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Confessions of Faith

Containing the Statement of Basic


Beliefs & Statement of Biblical
Doctrine.

Indian River Baptist Church


Indian River, Michigan
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Our Beliefs
Article 1 – Preamble
Because of our love for Christ, His gospel and His church, Indian River Baptist Church is
committed to the inerrancy, infallibility, sufficiency, and authority of the Scripture. 1 Above all, we
wish to ground our belief and practice fully and completely in God’s revealed Word. We
commend our Church body to the propagation and defense of the Gospel as we are fully
convinced that the Gospel is the ground on which the church stands or falls. This Good News is
historical (the persons and events of the Gospel, as recorded in the Scriptures, have actually
occurred), biblical (Scripture is the only authoritative ground for understanding the work of
Christ), and intensely personal (where it is received, believed, and held firmly, individual persons
are saved). We proclaim our commitment to “contend for the faith once for all delivered”.

Article 2 – Our Confessional Heritage


We recognize that the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ has existed throughout centuries and
cultures for the past 2,000 years. In the face of persecution, false teaching, and biblical neglect,
congregations faithful to the Word of God have written Confessions and Creeds to summarize key
biblical truths. The purpose of these documents was to instruct God’s people about the teachings
of Scripture and to defend the Church from false teachings.

History has proven all too often that false teachers easily corrupt those congregations and
movements which are not thoroughly grounded in the teachings of Scripture. Much of what calls
itself Christianity is nothing other than age-old heresies in modern garb. Yet the Church has been
called to be a “pillar and buttress” of truth (1 Timothy 3:15), and for this reason we declare our
adherence to the following creeds and confessions—which “we do willingly receive” as
trustworthy articulations of essential biblical truth:

1. Apostle’s Creed
2. Nicene Creed
3. Athanasian Creed
4. The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy
5. The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration
6. The Cambridge Declaration
7. The Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
8. 1689 London Baptist Confession

We believe these eight documents provide correct interpretations 2 of Scripture and authoritative
interpretations of the meaning and implications of our corporate Statements of Faith. They serve
as the fullest theological expression of the beliefs of Indian River Baptist Church.

1
We recognize many wonderful translations of Scripture are available in English today. For the purposes of this document, all
Scripture quotations are taken from the English Standard Version, unless otherwise noted.

2
This should not be taken to imply that Indian River Baptist Church agrees in every detail with these Confessions/Creeds. Only
Scripture is inerrant. However, we wholeheartedly support the main thrust of these documents as trustworthy in the communication of
Biblical truth.

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Article 3 – Statement of Basic Beliefs
The following beliefs represent the core beliefs of the Christian faith. While a full understanding
and the ability to adequately articulate these beliefs is not required, the explicit rejection of any
one of these particular beliefs disqualifies one from membership in Indian River Baptist Church.

1. The Bible: The Bible is God’s holy word, and it is completely true, authoritative and
sufficient.
2. The Trinity: There is but one living and true God, one in essence, eternally existing in
three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each equally deserving worship and
obedience.
3. Human sinfulness: All human beings are, by birth and action, sinners and are in rebellion
against God.
4. Penalty for Sin: The penalty for sin is eternal death (both physical and spiritual) and
separation from God from all eternity in Hell.
5. The Nature of Christ: Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, was born of a virgin,
performed miracles, and is both fully God and fully human, yet without sin.
6. The Cross of Christ: Jesus Christ died on the cross as my substitute to pay the penalty for
my sin.
7. The Resurrection of Christ: Jesus Christ physically rose from the dead and ascended into
heaven.
8. The Return of Christ: Jesus Christ will return at the Second Coming to judge the living
and the dead, the redeemed to eternal life with Him, the unredeemed to eternal damnation
in hell.
9. Faith in Christ: Only by trusting in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone can I be
reconciled to God and experience true life and joy.

Article 4 – Statement of Biblical Doctrine


The following beliefs represent the major tenants of the faith held and taught by the leadership of
Indian River Baptist Church. The Church will preach, teach, counsel, and govern itself in
accordance with these theological convictions. Full agreement is necessary to hold the office of
pastor/elder and deacon, and other important ministry positions as determined by the
Pastor/Deacon Board.

1. The Word of God


We believe that God has graciously revealed His existence and power in the created world, 3 and
has supremely revealed Himself to fallen human beings in the person of His Son, 4 the incarnate

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“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible
attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the
creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Romans 1:19-20). “The heavens declare the
glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).

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“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last
days he has spoken to us by his Son…” (Hebrews 1:1-2). “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is
at the Father’s side, he has made him known” (John 1:18).

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Word.5 Moreover, this God is a speaking God 6 who, by His Holy Spirit,7 has inspired the words
preserved in the Scriptures,8 the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. These writings
alone, in their entirety, constitute the verbally inspired 9 Word of God, which is utterly
authoritative and without error 10 in the original writings, complete in its revelation of His will for
salvation, sufficient (sola scriptura) for all that God requires us to believe and do, 11 and final in
its authority over every domain of knowledge to which it speaks.

The Bible is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it teaches; 12 obeyed, as God’s
command, in all that it requires; 13 and trusted, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises. 14 As God’s

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“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son
from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

6
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last
days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2).

7
“For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried
along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). “These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the
Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of
that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand
the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by
the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:10-13).

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“Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation” (2
Peter 1:20). "For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ"
(Galatians 1:12). "Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me,
Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth" (Jeremiah 1:9).

9
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for
training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

10
“Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him” (Proverbs 30:5). “The
words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times”
(Psalm 12:6) “So that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have
fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:18).
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). “…in hope of
eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began” (Titus 1:2). “The law of the Lord is
perfect reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7).

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“From childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for
salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim 3:15).

12
“If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that
he has borne concerning his Son” (1 John 5:9). “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching,
rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). “But he answered, ‘It is written: Man
shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4).

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“Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). “ And
being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him” (Hebrews 5:9). “ If
anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with
him, that he may be ashamed” (2 Thessalonians 3:14). “…Obey now the voice of the LORD in what I say to
you, and it shall be well with you, and your life shall be spared” (Jeremiah 38:20).

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“Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and
abiding word of God; for ‘All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers,
and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.’ And this word is the good news that was
preached to you” (1 Peter 1:23-25). “For whatever was written in former days was written for our
instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have
hope” (Romans 15:4). “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised

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people hear, believe, and do the Word, they are equipped as disciples of Christ and witnesses to
the gospel.15

2. The Trinity
We believe there is One16 and living17 and true God,18 an infinite,19 eternal,20 sovereign21 Spirit,22
the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth, inexpressibly 23 glorious in holiness24 and
worthy of all possible honor,25 confidence26 and love:27 that in the unity of the Godhead there are
three persons:28 God the Father;29 God the Son;30 and God the Holy Spirit.31 We believe they are
equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work
of redemption.

is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).

15
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed,
rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). “He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught,
so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.”
(Titus 1:9). “If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being
trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed” (1 Timothy 4:6).

16
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4).
17

“Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’” (Matthew 16:16; see also 2
Corinthians 6:16; 1 Timothy 4:10; Hebrews 3:12; Revelation 7:2).

18
“For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned
to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians. 1:9). “But the LORD is the true God,
he is the living God, and an everlasting King: at his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure
his indignation” (Jeremiah 10:10).

19
"Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? It is higher than
heaven—what can you do? Deeper than Sheol—what can you know? Its measure is longer than the earth
and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9).

20
“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, even from
everlasting to everlasting, you are God.” (Psalm 90:2. See 1 Tim. 1:17).

21
“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). “Our God is
in the heavens; he does all that he pleases (Psalm 115:3). “…the Most High rules the kingdom of men and
gives it to whom he will” (Daniel 4:25b). “…His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom
endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he
does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can
stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?’” (Daniel 4:34b-35). “In him we have obtained an
inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to
the counsel of his will” (Ephesians 1:11).

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“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).

23
“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable” (Psalm 145:3).

24
“And one called to another and said: Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his
glory” (Isaiah 6:3).

25
“And they shall sing of the ways of the LORD, for great is the glory of the LORD” (Psalm 138:5). “To the
King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen” (1 Tim. 1:17).

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"Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God" (Psalm 20:7).
" Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways
acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6). "The fear of man lays a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe" (Proverbs 29:25).

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3. The Creation of the World and Humanity
We believe that God, solely by an act of His sovereign power 32 and grace,33 and for the
manifestation of His glory,34 brought the universe and everything in it into existence, 35 out of
nothing.36 The culminating work37 of His creative activity was the creation of human beings, male
and female,38 which are distinct from all other creation in that they are His own image. 39 We
believe that God directly formed Adam from the dust of the ground40 and Eve from His side;41
they were the historical parents of the entire human race; and they belonged to the created order
that God himself declared to be very good, 42 serving as God’s agents to care for, manage, and
govern creation,43 living in holy and devoted fellowship with their Maker.44

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“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in
all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul”
(Deuteronomy 10:12). “And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with
all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38).

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“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the
fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14).

29
“No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known” (John
1:18). “This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the
Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:18). “Not
that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father” (John 6:46). “Jesus
said to her, ‘Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to
them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’” (John 20:17). “Being
therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy
Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing” (Acts 2:33). “To all those in
Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the
Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:7). “Together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord
Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:6). “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:3). “Grace
to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philemon 1:3).

30
“These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing
you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without
him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3).

31
“But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit…You have not lied to
men but to God” (Acts 5:3-4). “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in
you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). “These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches
everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person,
which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians
2:10-11). “And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes
for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:27).

32
“It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his
understanding stretched out the heavens” (Jeremiah 10:12). "By the word of the LORD were the heavens
made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth" (Psalm 33:6).

33
“O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom hast you made them all: the earth is full of your
riches” (Psalm 104:24). “He loves righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the
LORD” (Psalm 33:5).
34

"Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and
by your will they existed and were created" (Revelation 4:11). “Everyone who is called by my name, whom
I created for my glory, whom I formed and made” (Isaiah 43:7).

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“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). “God that made the world and
all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands”
(Acts 17:24).

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4. Marriage, Gender, and Family
We believe the marital relationship, instituted by God, is between one man and one woman, 45 and
establishes the only proper pattern of sexual relations. 46 Furthermore, we believe that gender is
ordained by God and cannot be changed or altered by human will. 47 Within the marriage
relationship God has ordained that husband and wife assume distinctive roles which reflect the
loving relationship between Christ and the church, the husband exercising leadership and
authority in a way that displays the caring, sacrificial love of Christ, and the wife submitting to
and obeying her husband in a way that models the love of the church for the Lord. 48 To this end,

36
“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not
made out of things that are visible” (Hebrews 11:3). "All things were made by him; and without him was
not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven,
and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or
powers: all things were created by him, and for him” (Colossians 1:16).
37
“What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made
him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him
dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet” (Psalm 8:4-6).

38
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he
them” (Genesis 1:27).

39
“And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). “Whoever sheds the
blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image” (Genesis 9:6). “With
[the tongue] we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of
God” (James 3:9).

40
"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of
life; and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7). "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the
Almighty hath given me life" (Job 33:4).

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“So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and
closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a
woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my
flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man" (Genesis 2:21-23).

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“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and
there was morning, the sixth day” (Genesis 1:31).
43
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the
fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over
every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God
he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them,"Be
fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over
the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth" (Genesis 1:26-28).

44
“And God blessed them” (Genesis 1:28). “See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they
have sought out many schemes” (Ecclesiastes 7:29).

45
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be
one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). “And he answered and said unto them, Have you not read, that he which made
them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause a man shall leave father and
mother, and cling to his wife: and the two shall be one flesh? Therefore they are no longer two, but one
flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man tear apart” (Matthew 19:4-6). “So then if, while
her husband lives, she marries another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead,
she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man” (Romans
7:3). “So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words, who
forsakes the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God” (Proverbs 2:16-17).

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God commands that the believer only marry another follower of Jesus Christ 49 and that this
covenantal relationship be life-long.50

We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society.
Parents are to cherish and love their children, 51 understanding that human life begins at the
moment of conception.52 They are to provide for their children, 53 teaching them to know and love
the Lord,54 and lead them, 55 through a consistent lifestyle example 56 and loving discipline,57 to
make choices based on biblical truth.58 Children are to honor and obey their parents.59

46
“The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the
wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not
have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by
agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so
that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Corinthians 7:3-5). “But because of
the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own
husband… But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn
with passion” (1 Corinthians 7:2, 9). “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be
undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (Hebrews 13:4). “Flee from sexual
immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins
against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18). “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain
from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not
in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5). “You have heard that
it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with
lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28). “For this reason
God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that
are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed
with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the
due penalty for their error” (Romans 1:26-27). “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an
abomination” (Leviticus 18:22). “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).

47
See note 38. Also, “A woman shall not wear a man's garment, nor shall a man put on a woman's cloak, for
whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 22:5). Note: This should
not be taken in a legalistic sense, but rather speaks to an intentional desire to appear like the opposite sex.

48
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as
Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so
also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the
church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of
water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or
any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their
wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but
nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore
a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of
you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:22-33).

49
“The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty
to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:39). “You shall not intermarry with them,
giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your
sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the LORD would be kindled against you,
and he would destroy you quickly” (Deut 7:3-4). “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do
righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What
harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As
God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my
people.’ Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will
receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:14-17).

50
“I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel” (Malachi 2:16). “What therefore God has joined together,
let not man separate" (Matthew 19:6b) “He said unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts

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5. The Fall of Mankind
We believe that although humanity was created in perfection, through Satan’s cunning deceit 60
Adam willfully rebelled and sinned against God. 61 Made in the image of God, man distorted that
image by falling into sin and forfeited his original blessedness, 62 both for himself and all his
progeny.63 As descendants of Adam, all human beings are totally depraved, 64 partakers of Adam’s
fallen nature, and are sinners by nature 65 and by choice.66 As a result, all human beings are
alienated from God,67 spiritually dead,68 enslaved to sin,69 subject to physical death, 70 corrupted in
every aspect of their being71 (e.g., physically, mentally, volitionally, emotionally, spiritually) and
condemned to eternal death72—apart from God’s own gracious intervention. Unredeemed
humanity is subject73 to Satan, the evil74 and murderous75 ruler of this world,76 prince of demons,77

suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever
shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and marries another, commits adultery: and whoever
marries her who has been put away commits adultery” (Matthew 19:8-9). “But if the unbelieving depart,
let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace”
(1 Corinthians 7:15).

51
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of
a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be
put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127:3-5). “As a father shows
compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him” (Psalm 103:13). “But
when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me
and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14). “And so train the
young women to love their husbands and children” (Titus 2:4). “And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw
the women and children, he said, “Who are these with you?” Jacob said, “The children whom God has
graciously given your servant” (Genesis 33:5). “When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her
hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a
human being has been born into the world” (John 16:21).

52
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed
you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in
my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my
soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately
woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every
one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:13-16).
“When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm,
the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman's husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as
the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand
for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe” (Exodus 21:22-25). “Did not he
who made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb?” (Job 31:15).

53
“But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has
denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8).

54
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your
heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house,
and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign
on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of
your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but
bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). “ Give ear, O my people, to my
teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth! I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark
sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us (Psalm 78:1-3).

55
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

56
“And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love
the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live” (Deuteronomy 30:6). “I am
reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice
and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well” (2 Timothy 1:5). “And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD,
choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River,
or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD”
(Joshua 24:15).

8
and false god of this age who blinds mankind from the truth of God. 78 The supreme need of all
human beings is to be reconciled to the God79 under whose just and holy wrath we stand; 80 the
only hope of all human beings is the undeserved love of this same God, who alone can rescue us 81
and restore us to himself.82

6. God’s eternal plan of salvation


We believe that from all eternity83 God determined in grace to save 84 a great multitude of guilty
sinners85 from every tribe and language and people and nation, 86 whom He foreknew and
predestined.87 We believe that God justifies and sanctifies those who by grace (sola gratia) have
faith (sola fide) in Jesus (solus Christus), and that He will one day glorify them and judge the

57
“The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (Proverbs
29:15). “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him”
(Proverbs 13:24). “Discipline your son, for there is hope” (Proverbs 19:18a). “Folly is bound up in the heart
of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15). “It is for discipline that you
have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?”
(Hebrews 12:7).

58
“For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way
of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has
promised him” (Genesis 18:19).

59
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is
giving you” (Exodus 20:12). “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord”
(Colossians 3:20). “Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and forsake not your mother's teaching”
(Proverbs 1:8).

60
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He
said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’” (Genesis 3:1)?
“Then the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this that you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent
deceived me, and I ate’” (Genesis 3:13). “But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning,
your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3).

61
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you
shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was
a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate,
and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate” (Genesis 3:6).

62
“Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves
together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the
garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God
among the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:7-8).

63
“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread
to all men because all sinned (Romans 5:12). For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the
resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:21).

64
“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is
not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). “For the mind
that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who
are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:7-8). “But to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to
understand or eyes to see or ears to hear” (Deuteronomy 29:4).

65
“In [sin] you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions
of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like
the rest of mankind” (Ephesians 2:2-3).

66
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," (Romans 3:23). “ You are of your father the
devil, and your will is to do your father's desires” (John 8:44).

9
wicked—all to the praise of His glory88 (soli Deo gloria). In His grace, God commands and
implores all people to repent 89 and believe,90 having set His saving love on those He has chosen 91
and having ordained Christ to be their Redeemer.92 In His wisdom, God has ordained this saving
work to be accomplished always in connection with the presentation of the Gospel of the glory of
Christ.93

7. The Person and Work of Christ


We believe that Jesus Christ is the divine and eternal Son of God, 94 equal with God the Father and
with God the Holy Spirit and of the same nature. Moved by love 95 for and in obedience96 to God
the Father, Jesus became man 97 without ceasing to be God98 that He might reveal God99 and

67
“Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face
from you so that he does not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). “They are darkened in their understanding, alienated
from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart” (Ephesians
4:18). “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds…” (Colossians 1:21).

68
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked (Ephesians 2:1).

69
“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one
whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? …When
you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness” (Romans 6:16, 20).

70
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you
shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).

71
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
“To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds
and their consciences are defiled” (Titus 1:15). “As it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one
understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one
does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of
asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in
their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before
their eyes." Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that
every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God” (Romans 3:10-19).
“The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts
of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).

72
“And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:46).

73
“We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19).
“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires” (John 8:44a). “ You son of the
devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the
straight paths of the Lord?” (Acts 13:10). “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with
power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him”
(Acts 10:38).

74
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:12-13). “We should not be
like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother” (1 John 3:12).

75
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking
someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). “…he was a murderer from the beginning…” (John 8:44).

76
“Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out” (John 12:31). “And you
were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world,
following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the
mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind” (Ephesians 2:1-3).

77
“And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by
the prince of demons he casts out the demons” (Mark 3:22).

10
redeem mankind.100 Jesus was the promised Messiah (Christ) of Israel, 101 who was conceived
through the miraculous agency of the Holy Spirit, 102 and was born of the virgin Mary. 103 He lived
a sinless life,104 performed miraculous signs, 105 was crucified under Pontius Pilate, 106 arose bodily
from the dead on the third day,107 and ascended into heaven.108

We believe He is seated at the right hand of God the Father, 109 exercising in heaven and on earth
all of God’s sovereignty,110 and is our High Priest,111 and righteous Advocate.112 By His
incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus Christ acted as our representative and
substitute.113 He did this so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. 114 On the
cross and by His death He made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins, 115 which was the

78
“In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing
the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4). “For such men
are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even
Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:13-14). “The coming of the lawless one is by
the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those
who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10a).

79
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf
of Christ, be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20).

80
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven" (Rom. 1:18). “Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel,
with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it” (Isaiah 13:9).
“For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment, and by his sword, with all flesh; and those slain by the LORD
shall be many” (Isaiah 66:16). “Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, “Go
and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God” (Revelation 16:1). "And I beheld when he
had opened the Sixth Seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became as blood; and the stars
of heaven fell unto the earth even as a fig tree cast her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty
wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were
moved out of their places. And the Kings of the Earth, and the great men, and the rich men and the chief
captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in
the rocks of the mountains. And said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us, and hide us from the face of
Him that sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb’. For the great day of His wrath is come; and
who shall be able to stand” (Revelation 6:12-17)?

81
“Salvation belongs to the LORD!” (Jonah 2:9). “And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come
to me unless it is granted him by the Father” (John 6:65).

82
“For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned
to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised
from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).

83
God who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to His
own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity” (2 Timothy 1:9).

84
“[God] hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his
own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2 Timothy 1:9). “For
God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

85
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works,
lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

86
“And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were
slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and
nation” (Revelation 5:9).

87
“[He] saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose
and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began” (2 Timothy 1:9). “This was according to
the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:11). “He chose us in him
before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to

11
voluntary116 substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the just for the unjust, Christ, the Lord,
bearing our sin in His own body on the cross, and thus reconciled to God all those who believe. 117
By His resurrection Christ Jesus was vindicated by his Father, 118 broke the power of death119 and
defeated Satan120 who once had power over it, 121 and brought everlasting life to all His people. 122
By His ascension He has been forever exalted as Lord 123 and has prepared a place for us to be
with Him.124 We believe that salvation is found in Christ alone (solus Christus), for there is no
other name given under heaven by which we must be saved. 125

8. The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit


We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, equal with God the Father and with God the
Son and of the same nature; and has always been at work in the world, sharing in the work of
be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And
those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he
justified he also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).

88
“The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. (Proverbs 16:4).
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36).

89
“[God] commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). “No, I tell you; but unless you repent,
you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2).
“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). “The Lord is not slow to
fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish,
but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). “and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ
should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should
be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:46-47).

90
“And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31).
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but
have eternal life” (John3:16).

91
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that
your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you” (John
15:16). “"Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens scattered throughout Pontus,
Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father
by the sanctifying work of the Spirit” (1 Peter 1:1-2a). "For you are a holy people to the Lord your God and
the Lord has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of
the earth” (Deuteronomy 14:2). "For this reason, Paul says, I endure all things in my ministry for the sake
of those who are chosen that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:10).
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual
blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians
1:3-4). “They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King
of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful” (Revelation 17:14).

92
“He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by
means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:12). “Therefore he is the
mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance,
since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first
covenant” (Hebrews 9:15). “[Jesus] gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for
himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14). “And because of him
you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and
redemption” (I Corinthians 1:30).

93
“For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How then will they call on him in whom
they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are
they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written,
‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news’ (Romans 10:13-15).

94
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish
but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that
the world might be saved through him” (John 3:16-17). “Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of
the living God” (Matthew 16:16).

12
creation,126 empowering believers,127 equipping those in service to the Lord, 128 and empowering
the preaching of prophets129 and inspiring of Scripture. 130 Yet, when Christ had made atonement
for sin, and ascended to the right hand of the Father, a new era of the Spirit was inaugurated in
which the promises of the Father were poured out on the Church at Pentecost, 131 and that this era
is marked by the unprecedented mission of the Spirit to glorify the crucified and risen Christ. 132

We believe that the Spirit, to accomplish this mission, convicts all mankind of sin and
righteousness,133 and that He regenerates,134 seals,135 guides,136 teaches,137 strengthens,138 and
sanctifies139 the believer. Apart from the effectual work of the Spirit, no one would come to
faith,140 because all are dead in trespasses and sins 141 and hostile to God. 142 Thus, for God’s

95
“But I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father” (John
14:31)

96
“And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even
death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who
sent Me has given Me commandment, what to say, and what to speak” (John 12:39). “Although He was a
Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8).

97
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son
from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood,
he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the
power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14). “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every
respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make
propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17). “Who, though he was in the form of God, did not
count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming
obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8).

98
“For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Colossians 2:9).

99
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son
from the Father, full of grace and truth… No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's
side, he has made him known.” (John 1:14, 18). “Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is
enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that
I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority,
but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me
(John 14:8-11). “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” (Colossians 1:19). “He [Jesus] is the
radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Hebrews 1:3a).

100
See note 84.

101
“The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he
will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he” (John 4:25-26).

102
“And Mary said to the angel, ‘How will this be, since I am a virgin?’ And the angel answered her, ‘The
Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to
be born will be called holy—the Son of God’” (Luke 1:34-35).

103
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means,
God with us)” (Matthew 1:23; see also Luke 1:34-35).

104
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in
every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). “You know that he appeared
to take away sins, and in him there is no sin” (1 John 3:5).

105
“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book”
(John 20:30). Note the following list of Jesus’ recorded miracles: Water made wine, John 2:1-11. Heals the nobleman’s son, John
4:46-54. Large catch of fish, Luke 5:1-11. Heals the demoniac, Mark 1:23-26; Luke 4:33-36. Heals Peter’s mother-in-law, Matt. 8:14-
17; Mark 1:29-31; Luke 4:38,39. Cleanses the leper, Matt. 8:1-4; Mark 1:40-45; Luke 5:12-16. Heals the paralytic, Matt. 9:1-8; Mark

13
elect,143 the Spirit triumphs over all resistance, 144 wakens them from spiritual death, 145 and
removes their spiritual blindness.146 The baptism147 and indwelling148 of the Holy Spirit takes
place at conversion and is that sovereign act by which the individual is organically and vitally
joined into Christ and His Church149.

While all genuine believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit at conversion, there is an ongoing, 150
empowering151 work of the Spirit subsequent to conversion as well. 152 The Holy Spirit desires to
fill each believer continually with increased power for preaching of the Gospel of the glory of
Christ, for victorious Christian living and witness (the fruit of which is listed in Galatians 5:22-

2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26. Healing of the invalid, John 5:1-16. Restoring the withered hand, Matt. 12:9-13; Mark 3:1-5; Luke 6:6-11.
Restores the centurion’s servant, Matt. 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10. Raises the widow’s son to life, Luke 7:11-16. Heals a demoniac, Matt.
12:22-37; Mark 3:11; Luke 11:14,15. Stills the storm, Matt. 8:23-27; 14:32; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25. Casts devils out of two
Gadarenes, Matt. 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39. Raises from the dead the daughter of Jairus, Matt. 9:18,19,23-26; Mark 5:22-
24,35-43; Luke 8:41,42,49-56. Cures the woman with the issue of blood, Matt. 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48. Restores two
blind men to sight, Matt. 9:27-31. Heals a demoniac, Matt. 9:32,33. Feeds five thousand people, Matt. 14:15-21; Mark 6:35-44; Luke
9:12-17; John 6:5-14. Walks on the sea, Matt. 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52; John 6:16-21. Heals the daughter of the Syrophenician woman,
Matt. 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30. Feeds four thousand people, Matt. 15:32-39; Mark 8:1-9. Restores one deaf and mute, Mark 7:31-37.
Restores a blind man, Mark 8:22-26. Restores seizuring child, Matt. 17:14-21; Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-43. Tribute money obtained
from a fish’s mouth, Matt. 17:24-27. Restores ten lepers, Luke 17:11-19. Opens the eyes of a one born blind, John 9. Raises Lazarus
from the dead, John 11:1-46. Heals the woman with the spirit of infirmity, Luke 13:10-17. Cures a one with dropsy, Luke 14:1-6.
Restores two blind men near Jericho, Matt. 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43. Curses a fig tree, Matt. 21:17-22; Mark 11:12-
14,20-24. Heals the ear of Malchus, Luke 22:49-51.

106
“Pilate said to them, ‘Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?’ They all said, ‘Let him be
crucified’” (John 27:22). “So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having
scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified” (Mark 15:15).

107
“”Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on
the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then
he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some
have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely
born, he appeared also to me”(1 Corinthians 1:3b-8). “For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again,
even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep” (1 Thessalonians 4:14).
“From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and
suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third
day” (Mark 16:21).” “Him God raised up the third day” (Acts 10:40).

108
“Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren
and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God’” (John 20:7).
“Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men”
(Ephesians 4:8).

109
“So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right
hand of God” (Mark 16:19). “This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore being
exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He
poured out this which you now see and hear” (Acts 2:32-33). “But [Stephen], being full of the Holy Spirit,
gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I
see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” (Acts 7:55-56). “If then
you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of
God” (Colossians 3:1). “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the
right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12). “…through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven
and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him” (1
Peter 3:21b-22).

110
“But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1
Corinthians 1:24). “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath
of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming” (2 Thessalonians 2:8). “And Jesus
came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). “For
in him [Jesus] the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of
all rule and authority” (Colossians 2:9-10). “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of
his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3). “And I heard a loud voice
in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his

14
23) and imparts the spiritual gifts of Christ to the believer for the edification of the Body and for
various works of ministry in the world. The ‘sign-gifts’ are not normative in the church today. 153

9. The Justifying Work of God


We believe that justification is the free act of God’s grace 154 whereby He declares us to be
righteous based on the substitutionary atonement of Christ Jesus. By His sacrifice on the cross,
Christ bore in our stead the punishment due us for our sins, 155 making a proper, real, and full
satisfaction to God’s justice156 on our behalf, so that we may be at peace with God. 157 His perfect
obedience and punishment were accepted in place of our own, 158 and therefore this justification
includes the pardon of sin159 and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to all who trust in Christ
alone for their acceptance with God. This justification is given solely of God’s free grace and not
Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night
before our God” (Revelation 12:10).

111
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let
us hold fast our confession” (Hebrews 4:14). “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God
and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).

112
“Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right
hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” (Acts 8:34). “My little children, I am writing these things
to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ
the righteous” (1 John 1:1). “Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God
through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). “For Christ has entered,
not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to
appear in the presence of God on our behalf” (Hebrews 9:24).

113
“But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the
chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone
astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all”
(Isaiah 53:5-6). “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6).
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his
wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24).

114
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the
righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

115
“[We] are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put
forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness,
because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins” (Romans 3:24-25). “He is the
propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). “In this
is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our
sins” (1 John 4:10).

116
“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have
authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father” (John 10:18). “ For even the Son
of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). “ And
walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God”
(Ephesians 5:2).

117
“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that
we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord
Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation” Romans 5:10-11). “All this is from God,
who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18).
“For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall
of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in
himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one
body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility” (Ephesians 2:14-16).

118
“God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. For
David says concerning him, ‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be
shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. For you will
not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to me the paths

15
in consideration of any thing we have done, 160 and is accessed solely through faith 161 in our
Redeemer Jesus Christ,162 in order that both the exact justice and the rich grace of God might be
glorified in the justification of sinners. We believe that a zeal for personal and public obedience
flows from this free justification.

10. The Sanctifying Work of God


We believe that sanctification is the divine setting apart of the believer unto God for his glory,
whereby we are made more like Christ; which is accomplished in a threefold manner. First, it is
an eternal act of God, based upon redemption in Christ, which has established the believer in a

of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence’” (Acts 2:24-28). “You killed the Author of life,
whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses” (Acts 3:15).

119
“I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And
whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die (John 11:25-26). “When the perishable puts on the
imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting
of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our
Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 15:54-57).

120
“The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and
above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will
put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise
your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:14-15).

121
“…that through death he [Jesus] might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil”
(Hebrews 2:14).

122
“And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son
has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11). “And we know that the
Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in
him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20). “So that, as sin
reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ
our Lord” (Romans 5:21). “Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called
may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the
transgressions committed under the first covenant” (Hebrews 9:15). “Paul, a servant of God and an apostle
of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with
godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began” (Titus 1:1-
2). “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans
6:23).

123
“The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” (Psalm 118:22). “This Jesus God
raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having
received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are
seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, ‘The Lord said to my
Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool’” (Acts 2:32-34; cf Psalm 110:1-7).
“God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of
sins” (Acts 5:31). “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above
every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the
earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-
11). “And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is
in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and
might forever and ever” (Revelation 5:13).

124
“In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a
place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that
where I am you may be also” (John 14:2-3).

125
“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by
which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold,
the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

16
position of holiness at the moment he trusts Christ as Savior.163 Second, it is a continuing process
in the saint as the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to life, 164 delivering us more and more
from the pollution of sin165 and renewing our entire nature according to the image of Christ. 166
Third, it is the final accomplishment of this process at the Lord’s return, when the last vestiges of
corruption will be forever removed. 167

We believe that the sanctification, which comes by the Spirit through faith, 168 is imperfect and
incomplete in this life.169 Although slavery to sin is broken, 170 and sinful desires are
progressively171 weakened by the power God,172 yet there remain remnants of corruption in every
heart that give rise to irreconcilable war,173 and call for vigilance in the lifelong fight of faith. 174

126
“When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground (Psalm
104:30). The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit
of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:2).

127
Then the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him, and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion
in pieces as one tears a young goat (Judges 14:6). “The Spirit of the LORD was upon him, and he judged
Israel. He went out to war, and the LORD gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand. And
his hand prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim” (Judges 3:10).

128
“See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him
with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship” (Exodus 31:3, cf
35:31). “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know
to be the elders of the people and officers over them, and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them
take their stand there with you. And I will come down and talk with you there. And I will take some of the
Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you
may not bear it yourself alone” (Numbers 11:16-17).

129
“Then the Spirit of the LORD will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into
another man” (1 Samuel 10:6). “And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and he said to me, “Say, Thus says
the LORD…” (Ezekiel 11:5).

130
See note 7. Also, “He said to them, ‘How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord…” (Matthew
22:43, referring to Psalm 110:1).

131
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from
heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And
divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with
the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance…But Peter, standing
with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let
this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is
only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: ‘And in the last days it
shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall
prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:1-4, 14-
17).

132
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own
authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He
will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16:13-14).

133
“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the
Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the
world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;
concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment,
because the ruler of this world is judged” (John 16:7-11).

134
“Jesus answered him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of
God.’ Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his
mother's womb and be born?’ Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and
the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:3-5).” he saved us, not because of works done by
us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the

17
11. The New Birth
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again 175 in faith to Jesus Christ. 176 This
new birth is result of the justifying and sanctifying work of God in which the individual becomes
a new creation in Christ Jesus177 instantaneously. When born again, those who were formerly
spiritually dead in their sinful rebellion are made partakers of the divine nature 178 and receive
eternal life, the free gift of God. The proper evidence of this new birth is in the holy fruits of
repentance, faith and newness of life.179

Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).

135
“…and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2
Corinthians 1:22). “He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a
guarantee” (2 Corinthians 5:5). “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your
salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our
inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14). “And do not
grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).

136
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Romans 8:14). “When the Spirit of truth
comes, he will guide you into all the truth (John 16:13a).

137
“For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say” (Luke 12:12). “But the
Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to
your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26). “And we impart this in words not taught by
human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual” (1
Corinthians 2:13).

138
“That according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his
Spirit in your inner being” (Ephesians 3:16). “So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria
had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit,
it multiplied” (Acts 9:31).

139
“But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given
me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so
that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit”(Romans 15:15-16). “Or
do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the
sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the
greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of
you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and
by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:”9-11). “But we ought always to give thanks to God for you,
brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification
by the Spirit and belief in the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13). “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who
are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the
foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for
sprinkling with his blood” (1 Peter 1:1-2).

140
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last
day (John 6:44). And [Jesus] said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted
him by the Father” (John 6:65). For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not
only believe in him but also suffer for his sake (Philippians 1:29). For by grace you have been saved
through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may
boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son
except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to
reveal him (Matthew 11:27). And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and
blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 16:17). One who heard us
was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God.
The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul” (Acts 16:14).

141
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were
dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved- and raised us

18
12. The Perseverance of the Saints
We believe the same God whose power justified the believer is also at work in the continued
sanctification of that believer.180 Thus, all who are truly born again are kept by God the Father 181
for Jesus Christ,182 and can not fall from the state of saving grace, 183 but will persevere in their
faith to the end,184 and be eternally saved. While it is true that believers, through temptation and
the prevalency of corruption remaining in them which wars against their new nature, 185 can fall
into grievous sin, it is also true that a real believer in Jesus Christ cannot completely abandon
himself to the dominion of sin. 186 The person who has truly been made righteous in Jesus Christ
will live by faith,187 as one cannot have Christ as Savior who rejects him as Lord. 188

up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6).

142
“For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it
cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:7-8).

143
But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short (Matthew 24:22; cf Mark 13:20). “For false
christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible,
even the elect” (Matthew 24:24; cf Mark 13:22). “they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one
end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:31; cf Mark 13:27). “And will not God give justice to his elect”
(Luke 18:7) “Who shall bring any charge against God's elect” (Romans 8:33). “What then? Israel failed to
obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened” (Romans 11:7). “Therefore I
endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus
with eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2:10). “Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of
the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth” (Titus 1:1). “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To
those who are elect (1 Peter 1:1). “The elder to the elect lady and her children” (2 John 1:1). “The children
of your elect sister greet you” (2 John 1:13).

144
“But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to
the standard of teaching to which you were committed (Romans 6:17). For the mind that is set on the flesh
is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot
please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him” (Romans 8:7-9).

145
See note 141.

146
“In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing
the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not
ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let
light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4-6).

147
“For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made
to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13). “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is
coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the
Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11). “And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a
dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to
me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit’”
(John 1:32-33). “for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days
from now” (Acts 1:5). “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. And I
remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the
Holy Spirit.’ If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus
Christ, who was I that I could stand in God's way?” (Acts 11:15-17).

148
“…the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You
know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:17). “You, however, are not in the flesh but in
the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not
belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of
righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus
from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:9-
11). “Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16).
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?

19
13. Separation from unrighteousness
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked .189
Those who have, through faith, been truly justified and sanctified, are righteous in the eyes of
God190. Conversely, those who continue in sin and unbelief are wicked in His eyes. 191 Therefore,
as children of God whose citizenship is in heaven, 192 we are to walk193 in separation from this
present world,194 abstaining from all worldliness195 which defiles the mind and body and which
brings reproach to the name of Christ.

You are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19). “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son
into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Galatians 4:6).
149
See note 146. Also, “In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting
off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which
you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead”
(Colossians 2:11-12). “…with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you
were called to the one hope that belongs to your call” (Ephesians 4:2-4). “What shall we say then? Are we
to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you
not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were
buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by
the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a
death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was
crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be
enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we
believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die
again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the
life he lives he lives to God” (Romans 6:1-10).
150
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of
Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

151
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…” (Acts 1:8).

152
“For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
153

“An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of
Jonah" (Matthew 16:4). “For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:22). “Love
never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will
pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass
away” (1 Corinthians 13:8-10).

154
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”
(Ephesians 2:8). “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a
gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 3:23-24).

155
“[Jesus was] delivered up for our trespasses…” (Romans 4:25). “But God shows his love for us in that
while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

156
“God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate
his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished” (Romans
3:25).

157
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus
Christ” (Romans 5:1). “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he
might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18).

158
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in
accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3).

159
"Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose
sin the Lord will never count against him" (Romans 4:6-8). “Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD; O Lord,

20
14. The Nature of the Church
We believe in one universal Church, the ekklesia (“called-out ones”), composed of all those called
by God to salvation and righteousness,196 the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe,
and tongue, and people, and nation, 197 who are Christ’s chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy
nation, and a people belonging to God;198 united to Him through faith by the Spirit in one Body, 199
with Christ Himself as its Head; 200 whose ultimate purpose is to declare the praises of Him who
called us out of darkness into His wonderful light. 201

hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord,
who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared” (Psalm 130:1-4). “Let the
wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on
him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon” (Isaiah 55:7). “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your
sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Acts 3:19). “He commanded us
to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the
dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins
through his name" (Acts 10:42-43).

160
“For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law” (Romans 3:28). “For by grace you
have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). “Yet
we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have
believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by
works of the law no one will be justified” (Galatians 2:16). “And by him everyone who believes is freed from
everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:39).

161
“And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). “ The just shall
live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4).

162
“It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the
one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). “In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely.
And this is the name by which he will be called: 'The LORD is our righteousness’’ (Jeremiah 23:6). “But now
the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear
witness to it— 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe” (Romans 3:21).
“They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith” (Romans 11:20). “So
then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians
3:24).

163
“To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus…” (1 Corinthians 1:2). “And
such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the
Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). “And by that will we have been
sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10). “And those who
belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 1:24).

164
“Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation” (1
Peter 2:2). “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he
might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word” (Ephesians 5:25-26). “For
this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you
know how to control his own body in holiness and honor” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4). “Now may the God of
peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at
the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-
24).

165
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and
spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God (2 Corinthians 7:1).

166
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same
image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians
3:18). “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your
mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put
on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Colossians 3:8-10).

21
We believe this universal Church, according to the pattern of the New Testament, finds expression
in local assemblies202 in which believers agree together to hear the Word of God proclaimed, 203 to
engage in corporate worship, 204 to practice the ordinances of baptism 205 and the Lord’s Supper,206
to build each other’s faith through the manifold ministries of love, 207 to hold each other
accountable in the obedience of faith through Biblical discipline, 208 and to engage in local and
world evangelization.209 The Church is a body in which each member should find a suitable
ministry for Christ’s spiritual gifts; 210 it is the household of God in which the Spirit dwells; 211 and
it is the covenantal community which serves as the pillar and buttress of God’s truth in a truth-
denying world,212 existing as the salt and light of the Gospel 213 in order that mankind may be
saved214 and God glorified.215

167
“…so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27). “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and
what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we
shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).

168
“But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose
you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth” (2
Thessalonians 2:13).

169
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because
Christ Jesus has made me his own” (Philippians 3:12). “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and
the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us
from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1
John 1:8-10). “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone
does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). “Give us this day
our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:11-12). “So
you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign
in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. Do not present your members to sin as
instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from
death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness” (Romans 6:11-13). “But I say,
walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against
the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep
you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law”
(Galatians 5:16-18).

170
“For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14).
“But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the
standard of teaching to which you were committed” (Romans 6:17).

171
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same
image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians
3:18). “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the
power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are
being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14). “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).

172
“For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).

173
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh
are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each
other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under
the law” (Galatians 5:16-18). “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of
the flesh, which wage war against your soul” (1 Peter 2:11).

174
“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from
the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today’, that none of you may be
hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:12-13). “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the
eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of
many witnesses” (1Timothy 6:12). “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the
faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge,

22
15. The Leadership of the Church
We believe that the final and true leader of the Church is Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word and
Redeemer, who operates through the continued agency of the Holy Spirit, and therefore the local
church is to be free from all external ecclesiastical and secular governmental control. In His grace
and wisdom, He calls on local congregations to recognize and affirm the divine calling of
spiritually qualified men216 to give leadership to the church in the offices of elder and deacon.
The elders, to whom the entire congregation is commanded to heed and submit, 217 are accountable
to the Lord Jesus and His Word,218 and are responsible to oversee God’s people through teaching,
counsel, encouragement, prayer, and protection from false teaching. 219 The deacons are
responsible to serve the spiritual and material needs of the church as directed by the elders and to

will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy
4:7-8).

175
“Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of
God” (John 3:3). “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he
has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1
Peter 1:3).

176
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from
the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one
confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10). “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born
of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him” (1 John 5:1).” Then he
brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus,
and you will be saved, you and your household." And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who
were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was
baptized at once, he and all his family” (Acts 16:30-33).

177
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has
come (2 Corinthians 5:17).

178
“…by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may
become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of
sinful desire” (2 Peter 1:4).

179
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this
world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience
— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the
mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because
of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive
together with Christ— by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:1-5). “And you, who were dead in your
trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all
our trespasses” (Colossians 2:13).

180
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much
more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you,
both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13). “And I will give you a new heart, and a
new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of
flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my
rules” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).

181
“… who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last
time” (1 Peter 1:5). “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal
life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.My Father, who has given them
to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are
one” (John 10:27-30).

182
[Jesus speaking:] “"I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours
they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word” (John 17:6).

183
“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued
with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us” (1 John 2:19). “False

23
work in conjunction with them for the benefit of the body. 220 According to God’s created design,
women are not to fill the role of elder or deacon in the local church, but are encouraged to fully
use their gifts in appropriate roles that edify the body of Christ and spread the gospel. 221 The
congregation, comprised of a regenerate membership, 222 is to be actively involved in the
governing of the church on key matters.223

16. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper


We believe that baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordained and commanded by Jesus Christ to
be practiced until his return.224

christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect”
(Mark 13:22).

184
“For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end”
(Hebrews 3:14). “…he that endures to the end will be saved” (Matt 24:13) “Those whom he predestined he
also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified”
(Romans 8:30). “[He] will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is
faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:8-
9). “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus
Christ” (Philippians 1:6). “I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am
convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me” (2 Timothy 1:12). “[You]
by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1
Peter 1:5).

185
“Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1
Peter 2:11). “But that is not the way you learned Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and
were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of
life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on
the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:20-24).

186
“No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or
known him. 7Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is
righteous” (1 John 3:6-7). “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes,
or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A
healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear
good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16-
20).

187
“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall
live by faith’” (Romans 1:17). “I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from
doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me”
(Jeremiah 32:40).

188
“This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who
does not do what is right is not a child of God” (1 John 3:7-9). “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he
stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I
preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold
fast to the word I preached to you— unless you believed in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2). “Look: I, Paul, say
to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man
who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who
would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace” (Galatians 5:2-4).

189
“They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I
will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you shall see the distinction
between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him”
(Malachi 3:17-18). “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient
from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from
sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:17-18).

190
“But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are his,’ and, ‘Let
everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity’” (2 Tim 2:19).

24
We believe that Christian baptism is only for those who have repented and come to faith in
Christ,225 and is done as a sign and seal of faith expressed in the crucified, buried and risen Savior,
through whom we died to sin and rose to new life; 226 and symbolized by being immersed into
water227 in the name of the Father and the Son and the Spirit.228

We believe that the Lord’s supper is the commemoration of Christ’ death in which gathered
believers229 eat bread,230 signifying Christ’s body given for His people, and drink from the cup,
signifying the new covenant made possible by Christ’ blood. 231 This should always be preceded

191
“The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good” (Proverbs 15:3).
“The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but he loves him who pursues righteousness”
(Proverbs 15:9).

192
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).

193
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you
have been called” (Ephesians 4:1).

194
Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive
you” (2 Corinthians 6:17). “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former
ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, "You
shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:14-16).

195
“Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). “Do not be conformed to this world, but be
transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2a).

196
“They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of
kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful” (Revelation 17:14). “Put on then, as God’s
chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience”
(Colossians 3:12).

197
“Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who
dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people” (Revelation 14:6).

198
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God…” (1 Peter
2:9a).

199
“For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made
to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13). “This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of
the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (Ephesians 3:6).

200
“And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in
everything he might be preeminent” (Colossians 1:18). “And he put all things under his feet and gave him
as head over all things to the church” (Ephesians 1:22). “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow
up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together
by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that
it builds itself up in love” (Ephesians 4:15-16). “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is
the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior” (Ephesians 5:23).

201
“… that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1
Peter 2:9b).

202
“The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house,
send you hearty greetings in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 16:19). “Give my greetings to the brothers at
Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house” (Colossians 4:15). “Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus,
and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved fellow worker and Apphia our sister and Archippus our
fellow soldier, and the church in your house”(Philemon 1-2). “John to the seven churches that are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come” (Revelation 1:4). “I commend to
you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae” (Romans 16:1).

25
by self-examination,232 understanding the promises of blessing if taken worthily 233 and the
warnings of judgment if taking while in unrepentant sin. 234

17. The Mission of Christ’s Church


We believe that the mission of the Church, given to every believer by the Lord Jesus Christ to be
obeyed until his return, is to proclaim the Gospel 235 to every tribe and tongue and people and
nation,236 baptizing them in the name of Christ and teaching them the words and ways of the
Lord.237 The ultimate aim of this mission is that God would create, by the Word of his power,
worshippers who glorify his name through sincere faith and loving obedience. 238

203
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching…” (Acts 2:42a). “And he gave the apostles, the
prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for
building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12). “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of
Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching” (1 Timothy 4:13). “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ
Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be
ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching” (2
Timothy 4:1-2).

204
“Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth” (Psalm 96:1)! “And do not get drunk
with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns
and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for
everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:18-20). “And let the peace
of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of
Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns
and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:15-16).

205
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).

206
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread
and the prayers” (Acts 2:42).

207
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same
Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To
each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7). “What then,
brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an
interpretation. Let all things be done for building up” (1 Corinthians 14:26). “Having gifts that differ
according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our
serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who
contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with
cheerfulness” (Romans 12:6-8). “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds
and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all
attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure
of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the
waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes”
(Ephesians 4:11-14).

208
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of
gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). “My brothers, if anyone
among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back
a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-
20). “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is
guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with
such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to
judge? God judges those outside. "Purge the evil person from among you” (1 Corinthians 5:11-3). “To this
he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then,
brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by
our letter” (2 Thessalonians 3:14-15).

209
“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious,
seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:5-6). “For

26
18. Life after Death
We believe that when Christians die they are made perfect in holiness 239 and their souls are
immediately received into the presence of Christ, 240 which is more glorious and more satisfying
than any experience on earth.241 The souls of the unsaved have no part in the blessings of God,
and are immediately cast into a state of conscious punishment and torment 242 until the great and
final judgment.243

At the end of this age, we believe the righteous, in resurrected and glorified bodies, 244 will enter
into Christ’s kingdom, which is the beginning of a never-ending joy 245 in the hearts of the

they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to
support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth” (3 John 7-8). “And Jesus came and
said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples
of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching
them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age”
(Matthew 28:18-20).

210
“But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift…And he gave the
apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of
ministry” (Ephesians 4:7, 11). “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of
the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one
body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not
consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the
body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an
eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body
were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the
sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all
were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye
cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."
On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the
body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated
with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the
body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the
members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one
member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then
gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets?
Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all
interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts” (1 Corinthians 12:12-30).

211
“[We have been] built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the
cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In
him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:20-22).

212
“If I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the
living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).

213
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no
longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the
world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a
stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they
may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heave” (Matthew 5:13-16).

214
“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to
save sinners” (I Timothy 1:15). “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how
are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone
preaching” (Romans 10:14)?

215
“By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission flowing from your
confession of the gospel of Christ” (2 Corinthians 9:13a).

27
redeemed246 as God displays more and more of His infinite and inexhaustible greatness and glory
for the joy of his people.247 Yet those who have suppressed the truth in unrighteous 248 will be
resurrected and brought before the Lord for final judgment, 249 and will be consigned to
everlasting conscious misery,250 for which reason the Lord patiently and loving delays his
return.251

19. The Second Coming of Christ


We believe in the imminent, pre-tribulational, pre-millennial return of Christ for His Church, and
that at that moment the dead in Christ shall be raised in glorified bodies, and the living in Christ
shall be given glorified bodies without tasting death, and all shall be caught up to meet the Lord
216
For elders: “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.
Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled,
respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover
of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if
someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must
not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the
devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare
of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:1-7). “This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into
order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one
wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an
overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a
drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and
disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction
in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:5-9). For Deacons: “Deacons likewise
must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They
must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10And let them also be tested first; then let
them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. Their wives likewise must be dignified, not
slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. Let deacons each be the husband of one wife,
managing their children and their own households well. For those who serve well as deacons gain a good
standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 3:8-13).

217
Note italicized portion: “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls,
as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would
be of no advantage to you” (Hebrews 13:17).

218
Note italicized portion: “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls,
as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would
be of no advantage to you” (Hebrews 13:17).
219
“Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in
preaching and teaching” (1 Timothy 5:17). “But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees
rose up and said, ‘It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.’ The
apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter” (Acts 15:5-6). “Pay careful
attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the
church of God, which he obtained with his own blood (Acts 20:28). “[The elders must] shepherd the flock of
God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you;
not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the
flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:2-4).
“This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every
town as I directed you (Titus 1:5). “Now while they were passing through the cities, they were delivering
the decrees which had been decided upon by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem, for them to
observe” (Acts 16:4). “Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they
are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14-15).

220
“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the
overseers and deacons (Philippians 1:1). “Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number,
a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the
daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, "It is not right that
we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among
you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty” Acts
6:1-3).

28
in the air before the seventieth week of Daniel. 252 We believe that the tribulation, which follows
the Rapture of the Church, will be culminated by the revelation of Christ in power and great glory
to sit upon the throne of David and to establish the millennial reign. 253

20. Civil Government and Religious Liberty


We believe that God, as the Supreme Authority, has ordained civil government 254 and has set up
civil authorities to rule over communities for the public good and for his glory. God has given to
civil government the power to punish evil and encourage good behavior. 255 Christians are to

221
“I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
For Adam was formed first, then Eve” (1 Timothy 2:12-13).

222
“Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” (1 John 2:6). “To the
church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus” (1 Cor 1:2a). “But sexual immorality
and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints”
(Ephesians 5:3). Also see footnote on ‘holding each other accountable’ in the church section above.

223
These matters include, at least, the following: (1) the selection of its spiritual leaders: “And the twelve summoned the
full number of the disciples and said, ‘It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to
serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and
of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of
the word.’ And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith
and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a
proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.”
(2) The commissioning of missionaries: “Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose
some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called
Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers” (Acts 15:22). (3) The excommunication of
unrepentant, sinful members: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him
alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others
along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he
refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to
you as a Gentile and a tax collector” (Matthew 18:15-17).

224
Baptism: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them” (Matthew 28:19a). Lord’s Supper:
“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was
betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, ‘This is my body which is for
you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup
is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as
you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes (1 Corinthians 11:23-
26).

225
“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the
forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:38). “And they were
baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins” (Matthew 3:6). “Crispus, the ruler of the
synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing
Paul believed and were baptized” (Acts 18:8).

226
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the
dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4). “Having been buried
with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God,
who raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12).

227
“And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, ‘See, here is
water! What prevents me from being baptized?’ And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both
went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the
water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way
rejoicing” (Acts 8:36-39). “John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there,
and people were coming and being baptized” (John 3:23). “We were buried therefore with him by baptism
into death” (Romans 6:4a).

29
submit to civil government, conscientiously honor their leaders, obey the laws of the land, 256 pay
taxes,257 and pray for those in authority. 258 Only when civil government commands what is
forbidden in the Scriptures must Christians disobey in favor of obeying Jesus Christ. 259

We believe each church is independent and must be free from interference by an ecclesiastical or
political authority, with ever member of the Body of Christ being responsible to God in matters of
faith.260 The Church and State are distinct, with each fulfilling its duties to God free from control
by the other. While civil authority is separated from church government, it should not be
separated from God and his law.

228
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).

229
“But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for
the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there
are divisions among you. And I believe it in part,for there must be factions among you in order that those
who are genuine among you may be recognized. When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that
you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk.
What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate
those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not” (1 Corinthians
11:17-22).

230
“Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples,
and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body’” (Matthew 26:26).

231
“And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, for
this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins’” (Matthew 26:27-
28).

232
“Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Corinthians
11:28).
233

“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break,
is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body,
for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Corinthians 10:16-17). “So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to
you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds
on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true
food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in
him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will
live because of me… It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken
to you are spirit and life” (John 6:53-57, 63).
234

“Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty
concerning the body and blood of the Lord…For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body
eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if
we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are
disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. (1 Corinthians 11:27, 29-32).

235
“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go
therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of
the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you
always, to the end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18-20).

236
“And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you
were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and
nation” (Revelation 5:9).

237
See again Matthew 28:18-20.

238
We have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name
among all the nations (Romans 1:5). But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will

30
worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him (John 4:23). For I
tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the
promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is
written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.” And again it is said,
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples
extol him” (Romans 15:8-11).

239
“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to
innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven,
and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect (Hebrews 12:22-23).

240
“And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43). “ Yes, we
are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2
Corinthians 5:8).

241
“I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better”
(Philippians 1:23).

242
Cf Footnote 49 (specifically Revelation 20:13-15). “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen
and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with
sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and
licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also
died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and
Lazarus at his side. And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the
end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.' But Abraham said, 'Child,
remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but
now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm
has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross
from there to us” (Luke 16:19-26).

243
See Revelation 20:11-15 (cf footnote 249).

244
“So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is
sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body;
it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44;
cf the entire chapters of 1 Corinthians 15). “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is
destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2
Corinthians 5:1).

245
“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:46). “And
everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s
sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life” (Matthew 19:29). “For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John
3:16). “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
(Romans 6:23).

246
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are
pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You
have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master’” (Matthew
25:23). “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the
presence of his glory with great joy… be glory…forever. Amen” (Jude 24-25).

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247
[God] raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the
coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus
(Ephesians 2:6-7). You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your
right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11). For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to
face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12).
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has
prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

248
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who
by their unrighteousness suppress the truth (Romans 1:18).

249
“Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come
out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection
of judgment” John 5:28-29). “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to
everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2). “Then I saw a great white
throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found
for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then
another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the
books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades
gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had
done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire”
(Revelation 20:11-15).

250
“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:46). “…of
those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and
everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2). “His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor
and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:12; see
also 18:8; 10:28; 12:32; 25:41, 46; 26:24; Mark 3:29; 9:43-48; Luke 16:26; Jude 12-13). “They will suffer
the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might”
(2 Thessalonians 1:9). “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest,
day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name”
(Revelation 14:11; see also 19:3; 20:10).

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“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not
wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). “Have I any pleasure in
the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live”
(Ezekiel 18:23)?

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Please see the following biblical references: I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Corinthians 15:42-44, 51-54; Philippians 3:20-21;
Revelation 20:1-4, 6

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Please see the following biblical references: Daniel 9:25-27; Matthew 24:29-3 1; Luke 1:30, 33; Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:1-9; Acts 2:29-30;
Revelation 20:4, 6.

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“The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end
that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and
sets over it the lowliest of men” (Daniel 4:17). “…for there is no authority except from God, and those that
exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has
appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment” (Romans 13:1b-2).

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“For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in
authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good.
But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an
avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:3-4).

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Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or
to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the
will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people
who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone.
Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor (1 Peter 2:1-17). “Remind them to be submissive to
rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work” (Titus 3:1).

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“Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. And they sent their disciples to
him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God
truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. Tell us,
then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?" But Jesus, aware of their malice, said,
"Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax." And they brought him a denarius.
And Jesus said to them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this?" They said, "Caesar’s." Then he said to
them, "Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s”
(Matthew 22:15-21). “For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God,
attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to
whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed” (Romans 13:6-7).

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First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all
people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and
dignified in every way” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

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“But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men’” (Acts 5:29, note
surrounding context).

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Then he said to them, "Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things
that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21).

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