self-denial, watchfulness, prayer, and the practice of all godly exercises and duties.
It is also scriptural to view sanctification as a threefold process involving positional holiness, experiential consecration, and final glorification.
Full assurance of peace with God and of eternal life is had through faith in the promises of God in the Gospel. As such, assurance can be said to be of the essence of justifying faith and not related to the performance of external works.
The promise of eternal security is part and parcel of the nature of the Gospel. A Christian is saved by grace and kept saved by grace.
We believe that a visible local church is a congregation of baptized believers associated together under the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit for instruction in the Scriptures, for worship, fellowship and evangelistic service.
The Church ought to be self-governing and independent; its only scriptural officers being elders/pastors and deacons, whose qualifications and duties are defined in the New Testament.
All true believers in Jesus Christ are members of one another in the Body of Christ, the Family of God, which is the Church Universal, and will one day live together in agreement and mutual love forever. Christians, therefore, are exhorted to do good to all people, but especially those of the household of faith.
According to a normative reading of the Scriptures, and especially the Old Testament, the nation of Israel has particular covenants of promise given to it. These covenants (e.g. Abraham, Land, Davidic, New) have not all been fulfilled in every detail. Notwithstanding, they must be fulfilled if the veracity of the promises of God are not to be called into question.
The hope of the literal fulfillment of the biblical covenants is to those Israelites identified in the Scriptures as the Remnant. These are the true Jews in every dispensation.
A normative, plain-sense interpretation of the Scriptures encourages us to expect a snatching away of the Church to meet Christ in the air just prior to the final seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy. This week is the Tribulation spoken of in numerous places in Scripture. Its purpose is primarily to prepare the Jews as a people to call upon the name of Christ, which they will do at the end of this terrible period.
Also at this time will be the unveiling of the “Man of sin”, who in the middle of the seventieth week will enter the rebuilt temple at Jerusalem and declare himself as God, turning all his wrath upon the Jews.
Unless the Church is taken out of the world before the seventieth week, it will not be possible for God to deal with Israel.
The Scriptures teach the personal bodily return to earth of the Lord Jesus Christ in great power and glory, there to set up His one thousand year Kingdom rule, which will be extended and expanded in eternity.
At the end of the Millennium there will be a final rebellion of Satan and his children against the rule and authority of Christ, at which time they will be summarily destroyed – Satan being thrown into the Lake of Fire, and the unsaved dead brought together with the lost of all ages before the White Throne Judgment of God.
At this time God will create a New Heaven and a New Earth in which there will be no more curse. The Church and Israel will continue as two related yet distinct peoples of God.
The New Testament teaches that Christians are obligated to bring every thought captive to Christ, thereby doing all to the glory of God. In order to do this they are responsible not to be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of their minds. This transformation of our thinking cannot be effected without the doctrinal formulations of Scripture becoming normative for all of life.
We believe that whereas the Holy Spirit has gifted every believer in accordance with their function within the Body of Christ, the sign gifts such as the speaking in tongues and the gifts of healing and prophecy are no longer current to the Church.
The New Testament is unequivocal regarding marriage. A Biblical Marriage is between one man and one woman after the model of the first marriage in Eden. Jesus Christ referred to this union when teaching about marriage.