Article IV - The Doctrinal Statement
Desiring to be in full accord with the mind of the Spirit for this present dispensation, we hold and require the following doctrinal belief.
- THE BIBLE: The Bible in its original writing is verbally inspired of God. The Bible is complete and has been preserved in the King James Version of 1611 to the exclusion of all other modem English translations. Only the 66 books are the canon of scripture. It is inerrant, infallible, and the sole and absolute authority in all matters of faith and practice. (2 Tim. 3:15-17; Psl. 12:6-7).
- THE GODHEAD: There is one God, creator and sustainer of the universe, existent eternally in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Deut. 6:4; 1 Tim 2:5; Eph 4:4-6; Matt 28:19; II Co. 13:14)
- THE LORD JESUS CHRIST: The Lord Jesus Christ is God the Son, and He is eternal and coexistent with the Father. He was begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, and is true God and true man; God manifested in the flesh. (Luke 1:35; Phil. 2:6,9).
- TOTAL DEPRAVITY: All men by nature are born dead in trespasses and sins, and are therefore totally unable by their own wisdom or strength to do anything pleasing to God to merit their own salvation. ( Psl 51:5; Job 14:4; Eph 2:1-3; Rom 3:9-12).
- SALVATION: The Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself as a ransom for every human being, and it is clearly God's desire that all men be saved (I Tim 2:3-6), without distinction (Rom 10:12). God justifies ungodly sinners by His grace upon the merit of the blood of Christ, through the means of faith. The complete salvation is bestowed as the free gift of God apart from man's work (Rom 3:24-28, 5:1-9; Eph 2:8-9).
- ETERNAL SECURITY: All the saved are eternally secure in Christ Jesus. (Col. 3:1-4; Phil. 1:6; Rom 8:38-39; Eph 1:13-14).
- THE HOLY SPIRIT: The Holy Spirit is a person, co-equal with the Father and the Son, who convicts the world of sin, who regenerates, baptizes, seals, indwells, enlightens and empowers the believer. (John 16:8; Titus 3:5; 1 Co. 12:13; Eph 1:13, 17-18, 3:16, 4:4-5.)
- THE CHURCH: In the present dispensation, the Dispensation of Grace, there is only one true Church, which is called the Body of Christ (I Co. 12:13, Eph 1:22, 23, 3:6) and has its historical beginning with the raising up of the Apostle Paul (I Tim 1: 15; 1 Co. 3: 10, Eph 4:1-6).
- COMMUNION: The Communion of The Lord's Supper, as revealed through the Apostle Paul in I Co. 11:23-26, is a memorial for members of the Body of Christ to observe "until He comes". There is no place in the Scriptures where the Lord's Supper and water baptism are linked together whether as ordinances or sacraments of the church.
- BAPTISM: All saved persons are made members of the Body of Christ by the One divine baptism of Eph 4:5 and I Co. 12:13. By this baptism, every member of the Body of Christ is identified with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection (Rom 6:3-5; Col. 2:12). In the light of I Co. 1: 14-17: Eph 4:5 and Col. 2:12, we affirm that water baptism has no place in God's spiritual program in this present dispensation of Grace; therefore, water baptism is not a scriptural requirement for membership, fellowship, condition of witness or testimony.
- BELIEVER'S WALK: By reason of Christ's victory over sin and of His indwelling Spirit, all of the saved may and should experience deliverance from the power of sin by obedience of Rom 6: 11, but we deny that man's nature of sin is ever eradicated during this life (Rom 6:6-14; Gal 5:16-25; Rom 8:1-37; II Co. 2:14, 10:2-5). As Saints (lit. "Set apart ones") and members of the true church (lit. "Called out ones") we are to maintain a Christ-honoring testimony; separate from all forms of ungodliness and apostasy, demonstrating obedience to the Lord Jesus and love to all men (Rom 12:1-2,9; II Co. 6:14-18; Eph 5: 11; 1 Tim 6:20, 2 1; 1 John 4:19, Gal. 5:1, 16-21, Titus 2:11-12).
- MINISTRY GIFTS: There are no supernatural gifts of Christ or of the Holy Spirit, i.e., tongues, prophecies or healings, operating since the completion of scripture. Every facet of the ministry is taught and executed by saints perfected by the word of God rightly divided. (I Co. 13: 8-11, Eph. 4: 7-16, II Tim 2:2).
- STATE OF THE DEAD: The scriptures do not extend the hope of salvation to the unsaved dead. The Scripture reveals that they will exist in a state of conscious suffering (Luke 16:23-28; John 3:36; Rom 1:21-32; Col. 3:6; 11 Thess. 1:9; Rev 14:11, 20:10, 14, 15). The teaching of universalism, of probation after death, of annihilation of the unsaved dead are opposed as being thoroughly unscriptural and dangerous doctrine. At death, the saved are "present with the Lord"
(I Co. 5:6-8; Phil. 1:23) and after the resurrection "shall be with the Lord" (I Thess. 4:17).
- RESURRECTION: Our Lord Jesus Christ was resurrected bodily from the dead, Luke 24:39-43, therefore, all men will have a bodily resurrection (I Co. 15:2 1, Acts 24:15); the saved to everlasting glory and the unsaved to everlasting punishment (John 5:29; Rev 20:11-15).
- THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST: The rapture of the Church, which is the Body of Christ, is to be pre-tribulation and the second advent of Christ to earth will be pre-millennial. The Lord will come first to receive the Church to Himself (I Thess. 4:13 -18; Phil. 3:20-2 1) and then come to receive His kingdom over which He will reign (Zech. 14:4, 9; Acts 1: 10- 11; Rev 19:11-16, 20:4-6). The resurrection and rapture of the Body of Christ will take place before the Great Tribulation (Jer. 30:7; Matt 24:15, 3) at His appearing in the air (I Thess. 4:13- and are ever imminent. (Phil. 4:5; 3:30; Titus 2:13; 1 Co. 15:51-53).
- MISSION OF THE CHURCH: The mission and commission of the Church is to proclaim the message of reconciliation (11 Co. 5:14-21) and endeavor to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery (Eph 3:9). In this we follow the Apostle Paul (I Co. 4:16; 11: 1; Phil. 3:17; Rom 11: 13, 15:16; 1 Tim 1: 11-16). The distinctive message that the Apostle of the Gentiles calls "My Gospel" (Rom 2:16, 16:25) is also called the "Gospel of the Grace of God" (Acts 20:24) and is God's specific message for the world today. Following Paul's example, we must preach the entire word of God in light of this gospel (11 Tim 4:2; Gal 1-8,9) and strive to reach those in regions beyond where Christ is not yet named (Rom. 15:20; II Co. 10:16).