Statement of Faith
The Holy Scriptures
The Bible is the very word of God; it is inerrant, infallible. inspired, and the final revelation of God to man. Both the Old and New Testaments have been inspired by God through plenary and verbal inspiration, thus securing for man an infallible record of truth. The Bible is fully authoritative providing the terms by which all the created universe must be interpreted, granting man an infallible rule of faith and practice, and revealing God’s will to man. The Bible has, by God’s providential care, been kept pure in all ages.
Note: For a fuller expression of our faith in the Bible, we recommend and affirm the following document–”The Chicago Statement On Biblical Inerrancy.”
The Doctrine Of God
There is only one living and true God, Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Who is self-existent, eternal, supreme, incomprehensible, almighty. God is Spirit in Whom all divine attributes or perfections inhere and from Whom they cannot be separated. God’s attributes are both incommunicable and communicable. These incommunicable attributes, of which man cannot partake and which emphasize God’s transcendence, are the independence or aseity* of God (God is sufficient unto Himself, dependent upon nothing besides His own being); the immutability of God (God does not and cannot change); the infinity of God (in relation to time, God is eternal, in relation to space, God is omnipresent); and the unity of God (God is singularly one and in no sense composed of parts or aspects that existed prior to Himself). The communicable attributes of God stress God’s immanence. God is light; God’s knowledge of Himself is self-contained, self referential, and absolute. God is holy, internally and externally perfect. God is sovereign, omnipotent, working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and righteous will. God exists as a tri-personality, the Trinity, co-substantial without subordination, co-eternal, and co-equal; three distinct persons in unity whose diversity and unity are underived.
The Doctrine Of Man
Man is created in God’s image, originally with moral attributes of true knowledge, true righteousness, and true holiness while, at the same time, possessing none of God’s incommunicable attributes. Man is like God, but on a creaturely scale. God is infinite and man is finite. Man was created from the earth to have dominion over the earth. As a prophet, man was to interpret the world; as a priest, man was to guard the world and consecrate it to God’s glory; and as a king, man was to rule over the world as God’s vice-regent. As a creature, man was to live in accordance with the laws which God had placed in His creation, being both responsible and accountable to God. Adam and Eve, being tempted by Satan, sought to interpret the universe without reference to God. By this sin, they fell from their original communion with God. Defiled in all parts and faculties, man now inherits the guilt of sin, the corrupted nature, and the death of sin which passed to all Adam’s posterity.
The Doctrine Of Christ
Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, the second person in the Trinity (Godhead), existing from all eternity with the Father, fully equal with the Father; Who in the incarnation assumed a human nature. In Christ, the human and divine natures are so related that they are “two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation” (Creed of Chalcedon). God, in His eternal purpose, chose His Son to be the mediator between God and man. Christ, as true Prophet, did reveal to man the will and word of God; as true Priest, did reconcile this world unto God by offering up Himself as the propitiatory sacrifice; and, as true King, did subdue, restrain, and conquer His people and all His enemies. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, was made under the law, did perfectly fulfill the law, suffered, was crucified, and died. He was buried, yet saw no corruption; and on the third day, He arose from the dead. He ascended into heaven where He lives to make intercession and from where He rules from the throne of David until all His enemies are made His footstool.
The Doctrine Of Salvation
By his fall, Adam not only corrupted himself and all his posterity, but also made necessary the infliction of the prescribed penalty of death. Man was morally polluted, guilty, and incapable of paying the incurred debt. God chose to accept the unmerited sufferings of Christ as just equivalent for the suffering due to sinners. Jesus, discharging the penalty due man through His vicarious suffering and death, has fully satisfied the justice of His Father and has purchased reconciliation and an everlasting inheritance for His people. Jesus restores man to holiness and life through His perfect obedience; the merits of Christ’s obedience are imputed to His people as their righteousness. Salvation is by grace; is wholly the gift of God received by faith. Good works are not meritorious ground but rather the fruit and proof of salvation. The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, Who proceeded from the Father and The Son and Who is co-equal with the Father and The Son, does apply to us the redemption Christ purchased for us. The Spirit, working conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and revealing the person and work of Jesus Christ, is the Agent of regeneration, sanctification, and preservation.
The Doctrine Of The Church
The universal church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of God’s people, from all ages, gathered into one body under Christ’s headship. Endued with the power of the Holy Spirit, and commissioned to make disciples of all nations (ethnic groupings), the Church, God’s holy nation, is the steward of the Kingdom of God, proclaiming the Word, administering the sacraments (baptism and communion), and exercising discipline in terms of the Scripture. The local church, which is also the body of Christ, is called to represent and embody God’s will and purpose in a community and minister Christ’s life to all who will respond to the proclamation of the Kingdom of God.
The Doctrine Of Last Things
God has appointed a day wherein He will judge all men by His Son and destroy the last enemy, i.e., death, at the return of His Son. The Bible teaches an optimistic eschatology. We believe that the Triune God has reigned sovereignly as King of all creation throughout all time and that Jesus is the present King of kings and Lord of lords. We affirm that God’s active reign through Christ will increase until it is consummated at the actual, physical, and bodily second coming of Christ. Millennial views will not be used as a test for orthodoxy.
Some Doctrinal Emphases and Distinctives
- We emphasize a covenantal approach to Biblical interpretation rather than a dispensational approach.
- We affirm the validity of spiritual (charismatic) gifts continuing until the consummation of the age.
- We believe that the Ascension gifts of Christ listed in Ephesians 4:11 continue until the church is glorified at the second coming. We also believe that these “Ascension Apostolic Teams” minister in, through, and beyond the local church.
- We believe that the Kingdom of God is present and eternal. We affirm that the Kingdom has come definitively in the Christ-Event (His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension); we believe that the Kingdom is coming progressively in history (like leaven in the lump and seed growing in the ground); and we believe that the Kingdom will come consummatively at the return of Christ.
- We believe marriage is between a man and a woman.
Note: For a more comprehensive statement on the Kingdom of God, we recommend the Coalition On Revival document on the Kingdom.