ARTICLE I - THE SCRIPTURES
ARTICLE II - THE GODHEAD
ARTICLE III - THE FATHER
ARTICLE IV - THE SON
ARTICLE V - THE HOLY SPIRIT
ARTICLE VI - SALVATION
ARTICLE VII - MAN
ARTICLE VIII - THE CHURCH
ARTICLE IX - SPIRITUAL GIFTS
ARTICLE X - SPIRIT BEINGS
ARTICLE XI - FUTURE EVENTS
ARTICLE XII - DISPENSATIONS
ARTICLE XIII - CHRISTIAN LIFE AND SIN
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We believe the Scriptures teach that the Old and New Testaments are the divine revelation of God (1 Timothy 5:18; 2 Peter 3:15-16), and thus constitute the Word of God. Men chosen by God wrote the Bible under the guidance and enabling of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:9-13; 2 Peter 1:19-21). Thus every word of the entire original documents was inspired (this is commonly called verbal plenary inspiration) (2 Timothy 3:16;). Therefore, the whole of Scripture is sole authority for the belief of every Christian. Those sections of the New Testament dealing directly with the church are sole authority for the practice of the church (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 10:6-12; 1 Timothy 3:14-15). Also see Article VIII on The Church.
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We believe the Scriptures teach that God is infinite, self-existent, Spirit, unchangeable in His nature, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, holy, righteous, good, love and truth (Ephesians 1:11; Isaiah 57:15: John 4:24; James 1:17; Revelation 4:8; Isaiah 46:10; Psalm 139:1-16; 2 Timothy 4:8; Matthew 19:17; 1 John 4:8, 16; John 14:6). God existed eternally as three distinct, yet inseparable persons, known as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Psalm 2:2; Hebrews 1:12; Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 63:10). These three are one as to their nature, essence and attributes (Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29; John 10:30; Matthew 28:19). Each is equally worthy of worship, respect, trust and obedience (2 Corinthians 13:14). Each of these divine persons has a distinct function in the execution of the everlasting purpose of the Godhead. (1 Corinthians 8:6; 12:4-6; John 16:7; 15:26; 1 John 1:9).
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We believe the Scriptures teach that God the Father is the ultimate source of all things (1 Corinthians 8:6), and that He began to assume the expression of His Fatherhood relationship to the eternal Son in the council of the Godhead prior to creation and time (Psalm 2:7-10). His Fatherhood relationship to the Son denotes their equality of nature, while at the same time it expresses the subordination of the Son to the Father in the execution of the divine purpose (John 1:1-2; 5:18). He also has a Fatherhood relationship to spirit beings, thus expressing His authoritative headship (Job 1:6; Hebrews 12:9). He now forgives the sins of believers, entering a Fatherhood relationship with them through their spiritual birth, by which He indwells them, thus making them partakers of the divine nature, and calling them His born ones (1 John 3:9; Ephesians 4:6; 2 Peter 1:4). The Father, as the one to whom the saints' prayers are addressed, answers those requests which are in keeping with His will (John 16:23-26; 1 John 5:14-15).
The uniqueness of the Father is seen in that He is the one who sent the Son as His gift into the world. (John 3:16). Moreover, He, in partnership with the Son, sent the Holy Spirit to be resident in the world on the day of Pentecost (John 14:26; 15:26). Unlike the other persons of the Godhead, He is the sender and is not sent.
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We believe the Scriptures teach that the second person of the Triune God is the eternal Son, the Logos, the I AM, who as the incarnate one became the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 1:2; Romans 9:5; 2 Peter 1:1; 2 Peter 1:16-17). As the pre-incarnate Son, He planned and made the ages (Isaiah 9:6; Hebrews 1:2; 11:3). As the Logos Son, He was the agent of creation and thus all things came into being by, through and for Him (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16-19). In the incarnation, He became a man through the miracle of His divine conception and virgin birth (John 1:14; Luke 1:31-35; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:14) without change in His deity (Philippians 2:6-8; John 1:14). While on earth He lived a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15), died a substitutionary death for all men (2 Corinthians 5:14-15), was buried and rose bodily from the grave the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). He then ascended bodily into heaven and is presently fulfilling His intercessory and mediatorial ministry (Acts 1:9-11; Hebrews 4:14; 7:25; Romans 8:34). He indwells believers of this dispensation, imparting a quality of His life, which constitutes their possession of eternal life (Colossians 1:27; 1 John 5:11-12). He has promised to rapture the Church prior to the 70th week of Daniel (1 Thessalonians 5:1-10; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3; Daniel 9:24-27; Revelation 3:10). After the Tribulation, He will return to earth and institute His Millennial, Davidic reign (Matthew 24:29-31; Luke 1:32; Revelation 20:4). After the millennial reign, He will turn the kingdom over to the Father. In the Father's kingdom, the authority of the Godhead will again be equalized so that the Son will also reign into the ages of the ages (1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Revelation 11:15).
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We believe that the Scriptures teach that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead, co-eternal and co-equal with the Father and the Son (Acts 5:3-4; Hebrews 9:14; Matthew 28:19). The Holy Spirit was a co-agent in creation, the divine author of the revelation of God, and the divine agent in the supernatural conception of the humanity of the Son (Job 26:13; 2 Peter 1:21; Luke 1:35; Matthew 1:18). He became resident in the world on the day of Pentecost as a result of being sent by the Father and the Son (John 14:26; Acts 2:1-4, 32-33). Since that time, He is the co-witness through the believer concerning Christ. He takes the things of Christ and glorifies Him (John 15:26; 16:13-14). He convicts the unsaved of their need of Christ (John 16:7-11), then regenerates (Titus 3:5), baptizes (1 Corinthians 12:13), indwells (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19), and seals (Ephesians 4:30) those who respond by believing the Gospel of Christ. He is the anointer or divine teacher of the believer, who He seeks to lead into spiritual maturity through the knowledge of Christ, and to empower through His filling ministry (1 John 2:20, 27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-12; Ephesians 5:18).
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We believe the Scriptures teach that salvation is by the grace of God through His free gift, which is neither merited nor secured in part or in whole by any virtue or work of man (Ephesians 2:8-9). The gospel which the Holy Spirit uses as a basis for His conviction of a sinner to bring him to faith in Christ is a specific limited area of truth. The facts that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again physically after three days are the essential parts of the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:-1-4; 2 Timothy 2:8-10). Any part that is changed or missing, hinders the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit.
The sole ground or basis of salvation is the death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross for our sins, His burial and His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). He became personally separated from the Father when the Father made the Son's person as an offering for sin. Thereby, the Father's outraged holiness against man's sin nature was propitiated (Isaiah 53:10; Romans 6:10; 1 John 2:2). Because of His infinite character, His blood was a sufficient redemption for all mankind (2 Peter 2:1; Romans 3:24). Since the death of Christ was sufficient for all the world, the world is now positionally reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).
God, therefore, invites all men to be reconciled unto Him (2 Corinthians 5:20). The single condition whereby the value of these propitiatory redemptive and reconciliatory works of the cross may be applied to the individual is by a personal faith in the crucified and risen Son of God (Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4). In Salvation, the believer is called, regenerated, forgiven all sin, justified, sanctified, made eternally secure and endowed with every spiritual blessing (Titus 3:5; Romans 3:24; Romans 5:1; 1 Corinthians 1:30 Ephesians 1:3, 13-14; Romans 8:30; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14). Positionally, the believer is glorified and seated in the heavenlies in Christ (Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 2:6-7).
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We believe the Scriptures teach that Adam was created in the image and likeness of God immediately and apart from any process of evolution (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:7). Adam, by a personal disobedience to the will of God, became a sinner (Genesis 3:5-7), depraved in body, soul and spirit and his nature was subject to Satan's power (Ephesians 2:2-3; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4). This sin nature and depravity has been transmitted to the entire human race (Romans 5:19; Psalm 51:6), so that man is a sinner by nature, choice and practice, and guilty before God, possessing within himself no means of recovery or salvation (Romans 3:10-12).
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We believe the Scriptures teach that the Church is the Body of Christ, begun on the Day of Pentecost, into which all true believers of this dispensation are baptized by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13; Acts 1:4; 11:15-17). Accompanying this baptism is the giving of spiritual gifts which are used for the edification of the Church (1 Corinthians 12:1-14; Ephesians 4:7-13). The exalted Christ is the only Head of the Church (Ephesians 5:23-24; 1:22). The local expression of the Church is a company of regenerated, baptized believers in a local church, independent in character and autonomous in function, which has fellowship with other churches of like faith and order (Acts 15; 1 Corinthians 5:4).
To these churches are committed the ordinances of baptism (Matthew 28:19-20) and the Lord's Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-34). Baptism, obligatory upon every believer in that it pictures what has happened to the believer, is by immersion in water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, and is a pre-requisite for membership in the local church (Matthew 28:19; Acts 8:35-39; 1 Peter 3:21). The Lord's Supper, or Lord's Table, is a commemoration of the person of Christ, His Body which is the Church, and the new covenant by His blood (1 Corinthians 10:16-22; 11:23-29).
The officers of the local church are Pastors (the term is interchangeable with Elder and Bishop) and Deacons (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:6-9; Acts 20:17, 28). The local churches have the responsibility of worship, self-edification by teaching and equipping each saint unto a work of ministry, to exhort and provoke each to love and good works and to use his spiritual gift (Matthew 28:20; Ephesians 4:11-16; Hebrews 10:24-25).
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We believe the Scriptures teach that every believer since the beginning of the Church at Pentecost receives a Spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12:7, 11, 18, 19; 1 Peter 4:10). These gifts are the result of the Spirit baptizing the believer into the Body of Christ, and corresponds to the functions of members of the Body (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). These gifts were given for the edification and good of the local church, and not the individual recipient (1 Corinthians 12:15-25; Ephesians 4:11-13). In the beginning of the church, some gifts were given which were of a temporary nature and are thus no longer given (1 Corinthians 13:8-12; Hebrews 2:2-3). Some of these temporary gifts were revelatory, providing oral revelation while the New Testament was being completed (1 Corinthians 14:25-26). These are the gifts of apostle, the discerning of spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues, a word of knowledge, a word of wisdom and prophecy. Others are confirmatory sign gifts (Hebrews 2:2-3; 1 Corinthians 14:22; Hebrews 2:4), vindicating the spokesman of God while the New Testament was incomplete. These were tongues (1 Corinthians 14:22), healing and miracles. All other gifts mentioned in the New Testament however, should be operative in the local church today. These are pastor-teacher, teacher, evangelist, helps, ministry, exhortation, mercy, giving, faith, administration and organization (Romans 12:7-8; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Corinthians 12:9, 28).
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We believe the Scriptures teach that prior to the creation of the material universe, the Triune God created a great host of varied spirit beings (Job 38:4-7; Colossians 1:16-17). The holy angels serve God as His messengers, and minister to those who are the elect among the human race (Hebrews 1:14).
Lucifer (Satan), the highest of the Cherubim, fell by sinning against the most high God and took with him a large number of angels (Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:14; Revelation 12:7). Satan is the author of sin and the one who brought about the fall of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:5). Satan is the enemy of God, the accuser of God's people and is constantly active in opposing the work and people of God (Revelation 12:11; 1 Peter 5:8). Satan was judged at the cross (John 12:31; 16:11), and His ultimate destiny is the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:7, 10).
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We believe the Scriptures teach that at death the spirit and soul of the believer passes instantly into the presence of Christ, and remains in conscious joy until the resurrection of the body when Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8) comes for His own (1 Corinthians 15:51-57).
The blessed hope of the believer is the imminent, personal, pre-tribulational, pre-millennial appearance of Christ to rapture the church (Titus 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17). His righteous judgments will then be poured out on an unbelieving world during the Tribulation (the seventieth week of Daniel), the last half of which is the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21). The climax of this fearful era will be the physical return of Jesus Christ to the earth in great glory to introduce the Davidic kingdom (Revelation 19:11-16). Israel will be saved and restored as a nation (Romans 11:26-27). Satan will be bound and the curse will be lifted from the physical creation (Romans 8:19-23; Revelation 20:2-3). Following the millennium, Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire, the Great White Throne Judgment will occur, at which time the spirits and souls of the wicked in Hades shall be reunited to a resurrected body and cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:11-15). Believers of all ages will spend eternity with the Triune God (Revelation 21-22).
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A consistent, literal interpretation of Scripture results in Dispensationalism. Therefore, Dispensationalism is not an approach to the Bible, nor a view of the Bible, but the result of a consistent literal interpretation.
This same literal method of interpretation distinguishes between ages and dispensations. Ages may exist in eternity past (Ephesians 3:9), in time (Galatians 1:4; 1 Corinthians 2:8), or in eternity future (Ephesians 2:7). Dispensations can only exist in time (Ephesians 3:2; 1:10; 3:9).
An age is a phase in the present decree whereby certain events are designed to show God's rational creatures something about Himself by comparison or contrast (Ephesians 2:7; 3:21; Hebrews 1:2; 11:3).A Dispensation is a phase in God's program for mankind in which He, through a steward or stewards, imposes on some or all of mankind, specific rules to regulate their daily lives (Ephesians 3:2; Colossians 1:25; Ephesians 3:9; Galatians 3:10-12; 1 Timothy 1:4; Ephesians 1:10).
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We believe Scripture teaches that at the time of past tense or initial salvation, the believer is given all things that pertain to the spiritual life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). By regeneration he shares in the Divine nature and eternal life (John 3:6; 15; 1 John 3:9-10; 2 Peter 1:4: 1 John 5:11-12). Because the believer shares in the Divine nature, he has new desires and abilities. These new desires and abilities constitute the believer's new nature (Romans 7:19-23).
Since the believer still possesses the old dominant fallen Adamic nature, he needs the filling of the indwelling Holy Spirit to manifest the new nature (Romans 7:23; 8:1-4; Ephesians 5:18-25; Galatians 5:16-18, 22-23, 25; 2 Corinthians 3:18). The Spirit filled believer, or spiritual believer, can manifest the fruit of the Spirit and thus Christlikeness.
The requirements to be Spirit filled and thus spiritual, are that the believer must reckon himself to be dead to the sin nature and alive unto God in the sphere of his position in Christ (Romans 6:10-11; Colossians 3:1-5).
Besides the flesh or sin nature, the believer has two other spiritual enemies, The World and the Devil.
The spiritual saint is able to discern the difference between the lusts from the flesh, the world and Satan (Romans 6:12; Ephesians 2:3; Galatians 5:24; 1 John 2:15-17; John 8:44). He that is spiritual can say no to these lusts before they become a temptation (Titus 2:12-13). When a lust is allowed to become a temptation, the believer must bear it while taking the way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13; James 1:13-15). If the mentally considered temptation is acted upon by a commensurate action, it will result in an act of sin against God (James 1:13-15; 4:11; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 John 3:4; Matthew 15:17-20; Psalm 41:4; 51:4).
The spiritual saint overcomes the world by using it as a means to the end without loving or befriending it (1 John 2:15-17; James 4:4; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31).
The spiritual Christian has an armor which he is to put on mentally each time he discerns an attack by Satan or his demons (1 Peter 5:8-9; James 4:7-8; Ephesians 6:12-18).
The spiritual believer who is overcoming the three enemies, grows to maturity by grace and is more and more conformed to the image of Christ (2 Peter 3:18; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 4:6-7; 2 Timothy 2:1).
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