The College believes it is essential for its faculty, administration, and trustees to be committed to the authority of Scripture and to the basics of the Christian faith. All faculty, trustees, and administrative staff of the College declare themselves annually to believe:
--The Bible, composed of the Old and New Testaments, is the Word of God, a divine, supernatural revelation. We believe in the plenary, verbal inspiration of the original writings of the Scriptures, and that as thus given they were wholly without error of any kind.
--in one Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (I Peter 1:2; Matthew 28:19). We believe that they are co-equal in power and glory, identical in their essential nature, attributes, and perfections and that they are co-eternal (Genesis 1:2; John 17:5). In His essential nature God is spirit as opposed to material (John 4:24); as to His essential attributes God is absolutely holy, embracing the sum of all moral perfections (I Peter 1:16); as to His essential character, God is love (I John 4:16; John 3:16).
--that Jesus Christ "being the eternal Son of God became man" (Hebrews 2:16; John 1:14; Luke 1:35), and that He continues to be the God-Man in two distinct natures, and one person forever (John 1:14; Romans 9:5; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 13:8).
--that He died upon the cross a vicarious substitutionary death, thereby making atonement for the sin of the world (John 1:29). We believe that He is the only Redeemer (Acts 4:12), and that His atonement is sufficient for the sins of all the world (Hebrews 7:25; I John 2:2), and efficient for all who believe (John 3:16, 36; Isaiah 45:22).
--that He bodily arose from the dead, that He ascended into Heaven, that there in His state of glorification He is now the interceding High Priest, Intercessor, and Advocate for all believers (I Corinthians 15:20; Luke 24; Acts 1:3; Hebrews 7:25, 4:15, 2:17; I John 2:1).
--that as in His first advent He became incarnate and dwelt on earth personally, bodily, visibly in an earthly tabernacle of flesh, the body of His humiliation, even so in His second advent He will return personally, bodily, visibly, but in the body of His glorification, to set up His kingdom and to judge the world in righteousness (Acts 1:9-11; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 20:4-6, 11-15).
--that man, created in the image of God, fell into sin through the sin of the first Adam and in that sense is lost and separated from God. In order to secure salvation and restoration, man must be born again. Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ "Who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree" (I Peter 2:24). The punishment of the wicked and unbelieving, and the reward of the righteous are everlasting, and as the reward is conscious, so is the punishment (Genesis 1:26-28; Romans 3:10, 22-23; John 3:16; Acts 4:12, 13:38-39; Matthew 25:46; II Corinthians 5:1; II Thessalonians 1:7-10).
--that the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead, indwells all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 6:19), baptizes them into the body of Christ, and seals them unto the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit convinces and "reproves the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment" (Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 12:12-14; Ephesians 1:13-14, 5:18-20; John 16:8-11).
--that the Church is the body of Christ, a spiritual organism composed of all born-again persons in this present age. The mission of the Church is to witness concerning the Head, Jesus Christ, and to preach the gospel among all nations. The Church will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air prior to his appearing to set up His Kingdom (Ephesians 1:3-6, 22-23, 25, 30; I Corinthians 12:12-14; Matthew 28:19-20; I Thessalonians 4:16-18).
Under God, and subject to biblical authority, the faculty and
trustees of the Seminary bear concerted witness to the following
articles, to which they subscribe, and which they hold to be essential
to their ministry.
I. God has revealed himself to be the living and true God, perfect in love and righteous in all his ways; one in essence, existing eternally in the three persons of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
II. God, who discloses himself through his creation, has savingly spoken in the words and events of redemptive history. This history is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word, who is made known to us by the Holy Spirit in sacred Scripture.
III. Scripture is an essential part and trustworthy record of this divine self-disclosure. All the books of the Old and New Testaments, given by divine inspiration, are the written word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice. They are to be interpreted according to their context and purpose and in reverent obedience to the Lord who speaks through them in living power.
IV. God, by his word and for his glory, freely created the world from nothing. He made man and woman in his own image, as the crown of creation, that they might have fellowship with him. Tempted by Satan, they rebelled against God. Being estranged from their Maker, yet responsible to him, they became subject to divine wrath, inwardly depraved, and, apart from grace, incapable of returning to God.
V. The only Mediator between God and humankind is Christ Jesus our Lord, God's eternal Son, who being conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, fully shared and fulfilled our humanity in a life of perfect obedience. By his death in our stead, he revealed the divine love and upheld divine justice, removing our guilt and reconciling us to God. Having redeemed us from sin, the third day he rose bodily from the grave, victorious over death and the powers of darkness. He ascended into heaven where at God's right hand, he intercedes for his people and rules as Lord over all.
VI. The Holy Spirit, through the proclamation of the gospel, renews our hearts, persuading us to repent of our sins and confess Jesus as Lord. By the same Spirit we are led to trust in divine mercy, whereby we are forgiven all our sins, justified by faith alone through the merit of Christ our Savior and granted the free gift of eternal life.
VII. God graciously adopts us into his family and enables us to call him Father. As we are led by the Spirit, we grow in the knowledge of the Lord, freely keeping his commandments and endeavoring so to live in the world that all may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven.
VIII. God by his word and Spirit creates the one holy catholic and apostolic church, calling sinners out of the whole human race into the fellowship of Christ's body. By the same word and Spirit, he guides and preserves for eternity that new, redeemed humanity, which, being formed in every culture, is spiritually one with the people of God in all ages.
IX. The church is summoned by Christ to offer acceptable worship to God and to serve him by preaching the gospel and making disciples of all nations, by tending the flock through the ministry of the word and sacraments and through daily pastoral care, by striving for social justice and by relieving human distress and need.
X. God's redemptive purpose will be consummated by the return of Christ to raise the dead, to judge all people according to the deeds done in the body and to establish his glorious kingdom. The wicked shall be separated from God's presence, but the righteous in glorious bodies, shall live and reign with him forever. Then shall the eager expectation of creation be fulfilled and the whole earth shall proclaim the glory of God who makes all things new.
While our faculty and board annually affirm their agreement with the entire statement, students need only agree with these seven essentials:
· the Trinity,
· the full deity and humanity of Christ,
· the spiritual lostness of the human race,
· the substitutionary atonement and bodily resurrection of Christ,
· salvation by faith alone in Christ alone,
· the physical return of Christ, and
· the authority and inerrancy of Scripture.
I. The Scriptures
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 this divine inspiration extends equally and fully to all parts of the writings-historical, poetical, doctrinal, and prophetical-as appeared in the original manuscripts. We believe that the whole Bible in the originals is therefore without error. We believe that all the Scriptures center about the Lord Jesus Christ in His person and work in His first and second coming, and hence that no portion, even of the Old Testament, is properly read, or understood, until it leads to Him. We also believe that all the Scriptures were designed for our practical instruction (Mark 12:26, 36; 13:11; Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Acts 1:16; 17:2-3; 18:28; 26:22-23; 28:23; Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 2:13; 10:11; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21).
II. The Godhead
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 perfections, and worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience (Matt. 28:18-19; Mark 12:29; John 1:14; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 13:14; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 1:4-6).
III. Angels Fallen and Unfallen
We believe that God created an innumerable company of sinless,
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"
(Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:11-19; 1 Tim. 3:6; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6).
We believe that Satan is the originator of sin, and that, under the permission of God, he, through subtlety, led our first parents into transgression, thereby accomplishing their moral fall and subjecting them and their posterity to his own power; that he is the enemy of God and the people of God, opposing and exalting himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped; and that he who in the beginning said, "I will be like the most High," in his warfare appears as an angel of light, even counterfeiting the works of God by fostering religious movements and systems of doctrine, which systems in every case are characterized by a denial of the efficacy of the blood of Christ and of salvation by grace alone (Gen. 3:1-19; Rom. 5:12-14; 2 Cor. 4:3-4; 11:13-15; Eph. 6:10-12; 2 Thess. 2:4; 1 Tim. 4:1-3).
We believe that Satan was judged at the Cross, though not then executed, 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).
We believe that a great company of angels kept their holy estate and are before the throne of God, from whence they are sent forth as ministering spirits to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation (Luke 15:10; Eph. 1:21; Heb. 1:14; Rev. 7:12).
We believe that man was made lower than the angels; and that, in His incarnation, Christ took for a little time this lower place that He might lift the believer to His own sphere above the angels (Heb. 2:6-10).
IV. Man Created and Fallen
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 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 unchangeably bad apart from divine grace (Gen. 1:26; 2:1-7; 6:5; Pss. 14:1-3; 51:5; Jer. 17:9; John 3:6; 5:40; 6:35; Rom. 3:10-19; 8:6-7; Eph. 2:1-3; 1 Tim. 5:6; 1 John 3:8).
V. The dispensations
We believe that the dispensations are stewardships by which
God administers His purpose on the earth through man under varying
responsibilities. We believe that the changes in the dispensational
dealings of God with man depend on changed conditions or situations
in which man is successively found with relation to God, and that
these changes are the result of the failures of man and the judgments
of God. We believe that different administrative responsibilities
of this character are manifest in the biblical record, that they
span the entire history of mankind, and that each ends in the
failure of man under the respective test and in an ensuing judgment
from God. We believe that three of these dispensations or rules
of life are the subject of extended revelation in the Scriptures,
viz., the dispensation of the Mosaic law, the present dispensation
of grace, and the future dispensation of the millennial kingdom.
We believe that these are distinct and are not to be intermingled
or confused, as they are chronologically successive.
We believe that the dispensations are not ways of salvation nor different methods of administering the so-called Covenant of Grace. They are not in themselves dependent on covenant relationships but are ways of life and responsibility to God which test the submission of man to His revealed will during a particular time. We believe that if man does trust in his own efforts to gain the favor of God or salvation under any dispensational test, because of inherent sin his failure to satisfy fully the just requirements of God is inevitable and his condemnation sure.
We believe that according to the "eternal purpose" of God (Eph. 3:11) salvation in the divine reckoning is always "by grace through faith," and rests upon the basis of the shed blood of Christ. We believe that God has always been gracious, regardless of the ruling dispensation, but that man has not at all times been under an administration or stewardship of grace as is true in the present dispensation (1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 3:2; 3:9, ASV; Col. 1:25; 1 Tim. 1:4, ASV).
We believe that it has always been true that "without faith it is impossible to please" God (Heb. 11:6), and that the principle of faith was prevalent in the lives of all the Old Testament saints. However, we believe that it was historically impossible that they should have had as the conscious object of their faith the incarnate, crucified Son, the Lamb of God (John 1:29), and that it is evident that they did not comprehend as we do that the sacrifices depicted the person and work of Christ. We believe also that they did not understand the redemptive significance of the prophecies or types concerning the sufferings of Christ (1 Pet. 1:10-12); therefore, we believe that their faith toward God was manifested in other ways as is shown by the long record in Hebrews 11:1-40. We believe further that their faith thus manifested was counted unto them for righteousness (cf. Rom. 4:3 with Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:5-8; Heb. 11:7).
VI. The first Advent
We believe that, as provided and purposed by God and as preannounced
in the prophecies of the Scriptures, the eternal Son of Ginviod
came into this world that He might manifest God to men, fulfill
prophecy, and become the Redeemer of a lost world. To this end
He was born of the virgin, and received a human body and a sinless
human nature (Luke 1:30-35; John 1:18; 3:16; Heb. 4:15).
We believe that, on the human side, He became and remained a perfect man, but sinless throughout His life; yet He retained His absolute deity, being at the same time very God and very man, and that His earth-life sometimes functioned within the sphere of that which was human and sometimes within the sphere of that which was divine (Luke 2:40; John 1:1-2; Phil. 2:5-8).
We believe that in fulfillment of prophecy He came first to Israel as her Messiah-King, and that, being rejected of that nation, He, according to the eternal counsels of God, gave His life as a ransom for all (John 1:11; Acts 2:22-24; 1 Tim. 2:6).
We believe that, in infinite love for the lost, He voluntarily accepted His Father's will and became the divinely provided sacrificial Lamb and took away the sin of the world, bearing the holy judgments against sin which the righteousness of God must impose. His death was therefore substitutionary in the most absolute sense-the just for the unjust-and by His death He became the Savior of the lost (John 1:29; Rom. 3:25-26; 2 Cor. 5:14; Heb. 10:5-14; 1 Pet. 3:18).
We believe that, according to the Scriptures, He arose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He had lived and died, and that His resurrection body is the pattern of that body which ultimately will be given to all believers (John 20:20; Phil. 3:20-21).
We believe that, on departing from the earth, He was accepted of His Father and that His acceptance is a final assurance to us that His redeeming work was perfectly accomplished (Heb. 1:3).
We believe that He became Head over all things to the church which is His body, and in this ministry He ceases not to intercede and advocate for the saved (Eph. 1:22-23; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1).
VII. 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, no attainments in morality however
high, no culture however attractive, no baptism or other ordinance
however administered, 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 only those thus saved are sons of God. We believe,
also, that our redemption has been accomplished solely by the
blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was made to be sin and was
made a curse for us, dying in our room and stead; and that no
repentance, no feeling, no faith, no good resolutions, no sincere
efforts, no submission to the rules and regulations of any church,
nor all the churches that have existed since the days of the Apostles
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 who united
in His person true and proper deity with perfect and sinless humanity
(Lev. 17:11; Isa. 64:6; Matt. 26:28; John 3:7-18; Rom. 5:6-9;
2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; 6:15; Eph. 1:7; Phil. 3:4-9; Titus 3:5;
James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:18-19, 23).
We believe that the new birth of the believer comes only through faith in Christ and that repentance is a vital part of believing, and is in 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 (John 1:12; 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 6:29; Acts 13:39; 16:31; Rom. 1:16-17; 3:22, 26; 4:5; 10:4; Gal. 3:22).
VIII. The Extent of Salvation
We believe that when an unregenerate person exercises that faith in Christ which is illustrated and described as such in the New Testament, he passes immediately out of spiritual death into spiritual life, and from the old creation into the new; being justified from all things, accepted before the Father according as Christ His Son is accepted, loved as Christ is loved, having his place and portion as linked to Him and one with Him forever. Though the saved one may have occasion to grow in the realization of his blessings and to know a fuller measure of divine power through the yielding of his life more fully to God, he is, as soon as he is saved, in possession of every spiritual blessing and absolutely complete in Christ, and is therefore in no way required by God to seek a so-called "second blessing," or a "second work of grace" (John 5:24; 17:23; Acts 13:39; Rom. 5:1; 1 Cor. 3:21-23; Eph. 1:3; Col. 2:10; 1 John 4:17; 5:11-12).
We believe that sanctification, which is a setting-apart unto God, is threefold: It is already complete for every saved person because his position toward God is the same as Christ's position. Since the believer is in Christ, he is set apart unto God in the measure in which Christ is set apart unto God. We believe, however, that he retains his sin nature, which cannot be eradicated in this life. Therefore, while the standing of the Christian in Christ is perfect, his present state is no more perfect than his experience in daily life. There is, therefore, a progressive sanctification wherein the Christian is to "grow in grace," and to "be changed" by the unhindered power of the Spirit. We believe also, that the child of God will yet be fully sanctified in his state as he is now sanctified in his standing in Christ when he shall see his Lord and shall be "like Him" (John 17:17; 2 Cor. 3:18; 7:1; Eph. 4:24; 5:25-27; 1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 10:10, 14; 12:10).
X. Eternal Security
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, because of the immutability of the unchangeable covenants of God, because of the regenerating, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all who are saved, we and all true believers everywhere, once saved shall be kept saved forever. We believe, however, 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 every one 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. 8:29; 1 Cor. 6:19; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2; 5:13; Jude 24).
We believe it is the privilege, not only of some, but of all who are born again by the Spirit through faith in Christ as revealed in the Scriptures, to be assured of their salvation from the very day they take Him to be their Savior and that this assurance is not founded upon any fancied discovery of their own worthiness or fitness, but wholly upon the testimony of God in His written Word, exciting within His children filial love, gratitude, and obedience (Luke 10:20; 22:32; 2 Cor. 5:1, 6-8; 2 Tim. 1:12; Heb. 10:22; 1 John 5:13).
XII. The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the blessed
Trinity, though 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 at the completion of the church (John
14:16-17; 16:7-15; 1 Cor. 6:19; Eph. 2:22; 2 Thess. 2:7).
We believe that, in this age, certain well-defined ministries are committed to the Holy Spirit, and that it is the duty of every Christian to understand them and to be adjusted to them in his own life and experience. 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; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:30; 5:18; 2 Thess. 2:7; 1 John 2:20-27).
We believe that some gifts of the Holy Spirit such as speaking in tongues and miraculous healings were temporary. We believe that speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism nor of the filling of the Spirit, and that the deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection (Acts 4:8, 31; Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 13:8).
XIII. The Church; a unity of believers
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 nonmembership 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 (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).
XIV. The Sacraments and Ordinances
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).
XV. The Christian Walk
We believe that we are called with a holy calling, to walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, and so to live in the power of the indwelling Spirit that we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. But the flesh with its fallen, Adamic nature, which in this life is never eradicated, being with us to the end of our earthly pilgrimage, needs to be kept by the Spirit constantly in subjection to Christ, or it will surely manifest its presence in our lives to the dishonor of our Lord (Rom. 6:11-13; 8:2, 4, 12-13; Gal. 5:16-23; Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 2:1-10; 1 Pet. 1:14-16; 1 John 1:4-7; 3:5-9).
XVI. The Christian Service
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).
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).
XVII. The Great Commission
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 whole 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).
XVIII. The Blessed Hope
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 (John 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; Phil. 3:20; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-14).
XIX. The Tribulation
We believe that the translation of the church will be followed by the fulfillment of Israel's seventieth 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 seventieth 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 (Matt. 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.
XX. The Second Coming of Christ
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 (Deut. 30:1-10; Isa. 11:9; Ezek. 37:21-28; Matt. 24:15-25:46; Acts 15:16-17; Rom. 8:19-23; 11:25-27; 1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; Rev. 20:1-3).
XXI. The Eternal State
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 (Luke 16:19-26; 23:42; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15).
WE BELIEVE in one sovereign God, eternally existing in three persons: the everlasting Father, His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, and the Holy Spirit, the giver of life; and we believe that God created the Heavens and the earth out of nothing by His spoken word, and for his own glory.
WE BELIEVE that God has revealed Himself and His truth in the created order, in the Scriptures, and supremely in Jesus Christ; and that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are verbally inspired by God and inerrant in the original writing, so that they are fully trustworthy and of supreme and final authority in all they
WE BELIEVE that Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and was true God and true man, existing in one person and without sin; and we believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, in His ascension into heaven, and in His present life there for us as Lord of all, High Priest, and Advocate.
WE BELIEVE that God directly created Adam and Eve, the historical parents of the entire human race; and that they were created in His own image, distinct from all other living creatures, and in a state of original righteousness.
WE BELIEVE that our first parents sinned by rebelling against God's revealed will and thereby incurred both physical and spiritual death, and that as a result all human beings are born with a sinful nature that leads them to sin in thought, word, and deed.
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.
WE BELIEVE that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice, triumphing over all evil; and that all who believe in Him are justified by His shed blood and forgiven of all their sins.
WE BELIEVE that all who receive the Lord Jesus Christ by faith are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God and are enabled to offer spiritual worship acceptable to God.
WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit indwells and gives life to believers, enables them to understand the Scriptures, empowers them for godly living, and equips them for service and witness.
WE BELIEVE that the one, holy, universal Church is the body of Christ and is composed of the communities of Christ's people. The task of Christ's people in this world is to be God's redeemed community, embodying His love by worshipping God with confession, prayer, and praise; by proclaiming the gospel of God's redemptive love through our Lord Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth by word and deed; by caring for all of God's creation and actively seeking the good of everyone, especially the poor and needy.
WE BELIEVE in the blessed hope that Jesus Christ will soon return to this earth, personally, visibly, and unexpectedly, in power and great glory, to gather His elect, to raise the dead, to judge the nations and to bring His Kingdom to fulfillment.
WE BELIEVE in the bodily resurrection of the just and unjust, the everlasting punishment of the lost, and the everlasting blessedness of the saved.