Statement of Faith
The Holy Scriptures . . .
We believe the Bible to be inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God. We adhere to the Chicago statement of faith which states that only the 66 canonical books of the Old and New Testament comprise the Holy Scriptures which were written of old by holy men who were moved by the Holy Spirit; that the Scriptures are inerrant (i.e. without error) whole and in part – not only in regards to the message of salvation and of the great doctrines of the Faith but also including statements regarding science and history. The Bible, whole in part, is in fact the “God breathed,” plenary inspired Word of the Lord. The New Covenant, as recorded in the New Testament, we accept as our only infallible guide in matters pertaining to salvation, sanctification, conduct and doctrine. (II Timothy 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:21)
The Holy Trinity . . .
We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Ghost. There is one God, infinitely perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, holy, wise, just and all powerful. He is a Triune God in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; eternally co-existent, eternally co-equal is HE. According to the Scriptures, the mystery of the Godhead is that He is but One yet He is manifested in three distinct persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; Philippians 2:6). As far as sovereign will and omnipotence, God the Father is greater than all, yet God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are equal to the Father in their divine essence and equal in the Godhead. However, in the economy of God, the role of the Father is also that He is the sender of the living Word (Jesus is the eternal logos) (John 14:28; John 16:28; John 1:14). Jesus the Son of God claimed the same “Oneness,” essence and nature with the Father in John 8:58. The Holy Spirit is a person, (not a “force” or “influence”), not simply a disembodied spirit “force” and although He may manifest Himself in different ways and forms, He is a person who proceeds forth from both the Father and the Son and is eternal (John 14:16; John 15:26). The doctrine of the Trinity is a doctrine of scripture and revelation. It is not the product of human reasoning. Nor can the mystery of the Godhead be fully explained or understood by men who are not of the “God-class” in that they are not eternally self existent, omniscient or omnipotent. Although redeemed men and women have been adopted through Jesus Christ and are now sons and daughters of the most High, they will never attain to the status or comprehension of the Trinity, since they are created beings and not of the uncreated class. Old Testament texts for the Trinity include Genesis 1:26; 11:7;16:7-13;18:1-21; 19:1-28, Malachi 3:1; Psalms 33:6; 45:6; Proverbs 8:12-31;Isaiah 48:16;61:1;63:9-10. New Testament proofs include John 14:26, Galatians 4:6; Mark 1:11; Matthew 28:19; 1 John 5:7; Romans 1:20; Colossians 2:9; 1 Timothy 3:16, etc.]
The Nature of Christ . . .
We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His vicarious and atoning death through His shed Blood for the remission of our sins, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of the Father and His personal return in power and glory. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was manifested to undo the works of the devil and gave His life and shed Blood to redeem and restore man back to God. (Romans 5:14; 1 John 3:8) Jesus Christ, the Son, is true God and true man – He is in fact the “God-Man.” In His earthly ministry, He was not all God and no man, and He was not all man and no God. He was God made flesh who had come to earth to reveal Himself, the Father and send the Holy Spirit on behalf of His people. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died, was buried, rose again the third day, and is seated at the right hand of God making intercession for believers. He, the Just, died on the Cross of the unjust as a substitutionary sacrifice for all who believe in Him and are thereby justified by His shed Blood.
Man, his fall and redemption . . .
We believe in original sin. Man is a created being, made in the likeness and image of God, but through Adam’s transgression and fall, sin came into the world. The Bible says, “…all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” and “ . . . there is none righteous, no not one.” (Romans 3:10; 3:23) We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential. Salvation is the gift of God to man, separate from works and the Law, and is made operative by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, producing works acceptable to God. (Ephesians 2:8-10) The salvation of a soul will eventually produce good fruit as opposed to “bad fruit.” A person who says he is a Christian, but continually commits gross and habitual sins should have reason to be concerned regarding his/her “conversion” experience. To illustrate this, during the Great Awakening, George Whitfield after preaching a massive crusade in Boston encountered a town drunk who approached Whitfield and said, “I came to one of your revival meetings last year and you saved me! I am a believer in Christ!” To this, Whitfield responded, “Well my good fellow, I did save you indeed for certainly Jesus did not!” To this the man became convinced of his sin, repented and by the grace of God experienced true conversion and freedom from sin.
Hell and Eternal Retribution . . .
Paul said, “If the Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.” Peter said, “That if the righteous scarcely be saved, what will become of the world?” [1 Pet 4:18]. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus said, that in the end, few would be saved and that many would take the road to destruction [Matt 7:13]. The fact is, according to the Scriptures, the Bible states clearly that the one who dies in his unrepentant sins, without Christ, will be eternally lost in the lake of fire. [Revelation 20:11-15; Matthew 7:13-22] The lake of fire is literal. The terms “eternal” and “everlasting,” used in describing the duration of the punishment of the damned in the lake of fire, carry the same thought and meaning of endless existence as used in the denoting the duration of joy and ecstasy of saints in the presence of God. [Heb 9:27, Rev. 19:20] However, God is gracious and merciful as even the thief on the Cross found paradise on his “deathbed confession.” [Luke 23:43] The Bible also describes countless millions of the redeemed in Heaven. [Rev 5:7-12] He is a loving God who is ever willing to pardon and accept any who will accept His Son’s grace and forgiveness. As it says in the Scriptures, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” [Rom 10:9-10].
All who are in Hell have willfully rejected the Father’s love offering, the gentle leadings of the Holy Spirit of truth and grace, and have embraced evil, sin and unbelief. They have rejected outright His offering of love, mercy, forgiveness and His truth. Besides, all who concoct such false doctrines call into question the veracity of scripture and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who spoke it.
In no place do the Scriptures state that “eventually all souls will be saved.” True, Jesus died for the sins of the whole world however people are not robots and must through the grace of God, willingly accept God the Father’s free sacrifice for sin through Jesus Christ. Unscriptural doctrines such as universalism, ultimate reconciliation and the doctrine of inclusionism, are unscriptural and are anathema to the Lord who in His earthly ministry, spoke more about the dangers of Hell then he did about Heaven. No matter what injustices one sees on the planet, no matter what evil or tragedy, ultimately Christians must believe that God is just and leave judgment to Him. However, some out of false compassion have tried to say that all will be saved in the end and have become confused and stumbled many. To question the biblical doctrine of Hell is to question the truthfulness of Jesus Christ himself. God has offered humanity His best sacrifice – His own dear Son.
The baptism of the Holy Ghost . . .
We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life. [John Ch. 14-16] All believers have the Holy Spirit at salvation since the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are a unity – you cannot divide the Godhead [John 20:22]. When Jesus comes into a person’s heart, the Father and the Holy Spirit come in as well. However, the apostle Paul, Wesley, Finney and others spoke of a “second work of grace” that involved believers. This work of the Holy Spirit in a believers life has been called everything from “entire sanctification,” the baptism of fire [Matthew 3:11] or the baptism of the Holy Spirit. [Acts 1:8; 2:2-4, Acts 8:13-17] For a further explanation of this, see Song of Angels Vol. I, pages 78-90.
We believe in the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit as revealed in the New Testament. [1 Corinthians 12-14] We do not believe that when the “perfect (Gk. neuter tense) comes,” that this refers to the canonization of scripture but only to the perfect Son of God, who alone personifies perfection, and will perfect the entire Creation and universe upon His return. [Acts 3:21; I Corinthians 13:8-10; 1 John 3:1-3] Besides, Paul when he wrote the letter to the Corinthians was not aware that his epistles would eventually become “canonized” nor did he ever teach that the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit upon the completion of the Bible would be done away. Nor did he refer the gift of tongues (i.e. Gk. gloss. – Strongs 1100 . . . a language not naturally acquired) as a “learned” human language or simply to mean “preaching.” We believe the gifts of the Holy Spirit still operate as they did in the book of Acts and will continue to operate amongst believers who desire them (for Paul said desire earnestly the spiritual gifts) until the coming of Christ who will then set up His heavenly Kingdom on earth. Upon the dispensation of the new “aion,” many of the gifts will cease since, for example, none will be sick in the presence of the Lord. However, faith, hope and charity will remain forever.
The primary work of the Holy Spirit amongst unsaved men is to convince them of their sin and their need for Christ. [John 16:7-15] The Holy Spirit’s work is to convict men of their sin bringing them to repentance. He also seals, dwells, guides and comforts the believer. [John 14:26; Eph 1:13]
Sanctification . . .
Sanctification – The Bible teaches that without holiness no man can see the Lord. We believe in the doctrine of sanctification as a definite, yet progressive work of grace, commencing at the time of regeneration and continuing until the consummation of salvation at Christ’s return. (Hebrews 12:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Peter 3:18; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 3:12-14; 1 Corinthians 1:30)
The Resurrection of the dead . . .
We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost, that they are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
“I am the resurrection and life; that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”
The angels said to Jesus’ disciples, “ . . . This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven. His coming is imminent. When he comes, “ . . . The dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air…” (Acts 1:11: 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17).
The Rapture . . .
Following the Tribulation, He shall return to earth as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, and together with His saints, who shall be kings and priests, He shall reign a thousand years (Revelation 5:10, 20:6).
We believe in the Rapture and the second coming of Christ as spoken of in the Scriptures. These are future events which no person can exactly predict but which will most assuredly happen even as the sun rises.
The Mystical Union of the Body of Christ . . .
We believe that all true believers will walk in love and wisdom and will seek unity amongst the brethren even despite minor doctrinal position differences. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. [1 Corinthians 3:3-10; 12:12-31; Ephesians 3:2-9; 5:32; Colossians 1:26-27].
Salvation and Water Baptism . . .
The following recommendation regarding the water baptismal formula is adopted. To wit: “On the confession of your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and by His authority, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.”
Jesus commanded his disciples to win souls and to baptize new believers into water in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:18 ff Although we believe that water baptism is an important act of obedience and a vital part of their sanctification, we do not believe that physical water can save anyone but rather the blood of Jesus. Being baptized in water is a commandment which when obeyed publicly pronounces that a person has been born again and it is a spiritual act of obedience.
Eternal life and the new birth – man’s first step toward salvation is godly sorrow that worketh repentance. The new birth is necessary to all men and when experienced, produces eternal life. (2 Corinthians 7:10; John 3:3-5; 1 John 5:12)
Water baptism is by immersion, is a direction commandment of our Lord, and is for believers only. The ordinance is a symbol of the Christian’s identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. (Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12; Acts 8:36-39)
Divine Healing . . .
Divine healing is for the physical ills of the human body and is wrought by the power of God through the prayer of faith and by the laying on of hands. It is provided for in the atonement of Christ, and is the privilege of every member of the Church today. (James 5:14, 15; Mark 16:18; Isaiah 53:4,5; Matthew 8:17, 1 Peter 2:24) Every believer is commanded to believe God for healing. However, when for whatever reason a person is not healed, neither should one feel guilt or condemnation as long as they have said the prayer of faith and obeyed the scriptures. However, believers should claim the promise of Psalm 91 that God will keep you and your loved ones free from premature death, accident and calamity. God’s will for all His children is to live a long, healthy and prosperous life on this earth. We are not to forget His benefits.