God, by the testimony
of Scripture, is one divine Being in three eternal, co-essential,
yet distinct Persons -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is
the one true God, eternal, immutable, omnipotent, omniscient,
omnipresent. He is Creator of heaven and earth, Sustainer of
the universe, and Source of human salvation. Though transcendent,
God has a direct and personal relationship with human beings.
God is love and infinite goodness.
Mark 12:29; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Timothy 1:17; 1 John 4:8; 5:20;
Jesus is the
Word, by whom and for whom God created all things. As God manifest
in the flesh for our salvation, He was begotten of the Holy
Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, fully God and fully human,
two natures in one Person. Jesus is the Son of God and Lord
of all, worthy of worship, honor and reverence. As the prophesied
Savior of humanity, He died for our sins, was raised bodily
from the dead, and ascended to heaven, from where He mediates
between humanity and God. He will come again in glory to reign
as King of kings over all nations in the kingdom of God.
(John 1:1; Colossians
1:16; 1 Timothy 3:16; John 3:16; Matthew 1:20; Acts 10:36;
The Holy Spirit,
the third Person of the Godhead, is the Comforter promised by
Jesus Christ, sent from God to the Church. The Holy Spirit lives
in us, transforming us through repentance, sanctification, and
continual renewal. The Holy Spirit is the Source of inspiration
and prophecy throughout the Scriptures, the Source of unity
and communion in the Church, the Provider of gifts for salvation
and for the work of the gospel, and the Christian's constant
Guide into all truth.
John 14:16-17, 23, 16:13; Acts 2:4, 17-19, 38, 5:3-4, 20:28;
God is absolute
sovereign in creation, revelation, redemption, and final judgment.
He has absolute and exclusive right to exercise authority in
the universe. He holds this prerogative because of the perfections
of His character and because of His position as Creator and
Sovereign of the universe. As Creator, His dominion is perfect
and His decrees are final. Because of His authority as Sovereign,
He is to be obeyed.
(1 Samuel 2:6-8;
1 Chronicles 29:11-12; Psalm 50:10-11, 95:3-5; Isaiah 44:6;
The Holy Scriptures,
the Bible, comprise the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments.
They are the inspired Word of God, absolutely inerrant in the
original documents, the foundation of truth, and the accurate
record of God's revelation to humanity. The Holy Scriptures
constitute ultimate authority in all matters of doctrine, and
embody the infallible principles that govern all facets of Christian
(2 Timothy 3:15-17;
2 Peter 1:20-21; John 17:17)
made immortal, male and female, in the image of God, and endowed
with great mental and spiritual faculties. God formed the first
man, Adam, of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils
the breath of life. He formed the first woman, Eve, from Adam's
own body. They were given dominion over all the earth and the
freedom to choose whether to obey their Creator. Because they
chose sin, they and their descendants became alienated from
God and subject to physical and spiritual death, which can be
reconciled only by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ
and His saving work. The destiny of the saints is to inherit
eternal life in glory through Jesus Christ in the kingdom of
2:7, 22; Romans 5:9-21; 1 Peter 1:3-9; Romans 6:23)
Sin is lawlessness,
that is, a state or condition of rebellion against God. From
the time sin entered the human race through Adam and Eve, humanity
has been under its yoke -- a yoke that can only be removed by
God's grace through Jesus Christ. The sinful condition of humanity
is manifested in the tendency to consistently choose self and
self-interests over God and God's will. Sin causes alienation
from God, and suffering and death. Since all humans are sinners,
all humans need the salvation God offers through his Son.
(1 John 3:4; 5:17;
Romans 1:20-21; 5:12; 7:24-25; Mark 7:21-23; Galatians 5:17-21;
Romans 6:23; 3:23-24)
deliverance from the bondage of sin and death, and the restoration
of human fellowship with God. It is the gift of God, by grace
through faith in Jesus Christ, not earned by personal merit
or good works. God gives salvation, not only for the present
life, but for eternity, to all who truly accept Jesus Christ
as Lord and Savior. 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.
(John 5:24, 6:37-40,
10:27-30; Romans 5:9-10, 6:15-23, 8:1, 21-23, 31-39, 13:13-14;
Grace is the
free, unmerited favor God bestows on a sinner who repents. In
its broadest sense, grace is expressed in every act of God's
self-disclosure. By grace, a person comes to know God and Jesus
Christ, is justified, and is saved. Through faith in Christ,
the Christian remains always under grace.
5:2, 15-17, 21; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:7)
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. Sovereign election does not contradict or negate
the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior
and Lord. 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. 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
Ephesians 1:4-2:10; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:10;
is God's gracious act of pronouncing a believer righteous in
his sight. It follows repentance and is made possible through
faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ and acceptance of Him
as Lord and Savior.
24-31; 4:1-8; 5:1, 9; Galatians 2:16)
Faith is belief
and trust in God as our righteous, omniscient, and omnipotent
Lord and our gracious, merciful, and faithful Savior. Faith
includes the conviction, based on natural and Scriptural evidence,
that God exists, that He rewards those who seek Him, and that
He gives eternal life to all who are in Jesus Christ. Faith
is granted by God's grace.
10:17; Hebrews 11:6; Ephesians 2:8-9; James 2:17-18)
is the state of holiness imparted to the believer through the
work of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Though all Christians sin,
the Holy Spirit leads them in a life characterized by repentance,
obedience, and Christian growth -- that is, a converted, or
changed, life evidenced by the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Sanctification
is made possible by God's grace, through faith in Jesus Christ.
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.
Eradication of sin in this life is not possible and all claims
to the eradication of sin are unscriptural, but the Holy Spirit
does provide for victory over sin.
(Romans 5:1, 6:22;
Ephesians 4:22-24; Galatians 5:16-25; Colossians 3:9-10;
a change of mind and attitude toward God. It follows conviction
by the Holy Spirit and is grounded in the Word of God. Repentance
entails an awareness of personal sinfulness, accompanied by
a positive response to God's call. Repentance toward God leads
to faith in Jesus Christ and a converted life sanctified by
the Holy Spirit.
(Acts 2:38; Romans
2:4; 10:17; 2 Timothy 2:25; 2 Corinthians 7:9-11; Matthew 3:8;
signifies a believer's repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ
as Lord and Savior.
28:19; Mark 16:16; Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:4-5)
The evening before
Jesus was crucified, he took bread and wine, saying, "This
is My body ... This is the new covenant in My blood." At
the Lord's Supper service, Christians participate in the new
covenant by partaking of bread and wine in remembrance of the
Savior, who gave His body and shed His blood for all, to redeem
humanity from sin and death.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-17; Philippians 2:1-8)
God chose Israel
to be a blessing to all nations. The Jewish people, by means
of Godís covenant with Abraham, are now and forever, Godís Chosen
People. They have a divine right to their promised land, Israel.
They cannot receive eternal salvation apart from faith in Jesus
as their Messiah. Today, Israel as a nation is experiencing
a partial spiritual hardening of heart regarding the gospel,
and this will be so until all those whom God wishes to save
among the Gentiles are saved. Jesus will one day return bodily
and establish His worldwide rule from Jerusalem, and on that
day Israel as a nation will accept Him as their Messiah and
Psalm 89:20-37; Jeremiah 31:35-37; Ezekiel 36:16-36;
The Church, or
the Body of Christ, consists of all who have faith in Jesus
Christ and in whom the Holy Spirit abides. The Church is commissioned
to preach the gospel, to teach all that Christ commanded, to
baptize, and to nurture the flock. In fulfilling its mission,
the Church is directed by the Holy Scriptures, led by the Holy
Spirit, and looks continually to Jesus Christ, its living Head.
Believers are to be one in Christ, and not be divided over peripheral
doctrines or issues. In spite of differences that do not contradict
the gospel of Christ, believers are not to break fellowship,
but love, care for, and encourage one another.
12:13; Romans 8:9; Matthew 28:19-20; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians
1:22; Acts 2:1-47; 2 Timothy 2:23; Titus 3:9-11)
It is the duty
and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church
of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all
nations. The new birth of man's spirit by God's Holy Spirit
means the birth of love for others. Missionary effort on the
part of all rests thus upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate
life, and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings
of Christ. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly
to win the lost to Christ by personal effort and by all other
methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.
Exodus 19:5-6; Isaiah 6:1-8;
is the person who lives by faith in Jesus Christ and in whom
the Holy Spirit abides. The Christian experiences a new birth
through the regeneration of the Holy Spirit and is placed in
a right relationship with God and fellow humans by God's grace.
The Christian's life is characterized by the fruit of the Holy
(Romans 8:9, 14;
1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 2:4-6; Matthew 22:37-39; John 13:35;
The gospel is
the good news about salvation by God's grace through faith in
Jesus Christ alone, not by works. It is the message that Christ
died for our sins, that He was buried, that He was raised on
the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared
to His disciples. It is the good news that the kingdom of God
has been inaugurated by the saving work of Jesus Christ.
Mark 1:14-15; Acts 8:12; 28:30-31; Luke 24:46-48;
includes allegiance and obedience to our Savior, who gave Himself
for us. The purpose of this law is summarized in His commands
to love God and neighbor. Therefore, faith in Christ leads to
works of love and service. Through the Holy Spirit, Christ transforms
the hearts of his followers, producing in them the fruit of
love, joy, peace, faithfulness, meekness, kindness, goodness,
gentleness, self-control, righteousness and truth.
5:15; Matthew 22:36-40; Romans 13:9-10; Galatians 5:6, 22-23;
The setting aside
of one day of the week for Christian assembly is part of the
regenerated life of faith in Jesus Christ, in whom every believer
finds true rest. The weekly seventh-day Sabbath, which was enjoined
upon Israel in the Ten Commandments, was a shadow that prefigured
the true Reality to whom it pointed -- our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ. Though physical Sabbath keeping is not required for
Christians, the Bible commands that Christians meet together
to encourage and upbuild the faith of one another.
Matthew 11:28-30; Romans 14:4-5; Colossians 2:16-17;
the Word of God, the next great event in the fulfillment of
prophecy will be the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in the
air to receive to Himself into heaven both His own who are alive
and remain unto His coming, and also all who have fallen asleep
in Jesus, and that this event is the blessed hope set before
us in Scripture, and for this Christians should be constantly
looking. This first stage of the Second Coming (commonly referred
to as the rapture), is imminent, personal, pre-millennial,
and pre-tribulational. The second stage of the Second Coming
occurs seven years later and involves the Lord Jesus Christ
returning to earth with His saints to establish His Millennial
Kingdom upon the earth.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Zechariah 14:4-11; John 14:1-3;
At death the
spirits and souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus
Christ for salvation pass immediately into His presence and
there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the
glorified body when Christ comes for His own, whereupon soul
and body reunited shall be associated with Him forever in glory;
but the spirits and souls of the unbelieving remain after death
conscious of condemnation and in misery until the final judgment
of the great white throne at the close of the millennium, when
soul and body reunited shall be cast into the lake of fire,
not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting destruction
from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.
Luke 16:19-26, 23:42-43; John 5:28-28; Acts 7:58-60;
The Apostles' Creed
I believe in God, the Father
I believe in Jesus
Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,
I believe in the Holy
We believe in one God,
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
Whoever wills to be in a state of salvation, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic* faith, which except everyone shall have kept whole and undefiled without doubt he will perish eternally.
Now the catholic* faith is that we worship One God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is One, the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit; the Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated; the father infinite, the Son infinite, and the Holy Spirit infinite; the Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet not three eternals but one eternal, as also not three infinites, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated, and one infinite. So, likewise, the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Spirit Almighty; and yet not three Almighties but one Almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son God, and the Holy Spirit God; and yet not three Gods but one God. So the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord; and yet not three Lords but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be both God and Lord; so are we forbidden by the catholic* religion to say, there be three Gods or three Lords.
The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, nod made nor created but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and the Son, not made nor created nor begotten but proceeding. So there is one Father not three Fathers, one Son not three Sons, and Holy Spirit not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity there is nothing before or after, nothing greater or less, but the whole three Persons are coeternal together and coequal.
So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Trinity in Unity and the Unity in Trinity is to be worshipped. He therefore who wills to be in a state of salvation, let him think thus of the Trinity.
But it is necessary to eternal salvation that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. The right faith therefore is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man.
He is God of the substance of the Father begotten before the worlds, and He is man of the substance of His mother born in the world; perfect God, perfect man subsisting of a reasoning soul and human flesh; equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood.
Who although He be God and Man yet He is not two but one Christ; one however not by conversion of the Godhead in the flesh, but by taking of the Manhood in God; one altogether not by confusion of substance but by unity of Person. For as the reasoning soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ.
Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life eternal, and they who indeed have done evil into eternal fire.
This is the catholic* faith, which except a man shall have believed faithfully and firmly he cannot be in a state of salvation.
Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards His Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards His manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards His Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards His manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of Him, and our Lord Jesus Christ Himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.
*catholic refers to the universal church/faith of believers.
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