We believe there is but one living and true God, sovereign, everlasting, of infinite power, wisdom and goodness; the Maker and Preserver of all things, visible and invisible. And in the unity of this Godhead there are three persons of one substance, power and eternity--the Father, the Son (the Word), and the Holy Spirit. (Gen 1:1. Ex 3:13-15. Ps 90:2. Isa 9:6. Jer 10:10. Mt 3:16, 17, 28:19. Jn4:24, 5:18, 10:30, 16:13, 17:3. Acts 5:3,4. 1 Cor 8:6. 2 Cor 13:14. Col 1:16. 1 Jn5:7, 20, Rev 19:13).
We believe in Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Triune Godhead; that He was eternally one with the Father; that He became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and was born of the virgin Mary, so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say the Godhead and manhood, are thus united in one person; very God and very man, the God‑man. This same Christ suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried--to be a sacrifice, not only for original sin, but also for the actual sins of human beings, and to provide that all may be reconciled to God. In resurrection He came forth from the dead, took again His body, together with all things appertaining to the perfection of human nature, wherewith he ascended into heaven and is there engaged in intercession for us. (Mt 27:62-66, 28: 5-9, 16, 17. Mk 15, 16:6, 7, 12. Lk 1:27, 31, 35, 24:4-8, 23. Jn1:14, 18, 3:16,17, 20:26-29, 21. Acts 1:1, 2, 4: 10-12, 10:40. Rom 5:10, 8:34, 14:9. 2 Cor 5:18,19. Gal 1:4, 4:4,5. 1 Tim 1:15. Heb 9:28, 10:12, 13:20. 1 Pet 2:21-24. 1 Jn2:1,2).
The Holy Spirit.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, the Third Person of the Triune Godhead, that He is ever present and effectively active in and with the Church of Christ, convincing the world of sin, regenerating those who repent and believe, sanctifying believers, and guiding into all truth as it is in Jesus. (Mt 28:19. Jn4:24. Acts 5:3,4. Rom 8:9. 2 Cor 3:17. Gal 4:6).
The Holy Scriptures.
We believe in the plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, by which we understand the sixty‑six books of the Old and New Testaments to be given by Divine inspiration, superior to all human authority, and revealing the will of God in all things necessary to our salvation, so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined as an article of faith. (Ps 19:7. Lk 24:27. Jn17:17. Acts 17:2. Rom 1:2, 15:4, 16:26. 1 Thess 2:13. 2 Tim 3:15-17. Heb 4:12. 1 Pet 1:23. 2 Pet 1:19-21. Rev 22:14,19).
We believe in the church of Jesus Christ, visible and invisible, local and universal, militant and triumphant, with unity in diversity, and that no part shall be taken for the whole. We believe in the eternal presence of Christ in the midst of this church, His body on earth. (Mt 16:18. Acts 6:38. 1 Cor 12:13. Eph 4:11-13. Rev 12:13).
We believe that the creation of human beings in God‑likeness included the ability to choose between right and wrong, and thus he was made morally responsible. Through the fall of Adam he became depraved so that he cannot now turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength and works to have faith and call upon God. But we also believe that the grace of God through Jesus Christ is freely bestowed upon all men, enabling all who will to turn from sin to righteousness, believe on Jesus Christ for pardon and cleansing from sin, and follow good works pleasing and acceptable in His sight. Despite this, after having received the experience of regeneration and sanctification, persons are free to elect the way of sin again and may thus apostatize and be eternally lost except they repent and be restored to Divine favor. (Pro 16:1. Jer 10:23. Mt 16:17. Jn6:44, 65. Rom 5:6-8. Eph 2:8. Phil 2:13, 4:13).
Original Sin, or Depravity.
We believe that original sin, or depravity, is that corruption of the nature of all the offspring of Adam by reason of which everyone is alienated from God and from original righteousness or the pure state of our first parents at the time of their creation, is averse to God, is without spiritual life, and inclined to evil, and that continually. We further believe that original sin continues to exist with the new life of the regenerate until it is crucified and expurgated by the baptism with the Holy Spirit in the experience of entire sanctification. (Ps 51:5. Jer 17:9. Mk 7:21-23. Rom 3:10-12, 5:12, 18, 19. Eph 2:1-3).
Atonement--Ground of Salvation.
We believe that Jesus Christ, by His sufferings, by the shedding of His own blood, and by His meritorious death on the cross, made a full atonement for all human sin; that this atonement is the only ground of salvation; and that it is sufficient for every individual of Adam's race. This atonement is graciously efficacious for the salvation of the mentally incapable and for children not having reached accountability before God; but is operative for the salvation of those who reach the age of responsibility only when they savingly believe. Wherefore, to expect salvation on the ground of good works, or by suffering the pains our sins deserve, either in the present or future state, is derogatory of Christ's sacrifice for us, and is a dangerous deceit. (Acts 13:38, 39, 15:11, 16:31. Rom 3:28, 5:1, 2, 9. Eph 2:8, 9. Phil 3:9. Heb 11).
We believe that living faith is the gift of God, and without it, it is impossible to please God; and furthermore, that faith enables the saved to live justly in this present world, and thus to please God. (Rom 3:28, 5:1. Eph 2:8. Heb 11:6).
We believe that repentance is a sincere and thorough change of mind in regard to sin, involving a sense of personal guilt and a voluntary turning away from and forsaking of sin. We believe that repentance is demanded of all who have by act or purpose become sinners against God. The Spirit of God gives to all who will repent the gracious help of penitence of heart and hope of mercy, that they may believe unto pardon and spiritual life. (Mt 9:13. Mk 1:15. Lk 13:3, 24:47. Acts 2:38, 17:30, 26:20. Rom 2:4. 1 Jn1:9. Rev 2:5).
Justification, Regeneration, Adoption, and Sanctification.
We believe that justification is the gracious and judicial act of God, by which He grants full pardon of all guilt, complete release from the penalty of sins committed, acceptance as righteous, and the presence of His Spirit (thus beginning the work of sanctification) to all who believe on Jesus Christ and receive Him as Lord and Savior. We believe that regeneration, or the new birth, is that gracious work of God whereby the moral nature of the repentant believer is spiritually quickened and given a distinctively spiritual life, capable of faith, love, and obedience. We believe that adoption is that gracious act of God by which the justified and regenerated believer is constituted a child of God. We believe initial sanctification accompanies the presence of the Holy Spirit in the heart and life of the believer and that it testifies to, leads toward and anticipates the gift of the fullness of the Spirit in entire sanctification.
We further believe that justification, regeneration, adoption and initial sanctification are simultaneous in the experience of seekers after God and are obtained upon the condition of faith in the merits of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, accompanied by repentance, and that the Holy Spirit bears witness to this grace. (Jn1:12, 13, 3:5. Acts 13:39. Rom 3:28, 4:2-5, 5:1, 2, 9, 8:15, 17. Gal 3:26, 4:5-7. Eph 2:5, 8. Titus 3:5. 1 Jn3:1).
We believe that entire sanctification to be that act of God, subsequent to regeneration, as a second work of grace, by which believers are made free from original sin, or depravity, and are brought into a state of entire devotion to God, and the holy obedience of perfect love.
Entire sanctification is wrought by the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and comprehends in one experience, the cleansing of the heart from sin and the abiding, indwelling, fullness of the Holy Spirit, empowering the believer for life and service.
Entire sanctification is provided by the blood of Jesus, is wrought instantaneously by faith, preceded by entire consecration. The Holy Spirit bears witness to this work and state of grace.
We believe that the experience of entire sanctification as God's gracious work of inward purity will be manifest in the outward life by the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22‑24), as well as an evident separation from the world and that this glorious work of God's grace is our distinguishing doctrine and message. We believe also that the Christian thus sanctified, though purified in heart and mind and motive, and though enabled by the Holy Spirit to live victoriously over sin, is still capable of human error and misjudgment; and that the sanctified should expect and seek to progress in this grace, maturing in it and becoming more like the Master in word and deed.
This experience is also known by various terms such as "Christian Perfection", "Perfect Love", "Heart Purity", "The Baptism With The Holy Spirit", "The Fullness Of The Blessing", and "Christian Holiness". And all these are vital attributes of entire sanctification.
(Mt 5:48. Lk 1:74-75. Jn17. Rom 8:3-4. Eph 4:24, 5:25-27. Col 4:12. 1 Thess 5:23. 2 Thess 2:13. 2 Tim 3:17. Heb 10:14, 18-22. Jas 4:8. 2 Pet 1:4. 1 Jn1:7, 9, 3:3, 8, 9, 4:17, 18. Jude 24).
Gifts of the Spirit.
We believe the following sets forth the Bible teaching on this subject:
The gifts of the Spirit are known in Scripture as "charismata" or gifts of grace. Hence there is an internal connection between graces and gifts in the administration of the Spirit. A summary of the teachings of the Scriptures concerning spiritual gifts is found in 1 Cor 12:4‑7 which reads, "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal." From the above statements of Scriptures along with others equally clear, the following principles are manifest:
- The gifts of the Spirit are supernatural endowments for service, and are determined by the character of the ministry to be fulfilled in the work of the Church.
- Paul's rhetorical questions in 1 Cor 12:29‑30 make clear that there is diversity of gifts in the church, not all members have the same gifts.
- The gifts of the Spirit are exercised in conjunction with, and not apart from, the harmony of the body of Christ.
- Since the Spirit divides "to every man severally as He wills", believers will do best to allow the sovereignty of the Spirit to work in the bestowal of the gifts, and to seek to fulfill God's will in their lives through the discovery, development and use of such grace gifts as the Holy Spirit bestows. Beyond that, believers should seek to follow the more perfect way outlined in 1 Cor 13.
We believe that Christian baptism, while not essential to salvation, is a sacrament signifying acceptance of the benefits of the atonement of Jesus Christ, to be administered to believers as declarative of their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior, and full purpose of obedience in holiness and righteousness.
We believe that the memorial and communion supper instituted by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is essentially a New Testament sacrament, declarative of His vicarious death and a token of His coming again; insomuch so that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, it is made a medium through which Christ makes His presence known and through which He communicates grace to the heart. (Mt 3:13-17, 26:26-28, 29:19. Mk 14:22-24. Acts 2:38-41, 8:12-17, 9:18, 16:33, 18:8, 22:16. 1 Cor 10:16, 11:23-29. Gal 3:27).
Second Coming of Christ.
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will come again to receive his children unto himself and to judge the quick and the dead; that we who are alive at His coming shall not precede them that are asleep in Christ Jesus; but that, if we are abiding in Him, we shall be caught up with the risen saints to meet the Lord in the air, so that we shall ever be with the Lord. We believe the Scriptures to teach the bodily return of Christ to the earth and that He will cause the fulfillment of all prophecies made concerning his final and complete triumph over evil. (Isa. 11:1-12. Dan 12:1-4. Zech 14:1-11. Mt 24:1-51, 26:64. Mk 13:26-37. Lk 17:26-37, 21:24-36. Jn14:1-3. Acts 1:9-11. 1 Cor 1:7,8. 1 Thess 4:13-18. Heb 9:27-28. Jas 5:7, 8. 2 Pet 3:1-14. 1 Jn3:2, 3. Jude 14. Rev 1:7, 19:11-16, 22:6, 7, 12, 20).
Resurrection, Judgment, and Destiny.
We believe in the resurrection of the dead, that the bodies both of the just and of the unjust shall be raised to life and united with their spirits ‑‑ "they that have done good, unto resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (Jn5:29). We believe in future judgment in which every man shall appear before God to be judged according to his deeds in this life. We believe that glorious and everlasting life is assured to all who savingly believe in, and obediently follow, Jesus Christ our Lord; and that the finally impenitent shall suffer eternally in the lake of fire. (Job 19:25-27. Ps 17:15. Dan 12:2. Mt 25:30-34, 41-46, 28:1-20. Lk 14:14. Jn5:28, 29. Acts 17:31. Rom 2:16, 8:11. 1 Cor 6:14. 2 Cor 4:14, 5:1-11. 1 Thess 4:14-17. 2 Tim 4:1. Heb 9:27. 2 Pet 3:7. Rev 20:4-6, 11-13).
We believe in the Bible doctrine of divine healing and urge our people to endeavor to offer the prayer of faith for the healing of the sick. Providential means and agencies when deemed necessary should not be refused. (Isa 53:5. Mt 10:1. Lk 5:17. Jn9:1-11. Acts 4:29-30. Jas 5:14‑15).
We believe those two great commandments which require us to love the Lord our God with all the heart and our neighbors as ourselves, contain the sum of the Divine law as it is revealed in the scriptures (Mt 22:37-40; Mk 12:29-31). They are the measure and perfect rule of human duty and are for the ordering and directing of families and nations, and all other social bodies. By them we are required to acknowledge God as our only Supreme Ruler and all human beings as created by Him, equal in all natural rights. Wherefore all human beings are bound so to order all their individual and social and political acts as to render to God entire and absolute obedience, and to secure to all other human beings the enjoyment of every natural right as well as to promote the greatest happiness of each in the possession and exercise of such rights. (Lev 19:18-34. Deut 1:17. 2 Sam 23:3. Job 3:13, 14. Jer 22:3. Mt 5:44-47, 7:12, 10:17-33, 22:36-40. Lk 6:27-29, 35. Jn 13:34-35. Acts 10:34, 35, 17:26. Rom 13: 1, 7, 8, 10. Gal 5:14, 6:10. 1 Pet 2:17. 1 Jn 4:12, 13)