The Bible is God’s Word to us. It is composed of the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is absolutely true without any mixture of error and is the supreme source for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error. The Scriptures are entirely adequate and need no additions or alterations.
(Ps. 12:6, 19:7-11, 119:105, 119:160; Pr. 30:5; 2 Tim. 1:13, 3:16; 2 Pt. 1:20-21)
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are coequal and are one God.
(Gen. 1:1, 1:26-27, 3:22; Deut. 6:4; Ps. 90:2; Isaiah 45:5-6; Mt. 28:19; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 2 Cor.13:14; 1 Peter 1:2)
God The Father
God the Father has eternally existed as a distinct person of the Trinity yet shares in the same essence with God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He is sovereign over all creation and His purpose for all creation is to display His glory, person, and name. Therefore, He does what He pleases, when and how He pleases.
(1 Sam. 2:2; Ps. 29:2; Is. 14:24-27, 29:15-16, 43:6-7; 46:8-10; 55:8-9; Dan. 4:34-35; Rom. 9; Rev.4:11)
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is eternal and co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. In terms of his human nature, he was both fully God and fully man; He was of Jewish descent, born of a virgin, and lived a sinless life. In an act of unparalleled love, He offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He physically arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. After His triumphant resurrection, He ascended to heaven in glory. He currently resides seated next to God the Father and acts as the mediator for believers by interceding on our behalf. One day, He will return to earth, where He will reign as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
(Is. 9:6, 53:2-12; Mt. 1:22-23; Jn. 1:1-5; Acts 1:9-11; Rom. 1:3-4, 8:34; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; Phil. 2:6-11; Heb. 4:14-15; 1 Tim. 6:14-15; Tit. 2:13; Rev. 19:11-16)
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God and is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation and provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right and holy. He gives believers spiritual gifts when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
(Is. 11:2, Ez. 36:26-27; Jn. 3:5-6, 16:7-13, 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 2:12, 3:16, 6:19; 2 Cor. 3:17; Eph. 1:13, 5:18; Gal. 5:25)
Human beings have been created in the image and likeness of God and are the supreme object of God’s creation. Humans were created with the divine intention to glorify God, enjoy a relationship with Him, and live in His will for their lives. Although every person has the potential to do noble things, all people have been marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called 'sin.' The deserved penalty of having sin in our lives is death, both physical and spiritual.
(Gen. 1:27, 2:15-17, 3:19; Ps. 8:3-6; Is. 43:7, 53:6; Jn. 17:3; Rom. 3:23, 5:12, 6:23; 1 Cor. 10:31; Jam. 1:14-15; Rev. 4:11, 21:8)
Salvation is God’s free gift to us for the forgiveness of our sins. However, it doesn’t just happen; we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by admitting our sin to God and trusting in Jesus’ redemptive work of dying on the cross and being resurrected from the dead can a person be saved. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved from our sin and an eternity in hell. This means that eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his or her life by faith.
(Jn. 1:12, 3:16, 14:6; Acts 4:12; Eph. 2:8-9; Tit. 3:5; Gal. 3:26; Rom. 5:1, 6:23, 10:9-10)
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot 'lose' your salvation. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that provide us with this security.
(Jn. 10:29; 2 Tim. 1:12; Heb. 7:25; 10:10, 14; 1 Pt. 1:3-5)
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation through Christ. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence. Eternal separation from God is to be in Hell. Eternal life is union with God and results in being with God in Heaven.
(Ecc. 3:11; Matt. 25:46; Jn. 3:16; 1 Jn. 5:11-13; Rom. 6:23; Rev. 20:15)
The Church (Universal)
There is one true church, a living organism called in Scripture the body and bride of Christ. The Church includes all believers who have been saved throughout time. This inclusion isn't tied to any particular denomination or organizational association. The Church came into existence on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was given.
(Ecc. 3:11; Matt. 25:46; Jn. 3:16; 1 Jn. 5:11-13; Rom. 6:23; Rev. 20:15)
The Church (Local)
The Local Church is comprised of those belonging to the Universal Church who are associated together by saving faith in Jesus Christ and who reside in the same region or city. The local church has a clear purpose: it exists to honor God by gathering for fellowship and worship, learning and putting into practice the teachings from God’s Word, generously offering their time, talents, and resources to uphold its various ministries, and embarking on missions to spread theGospel message of Jesus Christ.
(Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 13:1-3; 1 Cor. 5:4-5; 2 Cor. 2:6, 8:1-5, 19, 23; Eph. 4:11-16; Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Heb. 10:24-25; Jam.1:27)
Access to God
Each person is able to come to God for himself or herself. There is no need for a third party to mediate on behalf of a believer and God. There is only one mediator between God and man, and that is Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches that all believers are ministers and saints of God. Therefore, the evangelical church does not have a distinctive class of priests. All members are made 'priests unto God' by the death of Christ.
(Rom. 1: 7, 12:1; Eph. 2:19, 4:11-14; Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 2:5; 1 Pt. 2:5; Rev. 1:5-6)
The Ordinances of the Local Church
Jesus Christ instituted the observances of baptism and communion (the Lord’s Supper) as the two ordinances of the church. These ordinances are meant to be observed only by born-again believers who understand their significance. While they represent an act of obedience, it's important to note that they are not required for salvation.
Baptism is to be administered by immersion in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, serving as an outward sign of the inner transformation wrought by the Holy Spirit. It should be observed only once after one's conversion. Descending into the water signifies burial with Christ and the putting away of one's old, sinful nature. Emerging from the water symbolizes rising withChrist and embodies the profound miracle being made spiritually alive.
(Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:38, 8:12, 8:36-37, 10:47, 16:33; Rom. 6:3-4; Eph. 2:4-5)
Communion, or as it is sometimes referred to, the Lord's Supper, is to be observed regularly until Christ comes again. The elements for the administration of the Lord's Supper are unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine. The Lord’s Supper serves as a remembrance of all that Christ did for believers in His substitutionary death, burial, and resurrection. Observance of the Lord's Supper is reserved for those who have put their faith in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and holds no spiritual value for the unsaved.
(Matt. 26:26-30; Mk. 14:22-25; Lk. 22:14-23; 1 Cor. 11:23-34)