Our Beliefs

NORTH RALEIGH INTERNATIONAL BAPTIST CHURCH

STATEMENT OF FAITH

Doctrinal Statement

We believe that the church of Jesus Christ has been entrusted with the Scriptures, and that it has been called to teach and defend sound doctrine (teaching).[1] Therefore, we believe that it is both wise and necessary to collectively declare the biblical doctrines which shall be taught and defended within our local church. We believe that by declaring these teachings in this statement of faith, we make our beliefs clear for the sake of all who fellowship with us, and provide a necessary reference for ensuring doctrinal unity and stability.

Holy Scripture

Inspiration, Necessity, Sufficiency, Relevance, Authority, Preservation, Infallibility

We believe that God has given men a body of holy Scripture[2], penned by holy men of God as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit (inspiration of Scripture)[3]. We believe that although God has revealed much about Himself through the light of creation[4], this general revelation is insufficient to bring souls to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.[5] Consequently, we affirm the necessity of the preaching and teaching of the Holy Scriptures both within and outside of the church.[6] We believe that the Scripture is not only necessary (necessity of Scripture), but sufficient for salvation and spiritual health (sufficiency of Scripture).[7] We believe that, whether by direct statements or by principle, the Bible is sufficient to address every needed topic the church may encounter, and that it is the only resource to be used for authoritative spiritual guidance (relevance of Scripture). Additionally, we believe that all of the sciences and philosophies are to be interpreted through the lens of Scripture, not vice versa, and that the Scripture is not to be twisted, reinterpreted, or allegorized at points where they intersect; and we believe that Scripture is of no private interpretation, but that Scripture must be allowed to interpret Scripture.[8] We believe the Scripture, as the word of God, to hold absolute authority over the lives of all people, both saved and unsaved (authority of Scripture).[9] Consequently, we believe that we are either to submit to the revealed will of God found in Scripture, or suffer His chastening (for believers)[10] or wrath (unbelievers).[11] We believe that God has preserved all of His inspired word (preservation of Scripture),[12] and that any suggestion that parts have been corrupted or lost in transmission must be rejected in faith.[13] Also, we believe that the Scriptures are infallible, not capable of containing any error (infallibility of Scripture).[14] We reject the notion that there are modern day prophets in the Old Testament sense, and that Christians might speak forth new revelation from God.[15] We reject any traditions or practices which, in effect, add or take away from the word of God.[16]This includes any form of deconstructionism in which the meanings of clear statements are questioned. This also includes any form of interpretation which would imply that extra-biblical context is needed to understand the text.[19] Our assurance of the veracity of the previous statements does not rest on intellectual research, but on the inward witness of the Holy Spirit.[20]

We acknowledge that not all parts of Scripture are equally plain or clear,[17] but we believe that a simpleminded person, using a straightforward reading of the text, may arrive at a basic knowledge of those cardinal doctrines necessary for salvation.[18]

Bible Translations

We believe that the Scriptures are intended by God to convey truths with exactness; and, being that the Scriptures were given in ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, only those words in the original languages can be considered as inspired. Secondly, we believe that the quality of any Bible translation is dependent upon the competence and integrity of the translators, and on the quality of the manuscripts being translated from. Therefore, we believe that it is necessary for the pastors of the church to ensure that basic principles for selecting a Bible translation are taught.[21]

God

We believe that there is one eternal God,[22] the uncreated Creator of all things,[23] unchanging,[24] invisible,[25] all-powerful,[26] all-knowing,[27] sovereign,[28] omnipresent,[29] perfect in goodness,[30] holiness,[31] love,[32] truth and faithfulness,[33] graciousness,[34] longsuffering,[35] compassion,[36] mercy,[37] wrath,[38] justice and righteousness,[39] and jealousy.[40] We believe that God is love,[41] and therefore, that all of His attributes are attributes of love.[42] Consequently, we affirm that there is no contradiction or inconsistency in God being a God of love and a God of wrath. He is both transcendent[43] and imminent.[44] He has predetermined all things according to His own will,[45] and works all things for His own eternal glory.[46] We believe that God subsists as three co-equal, co-eternal, co-substantial Persons as the one triune God.[47] We believe that God, as three Persons, is Spirit, and that all of our service, worship, and praise is to be done by the Holy Spirit through the Son and unto the Father.[48]

God’s Decrees and Providence

We believe that all things have been predetermined by God since before time began.[49] We believe that all of the thoughts, words, actions, and destinies of all angels, demons, men, principalities and powers have been predetermined by God.[50] The predestination of God is in no way contingent upon the works of His creatures, as if He had based predestination upon the works they had not yet done.[51] God’s predetermination of all things does not remove human responsibility or culpability and cannot be used to excuse sin.[52]

We believe that God sustains all things[53], governs all things which occur,[54] working them for His own eternal praise and glory.[55] In His providence, God most often uses temporal means,[56] but not always.[57]

Creation

We believe that God created the universe out of nothing by the power of His Word in six literal days. [58] We believe that when God created it, He created it complete, meaning that all plants, animals, and man were created in a full-grown state. Likewise, we believe that the universe was created in a fully mature state. We believe in the historical Adam and Eve, the literal historical interpretation of man’s creation.[59] We reject the notion that the universe is older than the Biblical record would allow. We also reject the Gap theory, or any similar theory, which assumes that long periods of time occurred between certain lines of Scripture.

We believe that God created man, male and female,[60] that they were and are living souls indwelling bodies of flesh;[61] that unlike animals, they were made in the image of God;[62] that unlike animals, they were made with the capacity for knowing God relationally;[63] that their souls will be forever conscious, either in an eternal death of divine punishment,[64] or in an eternal life of abiding in loving fellowship with God.[65] We reject the theory that all life forms evolved from simpler life forms. We acknowledge the reality of adaptation, but we reject the idea of one species having ever evolved into another species.

Man’s State in Paradise and The Fall

We believe that when God created Adam and Eve, He endowed them with the knowledge that obedience to God is good and that disobedience is evil;[66] that God gave them a specific prohibition;[67] and that by violating the divine law,[68] they were spiritually separated from God (spiritual death),[69] becoming corrupted with a sin nature,[70] and were driven from the garden of Eden for their sin.[71] We believe that by this sin, the human race was corrupted, and that all descendants of Adam are born with the sin nature which is naturally hostile toward God.[72] At the same time, we recognize those Scriptures which seem to imply that young children, those below the age of accountability and without the ability to discern right from wrong, are saved by the grace of God.[73]

Human Depravity

We believe that all men are descendants of Adam; that all are born with the corrupted sin nature.[74] We believe that unconverted men can only think and act from this sin nature, and therefore that they have no capacity for truly right motives;[75] that every thought and intent of their hearts is only evil continually;[76] that their will is in bondage, and that they will only ever will from selfish motives;[77] that their understanding is darkened, and that they are incapable of having true understanding of spiritual things;[78] that they are servants of Satan, whether willfully or ignorantly, and that they will do his will;[79] and that they are enemies of God in their minds by wicked works.[80] We believe that so long as men remain in this unconverted state, the wrath of God abides on them,[81] and upon dying, they will have no hope of eternal life, but will be confined in hell.

Satan

We believe that Satan is literal and personal; that he led the apostate angels who rebelled against God and were cast out and condemned to eternal damnation which yet awaits them.[82]

Evil

We believe that God is perfectly good,[83] and that He does no evil,[84] nor does He tempt any to evil.[85] As a result of many misconceptions which amount to indictments against God, we believe that certain truths must be affirmed concerning evil, especially with regard to natural evil (natural disasters, diseases, suffering) and moral evil (sins such as lying, murdering, stealing). Regarding natural evil, we believe that, though it is evil in that it is a product of a fallen world, God’s use of it for His good and righteous purposes is not evil.[86] We reject the notion that all temporal evils are acts of God’s punishment;[87] but we acknowledge that they may be.[88] Regarding moral evil, we believe that it consists of any deviation from the will of God.[89] Consequently, we reject the notion that God created moral evil, for it did not exist as part of His perfect creation, but was a departure from it. With that said, we do believe that God can sovereignly will evil and allow it to occur without being evil,[90] for such evil as He sovereignly wills and allows glorifies Him. We believe that, because God is in complete control of all things, and because all that occurs does occur because of His sovereign will,[91] even evil was willed and allowed by God for the accomplishment of His most wise and perfect ends.[92] Furthermore, we believe that in order to allow men to have the capacity for making choices, He allowed them to choose disobedience (evil);[93] that, being a good and righteous God, He necessarily has to punish evil;[94] yet, because He is merciful, He forbears evil for a time in the hope that men will repent from evil and seek Him.[95] Furthermore, we believe that by allowing evil, God has made it possible to display His own glory, for His attributes such as mercy, grace, and wrath could not otherwise be so displayed.[96]

Hell

We believe in a literal eternal hell[97] with literal fire[98] which is a kind of fire foreign to our present world, for it is able to destroy both body and soul,[99] men and demons,[100] and though it burns eternally, it gives no light to those tormented by it.[101]

God’s Covenant

We believe that, as a result of man’s fallen condition, he is far from God and is utterly incapable of reconciling himself to God.[102] The only way in which man could be reconciled with God is if God Himself acts in mercy toward the sinner, and God has done this in the form of a covenant. This is the everlasting covenant, the covenant of grace.[103] This covenant, shown to be necessary by God’s covenant with Adam,[104] foreshadowed[105] in the Noahic[106], Abrahamic,[107] Mosaic,[108] Deuteronomic,[109] and Davidic[110] covenants, is the promise of remission of sins, deliverance from corruption, and an eternal inheritance to those who repent and believe in the promised Seed, the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.[111]

Christ the Mediator

We believe that as an act of His love and grace, God ordained His Son as the Mediator between Himself and men.[112] We believe that God’s chosen Mediator is Jesus Christ the righteous, who is the second Person of the triune God;[113] that He, being God the Son, has existed from eternity past;[114] that He came into the world by a virgin birth and indwelled human flesh.[115] We believe that Jesus was fully God indwelling a fully human body.[116] We believe that though He was tempted at all points, He lived without sin.[117] We believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins, that He was buried, and that He rose the third day.[118] We believe that He has ascended into heaven and that He now sits at the right hand of the Father.[119] We believe that He now intercedes for His saints,[120] and that He will one day be the Judge of all men.[121] We believe that all of the blessings of God’s covenant are contingent on being in a right relationship with God through Him, that wholehearted faith in the identity, words, and works of the Mediator is a prerequisite to taking part in the divine covenant of grace.[122] More specifically, we believe that having faith in the gospel, the message that Jesus Christ died for our sins, that He was buried, and that He rose the third day, is necessary for the salvation and all of the blessings which are available through His mediation.[123] Through this Mediator, the Lord Jesus, certain benefits of grace are applied to the believing sinner: God’s wrath is satisfied on behalf of the sinner,[124] God’s righteousness is imputed to the sinner by faith,[125] the sinner is reconciled to God through Christ,[126] the sinner is adopted as a child of God,[127] the sinner is made the spiritual seed of Abraham by faith,[128] the sinner is given all of the promises of the covenants of Israel,[129] the sinner is given an eternal inheritance,[130] the sinner is given the gift of the Holy Spirit,[131] and God’s righteousness is imparted to the sinner as they walk by faith.[132] We believe that from the fall of Adam all the way to Christ’s work at the cross, God applied all of these blessings to those with true faith;[133] this with the distinction that the Holy Spirit was in them, but not joined to their spirit as the cross makes possible.[134]

The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is God; that He is the second Person of the triune God; that He comes to convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment[135] by means of the word of God;[136] that He comes to indwell all true believers,[137] sealing them for the eternal inheritance which awaits them;[138] that He, being the Spirit of Christ,[139] is the means by which Christ lives through the faith of a Christian,[140] causing them to will and to do according to the good pleasure of God.[141]

Free Will

We believe that prior to being saved, the will of man is in bondage to the sin nature and Satan; that, though God allows them to make choices to obey or disobey, they are only able to act according to their sin nature, a nature which has no capacity for truly good motives. [142] Consequently, we reject the notion that unsaved men have free will in the sense that they have the capacity to do good. We acknowledge the Scriptures in which God seems to imply that they have the ability to do good;[143] but we believe that this is because God expects men to come to Him for the power to obey Him.[144] Furthermore, we believe that even when one turns to God, it is because of God’s precedent work wherein He has imparted faith to the sinner.[145] We believe that God alone is always the initiator of salvation.[146]

We believe that once a person has been saved, their enslavement to the sin nature is broken,[147] and they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit; and that the Holy Spirit gives them the capacity to obey God from the heart.[148] From the point of salvation, we believe that an internal battle ensues between the new will to obey God and the old lusts of the flesh,[149] and that over time, the flesh nature waxes weaker and weaker as the new creature created in Christ Jesus[150] waxes stronger and stronger.[151] We reject the idea that we ultimately have true free will to choose to serve either the flesh or the Spirit.[152] Rather, we believe that God strengthens us by the Spirit gradually in order to show us our own weakness, causing us to comprehend our dependence upon His power working in us.[153] We reject the notion of sinless perfection prior to glory.[154]

The Effectual Call

We believe that, for all those who have been predestined to eternal life, there comes a point where God effectually calls them out of sin by His Word and Spirit,[155] unto salvation through faith in Christ.[156] This effectual calling is characterized by God enlightening the mind of the sinner,[157] replacing their heart of stone with a heart of flesh which is receptive to spiritual truth,[158] drawing them to Christ,[159] conforming their will to His own.[160] The effectual call is by God’s grace, and is in no way contingent on anything on man’s part.[161]

Justification

We believe that whomsoever God has effectually called, He justifies freely by His grace apart from anything on man’s part.[162] We believe that, because God is perfectly just, in order for God to justify a person, the penalty of every single sin they ever committed must be paid in full. The just penalty for any sin is eternal separation from God’s favorable presence and confinement under His wrath which is manifested as an eternal lake of fire.[163] We believe that the wrath of God and the justice of God must be satisfied before He can justify. Therefore, we as sinners need propitiation (satisfaction), something that will satisfy God’s righteous penalty on our behalf. We believe that God has justified us, when we first believed, by imputing our sins to Christ to be punished upon Him in our stead, and imputing Christ’s perfect righteousness to us as a free gift.[164] We believe that when Jesus rose from the dead, it confirmed the efficacy of His work on the cross.[165] We believe that the justification of Old Testament saints was the same in all respects as it is in the New Testament.[166]

Adoption

We believe that whomsoever God justifies, He adopts into His own family as children of God.[167] We believe that only those who are adopted by God can truly call upon Him as their Father. Also, we believe that, because God is our heavenly Father, we have received the Spirit of adoption,[168] we have access to the Father through Christ,[169] we are pitied,[170] protected,[171] provided for,[172] and chastened by Him.[173] As His children, we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption,[174] and we will never be cast off.[175]

Sanctification

We believe that whomsoever God justifies, He also sanctifies (sets apart) both positionally and practically. Positionally in that He sets them apart with all of the redeemed people of God,[176] and practically as He progressively gives them increasing faith, understanding, holiness, and all other graces which accompany true salvation. We believe that in all truly born-again Christians, the Holy Spirit increasingly mortifies the lusts of the flesh, and consequently that they cease from continuing in unbroken patterns of sin,[177] and that they bear fruit unto God, serving Him in love.[178] Nevertheless, we believe that, by the temptations of the world[179] and the devil,[180] and by the sin nature which indwells them,[181] true Christians may fall into grievous sins, even continuing in them for a time;[182] but that even through these periods of rebellion, God is performing a continuing work in them, working all things for their good,[183] and ultimately using such failings as part of His plan to conform them to the image of Christ.[184] We reject the notion of sinless perfection prior to glory.[185]

Repentance

We believe that to whomsoever God gives the gift of righteousness through justification, He also grants repentance.[186] We believe that repentance and faith are intimately connected with one another; To repent is to turn from sin unto faith in Jesus Christ.[187] Therefore, we believe that no one can have a true faith without having true repentance. We believe that true repentance is preceded by the godly sorrow of conviction,[188] and that this conviction is a work of the Holy Spirit.[189] We believe that when someone sincerely repents, they will forsake evil ways and thoughts and turn from sinful living to God.[190] Consequently, we believe that those who sincerely repent will bear the fruits of repentance, their faith working through obedience and love.[191]

Saving Faith

We believe that whomsoever God justifies, He gives the gift of saving faith. We believe that saving faith is a gift of God’s grace;[192] that it is the channel through which we receive of God’s grace;[193] that its presence is not in any way contingent on any of man’s efforts such as seeking or intellectual research; that before conversion, all men are deaf to spiritual things, but by the power of His word, God gives His people ears to hear. We believe that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.[194] Likewise, we believe that before conversion, all men are spiritually blind, but that God gives His people eyes of faith to see.[195] We believe that faith without works is no faith at all,[196] and that a true living faith is a faith which walks in the context of what one believes and trusts in.[197] We believe that obedience to the gospel is the evidence of a true saving faith.[198] We believe that this faith grows by degree as one abides in the word and walks in it,[199] and that it grows up unto full assurance.[200] We believe that true saving faith will result in a reorganization of life passions, priorities and ambitions, leading one to deny themselves, and take up the cross of Christ.[201] We believe that true saving faith always has the fundamental truths concerning God, the Scriptures, Christ, and the true gospel as its object.[202] We believe that those with true saving faith believe the entirety of the word of God as the only authoritative source of divine truth.[203] Lastly, we believe that all people with true saving faith will persevere in the faith unto the end.[204]

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[1] John 17:8; Jude 3; Acts 2:42; Romans 6:17, 16:17; 1 Corinthians 14:6; Ephesians 4:14; 1 Timothy 1:3, 10, 4:6, 13, 16, 5:17; 1 Timothy 6:3-4; 2 Timothy 3:10, 16, 4:2, 3; Titus 1:9, 2:1, 7, 10; 2 John 9-10

[2] We believe this body of Scripture to be composed of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation. We believe that the canon of Scripture is complete, and that no further writings are to be added. We do not recognize the Apocrypha as Scripture, and will not under any circumstance modify the list of books above. Furthermore, no other writings will be considered divine or authoritative, nor will any other writings or media materials will be used unless they have met “discerning materials criteria.” (As explained in this document)

[3] 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Samuel 23:2; 1 Thessalonians 2:13. We reject the notion that the Scriptures only contain God’s word without entirely being God’s word. We reject the notion that men’s thoughts were inspired, and that they wrote the thoughts of God in their own words. Rather, we affirm that every word of Scripture is the word of God, communicated through men without any diminishment, distortion, or any other form of error which might tarnish their perfection.

[4] Romans 1:20-21; Psalms 19:1-4; Acts 14:17, 17:26-27

[5] Romans 1:16, 10:14-15, 17; 1 Corinthians 1:21. We reject the notion that people can either have faith or be saved without knowing, understanding, and believing the gospel. We reject any philosophy which promotes the idea that people in other religious systems are saved.

[6] The teaching of the word of God will be the main focus of every church service, and that for the edification of the body of believers for the work of ministry and unto the glory of God.

[7] Acts 20:32; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; James 1:21. We reject any notions of salvation coming through a witness of good works apart from the gospel.

[8] 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:20

[9] Ezekiel 18:4

[10] Hebrews 12

[11] 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9

[12] Psalms 119:160; Isaiah 40:8; Proverbs 30:5; 1 Peter 1:23; Matthew 5:18

[13] We reject the notion that the Scriptures have only been preserved in the original autographs, for this is no preservation at all. While we acknowledge the existence of corrupted manuscripts and poor translations, we hold that, just as thousands of counterfeit coins will not negate the existence of the true, so the existence of corruption does not make void God’s promises to preserve His word.

[14] Psalms 119:160; Proverbs 30:5; Psalms 12:6; 1 Peter 1:23; Matthew 5:18

[15] Hebrews 1:1

[16] Galatians 1:8-9

[17] 2 Peter 3:16

[18] Psalms 119:160

[19] While extra-biblical information can enrich the text, we reject any teaching wherein a concept or principle hinges upon the truth of extra-biblical information. With regard to principles and truths which are to be taught to believers, we believe that God has provided sufficient surrounding context within the Scriptures themselves. This belief protects the church from the subversion of unbiblical doctrines being read into the text. We cite Psalms 119:130 as a proof that God has designed the Scripture in such a way that a child can comprehend.

[20] 1 Corinthians 2:9-10, 1 Thessalonians 1:5, 1 John 2:20,27

[21] From early times, the received text of the New Testament was faithfully copied among the churches. These churches had largely rejected the corruptions of Alexandria and continued to copy the received text. These copies, of which we have over 5,000, make up the Byzantine family of manuscripts and are in nearly complete agreement with each other. This collection is also referred to as the Majority Text because it constitutes the vast majority of extant Greek manuscripts, and as the Traditional Text because it is the text handed down by the apostles to the church. In fact, it was the text used throughout the Greek churches of the Byzantine empire from 330 to 1453 A.D.

[22] Deuteronomy 4:35; Isaiah 43:10, 44:6, 45:5, 21; 1 Corinthians 8:4; Galatians 3:20; Ephesians 4:5-6

[23] Genesis 1:1, Colossians 1:16

[24] Malachi 3:6; James 1:17

[25] 1 Timothy 1:17; John 1:18

[26] Genesis 17:1; Revelation 4:8

[27] Job 38-39; Psalms 147:5; Romans 11:33-34

[28] Psalms 76:10, 92:7; Acts 17:26; Romans 9:22-23, 8:28; Revelation 4:11

[29] 1 Kings 8:27; Psalms 139:7-10; Proverbs 15:3; Isaiah 57:15; Jeremiah 23:24; Ephesians 1:23;

[30] Psalms 34:8, 100:5; Matthew 5:45; Romans 2:4-5

[31] Exodus 19:21-22; 1 Samuel 2:2; Psalms 68:2; 96:9; Isaiah 6:3, 57:15. We reject the notion that God is the author of sin. Sin is not an entity which was created, but simply a deviation from the decreed will of God. While it is true that God has willed the existence of sin (in order that His attributes of wrath and grace might be displayed), He is in no way culpable for the sins of His creatures.

[32] John 3:16; Romans 5:8; Ephesians 3:19; 1 John 4:16

[33] Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalms 12:6-7, 36:5, 111:7-9, 119:160; Hebrews 6:17-18;

[34] Genesis 6:8; Exodus 33:19, 34:6; John 1:17; Ephesians 1:3-6

[35] Genesis 15:16; Romans 3:25, 10:21; Revelation 2:21

[36] 2 Chronicles 36:15-16; Psalms 86:15; Isaiah 5:1-4; Acts 17:26-27; 2 Corinthians 6:2; 1 Timothy 2:4;

[37] Psalms 33:18, 147:11; Lamentations 3:22; Micah 7:18; Romans 9:15; Jude 1:21

[38] Psalms 7:11; Romans 1:18;

[39] Psalms 19:9; Isaiah 5:16; Daniel 9:24; Acts 17:31;2 Corinthians 5:21

[40] Exodus 32:1-10; 34:14; Psalms 78:38-41; James 4:4-5

[41] 1 John 4:16

[42] 1 Corinthians 13

[43] 1 Chronicles 29:11; Psalms 8:1; Isaiah 40:25-26; Ephesians 4:4-6

[44] Jeremiah 23:23-24, Acts 17:27

[45] Judges 3:12; 2 Kings 19:28; Proverbs 21:1; Isaiah 46:10; John 17:12; Acts 2:23; Romans 9:17; Ephesians 1:5, 11; 1 Peter 1:2; Revelation 17:17

[46] Psalms 76:10; Hebrews 13:21; 2 Peter 3:18; Jude 25; Revelation 1:6, 4:9, 5:13, 7:12

[47] Genesis 1:26, 9:6; Psalms 2:7-8, 45:7, 11, 48:16; 110:1; Matthew 18:16; 2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 John 5:7. We reject Modalism, Sabellianism, Noetianism, Patripassianism, Tritheism, Arianism, Docetism, Ebeonitism, Macedonianism, Adoptionism, and Partialism. We reject the notion that the Holy Spirit is not a distinct Person on the Trinity.

[48] All things are from the Father: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17); all things are through the Son: “by [Christ] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him” (Colossians 1:16); all things are by the Spirit: The gospel was “revealed…by the Spirit” (Ephesians 3:5); we are justified by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:11); we are led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14); Christ abides in us by the Spirit (1 John 3:24).

[49] Numbers 23:19; Isaiah 14:24, 27, 45:5-7, 46:10; Lamentations 3:37; Acts 15:18, 17:26; Ephesians 1:4, 11; 1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 17:8; 1 Chronicles 29:11-12; Psalms 33:9-11, 103:19, 105:16, 115:3; Daniel 4:35; Deuteronomy 32:39; Exodus 4:11; 2 Samuel 10:12; Job 23:13; 1 Samuel 2:6-8; Amos 3:6;

[50] Acts 13:48; Romans 8:30; Ephesians 1:4-6, 2 Timothy 1:9

[51] John 1:13; Romans 9:11, 13, 16, 18; Titus 3:5

[52] Matthew 23:37; Romans 1:20

[53] Nehemiah 9:6; Psalms 145:15-16; Hebrews 1:3

[54] Psalms 135:6; Daniel 4:34-35; Acts 17:25-28; Job 38-41

[55] Isaiah 63:14; Romans 9:17; Ephesians 3:10

[56] Acts 27:24, 31, 44; Isaiah 55:10-11

[57] Job 34:20; Hosea 1:7

[58] Genesis 1:1; Exodus 20:11; Psalms 33:6; Acts 17:24; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 11:3. We reject any method of interpretation which allegorizes the text, claims that the scope of the text is limited, or that uses the writing style of the text to suggest that it does not mean what it plainly declares. We reject the use of scientific data as a lens of interpretation.

[59] Genesis 5:5; Deuteronomy 32:8; Job 31:33; Luke 3:38; Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:45; 2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 2:13-14; Jude 14

[60] Genesis 1:27; Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6

[61] Genesis 2:7; Ecclesiastes 12:7

[62] Genesis 1:26, 9:6;

[63] Psalms 32:9; Psalms 19; Romans 1; Acts 14:17, 17:27

[64] Job 20:5-7; Psalms 52:5, 83:17-18, 92:7; Isaiah 33:14; Jeremiah 20:11, 23:39-40; Daniel 12:2; Malachi 1:4; Matthew 18:8, 25:41; Mark 3:28-29; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 7, 12-13. We believe in a literal hell with literal fire and literal eternal punishment. We reject any notion that hell is limited in duration, that there is any way out of hell, that souls will be annihilated at any time, that the fires of hell are allegorical or symbolic.

[65] Psalms 16:11; Isaiah 25:8; Daniel 12:3; Matthew 25:46; John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 2 Timothy 2:10

[66] Ecclesiastes 7:29; 2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 2:14;

[67] Genesis 2:17

[68] Genesis 3

[69] Genesis 2:17

[70] Romans 5:12, 15, 17, 18, 19; 1 Corinthians 15:22

[71] Genesis 3

[72] Romans 5:12, 15, 17, 18, 19; 1 Corinthians 15:22

[73] 2 Samuel 12:23

[74] Romans 5:12,15-19

[75] Romans 3:10-12, 8:7-8

[76] Compare Genesis 6:5 with Luke 17:26; Also, see Matthew 7:11, Romans 5:6. We reject any notion that there is anything good in fallen man. We reject any notion that fallen men can seek God apart from the power of God drawing them.

[77] John 8:34

[78] 1 Corinthians 2:14

[79] Ephesians 2:2; 2 Timothy 2:26

[80] John 3:20; Ephesians 2:3; Colossians 1:21

[81] Psalms 5:5, 11:5, 7:11; John 3:36

[82] Revelation 20:1-10; Ephesians 2:1-4; Job 1:9-12; Genesis 3:13-14

[83] Psalms 34:8, 100:5; Matthew 5:45; Romans 2:4-5

[84] Psalms 5:4; 1 John 1:5

[85] James 1:13

[86] Psalms 105:16; Amos 3:6; Isaiah 45:5-7

[87] Job 1:12-19; Psalms 105:16

[88] Genesis 7:4; 2 Kings 17:25

[89] 1 John 3:4

[90] Lamentations 3:37-38

[91] 1 Chronicles 29:11-12; Psalms 115:3; Daniel 4:35; Deuteronomy 32:39; Exodus 4:11; Psalms 105:16; 2 Samuel 10:12; Job 23:13; Psalms 33:9-11, 103:19; Isaiah 14:27; 1 Samuel 2:6-8; Amos 3:6; Isaiah 45:5-7

[92] Revelation 4:11; Proverbs 16:4

[93] Genesis 2:17, 3

[94] Proverbs 17:15; Exodus 23:7; Nahum 1:3; Psalms 7:11; Hebrews 9:27

[95] Acts 17:27

[96] Romans 11:32

[97] 1 Chronicles 28:9; Job 20:5-7; Psalms 52:5, 83:17-18, 92:7; Isaiah 33:14; Jeremiah 20:11, 23:39-40; Daniel 12:2; Malachi 1:4; Matthew 18:8, 25:41; Mark 3:28-29; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 7, 12-13

[98] Though many insist that the flames of hell are a metaphor, the Bible clearly shows that they are literal flames. In the parable of the tares among the wheat, Jesus provides the interpretation of the symbols in the parable. Notice that while the other symbols change from the parable to the interpretation, the fire does not (Matthew 13:30, 42). Thus, the fires of hell are shown to be literal.

[99] Matthew 10:28

[100] Matthew 25:41

[101] Jude 12-13

[102] Proof texts for enmity and distance from God: Romans 1:30; Ephesians 2:13; Colossians 1:21. Proof texts for impotence: Isaiah 40:13-17; Job 9:32-33, 22:2-3

[103] Genesis 3:15; John 3:16; Romans 3:20-21, 8:3, 10:6, 9;

[104] God gave Adam life on the condition of obedience (Genesis 2:16-17). Adam, who was created upright and void of the corruption of the flesh nature which we have, failed to obey God. This was a clear demonstration that man’s own righteousness is insufficient.

[105] Romans 2:28-29; Colossians 2:17; Hebrews 8:4-5, 9:9, 10, 10:1;

[106] Genesis 6:17-18; 8:20-22

[107] Genesis 12:2-3, 17:7-11; Romans 4:11-12

[108] Exodus 19-24

[109] Deuteronomy 29

[110] 2 Samuel 8

[111] Matthew 26:28; Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3; Acts 2:38, 5:31; 10:43, 13:38, 20:21, 26:28; Romans 1:17, 3:22, 25, 27, 28, 4:11, 13, 16, 9:30; Galatians 2:16, 3:26; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-9; Colossians 1:14; 2 Timothy 3:15; 1 Peter 1:5;

[112] Isaiah 42:1; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 8:6, 9:15, 12:24; 1 Peter 1:19-20;

[113] Romans 9:5; Titus 2:13; 1 Timothy 3:16

[114] John 1:1-2; 1 John 5:7

[115] Isaiah 7:14, 9:6; Matthew 1:20-23; John 1:14; Romans 8:3; Galatians 4:4

[116] He was God wrapped in human flesh, a human body indwelt by Almighty God, “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” (Colossians 2:9). Aside from many direct references to Jesus as being God, we can see clear indications that His divine nature was not diminished. Jesus demonstrated miraculous power, performing healing miracles, casting out demons, and raising people from the dead (Matthew 4:23-24, 8:28-34, 9:1-8,Mark 1:23-28, 30, Luke 7:11-18, John 11:1-46), was all-knowing, often responding to people’s thoughts (Matthew 9:4, 12:25, Luke 11:17, John 1:48-49, 4:18-19, 21:17), was worshiped as God (Matthew 2:2, 28:9, John 9:38), and lived a life without sin (2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:2, Hebrews 4:15). No one else but God in human flesh could have done what Jesus did. While we must affirm that Jesus was fully God, we must also affirm His identity as “the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). If God refers to Jesus as a Man in Scripture, it is clear that He was not just some kind of apparition or spiritual manifestation, but a man just as we are in His humanness. As we search the Scriptures, we can see many examples of His humanness. He was tempted (Matthew 4, Hebrews 4:15), He grew in wisdom (Luke 2:52), He died (Romans 5:8), and He has a body of flesh and bones (Luke 24:39). The fact that “Jesus increased in wisdom” (Luke 2:52), and yet knew all things (John 21:17) is a clear indication of the simultaneous existence of both a human and divine nature. We reject the notion that the two natures of Jesus were mixed together (Eutychianism), or that they were combined into one new nature (Monophysitism).

[117] Isaiah 53:9; Luke 3:22; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5

[118] 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

[119] Psalms 110:1; Matthew 26:64; Mark 16:19; Luke 22:69; Acts 1:9-11; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22;

[120] Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25

[121] John 5:22; Acts 10:42, 17:31

[122] John 8:24, 14:6, 20:31; Acts 4:12; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 1 John 1:1-3

[123] Romans 1:16, 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

[124] Romans 3:25

[125] 2 Corinthians 5:21

[126] Romans 5:1, 10; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Colossians 1:21

[127] John 1:12; Romans 8:14, 15; Ephesians 1:5; 1 John 3:1

[128] Romans 4:12, Galatians 3:29

[129] Ephesians 2:12-13

[130] Colossians 1:12; Hebrews 9:15; 1 Peter 1:4

[131] Ezekiel 36:27; John 16:13-16; 1 John 4:13; We reject the notion that someone can be born again without receiving the Holy Spirit (see Romans 8:9).

[132] 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 13:14; 1 John 2:29, 3:10

[133] Galatians 4:4-5; 1 Corinthians 10:4; Revelation 13:8

[134] Jesus makes this distinction in John 14:16, and 1 Corinthians 6:17 shows our new covenant union with the Holy Spirit. Proof that the Holy Spirit was in Old Testament saints can be found in Genesis 41:38; Numbers 27:18; Daniel 4:8; 1 Peter 1:11

[135] John 16:8-11

[136] The Bible shows us that the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures are nearly synonymous. The word of God describes itself as being alive and powerful (Hebrews 4:12). Why is the Scripture said to be alive? Because the word of God is nearly equated to the Holy Spirit (John 6:63, 1 Timothy 4:1). In Hebrews, partakers of the Holy Spirit are referred to as those who tasted the good word of God (Hebrews 6:4-5). In Ephesians, we learn that the sword of the Spirit is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17). In some passages, believers are said to be born of the Spirit, while in others, we are said to be born of the word (compare 1 Peter 1:22-23 and John 3:5). When the prophets of old spoke the word of God, they spoke by the Holy Spirit (Numbers 11:25, 2 Samuel 23:2, 2 Chronicles 24:20 etc.).

[137] Ezekiel 36:27; John 16:13-16; 1 John 4:13

[138] 2 Corinthians 1:22, 5:5; Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30

[139] Romans 8:9

[140] Galatians 2:20

[141] Philippians 2:13

[142] Romans 3:10-12, 8:7-8; Ephesians 2:2; 2 Timothy 2:26; Compare Genesis 6:5 with Luke 17:26; Also, see Matthew 7:11, Romans 5:6. We reject any notion that there is anything good in fallen man. We reject any notion that fallen men can seek God apart from the power of God drawing them.

[143] Deuteronomy 30:19; Proverbs 16:9; Isaiah 5; 2 Timothy 2:26

[144] Zechariah 4:6; John 15:5; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 2:12; Colossians 1:29

[145] Ephesians 2:8; John 6:44; Acts 13:48

[146] John 1:13; Luke 19:10; Romans 9:16; Titus 3:5

[147] John 8:36

[148] Zechariah 4:6; John 15:5; Romans 8:2; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 2:12; Colossians 1:29

[149] Romans 7:14-25; Galatians 5:16-17

[150] Romans 6:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 2:10, 4:24; Colossians 3:10

[151] 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 2 Corinthians 6:17; Ephesians 3:16; 2 Timothy 2:19; 1 John 1:6, 3:3, 10; Revelation 18:4

[152] We acknowledge that we do choose to serve the flesh or the Spirit, and that God will hold us accountable for our choices, but in the most sovereign sense, when we choose to walk in the Spirit, it can only ever be because God has prompted and empowered us.

[153] Deuteronomy 7:22; Psalms 1:3, 138:3; Isaiah 40:29-31; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Ephesians 3:16; 1 Timothy 3:6

[154] 1 John 1:10

[155] 1 Corinthians 2:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; James 1:18;

[156] Acts 13:48; Romans 8:28, 30, 11:7; Ephesians 1:5, 11; 2 Timothy 1:9-10

[157] Acts 26:18; 1 Corinthians 2:10, 12; Ephesians 1:17-18

[158] Ezekiel 36:26-27

[159] John 6:44-45; Acts 16:14

[160] Psalms 110:3; John 6:37; Ephesians 2:8

[161] Romans 9:11; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9

[162] Romans 3:24, 5:15-16, 8:30;

[163] 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Matthew 25:4; Jude 7; Matthew 10:28

[164] 2 Corinthians 5:21

[165] Romans 4:25

[166] Romans 4:6-8, 22-24, 10:6-13; Galatians 3:9, 13-14

[167] Ephesians 1:5; Galatians 4:4-5

[168] Romans 8:15

[169] Romans 5:1; Ephesians 3:12; Hebrews 4:16

[170] Psalms 103:13

[171] Proverbs 14:26

[172] Matthew 6:30-32; 1 Peter 5:7

[173] Hebrews 12:6

[174] Ephesians 4:30

[175] Isaiah 54:10; Jeremiah 32:40; John 6:37, 10:28; Romans 11:29; 1 Corinthians 1:6-8; 2 Timothy 4:18; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 1 John 2:19

[176] Ephesians 1:3, 2:6; Hebrews 10:10

[177] Romans 8:13; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 2 Corinthians 6:17; Ephesians 3:16; 2 Timothy 2:19; 1 John 1:6, 3:3, 10; Revelation 18:4

[178] Matthew 7:17; John 15:1-8; Luke 8:15; Romans 6:16, 18, 22, 7:4; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 2:10, 5:9, 6:6; Colossians 1:6; Hebrews 12:11; James 3:18

[179] 1 Corinthians 3:3, 6:1; Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Timothy 6:10; James 4:1-2

[180] Matthew 4:1; Mark 1:13; Luke 22:31; 1 Peter 5:8

[181] Romans 7:14-25; Galatians 5:16-17

[182] 2 Samuel 12:9, 13; Jonah 1:3, 10; Psalms 51; Matthew 26:70, 72, 74; Galatians 2:11-14

[183] Romans 8:28

[184] John 15:2; Romans 8:29

[185] 1 John 1:10

[186] Matthew 9:13; Luke 3:3, 13:3; 24:47; 2 Timothy 2:25

[187] We reject the notion that repentance is equivalent to confession. True repentance involves confession, but is incomplete without a change of mind, a hatred and disgust for evil, a sincere determination to forsake evil, and an actual forsaking of evil

[188] Matthew 5:4; Luke 18:10-14; 2 Corinthians 7:10

[189] John 16:8

[190] Isaiah 1:16-17; Acts 14:15; 1 Thessalonians 1:9

[191] Luke 3:8; James 2:26; 2 Corinthians 7:11

[192] John 1:12-13; Ephesians 2:8; Romans 12:3; Hebrews 12:2

[193] Ephesians 2:8

[194] Romans 10:17; Galatians 3:2

[195] Isaiah 45:22; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, 18; Hebrews 11:1, 12:2

[196] James 2:20

[197] 2 Corinthians 5:7

[198] Romans 1:5, 16:26; Hebrews 11:7

[199] Matthew 6:30, 8:10; Romans 4:19-20; 14:1-2; 2 Corinthians 10:15; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; Hebrews 5:13-14

[200] Colossians 2:2; Hebrews 6:11-12, 10:22

[201] Matthew 13:34, 45-46, 16:24-26; Luke 14:25-27

[202] Mark 16:15-16; John 3:18, 8:24, 20:31; Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Hebrews 11:6

[203] Acts 13:48, 17:11; Romans 6:17; Colossians 1:6; James 1:21; 1 Thessalonians 1:6, 2:13; 1 Peter 2:2

[204] Isaiah 54:10; Jeremiah 32:40; John 6:37, 10:28; Romans 11:29; 1 Corinthians 1:6-8; 2 Timothy 4:18; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 1 John 2:19

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