God is the Sovereign Creator, Sustainer and Ruler of the universe. Everything is subject to His control; therefore nothing happens that He does not ordain. God possesses infinite power, holiness, knowledge, wisdom, goodness, purity, and love. He eternally exists in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
Gen. 1:1, 26, 27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matt.28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Cor. 13:14
2. Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is both fully God and fully man. Jesus was born of a virgin and conceived by the Holy Spirit. He is co-equal with the Father. As our Redeemer, Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for our sins by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days demonstrating His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again to earth to reign as King if Kings, and Lord of Lords.
Matt. 1:22,23; Is. 9:6; John 1:1-5, 10-30; Heb. 4:14, 15; 1 Cor. 15:3-4;
Rom. 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Tim. 6:14, 15; Titus 2:13
3. Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ and to effectively bring them to faith and repentance. The Holy Spirit lives in all Christians from the moment of regeneration. He guides believers into all truth and imparts to them His gifts. He empowers them to live fruitful and holy lives. As Christians, we seek to live under the Spirit’s control daily.
Rom. 8:9, 13; 2 Cor. 3:17; John 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 2:12; 3:16; Eph. 1:13; 5:18; Gal. 5:25
4. The Bible
The Bible is God’s inspired Word. It is truth without any mixture of error. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme guide for Christian beliefs and living.
2 Tim. 1:13; 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21; Psalm 119:105, 160; 12:6; Prov. 30:5
Human beings are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. Although the supreme object of God’s creation, all human beings are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called sin. Every person is born with a sin nature, and within himself has no ability to please God or do what is good in His sight. We affirm the following from the Westminster Confession of Faith, “Man fell into a state of sin by his disobedience and so completely lost his ability to will any spiritual good involving salvation. Consequently fallen man is by nature completely opposed to spiritual good, is dead in sin, and is unable by his own strength either to convert himself or to prepare himself for conversion.” (9:3) Man’s sin has caused God to judge His creation and separate Himself from man.
Gen. 1:27; 6:5; Ps.51:5; Is. 53:6a; 59:1,2; 64:6,7; Jer. 17:9; Matt; 15:19; John 6:44; 15:5;
Rom. 3:10-12, 19, 23; 5:6,10,19; 7:18; 8:7-8; 1 Cor.2:14; 2 Cor. 4:3-4; Eph. 2:1-3, 4:17-19
Regarding grace, regeneration, justification, the atonement, preservation and perseverance:
Salvation does not depend upon anything in man, but rather upon Jesus Christ, and what He has already done on the cross. Man deserves God’s punishment and condemnation for his sins. Through Jesus’ death, God’s justice was satisfied and the judgment man deserved was completely taken away. Through the finished work of Christ, all who believe are completely forgiven, reconciled to God, and put in right standing with Him forever. Salvation is God’s free gift and not merited in any way. Likewise, faith is graciously given by God. Everyone whom God elects, He effectively calls unto Himself through the Gospel, drawing him by the Holy Spirit to bring him to repentance and faith in Jesus. Thus salvation is completely God’s work, depending entirely upon God’s free and sovereign grace.
John 6:44; Acts18:27; Rom. 3:24; 8:30; 11:5-6; 1 Cor.1:9,24,26; Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Thes. 2:13-14
Man can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Our salvation is received by faith alone in Jesus Christ completely apart from any good works or human merit of any kind. Saving faith is also a “living faith” which naturally produces a life of repentance and good works as fruit. It is impossible to have saving faith without repentance or have repentance without faith. They are parts of each other. “Repentance is a heartfelt sorrow for sin, a renouncing of it, and a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk in obedience to Christ.” (Grudem, 713) Repentance, like faith, is a gift from God.
John 3:16-18; 6:40,47; Acts 5:31;10:43; 13:39; Rom.1:16, 17; 3:19-28; 4:5; 6:1,2,11-14; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 2:8,9; James 2:17-18; Acts 3:19; Titus 2:11,12; 1 John 2:4,15; 3:6-10; Heb. 12:14
Everyone who is saved must be regenerated by God, through God’s impartation of new spiritual life which causes the sinner to be born again and pass from spiritual death to spiritual life.
Ez.36:26-28; John 1:13; 3:3-6; 5:21; Rom. 8:7-9; 1 Cor. 12:3; 2 Cor. 5:17; James 1;18
Every person that God elects, and calls to faith, He also justifies. “God’s justification of those who trust Him, according to the Gospel, is a decisive transition, here and now, from a state of condemnation and wrath because of their sins to one of acceptance and favor by virtue of Jesus flawless obedience culminating in his voluntary sin-bearing death.” (Sproul, 188) The basis of justification is not any thing that is worked in man or anything that is done by man including the act of believing. Rather, justification is based upon the righteousness of Christ alone, and His substitutionary death for sins. Faith alone is the means by which man is justified before God.
Acts 13:39; Rom. 3:20-28; 4:4,5; 5:1,9; 8:30; Gal. 2:16; Col. 1;19-22; Titus 3:7
V. The Atonement
We affirm that the atonement of Christ by which, in his obedience, he offered a perfect sacrifice, propitiating the Father by paying for our sins and satisfying divine justice on our behalf according to God’s eternal plan, is an essential element of the Gospel. We deny that any view of the Atonement that rejects the substitutionary satisfaction of divine justice, accomplished vicariously for believers, is compatible with the teaching of the Gospel.” (Sproul 191)
Is. 53:4-12; Rom. 3:24-26; 5:9; 1 Cor. 15:1-3; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 3:18; 1 John 4:10; Rev. 1:5
VI. Preservation and Perseverance
All whom God elects, calls, regenerates, and justifies, He also preserves in such a way that they persevere in their faith until the end of their lives. Only those who so persevere are truly born again. These will never perish or lose their salvation.
Matt. 24:13; John 6:37,39, 44, 47; 10:27-29; Rom.8:30-39; 1 Cor. 1:8; Eph. 1:4,5; Philip. 1:6; 1 Thess. 1:4; 5:9,23,24; 2 Thess. 2:13; 4:18; 2 Tim.1:12; Heb.12:2,14; 1 Peter 1:4,5; Jude 1
7. Baptism the Lord’s Supper
God has ordained two rites under the New Covenant that identify His people with His atoning death, His justifying resurrection, and His heavenly coronation: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Those who trust in Him for salvation are to be baptized in water to signify their new birth and citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven. Believers are also to be regularly invited to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, representing His body and blood, proclaiming His victory over sin and death and His coming triumphant return.
Matt. 23:19,20; 26:17-29; Mark 14:12-25; 16:16; Acts 2:38-39; Col. 2:11; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Luke 22:7-22; 1 Cor. 11:17-34; Gal. 3:26-27
People were created to exist forever. Man will be either eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. Those eternally separated from God will experience eternal punishment in Hell. Eternal life is to be eternally in union with God. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
John 3:16; 14:17; Rom. 6:23; 8:17-18; Rev. 20:15; 1 Cor.2:7-9
Grudem, Wayne, Systematic Theology, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994.
Sproul, R.C., Getting the Gospel Right, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999.
Westminster Confession of Faith (An Authentic Modern Version), Signal Mountain: Faith Printing, 1979