THE GOSPEL

The gospel is the good news of God’s grace invading the darkness of this world. It is the grand narrative of creation, fall, redemption and consummation ordained by God and orchestrated through the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. Christ’s crucifixion is the heart of the gospel. His resurrection is the power of the gospel. His ascension is the glory of the gospel.

Christ’s death is a substitutionary and propitiatory sacrifice to God for our sins. It satisfies the demands of God’s holy justice and appeases His holy wrath. It also demonstrates His mysterious love and reveals His amazing grace. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. There is no other name by which men can be saved. At the heart of all sound doctrine is the cross of Jesus Christ and the infinite privilege that redeemed sinners have in glorifying God because of what He has accomplished. Therefore, we want all that takes place in our hearts, churches and ministries to proceed from and be related to the gospel.

 

THEOLOGICAL DISTINCTIVES

SCRIPTURE:

The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.

Exodus 24:4Deuteronomy 4:1-217:19Joshua 8:34Psalms 19:7-10119:11,89,105,140Isaiah 34:1640:8Jeremiah 15:1636:1-32Matthew 5:17-1822:29Luke 21:3324:44-46John 5:3916:13-1517:17Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11Romans 15:416:25-262 Timothy 3:15-17Hebrews 1:1-24:121 Peter 1:252 Peter 1:19-21.

GOD:

There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.

A. God the Father

God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.

Genesis 1:12:7Exodus 3:146:2-315:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2Deuteronomy 6:432:61 Chronicles 29:10Psalm 19:1-3Isaiah 43:3,1564:8Jeremiah 10:1017:13Matthew 6:9ff.; 7:1123:928:19Mark 1:9-11John 4:245:2614:6-1317:1-8Acts 1:7Romans 8:14-151 Corinthians 8:6Galatians 4:6Ephesians 4:6Colossians 1:151 Timothy 1:17Hebrews 11:612:91 Peter 1:17;1 John 5:7.

B. God the Son

Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord.

Genesis 18:1ff.; Psalms 2:7ff.; 110:1ff.; Isaiah 7:14Isaiah 53:1-12Matthew 1:18-233:178:2911:2714:3316:16,2717:52728:1-6,19Mark 1:13:11Luke 1:354:4122:7024:46John 1:1-18,2910:30,3811:25-2712:44-5014:7-1116:15-16,2817:1-521-2220:1-20,28Acts 1:92:22-247:55-569:4-5,20Romans 1:3-43:23-265:6-218:1-3,3410:41 Corinthians 1:302:28:615:1-8,24-282 Corinthians 5:19-218:9Galatians 4:4-5Ephesians 1:203:114:7-10Philippians 2:5-11Colossians 1:13-222:91 Thessalonians 4:14-181 Timothy 2:5-63:16Titus 2:13-14Hebrews 1:1-34:14-157:14-289:12-15,24-2812:213:81 Peter 2:21-253:221 John 1:7-93:24:14-155:92 John 7-9Revelation 1:13-165:9-1412:10-1113:819:16.

C. God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.

Genesis 1:2Judges 14:6Job 26:13Psalms 51:11139:7ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3Joel 2:28-32Matthew 1:183:164:112:28-3228:19Mark 1:10,12Luke 1:354:1,18-1911:1312:1224:49John 4:2414:16-17,2615:2616:7-14Acts 1:82:1-4,384:315:36:37:558:17,3910:4413:215:2816:619:1-6Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-271 Corinthians 2:10-143:1612:3-11,13Galatians 4:6Ephesians 1:13-144:305:181 Thessalonians 5:191 Timothy 3:164:12 Timothy 1:143:16Hebrews 9:8,142 Peter 1:211 John 4:135:6-7Revelation 1:1022:17.

MAN:

Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God's creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.

Genesis 1:26-302:5,7,18-2239:6; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5Jeremiah 17:5Matthew 16:26Acts 17:26-31Romans 1:19-323:10-18,235:6,12,196:67:14-258:14-18,291 Corinthians 1:21-3115:19,21-22Ephesians 2:1-22Colossians 1:21-223:9-11.

SALVATION:

Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.

A. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God's grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.

Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Saviour.

B. Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favor with God.

C. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God's purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person's life.

D. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.

Genesis 3:15Exodus 3:14-176:2-8Matthew 1:214:1716:21-2627:22-28:6Luke 1:68-692:28-32John 1:11-14,293:3-21,365:2410:9,28-2915:1-1617:17Acts 2:214:1215:1116:30-3117:30-3120:32Romans 1:16-182:43:23-254:3ff.; 5:8-106:1-238:1-18,29-3910:9-10,1313:11-141 Corinthians 1:18,306:19-2015:102 Corinthians 5:17-20Galatians 2:203:135:22-256:15Ephesians 1:72:8-224:11-16Philippians 2:12-13Colossians 1:9-223:1ff.; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-242 Timothy 1:12Titus 2:11-14Hebrews 2:1-35:8-99:24-2811:1-12:8,14James 2:14-261 Peter 1:2-231 John 1:6-2:11Revelation 3:2021:1-22:5.

BELIEVERS BAPTISM BY IMMERSION:

Baptism is intended only for those who have professed faith in Jesus Christ and can give sufficient testimony to the basics of Christian beliefs. Also, we baptize by immersion because it is not only the original significance of the word, but also best symbolizes the reality to which baptism points—our death and resurrection in Christ. I need to be Baptized

GOD'S PURPOSE OF GRACE:

Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.

All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

Genesis 12:1-3Exodus 19:5-81 Samuel 8:4-7,19-22Isaiah 5:1-7Jeremiah 31:31ff.; Matthew 16:18-1921:28-4524:22,3125:34Luke 1:68-792:29-3219:41-4424:44-48John 1:12-143:165:246:44-45,6510:27-2915:1617:6,12,17-18Acts 20:32Romans 5:9-108:28-3910:12-1511:5-7,26-361 Corinthians 1:1-215:24-28Ephesians 1:4-232:1-103:1-11Colossians 1:12-142 Thessalonians 2:13-142 Timothy 1:122:10,19Hebrews 11:39–12:2James 1:121 Peter 1:2-5,132:4-101 John 1:7-92:193:2.