Our 16 Doctrines
The Scriptures of the entire Bible are verbally inspired of God. It was not just the ideas that were inspired; even the choice of words were inspired as the original writers were moved by God to write what He wanted them to say. We believe (1) the scriptures are God’s revealing of Himself to mankind, (2) they are never wrong (3) they are the guide for our faith, belief, and manner of living (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13, 2 Peter 1:21).
There is one true God. He has revealed himself as having always existed without any outside cause or agent bringing Him into being (Isaiah 43:10). He is the Creator of heaven and earth (Genesis 1:1) and the One who redeems, saves, or rescues mankind from sin and its painful consequences (Isaiah 43:11). God has further revealed himself as a single Being (Deuteronomy 6:4) consisting of three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19, Luke 3:22). This concept of one God or Being of three persons is called the Trinity.
The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has always existed. He is without beginning or end (Revelation 1:8). He became human by being born of a virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:23). He lived a perfect life, absolutely without sin (Hebrews 7:26). While on earth He worked many miracles through the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:22, 10:38). In order to restore fallen mankind, Jesus died on the cross as a substitute for the sins of every person (1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21). He was raised from the dead by the supernatural power of God (Matthew 28:6). Since His resurrection He has been exalted (honored) and is seated at the right hand of God (Acts 1:9, 11, 2:33).
Mankind was created good and upright; for God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” However, mankind by willful choice ignored God’s instructions…choosing to engage in what they knew was wrong and evil. As a result, mankind fell from innocence and goodness and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:17, 3:6; Romans 5:12-19).
Salvation is deliverance from spiritual death and enslavement by sin. God provides salvation for all who believe and accept His free offer of forgiveness. Salvation is received as a person (1) repents before God for his sins and (2) believes or has faith in the fact that the death and resurrection (supernatural restoration to life) of Jesus Christ removes and brings forgiveness for his sin. The Evidences of Salvation The inner evidence of salvation is the direct witness of the Holy Spirit giving one the assurance that God has accepted him (Romans 8:16). The outward evidence is a life totally committed and pleasing to God (Ephesians 4:24; Titus 2:12)
Baptism in Water Baptism by immersion in water is commanded in the Scriptures (Mark 16:16). The act of baptism symbolically declares that the old sinful life and life-style of the baptized believer died with Christ at salvation and a new spiritual being has been raised with Christ (Matthew 28:19). Holy Communion The Lord’s Supper or Communion, consisting of bread and grape juice, is a memorial of Christ’s suffering and death (1 Corinthians 11:26). In taking communion the believer expresses that he (1) has been made right with God, and that he (2) shares the divine nature of eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4).
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit was the normal experience of all believers in the early Christian church. With the experience comes the provision of power for victorious Christian living and productive service. It also provides believers with specific spiritual gifts for more effective ministry (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4,8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31).
The baptism of Christians in the Holy Spirit is accompanied by the initial physical sign of speaking in other tongues (unlearned languages) as the Spirit of God gives them audible expression (Acts 2:4). This form of speaking in tongues is basically the same as the gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:4-10,28). The difference is the purpose and use. [The manifestation of tongues can be observed in the life of every Spirit-filled believer at the initial infilling. The audible expression of tongues should also continue to function in the Spirit-filled believer’s personal prayer life. However, the gift of tongues (sometimes called “messages in tongues”) operates publicly, usually in congregational worship settings. This gift is followed by the gift of interpreting the tongues. Both are given by individuals within the church. The purpose of these gifts is for the spiritual benefit of the individual and the congregation.
Sanctification is an act of separating ourselves from evil and identifying with things that are good, upright, and morally pure. A Christian is sanctified as he/she identifies with Christ and accepts in faith His sacrificial death and victorious resurrection. Sanctification is a daily acknowledgment of our union with God through His Son Jesus. As this identification occurs, it is only natural for the Christian to offer every portion of his life to the control of the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:1-11, 13, 8:1,2,13; Galatians 2:20).
The Church as described in the Bible consists of all people who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ as the only remedy for their sins. The Church includes all Christians and has no boundaries as to age, race, gender, or denomination. It is the body of Christ; the dwelling place of God through the Holy Spirit. Christ is the Head of the Church. He has made every provision for the fulfillment of “the church’s” Great Commission (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15). Each Christian is an integral part of that Church. The names of all true believers (those making up the church) are written in heaven (Ephesians 1:22-23, 2:22; Hebrews 12:23).
Involvement in ministry in response to a divine call is scripturaly ordained in the Bible. It is a provision of our Lord for the threefold purpose of leading the Church in: (1) evangelization of the world (Mark 16:15-20), (2) worship of God (John 4:23-24), and (3) building a body of believers conforming to the life of Christ (Ephesians 4:11,16).
Divine healing from God is an integral part of the Gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided in the Atonement (Christ’s suffering and death for our reconciliation with God). Healing is a privilege of all believers (Isaiah 53:4-5; Matthew 8:16-17; James 5:14-16).
All Christians who have died will one day rise for their graves and will meet the Lord in the air. Christians who have not yet died will be raptured or caught up with them to be with the Lord. Christians of all ages will then live with God forever. The scriptural truth of the Lord’s soon return is the blessed hope (Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Titus 2:13).
The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of all Christians, which is our blessed hope, followed by the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on the earth for 1000 years (Zechariah 14:5; Matthew 24:27,30; Revelation 1:7, 19:11-14,20:1-6). This millennial (1,000-year) reign will bring the salvation of Israel as a nation (Ezekiel 37:21-22; Zephaniah 3:19-20; Romans 11:26-27) and the establishment of universal peace (Psalm 72:3-8; Isaiah 11:6-9; Micah 4:3-4).
There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead—those who have died without accepting Christ’s salvation—will be raised and judged according to the way they lived. Anyone whose name is not found written in the Book of Life (the recorded list of people who received Christ’s forgiveness), together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be sent to everlasting punishment in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death (Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 19:20, 20:11-15, 21:8).
“According to God’s promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will dwell and reign forever” (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21,22).