Inspiration of Scripture
Holy men of God wrote the scriptures as they were moved by the Holy
Spirit (II Pet. 1:21). The Bible, as originally written, is perfect
and completely inspired and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for
correction, for instruction in righteousness (II Tim. 3:16,17; James 1:17).
There is only one eternal God ( Deut. 6:4: Isa. 45:5). The Father
is a Spirit never seen by men (John 1:18: John 4:24). Jesus Christ, the
Son, is also eternal. He was sent to earth to be the Lamb of God, to die
for the sins of the whole world and was raised on the third day. He then
ascended to the right hand of God as High Priest over the House of God (Matt.
16:21; Mark 16:19; John 1:29; Heb. 3:1, 7:16, 10:21). The Holy Spirit
represents the Father and the Son to man, convicting of sin, and is a special
Comforter to the church, to dwell in her and to teach her the truths of God
(Matt. 28:19; John 14:16-17, 15:26, 16:7-15).
Satan is and has been a real and active force opposing God and man in every
age (Isa. 14:12-13; Mat. 4:1; I Pet. 5:8). He continues to influence the
wicked and to tempt the righteous in these times. He faces a sentence of
1000 years in the bottomless pit followed by eternity in a lake of fire (Rev.
20:2, 3, 10). He will give his power to the soon coming Man of Sin (Rev.
Adam disobeyed God and became dead in sin (Gen. 2:17, 3:6). All men are
descendants of him and are also dead in sin (Rom. 5:15-19; Eph. 2:1-3).
Salvation by Grace
Sinners cannot be saved by any work of their own. Salvation of the
depraved sinner is only by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). The gospel
of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection is the only power to change
sinners and give them life (John 10:10; Rom. 1:16). Jesus laid down His
life, giving His precious blood for the propitiation of teh sins of the whole
world (I Pet. 1:19, I John 2:2). Jesus is the Lamb of God and His shed
blood is the only cleansing agent able to wash and take away the sins of all
men (John 1:29, I Cor. 5:7, Rev. 1:5). The blood is applied the very
first moment a lost sinner repents toward God and is saved by grace through
faith (Rom. 3:25, Eph. 2:8). This salvation occurs before baptism and
church membership (Acts 8:36, 38). At the moment of faith in Christ as
their Savior, they are born of His Spirit (John 3:5-8). This birth of
His seed remains in them and it cannot sin (I John 3:9). The Holy Spirit
then witnesses with their new spirit that they are the children of God (Rom.
8:16). This salvation cannot be lost (I Cor. 3:15). No saved person
can or ever will go to hell or the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:15). God would
have all to be saved (I Tim. 2:4). Jesus invites all to come unto Him
(Matt. 11:28). All who remain in their condemned state do so because
they will not believe (John 5:40).
The gospel of Christ is to be preached to every person until the end (Mark
16:15). The gospel is the power by which God works all good things
toward man (Rom. 1:16). Because of the gospel, we obtain salvation, the
keeping of our life, the services of God in truth (Phil. 1:27); the revealing
of mysteries (Eph. 6:19); and a partaking of the glory and kingdom of Christ
(Matt. 4:23). Thus, the gospel is the good news from God concerning how
we can be brought back into wholeness and fellowship with Him, starting with
faith and ending with faith, all by His grace.
All believers are to be baptized and added to the church (Acts
2:41). Baptism, being a burial, is therefore only by complete immersion
(Rom. 6:4). The authority of baptism is by Christ through His church
(Matt. 28:18-19). The Church is a body of baptized believers living
faithfully unto Christ. The church's ordained offices are pastors and
deacons (Acts 6:1-7; I Tim. 3:13). The ordinances of the church are
baptism and the Lord's Supper (Matt. 26: 26-27, 28:19). Baptism is required
for proper service, as a symbol of purification of the flesh and the hope of
the future resurrection (Rom. 6:1-4). The Lord's Supper is restricted to the
members of that local church and is a confirmation of our relationship to Him
in the New Covenant (Matt. 26:26-29; Luke 22:20). Baptism and the Lord's
Supper present a complete picture of the gospel; the death, burial and
resurrection of both Christ and His people.
Church Origin and Perpetuity
The church is built by Jesus and began during His personal ministry on earth
(Matt. 16:18). Jesus was and is the only person ever having the
authority to start the church. He is the rock and only foundation on
which the church is built (I Cor. 3:11). His churches are local and
visible and in no sense universal or invisible (Gal. 1:2; Rev. 1:4). Not
all saved are in the church. Not all assemblies claiming to be His
qualify as scriptural churches. True churches may lose their identity as
His (Rev. 2:5; 3:16). False churches cannot progressively improve to
become His. The true church has never been out of existence. It has
continued from the day Jesus began building and will continue until He
returns (Matt. 16:18, 28:20; Eph. 3:21). This continuance has been by
one church separating members from their local body unto another assembly
unto this day (Acts 8:14-17, 13:1-4).
Titles of Church
His church is called His house (I Tim. 3:15); His body (Eph. 1:22-23);
His temple (I Cor. 3:17); His branches (John 15:1-5); His sheep (John
10:1-18); also the house of prayer in Isaiah. He receives glory through His
church (Eph. 3:21).
Offices of Church
The Lord gave His churches pastors and deacons (I Tim. 3). Pastors, also
called bishops, are set in their office by the Holy Spirit to oversee and
feed the flock of God (Acts 20:28). A strict life of righteousness is
required. Deacons are chosen by the church to fulfill a material
need (Acts 6:3-4). Their lives are to be impeccable. These
offices can only be filled by men.
God knows and foreknows all things (Isa. 46:10; I Pet. 1:2). He elects (John
15:16; Rom. 8:23), predestines many things (Eph. 1:5, 11) and this is all
according to His good pleasure. These are all the right, power and
authority of a sovereign God (Deut. 32:39-43). God has an eternal
purpose with His creation, which is accomplished through Jesus (Eph.
3:11). This eternal purpose was planned by God Himself and is explained
progressively in the form of covenants, especially the Abrahamic and the New
Covenant. Thus Christ was chosen as the seed of Abraham, through
the line of David, and had to be such to be the proper carrier of the
promises (Matt. 1:1; Luke 1:32). One role of the church today is to help
bring people into these promises (Gal. 3:14).
Sanctification begins in regeneration and is ever progressive. It is the
process by which we are made to partake of God's holiness and are made into
the image of Christ (John 17:17; Acts 20:32; Eph. 5:26).
God is able to keep His saints from falling and present them faultless before
the presence of His glory (Jude 24). Saints are holy people who shall
judge the world and the angels (Rom. 1:7; I Cor. 6:2-3; Col. 1:2,22).
Day of Assembly
The first day of the week was set by our Lord to worship Him and it replaced
the Sabbath day of the law (Acts 20:7; I Cor. 16:2; Col. 2:14-17).
Christians are to obey the laws of the land when those laws do not conflict
with God's commands (Act 5:29; Rom. 13: 1-4).
Christ's Kingdom Reign
Jesus will return to earth again as King (Acts 1:11; I Tim. 6:15). The
church shall be presented to Him sanctified, cleansed, washed and without
spot or wrinkle, as His bride (Eph. 5:25-27). His bride shall walk with
Him in righteous robes of white (Rev. 19:8). He shall reign forever and
of His kingdom there shall be no end (Luke 1:33). The New Jerusalem
shall descend from God and righteous saints that do His commandments shall
have right to enter (Rev. 21:24-27). All others, living then are without
the city and have no right to enter neither will they have any portion with
the bride (Rev. 21:27, 22:15).
Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection, they shall be
priests of God and Christ and reign with Him a thousand years (Rev.
20:4-6). There is also a second resurrection wherein Christ sits on a
great white throne and whosoever is not found written in the book of life is
cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-15).