I. The Scripture
The Bible is the fully inspired Word of God. It has been written by men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. In the original manuscripts it is without error and is the final authority for all matters of faith and life. It is the only source for Christian doctrine, and is accessible to all – that is, it is clearly expressed and self-interpreting, yet must be divided rightly to be effective in teaching and doctrine.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; John 8:31-32; John 20:31; Mark 13:31; Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 2:15)
II. The True God
There is one true and living God, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love; eternally existing in three persons– God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. Each is equal in their essential nature, attributes and perfection. Each executes a different but harmonious function.
(Genesis 1:1, 26; Deuteronomy 6:4; John 1:1, 3; Matthew 28:19; Romans 1:19-20; 2 Cor 13:14)
III. The Father
God the Father is infinite yet personal, transcendent yet immanent, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. He orders, arranges and controls all things according to His own sovereign purpose. He infallibly knows all that will come to pass, He hears and answers prayer, and he saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
(Luke 10:21-22; John 3:16; 6:27; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 1:6)
IV. The Son
Jesus Christ is the eternally existent Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, fully God and fully man. He has always existed and became man without ceasing to be God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man. Jesus lived a sinless life and perfectly fulfilled the law, suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. After His physical, literal death, He rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and now is exalted at the right hand of God. He is the only Mediator, the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church, and Sovereign of the Universe and salvation is found in no other. Anyone who accepts Him as Lord and Savior will worship Him for all eternity.
(John 1:1-2, 14, 8:58; Luke 1:35, 2:7; Matthew 1:18-25; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:24; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Acts 1:9-10; Hebrews 2:14, 16-17, 4:15, 7:25; Rom8:34; I John 2:1-2; 1 Timothy 2:5, 3:16; John 14:6; 1 Cor. 15:3-7; Heb 1:8; 7:25; Col 2:9; Acts 4: 12)
V. The Spirit
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and Son, and convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He is the Supernatural agent in regeneration, sanctifying and empowering all who believe in Jesus Christ. He provides those in whom He dwells with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth and guidance in doing what is right. He dwells in all believers from the moment of salvation and is the evidence and seal of that salvation, the worker of sanctification, and eventual glorification. He uniquely gifts every believer to enable them to fulfill their role in the body of Christ and His mission in the world, interceding for them according to the will of the Father for their good.
(John 14:16-17, 16:8-11, 13-15, 26; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Romans 6:13, 8:9, 26-27, 28; Galatians 3:1-3, 5:22-26; Ephesians 1:13, 4:30; 2 Corinthians 1:22, 3:16, 5:17; 1 Corinthians 12:4-7; Acts 1:8; Titus 3:5; John 3:5; 2 Peter 1:3)
God from all eternity, according to the most wise and holy council of his own will, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and all events for the ultimate purpose of glorifying Himself in all things; yet in doing this, He is not in any way the author of sin nor the approver of sin, nor is the will or responsibility of His intelligent creatures violated.
(Isa 46:10, Eph 1:11-14, Rm 9:15-18, Isa 46:10-11, Prv 16:33, Acts 2:23)
Election is God’s eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life – not because of foreseen merit in them – but of His own sovereign pleasure and mere mercy in Christ – in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified. All of this is done according to the good pleasure of His will and for His eternal and unchangeable purpose, to the praise of His glorious grace.
(Eph 1:3-11, 3:1-3; Rm 9:22-23; Gn 3; Rm 5:12-21, Rm 3:10-23, Rm 8:7)
VIII. The Fall Of Man
Man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker; but by voluntary rebellion and sin, fell from that holy and happy state; and consequently all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint but choice; being by nature absolutely void of the holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.
(Gen. 2:16,17, 3:12,13; 2 Cor. 11:3; Rom. 3:23, 5:12; Titus 1:15; Gen. 6:5; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:10-19; Rom. 5:12-19; 1 Cor. 15:21,22,45,49; Ps. 51:5; Job 14:4; Eph. 2:3; Rom. 6:20, 5:12; Heb. 2:14,15; 1 Thess. 1:10; Rom. 8:7; Col. 1:21; James 1:14,15; Matt. 15:19; Rom. 7:18,23; Eccles. 7:20; 1 John 1:8; Rom. 7:23-25; Gal. 5:17)
IX. The Way of Salvation
Man was created by God in His own image; yet sinned and thereby incurred physical, spiritual and eternal death. This brings separation from God, and as a consequence, all human beings are born with a sinful nature and are sinners by choice and, as a result, under condemnation. Those who trust in Jesus Christ, repent and forsake sin are saved. We become new creatures, are delivered from condemnation, and receive eternal life, which is a free gift of God given to man by grace through faith in Christ Jesus. All glory is due to God alone, since salvation is accomplished solely through His will and action.
(Genesis 1:26; 5:2-3; 2:17; John 3:14; 5:24; 1:12; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-9; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:23, 8:10)
Regeneration is a change of heart, a work of the Holy Spirit who quickens (brings life to) those dead in trespasses and sins, enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly, to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature so that they begin to love God and practice holiness. It is a work of God’s free and special grace alone.
(Eph 2:1-10, Acts 26:18, Jn 3:3-6)
Repentance is a Gospel grace, where a person is made aware by the Holy Spirit of the great evil of his sin, and humbles himself for it, with godly sorrow, hatred of it, and self-denial, gaining a new purpose and endeavors to live, think, speak and act for God’s pleasure in all things.
(Acts 11:18, 2 Cor 7:11, Ps 119:6, 128)
Saving faith is the belief, on God’s authority of whatever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ; accepting and resting upon Him alone for justification and eternal life. It is a gift worked in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by all other saving graces, and leads to a life of holiness.
(Eph. 2:8; Acts 24:14; 2 Timothy 1:12)
Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal (clearing of all charges), at the moment of faith, of sinners who believe in Christ from all sin through the satisfaction that Christ has made; not for anything in them or done by them; but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, as they receive and rest on Him and His righteousness by faith alone.
(Romans 3:28, 4:5; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Cor 5:21)
Those who have been regenerated (born again, made alive in Christ) are also sanctified through God’s Word and Spirit dwelling in them. This sanctification is a process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness and carries on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of scripturally appointed means, – especially, the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness and prayer – as all saints seek to obtain a God-centered life in faithful obedience to all Christ’s commands
(Romans 8:29-30, Jn 17:17, 2 Cor 3:58, 2 Cor 2:1)
XV. Perseverance of the Saints
Those God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace – meaning that only those who have been regenerated by God’s Spirit will endure to the end and that their persevering union to Christ will be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
(Jn 10:28-29, Php 1:6, 2 Tim 2:19, Lk 22:32, 61-67)
XVI. The Church
The Lord Jesus is the Head of the Church, which is composed of all his true disciples, in all places at all times, and He alone has absolute power for it’s governing. The establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament scriptures. The purpose of the church is to glorify God by building its members up in the faith by instruction of the word, by fellowship, and by keeping the ordinances for the advancement and communication of the gospel to the entire world. According to his commandment, Christians are to associate themselves with a local church and there use their gifts for the common good. To each of these churches God has given all authority necessary for administering themselves, for discipline and for worship as he has commanded. The regular officers of a Church are Pastors/Elders and Deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.
(Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:25-27; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Acts 14:27; 18:22; Ephesians 2:19-22; 5:19-21 Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:23-25, Ephesians 4:11-13, Col 1:18, Mt 28:18-20, 1 Cor 12:7; Eph 4:11-12, Acts 20:17, 28, Php 1:1, 1 Tim 3:1-13; Tit 1:5-9)
XVII. The Ordinances
Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church; Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Christian Baptism is the immersion of the believer in water, which is a public testimony of the believer’s new life in Christ, his or her identification with the Lord’s death, burial and resurrection, and therefore becoming part of the body of Christ, the Church. The Lord’s Supper, foreshadowed for thousands of year by Passover, was instituted by Christ for commemoration of His death. The elements of communion are symbolic of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and serve to remind us of the sacrifice He made, and proclaim the hope of salvation that comes from this sacrifice. These two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 22:15-20; Acts 2:41-42; 18:8; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
XVIII. Of Baptism
Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, a requirement for every believer, where he/she is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his/her fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of his/her giving himself/herself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. It is pre-requisite to church membership, and to participation in the Lord’s Supper.
(Matthew 28:19-20, Rm 6:3-5, Col 2:12, Gal 3:20)
XIX. Of The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ to be observed by His churches till the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate his death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with him, and of their covenant together with the local church.
(1 Cor 11:23-26, Heb 9:25-26, 28)
XX. Of The Lord’s Day
The Lord’s Day (Sunday) is a Christian institution to be regularly observed, and used first and foremost for worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private, over which secular employment and entertainment must never be given priority.
(Exodus 20:8, 1 Cor 16:1-2, Acts 20:7, Isa 58:13, Neh 13:15f; Mk2:27)
XXI. Liberty of Conscience
God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are in anything contrary to His word, or not contained in it. Because civil government is ordained by God, Christians must be subject to all its laws which do not violate the Law of God, not only to avoid punishment, but also for conscience sake.
(Jas 4:12, Rm 14:4, Acts 4:19, 29, 1 Cor 7:23, Mt 15:5, Col 2:10-23)
XXII. The Resurrection
The bodies of men after death return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God the righteous to rest with Him; the wicked, to be reserved under darkness to the coming judgment. At the last day when Christ returns, the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised.
(Gen 3:19, Ecc 12:7, Lk 23:43, 2 Cor 5:1-8, Jude 6-7, 1 Cor 15:42-43)
XXIII. The Judgment
God has appointed a Day in which the world will be judged by Christ. On that Day the Lord Himself will descend from heaven, the dead will be raised, and a solemn separation will take place as the wicked are sent away unto everlasting punishment and the righteous in Christ are received unto everlasting life in Him.
(Acts 17:31, Jn 5:22,27, Mt 25:21, 34, 2 Tim 4:8 1)
XXIV. Marriage and Sexuality
Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant relationship for as long as both continue to live. The institution of marriage was established by God and is clearly described in the Holy Bible. No other relationship – other than the one ordained by God between one man and one woman, covenantal in nature, and life-long in endurance – is rightly called marriage, nor should any such relationship promote the exercise of the privileges rightly endowed to marriage alone. While marriage serves many purposes, its primary end is to glorify God by revealing the character of Christ’s love for His bride, the Church.
(Gen. 2:24; Mal. 2:15; Matt. 19:5, 6; Gen. 1:28; 2:18; 1 Cor. 7:2, 9; Eph. 5:31, 32)
The Bible teaches that the only legitimate exercise of sexual relations is between one man and one woman who have covenanted together in the institution of marriage. All sexual practices occurring between people who are not committed to one another in biblical marriage are aberrant, sinful, and condemned by God, like all immoral behavior expressly prohibited in Scripture.
(Gen. 6:1, 2; 19:5; 34:2; Rom. 1:26, 27; 1 Cor. 6:9, 10, 13-18; Eph. 5:3-7)
This brief outline of biblical truth is taken from The Abstract of Principles, a document that has served as a basis for theological agreement among various denominations since the early 1800’s. The version given here has been slightly edited for clarity and expanded to address the issues of our day. This statement is a guide only and should not be considered to be either exhaustive (giving all truth necessary) or on a par with Scripture as to its authority.