We believe that the Christian Holy Scriptures are the accurately recorded Voice of God, and are not the voice of men. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to systematize the major teachings of the Bible and to formulate them into Bible Doctrines accessible to the public. Built exclusively on the major teachings of the Holy Scriptures, we declare that Bible Doctrine is the sure basis for our unity and our partnership in The Truth. Indeed, Bible Doctrine is the consistent norm and the decisive test for our cooperation in the Christian Ministry.
We believe that Divine Revelation is the specific communication of truth from God to man. Thus, Divine Revelation is that progressive process whereby the Creator of the universe made Himself and truth related to Himself known to man. We believe that without such revelation, God and all truth related to Him would remain utterly unknown to finite man. Therefore, we believe that the Almighty Creator of all that is visible and invisible, motivated by His infinite love toward His Creation, has employed a variety of means and a multiplicity of methods to reveal Himself to man in such a way that man can come to know and to fellowship with Him. Accordingly, we believe that Divine Revelation is an objective historical reality, and that its validity stands independent of personal choices or religious experiences.
Moreover, we believe that, apart from God’s saving grace, the Christian Holy Scriptures are the final special revelation from the Lord God, embedded with lasting results for time and for eternity. We also believe that the capstone to Divine Revelation will be the manifestation of the personal and visible glory of the Son of God, at His Second Advent.
Wherefore, we believe that the closing of the New Testament Canon in the first century has ushered a complete silence of Divine Revelation, which silence will be broken only by the Second Advent of Jesus the Christ. Indeed, the Lord God has said it all to us, in His perfect Son our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!.
THE CHRISTIAN HOLY SCRIPTURES
We believe that the Christian Holy Scriptures are the final special revelation from the Lord God, embedded with lasting results for time and for eternity. Therefore, we believe that the Bible is the Book from the Mind of God to the minds of mankind. Accordingly, we believe that the Christian Holy Scriptures are The Divine Treasure handed down by God to the saints, for us to search diligently, for us to adhere to lovingly, for us to guard earnestly, and for us to pass on impeccably to future generations — as the final, the complete, and the sufficient special revelation from God.
We also believe that the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament collectively and exclusively constitute the Christian Holy Scriptures. We believe in the genuineness and authenticity of each of the sixty-six books of the Bible, that it was indeed written by the person or persons whose name it bears or, if anonymous, by the person or persons to whom ancient tradition has assigned it, or if not assigned to a specific author or authors, to the time to which tradition has assigned it.
We likewise believe in the credibility of each of the sixty-six books of the Bible, believing that it relates truthfully the matters which it treats. Similarly, we believe that a remarkable purity of the original text was preserved by the Lord God in the sum total of the manuscripts extant thus far. We also believe that every writer of Scripture was a competent and honest man called by the Lord God to write the sacred text. In addition, we believe that all the books of the Bible harmonize with each other, and that their accounts agree with history and experience.
We further believe that each of the sixty-six books of the Bible was measured by the Early Church, was found satisfactory and widely accepted by the Christian churches as representing the Apostolic teachings, was recognized as exhibiting evidence of being inspired of God, and therefore was included in the Canon. We thus accept the Old Testament Canon completed by Ezra the Scribe and the members of the Great Synagogue in the fifth century before the Christian Era, and we reject the not-inspired Apocrypha. We also accept the New Testament Canon recognized by the Damasine Council of Rome (382 C.E.) and by the Council of Carthage (397 C.E.).
THE SUPREME GODHEAD
We believe that the Lord God is The Supreme Personal Spirit independent of all matter and cannot be discerned with the empirical senses. He is the Supreme Being who revealed Himself to mankind in His vast Creation, in His providence in human history, in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Christian Holy Scriptures. He is the God who has within Himself the Source of being for Himself and for all others. He is the Source, the Sustainer, and the End of all there is, visible and invisible. Wherefore we believe that the Lord God is infinite energy of spiritual life eternally active, and that His eternal reserve is infinite. He revealed His moral perfections to us and He demands these same moral perfections from every one of us.
In addition, we believe that the Holy Bible repeatedly asserts the existence of one Living and True God (Deut. 4:35, 39; 6:4; Jas. 2:19). We also believe that in the Bible we find three distinct persons (Gen. 19:24; Hos. 1:7; Isa. 48:16; Psa. 2:7) clearly recognized as the eternal God — the Father (John 6:27; Rom. 1:7; Gal. 1:1), the Son (John 1:1; 20:28; Tit. 2:13; Heb. 1:8), and the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4; II Cor. 3:17-18). These are represented as relating to One Another in perfect harmony (Matt. 28:19; 1 Cor. 12:4-6); 2 Cor. 13:14), the Perfect Society. We thus conclude that the one God exists eternally in three distinct Persons constituting the Supreme Godhead, the one Triune God.
We further believe that the Lord God is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, holy, just and infinitely loving.
THE CREATION OF THE WORLD
We believe that in bringing the whole reality into existence the Lord God merely used His spoken word (Gen. 1:3, 6, 9; Psa. 148:5), His Spirit (Psa. 104:30), and His Son (John 1:3; Col. 1:16). Thus, His work of Creation is an act of His sovereign Will, free of any external coercion. We also believe that the Lord God does not involve His own Being in the creative process, and that Creation is neither a part of Him nor is it an emanation from His eternal reality; it is a product of His creative commanding word.
We also believe that the Almighty God has brought His wonderful Creation into existence, in six 24-hour days, and that He rested from His Creation work on the seventh day. Furthermore, we believe that the teachings of the Bible exclude every type of a dualism in Creation. Thus, the idea of an inherently evil segment of Creation sourced in an evil being is entirely excluded. Accordingly, we believe that there is no division of reality, no dichotomy into an inherently good Creation and an inherently evil Creation. Rather, we believe the Lord God graciously has created all things intrinsically good, for us to enjoy (1 Tim. 4:3), and nothing made by Him is intrinsically evil (Gen. 1:10, 12, 18, 21, 25; 2:31). Thus, we believe that corrupted Creation is redeemable and sanctifiable.
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Second Person in the Godhead, the Lord of Glory from Heaven. He is the Eternal Logos, by Whom the Father speaking, has made all things. Thus, we confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is Eternity invading history, the Divine genuinely entering the stream of the human, the infinite God becoming the finite Man. Wherefore, we believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is uniquely The Theoanthropic (God-Man) Person. He is the unique Son of God to Whom we are to give the total devotion of our hearts in worship, in praise, in submission and in loyalty.
We believe that the perfect Deity and the perfect Humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ are united in one Person, the God-Man. We believe that this hypostatic union constitutes one personal substance. We thus believe that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity assumed humanity with all its attributes. We therefore believe that the Personality of the Lord Jesus Christ resides in His Divine Nature, and that His Human Nature (a complex of attributes) was impersonal apart from the incarnation.
We consequently believe and assert that the Lord Jesus Christ is simultaneously eternal and historical, infinite and finite, omnipresent and localized, omniscient and increasing in knowledge, omnipotent and weak. Therefore, we believe that the unique Personality of the Lord Jesus Christ does not yield itself to an accurate psychoanalysis. It is far beyond the possibility of finite human scrutiny.
Thus, we believe in the complete unity of His Theoanthropic Person, without confusion or alteration of His two natures. We thus reject Nestorianism claiming two personalities in Christ. We further condemn the heresies ascribing to Jesus Christ one single nature and denying Him the other. We also reject the notion of two wills, which notion necessarily implies the existence of two split personalities in the Blessed Savior. In addition, we reject the Lutheran dogma attributing omnipresence to His human nature. We assert our belief that the attributes of both natures belong to the one Person without mixing the two natures or dividing the one Person.
OUR ADVOCATE THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person in the Godhead, The Spirit of Glory Himself. He is The Spirit of Life, through Whom the Father and the Son moving, has brought order to Creation, shaping it to achieve its ultimate purpose of bringing all glory to God. He is The Spirit of Truth, by Whom the Father and the Son breathing, has produced the Holy Scriptures. He is The Spirit of Liberty, by Whom the Father and the Son working, brings eternal freedom to all believers in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In addition, we believe that the Holy Spirit is eternal (Heb. 9:14), omnipotent (Luke 1:35), omnipresent (Psa. 139:7-10), and omniscient (I Cor. 2:10; John 14:26; 16:12), the perfectly holy Divine Executive. He existed before all ages and He will exist after all ages. We believe that the Holy Scriptures ascribe to Him many of the works that belong exclusively to God, asserting His perfect and eternal Deity: the Creation of the world (Gen. 1:2; Job 33:4; Psa. 104:30), the regeneration of sinners (John 3:5), the inspiration of the Scriptures (II Pet. 1:21; cf. Acts 1:16; 28:25), the indwelling of the believers (John 14:17; II Tim. 2:14) and the raising of the dead (Rom. 8:11).
We likewise believe that the Bible considers the words and the works of the Holy Spirit as the words and the works of God (cf. Isa. 6:9 with John 12:39-44 and Acts 28:25-27; Isa. 63:6-11 with Heb. 3:7-9; Gen. 2:7 with Job 33:4). Therefore, He is expressly called God (Acts 5:3-4; II Cor. 3:17) in addition to other Divine names (cf. Exod. 17:7 with Heb. 3:7-9; and II Tim. 3:16 with II Pet. 1:21).
THE RIGHTEOUS ANGELS
We believe that an order of celestial beings exalted above the present position of fallen man exists in the service of the Godhead and His saints. We believe that the angels are spirit beings, incorporeal, created prior to the Creation of the material world, but not before the first day of Creation. We also believe that the angels have their own God-given habitations in heavenly spheres, and are free moral beings who live and move by virtue of Divine enablement. They are holy in character, though below the rank of man prior to his fall in disobedience. They possess the personality traits: great intelligence, a variety of emotions, and a limited free will.
SATAN & HIS DEMONS
We believe that Satan as originally created, was full of wisdom and beauty, dwelt in Eden, was distinguished as the anointed cherub, and was righteous until iniquity was found in him. We believe that Satan, second in power only to the Supreme Godhead, is the originator of sin, the promoter of sin in angelic and human spheres, and the most imperious opponent of the things of God. Being the highest of all Creation, Satan assumes the position of antigod, the embodiment of all that is evil, himself The Evil One desiring to be worshipped.
We believe that demons are free fallen angels who followed Satan in his rebellion against the Supreme Godhead. They are directly governed and ordered by Satan, and thus are known as Satan's angels. They are wicked, unclean and fierce. They know Christ as the Son of God and possess a fruitless belief in God. They are evil spirits that seek to be embodied in the unsaved of humans and in animals.
THE HUMAN RACE
We believe that on the sixth day and since a relatively recent time, mankind was created by the direct act of the Supreme Godhead. Male and female He created them and appointed them king and queen of the Earth.
We further believe that the material part of man was formed in all its completeness from the dust of the ground, lacking only that from God which gave life. We also believe that the immaterial part of man was uniquely transmitted by the Supreme Godhead, to the first parents made in the similitude of the Lord God.
Accordingly, we believe that man's body is his center of world-consciousness. We also believe that the immaterial part of man comprises of the human soul, the center of self-consciousness, and of the human spirit, the center of God-consciousness. Thus, the faculties of the immaterial part of man include man's intellect, the capacity to know and understand; man's sensibility, the capacity to exercise emotions; man's will, the capacity to make deliberate decisions; and man's conscience, the capacity to sit in moral judgment. We further believe that the entire individual, material and immaterial, is propagated from parents to posterity, by natural generation.
In addition, we believe that immediately following his Creation in the Image of God, man was totally approved by God, highly intelligent and responsible. His circumstances were most favorable, though later placed on probation. We also believe that the moral qualities of the first parents were passive, lacking opportunity to develop a tested moral character. Thus, we believe that for the purpose of moving them from the state of untested holiness to holiness of character, the Lord God set forth a moral test before the first parents. This was done with the goal of establishing the proper way for man to know good and evil experientially, through volitional obedience to God.
THE FALL OF MANKIND
We believe that through Satan's malignity, the serpent's enticement, the woman's deception, and the man's disobedience, the first parents failed their moral test. We believe that immediately following their fall, the first parents were penalized for their sin with spiritual death -- the immediate separation of fellowship from God; with physical death -- the eventual separation of soul and spirit from the body; and with the second death -- being subject to the condemnation of eternal separation from God, in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone.
Moreover, we believe that both the animal kingdom and the inanimate nature continue to suffer as a consequence of man's fall, awaiting the Day when Creation will be set free from its slavery to corruption. We also believe that fallen man remains superior to the animal kingdom and the inanimate nature. Possessing the capacity for speech, fallen man retains a distorted image of God; but man remains the image-bearer of the Creator. As such, man is a rational being, possessing the ability to think abstractly, to reason logically and analytically. Man also is a moral being, having an intuitive sense of right and wrong. Man is also a spiritual being, possessing a built-in sense of the Supreme Being with the capacity to fellowship with Him. Therefore, man and woman remain king and queen of the earth.
MANKIND IN SIN
We believe that the First Parents have transmitted their acquired sinful nature to all their posterity, a mediate transmission of sin by natural generation from parent to child. Wherefore, we believe that this inherited sin involves the corruption of each of man's faculties, of every major area of the human experience. It is an evil principle within the nature of man, giving him a bent or a bias toward disobedience to God. Consequently, man has lost the sense of what it means to be human and is unable to please God, living in a state of spiritual death.
We also believe that at the moment of conception in the womb, the Lord God imputes the original sin to every member of the human race. Wherefore, we believe that all are accused by God of participating in the first sin of Adam (imputed sin), while in germ form in Adam. Consequently, man is rejected by God, living under the constant threat of physical death.
In addition, we believe that all people on Earth do sin; all are guilty of personal sin before God. Wherefore, we believe that all people are children of wrath; all are estranged from and are antagonistic to God; all are corrupt and deceitful in nature; all are identified with Satan; all have death-doomed, weakened bodies; all are debased in character and conduct; all are enslaved to sin, and all are spiritually dead in sin. Consequently, the Godhead is grieved and angered, and moves to punish man, placing mankind under the constant threat of the second death.
We further believe that man in his sin is ugly in God's fully-comprehensive sight. He is likened by the Lord God to the lower creatures. Now man is a creature whose faculties are polluted with sin, including blindness toward the things of God, and a conscience that is defiled, evil, convicting and seared. Wherefore, we believe that man's sin is primarily an act against the Holy God Himself, violating His Character, rejecting His Authority, and defying His Laws. Thus, sin is man's refusal to hold God and His revealed Will as the center of one's life and personality. Therefore, sin is anything unlike the Lord God revealed in the Holy Scriptures.
THE SALVATION OF MANKIND
We believe that due to the existing guilt of sin, no human merits, no talents and gifts, no successes and accomplishments, and no human refinement, can ever score any points with the Most High God. Man at his best has no remedy for his sin. Sin is an incurable state of being, were it not for the saving Grace of God that appeared in Christ Jesus our Lord. Thus, while man in general remains capable of thinking worthy thoughts, of making good choices, of exercising noble feelings, and of casting proper judgments; man cannot be spiritual, in the sense of gaining acceptability with God. Being fully given to a preference of himself to God, man is incapable of a thought, a feeling or a deed of which God fully can approve.
On the other side, we believe that the death of the Lord Jesus Christ on a cross of Calvary, and His resurrection from among the dead, are consonant with things eternal and celestial. Identifying Himself with the sinner, He bore in His body the sins of the sinner. Being the infinite God, the Lord Jesus was able to exhaust the infinite curse put upon the sinner, suffering the equivalent penalty due the sinner, becoming our compassionate and perfect Sin-Bearer.
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
We believe that a Christian is a sinner who, through the use of the written Word of God, the Holy Spirit convinced him of his sinful condition before God, and of his need for the Savior. This sinner then called upon the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Consequently, the Holy Spirit gave him repentance from sin and faith in the Savior; He concurrently regenerated this sinner, forgave his sins, granted him eternal life, baptized him into the Body of Christ, sealed him as the special property of God, and indwelled within him forever as the Divine Guest. Consequently, the Christian is embarked on living a lifestyle of righteousness pleasing to the Lord God, holding to the blessed hope of the resurrection of the righteous.
Consequently, we believe that the proper reason for a Christian to believe a thing is because the Bible says so; or because it is factually in harmony with the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. Thus, the Christian must accept no guidance contrary to God's Word, be that of reason or of church, of some supposed new revelation, or of the voice of experience. To the contrary, the Holy Scriptures are the only trustworthy and fully sufficient authority for all faith and for all facets of the human experience. Accordingly, we believe that the Christian earnestly and diligently must become increasingly full of sound doctrine, full of the Word of God.
Furthermore, we believe that the indwelling Holy Spirit, often using the believer's awakened conscience seasoned with the Word of God, guides the believer in Christ to righteous moral decisions. He works to free the believer from the carnal nature, striving against its manifestation. We believe that the Holy Spirit puts to death the believer's old nature, as the believer yields it to Him for crucifixion, producing the Christ-like Fruit of the Spirit. Thus to follow the Lord Jesus daily, inevitably and radically alters our opinions, our values, and our daily behavioral patterns, in contrast with those of the carnal and the unregenerate. We become a shining mirror reflecting the Light of Jesus Christ into the darkness of the world.
We likewise believe that at the moment of our regeneration, the Holy Spirit installs within the new believer a built-in capacity to live above his own circumstances. Therefore, the peace of God permeates the heart of the Spirit-indwelt believer, even in the midst of a storm.
Accordingly, we believe that the pursuit of holiness is the Christian's primary occupation, through the serious study of the Holy Scriptures, through ceaseless prayers, and through the definite surrender of the life to God -- the daily application of the Word of God to the experiences of life. We believe that the desired outcome is that the Christian “may be holy both in body and spirit.” (I Cor. 7:34).
Consequently, because the Lord God backs up each of His commandments with all His attributes made available to the Christian at all times, we believe that the Christian can and must live a consistently victorious life in Christ Jesus. Thus, we believe that the Christian, by exercising self-control, must maintain and display a Christian character that is pure, sincere, candid, truthful, honest, faithful, peaceful, noble, humble, meek, orderly, calm, creative, and of good report. He must disclose an attitude that is joyful, thankful, loving, kind, gentle, courteous toward and respectful of others, patient, forgiving, submissive to authority, teachable, fervent in spirit, diligent, wise, fair, and just.
Maintaining a growing faith in God's precious promises, we believe that the Christian must remain spiritually minded, self-denying, self-giving, appreciative of things that are lovely, given to hospitality, generous in giving, and striving after excellence. We also believe that the Christian must continually seek to grow in knowledge and all discernment, must study to develop strong Biblical convictions, must pray earnestly, must work to become an effective soul-winner, and must provide regard for all good things.
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