Articles of Faith, Page 2
We believe that sanctification of believers, which is a setting apart unto God, occurs in three phases:
1. Positional sanctification is already complete because we are in Christ.
2. Progressive sanctification is the process whereby the Christian is to grow in grace and to be changed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Although saved, we retain our sin nature (the flesh) which cannot be eradicated in this life. Therefore, while the standing of the Christian is perfect in Christ, his present state is one of striving daily to be more Christ-like.
3. Perfect sanctification will occur when we shall see the Lord Jesus Christ and shall be like Him.
John 17:17; Romans 8:13, 29-30; Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 1:4; Galatians 5:16-17; Ephesians 4:24; Ephesians 5:25-27; Philippians 3:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 10:10, 14; Hebrews 12:10; 1 John 3:2-3
We believe that all who are saved should live in such a manner as not to bring a reproach upon their Savior and Lord. Separation from all religious apostasy, all sinful worldly pleasures, practices, and associations is commanded of God.
Romans 12:1-2; Romans 13:14; Romans 14:13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 1:9-11
We believe that Satan is a created angelic being who fell from his first estate through pride. He is the god of this world, ruling by the permissive will of God. He exercises authority over the unsaved, tempts the believer to sin, continually accuses the brethren before the throne of God, and counterfeits the works of God by fostering religious movements and systems of false doctrine. These systems are typically characterized by a denial of the efficacy of the blood of Christ, His absolute Deity, the absolute authority of the Scriptures, and salvation by grace alone. Satan has been defeated by the finished work of Christ. During the millennium he will be confined to the abyss to be released at the end of the period to lead the armies of evil against God. He will finally be judged and doomed to the lake of fire forever.
Isaiah 14:12-17; Job 1:6-12; John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 6:12; 1 Timothy 4:1; Jude 1:6; Revelation 12:10; Revelation 20:1-3, 7-10
K. THE CHURCH
We believe that the universal church is the body and bride of Christ. This spiritual organism was established by our Lord Jesus and is made up of all born again believers of this present age, irrespective of their affiliation.
We believe that the local church is a congregation of baptized believers who have placed themselves under the authority of the body, and have covenanted together for worship, observance of ordinances, and the work of the ministry. This work includes equipping and edifying the believers, evangelizing the lost, and discipling those who believe, both locally and in the uttermost parts of the earth.
Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:41-42; Romans 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 4:12; Ephesians 5:25-27
L. CHURCH ORDINANCES
We believe that the ordinances of the local church are two: baptism and the Lord’s supper. Both ordinances are commanded by Christ and should be observed only by believers, and administered only by the authority of the local church.
Baptism is the total immersion in water of a believer in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to show, in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour. It is symbolic of our death to sin and our resurrection to a new life in Him. We believe that Scriptural baptism is a prerequisite to church membership.
The Lord’s Supper, communion, is the highest act of worship. It is a memorial of Christ’s death for us and a symbol of His sustaining our spiritual life and growth. It is to be practiced, only after solemn self examination, until Christ returns.
Matthew 3:3-17; Matthew 28:19; John 3:22-23; John 4:1-2; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:12, 36-39; Acts 16:32-34; Acts 18:8; Romans 6:3-7; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30
M. THE CHRISTIAN WALK AND SERVICE
We believe that, as believers, we are called with a holy calling to walk, “not after the flesh, but after the Spirit,” and thus not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. We believe that it is the obligation of all believers to witness by their life and by their words to the truths of the Holy Scriptures, to seek to proclaim the gospel to the lost, to pray for the work of the Lord, and to support it with their means, as the Lord has prospered them.
Acts 1:8; Romans 6:11-13; 1 Corinthians 16:2; Galatians 5:16-18; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 2:6-7; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 John 1:4-7
We believe in the sanctity of marriage as a lifelong covenant relationship between one man and one woman, designed by God to be permanent until death. The Scriptures clearly teach that believers are not to marry unbelievers, thereby creating an unequal yoke. The clear teaching of Jesus, “What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder” (Matthew 19:6b), is not contradicted elsewhere in the Bible.
Gen 2:23-24; Malachi 2:14-16; Matt. 5:31-32, 19:3-7; Mark 10:4-9; Rom. 7:1-3; I Cor. 7:34; 2 Cor. 6:14-16
O. THE LORD’S DAY
We believe that God has ordained that one day in seven should be observed as a day of rest. Under Old Testament law, the seventh day (Saturday) was strictly observed as the Sabbath unto the Lord. Under grace, we observe the first day of the week (Sunday) as the Lord’s day because on it He arose from the dead and because the early church met on the first day of the week. The day should be kept sacred to rest, worship, and service to the Lord.
Genesis 2:2-3; Isaiah 58:13-14; Matthew 28:1-6; Mark 16:9; John 20:19-22; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2; Hebrews 10:25; Revelation 1:10
P. CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that God has ordained and instituted civil government for the welfare of society, to promote good and restrain and punish evil. It is the duty of Christians to pray for those who are in authority, to render due loyalty, respect, and obedience to them, and to pay taxes and customs demanded of them. Where the demands of civil law on Christians conflict directly with the supreme and higher law of God to them, Christians must obey God rather than men; however, a Christ-like attitude must prevail.
Daniel 4:17; Matthew 22:21; Acts 4:19; Acts 5:29; Romans 13:1-3; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-14
Q. ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION
We believe that salvation is made free to all by the gospel, and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel. Election is a sovereign act of love and mercy by God Almighty, according to His foreknowledge. Those elected are predestined unto adoption as children of God, in Christ and to conformity to His image.
John 3:14-18; John 6:37-40; Romans 8:29-30; Romans 9:15; Ephesians 1:4-6, 11; 1 Thessalonians 1:3-6; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 1:2; Revelation 22:17
R. SECOND COMING OF CHRIST AND THE MILLENNIUM
We believe in the imminent, pretribulational, premillennial return of Jesus Christ in the air for His church. Those who have died in Christ will be resurrected and then those which remain alive will be caught up together with them in the air. There will be seven years of tribulation, after which our Lord Jesus Christ personally and bodily will return to the earth, with the saints, in great power and glory, to bind Satan, place him in the abyss, and establish His millennial Kingdom on earth for 1000 years, lifting the curse which is now upon creation, and restoring Israel to the land.
Isaiah 11:1-9; Zechariah 14:4-11; John 5:28-29; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:8-11; Acts 15:16-17; Acts 24:15; Romans 8:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Titus 2:11-14; Revelation 19:11-16; Revelation 20:1-6
We believe in two resurrections: the resurrection of the saved at the rapture of the church; the resurrection of the lost at the end of the millenium. All men will be judged: believers before the Judgment Seat of Christ to receive rewards according to their works; unbelievers before the Great White Throne to be condemned to eternal punishment in hell.
Romans 14:10-12; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27-28; Revelation 20:11-15
T. THE ETERNAL STATE
We believe in a literal heaven where those who have received Christ as Saviour during their life will live forever with God. Those who die in Christ go immediately into the presence of the Lord. Our dwelling place will be mansions prepared for us by Christ in the presence of God, with no sickness, sorrow, pain, or death.
We believe in a literal hell where those who have not received Christ as their Saviour will spend eternity in the awful, conscious torments of hell-fire, prepared for Satan and his angels.
Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Titus 2:11-14; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Jude 1:6-7; Revalation 19:11-16; Revelation 20:1-6; Revelation 20:11-15; Revelation 21:3
U. HUMAN SEXUALITY
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in, outside of marriage. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, sodomy, bestiality, transvestism, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex and shall not be condoned.
Genesis 2:24, 19:5, 19:13, 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; 1 Corinthians 5:1, 6:9; I Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4.
V. SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE
We believe in the sanctity of human life, as man was created in the image of God. We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, inexcusable taking of human life, and is therefore murder. We reject any teaching that abortions due to birth defects, gender selection, population control or the mental well being of the mother are acceptable. We reject the practices of infanticide, euthanasia, mercy killing, and such. These are sinful murders forbidden by God.
Genesis 9:6; Exodus 20:13; Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5, 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24, 49:1,5; Jeremiah 1:5, 20:15-18; Luke 1:44; Hebrews 9:27.