God

THE GOD OF THE WORD

We believe and teach that there is but one true, eternally existing God (Dt. 6:4; Is. 45:5-7; 1 Co 8:4; Jas 2:19). This unique God is Triune, being one in essence and yet existing, ever and always, in three Persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:26-27; 3:22; 11:7; Is 48:16; Mt 28:19; 1 Co 12:4-6; 2 Co 13:14; Eph 2:18; 4:4-6; Jude 20-21; Rev 1:4-5). Functional subordinations within the Trinity never stand opposed to the full Deity that each of the Persons possesses (Jn 4:34; 5:30; 12:49; 14:10; 16:13; 1 Co 11:3).

GOD THE FATHER

We believe and teach that God the Father, the first person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (Ps 115:3; 136:6; Rom. 11:36; Eph 1:11; 1 Co 8:6; Rev 4:11). He is the creator of all things (Ge 1:1-31; Acts 14:15; 17:24; Eph 3:9). As the only absolute and omnipotent ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Ps 103:19, Da 4:34-36; Ro 11:36). His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. As Creator He is Father to all men (Acts 17:28-29), but He is spiritual Father only to believers (Hos 1:10; Mt 5:9; Jn 1:12,13; 20:17; Ro 8:14-19; 9:8,26; 2 Co 6:18; Gal 3:26; 4:5-6; Eph 1:5; 2:18; 3:14-15; 4:6; 5:1; He 12:6-7).

In His sovereignty He is neither author nor does He approve of sin (Ps 5:4; Habakkuk 1:13; Jn 8:38-47; Jas 1:13-14; 1 Jn 1:5). He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own (Eph 1:4-6; 2 Tim. 1:9; Tit 1:1-2) yet without abridging the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (Ro 2:5-10; 9:19-21; 1 Pe 1:17). He graciously saves all who come to Him through Jesus Christ, adopting them as His own (Mt 11:28; Jn 1:12; Ro 8:15; 10:13; Gal 4:5; Rev 22:17).

God is perfect in all His attributes.  Some, including His self-existence, self-sufficiency, eternality, infinitude, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, immutability and incomprehensibility, are unique to Him alone.  They expose His lofty, transcendent nature (Ps 113:1-5; Is 57:15a).  Others, including His qualities of justice, grace, mercy, love, joy, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, holiness and self-control, He has chosen to share with man, made in His image (Ge 1:26-27; Jn 13:334-35; Gal 5:22-23; Eph 1:4; 5:1-2, 25-27; He 12:4-10; Ja 3:9; 1 Pe 1:15-16).  God is both unapproachable, in view of His majesty and greatness, as well as being near and intimately involved with all His creation, especially His chosen people (Ge 1:2; Ex 2:24-25; 3:7; 6:5; Job 38:2-39:30; Ps 8:3-8; 33:18-19; 34:15; 113:6-9; Is 40:27-31, 57-15b; Mt. 6:26-33; 11:29-30; Eph 1:11; 1 Pe 5:6-7; Rev 21:2-4)

GOD THE SON

We believe and teach that the second Person of the Godhead is eternally of the same essence of Being as the Father (Jn 1:1-3; 10:30; 14:9; Col 2:9; Heb 1:3). His attributes of greatness and goodness also correspond to the Father’s. His emptying of Himself in Php 2:5-8 was not of His divine essence or the surrendering of His full Deity but pertained to the independent exercise of His Divine prerogative during the First Advent – the incarnation (Jn 1:14). His incarnation was initiated by the miraculous conception of the virgin Mary (Is  7:14; Mt. 1:18-23; Lk. 1:30-35) in which He took upon Himself genuine humanity (Heb 2:9-18; 1 Jn 4:2). He thereby became the unique God-man who consequently is the perfect Revealer, Savior, Mediator, and ultimately the Judge of all men (cf. respectively, Jn 1:18; Tit 2:13; 1 Ti 2:5; Jn 5:22,27).

Through this loving condescension, He fully accomplished His task of grace which culminated in His sacrificial death, burial, resurrection, and ascension, furnishing the grounds for the forgiveness of believing sinners (cf. respectively, Is 52:13-53:12; Ro 1:4; 4:25; 6:1-11; Acts 1:9). As our sole and perfect Mediator, Christ is prophet, priest, and king (Dt 18:15-19; Ps 2:6-9; Jn 8:26-8; 12:49-50; 15:15; 17:7-8; Acts 3:22-23; 1 Ti 2:5; Heb 1:1-2; 2:17; 3:1; 4:14; 5:5-10; 6:20; 7:24; Da 7:14; Lk. 1:33; Rev 17:14).

We believe and teach that our Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled His priestly office by offering Himself a sacrifice for sin (Heb 5:7-10; 7:27) accomplishing our redemption and reconciliation (Lk. 1:68; Eph 1:7; Rev 5:9) through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross. His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive (Is. 53:5-8; Jn 10:15, 17-18; Ro 3:24-25; 5:8; 2 Co 5:21; 1 Pe 2:24). As a result of these truths, we believe and teach that Christ’s atoning death is sufficient to satisfy God’s eternal justice for the sins of all mankind but is efficient only for all who will believe – who constitute the elect people of God (Is 53:8; Mt 1:21; 20:28; Lk. 1:68; Jn 10:15; Eph 5:25).

Today our Lord is building His Church (Mt 16:18) and continually ministering to her as the heavenly Advocate interceding for the saints (Heb 7:25; 1 Jn 2:1). He will return for His bride in glory (1 Th 4:13-18) and will adjudicate the reward and retribution of all people (Jn 5:22,27; Acts 10:42; 17:30-31; 2 Co 5:10; Rev 20:11-15; 22:12).

GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT

We teach that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality (Jn 14:16-17; 15:26; 16:7-8,13-15) and deity (Mt 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Co 3:16; 12:4-6; 2 Co 13:14; Eph 4:4-6; 1 Pe 1:2; Jude 20,21), including intellect (1 Co 2:10-13), emotions (Is. 63:10; Eph 4:30), will (1 Co 12:11), eternality (Heb 9:14), omnipresence (Ps 139:7-10), omniscience (Is 40:13-14), omnipotence (Ps 104:30; Acts 1:8; Rom. 15:13), and truthfulness (Jn 14:17; 16:13). In all the divine attributes He is coequal with the Father and the Son (Matt. 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Co 12:4-6; 2 Co 13:14; Eph 4:4-6; 1 Pe 1:2; Jude 20,21; Ps 95:6-11 with Heb 3:7-11; 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 creation (Gen. 1:2), the incarnation (Matt. 1:18,20; Lk. 1:35), the written revelation (2 Sam 23:2; Jn 14:25,26; 16:13-15; Acts 28:25; 1 Co 2:6-16; Heb 3:7; 9:8; 10:15; 2 Pe 1:20-21), and the work of salvation (Jn 3:5-8; 6:63; 2 Co 3:6; Tit 3:5).

We teach that the work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost, when He came from the Father as promised by Christ (Lk. 24:49; Jn 14:16,17; 15:26; Acts 1:4,5; 2:1-4) to initiate and complete the building of the Body of Christ, which is the church. 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 (Jn 16:7-9,14; Rom 8:29; 2 Cor 3:18; Eph 2:22).

We teach that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration (Jn 3:5-8; Tit 3:5,6). The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption (Acts 1:8; 2:38; 4:8,31; Rom 8:9-11; 15:19; 1 Cor 2:4; 3:16; 6:19; Eph 1:13; 4:30; 1 Jn 2:20,27).

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. 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 (Jn 16:13; Rom 8:9; Eph 5:18; 2 Pe 1:19-21; 1 Jn 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 (Jn 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 (Acts 14:3; 1 Cor 12:4-11; 13:8-10; 2 Cor 12:12; Heb 2:1-4).