We believe that all "Scripture is given by inspiration of God," by which we understand the whole Bible is inspired in the sense that holy men of God "were moved by the Holy Spirit" to write the very words of Scripture. We believe that the whole Bible in the originals is therefore without error to the smallest word and inflection of word. We also believe that all the Scriptures were designed for our practical instruction. (Mark 12:26, 36; 13:11; Luke 24:27; John 5:39; Acts 17:2-31;8:28; 26:22-23; 28:23; Romans 15:4; 1Cor. 10:1; 1 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21).
We believe that the Holy Spirit, the third person of the blessed Trinity through omnipresent from all eternity, took up His abode in the world in a special sense on the day of Pentecost according to the divine promise, 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 and not with themselves nor with their experiences. We believe that His abode in the world in this special sense will cease when Christ comes to receive His own and the completion of the church. (John 14:16-17; 16:7-15; 1 Cor. 6:19; Eph. 2:22; 2 Thess. 2:7).
The Church, A Unity of Believers
We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons-the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit-and that these three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfection, and worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience. (Mark 12:29; John 1:1-14; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 13:14; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 1:4-6).
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 members one of another and 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. (Matt. 16:16-18, Acts 2:42-47, Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:12-27; Eph. 1:20-23; 4:3-10; Col. 3:14-15).
The Sacraments & Ordinances
We 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 this 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 unchangeably bad apart from divine grace. (Gen. 1:26-27; 6:5; Ps. 14:1-3; 51:5; Jer. 18:9; John 3:7; 5:40; 6:35; Rom. 3:10-19,8:6-7; Eph. 2:1-3; 1 Tim. 5:7; 1 John 3:8).
We believe that water baptism and the Lord's Supper are the only sacraments and ordinances of the church and that they are a scriptural means of testimony for the church in this age. (Matt. 28:19; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 10:47-48; 16:32-33; 18:7-8; 1 Cor.11:26).
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 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).
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 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. (John 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; Phil. 3:20; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-14).
Salvation Only Through Christ
We believe that, owing to universal death through sin, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless born again and that no degree of reformation, however great, can help the sinner to take even one step toward heaven; but a new nature imparted from above, a new life implanted by the Holy Spirit through the Word, is absolutely essential to salvation, and can be accomplished solely by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who was born of a virgin and lived a sinless life, and was made to be sin in our stead. No faith, no good resolutions, no sincere efforts, no submissions to the rules and regulations of any church can add in the very least degree to the value of the blood or to the merit of the finished work wrought for us by Him. (Lev. 18:11; Matt. 26:28; Rom. 5:6-9; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).
We believe that the new birth of the believer comes only through faith in Christ and that repentance is a vital part of faith but is no way, in itself, a separate and independent condition of salvation, nor are any other acts, such as confession, baptism, prayer, or faithful service to be added to believing as a condition of salvation. (Luke 1:34-35; John 1:12; 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 6:29; 8:46; Acts 13:39; 16:31; Rom. 1:16-17; 3:22, 26; 4:5; 10:4; Gal. 3:22).
We believe that because of the eternal purpose of God toward the objects of His love, because of His freedom to exercise grace toward the meritless on the ground of the propitiatory blood of Christ, because of the very nature of the divine gift of eternal life, because of the present and unending intercession and advocacy of Christ in heaven, and because of the regenerating, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all who are saved, we all, true believers everywhere once saved shall be kept saved forever. We believe that God is a holy and righteous Father and that, since He cannot overlook the sin of His children, He will, when they persistently sin, chasten them and correct them in infinite love; but having undertaken to save them and keep them forever, apart from all human merit, He, Who cannot fail, will in the end present everyone of them faultless before the presence of His glory and conformed to the image of His son. (John 5:24; 10:28; 13:1; 14:16-17; 17:11; Rom. 8:29a; 1 Cor. 6:19; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2; 5:13; Jude 24).
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 by 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. Matt. 28:18-19; Mark 16:15; John 17:18; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; 1 Pet. 1:17, 2:11).