The Bible was written by men inspired by the Holy Spirit and is God-breathed. The original autographs were not preserved, but the texts are conserved within the manuscripts we have. The Scriptures are the self-attesting ultimate authority for Christians. They are the certain and infallible rule of life. On whatever issue Scripture speaks, it is authoritative. It supplies the standards by which all human conduct should be tested. We must therefore interpret it with consistent, literal (plain-sense) hermeneutics.
Only One True God
There is only one true, living God who is Creator and Sustainer of all things, ineffably glorious and perfect in all His attributes. God is a Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each of the three persons are fully and truly God in One essence.
The Triune God created the world and all things within in six 24 hour days. After completing His work of creating, God pronounced it “very good.” The universe is not impersonal but owned and operated by God. It is not purposeless but meaningful. It is not man’s playground but created for God’s glory.
God created the cosmos and upholds, directs and controls it. Because God is all-knowing, nothing happens by chance or outside of His providence. However, much that happens is not always in accordance with God’s perfect character or His will. He sovereignly allows things to occur which He is against.
The Fall of Man
Of his own free will man fell from the state which God formed him. While he is still the image and likeness of God – that image is marred. As Adam is head of all mankind, all humanity fell when Adam sinned. Therefore everyone born into the world (except the Lord Jesus) is corrupted by sin, in mind, soul and body. Man commits sin because of his sin nature. We are all incapable of doing anything to merit God’s mercy. As depraved sinners, we are the objects of wrath and under just condemnation to eternal separation from God. We are without defense or excuse.
In God’s goodness and mercy, He sent the Lord Jesus, His only-begotten Son, into the world to be Mediator between God and man. Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the Divine requirements so that any sinner could be reconciled to the Father. Jesus suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. He was buried, and rose again bodily the third day, then ascended to the father. He is the only Mediator, the way, the truth and the life; prophet, priest and king – the Sovereign of the Universe.
The Way of Grace
The only way of salvation is the way of grace via the finished atoning work of Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty for human sin vicariously at Golgotha. The blood of Christ was necessarily shed for sinners and any sinner who truly believes in Jesus for salvation is forgiven by God of all his sins. Salvation is purely by grace, through faith, without works. Not only does God wipe away the believer’s sins, He gives the sinner the merits of His own Son, so that every saint is given the right to eternal joy in the presence of the Triune God.
The New Birth
Upon trust in Jesus Christ, God promises to regenerate man’s spirit and make him a new creature in Christ by a radical change wrought in the soul by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit regenerates the individual and indwells him forever. The redeemed sinner is brought unto God, adopted into God’s family, and placed into the Body of Christ.
Faith and Repentance
Faith is the belief in God’s revealed truth found in the Scriptures. Saving faith is that which simply and fully trusts in the finished work of Christ on behalf of the sinner. Repentance may be seen as the change of mind and outlook of the sinner toward God.
Assurance and Security
We have assurance of peace with God and eternal life through the promises of God in the Gospel. The promise of eternal security is part and parcel of the nature of the Gospel. A Christian is saved by grace and kept saved by grace.
The visible local church is a congregation of baptized believers gathered under the guidance of the Holy Spirit for instruction in the Scriptures, for worship, fellowship and evangelistic service. The Church should be self-governing and independent. The only officers should be elders, pastors and deacons, whose qualifications and duties are defined in the New Testament.
All true believers in Jesus Christ are members of one another in the Body of Christ, the Family of God, which is the Church Universal. They will one day live together in agreement and mutual love for eternity.
A normal reading of the Scriptures, and especially the Old Testament, informs us that Israel had particular covenants of promise given to it. These covenants have not all been fulfilled in every detail. They must be fulfilled if the truth of God’s promises is not to be called into question. The hope of the literal fulfillment of the biblical covenants is to those Israelites identified in the Scriptures as the Remnant. These are the true Jews in every dispensation.
The Rapture and Tribulation
A plain interpretation of the Scriptures suggests a snatching away of the Church to meet Christ in the air prior to the final seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy. This week is the Tribulation (God’s wrath) spoken of in numerous places in Scripture and is composed of God’s eschatological wrath. Its main purpose is to prepare the Jews as a people to call upon the name of Christ. This is what they will do by the end of the seven years.
While the timing of the rapture is not something over which Christians should divide; suggesting that God’s plan for Israel has changed calls His integrity into question.
The Second Coming and Millennium
The Bible teaches the personal bodily return to earth of the Lord Jesus Christ in great power and glory to set up His one thousand year Kingdom rule, which will be extended and expanded in eternity.
The Eternal State
At the end of the Millennium there will be a final rebellion of Satan and his children against the rule and authority of Christ. At that time they will be destroyed. Satan will be thrown into the Lake of Fire while the unsaved dead and the lost of all ages will be brought before the White Throne Judgment of God.
God will create a New Heaven and a New Earth in which there will be no more curse. The Church and Israel will continue as two related yet distinct peoples of God.
(With thanks to Telos Theological Ministries)