The Holy Bible was written by men who were divinely inspired by God. It is God's revelation of Himself to mankind. The Bible is inspired, inerrant, and infallible and therefore, it is a perfect treasure of authoritative, divine instruction. It has God for its Author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error. Therefore, the entire Bible is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore it is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme, authoritative standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Jesus Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation and is called "The Word of God."
Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11, 89, 105, 140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; II Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; I Peter 1:25; II Peter 1:19-21.
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. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
A. 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 knowing, all loving and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through repenting of their sin and receiving salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward His children.
Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6; I Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3,15; 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10; 17:13; Matthew 6:9ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14-15; I Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6; Colossians 1:15; I Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:6; 12:9; I Peter 1:17; I John 5:7.
B. God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ 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 human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary 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, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. 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 the ever present Lord.
Genesis 18:1ff.; Psalms 2:7ff.; 110:1ff.; Isaiah 7:14; 53; Matthew 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; 2:22-24; 7:55-56; 9:4-5,20; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-21; 8:1-3,34; 10:4; I Corinthians 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8,24-28; II Corinthians 5:19-21; 8:9; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-22; 2:9; I Thessalonians 4:14-18; I Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15,24-28; 12:2; 13:8; I Peter 2:21-25; 3:22; I John 1:7-9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; II John 7-9; Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16.
C. God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Almighty God. He is fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination, He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which Christians serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the Church in worship, evangelism, discipleship (spiritual growth), and service.
Matthew 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; 2:1-4,28; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17,39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-27; I Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11,13; Galatians 4; Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 139:7ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; I Thessalonians 5:19; I Timothy 3:16; 4:1; II Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:18,14; II Peter 1:21; I John 4:13; 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10; 22:17.
Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God's creation. In the beginning, man and woman were innocent of sin and were endowed by their Creator with freedom of choice. By their free choice, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and thus, sinned. As a result, their sin against God brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan, Adam and Eve transgressed the command of God, and fell from their original innocence whereby their posterity inherited a human nature and an environment tainted by sin and inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, people become transgressors and are under condemnation for their sin. Only the grace and mercy of Almighty God can bring people into His holy fellowship and enable mankind to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love and concern.
Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12,19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18,29; I Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19,21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole person, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Christ died a sacrificial death. His sacrificial death was an atonement for the sins of all who would, by grace through faith, accept His sacrificial death as payment for all of their sin. Jesus Christ, by His own blood, obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes repentance, regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal repentance and personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
A. Repentance is a genuine turning away from sin and turning toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and the commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.
B. Regeneration, or new birth, is a work of God's grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ 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 Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.
C. Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal of all sinners who repent, believe in Christ, and follow Christ. As Judge, God finds the believer "not guilty." Justification brings the believer into a relationship of peace and favor with God, "just as if they had never sinned."
D. 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 maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person's life.
E. Glorification is the culmination of salvation. It is the final blessed and abiding state of those who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Genesis 3:15; Exodus 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26; 27:22-28:6; 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; Romans 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3ff.; 5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18,29-39; 10:9-10,13; 25; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-22; 4:11-16; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 1:9-22; 3:1ff.; I Thessalonians 5:23-24; II Timothy 1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8,14; James 2:14-26; I Peter 1:2-23; I John 1:6-2:11; Revelation 3:20; 21:1-22:5.
Grace and mercy are among God's attributes that reveal His disposition and attitude toward mankind. God's grace is His unmerited (undeserved) and unearned favor. God's mercy is His compassionate forbearance and pity. Mercy is the discretionary power of God, as the Sovereign Judge, to pardon someone or to mitigate punishment. God's grace is a part of His virtuous disposition that makes mercy possible. Grace and mercy are both demonstrations and manifestations of God's divine favor. It is through grace and mercy that God regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners, transforming them into saints through the "new birth." It is because of God's grace and mercy that God is willing to forgive sinners and thereby cause Christians to become God's elect. God's grace is consistent with the free agency of man and comprises all the means in connection with salvation. Grace and mercy are glorious displays of God's goodness and kindness. God's grace and mercy exclude human boasting about being deserving of salvation or of having the ability to earn salvation by doing good works. Salvation is only possible because of God's grace and mercy. When properly understood, grace and mercy promote humility in mankind and thankfulness to God for His willingness to show us grace and mercy.
The eternal security of the soul of Christian believers, also called the perseverance of the saints, is a state of grace. All true Christian believers will endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ and sanctified by His Spirit will never fall away from that state of grace but shall persevere to the end. Christian Believers may fall into sin temptation, whereby they grieve the Holy Spirit, impair their close fellowship with God, forfeit some of their comforts, and may bring reproach on the cause of Christ. As a result of believers falling into sin, they risk God's chastisement through temporal judgments upon themselves yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. Salvation cannot be earned by human effort nor can salvation be kept by human effort. However, the Christian should be vigilant so as not to fall into sin through neglect and temptation and thereby become a stumbling block. Sinning Christians can be stumbling blocks to lost people who are seeking salvation. Sinning Christians can be stumbling blocks to other Christians who are watching their example. As a result, this can cause people to doubt the validity of the Christian faith, to doubt the power of Christ to transform lives, and to deliver people from the many bondages that sin entails.
Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-8; I Samuel 8:4-7,19-22; Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 31:31ff.; Matthew 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; Romans 5:9-10; 8:28-39; 10:12-15; 11:5-7,26-36; I Corinthians 1:1-2; 15:24-28; Ephesians 1:4-23; 2:1-10; 3:1-11; Colossians 1:12-14; II Thessalonians 2:13-14; II Timothy 1:12; 2:10,19; Hebrews 11:39-12:2; James 1:12; I Peter 1:2-5,13: 2:4-10; I John 1:7-9; 2:19; 3:2.
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; observing the two ordinances of Christ which are believer's baptism and the Lord's supper, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His word, and seeking to extend the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. It's scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture. The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.
Matthew 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; Romans 1:7; I Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; I Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; I Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3.