|Article I—THE SCRIPTURES|
All “Scripture is given
by inspiration of God,” and the whole Bible is inspired in the sense that
holy men of God “were moved by the Holy Spirit” to write the very words
of Scripture. This divine inspiration extends equally and fully to all
parts of the writings—historical, poetical, doctrinal, and prophetical—as
appeared in the original manuscripts. The whole Bible in original language
is without error. All Scriptures center about the Lord Jesus Christ in
His person and work in His first and second coming, and no portion,
even of the Old Testament, is properly read, or understood, until it leads
to Him. All the Scriptures were designed for practical instruction (Mark
12:26, 36; 13:11; Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Acts 1:16; 17:2–3; 18:28;
26:22–23; 28:23; Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 2:13; 10:11; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21).
|Article II—THE GODHEAD|
The Godhead eternally
exists in three persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—and that
these three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes,
and perfections, and worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and
obedience (Matt. 28:18–19; Mark 12:29; John 1:14; Acts 5:3–4; 2 Cor. 13:14;
Heb. 1:1–3; Rev. 1:4–6).
|Article III—ANGELS, FALLEN AND UNFALLEN|
God created an innumerable company of sinless, spiritual beings, known as angels; that one, “Lucifer, son of the morning”—the highest in rank—sinned through pride, thereby becoming Satan; that a great company of the angels followed him in his moral fall, some of whom became demons and are active as his agents and associates in the prosecution of his unholy purposes, while others who fell are “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day” (Isa. 14:12–17; Ezek. 28:11–19; 1 Tim. 3:6; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6).
Satan is the originator of sin, and that, under the permission of God, he, through subtlety, led our first parents into transgression, thereby accomplishing their moral fall and subjecting them and their posterity to his own power; that he is the enemy of God and the people of God, opposing and exalting himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped; and that he who in the beginning said, “I will be like the most High,” in his warfare appears as an angel of light, even counterfeiting the works of God by fostering religious movements and systems of doctrine, which systems in every case are characterized by a denial of the efficacy of the blood of Jesus Christ and of salvation by grace alone (Gen. 3:1–19; Rom. 5:12–14; 2 Cor. 4:3–4; 11:13–15; Eph. 6:10–12; 2 Thess. 2:4; 1 Tim. 4:1–3).
Satan was judged at the Cross, though not then executed, and that he, a usurper, now rules as the “god of this world”; that, at the second coming of Jesus Christ, Satan will be bound and cast into the abyss for a thousand years, and after the thousand years he will be loosed for a little season and then “cast into the lake of fire and brimstone,” where he “shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Col. 2:15; Rev. 20:1–3, 10).
A great company of angels kept their holy estate and are before the throne of God, from whence they are sent forth as ministering spirits to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation (Luke 15:10; Eph. 1:21; Heb. 1:14; Rev. 7:12).
Man was made lower than the angels; and
that, in His incarnation, Jesus Christ took for a little time this lower
place that He might lift the believer to His own sphere above the angels
|Article IV—MAN, CREATED AND FALLEN|
Man was originally created in the
image and after the likeness of God, and that he fell through sin, and,
as a consequence of his sin, lost his spiritual life, becoming dead in
trespasses and sins, and that he became subject to the power of the devil.
This spiritual death, or total depravity of human nature, has been transmitted
to the entire human race of man, the Man Christ Jesus alone being excepted;
and hence that every child of Adam is born into the world with a nature
which not only possesses no spark of divine life, but is essentially and
unchangeably bad apart from divine grace (Gen. 1:26; 2:17; 6:5; Pss. 14:1–3;
51:5; Jer. 17:9; John 3:6; 5:40; 6:35; Rom. 3:10–19; 8:6–7; Eph. 2:1–3;
1 Tim. 5:6; 1 John 3:8).
|Article V—THE DISPENSATIONS & COVENANTS|
The dispensations are stewardships by which God administers His purpose on the earth through man under varying responsibilities. The changes in the dispensational dealings of God with man depend on changed conditions or situations in which man is successively found with relation to God, and that these changes are the result of the failures of man and the judgments of God. Different administrative responsibilities of this character are manifest in the biblical record, that they span the entire history of mankind, and that each ends in the failure of man under the respective test and in an ensuing judgment from God. Three of these dispensations or rules of life are the subject of extended revelation in the Scriptures, viz., the dispensation of the Mosaic Law, the present dispensation of grace, and the future dispensation of the millennial kingdom. They are chronologically successive.
The dispensations are not ways of salvation nor different methods of administering the Covenant of Grace. They are not in themselves dependent on covenant relationships but are ways of life and responsibility to God which test the submission of man to His revealed will during a particular time. If a person trusts in his own efforts to gain the favor of God or salvation under any dispensational test, because of inherent sin his failure to satisfy fully the just requirements of God is inevitable and his condemnation sure.
According to the “eternal purpose” of God (Eph. 3:11) salvation in the divine reckoning is always “by grace through faith,” and rests upon the basis of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. God has always been gracious, regardless of the ruling dispensation, but that man has not at all times been under an administration or stewardship of grace as is true in the present dispensation (1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 3:2; 3:9, asv; Col. 1:25; 1 Tim. 1:4, asv).
It has always been true that “without
faith it is impossible to please” God (Heb. 11:6), and that the principle
of faith was prevalent in the lives of all the Old Testament saints. It
was historically impossible that they should have had as the conscious
object of their faith the incarnate, crucified Son, the Lamb of God (John
1:29), and that it is evident that they did not comprehend as we do that
the sacrifices depicted the person and work of Jesus Christ. They did not
understand the redemptive significance of the prophecies or types concerning
the sufferings of Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:10–12); therefore, we believe
that their faith toward God was manifested in the promise of a redeemer
as is shown by the long record in Hebrews 11:1–40. We believe further that
their faith thus manifested was counted unto them for righteousness (cf.
Rom. 4:3 with Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:5–8; Heb. 11:7).
|Article VI—THE FIRST ADVENT|
Provided and purposed by God and as preannounced in the prophecies of the Scriptures, the eternal Son of God came into this world that He might manifest God to men, fulfill prophecy, and become the Redeemer of a lost world. To this end He was born of the virgin, and received a human body and a sinless human nature (Luke 1:30–35; John 1:18; 3:16; Heb. 4:15).
On the human side, Jesus became and remained a perfect man, but sinless throughout His life; yet He retained His absolute deity, being at the same time very God and very man, and that His earth-life sometimes functioned within the sphere of that which was human and sometimes within the sphere of that which was divine (Luke 2:40; John 1:1–2; Phil. 2:5–8).
In fulfillment of prophecy He came first to Israel as her Messiah-King, and that, being rejected of that nation, He, according to the eternal counsels of God, gave His life as a ransom for all (John 1:11; Acts 2:22–24; 1 Tim. 2:6).
In infinite love for the lost, He voluntarily accepted His Father’s will and became the divinely provided sacrificial Lamb and took away the sin of the world, bearing the holy judgments against sin which the righteousness of God must impose. His death was therefore substitutionary in the most absolute sense—the just for the unjust—and by His death He became the Savior of the lost (John 1:29; Rom. 3:25–26; 2 Cor. 5:14; Heb. 10:5–14; 1 Pet. 3:18).
According to the Scriptures, He arose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He had lived and died, and that His resurrection body is the pattern of that body which ultimately will be given to all believers (John 20:20; Phil. 3:20–21).
On departing from the earth, He was accepted of His Father and that His acceptance is a final assurance to us that His redeeming work was perfectly accomplished (Heb. 1:3).
He became Head over all things to the church
which is His body, and in this ministry He ceases not to intercede and
advocate for the saved (Eph. 1:22–23; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1).
|Article VII—SALVATION ONLY THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST ALONE|
Owing to universal death through sin, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless born again; and that no degree of reformation however great, no attainments in morality however high, no culture however attractive, no baptism or other ordinance however administered, can help the sinner to take even one step toward heaven; but a new nature imparted from above, a new life implanted by the Holy Spirit through the Word, is absolutely essential to salvation, and only those thus saved are sons of God. Our redemption has been accomplished solely by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was made to be sin and was made a curse for us, dying in our room and stead; and that no repentance, no feeling, no faith, no good resolutions, no sincere efforts, no submission to the rules and regulations of any church, nor all the churches that have existed since the days of the Apostles can add in the very least degree to the value of the blood, or to the merit of the finished work wrought for us by Him who united in His person true and proper deity with perfect and sinless humanity (Lev. 17:11; Isa. 64:6; Matt. 26:28; John 3:7–18; Rom. 5:6–9; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; 6:15; Eph. 1:7; Phil. 3:4–9; Titus 3:5; James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:18–19, 23).
The new birth of the believer comes only through
faith in Jesus Christ and that repentance is a vital part of believing,
and is in no way, in itself, a separate and independent condition of salvation;
nor are any other acts, such as confession, baptism, prayer, or faithful
service, to be added to believing as a condition of salvation (John 1:12;
3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 6:29; Acts 13:39; 16:31; Rom. 1:16–17; 3:22, 26; 4:5;
10:4; Gal. 3:22).
|Article VIII—THE EXTENT OF SALVATION|
When an unregenerate person exercises that
faith in Jesus Christ which is illustrated and described as such in the
New Testament, he passes immediately out of spiritual death into spiritual
life, and from the old creation into the new; being justified from all
things, accepted before the Father according as Jesus Christ His Son is
accepted, loved as Jesus Christ is loved, having his place and portion
as linked to Him and one with Him forever. Though the saved one may have
occasion to grow in the realization of his blessings and to know a fuller
measure of divine power through the yielding of his life more fully to
God, he is, as soon as he is saved, in possession of every spiritual blessing
and absolutely complete in Jesus Christ, and is therefore in no way required
by God to seek a so-called “second blessing,” or a “second work of grace”
(John 5:24; 17:23; Acts 13:39; Rom. 5:1; 1 Cor. 3:21–23; Eph. 1:3; Col.
2:10; 1 John 4:17; 5:11–12).
|Article IX—SANCTIFICATION OF THE BELIEVER|
Sanctification, which is a setting-apart
unto God, is threefold: It is already complete for every saved person because
his position toward God is the same as Jesus Christ’s position. Since the
believer is in Jesus Christ, he is set apart unto God in the measure in
which Jesus Christ is set apart unto God. He retains his sin nature, which
cannot be eradicated in this life. Therefore, while the standing of the
Christian in Jesus Christ is perfect, his present state is no more perfect
than his experience in daily life. There is, therefore, a progressive sanctification
wherein the Christian is to “grow in grace,” and to “be changed” by the
unhindered power of the Spirit. The adopted child of God will yet be fully
sanctified in his state as he is now sanctified in his standing in Jesus
Christ when he shall see his Lord and shall be “like Him” (John 17:17;
2 Cor. 3:18; 7:1; Eph. 4:24; 5:25–27; 1 Thess. 5:23; Heb. 10:10, 14; 12:10).
|Article X—ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER|
Because of the eternal purpose
of God toward the objects of His love, because of His freedom to exercise
grace toward the meritless on the ground of the propitiatory blood of Jesus
Christ, because of the very nature of the divine gift of eternal life,
because of the present and unending intercession and advocacy of Jesus
Christ in heaven, because of the immutability of the unchangeable covenants
of God, because of the regenerating, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit
in the hearts of all who are saved, we and all true believers everywhere,
once saved shall be kept saved forever. God is a holy and righteous Father
and that, since He cannot overlook the sin of His children, He will, when
they persistently sin, chasten them and correct them in infinite love;
but having undertaken to save them and keep them forever, apart from all
human merit, He, who cannot fail, will in the end present every one of
them faultless before the presence of His glory and conformed to the image
of His Son (John 5:24; 10:28; 13:1; 14:16–17; 17:11; Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor.
6:19; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1–2; 5:13; Jude 24).
|Article XI—ASSURANCE OF THE BELIEVER|
It is the privilege, not only of
some, but of all who are born again by the Spirit through faith in Jesus
Christ as revealed in the Scriptures, to be assured of their salvation
from the very day they take Him to be their Savior and that this assurance
is not founded upon any fancied discovery of their own worthiness or fitness,
but wholly upon the testimony of God in His written Word, exciting within
His children filial love, gratitude, and obedience (Luke 10:20; 22:32;
2 Cor. 5:1, 6–8; 2 Tim. 1:12; Heb. 10:22; 1 John 5:13).
|Article XII—THE HOLY SPIRIT & SPIRITUAL GIFTS|
The Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the blessed Trinity, though omnipresent from all eternity, took up His abode in the world in a special sense on the day of Pentecost according to the divine promise, dwells in every believer, and by His baptism unites all to Jesus Christ in one body, and that He, as the Indwelling One, is the source of all power and all acceptable worship and service. We believe that He never takes His departure from the church, nor from the feeblest of the saints, but is ever present to testify of Jesus Christ; seeking to occupy believers with Him and not with themselves nor with their experiences. We believe that His abode in the world in this special sense will cease when Jesus Christ comes to receive His own at the completion of the church (John 14:16–17; 16:7–15; 1 Cor. 6:19; Eph. 2:22; 2 Thess. 2:7).
In this age, certain well-defined ministries are committed to the Holy Spirit, and that it is the duty of every Christian to understand them and to be adjusted to them in his own life and experience. These ministries are the restraining of evil in the world to the measure of the divine will; the convicting of the world respecting sin, righteousness, and judgment; the regenerating of all believers; the indwelling and anointing of all who are saved, thereby sealing them unto the day of redemption; the baptizing into the one body of Jesus Christ of all who are saved; and the continued filling for power, teaching, and service of those among the saved who are yielded to Him and who are subject to His will (John 3:6; 16:7–11; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:30; 5:18; 2 Thess. 2:7; 1 John 2:20–27).
Some gifts of the Holy Spirit such as
speaking in tongues and miraculous healings were temporary. Speaking in
tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism nor of the
filling of the Spirit, and that the deliverance of the body from sickness
or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection (Acts
4:8, 31; Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 13:8).
|Article XIII—THE CHURCH, A UNITY OF BELIEVERS|
All who are united to the risen and ascended
Son of God are members of the church which is the body and bride of Jesus
Christ, which began at Pentecost and is completely distinct from Israel.
Its members are constituted as such regardless of membership or non membership
in the organized churches of earth. By the same Spirit all believers in
this age are baptized into, and thus become, one body that is Jesus Christ’s,
whether Jews or Gentiles, and having become members one of another, are
under solemn duty to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,
rising above all sectarian differences, and loving one another with a pure
heart fervently (Matt. 16:16–18; Acts 2:42–47; Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:12–27;
Eph. 1:20–23; 4:3–10; Col. 3:14–15).
|Article XIV—THE SACRAMENTS OR ORDINANCES|
Water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are
the only sacraments and ordinances of the church and that they are a scriptural
means of testimony for the church in this age (Matt. 28:19; Luke 22:19–20;
Acts 10:47–48; 16:32–33; 18:7–8; 1 Cor. 11:26).
|Article XV—THE CHRISTIAN WALK|
All regenerated are called with a holy
calling, to walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, and so to live
in the power of the indwelling Spirit that we will not fulfill the lust
of the flesh. But the flesh with its fallen, Adamic nature, which in this
life is never eradicated, being with us to the end of our earthly pilgrimage,
needs to be kept by the Spirit constantly in subjection to Jesus Christ,
or it will surely manifest its presence in our lives to the dishonor of
our Lord (Rom. 6:11–13; 8:2, 4, 12–13; Gal. 5:16–23; Eph. 4:22–24; Col.
2:1–10; 1 Pet. 1:14–16; 1 John 1:4–7; 3:5–9).
|Article XVI—THE CHRISTIAN’S SERVICE|
Divine, enabling gifts for service are bestowed by the Spirit upon all who are saved. While there is a diversity of gifts, each believer is energized by the same Spirit, and each is called to his own divinely appointed service as the Spirit may will. In the apostolic church there were certain gifted men—apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers—who were appointed by God for the perfecting of the saints unto their work of the ministry. Some men are especially called of God to be evangelists, pastors and teachers, and that it is to the fulfilling of His will and to His eternal glory that these shall be sustained and encouraged in their service for God (Rom. 12:6; 1 Cor. 12:4–11; Eph. 4:11).
Apart from salvation benefits which are
bestowed equally upon all who believe, rewards are promised according to
the faithfulness of each believer in his service for his Lord, and that
these rewards will be bestowed at the judgment seat of Jesus Christ after
He comes to receive His own to Himself (1 Cor. 3:9–15; 9:18–27; 2 Cor.
|Article XVII—THE GREAT COMMISSION|
It is the explicit message of our Lord
Jesus Christ to those whom He has saved that they are sent forth by Him
into the world even as He was sent forth of His Father into the world.
After they are saved, they are divinely reckoned to be related to this
world as strangers and pilgrims, ambassadors and witnesses, and that their
primary purpose in life should be to make Jesus Christ known to the whole
world (Matt. 28:18–19; Mark 16:15; John 17:18; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:18–20;
1 Pet. 1:17; 2:11).
|Article XVIII—THE BLESSED HOPE (Rapture)|
According to the Word of God, the next
great event in the fulfillment of prophecy will be the coming of the Lord
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 the Scripture,
and for this we should be constantly looking (John 14:1–3; 1 Cor. 15:51–52;
Phil. 3:20; 1 Thess. 4:13–18; Titus 2:11–14).
|Article XIX—THE RAPTURE & GREAT TRIBULATION|
We believe that the translation (rapture)
of the church will be followed by the fulfillment of Israel’s seventieth
week (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 6:1–19:21) during which the church, the body of Jesus
Christ, will be in heaven. The whole period of Israel’s seventieth week
will be a time of judgment on the whole earth and at the end of which the
times of the Gentiles will be brought to a close. The latter half of this
period will be the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7), which our Lord
called the Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:15–21). We believe that universal
righteousness will not be realized previous to the second coming of Jesus
Christ, but that the world is day by day ripening for judgment and that
the age will end with a fearful apostasy.
|Article XX—THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST|
The period of great tribulation in the
earth will be climaxed by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth
as He went, in person on the clouds of heaven, and with power and great
glory to introduce the millennial age, to bind Satan and place him in the
abyss, to lift the curse which now rests upon the whole creation, to restore
Israel to her own land and to give her the realization of God’s covenant
promises, and to bring the whole world to the knowledge of God (Deut. 30:1–10;
Isa. 11:9; Ezek. 37:21–28; Matt. 24:15–25:46; Acts 15:16–17; Rom. 8:19–23;
11:25–27; 1 Tim. 4:1–3; 2 Tim. 3:1–5; Rev. 20:1–3).
|Article XXI—THE ETERNAL STATE|
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 Jesus 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; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 2 Thess. 1:7–9; Jude 6–7;