TENETS OF FAITH
The Bible is our all sufficient rule for faith and practice. Hence this statement of fundamental truths is intended as basis of fellowship among us (i.e. that we will speak the same thing. I Cor. 1:10; Acts 2:42). The human phraseology employed in such statement is not inspired or contended for, but for the truth set forth is held to be essential to a full Gospel ministry. No claim is made that it contains all truth in the Bible, only that it covers our present needs as to these fundamental matters.
1. THE SCRIPTURE INSPIRED
The Bible is the inspired Word of God, a revelation from God to man, the infallible rule of faith and conduct, and is superior to conscience and reason, but not contrary to reason. II Tim. 3:16, 17; I Peter 2:2.
2. THE ONE TRUE GOD
The one true God has revealed Himself as the eternally self existent, self revealed “I AM”; and has further revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association, i.e. as Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29; Isa. 43:10; Matt. 28:19; Luke 3:22.
THE ADORABLE GODHEAD:
(a) Terms Defined:
The terms “Trinity” and “persons”, as related to the Godhead, while not found in the Scriptures, are words in harmony with Scripture, whereby we may convey to others our immediate understanding of the doctrine of Christ respecting the Being of God, as distinguished from “gods many and lords many”. We therefore may speak with propriety of the Lord our God, who is One Lord, as a Trinity or as One Being of three persons, and still be absolutely Scriptural (examples Matt. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14; John 14:16, 17).
(b) Distinction and Relationship in the Godhead:
Christ taught a distinction of Persons in the Godhead which He expressed in specific terms of relationship, as Father, Son and Holy Ghost, but that this distinction and relationship, as to its mode is inscrutable and incomprehensible, because unexplained. Luke 1:35; I Cor. 1:24; Matt. 11:25-27; 28:19; II Cor. 13:14; I John 1:3, 4.
(c) Unity of the One Being of Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
Accordingly, therefore, there is that in Son which constitutes Him the Son and not the Father; and there is that in the Holy Ghost which constitutes Him the Holy Ghost and not either the Father or the Son. Wherefore, the Father is the Begetter, the Son is the Begotten and the Holy Ghost is the one proceeding from the Father and the Son. Therefore, because these three persons in the Godhead are in a state of unity, there is but one Lord God Almighty and His name one. John 1:18; 15:26; 17:11, 21; Zech. 14:9.
(d) Identity and Cooperation in the Godhead:
The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are never identical as to Person; nor confused as to relation; nor divided in respect to the Godhead; nor opposed as to cooperation. The Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son as to relationship. The Son is with the Father and the Father is not from the Son, but the Son is from the Father as to authority. The Holy Ghost is from the Father and the Son proceeding, as to nature, cooperation, relationship and authority. Hence, neither Person in the Godhead either exists or works separately or independently of the others. John 5:17-30, 32, 37; John 8:17, 18.
(e) The Title, Lord Jesus Christ:
The appellation, “Lord Jesus Christ”, is a proper name. It is never applied in the New Testament either to the Father or to the Holy Ghost. It therefore belongs exclusively to the Son of God. Romans 1:1-3, 7; II John 3.
(f) The Lord Jesus Christ, God with us:
The Lord Jesus Christ, as to His divine and eternal nature is the proper and only begotten of the Father, but as to His human nature, He is the proper Son of Man. He is, therefore, acknowledged to be both God and man, who because He is God and man, is “Immanuel”, God with us. Matt. 1:23; I John 4:2, 10, 14; Rev. 1:13, 17.
(g) The Title, Son of God:
Since the name “Immanuel” embraces both God and man in the one Person, our Lord Jesus Christ, it follows that the title, Son of God, describes His proper deity, and the title Son of Man, His proper humanity. Therefore, the title, Son of God, belongs to the order of eternity, and the title, Son of Man, to the order of time. Matt. 1:21-23; II John 3; I John 3:8; Heb. 7:3, 1:1-13.
(h) Transgression of the Doctrine of Christ:
Wherefore, it is a transgression of the Doctrine of Christ to say that Jesus Christ derived the title, Son of God, solely from the fact of the incarnation, or because of His relation to the economy of redemption. Therefore, to deny that the Father is the real and eternal Father, and that the Son is a real and eternal Son, is a denial of the distinction and relationship in the Being of God; a denial of the Father and the Son; and a displacement of the truth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. II John 9; John 1:1, 2, 14, 18, 29, 49; I John 2:22, 23; 4:1-5; Hebrews 12:2.
(i) Exaltation of Jesus Christ as Lord:
The Son of God, our Jesus Christ, having by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High; angels and principalities and powers having been made subject unto Him. And having been made both Lord and Christ, He sent the Holy Ghost that we, in the name of Jesus, might bow our knees and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God, the Father, until the end when the Son shall become subject to the Father then God may be all in all. Heb. 1:3; 1 Pet. 3:22; Acts 2:32-36; Romans 14:11; I Cor. 15:24-28.
(j) Equal Honour to the Father and the Son:
Wherefore, since the Father has delivered all judgement unto the Son, it is not only the express of duty of all in heaven and on earth to bow the knee, but it is an unspeakable joy in the Holy Ghost to ascribe unto the Son all the attributes of Deity, and to give Him all the honour and the glory contained in all the names and titles of the Godhead (except those which express relationship. See paragraphs b, c and d) and thus honour the Son even as we honour the Father. John 5:22, 23; I Peter 1:8; Rev. 5:6-14; Phil. 2:8, 9; Rev. 7:9, 10; 4:8-11.
3. MAN, HIS FALL AND REDEMPTION
Man, was created good and upright; for God said: “Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness”. But man, by voluntary transgression, fell, and his only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ, the son of God. Gen. 1:26-31; 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-21.
4. SALVATION OF MAN
(a) Conditions to Salvation:
The grace of God, which bringeth salvation, hath appeared to all men, through the preaching of repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ; man is saved by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost and being justified by grace through faith, he become an heir of God according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 2: 11; Romans 10: 13-15; Luke 24:47; Titus 3:5-7.
(b) The Evidence of Salvation:
The inward evidence, to the believer of his salvation, is the direct witness of the Spirit. Romans 8:16. The outward evidence to all men is a life of righteousness and true holiness. Ephesians 4:24; Titus 2:12.
5. BAPTISM IN WATER
The ordinance of Baptism by burial (immersion) with Christ should be observed, as commanded in the Scriptures, by all who have already repented and in their hearts have truly believed on Christ as Saviour and Lord. In so doing, they have the body washed in pure water as an outward symbol of cleansing, while their hearts have already been sprinkled with the Blood of Christ as an inner cleansing. Thus they declare to the world that they have died with Jesus and that they have also been raised with Him to walk in newness of life. Matt. 28:19; Acts 10:47, 48; Romans 6:4; Acts 20:21; Heb. 10:22.
6. THE LORD’S SUPPER
The Lord’s supper, consisting of the elements bread and the fruit of the vine – is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Peter 1:4), a memorial of His suffering and death (II Cor. 11:26); and a prophecy of His second coming ( I Cor. 11:26), and is enjoined on all believers “till He come”.
7. THE PROMISE OF THE FATHER
All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience of all in the early Christian Church. With it comes the enduement of power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry. Luke 24:29; Acts 1;4, 8; I Cor. 12:1-31. This wonderful experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth. Acts 10:44-46; 11:14-16; 15:7-9.
8. THE EVIDENCE OF BAPTISM IN THE HOLY GHOST
The baptism of believers in the Holy Ghost is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance. Acts 2:4. The speaking in tongues is in the instance of the same in essence as the gift of tongues, (I Cor. 12:4-10, 28), but different in purpose and use.
9. ENTIRE SANCTIFICATION
The Scriptures teach a life of holiness without which no man shall see the Lord. By the power of the Holy Ghost, we are able to obey the command, “Be ye holy, for I am holy”. Entire sanctification is the will of God for all believers, and should be earnestly pursued by walking in obedience to God’s Word. Heb. 12:14; I Pet. 1:15, 16; I Thess. 5:23, 24; I John 2:6.
10. THE CHURCH
The Church is the body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfilment of her great commission. Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the General Assembly and Church of the First-born, which are written in heaven. Eph. 1:22, 23; 2:22; Heb. 12:23.
11. THE MINISTRY AND EVANGELISM
A divinely called and scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for a two-fold purpose:
(1) The evangelism of the world, and
(2) The edifying of the Body of Christ.
Mark 16:15-20; Eph. 4:11-13.
12. DIVINE HEALING
Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement and is the privilege for all believers. Isa. 53:4, 5; Matt. 8:16, 17.
13. THE BLESSED HOPE
The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord is the imminent and blessed hope of the Church. I Thess. 4:16, 17; Romans 8:23; Titus 2:13; I Cor. 15:51, 52.
14. THE MILLENIAL REIGN OF CHRIST
The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of the saints which is our blessed hope, followed by the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on the earth for one thousand years (Zechariah 14:5, Matthew 24:27, 30; Revelation 1:7; 19:11-14; 20:1-6). This millennial reign will bring the salvation of national Israel (Ezekiel 37:21, 22; Zephaniah 3:19-20; Romans 11:26-27) and the establishment of universal peace (Isaiah 11:6-9; Psalm 72:3-8; Micah 4:3,4)
15. THE LAKE OF FIRE
The devil and his angels, the beast, and the false prophet and whatsoever is not found written in the Book of Life shall be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Rev. 19:20, 20:10-15.
16. THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH
We, “according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness”. II Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:22.