There is one living and true God, the creator of the universe (Ex. 15:11; Isa.45:11; Jer. 27:5). He is revealed in the unity of the Godhead as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, who are equal in every divine perfection (Ex. 15:11; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14). God the Father is the supreme ruler of the universe (Gen.1; Ps. 19:1; 104; Heb. 1:1-3). God the Son is the Savior of the world (Matt. 9:6; John 1:14; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25). God the Holy Spirit is the manifest presence of deity.
II. The Scriptures
The Scriptures are God's inerrant revelation, complete in the Old and New Testaments, written by divinely inspired men as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21). The Scriptures provide the standard for the believer's faith and practice (2 Tim. 3:16,17), reveal the principles by which God will judge all (Heb. 4:12; John 12:48), and express the true basis of Christian fellowship (Gal 1:8,9; 2 John 9-11).
God created the world for His own pleasure and glory, as revealed in the biblical account of creation (Gen. 1; Rev 4:11; John 1:2,3; Col. 1:16). God created an innumerable host of spirit beings called angels(Col. 1:16; Luke 20:35,36; Matt. 22:29,30). God created man in How own image . As the crowning work of creation, every person is of dignity and worth and merits the respect of all other persons (Gen. 1:27; 2:7; Ps. 8; Matt. 10:28-31).
Satan is a person rather than a personification of evil (John 8:44), and he with his demons opposes all that is true and godly by blinding the world to the gospel (2 Cor. 4:3,4), tempting saints to do evil (Eph 6:11; 1 Peter 5:8), and warring against the Son of God (Gen 3:15; Rev. 20:1-10).
Although man was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26; 2:7), he fell through sin and that image was marred (Rom. 5:12; James 3:9). In his unregenerate state, he is void of spiritual life, is under the influence of the devil, and lacks any power to save himself (Eph. 2:1-3; John 1:13). The sin nature has been transmitted to every member of the human race, the man Jesus Christ alone being excepted (Rom. 3:23; 1 Peter 2:22).
Salvation is the gracious work of God whereby He delivers undeserving sinners from sin and its results (Matt 1:21; Eph. 2:8,9). Salvation is based wholly on the grace of God apart from works (Titus 3:5; Eph. 2:9). Christ died for the sins of the whole world (John 1:29; 3:16; 1 John 2:1,2). Through His blood, atonement is made without respect of persons (1 Tim. 2:4-6). All sinners can be saved by this gracious provision.
VII. Divine Sovereignty and Human Freedom
God's sovereignty and man's freedom are two inseparable factors in the salvation experience. The two Bible truths are in no way contradictory, but they are amazingly complementary in the great salvation so freely provided. God, in His sovereignty purposed, planned, and executed salvation in eternity while man's freedom enables him to make a personal choice in time, either to receive this salvation and be saved, or to reject it and be damned (Eph. 1:9-14).
All believers are set apart unto God (Heb. 10:12-14) at the time of their rengeneration (1 Cor. 6:11). They should grow in grace (2 Peter 1:5-8) by allowing the Holy Spirit to apply God's Word to their lives (1 Peter 2:2), conforming them to the principles of divine righteousness (Rom. 12:1,2; 1 Thess. 4:3-7) and making them partakers of the holiness of God (2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Peter 1:15,16).
All believers are eternally secure in Jesus Christ (John 10:24-30; Rom. 8:35-39). They are born again (John 3:3-5; 1 John 5:1; 1 Peter 1:23), made new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17; 2 Peter 1:4), and indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9; 1 John 4:4), enabling their perseverance in good works (Eph. 2:10). A special providence watches over them (Rom. 8:28; 1 Cor. 10:13), and they are kept by the power of God (Phil. 1:6; 2:12,13; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Heb. 13:5).
A. Nature - A New Testament curch is a local congrgation (Acts 16:5; 1 Cor. 4:17) of baptized believers in Jesus Christ (Acts 2:41) who are united by covenant in belief of what God has revealed and in obedience to what He has commanded (Acts 2:41,42).
B. Autonomy - She acknowledges Jesus as her only Head (Eph. 5:23; Col 1:18) and the Holy Bible as her only rule of faith and practice (Isa. 8:20; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17), governing herself by democratic principles (Acts 6:1-6; 1 Cor. 5:1-5) under the oversight of her pastors (Acts 20:28; Heb. 13:7,17,24).
C. Perpetuity - Instituted by Jesus during His personal ministry on earth (Matt. 16:18; Mark 3:13-19; John 1:35-51), true churches have continued to the present and will continue until Jesus returns (Matt. 16:18; 28:20).
D. Ordinances - Her two ordinances are baptism and the Lord's Supper. Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer as a confession of faith in Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:19; rom. 6:4) and is prerequisite to church membership and participation in the Lord's Supper (Acts 2:41,42). The Lord's Supper is the sacred sharing of the bread of communion and the cup of blessing by the assembled church (Acts. 20:7) as a memorial to the crucified body and shed blod of Jesus Christ (Luke 22:19,20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26). Both ordinances must be administered by the authority of a New Testament church (Matt. 28:18-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26).
E. Officers - Pastors and deacons are the permanent officers divinely ordained in a New Testament church (Phil. 1:1). Each church selects men of her choice to fill those offices under the leading of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:1-6; 20:17,18) according to the divinely given qualifications (1 Tim. 3:1-13).
F. Ministry - Her mission is evangelizing sinners by preaching the gospel (Matth 28:19; Luke 24:45-47), baptizing those who believe (Acts 2L41; 8:12,35-38) and maturing them by instruction (Matt. 28:20; Acts 2:42) and discipline (Matt. 18:17,18; 1 Cor. 5:1-5).
XI. Civil Authority
Human government was instituted by God to protect the innocent and punish the guilty. It is separate from the church, though both the church and state exercise complementary ministries for the benefit of society (Matt. 22:21). Christians should submit to the authority of the government under which they live, obeying all laws which do not contradict the laws of God, respecting officers of government, paying taxes, rendering military service, and praying for the welfare of the nation and its leaders (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13,17; 1 Tim. 2:1,2).
XII. The Last Things
A. Return - Our risen Lord will return personally in bodily form to receive His redeemed unto himself. His return is imminent (1 Thess. 4:13-17; Rev. 22:20).
B. Resurrections - After Jesus returns, all of the dead will be raised bodily, each in his own order: the righteouse dead in "the resurrection of life" and the wicked dead in "the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:24-29; 1 Cor. 15:20-28).
C. Judgments - Prior to the eternal state, God will judge everyone to confer rewards or to consign to punishment (Matt. 25: 31-46; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 20:11-15).
D. Eternal States - Heaven is the eternal home of the redeemed (John 14:1-3) who, in their glorified bodies (1 Cor. 15:51-58), will live in the presence of God forever (1 Thess. 4:17) in ultimate blessing (Rev. 21,22). Hell is the place of eternal punishment and suffering (Luke 16:19-31) for the devil, his angels (Matt. 25:41), and the unredeemed (Rev. 20:10-15).