WE BELIEVE

SCRIPTURES

The Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of God's revelation of Himself to humanity. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. It is inerrant and infallible in its original manuscript which is to be taken as verbally inspired. It reveals the principles by which God judges us; and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of the believer union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus.

Ex. 24:4; Deut. 4:1-2; 17:19; Josh. 8:34; Ps. 19:7-10; 119:11, 89,105, 140; Isa. 34:16; 40:8; Jer. 15:16; 36; Matt. 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21 :33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Rom. 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.


GOD

There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.

I. God the Father

God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.

Gen. 1:1; 2:7; Ex. 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11 ff.; 20:1 ff.; Lev. 22:2; Deut. 6:4; 32:6; 1 Chron. 29:10; Ps. 19:1-3; Isa. 43:3, 15; 64:8; Jer. 10:10; 17:13; Matt. 6:9 ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1 :9-11; John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Rom. 8:14-15; 1 Cor. 8:6; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 4:6; Col. 1:15; 1 Tim. 1 :17; Heb. 11 :6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1 :17; 1 John 5:7.

II. God the Son

Jesus is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself the demands and necessities of human nature and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, partaking of the nature of God and of humanity, and in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and humanity. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord.

Gen. 18:1 ff.; Ps. 2:7 ff.; 110:1 ff.; Isa. 7:14; 53; Matt. 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 11:27; 14:33; 16:16, 27; 17:5; 27; 28:1-6, 19; Mark 1:1; 3:11; Luke 1 :35; 4:41; 22:70; 24:46; John 1:1-18, 29; 10:30, 38; 11 :25-27; 12:44-50; 14:7-11, 16:15-16; 28; 17:1-5, 21-22; 20:1-20, 28; Acts 1:9; 2:22-25; 7:55-56; 9:4-5, 20; Rom. 1 :3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-21; 8:1-3, 34; 10:4; 1 Cor. 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8, 24:28; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Eph. 1 :20; 3:11; 4:7-1 O; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1 :13-22; 2:9; 1 Thess. 4:14-18; 1 Tim. 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Heb. 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15, 24-28; 12:2; 13:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:22; 1 John 1 :7-9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Rev. 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16.

III. God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Jesus. He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. He calls men to the Savior, and effects regeneration. He cultivates character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence is the assurance of God to bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Jesus. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.

Gen. 1:2; Judg. 14:6; Job 26:13; Ps. 51:11; 139:7 ff.; Isa. 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matt. 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10, 12; Luke 1:35; 4:1, 18-19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John 4:24; 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4, 38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17, 39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Rom. 8:9-11, 14-16, 26-27; 1 Cor. 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 1:13-14; 5:18; 1 Thess. 5:19; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1:14; 2 Tim. 1:14; 3:16; Heb. 9:8, 14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7; Rev. 1 :1 O; 22:17.


HUMANITY

Humanity was created by the special act of God, in His own image, and is the crowning work of His creation. In the beginning humanity was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice humanity sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan humanity transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence; whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin, and as soon as they are capable of moral action become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring humanity into His fellowship and enable humanity to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created humanity in His own image, and in that Jesus died for humanity; therefore every humanity possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and love.

Gen. 1 :26-30; 2:5, 7, 18-22; 3; 9:6; Ps. 1; 8:3-6; 32: 1-5; 51 :5; Isa. 6:5; Jer. 17:5; Matt. 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Rom. 1:19-32; 3:10-18, 23; 5:6; 12, 19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18, 29; 1 Cor. 1 :21-31; 15:19, 21-22; Eph. 2:1-22; Col. 1:21-22; 3:9-11.


SALVATION

Salvation involves the redemption of the whole humanity, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, sanctification, and glorification.

I. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God's grace whereby believers become new creatures in Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus.

Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God.

Faith is the acceptance of Jesus and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Savior. Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Jesus. Justification brings the believer into a relationship of peace and favor with God.

II. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the

believer is set apart to God's purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual perfection through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person's life.

III. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.

Gen. 3:15; Ex. 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matt. 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26; 27:22 to 28:6; Luke 1 :68-69; 2:28-32; John 1 :11-14, 29; 3:3-21, 36; 5:24; 10:9, 28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32; Rom. 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3 ff.; 5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18, 29-39; 10:9-10, 13; 13:11-14; 1 Cor. 1:18, 30; 6:19-20; 15:10; 2 Cor. 5:17-20; Gal. 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-22; 4:11-16; Phil. 2:12-13; Col. 1:9-22; 3:1 ff.; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 2 Tim. 1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Heb. 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8, 14; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1 :2-23; 1 John 1 :6 to 2:11; Rev. 3:20; 21 :1 to 22:5.


GRACE

Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of humanity, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is a glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.

All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Jesus, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the cause of Jesus, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

Gen. 12:1-3; Ex. 19:5-8; 1 Sam. 8:4-7, 19-22; Isa. 5:1-7; Jer. 31:31 ff.; Matt. 16:18-19; 21:28-45; 24:22, 31; 25:34; Luke 1:68-79; 2:29-32; 19:41-44; 24:44-48; John 1:12-14; 3:16; 5:24; 6:44-45, 65; 10:27-29; 15:16; 17:6, 12, 17-18; Acts 20:32; Rom. 5:9-10; 8:28-29; 10:12-15; 11:5-7, 26-36; 1 Cor. 1:1-2; 15:24-28; Eph. 1:4-23; 2:1-10; 3:1-11; Col. 1:12-14; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; 2 Tim. 1:12, 2:10, 19; Heb. 11:39-12:2; 1 Peter 1:2-5, 13; 2:4-10; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:19; 3:2.


COMMANDMENT

Love for God and others is the greatest of all the commandments and the fulfillment of all the law. By loving God and others according to the Scriptures, one demonstrates if he or she truly is from God. When loving God, one expresses his or her commitment to Him. This commitment translates into obeying all His commandments. Loving others as, one loves himself or herself, also translates into living according to His Commandments. The commandment to love produces sanctity in all those who claim to follow Him. No sin or impurity dwells in the body, mind, or spirit of those who truly love God and his or her neighbors.

Matt. 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-31; Luke 10:25-37; Rom. 13:9-10; Gal. 6:10; Ex. 19:5,6; 1 John 4:20-21; Eccl. 12:11; Isa. 22:24; Jer. 8:2; Jdg. 18:24; Ps. 103:1.


CHURCH

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus is a local body of baptized believers who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the two ordinances of Jesus, committed to His teachings, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth.

This church is an autonomous body, operating through democratic processes under the Lordship of Jesus. In such, congregation members are equally responsible. Its Scriptural officers are pastors and deacons.

The New Testament speaks also of the church as the body of Jesus which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages.

Matt. 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42, 47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23, 27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Rom. 1 :7; 1 Cor. 1 :2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Eph. 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11, 21; 5:22-32; Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:18; 1 Tim. 3:1-15; 4:14; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Rev. 2-3; 21:2-3.


KINGDOM

The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King. Particularly the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus. Those who follow the Bible ought to pray and to labor that the Kingdom may come and God's will be done on earth. The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus and the end of this age.

Gen. 1 :1; Isa. 9:6-7; Jer. 23:5-6; Matt. 3:2; 4:8-10, 23; 12:25-28; 13:1-52; 25:31-46; 26:29; Mark 1:14-15; 9:1; Luke 4:43; 8:1; 9:2; 12:31-32; 17:20-21; 23:42; John 3:3, 18-36; Acts 1:6-7; 17:22-32; Rom. 5: 17; 8: 19; 1 Cor. 15:24-28; Col. 1: 13; Heb. 11: 10, 16; 12:28; 1 Peter 2:4-10; 4:13; Rev. 1:6, 9; 5:10; 11:15, 21-22.


LAST THINGS

According to His promise, Jesus will return personally and visibly in glory. The dead in Jesus will rise first, then we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. After the judgments of God upon this sinful world in the Great Tribulation, Jesus our Lord will come with his saints to establish His millennial kingdom.

Jesus will judge all men in righteousness. The redeemed, by Jesus' sacrifice, in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their rewards and will dwell in heaven forever with their Savior. The unsaved will be separated from the kingdom of God and will be cast into the lake of fire.

Isa. 2:4; 11 :9; Matt. 16:27; 18:8-9; 19:28; 24:27, 30, 36, 44; 25:31-46; 26:64; Mark 8:38; 9:43; Luke 12:40, 48; 16:19-26; 17:22-37; 21 :27-28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Rom. 14:10; 1 Cor. 4:5; 15:24-28, 35-58; 2 Cor. 5:10; Phil. 3:20-21; Col. 1:5; 3:4; 1 Thess. 4:14-18; 5:1 ff.; 2 Thess. 1:7 ff.; 2; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 4:1, 8; Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:27-28; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7 ff.; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14; Rev. 1:18; 3:11; 20:1 to 22:13.


MISSIONS

It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Jesus and of every church of the Lord Jesus to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The new birth of humanity's spirit by God's Holy Spirit means the birth of love for others. Missionary efforts on the part of all rests thus upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life. and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Jesus. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Jesus by personal effort and by all other methods in harmony with the gospel of Jesus.

Gen. 12:1-3; Ex. 19:5-6; Isa. 6:1-8; Matt. 9:37-38; 10:5-15; 13:18-30, 37-43; 16:19; 22:9-10; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 10:1-18; 24:46-53; John 14:11-12; 15:7-8, 16: 17:15; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 8:26-40; 10:42-48; 13:2-3; Rom. 10:13-15; Eph. 3:1-11; 1 Thess. 1 :8; 2 Tim. 4:5; Heb. 2:1-3; 11:39 to 12:2; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Rev. 22:17.


COOPERATION

Jesus' people should, as occasion requires, organize such associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches. They are voluntary and advisory bodies developed to elicit, combine, and direct the energies of our people in the most effective manner. Members of New Testament churches should cooperate with one another in carrying forward the missionary, educational, and benevolent ministries for the extension of Jesus' Kingdom. The believer unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by various groups of Jesus' people. Cooperation is desirable between the various denominations that follow the Bible, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience and compromise of loyalty to Jesus and His Word as revealed in the New Testament.

Ex. 17:12; 18:17ff.; Judg. 7:21; Ezra 1:3-4; 2:68-69; 5:14-15; Neh. 4; 8:1-5; Matt. 10:5-15; 20:1-16; 21:1-10; 28:19-20; Mark 2:3; Luke 10:1 ff.; Acts 1:13-14; 2:1 ff.; 4:31-37; 13:2-3; 15:1-35; 1 Cor. 1:10-17; 3:5-15; 12; 2 Cor. 8-9; Gal. 1:6-10; Eph. 4:1-16; Phil. 1:15-18.


STEWARDSHIP

God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Those who follow the Bible have a spiritual debt to the whole world, a trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, believers should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer's cause on earth. The tithe is to be considered the starting place of Stewardship.

Gen. 14:20; Lev. 27:30-32; Deut. 8:18; Mal. 3:8-12; Matt. 6:1-4, 19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21, 42; 16:1-13; Acts 2:44-47; 5:1-11; 17:24-25; 20:35; Rom. 6:6-22; 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4; 2 Cor. 8-9; 12:15; Phil. 4:10-19; 1 Peter 1:18-19.


EDUCATION

The cause of education in the Kingdom of Jesus is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence, and should receive along with these the liberal support of the churches. An adequate system of Bible schools is necessary to a complete spiritual program for those who follow Jesus.

In education there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility. Freedom in any orderly relationship of human life is always limited and never absolute. The freedom of a teacher in a Bible school, university or seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.

Duet. 4:1, 5, 9, 14; 6:1-10; 31:12-13; Neh. 8:1-8; Job 28:28; Ps. 19:7ff.; 119:11; Prov. 3:13ff.; 4:1-10; 8:1-7, 11; 15:14; Eccl. 7:19; Matt. 5:2; 7:24ff.; 28:19-20; Luke 2:40; 1 Cor. 1:18-31; Eph. 4:11-16; Phil. 4:8; Col. 2:3, 8-9; 1 Tim. 1 :3-7; 2 Tim. 2:15; 3:14-17; Heb. 5:12 to 6:3; James 1:5;3:17.