Doctrinal Statement - Our Beliefs

Posted in Beliefs

"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ" ( Ephesians 4:1-7 ).

We affirm that the seven-fold unity expressed in this passage is the Holy Spirit's doctrinal statement for the Church, which is the Body of Christ. We believe that all the expressions of doctrinal posititon and requirements for this Dispensation of the Grace of God must be in full accord with the Holy Spirit's outline. We recognize other doctrinal unities for other dispensations, but we affirm that Ephesians 4:4-6 stands alone as the doctrinal unity for this dispensation.
Desiring to be in full accord with the Mind of the Spirit, we hold and require the following doctrinal beliefs:

The Bible

The entire Bible in its original writings is inerrant, being verbally inspired of God and is of plenary authority ( 2 Timothy 3:16 ,17; 2 Peter 1:21 ).

The Godhead

There is one God, eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Sone and Holy Spirit ( Deut. 6:4 ; 1 Tim. 2:5 ; Eph. 4:4-6 ; Matt. 28:19 ; 2 Cor. 13:14 ).

The Person of Christ

Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary and is true God and tru man (Lk. 1:35; Phil 2:6-9 ; Rom. 1:3 ,4).

Total Depravity

All men by nature are dead in trespasses and sins and are, therefore, totally unable to do anything pleasing to God ( Eph. 2:1-3 ; Rom. 3:9-12 ).

Redemption

God justifies ungodly sinners by His grace upon the ground of the blood of Christ through the means of faith. This complete salvation is bestowed as the gree gift of God apart from man's works ( Rom. 3:24-28 ; 5:1,9; Eph. 2:8 ,9)
Eternal Security
All of the saved are eternally secure in Christ ( Col. 3:1-4 ; Phil. 1:6 ; Rom. 8:1 ; 8:29-34; Rom. 8:38 ,39; John 10:27-29 ; Eph. 1:13-14 ).

Personality and work of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is a Person, Who convicts the world of sin and Who regenerates, baptizes, indwells, enlightens, and empowers ( John 16:8 ; Tit. 3:5 ; 1 Cor. 12:13 ; Eph. 1:13 , 17, 18, 3:16).

The Church

In the present dispensation there is only on true Church, which is called the Body of Christ ( 1 Cor. 12:13 ; Eph. 1:22 ,23; 3:6). The historical manifestation of the Body of Christ began with the Apostle Paul before he wrote his first epistle (1 Thess. 2:14-16 cf. Acts 13:45 , 46; Phil. 1:5 , 6 cf. Achts 16; 1 Cor. 12:13 , 27 cf. Acts 18 ).

Gifts

The ministry gifts for the Body of Christ are enumerated in Ephesians 4:7-11 ; Romans 12:6-8 ; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31 . Some of these gifts were permanent in nature and some were to pass away; some were of the nature of ministers given to the Church and some were individual enablements for spiritual services. Since the New Testament canon was completed through the ministries of Apostles and Prophets, we believe these two offies have been fulfilled and no longer exist. Likewise the sign gifts, such as toungues, miracles, and healing, which were addressed primarily to the nation of Israel ( 1 Cor. 14:22 ) have fulfilled their purpose and have passed away according to 1 Corinthians 13:8-11 .

Walk

By reason of Christ's victory over sin and of His indwelling Spirit, all of the saved may and should experience deliverance from the power of sin by obedience to Romans 6:11 ; but we deny that man's nature of sin is ever eradicated during this time ( Rom. 6:6-14 ; Gal. 5:16-25 ; Rom. 8:37 ; 2 Cor. 2:14 ; 10:2-5).

Lord's Supper

The communion of the Lord's Supper as revealed through the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 is for members of the Body of Christ to observe "until He comes."
There is no place in Scripture where the Lord's supper and water baptism are linked together either as ordinances or as sacraments for the Church.

Resurrection

Jesus Christ was resurrected bodily from the dead ( Luke 24:39-43 ). Therefore ( 1 Cor. 15:21 ), all men will have a bodily resurrection ( Acts 24:15 ): The saved to everlasting glory and the unsaved to everlasting punishment ( John 5:29 ; Rev. 20:11-15 ).

Baptism

All saved persons have been made members of the Body of Christ by one divine baptism ( 1 Cor. 12:13 ). By that one baptism every member of the Body of Christ is identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. In the light of the statement concerning the one baptism in Ephesians 4:5 , the statements concerning baptism in Colossians 2:12 and Romans 6:3 , 4, and Paul's statement in 1 Corinthians 1:17 that "Christ" sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel," we conclude that water baptism has no place in God's spiritual program for the Body of Christ in this Day of
Grace.

Second Coming of Chist

The rapture of the Church and the second coming of Christ will be pre-millennial. He will come fist to receive the Church unto Himself (1 Thess. 4:13-18; Phil. 3:20 ,21) and then come to receive His Millennial Kingdom, over which He will reign ( Zech. 14:4 ,9; Acts 1:10 , 11: rEV. 19:11-16 ; 20:4-6). Because of the nature of the Body of Christ, the resurrection and rapture of the Church, which is His Body, will take place before the Great Tribulation ( jer. 30:7 ; Matt. 24:15-31 ) at His appearing in the air (1 Thess. 4:13-18; Phil. 3:20 , 21; Titus 2:13 , 14; 1 Cor. 15:51-53 ). The resurrection of the other saved dead will occur after the Tribulation ( Rev. 20:4-6 ).

State of the Dead

Nowhere does Scripture extend the hope of salvation to the unsaved dead but instead reveals that they will ever continue to exist in a state of conscious suffering ( Luke 16:23-28 ; Rev. 14:11 ; 20:14, 15; Col. 3:6 ; Rom. 1:21-32 ; John 3:36 ; Phil. 3:19 ; 2 Thess. 1:9). The teachings of Universalism, of probation after death, of annihiliation of the unsaved dead, and the unconscious state of the dead, saved or unsaved ( Luke 16:23-28 ; Phil 1:23 ; 2 Cor. 5:6-8 ), are opposed by us as being thoroughly unscriptural and dangerous doctrines.

Mission

The mission and commission of the Church, which is His body, is to proclaim the message of reconciliation ( 2 Cor. 5:14-21 ) and endeavor to make all men see what is the Dispensation of the Mystery ( Eph. 3:8 , 9). In this, we should follow the Apostle Paul ( 1 Cor. 4:16 ; 11:1; Phil. 3:17 ; 1 Tim. 1:11-16 ). That distinctive message which the Apostle of the Gentiles ( Rom. 11:13 ; 15:16) calls "my gospel" ( Rom. 2:16 ; 16:25) is also called the "gospel of the grace of God" ( Acts 20:24 ). We, like Paul, must preach the entire Word of God in the light of this Gospel ( 2 Tim. 4:2 ; Gal. 1:8 , 9) and strive to reach those in the regions beyond where Christ is not yet named ( Rom. 15:20 ; 2 Cor. 10:16 ).