Articles of Faith
“For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord...”
Section 1. The Scriptures
We believe that the Holy Bible was (a) written by men controlled by the Holy Spirit; (b) that it is truth without any admixture of error for its matter; and (c) therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions should be tried.
1. By “The Holy Bible”, we mean that collection of sixty-six books, from Genesis to Revelation, which, as originally written, does not merely contain and convey the word of God, but is the very Word of God.
2. By “Inspiration” we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally inspired and free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired.
(a) 2 Tim. 3:16,17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Acts 1:16; 28:24.
(b) Psalm 119:160, 105,130; Luke 24:25-27, 44,45; John 17:17
(c) Psalm 119:89; Proverbs 30:5,6; Romans 3:4; I Peter.1:23; Rev.22:19; John 12:48; Isaiah 8:20; Eph.6:17; Romans 15:4 Luke 16:31; Psalm 19:7-11; John 5:39, 45-47
Section 2. The True God
We believe, that there is (a) one, and only one, living and true God: an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the maker and supreme ruler of heaven and earth; (b) inexpressibly glorious in Holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love; (c) that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
(a) Ex. 20:2,3; Gen. 17:1; I Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:6; John 4:24; Psalm 147:5, 83:18, 89:2; Jer.10:10
(b) Ex.15:22; Rev.4:11; I Tim.1:17; Rom.11:33; Mark 12:30
(c) Matt. 28:19; John 15:26; I Cor.12:4-6; I John 5:7; John 10:30, 17:5; Acts 5:3,4; I Cor.2:10,11; Phil 2:5,6; Eph. 2:18; II Cor.13:14.
Section 3. God the Son (Jesus)
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, is both fully God and fully man, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. (Matt. 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost; Mat 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us; Mat. 1:25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.) He grew and developed as a man without sin. (Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.)
He died by crucifixion to pay the penalty for all mankind’s sin. He was buried, rose bodily from the grave on the third day and ascended to Heaven where, at the Father’s right hand, He prays for the saints. (1Cor. 15:3-4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: Heb 7:25 Wherefore, he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.)
He will return and ultimately establish His kingdom on earth. (Heb. 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom; Col. 1:13-19; Heb. 1:2-3)
Section 4. The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person; (a) equal with God the Father and (b) God the Son and (c) of the same nature; (d) that He was active in the creation; (e) that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the Evil One until God's purpose is fulfilled; (f) that He convicts of sin, of judgment, and of righteousness; (g) that He bears witness to the Truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; (h) that He is the agent in the New Birth; (i) that He seals, baptizes, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies, and helps the believer. And that the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance) is the evidence of His indwelling rather than the speaking in tongues and other spectacular demonstrations.
(a) John 14:16,17
(b) Matthew 28:19
(c) Hebrews 9:14; John 14:26; Luke 1:35
(d) Genesis 1:1-3
(e) II Thessalonians 2:7
(f) John 16:8-11
(g) John 15:26,27; Acts 5:30-32
(h) John 3:5,6
(i) Ephesians 1:13,14; Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 11:16; Luke 24:49; John 16:13; John 14:26; Romans 8:14,16; II Thess.2:13; I Peter 1:2; Romans 8:26,27; Galatians 5:22,23; Ephesians 5:18-21
Section 5. Sanctification
We believe that sanctification has a twofold meaning; (a) that of setting apart of things, days, or persons specifically for God, and that the believer, at the time of his regeneration is so set apart by God the Father; (b) the progressive work of the Holy Spirit, whereby the believer, obedient to the Word of God, experiences the power of the indwelling Christ for holiness of life and victory over the old nature, which work will be completed when the believer stands in Christ's presence.
(a) I Corinthians 1:30; Hebrews 1:10,14
(b) Colossians 1:26-28; John 17:17; I Thess. 5:23; II Corinthians 3:18
Section 6. The Devil, or Satan
We believe that Satan was once (a) holy, and enjoyed heavenly honors; but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and (b) drew after him a host of angels; that he is now (c) the malignant prince of the power of the air, and the unholy god of this world. (d) We hold him to be man's great tempter, (e) the enemy of God and His Christ, (f) the accuser of the saints, (g) the author of all false religions, the chief power back of the present apostasy; (h) the lord of the Antichrist and (i) the author of all powers of darkness - destined however, (j) to final defeat at the hands of God's Son, and (k) to the judgment of an eternal justice in hell, a place prepared for him and his angels.
(a) Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:14-17
(b) Revelations 12:9; Jude 6; II Peter 2:4
(c) Ephesians 2:2; John 14:30
(d) I Peter 5:8; I Thessalonians 3:5; Matthew 4:1,3
(e) Zechariah 1:3; I John 3:8; Matthew 13:25,37,39;Luke 22:3,4
(f) Revelation 12:10
(g) II Corinthians 11:13-15; Mark 13:21,22
(h) I John 4:3; II John 7; I John 2:22
(i) Revelation 13:13,14; II Thessalonians 2:8-11
(j) Revelation 19:11,16,20; 12: 7-9; 20:1-3
(k) Revelation 20:10; Matthew 25:41
Section 7. The Creation
We believe in the Genesis account of creation, and (a) that it is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively; (b) that man was created directly in God's image and after His own likeness; (c) that man's creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; (d) that all animal and vegetable life was made directly, and God's established law was that they should bring forth only “after their kind”.
(a) Gen.1:1; Exodus 20:11; Acts 4:24; Colossians 1:16,17; Hebrews 11:3; John 1:3; Revelation 10:6; Romans 1:20; Acts 17:23-26; Jeremiah 10:12; Nehemiah 9:6
(b) Genesis 1:26,27; I Corinthians 11:7
(c) Genesis 2:7, 21-23
(d) Genesis 1:11,24
Section 8. The Fall of Man
We believe (a) that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but (b) by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state, (c) in consequence of which, all mankind are now sinners, not only by constraint, but of choice, and (d) therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse.
(a) Genesis 3:1-6, 24
(b) Romans 5:12, 19
(c) Romans 3:10-19; Ephesians 2:1,3; Romans 1:18; Ezekiel 18:19,20
(d) Romans 1:32, 20, 28; Galatians 3:22
Section 9. The Virgin Birth
We believe (a) that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner; (b) born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of woman, and (c) that He is both the Son of God, and God, the Son.
(a) Genesis 3:15
(b) Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; Mark 1:1; John 1:14; Psalm 2:7; Galatians 4:4
(c) I John 5:20; I Cor. 15:47
Section 10. The Atonement for Sin
We believe (a) that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace (b) through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for all sins; (c) that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner's place the Just for the unjust, Christ, the Lord, bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; (d) that, having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven, and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection. He is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all-sufficient Savior.
(a) Ephesians 2:8; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24
(b) John 3:16; Matthew 18:11; Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 2:14; Isaiah 53:4-7; Romans 3:25; I John 2:2, 4:10; I Corinthians 15:3; II Corinthians 5:19-21
(c) John 10:18; Philippians 2:8; Galatians 1:4; I Peter 2:24; I Peter 3:18; Isaiah 53:11; Hebrews 12:2
(d) I Corinthians 15:20; Isaiah 53:12; Hebrews 9:12-15, 7:25
Section 11. Grace in the New Creation
We believe (a) that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; (b) that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; (c) that it is instantaneous and not a process; (d) that in the birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; (e) that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, not by culture, not by character, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; (f) that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.
(a) John 3:3
(b) II Corinthians 5:17
(c) Luke 5:27; I John 5:1; John 3:6,7; Acts 2:41, 16:30-33
(d) II Peter 1:4; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1; II Corinthians 5:19; Colossians 2:13
(e) John 3:8; John 1:12,13
(f) Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 5:9
Section 12. The Freeness of Salvation
We believe (a) Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition in salvation; (b) that the blessings of salvation are made free to all through the gospel; (c) that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent and obedient faith; and (d) that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel; (e) which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.
(a) Acts 16:30-31; Ephesians 2:8-9
(b) Matthew 11:28; Isaiah 55:1; Revelation 22:17; Romans 10:13; John 6:37
(c) Isaiah 55:6; Acts 2:38
(d) Isaiah 55:7; John 3:15,16; I Timothy 1:15; I Corinthians 15:10; Ephesians 2:4,5; John 5:40.
(e) John 3:18,36
Section 13. Justification
We believe that the great Gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is Justification; (a) that Justification includes the pardon of sin and the gift of eternal life on principles of righteousness; (b) that it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done; but, solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood, His righteousness is imputed unto us.
(a) Acts 13:39; Isaiah 53:11; Zech. 13:1; Romans 8:1; Romans 5:1,9
(b) Titus 3:5-7; Romans 1:17; Habakkuk 2:4; Galatians 3:11; Romans 4:1-8; Hebrews 10:38
Section 14. Repentance and Faith
We believe that Repentance and Faith are (a) solemn obligations, and (b) also inseparable graces, (c) wrought in our souls by the quickening spirit of God; (d) thereby, being deeply convicted of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; (e) at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ and openly confessing Him as our only and all-sufficient Savior.
(a) Acts 20:21
(b) Mark 1:15
(c) Acts 2:27-38
(d) Luke 18:13; Romans 10:13; Psalm 51:1-4,7; Isaiah 55:6,7
(e) Luke 12:8; Romans 9:11
Section 15. Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers
- We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. (Jn. 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1,38,39; I Cor.1:4-8; Phil. 1:6; 1 Pet. 1:5; Jude 24)
- We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word; which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh. (Rom. 13:13; Gal. 5:13; Tit. 2:11-15)
Section 16. The Church
We believe that a church of Christ is a congregation of immersed believers (a) associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel; (b) observing the ordinances of Christ; (c) governed by His laws, and (d) exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; (e) that its scripturally designated officers are pastors (elders) and deacons whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures; (f) we believe the true mission of the church is found in the great commission; First, to make individual disciples; second, to baptize them; third, to teach and instruct, as He has commanded. WE DO NOT BELIEVE IN the reversal of this order; (g) we hold that the local church has the absolute right of self government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only superintendent is Christ, through the Holy Spirit; (h) that it is Scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that every church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its co-operation; (i) on all matters of membership, of polity, of government, of discipline, and of benevolence; the will of the local church is final.
(a) Acts 2:41,42
(b) Acts 2:42; I Corinthians 11:2
(c) Ephesians 1:22,23
(d) Ephesians 4:11; I Corinthians 12:4,8-11
(e) Acts 14:23; Acts 6:4-6; Acts 15:23, 20:17-28; I Timothy 3:1-7, 3:8-13
(f) Matthew 28:19,20
(g) Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 5:23,24; I Peter 5:1-4
(h) Acts 15:22; Jude 3,4; II Corinthians 8:23,24; I Corinthians 16:1; Malachi 3:10; Leviticus 27:32; I Corinthians 16:2
(i) I Corinthians 6:1-3, 5:11-13
Section 17. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that Christian Baptism is (a) the believer's immersion in water; (b) into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; (c) to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; (d) that in Scriptural order it (baptism) precedes the privileges of church membership and is the public recognition of the Lordship of Jesus Christ; (e) the Lord's Supper is a memorial service in which the elements of bread and wine remind us of the love of God in Christ Jesus, “Who spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all,” that this ordinance is to be observed in anticipation of His coming and preceded always by solemn self-examination.
(a) Acts 8:36-39; Matthew 3:6; John 3:23; Romans 6:4,5; Matthew 3:16
(b) Matthew 28:19
(c) Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12
(d) I Corinthians 11:23-28;
(e) Romans 8:32
Section 18. Dispensationalism
A. We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life, which define man’s responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. We believe that it has always been true that “without faith it is impossible to please God”, and that the principle of faith was prevalent in the lives of all the Old Testament saints.
John 1:17; I Corinthians 9:17; II Corinthians 3:9-18; Hebrews 11:6-7; Revelation 20:2-6; I Peter 1:10-12; Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3; 5-8; Galatians 3:13-25; Ephesians 1:10; Ephesians 3:2-11; Hebrews 7:19
B. We believe God has a plan for national Israel-just as He does for individual persons. Consequently, dispensationalism rejects the idea that Israel is merely a type or symbol which was destined to disappear in the outworking of God’s plan. The Church does not replace Israel; rather the Church and Israel each point to different aspects of the divine plan.
C. Further we reject the extreme teachings known as “Hyper-Dispensationalism”, which oppose the Lord’s Table or water baptism as a scriptural means of testimony for the Church in the present dispensation, and which negates the validity of certain portions of Scripture for this age.
Section 19. The Righteous and the Wicked
We believe that (a) there is radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; (b) that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem; (c) While all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse; (d) and this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting felicity of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost.
(a) Malachi 3:18; Genesis 18:23; Romans 6:17,18; Proverbs 11:31; I Peter 4:18
(b) Romans 1:17; I Corinthians 15:22; Acts 10:34,35; I John 2:29; I John 3:7; Romans 6:16
(c) Romans 6:16; I John 5:19; Galatians 3:10; Romans 7:6, 6:23
(d) Proverbs 14:32; Luke 16:25; Matthew 25:34,41; John 8:21; Luke 9:26; John 12:25; Matthew 7:13,14
Section 20. Civil Government
We believe that civil government is (a) of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; (b) that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed; (c) except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ; (d) who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming Prince of the kings of the earth.
(a) Romans 13:1-7; II Samuel 23:3; Exodus 19:21,22
(b) Acts 23:5; Matthew 22:21; Titus 3:1; I Peter 2:13,14; I Peter 2:17.
(c) Acts 5:29; Acts 4:19,20; Daniel 3:17,18
(d) Matthew 10:28; Matthew 23:10; Revelation 10:6; Philippians 2:10,11; Psalm 72:11
Section 21. The Resurrection, Return of Christ, and Related Events
We believe in:
(a). The Bodily Resurrection. Matt. 28:6,7; Luke 24:39; John 20:27; I Corinthians 15:4; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:2,4-6.
(b) The ascension. Acts 1:9; Acts 1:11; Luke 24:51; Mark 16:19; Revelation 3:21; Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews 12:2
(c). The High Priesthood. Hebrews 8:6; I Timothy 2:5; I John 2:1; Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 5:9,10
(d). The Second Coming. John 14:3; Acts 1:11; I Thessalonians 4:16; Matthew 24:27; Matthew 25:13; James 5:8; Matthew 24:42; Hebrews 9:28.
(e). The Resurrection of the Righteous Dead. I Thessalonians 4:16; I Corinthians 15:42-44; I Corinthians 15:52
(f). The Change of the Living in Christ. I Corinthians 15:51:53; I Thessalonians 4:17; Philippines 3:20,21.
(g). On the Throne of David. Luke 1:32; Isaiah 9:6,7; Acts 2:29,30
(h). His Reign on Earth. I Corinthians 15:25; Isaiah 32:1; Isaiah 11:4,5; Psalm 72:8; Revelation 20:1-4,6
Section 22. Rapture and Subsequent Events
We believe in the pre-tribulational return of Christ for His Church, an event which can occur at any moment. At that moment, the dead in Christ will be raised in glorified bodies,, and the living in Christ will be given glorified bodies without tasting death. All will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air before the seven years of the Tribulation. (1 Thes. 4:13-18 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them 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; 1 Cor. 15:42-44; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; Phil. 3:20-21; Rev. 3:10)
We believe in the pre-millennial return of Christ to the Earth. The tribulation, which follows the Rapture of the Church, will be culminated by the revelation of Christ in power and great glory to sit upon the throne of David and to establish the millennial kingdom on Earth. (Mat. 24:29-31 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of the trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other; Rev. 20:1-4 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years; Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years; Dan 9:25-27; Luke 1:30-33; Isa. 9:6,7; 11:1-9; Acts 2:29,30)
Section 23. Separation
We believe in obedience to the Biblical commands to separate ourselves unto God from worldliness, ecclesiastical apostasy, and secret orders that oppose salvation by grace. (1 Tim. 6:3-5 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself; 2 Cor. 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what accord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 2 Cor. 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God; 1 Thes. 1:9,10; Rom 16:17; 2 John 9-11; John 17:14-16; 1 John 2:15-17