Truth2Freedom Blog Doctrinal and Position Statement (statement of faith and belief)

Truth2Freedom Statement of Faith and Belief

While the Truth2Freedm blog statement definitions are important to its position, it is readily recognized that they do not define orthodoxy for the whole body of Christ. Truth2Freedom gladly embraces all who faithfully adhere to the essentials of biblical Christianity as fellow believers and colleagues in Christ’s cause.

Whereas biblical Christianity is defined by the central tenets of the faith, throughout the history of the church various groups have employed more specific definitions to define themselves. Truth2Freedom has maintained positions that have identified it as non-charismatic, dispensational and generally Calvinistic.

The following statement of faith (doctrinal statement) provides a two part position within each category. The first part declares what we believe. The second part declares what we teach. What is believed must also agree with what is taught.

Doctrinal Statement: What We Believe

The Holy Scriptures

The Bible, including both the Old and the New Testaments, is a divine revelation, the original autographs of which were verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit.1

• 2 Timothy 3:16 • 2 Peter 1:21

The Bible is without error in all it affirms in the original autographs and is the only authoritative guide for faith and practice and as such must not be supplanted by any other fields of human learning.

We believe that the Bible is God’s written revelation to man, and thus the sixty six books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit constitute the plenary (inspired equally in all parts) Word of God (1Corinthians 2:7 14; 2 Peter 1:20 21).

We believe that the Word of God is an objective, propositional revelation (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13), verbally inspired in every word (2 Timothy 3:16), absolutely inerrant in the original documents, infallible, and God breathed. We believe the literal, grammatical historical interpretation of Scripture which affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days (Genesis 1:31; Exodus 31:17).

We believe that the Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice (Matthew 5:18; 24:35; John 10:35; 16:12 13; 17:17; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15 17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20 21).

We believe that God spoke in His written Word by a process of dual authorship. The Holy Spirit so superintended the human authors that, through their individual personalities and different styles of writing, they composed and recorded God’s Word to man (2 Peter 1:20 21) without error in the whole or in the part (Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16). We believe that, whereas there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation. The meaning of Scripture is to be found as one diligently applies the literal grammatical historical method of interpretation under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (John 7:17; 16:12 15; 1 Corinthians 2:7 15; 1 John 2:20). It is the responsibility of believers to ascertain carefully the true intent and meaning of Scripture, recognizing that proper application is binding on all generations. Yet the truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of it.

Addendum: What We Teach

We Teach that the Bible is God’s written revelation to man, and thus the 66 books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit constitute the plenary (inspired equally in all parts) Word of God (1 Cor. 2:7-14; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).

We teach that the Word of God is an objective, propositional revelation 1Cor.2:13; 1 Thess. 2:13), verbally inspired in every word (2 Tim. 3:16), absolutely inerrant in the original documents, infallible, and God-breathed.

We teach the literal, grammatical-historical interpretation of Scripture, which affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days (Gen. 1:31; Ex. 31:17)

We teach that the Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice (Matt.5:18; 24:35; John 10:35; 16:12-13; 17:17; 1 Cor. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 4:12; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).

We teach that God spoke in His written Word by a process of dual authorship. The Holy Spirit so superintended the human authors that, through their individual personalities and different styles of writing, they composed and recorded God’s Word to man (2 Pet. 1:20-21) without error in the whole or in the part (Matt. 5:18; 2 Tim. 3:16).

We teach that, whereas there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation. The meaning of Scripture is to be found as one diligently applies the literal, grammatical-historical method of interpretation under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (John 7:17; 16:12-15; 1 Cor. 2:7-15; 1 John 2:20). It is the responsibility of believers to ascertain carefully the true intent and meaning of Scripture, recognizing that proper application is binding on all generations. Yet the truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men: never do men stand in judgment of it.

God

God is a Person who has revealed Himself as a Trinity in unity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit—three Persons and yet one God.

• Deuteronomy 6:4 • Matthew 28:19 • 1 Corinthians 8:6

We believe that there is but one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5 7; 1 Corinthians 8:4), an infinite, all knowing Spirit (John 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14)—each equally deserving worship and obedience.

Addendum: What We Teach

We teach that there is but one living and true God (Deut. 6:4; Is. 45:5-7; 1 Cor. 8:4), an infinite, all-knowing Spirit (John 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14) – each equally deserving worship and obedience.

God: God the Father

We believe that God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (Psalm 145:8 9; 1 Corinthians 8:6). He is the Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1 31; Ephesians 3:9). As the only absolute and omnipotent Ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:36). His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. As Creator He is Father to all men (Ephesians 4:6), but He is spiritual Father only to believers (Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 6:18). He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (Ephesians 1:11). He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events (1 Chronicles 29:11). In His sovereignty He is neither author nor approver of sin (Habakkuk 1:13; John 8:38 47), nor does He abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (1 Peter 1:17). He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own (Ephesians 1:4 6); He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ; He adopts as his own all those who come to Him; and He becomes, upon adoption, Father to His own (John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Hebrews 12:5 9).

 

Addendum: What We Teach

We teach that God the Father, the first person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (Ps. 145:8-9; 1 Cor. 8:6). He is the Creator of all things (Gen. 1:1-31; Eph. 3:9). As the only absolute and omnipotent ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Ps. 103:19; Rom. 11: 36). His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. As Creator He is Father to all men (Eph. 4:6), but He is Spiritual Father only to believers (Rom. 8:14; 2 Cor. 6:18). He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (Eph. 1. 11). He continually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and events (1 Chr. 29:11). In His sovereignty He is neither author nor approver of sin (Hab. 1:13), nor does He abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (1 Pet. 1:17). He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own (Eph. 1:4-6); He saves from sin all those who come to Him through Jesus Christ; adopts as His own all those who come to Him; and He becomes, upon adoption, Father to His own (John 1:12; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:5; Heb. 12:5-9).

God: God the Son

Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, which is to say, He is Himself very God; He took upon Himself our nature, being conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary;2 He died upon the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sin of the world;3 He arose from the dead in the body in which He was crucified; He ascended into heaven in that body glorified, where He is now our interceding High Priest; He will come again personally and visibly to set up His Kingdom4 and to judge the quick and the dead.

• Colossians 1:15 • Philippians 2:5-8 • Matthew 1:18-25 • 1 Peter 2:24-25 • Luke 24 • Hebrews 4:14-16 • Acts 1:9-11 • 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 • Matthew 25:31-46 • Revelation 11:15-17; 20:4-6, 11-15

2 Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is fully God and fully man possessing both deity and humanity united in one person, without division of the person or confusion of the two natures.

3 An individual receives the benefit of Christ’s substitutionary death by faith as the result of responding to the message of the gospel. Salvation is the free gift of God’s grace through faith alone, in Christ alone, therefore not dependent upon church membership, intermediaries, sacraments or works of righteousness to attain or sustain it.

4 It is Truth2Freedoms blog position that this refers to the premillennial return of Christ at which time He will set up His millennial reign, during which time He will fulfill His promises to Israel.

We believe that Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father (John 10:30; 14:9).

We believe that God the Father created according to His own will, through His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence and in operation (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15 17; Hebrews 1:2).

We believe that in the incarnation (God becoming man) Christ surrendered only the prerogatives of deity but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind.

In His incarnation, the eternally existing second Person of the Trinity accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God Man (Philippians 2:5 8; Colossians 2:9). We believe that Jesus Christ represents humanity and deity in indivisible oneness (Micah 5:2; John 5:23; 14:9 10; Colossians 2:9).

We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23, 25; Luke 1:26 35); that He was God incarnate (John 1:1, 14); and that the purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God, redeem men, and rule over God’s kingdom (Psalm 2:7 9; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:29; Philippians 2:9 11; Hebrews 7:25 26; 1 Peter 1:18 19).

We believe that, in the incarnation, the second person of the Trinity laid aside His right to the full prerogatives of coexistence with God, assumed the place of a Son, and took on an existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes (Philippians 2:5 8).

We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross and that His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive (John 10:15; Romans 3:24 25; 5:8; 1 Peter 2:24).

We believe that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead and that He is now ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now mediates as our Advocate and High Priest (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:38 39; Acts 2:30 31; Romans 4:25; 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1).

We believe that in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that God has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Jesus’ bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers (John 5:26 29; 14:19; Romans 1:4; 4:25; 6:5 10; 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23).

We believe that Jesus Christ will return to receive the church, which is His Body, unto Himself at the rapture, and returning with His church in glory, will establish His millennial kingdom on earth (Acts 1:9 11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13 18; Revelation 20).

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the One through whom God will judge all mankind (John 5:22 23):

  1. Believers (1 Corinthians 3:10 15; 2 Corinthians 5:10)
  2. Living inhabitants of the earth at His glorious return (Matthew 25:31 46).
  3. Unbelieving dead at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11 15).

As the Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5), the Head of His Body the church (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23; Colossians 1:18), and the coming universal King, who will reign on the throne of David (Isaiah 9:6; Luke 1:31 33), He is the final Judge of all who fail to place their trust in Him as Lord and Savior (Matthew 25:14 46; Acts 17:30 31). We believe that on the basis of the efficacy of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from the punishment, the penalty, the power, and one day the very presence of sin; and that he is declared righteous, given eternal life, and adopted into the family of God (Romans 3:25; 5:8 9; 2 Corinthians 5:14 15; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18).

Addendum: What We Teach

We teach that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father (John 10:30; 14:9).
We teach that God the Father created “the heavens and the earth and all that is in them” according to His own will, through His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence and in operations (John 1:3; Col. 1:15–17; Heb. 1:2).

We teach that in the incarnation (God becoming man) Christ surrendered only the prerogatives of deity but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind. In His incarnation, the eternally existing second person of the Trinity accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God-man (Phil. 2:5–8; Col. 2:9).

We teach that Jesus Christ represents humanity and deity in indivisible oneness (Mic. 5:2; John 5:23; 14:9, 10; Col. 2:9).

We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born (Is. 7:14; Matt. 1:23,25; Luke 1:26–35); that He was God incarnate (John 1:1,14); and that the purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God, redeem men, and rule over God’s kingdom (Ps. 2:7–9; Is. 9:6; John 1:29; Phil. 2:9–11; Heb. 7:25,26; 1 Pet. 1:18,19).

We teach that, in the incarnation, the second person of the Trinity laid aside His right to the full prerogatives of coexistence with God, assumed the place of a Son, and took on an existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes (Phil. 2:5–8).

We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross and that His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive (John 10:15; Rom. 3:24,25; 5:8; 1 Pet. 2:24).

We teach that on the basis of the efficacy of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from the punishment, the penalty, the power, and one day the very presence of sin; and that he is declared righteous, given eternal life, and adopted into the family of God (Rom. 3:25; 5:8, 9; 2 Cor. 5:14,15; 1 Pet. 2:24; 3:18).

We teach that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead and that He is now ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now mediates as our Advocate and High-Priest (Matt. 28:6; Luke 24:38,39; Acts 2:30,31; Rom. 4:25; 8:34; Heb. 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1).

We teach that in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that God has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Jesus’ bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers (John 5:26–29; 14:19; Rom. 4:25; 6:5–10; 1 Cor. 15:20, 23).

We teach that Jesus Christ will return to receive the church, which is His body, unto Himself at the Rapture and, returning with His church in glory, will establish His millennial kingdom on earth (Acts 1:9–11; 1 Thess. 4:13–18; Rev. 20).

We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ is the one through whom God will judge all mankind (John 5:22,23):

a) Believers (1 Cor. 3:10–15; 2 Cor. 5:10);

b) Living inhabitants of the earth at His glorious return (Matt. 25:31–46); and

c) Unbelieving dead at the Great White Throne (Rev. 20:11–15).
As the mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5), the head of His body the church (Eph. 1:22; 5:23; Col. 1:18), and the coming universal King who will reign on the throne of David (Is. 9:6,7; Ezek. 37:24–28; Luke 1:31–33), He is the final judge of all who fail to place their trust in Him as Lord and Savior (Matt. 25:14–46; Acts 17:30,31).

God: God the Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity including intellect (1 Corinthians 2:10 13), emotions (Ephesians 4:30), will (1 Corinthians 12:11), eternality (Hebrews 9:14), omnipresence (Psalm 139:7 10), omniscience (Isaiah 40:13 14), omnipotence (Romans 15:13), and truthfulness (John 16:13). In all the divine attributes He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3 4; 28:25 26; 1 Corinthians 12:4 6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; and Jeremiah 31:31 34 with Hebrews 10:15 17).

We believe that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to execute the divine will with relation to all mankind. We recognize His sovereign activity in creation (Genesis 1:2), the incarnation (Matthew 1:18), the written revelation (2 Peter 1:20 21), and the work of salvation (John 3:5 7).

We believe that the work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost when He came from the Father as promised by Christ (John 14:16 17; 15:26) to initiate and complete the building of the Body of Christ, which is His church (1 Corinthians 12:13). The broad scope of His divine activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and transforming believers into the image of Christ (John 16:7 9; Acts 1:5; 2:4; Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 2:22).

We believe that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption (Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13).

We believe that the Holy Spirit is the divine Teacher, who guided the apostles and prophets into all truth as they committed to writing God’s revelation, the Bible. Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation, and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with (controlled by) the Spirit (John 16:13; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18; 2 Peter 1:19 21; 1 John 2:20, 27).

We believe that the Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the church. The Holy Spirit glorifies neither Himself nor His gifts by ostentatious displays, but He does glorify Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in the most holy faith (John 16:13 14; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:4 11; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

We believe, in this respect, that God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of all His gifts for the perfecting of the saints today and that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles in the beginning days of the church were for the purpose of pointing to and authenticating the apostles as revealers of divine truth, and were never intended to be characteristic of the lives of believers (1 Corinthians 12:4 11; 13:8 10; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7 12; Hebrews 2:14).

Addendum: What We Teach

We teach that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity, including intellect (1 Cor. 2:10–13), emotions (Eph. 4:30), will (1 Cor. 12:11), eternality (Heb. 9:14), omnipresence (Ps. 139:7–10), omniscience (Is. 40:13, 14), omnipotence (Rom. 15:13), and truthfulness (John 16:13). In all the divine attributes He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son (Matt. 28:19; Acts 5:3,4; 28:25,26; 1 Cor. 12:4–6; 2 Cor. 13:14; and Jer. 31:31–34 with Heb. 10:15–17).

We teach that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to execute the divine will with relation to all mankind. We recognize His sovereign activity in the creation (Gen. 1:2), the incarnation (Matt. 1:18), the written revelation (2 Pet. 1:20,21), and the work of salvation (John 3:5–7).

We teach that a unique work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost when He came from the Father as promised by Christ (John 14:16,17; 15:26) to initiate and complete the building of the body of Christ. His activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and transforming believers into the image of Christ (John 16:7–9; Acts 1:5; 2:4; Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 2:22).

We teach that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption (Rom. 8:9–11; 2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:13).

We teach that the Holy Spirit is the divine teacher who guided the apostles and prophets into all truth as they committed to writing God’s revelation, the Bible (2 Pet. 1:19–21). Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation, and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with (controlled by) the Spirit (Rom. 8:9–11; Eph. 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27).

We teach that the Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the church. The Holy Spirit glorifies neither Himself nor His gifts by ostentatious displays, but He does glorify Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in the most holy faith (John 16:13,14; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 12:4–11; 2 Cor. 3:18).

We teach, in this respect, that God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of all His gifts for the perfecting of the saints today and that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles in the beginning days of the church were for the purpose of pointing to and authenticating the apostles as revealers of divine truth, and were never intended to be characteristic of the lives of believers (1 Cor. 12:4–11; 13:8–10; 2 Cor. 12:12; Eph. 4:7–12; Heb. 2:1–4).

Man

Man was created5 in the image of God but fell into sin, and, in that sense, is lost; this is true of all men, and except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God; salvation is by grace through faith in Christ who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree; the retribution of the wicked and unbelieving and the rewards of the righteous are everlasting, and as the reward is conscious, so is the retribution.6

• Genesis 1:26-27 • Romans 3:10, 23 • John 3:3 • Acts 13:38-39; 4:12 • John 3:16; Matthew 25:46 • 2 Corinthians 5:1 • 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10

5 This affirms that the first human beings were a special and unique creation by God as contrasted to being derived from any pre-existing life forms. Further, God created everything “after its kind,” which excludes any position that allows for any evolutionary process between kinds.

This statement excludes any position which asserts a temporary or complete cessation of consciousness or merging with eternal oneness or annihilation of the damned or a “second chance” or a period of suffering or purification in preparation for entrance into the presence of God.

We believe that man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. Man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination, and moral responsibility to God (Genesis 2:7, 15 25; James 3:9).

We believe that God’s intention in the creation of man was that man should glorify God, enjoy God’s fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and by this accomplish God’s purpose for man in the world (Isaiah 43:7; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11).

We believe that in Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, man lost his innocence; incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death; became subject to the wrath of God; and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. With no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, man is hopelessly lost. Man’s salvation is thereby wholly of God’s grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ (Genesis 2:16 17; 3:1 19; John 3:36; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1 3; 1 Timothy 2:13 14; 1 John 1:8).

We believe that because all men were in Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam’s sin has been transmitted to all men of all ages, Jesus Christ being the only exception. All men are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (Psalm 14:1 3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9 18, 23; 5:10 12).

 

Addendum: What We Teach

We teach that man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. Man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination, and moral responsibility to God (Gen. 2:7, 15–25; James 3:9).

We teach that God’s intention in the creation of man was that man should glorify God, enjoy God’s fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and by this accomplish God’s purpose for man in the world (Is. 43:7; Col. 1:16; Rev. 4:11).

We teach that in Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, man lost his innocence; incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death; became subject to the wrath of God; and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. With no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, man is hopelessly lost. Man’s salvation is thereby wholly of God’s grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ (Gen. 2:16, 17; 3:1–19; John 3:36; Rom. 3:23; 6:23; 1 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 2:1–3; 1 Tim. 2:13, 14; 1 John 1:8).

We teach that because all men were in Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam’s sin has been transmitted to all men of all ages, Jesus Christ being the only exception. All men are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (Ps. 14:1–3; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:9–18, 23; 5:10–12).

Salvation

We believe that salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8 10; 1 Peter 1:18 19).

Addendum: What We Teach

We teach that salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works (John 1:12; Eph. 1:4-7; 2:8-10; 1 Pet.1:18-19).

Salvation: Regeneration

We believe that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (John 3:3 7; Titus 3:5). It is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God (John 5:24), when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works will be its proper evidence and fruit (1 Corinthians 6:19 20; Ephesians 2:10), and will be experienced to the extent that the believer submits to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life through faithful obedience to the Word of God (Ephesians 5:17 21; Philippians 2:12b; Colossians 3:16; 2 Peter 1:4 10). This obedience causes the believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). Such a conformity is climaxed in the believer’s glorification at Christ’s coming (Romans 8:17; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:2 3).

Addendum: What We Teach

We teach that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (John 3:3-8; Titus 3:5). It is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God (John 5:24), when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works will be its proper evidence and fruit (1 Cor. 6:19-20; Eph. 5:17-21; Phil. 2:12b; Col. 3:12-17; 2 Pet. 1:4-11). This obedience causes the believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3:18). Such conformity is climaxed in the believer’s glorification at Christ’s coming (Rom. 8:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:4; 1 John 3:2-3).

Salvation: Election

We believe that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies (Romans 8:28 30; Ephesians 1:4 11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Peter 1:1 2).

We believe that sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord (Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11; John 3:18 19, 36; 5:40; Romans 9:22 23; 2 Thessalonians 2:10 12; Revelation 22:17). Nevertheless, since sovereign grace includes the means of receiving the gift of salvation as well as the gift itself, sovereign election will result in what God determines. All whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith and all who come in faith the Father will receive (John 6:37 40, 44; Acts 13:48; James 4:8).

We believe that the unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative of their own part nor to God’s anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of His sovereign grace and mercy (Ephesians 1:4 7; Titus 3:4 7; 1 Peter 1:2).

We believe that election should not be looked upon as based merely on abstract sovereignty. God is truly sovereign but He exercises this sovereignty in harmony with His other attributes, especially His omniscience, justice, holiness, wisdom, grace, and love (Romans 9:11 16). This sovereignty will always exalt the will of God in a manner totally consistent with His character as revealed in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:25 28; 2 Timothy 1:9).

Addendum: What We Teach

We teach that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies (Rom. 8:28-30; Eph.1:4-11; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 2:10; 1 Pet. 1:1-2).

We teach that sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord (Ezek.18:23,32; 33:11; John 3:18,19, 36; 5:40; 2 Thess. 2:10-12; Rev. 22:17). Nevertheless, since sovereign grace includes the means of receiving the gift of salvation as well as the gift itself, sovereign election will result in what God determines. All whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith and all who come in faith the Father will receive (John 6:37-40,44; Acts 13:48; James 4:8).

We teach that the unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative of their own part nor to God’s anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of His sovereign grace and mercy (Eph. 1:4-7; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Pe.1:2).

We teach that election should not be looked upon as based merely on abstract sovereignty. God is truly sovereign but He exercises this sovereignty in harmony with His other attributes, especially His omniscience, justice, holiness, wisdom, grace, and love (Rom. 9:11-16). This sovereignty will always exalt the will of God in a manner totally consistent with His character as revealed in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 11:25-28; 2 Tim. 1:9).

Salvation: Justification

We believe that justification before God is an act of God (Romans 8:33) by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Isaiah 55:6 7) and confess Him as sovereign Lord (Romans 10:9 10; 1 Corinthians 12:3; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Philippians 2:11). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Romans 3:20; 4:6) and involves the imputation of our sins to Christ (Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21). By this means God is enabled to “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).

Addendum: What We Teach

We teach that justification before God is an act of God (Rom. 8:30,33) by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; Rom. 2:4; 2 Cor. 7:10; Is. 55:6,7) and confess Him as sovereign Lord (Rom. 10:9,10; 1 Cor. 12:3; 2 Cor. 4:5; Phil. 2:11). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Rom. 3:20; 4:6) and involves the placing of our sins on Christ (Col. 2:14; 1 Pet. 2:24) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (1 Cor. 1:2,30; 6:11; 2 Cor. 5:21). By this means God is enabled to “be just, and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26).

Salvation: Sanctification

We believe that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and is therefore identified as a saint. This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification. This sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing, not his present walk or condition (Acts 20:32; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Peter 1:2).

We believe that there is also by the work of the Holy Spirit a progressive sanctification by which the state of the believer is brought closer to the standing the believer positionally enjoys through justification. Through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:17,19; Romans 6:1 22; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3 4; 5:23).

In this respect, we believe that every saved person is involved in a daily conflict—the new creation in Christ doing battle against the flesh—but adequate provision is made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The struggle nevertheless stays with the believer all through this earthly life and is never completely ended. All claims to the eradication of sin in this life are unscriptural. Eradication of sin is not possible, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin (Galatians 5:16 25; Ephesians 4:22 24; Philippians 3:12; Colossians 3:9 10; 1 Peter 1:14 16; 1 John 3:5 9).

Addendum: What We Teach

We teach that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and is therefore identified as a saint. This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification. This sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing, not his present walk or condition (Acts 20:32; 1 Cor. 1:2,30; 6:11; 2 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 2:11; 3:1: 10:10,14; 13:12; 1 Pet. 1:2).

We teach that there is also by the work of the Holy Spirit a progressive sanctification by which the state of the believer is brought closer to the likeness of Christ through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit. The believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:17-19; Rom. 6:1-22; 2Cor. 3:18; 1 Thess. 4:3-4; 5:23).

In this respect, we teach that every saved person is involved in a daily conflict – the new creation in Christ doing battle against the flesh-but adequate provision is made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The struggle nevertheless stays with the believer all through this earthly life and is never completely ended. All claims to the eradication of sin in this life are unscriptural. Eradication of sin is not possible, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin (Gal. 5:16-25; Eph. 4:22-24; Phil. 3:12; Col. 3:9-10; 1 Pet. 1:14-16, 1 John 3:5-9).

Salvation: Security

We believe that all the redeemed once saved are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 5:24; 6:37 40; 10:27 30; Romans 5:9 10; 8:1, 31 39; 1 Corinthians 1:4 8; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 7:25; 13:5; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24).

We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living and carnality (Romans 6:15 22; 13:13 14; Galatians 5:13, 25 26; Titus 2:11 14).

Addendum: What We Teach

We teach that all the redeemed once saved are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 5:9-10; 8: 1,31-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-9; Eph. 4:30; Heb. 7:25; 13:5; 1 Pet. 1:4,5; Jude 24).

We teach that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an excuse for sinful living and carnality (Rom. 6:15-22; 13: 13-14;

Salvation: Separation

We believe that separation from sin is clearly called for throughout the Old and New Testaments, and that the Scriptures clearly indicate that in the last days apostasy and worldliness shall increase (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 2 Timothy 3:1 5).

We believe that out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to us and because our glorious God is so worthy of our total consecration, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to God and so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior. We also believe that separation from all religious apostasy and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of us by God (Romans 12:1 2, 1 Corinthians 5:9 13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 1 John 2:15 17; 2 John 9 11).

We believe that believers should be separated unto our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:11 12; Hebrews 12:1 2) and affirm that the Christian life is a life of obedient righteousness that reflects the teaching of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:2 12) and a continual pursuit of holiness (Romans 12:1 2; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; Titus 2:11 14; 1 John 3:1 10).

Addendum: What We Teach

We teach that separation from sin is clearly called for throughout the Old and New Testaments, and that the Scriptures clearly indicate that in the last days apostasy and worldliness shall increase (2Cor. 6:14-7:1; 2 Tim. 3:1-5).

We teach that out of deep gratitude for the underserved grace of God granted to us and because our glorious God is so worthy of our total consecration, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to God and so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior. We also teach that separation from any association with religious apostasy, and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of us by God (Rom. 12: 1,2; 1 Cor. 5:9-13; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11).

We teach that believers should be separated unto our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thess. 1:11-12; Heb. 12: 1-2) and affirm that the Christian life is a life of obedient righteousness demonstrated by a beatitude attitude (Matt. 5:2-12) and a continual pursuit of holiness (Rom. 12: 1-2; 2 Cor. 7:1; Heb. 12:14; Titus 2:11-14; 1 John 3:1-10).

The Church

The Church7 is an elect company of believers baptized by the Holy Spirit into one body; its mission is to witness concerning its Head, Jesus Christ, preaching the gospel among all nations; it will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air ere He appears to set up His kingdom.8

• Acts 2:41; 15:13-17 • Ephesians 1:3-6 • 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 • Matthew 28:19-20 • Acts 1:6-8 • 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

The Church of Jesus Christ is a distinct entity from Israel in the ongoing program of God. Further, this universal Church consists of all who possess saving faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ from Pentecost to the Rapture of the Church and which will represent every language, people and nation.

Christ will return in the air preceding the seven-year Tribulation at which time He will receive into heaven all believers who constitute His church. During that tribulation period, God will bring salvation to Israel and the nations while exercising judgment on unbelievers.

We believe that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual Body, the church (1 Corinthians 12:12 13), the bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:23 32; Revelation 19:7 8), of which Christ is the Head (Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; Colossians 1:18).

We believe that the formation of the church, the Body of Christ, began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1 21, 38 47) and will be completed at the coming of Christ for His own at the rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13 18).

We believe that the church is thus a unique spiritual organism designed by Christ, made up of all born again believers in this present age (Ephesians 2:11 3:6). The church is distinct from Israel (1 Corinthians 10:32), a mystery not revealed until this age (Ephesians 3:1 6; 5:32).

We believe that the establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:23, 27; 20:17, 28; Galatians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1) and that the members of the one spiritual Body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (1 Corinthians 11:18 20; Hebrews 10:25).

We believe that the one supreme authority for the church is Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18) and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Scriptures. The biblically designated officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are elders (also called bishops, pastors, and pastor teachers; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11) and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1 13; Titus 1:5 9; 1 Peter 5:1 5). We believe that these leaders lead or rule as servants of Christ (1 Timothy 5:17 22) and have His authority in directing the church. The congregation is to submit to their leadership (Hebrews 13:7, 17).

We believe the importance of discipleship (Matthew 28:19 20; 2 Timothy 2:2), mutual accountability of all believers to each other (Matthew 18:5 14), as well as the need for discipline of sinning members of the congregation in accord with the standards of Scripture (Matthew 18:15 22; Acts 5:1 11; 1 Corinthians 5:1 13; 2 Thessalonians 3:6 15; 1 Timothy 1:19 20; Titus 1:10 16).

We believe the autonomy of the local church, free from any external authority or control, with the right of self-government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations (Titus 1:5). We believe that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other for the presentation and propagation of the faith. Each local church, however, through its elders and their interpretation and application of Scripture, should be the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation. The elders should determine all other matters of membership, policy, discipline, benevolence, and government as well (Acts 15:19 31; 20:28; 1 Corinthians 5:4 7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1 4).

We believe that the purpose of the church is to glorify God (Ephesians 3:21) by building itself up in the faith (Ephesians 4:13 16), by instruction of the Word (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16 17), by fellowship (Acts 2:47; 1 John 1:3), by keeping the ordinances (Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38 42) and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8; 2:42).

We believe the calling of all saints to the work of service (1 Corinthians 15:58; Ephesians 4:12; Revelation 22:12).

We believe the need of the church to cooperate with God as He accomplishes His purpose in the world. To that end, He gives the church spiritual gifts. First, He gives men chosen for the purpose of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:7 12), and He also gives unique and special spiritual abilities to each member of the Body of Christ (Romans 12:5 8; 1 Corinthians 12:4 31; 1 Peter 4:10 11).

We believe that there were two kinds of gifts given the early church: miraculous gifts of divine revelation and healing, given temporarily in the apostolic era for the purpose of confirming the authenticity of the apostles’ message (Hebrews 2:3 4; 2 Corinthians 12:12); and ministering gifts, given to equip believers for edifying one another. With the New Testament revelation now complete, Scripture becomes the sole test of the authenticity of a man’s message, and confirming gifts of a miraculous nature are no longer necessary to validate a man or his message (1 Corinthians 13:8 12). Miraculous gifts can even be counterfeited by Satan so as to deceive even believers (1 Corinthians 13:13-14:12; Revelation 13:13 14). The only gifts in operation today are those non-revelatory equipping gifts given for edification (Romans 12:6 8). We believe that no one possesses the gift of healing today but that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith and will answer in accordance with His own perfect will for the sick, suffering, and afflicted (Luke 18:1 6; John 5:7 9; 2 Corinthians 12:6 10; James 5:13 16; 1 John 5:14 15).

We believe that two ordinances have been committed to the local church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:38 42). Christian baptism by immersion (Acts 8:36 39) is the solemn and beautiful testimony of a believer showing forth his faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and his union with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life (Romans 6:1 11). It is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible Body of Christ (Acts 2:41 42).

We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes, and should be always preceded by solemn self-examination (1 Corinthians 11:28 32). We also believe that whereas the elements of Communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ, the Lord’s Supper is nevertheless an actual communion with the risen Christ who is present in a unique way, fellowshipping with His people (1 Corinthians 10:16).

Addendum: What We Teach

We teach that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body, the church (1 Cor. 12:12, 13), the bride of Christ (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:23–32; Rev. 19:7, 8), of which Christ is the head (Eph. 1:22; 4:15; Col. 1:18).

We teach that the formation of the church, the body of Christ, began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1–21,38–47) and will be completed at the coming of Christ for His own at the Rapture (1 Cor. 15:51,52; 1 Thess. 4:13–18).

We teach that the church is thus a unique spiritual organism designed by Christ, made up of all born-again believers in this present age (Eph. 2:11–3:6). The church is distinct from Israel (1 Cor. 10:32), a mystery not revealed until this age (Eph. 3:1–6; 5:32).

We teach that the establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:23,27; 20:17,28; Gal. 1:2; Phil. 1:1; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:1) and that the members of the one scriptural body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (1 Cor. 11:18–20; Heb. 10:25).

We teach that the one supreme authority for the church is Christ (Eph. 1:22; Col. 1:18) and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Scriptures. The biblically designated officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are elders (males, who are also called bishops, pastors, and pastor-teachers; Acts 20:28; Eph. 4:11) and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualification (1 Tim. 3:1–13; Titus 1:5–9; 1 Pet. 5:1–5).

We teach that these leaders lead or rule as servants of Christ (1 Tim. 5:17–22) and have His authority in directing the church. The congregation is to submit to their leadership (Heb. 13:7, 17).

We teach the importance of discipleship (Matt. 28:19,20; 2 Tim. 2:2), mutual accountability of all believers to each other (Matt. 18:15–17), as well as the need for discipline for sinning members of the congregation in accord with the standards of Scripture (Matt. 18:15–22; Acts 5:1–11; 1 Cor. 5:1–13; 2 Thess. 3:6–15; 1 Tim. 1:19,20; Titus 1:10–16).

We teach the autonomy of the local church, free from any external authority or control, with the right of self-government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations (Titus 1:5). We teach that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other for the presentation and propagation of the faith. Local churches, however, through their pastors and their interpretation and application of Scripture, should be the sole judges of the measure and method of their cooperation (Acts 15:19–31; 20:28; 1 Cor. 5:4–7,13; 1 Pet. 5:1–4).

We teach that the purpose of the church is to glorify God (Eph. 3:21) by building itself up in the faith (Eph. 4:13–16), by instruction of the Word (2 Tim. 2:2,15; 3:16,17), by fellowship (Acts 2:47; 1 John 1:3), by keeping the ordinances (Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38–42) and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world (Matt. 28:19; Acts 1:8).

We teach the calling of all saints to the work of service (1 Cor. 15:58; Eph. 4:12; Rev. 22:12).

We teach the need of the church to cooperate with God as He accomplishes His purpose in the world. To that end, He gives the church spiritual gifts. First, He gives men chosen for the purpose of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:7–12) and He also gives unique and special spiritual abilities to each member of the body of Christ (Rom. 12:5–8; 1 Cor. 12:4–31; 1 Pet. 4:10,11).

We teach that there were two kinds of gifts given the early church: miraculous gifts of divine revelation and healing, given temporarily in the apostolic era for the purpose of confirming the authenticity of the apostles’ message (Heb. 2:3,4; 2 Cor. 12:12); and ministering gifts, given to equip believers for edifying one another. With the New Testament revelation now complete, Scripture becomes the sole test of the authenticity of a man’s message, and confirming gifts of a miraculous nature are no longer necessary to validate a man or his message (1 Cor. 13:8–12). Miraculous gifts can even be counterfeited by Satan so as to deceive even believers (Matt. 24:24). The only gifts in operation today are those non-revelatory equipping gifts given for edification (Rom. 12:6–8).

We teach that no one possesses the gift of healing today but that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith and will answer in accordance with His own perfect will for the sick, suffering, and afflicted (Luke 18:1–8; John 5:7–9; 2 Cor. 12:6–10; James 5:13–16; 1John 5:14,15).

We teach that two ordinances have been committed to the local church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:38–42). Christian baptism by immersion (Acts 8:36–39) is the solemn and beautiful testimony of a believer showing forth his faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and his union with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life (Rom. 6: 1–11). It is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible body of Christ (Acts 2:41, 42).

We teach that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes, and should be always preceded by solemn self-examination (1 Cor. 11:23–32). We also teach that whereas the elements of communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ, the Lord’s Supper is nevertheless an actual Communion with the risen Christ who is present in a unique way, fellowshipping with His people (1 Cor. 10:16).

Angels

Angels: Holy Angels

We believe that angels are created beings and are therefore not to be worshiped. Although they are a higher order of creation than man, they are created to serve God and to worship Him (Luke 2:9 14; Hebrews 1:6 7, 14; 2:6 7; Revelation 5:11 14; 19:10; 22:9).

Addendum: What We Teach

We teach that angels are created beings and are therefore not to be worshiped. Although they are a higher order of creation than man, they are created to serve God and to worship Him (Luke 2:9–14; Heb. 1:6,7, 14; 2:6,7; Rev. 5:11–14).

Angels: Fallen Angels

We believe that Satan is a created angel and the author of sin. He incurred the judgment of God by rebelling against his Creator (Isaiah 14:12 17; Ezekiel 28:11 19), by taking numerous angels with him in his fall (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:1 14), and by introducing sin into the human race by his temptation of Eve (Genesis 3:1 15).

We believe that Satan is the open and declared enemy of God and man (Isaiah 14:13 14; Matthew 4:1 11; Revelation 12:9 10); the prince of this world, who has been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 16:20); and that he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire (Isaiah 14:12 17; Ezekiel 28:11 19; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).

Addendum: What We Teach

We teach that Satan is a created angel and the author of sin. He incurred the judgment of God by rebelling against his Creator (Is. 14:12–17; Ezek. 28:11–19), by taking numerous angels with him in his fall (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 12:1–14), and by introducing sin into the human race by his temptation of Eve (Gen. 3:1–15).

We teach that Satan is the open and declared enemy of God and man (Is. 14:13,14; Matt. 4:1–11; Rev. 12:9, 10), the prince of this world who has been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Rom. 16:20) and that he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire (Is. 14:12–17; Ezek. 28:11–19; Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10).

Last Things (Eschatology)

 

Last Things (Eschatology): Death

We believe that physical death involves no loss of our immaterial consciousness (Revelation 6:9 11), that the soul of the redeemed passes immediately into the presence of Christ (Luke 23:43; Philippians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:8), that there is a separation of soul and body (Philippians 1:21 24), and that, for the redeemed, such separation will continue until the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13 17), which initiates the first resurrection (Revelation 20:4 6), when our soul and body will be reunited to be glorified forever with our Lord (Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:35 44, 50 54). Until that time, the souls of the redeemed in Christ remain in joyful fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8).

We believe the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life (John 6:39; Romans 8:10 11, 19 23; 2 Corinthians 4:14), and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; Revelation 20:13 15).

We believe that the souls of the unsaved at death are kept under punishment until the second resurrection (Luke 16:19 26; Revelation 20:13 15), when the soul and the resurrection body will be united (John 5:28 29). They shall then appear at the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20:11 15) and shall be cast into hell, the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41 46), cut off from the life of God forever (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:41 46; 2 Thessalonians 1:7 9).

Addendum: What We Teach

We teach that physical death involves no loss of our immaterial consciousness (Rev. 6:9–11), that there is a separation of soul and body (James 2:26), that the soul of the redeemed passes immediately into the presence of Christ (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23), and that, for the redeemed, such separation will continue until the Rapture (1 Thess. 4:13–17) which initiates the first resurrection (Rev. 20:4–6), when our soul and body will be reunited to be glorified forever with our Lord (1 Cor. 15:35–44,50–54; Phil. 3:21). Until that time, the souls of the redeemed in Christ remain in joyful fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:8).

We teach the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life (John 6:39; Rom. 8:10, 11, 19–23; 2 Cor. 4:14), and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Dan. 12:2; John 5:29; Rev. 20:13–15).

We teach that the souls of the unsaved at death are kept under punishment until the second resurrection (Luke 16:19–26; Rev. 20:13–15), when the soul and the resurrection body will be united (John 5:28, 29). They shall then appear at the Great White Throne judgment (Rev. 20:11–15) and shall be cast into hell, the lake of fire (Matt. 25:41–46), cut off from the life of God forever (Dan. 12:2; Matt. 25:41–46; 2 Thess. 1:7–9).

Last Things (Eschatology): The Rapture of the Church

We believe the personal, bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ before the seven year tribulation (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Titus 2:13) to translate His church from this earth (John 14:1 3; 1 Corinthians 15:51 53; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-5:11) and, between this event and His glorious return with His saints, to reward believers according to their works (1 Corinthians 3:11 15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

Addendum: What We Teach

We teach the personal, bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ before the seven-year tribulation (1 Thess. 4:16; Titus 2:13) to translate His church from this earth (John 14:1–3; 1 Cor. 15:51–53; 1 Thess. 4:15–5:11) and, between this event and His glorious return with His saints, to reward believers according to their works (1 Cor. 3:11–15; 2 Cor. 5:10).

 

Last Things (Eschatology): The Tribulation Period

We believe that immediately following the removal of the church from the earth (John 14:1 3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13 18) the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon an unbelieving world (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27; 12:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:7 12; Revelation 16), and that these judgments will be climaxed by the return of Christ in glory to the earth (Matthew 24:27 31; 25:31 46; 2 Thessalonians 2:7 12). At that time the Old Testament and tribulation saints will be raised and the living will be judged (Daniel 12:2 3; Revelation 20:4 6). This period includes the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy (Daniel 9:24 27; Matthew 24:15 31; 25:31 46).

Addendum: What We Teach

We teach that immediately following the removal of the church from the earth (John 14:1–3; 1 Thess. 4:13–18) the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon an unbelieving world (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 9:27; 12:1; 2 Thess. 2:7–12; Rev. 16), and that these judgments will be climaxed by the return of Christ in glory to the earth (Matt. 24:27–31; 25:31–46; 2 Thess. 2:7–12). At that time the Old Testament and tribulation saints will be raised and the living will be judged (Dan. 12:2,3; Rev. 20:4–6). This period includes the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy (Dan. 9:24–27; Matt. 24:15–31; 25:31–46).

 

Last Things (Eschatology): The Second Coming and the Millennial Reign

We believe that, after the tribulation period, Christ will come to earth to occupy the throne of David (Matthew 25:31; Luke 1:31 33; Acts 1:10 11; 2:29 30) and establish His messianic kingdom for a thousand years on the earth (Revelation 20:1 7). During this time the resurrected saints will reign with Him over Israel and all the nations of the earth (Ezekiel 37:21 28; Daniel 7:17 22; Revelation 19:11 16). This reign will be preceded by the overthrow of the Antichrist and the False Prophet, and by the removal of Satan from the world (Daniel 7:17 27; Revelation 20:1 7).

We believe that the kingdom itself will be the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel (Isaiah 65:17 25; Ezekiel 37:21 28; Zechariah 8:1 17) to restore them to the land which they forfeited through their disobedience (Deuteronomy 28:15 68). The result of their disobedience was that Israel was temporarily set aside (Matthew 21:43; Romans 11:1 26) but will again be awakened through repentance to enter into the land of blessing (Jeremiah 31:31 34; Ezekiel 36:22 32; Romans 11:25 29).

We believe that this time of our Lord’s reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace, righteousness, and long life (Isaiah 11; 65:17 25; Ezekiel 36:33 38), and will be brought to an end with the release of Satan (Revelation 20:7).

Addendum: What We Teach

We teach that after the tribulation period, Christ will come to earth to occupy the throne of David (Matt. 25:31; Luke 1:32,33; Acts 1:10,11; 2:29,30) and establish His messianic kingdom for a thousand years on the earth (Rev. 20:1–7). During this time the resurrected saints will reign with Him over Israel and all the nations of the earth (Ezek. 37:21–28; Dan. 7:17–22; Rev. 19:11–16). This reign will be preceded by the overthrow of the Antichrist and the False Prophet, and by the removal of Satan from the world (Dan. 7:17–27; Rev. 20:1–6).

We teach that the kingdom itself will be the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel (Is.65:17–25; Ezek. 37:21–28; Zech. 8:1–17) to restore them to the land which they forfeited through their disobedience (Deut. 28:15–68). The result of their disobedience was that Israel was temporarily set aside (Matt. 21:43; Rom. 11: 1–26) but will again be awakened through repentance to enter into the land of blessing (Jer. 31:31–34; Ezek. 36:22–32; Rom. 11:25–29).

We teach that this time of our Lord’s reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace, righteousness, and long life (Is. 11; 65:17–25; Ezek. 36:33–38), and will be brought to an end with the release of Satan (Rev. 20:7).

Last Things (Eschatology): The Judgment of the Lost

We believe that following the release of Satan after the thousand year reign of Christ (Revelation 20:7), Satan will deceive the nations of the earth and gather them to battle against the saints and the beloved city, at which time Satan and his army will be devoured by fire from heaven (Revelation 20:9). Following this, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10) whereupon Christ, who is the Judge of all men (John 5:22), will resurrect and judge the great and small at the Great White Throne judgment.

We believe that this resurrection of the unsaved dead to judgment will be a physical resurrection, whereupon receiving their judgment (Romans 14:10 13), they will be committed to an eternal conscious punishment in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:11 15).

Addendum: What We Teach

We teach that following the release of Satan after the thousand year reign of Christ (Rev. 20:7), Satan will deceive the nations of the earth and gather them to battle against the saints and the beloved city, at which time Satan and his army will be devoured by fire from heaven (Rev. 20:9). Following this, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10) whereupon Christ, who is the judge of all men (John 5:22), will resurrect and judge the great and small at the Great White Throne judgment.

We teach that this resurrection of the unsaved dead to judgment will be a physical resurrection, whereupon receiving their judgment (John 5:28,29), they will be committed to an eternal conscious punishment in the lake of fire (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:11–15).

Last Things (Eschatology): Eternity

We believe that after the closing of the millennium, the temporary release of Satan, and the judgment of unbelievers (2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 20:7 15), the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God, after which the elements of this earth are to be dissolved (2 Peter 3:10) and replaced with a new earth wherein only righteousness dwells (Ephesians 5:5; Revelation 20:15, 21 22). Following this, the heavenly city will come down out of heaven (Revelation 21:2) and will be the dwelling place of the saints, where they will enjoy forever fellowship with God and one another (John 17:3; Revelation 21-22). Our Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will then deliver up the kingdom to God the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24 28) that in all spheres the triune God may reign forever and ever (1 Corinthians 15:28).

Addendum: What We Teach

We teach that after the closing of the Millennium, the temporary release of Satan, and the judgment of unbelievers (2 Thess. 1:9; Rev. 20:7–15), the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God, after which the elements of this earth are to be dissolved (2 Pet. 3:10) and replaced with a new earth wherein only righteousness dwells (Eph. 5:5; Rev. 20:15,21, 22). Following this, the heavenly city will come down out of heaven (Rev. 21:2) and will be the dwelling place of the saints, where they will enjoy forever fellowship with God and one another (John 17:3; Rev. 21,22). Our Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will then deliver up the kingdom to God the Father (1 Cor. 15:23–28) that in all spheres the triune God may reign forever and ever (1 Cor. 15:28).

Institutional Positions Related to the Truth2Freedom Blog Doctrinal Statement

The Deity of Jesus Christ

The Bible directly states that Jesus is God in a number of passages.1 Taken by themselves, these verses provide enough evidence for the church to believe in and teach the deity of Jesus Christ. But the indirect evidence of Scripture is equally compelling.

The names of God are often applied to Jesus. He is called “the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father” and “Immanuel” (meaning “God with us”).2 Elsewhere Jesus is called “The Lord (Jehovah) our Righteousness,” “God” and “Son of God.”3 The Bible ascribes the characteristics of deity to Jesus Christ. He is described as eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent and immutable.4 Jesus Christ is equal with God the Father. He is worshiped as God.5 His name is assigned equal standing with God the Father in the church’s baptismal formula and in the apostolic benediction.6

Christ performed works which only God can do. He is creator.7 He is the upholder of all things.He forgives sin.9 He will raise the dead and execute judgment.10

Jesus Christ Himself claimed deity. He taught His disciples to pray in His name.11 He claimed that He and the Father were one and that He was the Son of God.12 He claimed that to know Him was to know God, to see Him was to see God, to receive Him was to receive God, to believe Him was to believe in God and to honor Him was to honor God, while to hate Him was to hate God.13

1- John 1:1, 20:28; Romans 9:5; Phil. 2:6; Titus 2:13, Hebrews 1:8; 1 John 5:20. Other passages include John 13:3, 17:5, Colossians 1:15-19, 1 Timothy 3:16, and Hebrews 1:3 2- Isaiah 9:6;  Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:22-23 3- Jeremiah 23:6; Isaiah 40:3; Hebrews 1:8; 1 Timothy 3:16; John 10:36 4- Eternal (Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:2; John 1:1-2; 8:58; 17:5; 24; Colossians 1:15, 17; 1 John 1:1; Revelation 1:8); omnipresent (Matthew 18:20; 28:20; John 3:13); omniscient (John 2:24, 25; 16:30; 21:17; Revelation 2:23); omnipotent (Isaiah 9:6; Philippians 3:21; Revelation 1:8; cf. John 5:17; Hebrews 1:3; Matthew 28:18) and immutable (Hebrews 1:10-12; 13:8) 5- John 20:28; Acts 7:59; Hebrews 1:6; cf. Exodus 34:14 and Matthew 4:10 6- Matthew 28:19; cf. Acts 2:38; 2 Corinthians 13:14; cf. 1 Corinthians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2 7- John 1:3, 10; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2,10 8- Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3; cf. Luke 10:22; John 3:35; 17:2; Ephesians 1:22 9- Matthew 9:2-7; cf. Mark 2:7; Luke 7:47, 48; Colossians 3:13 10- John 11:25; cf. John 5:25, 28-29; 6:39, 40, 54; John 5:22 11- John 16:23, 24 12- John 10:30, 36; 14:9; 17:11 13- John 8:18; 14:7; John 12:45; 14:9; Mark 9:37; John 12:44; 14:1; John 5:23; John 15:23

Gender Roles in Ministry

The Truth2Freedom Blog values the worth and dignity of all persons without distinction as created in God’s image.1 We affirm the priesthood of all believers2 and the responsibility of every Christian woman and man to take an active role in edifying the church.3 For that purpose, the Holy Spirit distributes ministry gifts to believers without distinction of any kind.4  That reality imposes the responsibility on every believer to fulfill ministry consistent with God’s grace.

The Truth2Freedom Blog distinguishes between ministry function and church office. While upholding the necessity of mutual respect and affirmation as those subject to the Word of God,5 The Truth2Freedom Blog understands that the biblical office of elder/pastor in the early church was gender specific.6 Therefore, it maintains that it is consistent with that understanding of Scripture that those church offices should be limited to the male gender.

1- Genesis 1:26-27; 9:6 2- 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6 3- Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 14:12; Ephesians 4:11-13 4- Ephesians 4:7-13; 1 Corinthians 12; 1 Peter 4:10-11 5- Ephesians 5:17-21 6- 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9

The Inspiration and Inerrancy of the Bible

We believe that the Bible is God’s word. The doctrinal statement of Truth2Freedom Blog affirms, “The Bible, including both the Old and New Testaments, is a divine revelation, the original autographs of which were verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit.”1 Revelation is God’s self-disclosure. It is God making Himself known to men.2 God has revealed himself in a limited way in creation.3 But the Bible is a form of special revelation. The Bible is “special” revelation in the sense that it goes beyond what may be known about God through nature.4 It is divine in origin, since in the Bible God makes known things which otherwise could never be known.

The Bible is unique because it is God’s revelation recorded in human language.5 According to 2 Timothy 3:16-17 the words of Scripture are “God breathed” or inspired. This implies that God is the source or origin of what is recorded in Scripture. God, through the Holy Spirit, used human authors to write what He revealed in the Bible.  They were not mere copyists or transcribers. The Holy Spirit guided and controlled the writers of Scripture, who used their own vocabularies and styles but wrote only what the Holy Spirit intended.6 This is true only of the original manuscripts, not the copies or translations. Although the original manuscripts have been lost to us, God has preserved the biblical text to a remarkable degree.

The Bible is verbally inspired. This means that the words of the Bible, not just the ideas, were inspired. What is more, this is true of not just some, but all the words of the Bible. As a result, the Bible is free from error in what it says. Truth2Freedom Blog believes strongly in the factual, verbal, historical inerrancy of the Bible. That is, the Bible, in its original documents, is free from error in what it says about geography, history and science as well as in what it says about God. Its authority extends to all matters about which the Bible speaks.7 It is the supreme source of our knowledge of God and of the salvation provided through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.8 It is our indispensable resource for daily living.9

Even though the Bible is God’s revelation, it must still be interpreted. Interpretation has to do with our reception and understanding of that which God revealed and recorded.10 Revelation is a divine act. Interpretation is a human responsibility. Divine inspiration guarantees the truthfulness of God’s word but not the accuracy of our interpretation. The Bible is infallible in all it affirms to be true and therefore absolutely reliable. We, however, may be fallible in our interpretation of the Bible.

1- 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21 2- 1 Corinthians 2:11-16 3- Psalm 19:1 4- Romans 1:19, 20 5- 2 Timothy 3:16,17 6- 2 Peter 1:21, 1 Corinthians 2:12-13 7- Matthew 5:18; John 10:35 8- John 5:39-47 9- 2 Timothy 3:16,17; 1 Peter 2:2 10- John 16:13

The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is co-equal with God the Father and God the Son and is of the same essence. Yet He is also distinct from them.

Scripture describes the Holy Spirit in personal terms, not as an impersonal force, when it says that He teaches, guides, comforts and intercedes.1 He possesses emotions, intellect and will.2 The Holy Spirit spoke to Philip and gave counsel to the church at Jerusalem.3 He was sinned against and lied to.4

The Scriptures also attest to the deity of the Holy Spirit. He is spoken of as God and is identified with the title of Jehovah.5 The Christian who is indwelt by the Spirit is indwelt by God.6 The Holy Spirit possesses the attributes of deity, such as omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence and eternality.7 He does works only God can do, such as creating, regenerating and sanctifying.8 He is equally associated with the other members of the Trinity.9

The work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament differed somewhat from His work in the New Testament. The possession of the Holy Spirit by the believer was not permanent in every case.10 The Spirit had a ministry of restraining sin and in the creation of the world.11

The Holy Spirit today plays a major role in the application of salvation to the individual. It is the Spirit who brings conviction to the unbeliever and causes him to see the truth of the gospel in a clear light.12 Those who respond to this conviction and place their faith in Jesus Christ receive eternal life and a new nature.13 The Holy Spirit unites the believer with Christ and places him in the body of Christ, the church.14 He also unites the believer with Christ in His death, enabling him to live victoriously over sin.15 The Holy Spirit controls the believer who yields to God and submits himself to God’s Word.16 When these conditions are met, the believer lives in the power of the Spirit and produces the fruit of the Spirit.17

The Holy Spirit indwells the believer permanently.18 While the child of God may sin and grieve the Spirit, the Spirit will never leave the true believer.19 Absence of the Holy Spirit is the mark of the unsaved.20 The Holy Spirit seals the believer.21 This ministry guarantees the security of the believer “until the day of redemption.”22 The Holy Spirit sovereignly bestows spiritual gifts or abilities for service to every believer.23 Although His restraint of evil in the world today will cease with the rapture,24 He will continue to be present in the earth. In the tribulation period the Spirit will be involved in salvation and filling.25 In the coming kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Spirit will be in God’s people and the Spirit will be upon the King.26

1- John 14:26; Romans 8:14; John 14:26; Romans 8:26 2- Ephesians 4:30; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 1 Corinthians 12:11 3- Acts 8:29; 15:28 4- Acts 5:3, 4 5- Acts 5:1-4; Isaiah 6:8-9 with Acts 28:25; Jeremiah 31:31-34; with Hebrews 10:15 6- 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; Ephesians 2:22 7- 1 Corinthians 2:10-11; Psalm 139:7; Zechariah 4:6; Hebrews 9:14 8- Genesis 1:2; John 3:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13 9- Matthew 28:19, 20; 2 Corinthians 13:14 10- Psalm 51:11 11- Genesis 6:3; Genesis 1:2; Isaiah 40:12 12- John 16:8-11 13- John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5 14- 1 Corinthians 12:13 15- Romans 6:1–10 16- Romans 12: 1,2; Ephesians 5:18; Colossians 3:16 17- Galatians 5:16, 22, 23 18- 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 19- Ephesians 4:30 20- Rom. 8:9; Jude v. 19 21- II Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13; 4:30 22- Eph. 4:30 23- Rom. 12; I Cor. 12; Eph. 4 24- II Thess. 2:7 25- Zech. 12:10; Joel 2:28-32 26- Jer. 31:33; Isaiah 11: 2-3

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of our Christian faith.1 This event, which occurred almost two thousand years ago, is the best attested fact in human history and experience. The resurrection of Christ was predicted in the Old Testament and by Christ Himself.2 During the forty days following His resurrection, Jesus showed Himself to be alive from the dead by “many infallible proofs.”3 He appeared at various times and places to many people who told others what they had seen.4

Christ’s resurrection has been at the heart of the church’s message from the Day of Pentecost to the present. By rising from the dead, Jesus Christ demonstrated that He had cleansed the guilt of our past and is able to help us in our present lives.5 His resurrection assures us that our future is safe and secure.6 Without Christ’s resurrection we would have no salvation from sin, and no hope for our own future resurrection.

The empty tomb is proof of Christ’s deity.7 It guarantees the future resurrection of believers.8 The resurrection of Christ also provides believers with spiritual power today.9 The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is evidence that God will one day judge the world in righteousness.10

1- 1 Corinthians 15:17 2- Job 19:25-27; Psalms 16:9-11; 22:22; 118:22-24; Matthew 16:21; Mark 9:30-32; Luke 18:31-34; John 2:19-22 3- Acts 1:3 4- Luke 24:33-43; John 20:24-29; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 5- Romans 4:24-25; Hebrews 7:25 6- John 14:19 7- John 5:26; Romans 1:4 8- John 14:19; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 9- Romans 6:3-4; Ephesians 1:19-21 10- Acts 17:31

The Second Coming of Christ

We believe in the second coming of Christ. His return from heaven will be personal, visible and glorious, a blessed hope for which we should constantly watch and pray.1

Before He establishes His kingdom on earth, Jesus will come for His Church, an event commonly referred to as the “Rapture.” At that time the dead in Christ will be raised and living Christians will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and be with Him forever.2 In this resurrection, those who have died in Christ will have their redeemed souls and spirits united with a body similar to Christ’s glorified body. Christians living at the time of this event will not die, but will be changed to be like Christ.3 This expectation is a motivation for holy living, as well as a source of comfort.4 No man knows the day or the hour when this will take place.5 After the Rapture of the Church, Christians will be brought before the judgment seat of Christ. He will reward them on the basis of the works they have accomplished.6 This is not a judgment to determine their salvation but a reward for labor on Christ’s behalf.7 The Rapture will also inaugurate a period that the Bible characterizes as the “great day of His wrath,” “the great tribulation” and the “time of Jacob’s trouble.”8 This time of unprecedented difficulty will affect Israel and all nations. Its purpose will be to prepare Israel for her Messiah.9

At the end of the Tribulation, Jesus Christ will return with the hosts of heaven as well as the Church to establish the Messianic Kingdom on earth.10 His Kingdom will last for a thousand years.11 At this Second Coming, the Antichrist will be cast into the Lake of Fire and Satan will be bound for a thousand years.12 The nations and their representatives will be judged.13 Israel will be restored to her land, never more to be removed.14 Christ will reign with firmness and equity.15 His kingdom will be marked by material and spiritual blessing, since the curse upon the earth will be removed.16

The Messianic kingdom will close with apostasy and rebellion.17 God will crush this uprising in the last battle of the ages and Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire.18 All those who rejected the Word of God will be resurrected.19 They will be judged by Christ and cast into the lake of fire, the place where they will suffer final and everlasting punishment.20

After this judgment there will be a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness is the norm.21 There will be a new Jerusalem and the everlasting presence of God among all the redeemed.22

1- Zechariah 14:4; Acts 1:11; Titus 2:13; Revelation 1:7 2- 1 Corinthians 15:51-54; 1 Thessalonians  4:14 3- 1 John 3:2 4- 1 John 2:28; 1 Thessalonians 4:18 5- Matt. 24:36; John 6:39 6- Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10 7- 1 Corinthians  3:9-15 8- Revelation 6:17; 7:14; Jeremiah 30:7 9- Zechariah 12:2, 3; 14:1-3 10- Revelation 19:7-9, 14; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; Zechariah 14:9; Revelation 19:15, 16 11- Revelation 20:2, 4-6 12- Revelation 19:20; 20:1-3 13- Joel 3; Matthew 25 14- Amos 9:15; Ezekiel 34:28 15- Psalm 2:9; Isaiah 11:4 16- Romans 8:19-21 17- Revelation 20:7-9 18- Revelation 20:10 19- Revelation 20:11-13 20- Revelation 20:14, 15; Mark 9:48 21- 2 Peter 3:13 22- Revelation 21:2, 3; 2:3-5

Sign Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The Truth2Freedom Blog maintains that there is one baptism of the Holy Spirit that occurs at the time a person is born again,1 placing that one into the body of Christ.2 The Truth2Freedom Blog also distinguishes between spiritual gifts distributed to believers to equip them for ministry3 and the “sign gifts” which are understood to have been manifestations of the Holy Spirit to authenticate the messenger and the gospel message during the foundational period of the church.4 Therefore, the Truth2Freedom blog holds that “sign gifts” are not normative for the church today.5 While this institutional position is not and must not be a test of fellowship with those whose traditions differ, members of this community will not practice or propagate practices at variance with the Truth2Freedoms blog position.

1- Acts 2:38;  Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13 2- Romans 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:12 3- 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:7-13; 1 Peter 4:10-11 4- 1 Corinthians 13:8-10; 14:20-22 5- 1 Corinthians 1:22; 13:8-10

Substitutionary Atonement

According to the Scriptures, sin must be paid for.1 When Jesus Christ died, he suffered as a substitute in the place of and on behalf of fallen humanity. Christ’s death made it possible for men and women to be declared righteous, based on their faith in Him.2 Christ’s death was not merely a statement against evil or an expression of love, but a payment that satisfied God’s demand. Christ’s death was necessary for several reasons.

First, sin alienates us from God.3 Those who are controlled by sin cannot please God.4 Jesus Christ’s death made peace with God possible.Christ came, not just to provide us with a godly example, but to die on our behalf and to bear the cost for sin.6

Second, God is holy.7 God’s holy character requires that sin be punished.8 Sin makes us the objects of God’s wrath until the penalty of sin is paid.9 By laying down His own life, Jesus paid the price on our behalf, satisfying God’s demand.10 This payment was made, not to Satan, but God.11

Third, the presence of sin renders us helpless.12 We cannot save ourselves.13 We do not have the will or the ability to offer anything acceptable to God on our own behalf.14 We not only suffer from the guilt and penalty of Adam’s original sin, but also from the effects of our own sinful nature and actions.15

God, who is rich in mercy, sent Jesus Christ to die in our place, so that He might be righteous in dealing with sin while at the same time providing His own righteousness to those who believe in Jesus Christ.16 Christ’s death was more than an attempt to reverse the human course started by Adam; it served as a substitute payment for the trespasses of all mankind.

1- Romans 6:23; 1 Peter 1:18, 19 2- Matthew 20:28; Romans 3:21; 2 Corinthians 5:21 3- Ephesians 2:12 4- Romans 8:5-8 5- Colossians 1:20-21 6- Galatians 3:13 7- 1 John 1:5 8- Romans 3:4, 24-26 9- Romans 1:18; 6:23 10- John 10:17, 18; 2 Peter 2:1 11- Matthew 20:28 12- Romans 3:10-12 13- Romans 3:20, 28 14- John 1:13; Ephesians 2:1-5 15- Romans 5:12-15; 6:6; Romans 3:23 16- Romans 3:23-26

The Virgin Birth

We at the Truth2Freedom Blog believe that the eternal Son of God “took upon Him our nature, being conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary.”

The virgin birth is implied in the Old Testament as early as Genesis 3:15, which promised that “the seed of woman” would be the victor over Satan and sin. It is expressly predicted in Isaiah 7:14: “Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel” (NASB). According to Matthew 1:22-23, this prophecy was fulfilled in Mary. She is called a “virgin” in Luke 1:27. The Greek term parthenos normally referred to an unmarried woman of marriageable age. Mary did not conceive through ordinary means, but through the Holy Spirit.1 This was God’s miraculous intervention, producing offspring without a human father.2 No man or angel was involved.3 Christ, who was God from all eternity, took hold of this human nature thus conceived and joined it to Himself.4 What called for the virgin birth? The fundamental need was found in the nature of the human race. Every normal, human birth produces another sinner, just as Adam, as sinner, produced a race of sinners.5 Our Savior had to be genuinely human and truly sinless in order to be our perfect substitute and pay our penalty of guilt before an infinite God by His death.6 This doctrine stands at the heart of the Lord’s person and saving work. Without the virgin birth, there would be no salvation for sinners. Jesus Christ would be a sinful human being. If the virgin birth did not occur, then the Bible is not true and cannot be trusted. In short, it is an essential part of salvation and of Scripture.

The Truth2Freedom Blog believes and teaches the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.

1- Luke 1:35 2- Luke 1:26-28 3- Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:35 4- Hebrews 2:14; Philippians 2:7 5- Genesis 5:1-3; Romans 5:15-21; Ephesians 2:1-2 6- 1 Peter 1:18-19; Hebrews 9:14

 

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