What We Believe
TENETS OF FAITH
The Bible is our all-sufficient rule for faith and practice. This Statement of Fundamental Truths is intended simply as a basis of fellowship among us (i.e., that we all speak the same thing, I Cor. 1:10; Acts 2:42). The phraseology employed in this Statement is not inspired or contended for, but the truth set forth is held to be essential to a Full Gospel Ministry. No claim is made that it contains all Biblical truth, only that it covers our need as these fundamental doctrines.
1. The Scriptures Inspired
The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct (II Tim. 3:15-17; I Thess. 2;13; II Peter 1:21).
2. The One True God
The one true God has revealed Himself as the eternally self-existent “I Am,” the Creator of Heaven and earth and the Redeemer of mankind. He has further revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Deut. 6:4; Isa. 43:10, 11; Luke 3:22; Matt. 28:19).
The Adorable Godhead
(a) Terms Defined
The terms “Trinity” and “Persons,” as related to the Godhead, while not found in the Scriptures, are words in harmony with Scripture, whereby we may convey to others our immediate understanding of the doctrine of Christ respecting the Being of God as distinguished from “gods many and lords many.” We, therefore, may speak with propriety of the Lord our God, who is One Lord, as a trinity or as one Being of three persons and still be absolutely Scriptural (Examples, Matt. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14; John 14: 16-17).
(b) Distinction and Relationship in the Godhead
Christ taught a distinction of Persons in the Godhead which He expressed in specific terms of relationship, as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but that this distinction and relationship, as to its mode is inscrutable and incomprehensible because unexplained (Luke 1:35; I Cor. 1:24; Matt. 11:25-27; 28:19: II Cor. 13:14; I John 1:3,4).
(c) Unity of the One Being of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
Accordingly, therefore, there is that in the Son which constitutes Him the Son and not Father; and there is that in the Holy Ghost which constitutes Him the Holy Ghost and not either the Father or the Son. Wherefore the Father is the Begetter, the Son is the Begotten; and the Holy Ghost is the one proceeding from the Father and the Son. Therefore, because these three persons in the Godhead are in a state of unity, there is but one Lord God Almighty and His name one (John 1:18; 15:26; 17:11, 21; Zech. 14:9).
(d) Identity and Cooperation in the Godhead
The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are never identical as to person, or confused as to relation, or divided in respect to the Godhead, nor opposed as to cooperation. The Son is in the Father, and the Father is in the Son, as is with the Son, as to fellowship. The Father is not from the Son, but the Son is from the Father, as to authority. The Holy Ghost is from the father and the Son proceeding, as to nature, relationship, cooperation and authority. Hence, no Person in the Godhead either exists or works separately or independently of the others (John 5:17-30, 32, 37; John 8:17, 18).
(e) The Title, Lord Jesus Christ
The appellation, “Lord Jesus Christ,” is a proper name. It is never applied, in the New Testament, either to the Father or to the Holy Ghost. It, therefore, belongs exclusively to the Son of God (Romans 1:1-3, 7; II John 3).
(f) The Lord Jesus Christ, God with Us
The Lord Jesus Christ, as to His divine and eternal nature, is the proper and only Begotten of the Father, but as to His human nature, He is the proper Son of Man. He is, therefore, acknowledged to be both God and man, who, because He is God and man, is “Immanuel,” God with us (Matt. 1:23; I John 4:2, 10, 14; Rev. 1:13, 17).
(g) The Title, Son of God
Since the “Immanuel” embraces both God and man in the one Person, our Lord Jesus Christ, it follows that the title Son of God describes His proper deity and the title Son of man His proper humanity. Therefore, the title Son of God belongs to the order of eternity and the title Son of Man to the order of time (Matt. 1:21-23; II John 3:8; Heb. 7:3; 1:1-13).
(h) Transgression of the Doctrine of Christ
Wherefore, it is a transgression of the Doctrine of Christ to say that Jesus Christ derived the title Son of God solely from the fact of the incarnation or because of His relation to the economy of redemption; therefore, to deny that the Father is a real and eternal Father and the Son is a real and eternal Son is a denial of the distinction and relationship in the Being of God, a denial of the Father and the Son, and a displacement of the truth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh (II John 9; John 1:1, 2, 14, 18, 29, 49; I John 2:22, 23; 4:1-5; Heb. 12:2).
(i) Exaltation of Jesus as Lord
The Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, having by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, angels and principalities and powers having been made subject unto Him; and, having been made both Lord and Christ, He sent the Holy Ghost that we, in the name of Jesus, might bow our knees and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God and Father until the end, where the Son shall become subject to the Father that God may be all in all (Heb. 1:3; I Peter 3:22; Acts 2:32-36; Rom. 14:11; I Cor. 15:24-28).
(j) Equal Honor to the Father and to the Son
Wherefore, since the Father has delivered all judgment unto the Son, it is not only the express duty of all in heaven and on earth to bow the knee, but it is an unspeakable joy in the Holy Ghost to ascribe unto the Son all the attributes of Deity and to give Him all the honor and glory contained in all the names and titles of the Godhead (except those which express relationship (See paragraph b, c, and d,) and thus honor the Son even as we honor the Father (John 5;22, 23; I Peter 1:8; Rev. 5:6-14; Phil. 2:8, 9; Rev. 7: 9, 10; 4:8-11).
3. The Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ
The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. The Scriptures declare:
(a) His virgin birth (Matt. 1:23; Luke 1:31, 35).
(b) His sinless life (Heb. 7:26; I Peter 2:22).
(c) His miracles (Acts 2:22; 10:38).
(d) His substitutionary work on the cross (I Cor. 15:3; II Cor. 5:21).
(e) His bodily resurrection from the dead (Matt. 28:6; Luke 24:39; I Cor. 15:4).
(f) His exaltation to the right hand of God (Acts 1:9, 11; 2:33; Phil. 2:9-11; Heb. 1: 1-3).
4. The Fall of Man
Man was created good and upright. For God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” However, man, by voluntary transgression, fell and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God (Gen. 1:26, 27; 2:17; 3:6; Rom. 5:12-19).
5. The Salvation of Man
Man’s only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
(a) Conditions of salvation
Salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God according to the hope of eternal life (Luke 24:47; John 3:33; Rom. 10: 13-15; Eph. 2:8; Titus 2:11; 3:5-7).
(b) The Evidences of Salvation
The inward evidence of salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit (Rom. 8:16). The outward evidence to all men is a life of righteousness and true holiness (Eph. 4:24; Titus 2:12).
6. The Ordinances of the Church
(a) Baptism in Water
The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded in the Scriptures. All who repent and believe on Christ as Saviour and Lord are to be baptized. Thus, they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life (Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 10:47; 48; Rom. 6:4).
(b) Holy Communion
The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements-bread and the fruit of the vine- is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Peter 1:4), a memorial of His suffering and death (I Cor. 11:26) and is enjoined on all believers “till He comes!”
7. The Baptism in the Holy Ghost
All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Ghost and fire, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience of all in the early Christian Church. With it comes the enduement of power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4, 8; I Cor. 12: 1-31). This experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth (Acts 8: 12-17; 10:44-46; 11:14-16; 15:7-9). With the Baptism in the Holy Ghost come such experiences as an overflowing fullness of the Spirit (John 7:37-39; Acts 4:8), a deepened reverence for (Acts 2:43; Heb. 12:28), an intensified consecration to God and dedication to His work (Acts 2:42), and a more active love for Christ, for His Word, and for the lost (Mark 16:20).
8. The Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Ghost
The Baptism of believers in the Holy Ghost is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance (Acts 2:4). The speaking in tongues, in this instance, is the same, in essence, as the gift of tongues (I Cor. 12:4-10, 28) but different in purpose and use.
Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil and a dedication unto God (Rom. 12:1, 2; I Thess. 5:23; Heb. 13:12). The Scriptures teach a life of holiness without which no man shall see the Lord (Heb, 12:14). By the power of the Holy Ghost we are able to obey the command: “Be ye holy, for I am holy” (I Pet. 1:15, 16). Sanctification is realized in the believer by recognizing his identification with Christ in His death and resurrection, by faith reckoning daily upon the fact of that union, and by offering every faculty continually to the dominion on the Holy Spirit (Rom. 6:1-11, 13; 8:1, 2; Gal. 2:20; Phil. 2:12, 13; I Peter 1:5).
10. The Church
The Church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission. Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the General Assembly and Church of the First-Born, which are written in heaven (Eph. 1:22, 23; 2:22; Heb. 12:23).
11. The Ministry
A divinely called and scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for a twofold purpose: (1) the evangelism of the world, and (2) the edifying of the body of Christ (Mark 16:15-20; Eph. 4:11-13).
12. Divine Healing
Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement and is the privilege of all believers (Isa. 53:4, 5; Matt. 8:16, 17; James 5:14-16).
13. The Blessed Hope
The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation, together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming on the Lord, is the imminent and blessed hope of the Church (I Thess. 4:16, 17; Rom. 8:23; Titus 2:13; I Cor. 15:51, 52).
14. The Millennial Reign of Christ
The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of the saints, which is our blessed hope, followed by the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on earth for one thousand years (Zech. 14:5; Matt, 24:27, 30; Rev. 1:7; 19:11-14; 20:1-6). This millennial reign will bring the salvation of national Israel (Ezek. 37:21, 22; Zeph. 3:19, 20; Rom. 11:26, 27) and the establishment of universal peace (Isa. 11:6-9; Ps. 72:3-8; Micah 4:3, 4).
15. The Final Judgment
There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and false prophet, will be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Matt. 25:46; Mark 9: 43-48; Rev. 19:20; 20: 11-15; 21:8).
16. The New Heaven and the New Earth
We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness (II Peter 3:13; Rev. 21:22).