The following reflects what we believe are fundamental and non-negotiable truths which provide a sufficient framework of biblical research. These do not represent the essentials one must believe in order to be saved.
I. The Existence of Knowable Truth
Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?
WE AFFIRM that truth exists, is knowable, and immutable (unchanging); therefore it is not influenced by human opinion. It exists objectively and can be identified through the universal, invariant, and necessary Laws of Logic which originate from the God of order. All knowledge is dependent upon this tenant. If there is knowledge, there must necessarily exist truth.
WE DENY that truth is relative, unknowable or unidentifiable. While truth may be discovered through subjective mediums, including, but not limited to experience, emotional or confirmation biases, or preconceived ideologies, they are not valid identifiers to be used to affirm universal, invariant, and necessary truths.
II. The Authenticity and Authority of Scripture.
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness…
WE AFFIRM that it is possible to verify the truthfulness the Scriptures’ unswerving accuracy of history, philosophy, and already-fulfilled prophecy. The bible consists of 66 canonical books, written by 40 men in approximately 1600 years – dating from 1500 B.C.E. to about C.E. 100. It is the written revelation of God; both God-breathed and trustworthy; the Word is truth. Therefore, it is authoritative
WE DENY that the Scriptures are an invention by man or that they are open to interpretation or alterable by church or credence. While there exists variances between translations, of the known 5,800 manuscripts there exists a 99.6% consistency which sustains the purity of the Text greater than any document on the face of the earth.
III. The sovereignty and Unity of the Triune Godhead
Here, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!
WE AFFIRM that the Godhead (or simply, God) is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent (all-places), omnibenevolent (all-good), eternal, and most holy (set apart and above all). He is the Creator of all that exists and is due all glory, honor, and praise. He is the only God, existing in three co-eternal and distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Spirit – each completely God (called the Trinity).
1. The “Father”:
He is “Father” over all things, ordering and disposing all according to His own purpose and grace. His “Fatherhood” involves both His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. He is the head of Christ, His only begotten (“one and only”) Son Whose life He gave as a ransom for the world He so loves. He is spirit, truth, love, and light. He is absolutely just and concurrently absolutely merciful. In His sovereignty, He is neither Author nor approver of sin. He is the “Potter” and we are all the work of His hands, being conformed into the image of His Son, Jesus, through Whom He created all things. He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus the Christ, and adopts them as sons of the promise of Israel. God chose Israel as the people who would usher in the Messianic line and ultimately the Messiah, Jesus.
2. The “Son”, Jesus the Christ
Jesus is the Christ; “anointed King.” He is called the Prince of Peace and is the Creator of all that exists. He became flesh and dwelt among His creation for over thirty-three years; born of a virgin, lived a sinless life and ministered the truth of His Father’s Word for three and a half years. He performed many miracles and signs as proof of His authority given by the One Who sent Him. He offered His life as the substitutionary atonement on a cross for all who believe in Him as the reconciliation of man to God. He is our High Priest, replacing the priesthood of the Old Covenant and establishing the New Covenant, ratifying it with His own blood, rather than the blood of animal sacrifices which were insufficient.
Therefore, He is the only means for salvation. He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. He was resurrected on the third day and was exalted to the right hand of the Father. He is to come a second time when He will judge the earth and raise His children to be co-heirs with Him.
3. The Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. He was at the beginning and continues His present ministry convicting the world of sin and bearing witness of Jesus. He leads willing Christians into all truth. He is the inspirer of Scripture, giving utterance and breath to the authors of the Word. He calls, commissions, regenerates, and sanctifies those who believe. Those who believe are born of the Spirit Who secures salvation for the believer, producing good fruit — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. He manifests to any and every believer spiritual gifts as He wills all for the purposes and glory of God.
The Holy Spirit executes the divine will of God from before the foundations of the earth. Before the beginning of the New Covenant, the Spirit guided specific men called or anointed by God as prophets, kings, and judges into all truth as they spoke for God and committed to writing God’s revelation — the Bible.
WE DENY that God is numerically one Being manifesting himself into three persons at different times (unitarianism); that Jesus is a created being; that the Holy Spirit is created, simply the breath, essence, or power of God, or that only that the Son and Father are God (binitarianism). We further deny that God is not imminent with his creation (deism).
IV. Man, Created and Fallen
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so also death was passed on to all men, because all sinned.
WE AFFIRM that man was directly and immediately created in the image and likeness of God. God called His creation “very good;” that is, free of sin, free willed, and morally responsible to God. Sin is anything contrary to the law, will, or character of God. After being created, man disobeyed the only command that He had given them. As a result, man lost his innocence and incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Therefore, man is in need of the saving grace which can only come through Jesus Christ.
We begin this life as children having no knowledge of good and evil and are, thus, found blameless from the day we are created until unrighteousness is found in us. But, this happens all too soon; because sin entered the world through Adam (before the Law of Moses came), all were made sinners. The perfect Law came so that sin would increase and subjected all under sin, acting against us all with righteous judgement until the Seed Who was promised to Abraham four-hundred-and-thirty-years before the Law came. And when He came, He fulfilled the Law — that is, completed the requirement of the Law to its fullest — and sin is not imputed when there is no Law. Those made alive in Him are dead to sin — that is, no longer slaves, compelled to sin — but alive in Christ; compelled to righteousness and righteous works.
WE DENY the generational curses – that the sins of the father are passed down through biological or spiritual nature. The son does not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor does the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous is upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked is upon himself.
We further deny that the hearts of men are inherently good. The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick… for from within, out of the heart of man, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. As such, man cannot save himself by any means he is capable.
V. Salvation only through Jesus Christ
The word of faith [is] that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
WE AFFIRM that Salvation is the reconciliation of man to God, through the substitutionary atonement of Christ Jesus given to all men (universal atonement; not to be confused with universalism). Jesus presented Himself as the sacrifice of all sacrifices for the sin of the world because He never sinned. He was illegally crucified on a Roman crucifix by both the Jewish and Gentile leaders, where Jesus exchanged His righteousness to become sin our behalf. As our original Husband, His death freed His church from the Law of Sin and Death so that believers may no longer be called adulteresses. His resurrection gives believers the opportunity to be reconciled with our original Husband.
Salvation is for those who trust in the sacrifice of God, by grace through faith. Salvation is a gift undeserved and attained only through faith. Substitutionary Atonement is the doctrine that affirms that He took our place and penalty originally due to us, a promise which was made with Abraham. His blood is sufficient for all of mankind, but only those who believe and await His second coming will be saved.
We further affirm that only God can remove sin and deliver mankind from the penalty. Salvation comes through hearing the gospel – the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection, which produces faith. (Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen – not the very things hoped for or the things unseen.) When faith is tested, it produces endurance; and those who endure until the end will be saved. Salvation conviction (or regeneration), repentance, and faithfulness through sanctification until the day of our Lord’s second coming where we will exchange mortality for immortality (glorification).
WE DENY that salvation is a work of man; and so doing good works does not earn one’s salvation. Salvation is not earned by believing God exists; even the demons believe. It is not obtained through a relative, or membership of a church or denomination. We further deny limited atonement – that Jesus died for only an elect predestined to eternal life. Conversely, we deny universalism – that Jesus’ death guarantees that all of mankind will ultimately be saved.