Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory |
of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus (Titus 2:13)
DOCTRINAL STATEMENT |
THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
We believe in the verbal and plenary inspiration (God-breathed, gr., theopneustos) of the Scriptures. That is, that the Spirit of God guided the human authors in the choice of the words used in the original writings. We believe the 66 books which constitute the Old and New Testaments to be the complete (closed) canon of Scriptures, inerrant in the original writings and they alone constitute the complete and unalterable written Word of God, infallible and sufficient for life and godliness. They are our final authority regarding "the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3). We believe the writings should be interpreted in their normal and literal sense and therefore we adhere to a dispensational understanding of God's progressive revelation (2 Timothy 3:16,17: 2 Peter 1:3, 20,21).
THE TRIUNITY OF THE GODHEAD
We believe there is only one living and true eternal God who is infinite in wisdom (omniscient) and power (omnipotent), and immutable in His being, holiness, justice, goodness and truth. Though He is the Creator of all things He is transcendent, that is, absolutely separate from and above all His creation, yet at the same time everywhere (omnipresent). We believe that God is one in essence, but eternally existent in three Persons; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each having precisely the same nature, attributes and perfections and each worthy of precisely the same confidence and obedience (Genesis 1:26; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalms 139:8; Isaiah 45:5-7; Matthew 28:19; Mark 10: 1 8; John 4:24; Acts 17:24-29; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:6).
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ to be from all eternity the Son of God (Is. 9:6), the second Person of the Trinity. That, without ceasing to be God, He entered humanity having been conceived by the Holy Spirit, and being born of the virgin Mary lived His life as a Jew under the Mosaic Law in sinless perfection before God and men (Gal. 4:4). He came to His own (Israel) (Jo. 1:11), to reveal God and to redeem men from sin (Luke 1:35; John 1:1,2,14; Heb. 1:3). We believe the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished the work of redemption from sin, reconciliation to and propitiation with God through His death and shed blood on the cross as a vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice and that our justification by faith is verified by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:24,25; 5:10-11; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 2:9; 1 Peter 1:3-5 and 2:24; 1 John 2:2) We believe the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of the Father where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Intercessor and Advocate before the Father. (Acts 1:9,10; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25 and 9:24; 1 John 2:1,2)
We believe mankind was created in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26), but as the Scriptures say, "through one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death through sin and death spread to all men because (in Adam) all sinned" (Rom. 5:12). Not only did physical death spread to all men because of the fall of Adam in the Garden but also a sin nature is inherited by all his posterity, resulting in spiritual darkness and alienation from God for the human race; humanity being totally depraved, meaning it is totally unable to remedy its own lost condition. And in its lost condition can do nothing that pleases God (Gen. 6:5; Rom. 3:10-18; 5:12; 8:8 Eph. 2:1-3).
We believe that God, in His omniscient wisdom and before the foundations of the world, initiated the plan for man's salvation through the incarnation of the Son, Jesus Christ, and that the Scriptures reveal the history of this salvation from eternity to eternity (Acts 2:23; Eph. 1:4): That from all the peoples of the earth He chose a man (Abraham) and from his descendents He chose a nation (Israel) and from that nation he chose a tribe (Judah) and from that tribe He chose a family (Jesse) and from that family He chose a son (David) and from the kingly Davidic line He promised a Royal Priest who would be not only Messiah/King of the Jews but Savior of the world (Ps. 110; Matt. 2:2; Acts 2:36). We believe salvation is the gift of God, brought to the world by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ whose precious blood was shed on calvary for the forgiveness of sins. (Ephesians 1:7 and 2:8-10; John 1:12; 1 Peter 1:18,19) We believe that when an unsaved person exercises faith in the Person and work of Jesus Christ he is immediately transferred out of the domain of darkness (spiritual death) and into the kingdom of God's beloved Son in whom he has redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Col. 1:13; 1 Thess. 2:12). He passes out of death into life (Jo. 5:24), no longer in Adam but a new creation, created in Christ Jesus, the Last Adam, who is now the believer's new identity (Jo. 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15; Eph. 2:10). That immediately upon being saved through faith he is declared justified (Rom. 5:1-2), completely redeemed from all sins (past, present, future, Eph. 1:7) and completely reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:18) because the work of salvation by Christ is "finished" (Jo. 19:30). We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept according to God's grace and power and therefore secure in Christ forever (Jo. 20:31; Heb. 7:25; 1Jo. 5:13) being immediately baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ, the Church (1 Cor. 12:13; Col. 1:18, 24), and sealed by the Spirit until the day of redemption (2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13; 4:30).
We believe the universal church is a spiritual entity composed of all born-again persons of this age/dispensation only, of which Christ is the Head. The church began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) -- when the Holy Spirit was sent to indwell and baptize the believer into the Body of Christ -- and is thus distinct from the nation of Israel. We believe that every true believer from the Day of Pentecost until what Scripture calls the "fullness of the Gentiles" is completed will be taken up before the tribulation in the "Rapture" (either resurrected or translated) to meet our Lord in the air and thus ever to be with Him (1Thess. 1:10; 5:9; 1Thess. 4:15-18; Rom. 11:25; Rev. 3:10).
NATIONAL ISRAEL AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE
We believe God chose the ancient nation and people of Israel, the descendants of Abraham Isaac and Jacob, to reveal His plan of redemption for the world (Genesis 12:3; 26:4; 28:14; Gal. 3:8). We believe Israel remains elect of God to this day, and without the Jewish people and the nation of Israel His redemptive purposes for this world can not be completed (John 4:22). We believe that God, based on His unconditional covenant relationship with Israel and the Jewish people, either blesses or curses Gentile nations based on their treatment of that people and nation (Genesis 12:3). We believe the modern ingathering of Jews throughout the world to "Eretz Yisrael" (the land of Israel), and the establishment of the state of Israel in its ancient homeland, are in direct fulfillment of biblical prophecy (Deu. 30:1-5; Ezekiel 37:12, 21: 38:8; Zech. 10:6-12). As for Zion, the city of Jerusalem, we believe that it was, and is the "City of David" (2 Sam. 5:7, 9), divinely connected to the Jewish people and their national identity (Dan. 9:24); and will be the seat of divine government during the future, earthly, Messianic, Kingdom reign of Jesus Christ (Is. 2:1-4; Jer. 3:15-18; Dan. 2:44; Mic. 4:2; Zech. 2:10-13; 8:1-3, 7-8, 20-23; 14:8-9, 16; Luke 1:32-33; Acts 15:16-18; Rev. 19:11-16).
THE SECOND ADVENT OF CHRIST
Based on the literal (normal) interpretation of the prophetic Scriptures we believe in the personal, imminent, pretribulational and premillennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His redeemed ones. We believe that at the end of the seven year tribulation He will return to earth with the saints in power and glory to reign for a thousand years on the throne of His father David over Israel and the nations (Zechariah 14; Lk. 1:32-33; Rev. 3:21; 19:11-16; 20:1-6).
THE ETERNAL STATE
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all mankind, the saved to eternal life and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46; John 5:28,29 & 1 1:25,26; Revelation 20:5,6,12,13). We believe the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord; where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when soul and body are reunited and glorified to be forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23 & 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17; Revelation 20:4-6). We believe the souls of unbelievers are, at death, absent from the body and in conscious misery in Hades, until the second resurrection; when with the soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment and shall be cast into the lake of fire; not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment (Matthew 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6,7: Revelation 20:11-15).