How would you answer this question?
Generally, a Statement of Doctrine includes a brief summary of the following twelve beliefs.
What I believe about…
1. God (only ONE god, God the Father, creator, attributes, etc.)
2. Standard of Authority: Bible (inspired, inerrant, Word of God, etc)
3. Jesus (virgin birth, atonement, substitute, life, death, resurrection; relationship to God, etc)
4. Holy Spirit (personality and work; indwelling, illumination, relationship to God)
5. Man & Sin (fall of man, depravity, sin, free will/agency)
6. Angels (Elect & Evil; Holy & Fallen)
7. Salvation (repentance, regeneration/born again, adoption, saving faith, belief, grace, justification, etc)
8. Believers’ Responsibility (good works, sanctification, security, conduct, evangelism; great commission)
9. The Church/Assembly, Ministers, Evangelism
10. Ordinances ( baptism & communion, Lord’s Day)
11. The Eternal State (Heaven & Hell)
12. Last Things/The Future (end of world, judgment, rewards, 2nd coming of Jesus, resurrection of the dead, etc)
The following samples of belief statements have been taken from various statements on the internet by Christian pastors, seminaries and churches.
These are also called: Belief Statements, What We Believe, Mission Statements, etc.
As you read these over, you will probably find yourself picking out one/s that best reflects your beliefs. You may make up your own “What I Believe Statement.” The purpose of this essay is to better enable Christian readers to be prepared to discuss their beliefs with anyone who may ask: “What is Your Doctrine?”
Presupposition: God’s existence underlies all other Bible doctrines. Without the existence of God, all other Bible doctrines would be meaningless. The Bible begins by assuming and declaring the existence of God, without undertaking to prove it.
No. 1: God the Father.
Which of the following statements best describe what you believe about God the Father?
PLEASE NOTE: The following statements (A thru F) are SOLELY about God:
Statements regarding the trinity, Godhead, triune God, one-in-three persons, etc. statements are not included in A thru F. Selections for these are at the end (G thru P). Names of God are not within the scope of this study.
A. I believe that there is only one God, who is eternal and immutable. God created the world out of nothing and by His power He sustains all He has created.
B. I believe in one eternal God, who created the universe and all that is in it. We believe that this God is active in history, guiding and teaching his people.
C. I believe in the one true and living God, the Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer and Ruler of all things. He is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable. God reigns over all of His universe with providential care. He is all-powerful, all-loving, all-knowing, all-wise, and always present. He is fatherly in attitude toward all men, but is a spiritual Father to those who have become children of God through Jesus Christ.
D. I believe there is one true and living God, who is the Most High, Lord of Heaven and Earth. God is supreme, subject to none, and absolutely independent. God is eternal, unchangeable (immutable), all-powerful (omnipotent), all-knowing (omniscient), and all-wise. God is infinite (knows no boundaries) and is always present (omnipresent). God is holy, just, loving, merciful, good and gracious. God is the Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer, and Ruler of all things. God is sovereign, a law unto himself, and whatever He does is right. God is self-existent and has no beginning or end. God is self-sufficient, has life in Himself, and needs nothing. God is faithful, does not lie, and keeps His word and promises.
E. I teach that God the Father orders and disposes of all things according to His own purpose and grace. He is the Creator of all things and is Father to all men, but He is spiritual Father only to believers. As the only absolute and omnipotent Ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption. He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events. He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. He adopts as His own all those who come to Him, and He becomes, upon adoption, Father to His own.
F. I believe in the one true and living God, the Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer, and Ruler of all things. He is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, and is revealed to us as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The following statements address beliefs concerning the trinity, godhead, triune God, one-in-three persons, etc.
Concerning God, I acknowledge OR I deny that:
G. The Godhead exists in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three Persons are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections.
H. There is but one living and true God, an infinite, all-knowing Spirit, perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—each equally deserving worship and obedience.
J. There is one true God, eternally existing in three Persons, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. These are equal and are one God.
K. There is one true God, eternally existing in three persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; each of whom possesses equally all the attributes of Deity and the characteristics of personality.
L. There is but one living and true God, an infinite, all-knowing Spirit, perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—each equally deserving worship and obedience.
M. There is one triune God, eternally existing in three beings – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory and having the same attributes and perfection.
N. There is only one God, who is eternal and immutable, and manifests Himself in three distinct Persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
O. That within the Holy Trinity, there is one God, who exists eternally in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
P. The Godhead eternally exists in three persons–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit–and these three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections, and worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience.
No. 2: The Bible/Scripture.
Which of the following statements describe your beliefs about the Bible/Scripture?
A. We/I believe in the verbal inspiration and plenary authority of the BIBLE in its original writings. (Plenary= complete in every respect; absolute;)
B. We/I believe the Bible to be divinely inspired and inerrant (II Tim. 3:16-17)
C. We/I believe (a) in the plenary-verbal inspiration of the Word of God and (b) that both the Old and New Testaments are inerrant in the original writings and are the supreme and final authority for faith and life.
D. We/I believe the Bible is the written word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and without error in the original manuscripts. The Bible is the revelation of God’s truth and is infallible and authoritative in all matters of faith and practice.
E. We/I believe the Bible was inspired by God and contains all things necessary for salvation.
F. We/I believe that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). We understand this to mean that the whole Bible is inspired, in that holy men of God “were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21) to write the very words of Scripture. We believe that this divine inspiration extends equally and fully to all parts of Scripture as it appeared in the original manuscripts. We believe that the whole Bible in those original manuscripts is, therefore, without error. We believe that all Scripture centers around the Lord Jesus Christ in His person, work, and in His first and second coming. Therefore, no portion of the Old Testament is properly read or understood until it leads to Christ. We also believe that all Scripture was designed for our practical instruction. (Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11; 2 Timothy 3:16)
G. We/I believe that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (II Timothy 3:16-17), and we understand this to mean that the whole Bible is inspired in that holy men of God “were moved by the Holy Spirit” (II Peter 1:21) to write the very words of Scripture. We believe this to mean that, the whole of Scripture as it appeared in the original manuscripts is inerrant.
H. We/I affirm our confidence in God’s inerrant Word. We treasure its truths, and we respect its reproofs. The 66 books of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and written centuries ago by chosen men of God. The Bible is without error in its original manuscripts, is completely reliable as the final authority in all matters of doctrine and practice, and is centered on the person and work of Jesus Christ. See 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15–17; and 2 Peter 1:20–21.
J. We/I believe that the Bible is inspired by God in its entirety, and is without error in the original autographs, a complete and final written revelation from God.
K. We/I believe the Bible to be the infallible Word of God, that it is His holy and inspired Word, and that it is of supreme and final authority.
L. We/I believe the Bible is the inspired word of God and is the final authority in life and doctrine (2 Tim. 3:16).
M. We/I believe that the sixty-six books of Holy Scripture as originally given are in their entirety the Word of God verbally inspired and wholly without error in all that they declare and, therefore, are the supreme and final authority of faith and life.
N. We/I believe the sole basis of our beliefs is the Bible, God’s infallible written Word, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe that it was uniquely, verbally and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit and that it was written without error (inerrant) in the original manuscripts. It is the supreme and final authority in all matters on which it speaks.
O. We/I believe the Bible is the final authority on all matters of faith and practice.
No. 3: Jesus Christ.
Which of the following statements best describe your beliefs about Jesus Christ?
PLEASE NOTE: The following statements are SOLELY about Jesus.
Beliefs regarding the trinity, Godhead, triune God, one-in-three persons, etc. statements are not included here. They are found in No. 1.
A. We/I believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who through His perfect life and sacrificial death atoned for ungodly sinners.
B. We/I believe in the eternal deity, the virgin birth, the spotless humanity, and the vicarious death of the Lord Jesus Christ.
C. We/I believe Jesus Christ was virgin-born, sinless, died on the cross for sins, was raised from the dead on the third day, and is coming again.
D. We/I believe that Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. He led a sinless life, took on Himself all our sins, died and rose again, and is seated at the right hand of the Father as our mediator and advocate. He rose from the dead and is coming soon.
F. We/I believe in (a) His eternal existence; (b) His incarnation and virgin birth; (c) His death on the cross as the substitutionary atonement for sin; (d) His literal, bodily resurrection from the dead; (e) His present ministry of intercession in heaven; and (f) His personal, future return to earth.
G. We/I believe that Jesus Christ is the living Word, who became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. Hence, He is perfect Deity and true humanity united in one person forever. He lived a sinless life and voluntarily atoned for the sins of men by dying on the cross as their substitute, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone. He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He lived and died. He ascended bodily into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Father, where He, the only mediator between God and man, continually makes intercession for His own.
H. We/I believe in the Virgin Birth and the Deity of Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, who is also Son of Man, with two distinct natures in one Person forever. We believe the vicarious substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on the cross made atonement for the sin of the world, efficient for all who repent and believe. We believe in the bodily resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, which ensures the resurrection of all believers who have received God’s gift of eternal life.
J. We/I believe that Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary and was truly the Son of Man and the Son of God. We believe in the literal resurrection of the crucified body of the Lord Jesus Christ, that He ascended into heaven and is presently in heaven acting on behalf of believers as their High Priest and Advocate.
K. We/I believe that our Lord Jesus Christ was virgin-born that He was God incarnate; and that the purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God, redeem men, and rule over God’s kingdom. We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross and that His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive. We teach that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead and that He is now ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now mediates as our Advocate and High Priest. We teach that Jesus Christ will return to earth.
L. We/I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man. He accomplished this redemption by voluntarily giving Himself as a sinless, substitutionary sacrifice on the cross, thereby satisfying God’s righteous judgment against sin. After substantiating the accomplishment of that redemption and justification by His bodily resurrection from the grave, He ascended to the right hand of His Father, where He intercedes on behalf of those who trust Him.
M. We/I believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah, born of a virgin, totally without sin, The One Who died on the cross for our sins, was buried, rose again from the dead on the third day, and ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven, where He now intercedes for us who believe in Him. We believe that Jesus Christ is going to return in the clouds for His church before the tribulation that is coming on the whole earth, and that He will return and set up His kingdom on earth.
N. We/I believe that according to the Father’s plan, the eternal Son humbled Himself and became incarnate, inseparably uniting undiminished deity with true humanity. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, died to pay in full the penalty for our sin, rose bodily and miraculously from the dead, ascended into heaven, and will come again in glory.
O. We/I believe that Christ came to this earth to reveal God and to redeem man and that He died a vicarious substitutionary death upon the cross for the sins of man. We believe in the Virgin Birth and the Deity of Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, who is also Son of Man, with two distinct natures in one Person forever. We believe the vicarious substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on the cross made atonement for the sin of the world, efficient for all who repent and believe. We believe in the bodily resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, which ensures the resurrection of all believers who have received God’s gift of eternal life.
P. We/I believe that Jesus was miraculously born of the Virgin Mary and became flesh and blood without ceasing to be God. He lived a sinless life and performed many miracles to confirm his divinity. He died on the cross as a perfect sacrifice, paying the debt for our sins. On the third day after his death, he arose from the dead showing his victory over sin and death. He appeared to his disciples and then ascended into heaven and now sits at the right hand of God serving as our mediator.
No. 4: The Holy Spirit/Ghost.
Which of the following statements best describe your beliefs about the Holy Spirit/Ghost?
PLEASE NOTE: The following statements are SOLELY about The Holy Spirit/Ghost aka the Comforter
Beliefs regarding the Holy Spirit’s position or relation in the trinity, Godhead, triune God, one-in-three persons, etc. statements are not included here. They are found in No. 1.
“How shall not the ministrations of the spirit be rather glorious?” 2 Cor. 3:8
We are living in the Dispensation of “the Ministration of the Spirit.”
The coming of the Holy Spirit was predicted in the OT by prophets Jeremiah, Isaiah and Ezekiel; and their writings are cited in the NT in Hebrews 8:10-11 & 10:16 (Jer. 31:33-34; Is. 30:21; Ezek 36:22-27, 11:18-20)
The Holy Spirit/Ghost is referred to in the KJV both as “IT” and also as “HE” and “HIM.”
“Howbeit, when HE, the “Spirit of Truth” is come, HE will guide you…” (John 16:13-15)
HE is referred to 260 (more or less) times in NT passages, by 39 different names or titles: Holy Ghost (73 times), Comforter (3 times), The Holy Spirit (17 times), The Spirit of God/Christ and paraclete, to name a few.
He was co-creator of the world (Gen 1:2; Job 26:13; Ps. 104:30; 147:14-18)
He inspired the writing of the Scriptures: “Holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Pet 1:21).”
He can search, speak, cry, testify, pray, lead, command, teach, be grieved,
He “filled” men; “comes “mightily upon men;” is “upon” men;” is “in” men; “rests” upon men; enters “into” men; “moves” men; and “lifts” men up bodily.
Men can resist, quench, grieve, insult and blaspheme the Spirit.
NOTE: Gifts of the Holy Spirit are discussed separately in Part 2 of this post.
A. We/I believe every believer receives the Holy Spirit at conversion, who leads and guides believers.
B. We/I believe the Spirit is an influence or force emanating from God; a power and illumination God imparts to believers.
C. We/I believe there is one baptism of the Holy Spirit that occurs at the time a person is born again, placing that one into the body of Christ; and that the Holy Spirit indwells believers and gives them the strength and wisdom to trust and follow Christ.
D. We/I believe that believers are born again by the Holy Spirit of God, and are indwelt, baptized into the body of Christ, the true church, and sealed by the Holy Spirit, and thus, are unable to be separated from the love of Jesus Christ. We/I believe that all believers need to be filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit to live a godly life and to be bold in their witness for the Lord.
E. We/I believe that the Holy Spirit (a) convicts men of sin and regenerates, baptizes, indwells, seals, and sets believers apart unto a holy life; (b) keeps and empowers believers day by day; and (c) is the Teacher of the Word of God and the Guide for daily living.
F. We/I believe that the Holy Spirit indwells all who receive Jesus Christ as both Savior and Lord; and that the Holy Spirit is responsible for the quickening from death into life and for the continuing of the work of sanctification in the believer.
G. We/I believe the Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son. He indwells and empowers the believer and His presence in our life is a seal and guarantee that we are God’s children.
H. We/I believe the Holy Spirit is the Divine Person who convicts the world of sin (righteousness and judgment); that He alone brings new life to those who are spiritually dead; that He baptizes (or places) all believers into the one true Church, which is the Body of Christ; that He indwells them permanently, seals them unto the day of final redemption, bestows spiritual gifts upon them, and fills (controls) those who are yielding to Him. Every believer is called to live in the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit so that he will not fulfill the lust of the flesh but will bear fruit to the glory of God.
J. We/I believe that the Holy Spirit is incessantly at work convicting, convincing, and comforting. That the Holy Spirit is the personal agent of the Father and Son for revelation and regeneration. Though pervasively present and active in creation, the Holy Spirit specially dwells among God’s people and uniquely indwells individual believers, giving them new life and empowering them for lives of personal holiness.
K. We/I believe that the Christian life is impossible apart from the indwelling presence and enabling of the Holy Spirit. Simultaneous to our salvation we were “sealed by the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption;” we were “baptized by One Spirit into one body;” and we are to live each day in the fullness of the Holy Spirit by yielding all that we are to His control. The Holy Spirit equips us to live holy lives, producing the “fruit of the Spirit,” and giving Spiritual Gifts to enable us to serve God effectively by bringing blessing to others. We are warned not to “grieve the Holy Spirit” by sinful activity; and therefore to confess our sin in order to maintain a wholesome and effective relationship with God.
L. We/I believe the Holy Spirit has come into the world to reveal and glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to men. He convicts and draws sinners to Christ, imparts new life to them, continually indwells them from the moment of spiritual birth and seals them until the day of redemption. His fullness, power and control are appropriated in the believer’s life by faith. Every believer is called to live so in the power of the indwelling Spirit that he will not fulfill the lust of the flesh but will bear fruit to the glory of God.
M. We/I believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity including intellect (1 Corinthians 2:10 13), emotions (Ephesians 4:30), will (1 Corinthians 12:11), eternality (Hebrews 9:14), omnipresence (Psalm 139:7 10), omniscience (Isaiah 40:13 14), omnipotence (Romans 15:13), and truthfulness (John 16:13). In all the divine attributes He is coequal and co-substantial with the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3 4; 28:25 26; 1 Corinthians 12:4 6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; and Jeremiah 31:31 34 with Hebrews 10:15 17).
We/I 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 (Genesis 1:2), the incarnation (Matthew 1:18), the written revelation (2 Peter 1:20 21), and the work of salvation (John 3:5 7).
We/I believe that the work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost when He came from the Father as promised by Christ to initiate and complete the building of the Body of Christ, which is His church. The broad scope of His divine activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and transforming believers into the image of Christ (John 16:7 9; Acts 1:5; 2:4; Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 2:22).
We/I believe that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption (Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13).
We/I teach that the Holy Spirit is the divine Teacher, who guided the apostles and prophets into all truth as they committed to writing God’s revelation, the Bible. Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation, and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with (controlled by) the Spirit (John 16:13; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18; 2 Peter 1:19 21; 1 John 2:20, 27).
We/I believe that the Holy Spirit was omnipresent from all eternity, and took up His abode in the world in a special sense on the day of Pentecost, and dwells in every believer, and by His baptism unites all to Christ in one body, and that He, as the Indwelling One, is the source of all power and all acceptable worship and service. We believe that He never takes His departure from the church, nor from the feeblest of the saints, but is ever-present to testify of Christ; seeking to occupy believers with Him.
We/I believe that in this age certain ministries are committed to the Holy Spirit. These ministries are the restraining of evil in the world to the measure of the divine will; the convicting of the world respecting sin, righteousness, and judgment; the regenerating of all believers; the indwelling and anointing of all who are saved, thereby sealing them unto the day of redemption; the baptizing into the one body of Christ of all who are saved; and the continued filling for power, teaching, and service of those among the saved who are yielded to Him and who are subject to His will. (John 3:6; 16:7-11; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:30; 5:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:7; 1 John 2:20-27.)
No. 4 – Part 2: GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (not to be confused with the “Fruits of the Spirit” in Gal. 5:22-23).
Which of the following statements best describe your beliefs about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit/Ghost?
Scripture states the Holy Spirit provides believers with differing Gifts of the Spirit. The list of Spiritual Gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 includes wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, speaking in tongues, and interpretation of tongues. Other lists appear in Eph. 4:7-13, Rom. 12:3-8, and 1 Pet. 4.
The miraculous supernatural, extraordinary Gifts of the Spirit including miracles, healing, prophecy and tongues mentioned in 1 Cor. 12:8-10 are sometimes referred to as the “Sign Gifts.”
A “Cessationist” holds the position that the Sign Gifts of the Spirit ceased to operate early in Christian history, perhaps after the death of the last Apostle or shortly thereafter, due to exhaustion in their purpose.
A “Continuationist” (also called “Charismatic”) holds the position that Sign Gifts of the Spirit continued after the apostolic period of the church; and that believers continue to be gifted with Sign Gifts today. They believe that speaking in tongues, miracles, prophecy and healing are normative for the church today. “Charismatic” is not a denomination–it is a theological stance that can be found in any denomination. It transcends denominational boundaries. Charismatics are Continuationists and Continuationists are Charismatics.
Statements of Belief about the Gifts of the Spirit:
1. We/I teach that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles in the beginning days of the church were for the purpose of pointing to and authenticating the apostles as revealers of divine truth, and were never intended to be characteristic of the lives of believers.
2. We/I believe that some gifts of the Holy Spirit such as speaking in tongues and miraculous healings were temporary.
3. We/I believe the sign gifts are not normative for the church today.
4. We/I believe that miraculous manifestations of the Spirit ceased either when the Word was completely revealed and confirmed; or at the death of the last apostle.
5. I believe the gift of prophecy, tongues, and other supernatural sign gifts have ceased because they ceased in church history and I, personally, have never experienced them.
6. We/I believe that miraculous spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit were for a limited time and a special purpose.
7. We/I believe that miraculous spiritual gifts were for the purpose of inspiration, confirmation of God’s word, and edification of the saints (Mark 16:20; Acts 2:4; 1 Cor. 14:26).
8. We/I believe the revelation or Word of God or the New Testament has been completed (1 Cor. 13:8-10; James 1:25), therefore miraculous spiritual gifts have ceased and are no longer necessary.
9. We/I believe that the miraculous gifts still operate today, and that they are transmitted through the laying on of hands.
10. We/I believe that the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as prophecy, tongues, interpretation of tongues, healings, miracles, etc., have not ceased and are available for the believer today.
11. We/I believe that “signs and wonders” and all the spiritual gifts of 1 Cor 12:8-10 are valid for today and should be “earnestly desired” (1 Cor. 14:1) for the edification of the church and the spread of the gospel.
12. We/I believe all the spiritual gifts described in the New Testament have continued unabated, unchanged, and unaltered since the initial outpouring of tongues at Pentecost.
13. We/I believe the initial physical evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is “Speaking in Tongues” as experienced on the Day of Pentecost and referenced throughout Acts and the Epistles. And we believe divine healing of the sick is a privilege for Christians today and is provided for in Christ’s atonement (His sacrificial death on the cross for our sins).
1 Cor 12:7-11 (KJV): “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
No. 5: Man and his condition regarding sin
Which of the following statements best describe your personal beliefs about man and his condition regarding sin?
A. We/I believe that all humanity is lost and born with a sinful nature, and can only be saved by personal faith in the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and not by any human merit or performance.
B. We/I believe that all men everywhere are lost and face the judgment of God, and need to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through His shed blood on the cross.
C. We/I believe that man was originally created in the image of God. He sinned by disobeying God; thus, he was alienated from his Creator. That historic fall brought all mankind under divine condemnation. Man’s nature is corrupted, and he is thus totally unable to please God. Every man is in need of regeneration.
D. We/I believe that man was created perfect but that he disbelieved and then disobeyed God; that man fell into sin and today the entire race of Adam is totally depraved and incapable of saving itself.
E. We/I believe that man was originally created in the image of God, that he fell into sin through the first Adam, and that he is responsible for all sin he has committed. Sin causes him to be separated from God and lost eternally.
F. We/I believe that man was created by and in the image of God and that man sinned, and in his natural state is lost, alienated from God, and incapable of attaining salvation by any personal effort or merit (Romans 3:24-25).
G. We/I believe that all are sinners and deserve God’s condemnation.
H. We/I believe that man is by nature a sinner from birth (Ps. 51:5).
J. We/I believe that (a) man was created innocent and pure and (b) Adam fell through the sin of disobedience. Therefore, (c) all men are corrupted in body, soul, and spirit; and (d) all men need redemption.
K. We/I believe that though originally good, man willingly fell into sin, thus ushering evil and death, both physical and spiritual, into the world.
L. We/I believe that man was created directly by and in the image of God. Subsequently, man fell into sin and is lost; this is true of all men. Except a man be born again by the Holy Spirit, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
M. We/I confess that Adam’s fall into sin left humanity without the hope of heaven apart from a new birth made possible by the Savior’s substitutionary death and miraculous bodily resurrection. As a result of Adam’s rebellion, all people have fallen under the curse of death. Unable and unwilling to please God, all humans are undeserving of His blessings, blinded to His truth, and dead in their sins—spiritually and ultimately, physically. This state of judgment before the just and holy God is a condition that permeates every facet of human life and cannot be cured apart from the grace of God through Christ. (See Gen 3; Jer 17:9; and Rom 3:10-18, 23, 5:12).
N. We/I believe that man was originally created in the image and after the likeness of God, and that he fell through sin, and as a consequence of his sin lost his spiritual life, becoming dead in trespasses and sins, and that he became subject to the power of the devil. We also believe that this spiritual death, or total depravity of human nature, has been transmitted to the entire human race of man, the Man Christ Jesus alone being excepted; and hence that every child of Adam is born into the world with a nature which not only possesses no spark of divine life, but is essentially and unchangably bad apart from divine grace. (Genesis 1:26; 2:17; 6:5; Psalm 14:1-3; 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; John 3:6; 5:40; 66:53; Romans 3:10-19; 8:6-7; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 Timothy 5:6; 1 John 3:8.)
O. We/I believe that the first human beings were a special and unique creation by God as contrasted to being derived from any pre-existing life forms. Further, God created everything “after its kind”, which excludes any position that allows for any evolutionary process between kinds. Man was created in the image of God but fell into sin, and, in that sense, is lost; this is true of all men, and except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God; salvation is by grace through faith in Christ who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree; the retribution of the wicked and unbelieving and the rewards of the righteous are everlasting, and as the reward is conscious, so is the retribution. (See: Gen 1:26-27; Rom 3:10, 23; John 3:3; Acts 13:38-39; 4:12; John 3:16; Mat 25:46; 2 Cor 5:1; 2 Thes 1:7-10).
(All 3 Paragraphs Below are one Statement)
P. We/I teach 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 (Gen 2:7, 15, 25; Jas 3:9). We teach 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 (Is 43:7; Col 1:16; Rev 4:11).
We/I teach 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 (Gen 2:16-17; 3:1, 19; John 3:36; Rom 3:23; 6:23; 1 Cor 2:14; Eph 2:1 3; 1 Tim 2:13 14; 1 John 1:8).
We/I teach 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 (Ps 14:1, 3; Jer 17:9; Rom 3:9, 18, 23; 5:10, 12).
No. 6: Angels, Elect & Evil – Doctrine of Angelology
Angels are referenced in the Scriptures no less than 300 times.
Which of the following statements best describe your beliefs about Angels?
NOTE: This first group pertains mainly to Holy or Elect Angels
A. We believe that God created an innumerable company of spiritual beings known as angels. Although they are a higher order of creation than man, they are created to serve God and to worship Him, and are not to be worshiped We believe that man was made lower than angels; and that while he was in his human body on earth, Christ took a lower place (Heb 2:6-10). A great company of angels are before the throne of God and are sent as ministering spirits to minister for believers.
B. We believe Angels are spiritual beings created by God to serve Him, though created higher than man. Some, the good angels, have remained obedient to Him and carry out His will, while others, fallen angels, disobeyed, fell from their holy position, and now stand in active opposition to the work and plan of God.
C. We believe Angels are spiritual beings created by God who help carry out His work as agents and messengers and to glorify Him. The Bible presents no specific doctrine of Angels and assumes that God is attended by a company or host of heavenly beings who are subordinate to Himself and who share His company and reflect His glory and majesty. Angels always appear in relation to God and humanity in the role of servants. There are both good and bad angels, but because bad angels are allied with the devil or Satan, they have considerably less power and authority than good angels.
D. We believe Angels are a supernatural, heavenly being, a little higher in dignity than man. Their creation was before the creation of man. They are described as “spirits.”
E. We believe Angel is the term applied in Scripture seven different ways: to human messengers, human messengers with a divine message, impersonal providences, bishops, the beings who revolted with Satan, heavenly beings, and the being of pre-eminent excellence known as the “Angel of the Lord.”
F. We believe angels are created beings who are spirit in nature. They can take physical form and have intelligence. The following activities are attributed to angels; they praise and glorify God, they communicate God’s message to humans, they minister to believers, they execute judgment on the enemies of God, and they will be involved in the Second Coming of Christ.
G. We believe God created beings called angels as beings of praise and as His messengers; one-third of these angels rebelled against God, led by an angel called Satan and was cast out of heaven and is now the enemy of the righteous and good; and he will be cast down to hell at Christ’s last judgment. (Luke 10:18; I Pet. 5:8; Rev. 20:2)
H. We believe Angels are spirit beings whose office is to do service to the Father and Son in heaven and by His command to intervene in man’s affairs upon the earth. They are messengers of God and are not to be worshiped or prayed to. They are not assigned dominion in the Millennial Kingdom. Jesus said in 1Cor.6:3 that the redeemed will reign with Him over the angelic host and judge them. The nature of man is different from that of angels. Mankind is described as “a little lower than the angels” (Heb. 2:5-7).
J. We believe in the existence of specially created beings called angels. These spirit beings are generally invisible and from a human standpoint, they are innumerable. They possess separate personalities and bear the image of God. They are basically superior to man, yet inferior to God. There are holy, elect angels and unholy, fallen angels (demons). The elect angels minister on behalf of God to believers, the nations of the world, and to unbelievers. They also had a significant ministry to Christ. The fallen angels were persuaded to do so by the fallen angel, Satan. Satan now uses his gifts and abilities to attempt to oppose God at every level and by every possible means. The fallen angels or demons assist Satan in his scheme. Eventually, Satan and all his demons will be cast into the lake of fire.
This second group pertains mainly to Fallen or Evil Angels, Satan, etc.
K. We believe there are angels who were created by God who sinned and became evil. The chief of all evil angels is Satan. He is the great deceiver and opposes God and the work of Christ. His power is limited and can be resisted.
L. We believe the word “angel” has basically the same meaning in both the Old Testament and New Testament i.e., “messenger.” Angels are created spirit beings. They do not have bodies of flesh and blood and sometimes appear as humans. Angels were created perfect and holy but Satan, who was once a holy angel, rebelled against God and a third of the holy angels rebelled with him against God. These rebellious angels are called demons or evil spirits.
M. We believe that Satan was judged at the cross, and that he, a usurper, now rules as the “god of this world;” that at the second coming of Christ, Satan will be bound and cast into the abyss for a thousand years, and after the thousand years he will be loosed for a little season and then “cast into the lake of fire and brimstone,” where he “shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” ( Col 2:15; Rev 20:1-3, 10).
N. We believe that God created an innumerable company of spiritual beings known as angels; that one, “Lucifer, son of the morning”–the highest in rank–sinned through pride, thereby becoming Satan; that a great company of the angels followed him in his moral fall, some of whom became demons and are active as his agents and associates in the prosecution of his unholy purposes, while others who fell are “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” (2 Pet 2:4; Jude 6).
O. We believe in a devil called Satan, who along with all his angels, called demons or evil spirits, are destined to spend eternity in hell, and now seek to deceive the world, defeat the believers, and destroy the work of God. They can, however, be resisted by believers, who are protected by God and the intercession of Jesus Christ.
P. We believe that Satan is a created angel who rebelled against his Creator and incurred the judgment of God (Is 14:12-17; Ez 28:11-19). He took numerous angels with him in his fall (Mat 25:41) and introduced sin into the human race by his temptation of Eve.
Q. We believe that Satan is the open and declared enemy of God and man; the prince of this world, who has been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Rom 16:20); and that he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire.
No. 7: Salvation
Which of the following statements best describe your beliefs about Salvation?
Salvation by Grace:
A. We believe Salvation is a free gift of God. The death of Christ on the cross is the only sufficient payment for our sins. All have sinned, but all can be saved. This salvation is available for any who put their trust in Christ as Savior (Romans 3:23, 6:23; John 3:16). Those trusting Christ should repent of sin, confess their faith, and be baptized (Romans 10:9; Acts 2:38).
B. We believe that salvation from everlasting punishment and entrance into a state of fellowship with God are secured only by a personal belief that Christ bore our sins in His own body on the cross and by a definite receiving of Christ. This is to receive eternal life and to be sealed unto the Day of Redemption.
C. We believe that Christ died as a sacrifice for our sins and that, because He shed His blood, the salvation of man is a free gift of God by grace, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and his death for us (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9).
D. We believe that salvation is a free gift by God’s grace through faith without works of any kind (Ephesians 2:8-9), that all who accept the Lord Jesus Christ by faith are born again by the Holy Spirit and become the children of God (John 1:12)
E. We believe the salvation of man is wholly a work of God’s free grace and is not the work, in whole or in part, of human works or goodness or religious ceremony. God imputes His righteousness to those who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, and thereby justifies them in His sight.
F. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures as a substitutionary sacrifice and that all who believe on Him are redeemed by His shed blood. We believe that salvation is the gift of God’s grace. It cannot be gained or made more secure by meritorious works, but is freely bestowed upon all who put their faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ at Calvary. All who so trust the Savior are forgiven of their sins and born into the family of God by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. (John 1:12; Acts 16:30-33, Rom 10:9-10; Eph 1:7; 2:8-9.
G. We believe in salvation by grace, through faith in the crucified, risen and glorified Christ. Salvation is a free gift, bestowed by God’s grace and received by faith (Eph. 2:8-9). A believer’s salvation is secured by Christ alone (John 10:27-28).
H. We believe that (a) salvation is by grace, a free gift of God apart from works; (b) salvation requires repentance, a turning from one’s own way to God’s way; (c) salvation is through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; (d) all who receive Jesus Christ are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and become the children of God; and (e) true salvation will be manifested by a changed life.
J. We believe the offer of salvation is God’s love-gift to all. Those who accept it by faith, apart from works, become new creatures in Christ. Because fallen humans are unable to save themselves, God, according to His own sovereign mercy, acts to save those who come to Him by grace through faith. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer the penalty of death in place of condemned humanity. Simply through believing the good news (gospel) that Christ died for his or her sins and then rose from the dead, a person can be forgiven of all sin, declared righteous by God, reborn into new life, and receive eternal life with God. See John 3:16, Rom 10:9-10; 1 Cor 15:1-5 and Eph 1:4-12.
K. We teach 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 (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8 10; 1 Peter 1:18 19).
L. We teach that justification before God is an act of God by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins and confess Him as sovereign Lord. This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man and involves the imputation of our sins to Christ and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us. By this means God is enabled to “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
Salvation by Works
Gal 2:16: Knowing, however, that a man is not justified [declared righteous] by works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Eph. 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ…vs 8-10: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; vs 9: NOT of works, lest any many should boast. vs 10 For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Titus 3:4-7: But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Romans 11:6: And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
Romans 4:5: But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
No. 8: Believers Responsibilities – The Christian Walk – The Christian’s Service.
Which of the following statements best describe your beliefs about the Believer’s Responsibilities – the Christian Walk – the Christian’s Service?
A. We believe that all believers are called to be in the world but separate from it. We believe that Christians are called to witness for Christ, to preach the gospel to all nations, and to study the Bible personally through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit until each one is matured into the preordained purpose of God for him.
B. We believe that in holy Christian living we must have concern for the hurts and needs of our fellowmen. We must dedicate ourselves anew to the service of our Lord and to His authority over our lives, and to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world.
C. We believe Jesus Christ commanded all believers to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world and to disciple men of every nation. The fulfillment of that Great Commission requires that all worldly and personal ambitions be subordinated to a total commitment to “Him who loved us and gave Himself for us.”
D. We believe that the Christian is called with a holy calling to live and identify with and serve through a local church to fulfill The Great Commission to go, teach, baptize and do the Lord’s work until He returns.
F. We believe that until the return of Christ, it is the Christian’s duty and privilege to seek the fulfillment of The Great Commission and to minister in His name to a needy world. Believers are to be instruments of Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit ministers redemption and reconciliation in the world.
G. We believe that, until the return of Christ, it is the Christian’s privilege and duty and the supreme task of the Church to evangelize the world (Mat 28:18-10; Acts 1:8).
H. We believe that all aspects of our lives are to be lived to the glory of God under the Lordship of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.
J. We believe that divine enabling gifts for service are bestowed by the Spirit upon all who are saved. While there is a diversity of gifts, each believer is energized by the same Spirit, and each is called to his own divinely appointed service as the Spirit may will. In the apostolic church, there were certain gifted men–apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers–who were appointed by God for the perfecting of the saints unto their work of the ministry. We believe also that today some men are especially called of God to be evangelists, pastors and teachers, and that it is to the fulfilling of His will and to His eternal glory that these shall be sustained and encouraged in their service for God. (Rom 12:6; 1 Cor 12:4-11; Eph 4:11.)
K. We believe that, wholly apart from salvation benefits which are bestowed equally upon all who believe, rewards are promised according to the faithfulness of each believer in his service for his Lord, and that these rewards will be bestowed at the judgment seat of Christ after He comes to receive His own to Himself. (1 Cor 3:9-15; 9:18-27; 2 Cor 5:10.)
L. We believe that it is the explicit message of our Lord Jesus Christ to those whom He has saved that they are sent forth by Him into the world even as He was sent forth of His father into the world. We believe that after they are saved they are divinely reckoned to be related to this world as strangers and pilgrims, ambassadors and witnesses and that their primary purpose in life should be to make Christ known to the world.
M. We teach that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (John 3:3 7; Titus 3:5). It is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God (John 5:24), when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works will be its proper evidence and fruit (1 Cor 6:19-20; Eph 2:10), and will be experienced to the extent that the believer submits to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life through faithful obedience to the Word of God (Eph 5:17-21; Phil 2:12; Col 3:16; 2 Pet 1:4-10). This obedience causes the believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor 3:18). Such a conformity is climaxed in the believer’s glorification at Christ’s coming (Rom 8:17; 2 Pet 1:4; 1 John 3:2-3).
N. We teach that there is by the work of the Holy Spirit a progressive sanctification by which the state of the believer is brought closer to the standing the believer positionally enjoys through justification. Through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ.
O. We teach that out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to us and because our glorious God is so worthy of our total consecration, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to God and so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior. We also teach that separation from all religious apostasy and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of us by God.
No. 9. The Church – Family of God, Assembly, Ministers, Evangelism
What is the F&W’s belief about the Church, the assembling of believers?
Which of the following statements best describe the beliefs of the F&W? Your beliefs?
A. We believe Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, His Body, which is composed of all men, living and dead, who have been joined to Him through saving faith. God admonishes His people to assemble together regularly for worship, for participation in ordinances, for edification through the Scriptures and for mutual encouragement.
B. We believe the church is the body of Christ on earth, empowered by the Holy Spirit to continue the task of reaching the lost and discipling the saved, helping them become fully devoted followers of Christ.
C. We believe that the church is the body of Christ, a spiritual organism of born-again believers who are called to be identified with Christ in baptism and to remember His death in the Lord’s Supper.
D. We believe the church is the bride of Christ, and the body of Christ. The local church is governed by godly men known as elders or bishops. The purpose of the church on earth is to fulfill the last command of Jesus known as The Great Commission.
E. We believe that all who are united to the risen and ascended Son of God are members of the church which is the body and bride of Christ, which began at Pentecost and is completely distinct from Israel. Its members are constituted as such, regardless of membership or non-membership in the organized churches of earth. We believe that by the same Spirit all believers in this age are baptized into, and thus become, one body that is Christ’s, whether Jews or Gentiles, and having become members one of another, are under solemn duty to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, rising above all sectarian differences, and loving one another with a pure heart fervently.
F. We teach that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual Body, the church the bride of Christ of which Christ is the Head.
G. We teach that the formation of the church, the Body of Christ, began on the Day of Pentecost and will be completed at the coming of Christ for His own at the rapture.
H. We teach that the church is a unique spiritual organism designed by Christ, made up of all born-again believers in this present age. The church is distinct from Israel, a mystery not revealed until this age.
J. We teach that the establishment and continuity of local churches is taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures and that the members of the one spiritual Body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies.
K. We teach that the one supreme authority for the church is Christ and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Scriptures. The biblically designated officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are elders (also called bishops, pastors, teachers and deacons), who must meet biblical qualifications. We teach that these leaders lead or rule as servants of Christ and have His authority in directing the church. The congregation is to submit to their leadership.
L. We teach the importance of discipleship, mutual accountability of all believers to each other, as well as the need for discipline of sinning members of the congregation in accord with the standards of Scripture.
M. We teach that the purpose of the church is to glorify God by building itself up in the faith, by instruction of the Word, by fellowship, by keeping the ordinances and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world.
N. We believe the local church exists to proclaim God’s truth, to administer the ordinances, to stimulate growth toward maturity, and to bring glory to God. Believers are called to faithful membership in a visible, local congregation for the purpose of mutual encouragement and spiritual growth. As the family of God, a healthy local church is marked by God-glorifying worship, Scripture-centered teaching, intimate fellowship, and vivid expressions of the church’s faith, hope, and love through evangelism, disciple-making, financial support, and service.
O. We believe that, until the return of Christ, it is the Christian’s privilege and duty and the supreme task of the Church to evangelize the world.
P. We believe the Church is an elect company of believers baptized by the Holy Spirit into one body; its mission is to witness concerning its Head, Jesus Christ, preaching the gospel among all nations; it will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air ere He appears to set up His kingdom. The Church of Jesus Christ is a distinct entity from Israel in the ongoing program of God. Further, this universal Church consists of all who possess saving faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ from Pentecost to the Rapture of the Church and which will represent every language, people and nation.
No. 10: Ordinances – Baptism, Emblems (aka Lord’s Supper, Eucharist, Communion) and Foot Washing of the Saints.
Which of the following statements best describe your beliefs about the Ordinances?
NOTE: Some believe there are 2 while others believe there are 3. Baptism, Emblems (aka Lord’s Supper, Eucharist, Communion) and Food Washing of the Saints.wine vs grape juice; unleavened vs leavened bread not discussed here.
A. We believe Baptism symbolizes dying to self and coming alive in Jesus. We practice full immersion baptism because by being fully buried beneath the water we symbolize that God’s grace fully fills us with His new life for the future. Through baptism, we are truly born again in Jesus.
B. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ instituted the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s supper to be observed until His return.
C. We believe that the two ordinances of the church are baptism by immersion for believers only and the Lord’s Supper as a memorial.
D. We teach that two ordinances have been committed to the local church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Christian baptism by immersion is the solemn and beautiful testimony of a believer showing forth his faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and his union with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life. It is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible body of Christ.
E. We teach that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes, and should be always preceded by solemn self-examination. We also teach that whereas the elements of communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ, the Lord’s Supper is nevertheless an actual communion with the risen Christ who is present in a unique way, fellowshipping with His people.
F. We believe the ordinances for the believer are water baptism by immersion and the Lord’s supper as a memorial. They are, however, not to be regarded as a means of salvation. But both of which are an evidence of obedience and fellowship with the Lord
G. We believe that baptism is the immersion of a believer in water, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; setting forth the essential facts in redemption the death and resurrection of Christ; also essential facts in the experience of the believer death to sin and resurrection to newness of life; and that the Lord’s supper is a commemoration of the Lord’s death until He comes again.
H. We believe that foot washing, also called the ‘washing of the saints’ feet’, is to be observed as an ordinance. It is based on the express command and example of Jesus, who washed His disciples’ feet at the Last Supper (John 13:1-17), and on the statement by Paul (I Tim. 5:9-10) that having washed the saints’ feet was a qualification for a widow’s acceptance into the church widows’ group.
J. We celebrate Jesus’ victory in our lives when we participate in the Lord’s Supper. This meal includes three symbols: Foot washing (which symbolizes our commitment to love others as Jesus loves us), bread (“This bread is my flesh,” Jesus said, “which I will give for the life of the world,” John 6:51), and wine or grape juice (“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.” John 6:54)
No. 11: The Eternal State: Heaven-Hell
Which of the following statements best describe about the Eternal State: Heaven-Hell?
A. We believe that Heaven is a real place where the saved will dwell forever, and that hell is a literal place of torment where unbelievers will suffer forever.
B. We believe that Christ will one day return and judge all people (1Thes 4:13-18). Unbelievers will be separated from God’s presence in Hell and believers will be welcomed in God’s presence in Heaven.
C. We believe at physical death, the believer enters immediately into eternal, conscious fellowship with the Lord and awaits the resurrection of his body to everlasting glory and blessing. And we believe that at physical death, the unbeliever enters immediately into eternal, conscious separation from the Lord and awaits the resurrection of his body to everlasting judgment and condemnation.
D. We believe that Jesus will return, bodily and visibly, to judge all mankind — receiving true believers to Himself and condemning the rest to eternal torment in Hell.
E. We believe that at death, the spirits and souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation pass immediately into His presence and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the glorified body when Christ comes for His own, whereupon soul and body reunited shall be associated with Him forever in glory; but the spirits and souls of the unbelieving remain after death conscious of condemnation and in misery until the final judgment of the great white throne at the close of the millennium, when soul and body reunited shall be cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.
E. We teach the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. We teach that the souls of the unsaved at death are kept under punishment until the second resurrection (Luke 16:19-26; Rev 20:13-15), when the soul and the resurrection body will be united (John 5:28 29). They shall then appear at the Great White Throne judgment (Rev 20:11-15) and shall be cast into hell, the lake of fire (Mat 25:41-46), cut off from the life of God forever (Dan 12:2; Mat 25:41-46; 2 Thes 1:7-9).
No. 12. Last Things/ The Future (Eschatology) (end of world, judgment, rapture, tribulation, 2nd coming of Jesus, resurrection of the dead, 1,000 year reign, Satan’s release, etc)
Which of the following statements best describe your beliefs about Last Things?
RETURN OF CHRIST:
A. We anticipate our Lord’s promised return, which could occur at any moment. According to the Father’s plan, Jesus Christ will one day return in power to bring completion of salvation and rewards to believers and judgment and wrath to unbelievers.
B. We believe that according to the Word of God the next great event in the fulfillment of prophecy will be the coming of the Lord in the air to receive to Himself into heaven both His own who are alive and remain unto His coming, and also all who have fallen asleep in Jesus, and that this event is the blessed hope set before us in the Scripture, and for this we should be constantly looking.
C. We believe in the imminent, visible and bodily return of Christ to this earth to set up His kingdom and to judge the world in righteousness.
D. We believe in the personal bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 1:9-11) to set up His kingdom (Titus 2:13).
E. We believe in (a) the personal, visible, bodily return of Jesus Christ to earth; (b) the bodily resurrection of the just to eternal abode in the glory of God’s presence; and (c) the bodily resurrection of the unjust to judgment and everlasting punishment in the lake of fire.
F. We teach the personal, bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ [before/during] the seven-year tribulation (1 Thes 4:16; Titus 2:13) to translate His church from this earth (John 14:1 3; 1 Cor 15:51-53; 1 Thes 4:15-5:11) and, between this event and His glorious return with His saints, to reward believers according to their works (1 Cor 3:11-15; 2 Cor 5:10).
G. We believe that all who have died will be brought back from beyond—believers to everlasting communion with God and unbelievers to everlasting separation from God. Though a believer’s spirit is ushered into the Lord’s presence immediately upon physical death, the fullness of salvation awaits Christ’s return, when He will resurrect believers in glorified bodies like His own immortal body which can never die. While all believers throughout history will enjoy eternal life in perfect paradise, unbelievers will be resurrected to suffer eternal conscious punishment for their sins.
RAPTURE: The term “Rapture” refers to the return of Jesus in the clouds with angelic activity, trumpets, and heavenly signs, to gather the saints out of the world. The primary passage describing the Rapture is 1 Thes 4:15-17, in which Paul cites “the word of the Lord” about Jesus returning to gather His saints (vs 17: Then we which are alive and remain shall be [b]caught up together with them in the clouds). The word “Rapture” is borrowed from the Latin Vulgate Bible and appears in the English Bible as “caught up.”
The Rapture, according to most of its proponents, has these elements. (1) The return of Jesus; (2) resurrection of saints; 3) rapture of living believers; (4) reunion with loved ones, with the Lord, and being taken to heaven. The debate regarding the Rapture is about the time, when it will take place. There are pre-, mid- and post- tribulationist positions.
(3) TRIBULATIONS: Some believe there will be two separate events, the first unseen, and the second public. They hold that the first event IMMEDIATELY PRECEDES the period of Tribulation (this view is called Pre-Tribulation);
MID-: Others believe the rapture will come in the MIDDLE of the Tribulation (this view is called Mid-Tribulation).
POST-: Others believe there will be a single, public event (this view is called the Post-Tribulation view).
The Pre-Tribulation position holds that Jesus will rapture His church prior to His return to earth (the Second Coming).
The Mid-Tribulation position holds that the Rapture will occur at some point in the MIDDLE of the Tribulation period. The Tribulation is typically divided into two periods of 3.5 years each. Mid-Tribulationists hold that the saints will go through the first period, but will be raptured into heaven BEFORE the severe outpouring of God’s wrath in the second half of the Tribulation. Mid-Tribulationists refer to Daniel 7:25 where the saints will be given over to tribulation for “time, times, and half a time,” which they interpret to mean 3.5 years. At the halfway point of the Tribulation, the Antichrist will commit the “abomination of desolation” by desecrating the temple in Jerusalem (to be built on what is now called the Temple Mount also known as Mount Moriah and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary).
The Post-Tribulationists believe the Rapture and Second Coming, are one event when the raptured are taken up just for a moment and at once return to earth with the descent of Christ.
In summary: Post-Tribulationists believe the Rapture will take place at the end of the seven-year Tribulation; Mid-Tribulationists that it will be in the middle and Pre-Tribulationists are sure that rescue will be at the start.
H. TRIBULATION: We believe that the translation of the church will be followed by the fulfillment of Israel’s 70th week (Dan 9:27; Rev 6:1; 19:21) during which the church, the body of Christ, will be in heaven. The whole period of Israel’s 70th week will be a time of judgment on the whole earth, at the end of which the times of the Gentiles will be brought to a close. The latter half of this period will be the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer 30:7), which our Lord called the Great Tribulation (Mat 24:15-21). We believe that universal righteousness will not be realized previous to the second coming of Christ, but that the world is day by day ripening for judgment and that the age will end with a fearful apostasy.
J. SECOND COMING: At this future moment in time, all believers who have died will rise from their graves and will meet the Lord in the air, and Christians who are alive will be caught up with them, to be with the Lord forever.
K. SECOND COMING: We believe that the period of Great Tribulation in the earth will be climaxed by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth as He went, in person on the clouds of heaven, and with power and great glory to introduce the millennial age, to bind Satan and place him in the abyss, to lift the curse which now rests upon the whole creation, to restore Israel to her own land and to give her the realization of God’s covenant promises, and to bring the whole world to the knowledge of God.
L. TRIBULATION & SECOND COMING: We teach that immediately following the removal of the church from the earth, the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon an unbelieving world and that these judgments will be climaxed by the return of Christ in glory to the earth. At that time the Old Testament and Tribulation Saints will be raised and the living will be judged. This period includes the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy (Dan 9:24 27; Mat 24:15, 31; 25:31, 46).
THE MILLENNIAL REIGN – Millennium is simply a word derived from Latin that means “one thousand years.” Biblically, the “millennium” refers to a thousand-year reign of Christ on earth in Rev 20:1-6. It is sometimes referred to as the “ Millennial Kingdom” and the “Millennial Reign of Christ.”
M. We believe in the Millennial Reign of Christ when Jesus returns with His saints at His second coming and begins His benevolent rule over earth for 1,000 years. This Millennial Reign will bring the salvation of national Israel and the establishment of universal peace.
N. We teach that, after the tribulation period, Christ will come to earth to occupy the throne of David and establish His messianic kingdom for a thousand years on the earth (Rev 20:1-7). During this time the resurrected saints will reign with Him over Israel and all the nations of the earth. This reign will be preceded by the overthrow of the Antichrist and the False Prophet, and by the removal of Satan from the world.
O. We teach that the kingdom itself will be the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel (Is 65:17-25; Ez 37:21-28; Zech 8:1-17) to restore them to the land which they forfeited through their disobedience (Deut 28:15, 68). The result of their disobedience was that Israel was temporarily set aside (Mat 21:43; Rom 11:1, 26) but will again be awakened through repentance to enter into the land of blessing (Jer 31:31-34; Ez 36:22-32; Rom 11:25-29). We teach that this time of our Lord’s reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace, righteousness, and long life (Is 11; 65:17-25; Ez 36:33-38), and will be brought to an end with the release of Satan (Rev 20:7).
AFTER THE MILLENNIAL REIGN:
P. We believe and look forward to the perfect New Heavens and a New Earth that Christ is preparing for all people, of all time, who have accepted Him. Believers will live and dwell with Him there forever, following His Millennial Reign on Earth. ‘And so shall we forever be with the Lord!’
Q. SATAN’s RELEASE: We teach that following the release of Satan after the thousand-year reign of Christ (Rev 20:7), Satan will deceive the nations of the earth and gather them to battle against the saints and the beloved city, at which time Satan and his army will be devoured by fire from heaven (Rev 20:9). Following this, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone (Mat 25:41; Rev 20:10) whereupon Christ, who is the Judge of all men (John 5:22), will resurrect and judge the great and small at the Great White Throne judgment. We teach that this resurrection of the unsaved dead to judgment will be a physical resurrection, whereupon receiving their judgment (Rom 14:10 13), they will be committed to eternal conscious punishment in the lake of fire (Mat 25:41; Rev 20:11-15).
R. SATAN’s RELEASE: We teach that after the closing of the Millennium, the temporary release of Satan, and the judgment of unbelievers (2 Thes 1:9; Rev 20:7-15), the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God, after which the elements of this earth are to be dissolved (2 Peter 3:10) and replaced with a new earth wherein only righteousness dwells (Eph 5:5; Rev 20:15, 21-22). Following this, the heavenly city will come down out of heaven (Rev 21:2) and will be the dwelling place of the saints, where they will enjoy forever fellowship with God and one another (John 17:3; Rev 21-22). Our Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will then deliver up the kingdom to God the Father (1 Cor 15:24-28) that in all spheres the triune God may reign forever and ever (1 Cor 15:28).
Revised June 6, 2022