The Bible consists of the sixty-six canonical books of the Old and New Testaments and was written by individuals divinely and uniquely inspired by the Holy Spirit as God’s self-revelation to humanity. Since Jesus Christ is the ultimate focus of divine revelation, all Scripture ultimately serves as a testimony to Christ. In the original manuscripts, the Bible is free from error of any sort, and it serves as our supreme authority in all matters of faith and practice. John 5:39; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.
There is one and only one living and true God. He is infinite, personal, omnipotent, omnipresent, and an omniscient Spirit. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things. God is infinite in holiness and perfect in all His attributes. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being. Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 3:16-17, Matthew 28:19, John 14: 6-11, 1 Corinthians 8:6.
Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, fully God who was present at the creation of the universe. In His incarnation as Jesus, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God the Father, taking upon Himself the demands and necessities of human nature and identifying Himself completely with humanity, and yet was without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience. And by His death on the cross, He made provision for the redemption of people from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, partaking of the nature of God and of humanity, and in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and His creation. His Spirit now dwells in all believers as the living and ever-present Lord. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. Matthew 1:18-23, Luke 24:1-8, John 1:1-4, Acts 1:11, 2 Corinthians 5:19-21, Philippians 2:6-11, Colossians 1:15-20, Hebrews 4:14-15 & 7:23-28, 1 John 2:1-2, Revelation 19:11-13, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Matthew 28:18, John 5:26-27, 2 Timothy 1:14,1 John 3:24, Ephesians 1:20-23.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. He is the divine author of all scripture, and through illumination He enables people to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls people to the Savior, and effects regeneration. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer until the day of the final redemption. His indwelling presence in each Christian is the assurance of God to bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service. John 4:24; 14:6-13; Acts 1:2 & 8, 2:17-18, 5:32, Romans 8:14-15 & 26; 1 Corinthians 2: 10-15; James 2:26; Galatians 4:6, 5:25; Ephesians 4:6; Hebrews 12:9; 1 John 3:24.
God created people, male and female, in His own image, and free from sin. Humanity sinned against God, and thus all humans are fallen creatures, born sinful, inheriting moral corruption from Adam, alienated from God, and in need of salvation. Genesis chapters 1-3; Romans 1:18-32, 3:23, 5:8 & 12.
We believe in the existence of Satan, sin, and evil powers, and that all these have been defeated by God in the cross of Christ. Isaiah 14:10–17; Ezekiel 28:11–19; Matthew 12:25–29; 25:41; John 12:31; 16:11; Ephesians 6:10–20; Colossians 2:15; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Revelation 12:7–9; 20:10.
God took the initiative to restore the relationship between Himself and humanity through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. Salvation is the redemption, and restoration of the whole person, and is offered freely to all who place their full trust in Jesus Christ alone as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ. As a result of our salvation, we are justified by the blood of Jesus Christ. As a new creation, we become transformed to Christ-likeness through the agency of the Holy Spirit. Romans 3:24, 5:18; John 3:16; Colossians 1:20-22; Ephesians 2:1-10; Philippians 2:8; Isaiah 53:5.
The supreme purpose of all believers is to be whole-hearted, risk-taking lovers of God, and to glorify Him in and with our lives. Our conduct should be blameless before the world, we should be faithful stewards of the possessions, abilities, and spiritual gifts God entrusted to us, and we should intentionally and continually seek the full measure of maturity in Jesus Christ through our active participation in the spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting, study, worship, service, and fellowship with other Christ-followers. An abiding one-ness with the Father through Christ is our ultimate goal. Through our relationship with Jesus, the power of God’s Holy Spirit living in us, and our God-given authority in Christ over all the power of the enemy, we are able to participate in the divine nature, living as Jesus lived in this world, accomplishing even greater things than the Lord and advancing His kingdom on Earth for His glory. In joyful obedience to the Great Commission, we demonstrate the Good News with both words and actions through the power of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 2:6, 2:9-10, & 3:1-10; 1 Timothy 6:6-12, 1 Peter 1:14-16, Ephesians 1:18-21, 2:5-6, 4:1-3 & 11-14, & 5:1-5, Philippians 2:14-16; Matthew 10:8 & 28:18-19; Luke 10:19; 2 Peter 1:3-8; 1 John 4:17; Galatians 2:20; John 14:12 & 15:10; Mark 16:17-18; Acts 1:8.
The church is the spiritual body of which Jesus Christ is the head. The local church is composed of regenerated believers, voluntarily united together for the purpose of evangelism, of equipping each other for service to Christ, of tending to one another’s needs, and for the worship of God. 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 4:4-6; Hebrews 10:25; I Peter 2:9-10; Acts 2:42, 16:5, & 20:28.
Jesus instituted Christian Baptism through the use of water as a symbol of cleansing and new life in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus also commanded that we participate in the Lord’s Supper often in remembrance of His body broken and blood shed on the cross, signifying the new covenant and the promise we have of eternal life in Him because of His sacrifice in our place. Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 11:24-25; Matthew 3:11; Mark 16:6; Acts 2:38.
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world as it currently exists to its appropriate end, and will create a new heaven and a new earth. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised, and Christ will judge all people in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to everlasting punishment and eternal separation from God. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord. Matthew 24-25; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; 1 Timothy 6:14; Hebrews 9:28; 2 Peter 3:7; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14-15; Revelation 1:18, 3:11, & 20:1-22:13.
Students having strong opinions on doctrines that have historically been controversial (i.e. have caused division in the church) need to be sure that they can “agree to disagree.”