We believe that there is but one living and true God (See: Deuteronomy 6:4 4 Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah: Isaiah 45:5-7 5 I am Jehovah, and there is none else; besides me there is no God. I will gird thee, though thou hast not known me; 6 that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none besides me: I am Jehovah, and there is none else. 7 I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil. I am Jehovah, that doeth all these things. 1 Corinthians 8:4 4 Concerning therefore the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that no idol is `anything' in the world, and that there is no God but one. ), an infinite, all knowing Spirit (See: John 4:24 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth. ), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (See: Matthew 28:19 19 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: 2 Corinthians 13:14 14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. )—each equally deserving worship and obedience.
GOD THE FATHER
We believe that God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (See: Psalms 145:8-9 8 Jehovah is gracious, and merciful; Slow to anger, and of great lovingkindness. 9 Jehovah is good to all; And his tender mercies are over all his works. 1 Corinthians 8:6 6 yet to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we unto him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through him. ). He is the Creator of all things (See: Genesis 1:1-31 Chapter 1 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. 6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day. 9 And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, Let the earth put forth grass, herbs yielding seed, `and' fruit-trees bearing fruit after their kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, herbs yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, wherein is the seed thereof, after their kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, a third day. 14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years: 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: `he made' the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. 20 And God said, Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. 21 And God created the great sea-monsters, and every living creature that moveth, wherewith the waters swarmed, after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind: and God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth. 23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. 24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind, cattle, and creeping things, and beasts of the earth after their kind: and it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the ground after its kind: and God saw that it was good. 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food: 30 and to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the heavens, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, `I have given' every green herb for food: and it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Ephesians 3:9 9 and to make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery which for ages hath been hid in God who created all things; ). As the only absolute and omnipotent Ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (See: Psalms 103:19 19 Jehovah hath established his throne in the heavens; And his kingdom ruleth over all. Romans 11:36 36 For of him, and through him, and unto him, are all things. To him `be' the glory for ever. Amen. ).
GOD THE SON
We believe that Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, consubstantial, and co-eternal with the Father ( See: John 10:30 30 I and the Father are one. John 14:9 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and dost thou not know me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; how sayest thou, Show us the Father? ).
We believe that God the Father created according to His own will, through His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence and in operation (See: John 1:3 3 All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made. Colossians 1:15-17 15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him; 17 and he is before all things, and in him all things consist. Hebrews 1:2 2 hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in `his' Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds; ).
We believe that in the incarnation (God becoming man) Christ surrendered only the prerogatives of deity but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind.
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity including intellect (See: 1 Corinthians 2:10-13 10 But unto us God revealed `them' through the Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him? even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God. 12 But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God; that we might know the things that were freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth; combining spiritual things with spiritual `words'. ), emotions (See: Ephesians 4:30 30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom ye were sealed unto the day of redemption. ), will (See: 1 Corinthians 12:11 11 but all these worketh the one and the same Spirit, dividing to each one severally even as he will. ), eternality (See: Hebrews 9:14 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish unto God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? ), omnipresence (See: Psalms 139:7-10 7 Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, thou art there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, And thy right hand shall hold me. ), omniscience (See: Isaiah 40:13-14 13 Who hath directed the Spirit of Jehovah, or being his counsellor hath taught him? 14 With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way of understanding? ), omnipotence (See: Romans 15:13 13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit. ), and truthfulness (See: John 16:13 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, `these' shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come. ). In all the divine attributes He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son (See: Matthew 28:19 19 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: Acts 5:3-4 3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thy heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back `part' of the price of the land? 4 While it remained, did it not remain thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thy power? How is it that thou hast conceived this thing in thy heart? thou has not lied unto men, but unto God. Acts 28:25-26 25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Spirit through Isaiah the prophet unto your fathers, 26 saying, Go thou unto this people, and say, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall in no wise understand; And seeing ye shall see, and shall in no wise perceive: 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are diversities of ministrations, and the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of workings, but the same God, who worketh all things in all. 2 Corinthians 13:14 14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. and Jeremiah 31:31-34 31 Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith Jehovah. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith Jehovah: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people: 34 and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know Jehovah; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith Jehovah: for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more. Hebrews 10:15-17 15 And the Holy Spirit also beareth witness to us; for after he hath said, 16 This is the covenant that I will make with them After those days, saith the Lord: I will put my laws on their heart, And upon their mind also will I write them; `then saith he,' 17 And their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. ).
We believe that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to execute the divine will with relation to all mankind. We recognize His sovereign activity in creation (See: Genesis 1:2 2 And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. ), the incarnation (See: Matthew 1:18 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. ), the written revelation (See: 2 Peter 1:20-21 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation. 21 For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit. ), and the work of salvation (See: John 3:5-7 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God! 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born anew. ).
Romans 12:1 Chapter 12 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, `which is' your spiritual service.
We believe that man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. Man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self determination, and moral responsibility to God (See: Genesis 2:7 7 And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:15 15 And Jehovah God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. Genesis 2:25 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. James 3:9 9 Therewith bless we the Lord and Father; and therewith curse we men, who are made after the likeness of God: ).
We believe that God's intention in the creation of man was that man should glorify God, enjoy God's fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and by this accomplish God's purpose for man in the world (See: Isaiah 43:7 7 every one that is called by my name, and whom I have created for my glory, whom I have formed, yea, whom I have made. Colossians 1:16 16 for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him; Revelation 4:11 11 Worthy art thou, our Lord and our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power: for thou didst create all things, and because of thy will they were, and were created. ).
We believe that in Adam's sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, man lost his innocence; incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death; became subject to the wrath of God; and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. With no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, man is hopelessly lost. Man's salvation is thereby wholly of God's grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ (See: Genesis 2:16-17 16 And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Genesis 3:1-19 Chapter 3 1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat: 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8 And they heard the voice of Jehovah God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Jehovah God amongst the trees of the garden. 9 And Jehovah God called unto the man, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? 12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 13 And Jehovah God said unto the woman, What is this thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. 14 And Jehovah God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, cursed art thou above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15 and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy pain and thy conception; in pain thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in toil shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. John 3:36 36 He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him. Romans 3:23 23 for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; Romans 6:23 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 1 Corinthians 2:14 14 Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged. Ephesians 2:1-3 Chapter 2 1 And you `did he make alive,' when ye were dead through your trespasses and sins, 2 wherein ye once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the powers of the air, of the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience; 3 among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest:-- 1 Timothy 2:13-14 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not beguiled, but the woman being beguiled hath fallen into transgression: 1 John 1:8 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. ).
We believe that because all men were in Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam's sin has been transmitted to all men of all ages, Jesus Christ being the only exception. All men are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (See: Psalms 14:1-3 Chapter 14 1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works; There is none that doeth good. 2 Jehovah looked down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there were any that did understand, That did seek after God. 3 They are all gone aside; they are together become filthy; There is none that doeth good, no, not one. Jeremiah 17:9 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it? Romans 3:9-18 9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we before laid to the charge both of Jews and Greeks, that they are all under sin; 10 as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none that understandeth, There is none that seeketh after God; 12 They have all turned aside, they are together become unprofitable; There is none that doeth good, no, not, so much as one: 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; With their tongues they have used deceit: The poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways; 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes. Romans 3:23 23 for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; Romans 5:10-12 10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life; 11 and not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. 12 Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned:-- ).
We believe that salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works (See: John 1:12 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, `even' to them that believe on his name: Ephesians 1:7 7 in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, Ephesians 2:8-10 8 for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, `it is' the gift of God; 9 not of works, that no man should glory. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them. 1 Peter 1:18-19 18 knowing that ye were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers; 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, `even the blood' of Christ: ).And that as a result, whosever shall believeth in name of the Lord Jesus Christ, shall be saved.
We believe that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual Body, the church (See: 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. 13 For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all made to drink of one Spirit. ), the bride of Christ (See: 2 Corinthians 11:2 2 For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy: for I espoused you to one husband, that I might present you `as' a pure virgin to Christ. Ephesians 5:23-32 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ also is the head of the church, `being' himself the saviour of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so `let' the wives also `be' to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it; 26 that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, 27 that he might present the church to himself a glorious `church', not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 Even so ought husbands also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his own wife loveth himself: 29 for no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as Christ also the church; 30 because we are members of his body. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great: but I speak in regard of Christ and of the church. Revelation 19:7-8 7 Let us rejoice and be exceeding glad, and let us give the glory unto him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And it was given unto her that she should array herself in fine linen, bright `and' pure: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. ), of which Christ is the Head (See: Ephesians 1:22 22 and he put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, Ephesians 4:15 15 but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, `even' Christ; Colossians 1:18 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. ).
We believe that the formation of the church, the Body of Christ, began on the Day of Pentecost (See: Acts 2:1-21 Chapter 2 1 And when the day of Pentecost was now come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them tongues parting asunder, like as of fire; and it sat upon each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speaking in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying, Behold, are not all these that speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we, every man in our own language wherein we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, in Judaea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia, 10 in Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and sojourners from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabians, we hear them speaking in our tongues the mighty works of God. 12 And they were all amazed, and were perplexed, saying one to another, What meaneth this? 13 But others mocking said, They are filled with new wine. 14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spake forth unto them, `saying', Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and give ear unto my words. 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose; seeing it is `but' the third hour of the day. 16 but this is that which hath been spoken through the prophet Joel: 17 And it shall be in the last days, saith God, I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all flesh: And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams: 18 Yea and on my servants and on my handmaidens in those days Will I pour forth of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. 19 And I will show wonders in the heaven above, And signs on the earth beneath; Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the day of the Lord come, That great and notable `day'. 21 And it shall be, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2:38 38 And Peter `said' unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:47 47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to them day by day those that were saved. ) and will be completed at the coming of Christ for His own at the rapture (See: 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We all shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 13 But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them that fall asleep; that ye sorrow not, even as the rest, who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also that are fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we that are alive, that are left unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no wise precede them that are fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; 17 then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. ).
We believe that the church is thus a unique spiritual organism designed by Christ, made up of all born again believers in this present age (See: Ephesians 2:11 11 Wherefore remember, that once ye, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called Circumcision, in the flesh, made by hands; Ephesians 3:6 6 `to wit', that the Gentiles are fellow-heirs, and fellow-members of the body, and fellow-partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, ). The church is distinct from Israel (See: 1 Corinthians 10:3 3 and did all eat the same spiritual food; )
The Holy Scriptures
We believe that the Bible is God's written revelation to man, and thus the sixty six books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit constitute the plenary (inspired equally in all parts) Word of God (See: 1 Corinthians 2:7-14 7 but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, `even' the `wisdom' that hath been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds unto our glory: 8 which none of the rulers of this world hath known: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory: 9 but as it is written, Things which eye saw not, and ear heard not, And `which' entered not into the heart of man, Whatsoever things God prepared for them that love him. 10 But unto us God revealed `them' through the Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him? even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God. 12 But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God; that we might know the things that were freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth; combining spiritual things with spiritual `words'. 14 Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged. 2 Peter 1:20-21 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation. 21 For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit. ).
We believe that the Word of God is an objective, propositional revelation (See: 1 Thessalonians 2:13 13 And for this cause we also thank God without ceasing, that, when ye received from us the word of the message, `even the word' of God, ye accepted `it' not `as' the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which also worketh in you that believe. 1 Corinthians 2:13 13 Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth; combining spiritual things with spiritual `words'. ), verbally inspired in every word (See: 2 Timothy 3:16 16 Every scripture inspired of God `is' also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness. ), absolutely inerrant in the original documents, infallible, and God breathed. We believe the literal, grammatical historical interpretation of Scripture which affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days (See: Genesis 1:31 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Exodus 31:17 17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. ).
We believe that the Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice (See: Matthew 5:18 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished. Matthew 24:35 35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. John 10:35 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came (and the scripture cannot be broken), John 16:12-13 12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, `these' shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come. John 17:17 17 Sanctify them in the truth: thy word is truth. 1 Corinthians 2:13 13 Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth; combining spiritual things with spiritual `words'. 2 Timothy 3:15-17 15 And that from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 Every scripture inspired of God `is' also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness. 17 That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work. Hebrews 4:12 12 For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. 2 Peter 1:20-21 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation. 21 For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit. ).