Articles of Faith
THE TRIUNE GOD
The one and only true God is Spirit(1): self-existent, infinite, personal, unchangeable, and eternal in His being; perfect in holiness, love, justice, goodness, wisdom, and truth; omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent; creator and sustainer of all things, visible and invisible; both immanent and transcendent to creation; eternally existent in three persons, one in substance(2) and co-equal in power and glory – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit(3).
(1) John 4:24. (2) Deut. 6:4. I Cor. 8:4-6. (3) Gen. 1:26; Matt. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14.
The Father is begotten of none(1). He is the eternal(2) Father of the Lord Jesus Christ(3), the author of salvation(4), the Father of all who are begotten into newness of life through faith in Christ.
(1) Gen. 1:1. (2) Ps. 90:2. (3) John 13:3; Eph. 1:3-4. (4) Eph. 1:2-3; I Pet. 1:2-4.
The Lord Jesus Christ is God(1); is the only Son of the Father; is incarnate since He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, thus uniting the divine and human natures in their completeness into the one unique person Jesus Christ(2); is sinless in His life and miraculous works; made atonement, through His vicarious death, for the sins of the world; is bodily resurrected and ascended to the right hand of the Father(3); has sovereign power and lordship; acts, in His present mediatorial ministry, as the believer’s advocate; awaits His imminent coming in power and glory(4).
(1) John 1:1,14. (2) Luke 1:35; John 1:14,18. (3) Acts 1:11; Heb. 1:1-3. (4) Titus 2:13-14.
The Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father(1) and being sent by the Son(2), is one substance, majesty, and glory with the Father and the Son, very and eternally God(3). His office and work is to reprove or convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment(4); to regenerate those who repent of their sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ(5); to sanctify, endue with power, teach, guide and comfort the believer(6).
The Holy Spirit works in the church to unite believers into the body of Christ; to possess it as the temple of God; to equip it with gifts and graces for service(7); to give it the body of inspired truth; and to preside over and guide the church into the will of God.
(1) John 14:26. (2) John 16:7. (3) II Cor. 13:14. (4) John 16:7-14. (5) Titus 3:5-6. (6) John 4:16-17. (7) Acts 1:8. (8) I Cor.6:11. (9) I Cor. 12:7-11.
The Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is the Word of God(1) given by divine inspiration(2) and is inerrant in the original manuscripts. The Bible remains the unchanging authority(3) in matters of Christian faith and practice(4). It is true and reliable in all the matters it addresses(5).
(1) I Thes. 2:13. (2) II Pet. 1:20-21. (3) Ps. 119:9. I Pet. 1:25. (4)II Tim. 3:16. Heb. 4:12. (5) Ps. 119:105.
Our Creation – Mankind was created by an immediate act of God and not by a process of evolution. We were created in the image and likeness of God(1), possessing personality and holiness; enjoying sweet fellowship with God in our original state, we were created to glorify God(2) and enjoy Him forever. Having been created in the likeness of God we are self conscious personalities capable of free and rational choice. Human life has inherent worth from conception.
(1) Gen. 1:26-27, 5:1-3, 9:6; James 3:9. (2) Eph. 1:4-6.
Our Fall – Through the transgression of Adam, mankind is fallen from original righteousness(1), suffers under sin’s curse, and, apart from the grace of God, is not only entirely destitute of holiness, but is inclined continually to evil(2), and, unless born again, “cannot see the kingdom of God”(3). We, in our own strength, without divine grace, cannot do good works pleasing and acceptable to God.
As persons we are free moral agents and are responsible for our eternal destiny. Under the influence and empowering of the Holy Spirit and due to the prevenient grace of God we are enabled to exercise our wills to accept God’s will and gift(4).
(1) Gen. 6:5. (2) Rom. 3:10,18,23; Eph. 2:1-3. (3) John 3:3-7. (4) Rom. 2:4.
Our Redemption – God has provided redemption for all persons through the mediatorial work of Christ(1) who voluntarily offered Himself on Calvary as a perfect sacrifice for sin(2), the just suffering for the unjust, bearing sin’s curse and tasting death for every person(3).
(1) Acts 4:12; I Tim. 2:5-6. (2) John 10:17-18. (3) Titus 2:11-14; Heb. 2:9 .
We are all sinners, guilty before God, and dead in trespasses and sins. Therefore, we are unable to save ourselves(1), but God has, out of His infinite love, given His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ(2), to become our Saviour(3).
(1) John 14:6. (2) John 3:14-17. (3) Rom. 3:20-26; Eph. 2:4-5, 8-11
Genuine repentance is a necessary attitude and act of man which a holy and just God requires before He forgives our sins(1). As an attitude it involves a knowledge of, a change of mind toward, and a godly sorrow for sin(2); a proper reverence for God’s holiness; and a surrender to God. As an act it means confessing and forsaking sin(3). Repentance is our appropriate response to the grace of God in conviction4. As a fruit of repentance, in so far as possible where sin has been committed, restitution should be made.
(1) Ps. 51:3-4. (2) II Cor. 7:8-11. (3) Prov. 28:13; Isa. 6:1-5. (4) John 16:8-11.
Faith, which must accompany repentance, is God’s gift where, by an act of the will, we embrace the promises of God and appropriate personally the provisions of God’s grace. The believer, by faith, rests in the completeness and adequacy of the atoning merit of Christ’s sacrifice as the sole ground and hope of salvation(1). Scripture also teaches that good works characterize a regenerated life(2). They spring from a true and living faith and are pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ(3).
(1) Rom. 5:1-2; Eph. 2:8-9. (2) Eph. 2:10. 3 Heb. 11:6; James 2:17
Justification and Regeneration
God justifies(1) and regenerates sinners(2) when they personally believe and repent. Justification is a judicial act which absolves us of the guilt and punishment for sin and restores us to divine favour. Justification has to do with the changing of the sinner’s standing before God(3). Regeneration has to do with the changing of the sinner’s nature through the impartation of divine life. Regeneration is a spiritual quickening, a new birth(4). This experience is witnessed to by the indwelling Holy Spirit(5) who produces in the heart a desire to do the will of God.
(1) Rom. 8:33. (2) Eph. 2:1-3. (3) Rom. 5:9-12. (4) John 3:5-6. (5) Rom. 8:16 .
Sanctification and Filling with the Holy Spirit
Sanctification is defined as the work of God in making believers holy and renewing them in the image of God(1). It is the will of God that each believer should be cleansed from sin and filled with the Holy Spirit(2) and sanctified. Sanctification involves separation from sin and full dedication(3) to the will of God. God in turn bestows power for holy living and effective service(4). Sanctification is both a crisis, as the regenerated believer initially surrenders to the will of God and appropriates the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and a progressive pilgrimage of continual consecration(5) and growth in character and Christ-likeness.
The filling of a believer with the Holy Spirit is evidenced by love out of a pure heart(6) and by the fruit of the Spirit(7). It is this believer’s privilege to live, by faith, a Spirit-filled, Spirit-gifted, and Spirit-led life of victory over sin.
(1) Acts 15:8-9; Rom. 6:19,22. (2) Rom. 8:5-11. (3) Rom. 12:1-2. (4) Rom. 8:1-4,9-11. (5) John 17:17-19; Heb. 12:14. (6) Rom. 5:5. (7) II Cor. 7:1; Gal. 5:22-23.
Security of the Believer
Through the declaration of Scripture and the testimony of the Holy Spirit the obedient believer can be certain of forgiveness, salvation, a continuing walk with Christ, and the promise of resurrection life(1). The Scriptures do, however, warn against failing to abide in Christ, being hardened by sin, or being overcome by the world(2). To allow the Devil such a foothold is to open oneself to the temptation to consciously reject Christ, abandon one’s faith, and ultimately be lost.
(1) John 15:1-6; I Cor. 10:12-13. (2) Rom. 10:9-10; I Cor. 10:1-13.
Resurrection and Glorification
Christ was bodily resurrected and, because He lives, we too shall live(1). At the return of the Lord, the bodies of the righteous dead will be raised and, together with the living believers, shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air(2). We will all be changed so as to have literal, spiritual and immortal bodies like unto Christ’s own glorious body(3). Our glorification is God’s final act in our salvation and will be realized when we see Him as He is.
(1) I Cor. 15:19-23. (2) I Thes. 4:14-17. (3) I John 3:2-3.
The church is an organism composed of all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ(1) who have been called out from the world, separated from sin(2), and vitally united by faith to Christ(3), its living Head and sovereign Lord.
(1) Acts 15:12-18; I Cor. 12:12-27. (2) Eph. 5:25-26. (3) Eph. 2:11-12.
The local church is an organized body of believers in Christ who are voluntarily joined together for public worship and evangelism(1), teaching the Word, fellowship with the saints(2), observance of the ordinances, exercise in prayer, and who are commissioned with the responsibility to administer discipline(3).
(1) I Cor. 16:1-2. (2) Acts 20:7. (3) Matt. 18:15-17.
God equips individuals in the body for service in the world-wide multi-faceted ministry of his church(1). He gives to each woman and man at least one spiritual gift(2), by the Holy Spirit, to be used, under the direction of the Head, Jesus Christ, as an integrated part of the total ministry of his church. Each member has a role, whether as a lay person or as vocational leader, all of whom God chooses and equips.
(1) I Cor. 12:12-26. (2) Rom. 12:3-8; I Cor. 12:7ff.
The characteristic marks of the members of the true church are faith in Jesus as the Son of God, love for God and for those of like faith, obedience to God’s commandments(1), and victory over the world(2).
(1) I John 3:21-24. (2) I John 5:1-5.
The primary duties of the church consist of glorifying God and exalting the Lord Jesus Christ(1), of building itself up in the most holy faith, and of preaching and practising the Gospel in all the world as a witness to all people(2).
(1) Eph. 1:5-6, 3:20-21. (2) Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8.
THE LAST THINGS
The Return of Christ – The second advent of Christ(1) is the hope of the church(2) and will be personal, bodily, visible, sudden, premillennial, and redemptive(3). It is a source of encouragement and consolation, a motive for purification and holiness, and an inspiration for activity and service(4).
(1) Matt. 24:3-25. (2) Rev. 19:7-8. (3) I Thes. 4:16-18; Rev. 20:4-6. (4) I Tim. 6:12-14; I John 3:3; Rev. 5:9-10 .
The Millennium – The millennium or thousand year reign of Christ upon the earth will be ushered in by His return with the saints. During this period Satan will be bound, the curse will be lifted, evils such as war, poverty, and injustice shall vanish from the earth, and Christ will reign in righteousness(1).
(1) Ps. 46:8-9; Isa. 2:1-4, 11:6-9; Rev. 20:1-6.
The Judgment and Future State – There is a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous(1). All persons stand under the righteous judgment of God(2), both now and in that day. Scripture further teaches an eternal state of rewards in which the righteous dwell in endless life in heaven(3) and the wicked in endless punishment in the eternal lake of fire (4).
(1) John 5:28-29. (2) Acts 17:31. (3) John 14:1-6; Rev. 21:1-9. (4) Matt. 25:31-46; Rev. 20:11-15