Statement of Faith
Deity of Christ— The biblical witness is clear and convincing that Jesus Christ is the eternal Creator God (John 1; Colossians 1; Hebrews 1; Revelation 1). Throughout his earthly ministry Jesus claimed to be God in word and deed (Mark 14:61–62; John 5:18, 20; 8:58; 10:30–33) and vindicated his claims to deity by living a sinless life (John 8:46; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 1 John 3:5; 1 Peter 2:22), by manifesting his power over nature (Mark 4:39), over fallen angels (Luke 4:35), over sickness (Matthew 4:23), and even over death itself (John 4:50; 11:43–44; 1 Corinthians 15), and by accurately prophesying God’s judgment on Jerusalem through the destruction of the Temple that occurred in AD 70 (Matthew 24:1–2, 32–35).
Original Sin— Sin is not just murder, rape, or robbery. “Sin” is a word that describes any thought, word, deed, or state of being that fails to meet God’s standard of holiness and perfection. The Bible unambiguously proclaims that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). While the notion of generational curses and spirits is foreign to the text of Scripture, there is a sense in which all people are cursed as a result of an ancestor’s sin. Adam’s rebellion brought death to us all and tainted every aspect of our being (Genesis 3; 1 Corinthians 15:21–22; cf. Ephesians 2:3). God, however, has provided redemption through the atoning work of the “Second Adam,” Jesus Christ (Romans 5:12–21). (See The Bible Answer Book Volume 1, pp. 18–21.)
Canon— The thirty–nine books of the Hebrew Scriptures along with the twenty–seven books of the Greek New Testament are divine rather than merely human in origin and constitute the entire Christian canon (meaning “standard of measurement”). In addition to the internal testimony of the Bible about itself (2 Timothy 3:16), the divine inspiration and preservation of the Bible can be demonstrated by the early dating and consistency of the many available manuscripts, the corroboration of archaeology, and the fulfillment of predictive prophecy. Therefor we believe the Bible to be the inerrant and infallible word of God.
Trinity— Though the word ‘Trinity’ is found nowhere in the Bible, it aptly codifies the essential biblical truths that 1) there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10); 2) the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God (1 Corinthians 8:6; Hebrews 1:8; Acts 5:3–4); and 3) Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are eternally distinct (Matthew 28:19; John 15:26; 17:1–26). It is important to note that when Trinitarians speak of one God they are referring to the nature or essence of God. Moreover, when they speak of persons they are referring to personal self–distinctions within the Godhead. Put another way, Trinitarians believe in one What and three Who’s.
Resurrection— All four canonical gospels record the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The immutable fact of Jesus’ resurrection is the cornerstone of Christian faith, because it not only vindicates Jesus’ claims to deity but also ensures the future bodily resurrection unto eternal life of all who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and proclaim him as Lord (1 Corinthians 15; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18). The historical reality of the resurrection can be demonstrated through the fatal torment of Jesus on the cross; the empty tomb––early Christianity could not have survived an identifiable tomb containing the corpse of Christ; the post–resurrection appearances of Jesus; and the transformation of believers throughout the ages whose lives have been radically altered upon experiencing the resurrected Lord.
Incarnation— The doctrine of the Incarnation is aptly summed up in the words of the apostle John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1, 14). The clear testimony of Scripture is that, in the incarnation, Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man; that is, he existed as the perfect unity in one person of a divine and a human nature (John 1; Colossians 1). As Theanthropos (“God–Man”), the spotless “Lamb of God” (John 1:29) lived a perfectly sinless human life and died a sinner’s death to sufficiently atone, once for all, for the sins of humanity (Romans 5:1–21; Hebrews 10:11–18).
New Creation— The essential doctrine of New Creation is aptly codified in the words of the apostle Paul: “If anyone is in Christ, he is anew creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17, emphasis added). All who believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and confess him as Lord are reconciled to God and inherit eternal life in his glorious presence (John 3:16; Romans 10:9–10). Jesus’ resurrection from the dead inaugurates the renewal of all things. The new creation of faithful believers and the new creation of the natural world will be consummated in the resurrection when Jesus returns bodily to earth as the conquering king (Romans 8:18–25).
Eschatology— The word eschatology is an intimidating word with a simple meaning—the study of end times. While the meaning of eschatology is simple to grasp, its importance is difficult to overemphasize. Far from being a mere branch in the theological tree, eschatology is the root that provides life and luster to every fiber of its being. Put another way, eschatology is the thread that weaves the tapestry of Scripture into a harmonious pattern. It is the study of everything we long and hope for. Early in Genesis, Adam and Eve fell into a life of constant sin terminated by death. The rest of Scripture chronicles God’s unfolding plan of redemption. Although Christians debate secondary aspects of eschatology, such as the timing of the tribulation or the meaning of the millennium, we are united in the truth that just as Christ came to earth once to bear the sins of the world, so too he will return again to gather the elect and to usher in the resurrection of all things (1 Thessalonians 4:13–18; Hebrews 9:27–28). On that day, the just will be resurrected to eternal life and the unjust to eternal conscious torment and separation from the love and grace of God (John 5:28–29). Paradise lost will become paradise restored, and the problem of sin and Satan will be fully and finally resolved (Revelation 20–22).
Baptism in Water
The ordinance of baptism by burial with Christ should be observed (as commanded in the Scriptures) by all that have repented of their sins and in their hearts have believed on Christ as their Savior and Lord. In doing so, they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they have also been released to walk with Him in newness of life (Matt. 28:19; Rom. 6:4).
The Lord’s Supper (Communion)
The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements, bread and fruit of the vine, is the symbol expressing our sharing in a memorial to His suffering and death, and a prophecy of His second coming, and is enjoined to all believers “until He comes” (John 6:48,51,53-57; Luke 22:19,20; 2 Pet. 1:4; 1 Cor. 11:25).