Knowledge of God
General Revelation: As men and women made in his image, God has revealed knowledge of himself through creation and conscience. God’s power, wisdom and glory are evident in the world he has made. His moral law has been written on the hearts of all people. While there is no knowledge of God apart from his self-disclosure, an awareness of his existence is attributed to his revelation. Knowledge of God through general revelation is insufficient for salvation apart from special revelation. From general revelation, the existence of God and his moral law is manifest, but provision for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life through Jesus Christ comes only through special revelation.
Biblical Support: Genesis 1–3; Psalm 19: 1–6; Acts 14:15–18; 17:29–34; Romans 1:18–23; 2:12–16.
Special Revelation: In his grace, God has chosen to reveal himself through his acts in history and his spoken word—specifically in the context of ancient Israel and later through his Apostles. Through his prophets God declared his law, revealing his character and will, in addition to foretelling future events. The pinnacle of God’s revelation is his Son Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. The gospel begins with creation, the fall of man, redemption, and through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ a promise of future consummation. The writers of scripture recorded the acts of God by means of testimony, oracles, and verbal propositional statements from God. The compiled testimony preserved through the centuries is known as the Old and New Testaments.
The Holy Bible was divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world. The Christian canon consists of 66 books.
Biblical Support: Exodus 20: 1– 6; Psalm 19: 7–12; 119; 2 Timothy 3:15–17; Matthew 5:17–18; John 10: 34–35, Hebrews 4:12.
God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His Universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the sovereign purposes of His grace. He is all-powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all-wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in his attitude toward all men.
Biblical support: Genesis 1:1; 12; 15; Exodus 3:14; 20:1–3; 34: 5–7; Deuteronomy 6:1–9; Isaiah 42; Psalm 115; 135; Isaiah 44:6; 45:15–19.
God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In his incarnation as Jesus Christ he was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon himself human nature and with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by his personal obedience, and in his substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of the sins of men. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is no exalted at the right hand of God where he is the One mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate his redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever-present Lord.
Biblical support: Genesis 3:15; 49:10; Psalm 2, 16, 110; 2 Samuel 7:14; Isaiah 7:7–14; 53; Matthew 3:13–17; 28:18–20; John 1; 3:16; 12:27–36; 14:6; 20:26–29; Galatians 3:10–14; Revelation 5:1–10.
God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Savior, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
Biblical support: Gen 1:2; Joel 2:28-32; 2 Pet 1:21; John 16:7-14; 1 Corinthians 12: 1–11; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 1:11–14.
Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. Gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of god, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and environment inclined toward sin. Thereby, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are condemned. Humans are sinners by nature and by choice. Only the grace of God can bring man into his holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in his own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Biblical support: Genesis 1:26–27; 9:6–9; Psalm 8; 139; Jeremiah 1:5; Galatians 3:28; 6:10.
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. It is demonstrated through repentance from sin and faith in the person and work of Christ. In its broadest sense salvation includes: election, calling, regeneration, faith, conversion, justification, sanctification, perseverance and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.
Biblical support: Gen 3:15; 12:1–3; Acts 4:12; Rom 5:8-10; Titus 2:11-14; Ephesians 1:4-23; 2:1-10; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 Peter 3:24–25.
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by scripture. The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.
Biblical support: Matt 16:15-19; Acts 2:41-47; 1 Timothy 3; 2:8–15; 1 Corinthians 11; 1 Peter 5:1-4.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper is a visible sign of obedience whereby the members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate his second coming.
Scriptural Support: Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 14:22–25; Luke 22:14–23; 1 Corinthians 11:23–26; Galatians 3:27.
The Kingdom of God and the Last Things
The Kingdom of God includes both his general sovereignty over the universe and his particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge him a King. Particularly, the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ. Christians ought to pray that the Kingdom may come and God’s will be done on earth. The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Christ at the age of this age. In his time, God will bring the world to appropriate end. According to his promise, Christ will return visibly in glory to earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be assigned to hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in heaven with the Lord.
Scriptural Support: Daniel 12; Malachi 4:5–6; Matthew 28:18–20; Mark 1:14–15; Luke 11:14–23; 2 Thessalonians 2; Revelation 21; 22.