The Essentials of Christianity
It is the commitment of christians
to faithfully uphold the revealed truths of Holy Scripture. Every member of our group therefore commits and confesses the following summary statement of the vital teachings of Scripture and the Christian faith. All Members agree that:
(1) The Holy Scriptures, comprised of Old and New Testaments, are fully and verbally inspired by God and are therefore infallible in the original writings and completely trustworthy in all areas in which they speak. Their central salvation message and essential teachings are clear and accessible to all who follow the standard and self-evident rules of literary interpretation. They are therefore the supreme, unmediated, and final authority of faith and practice for every believer.
(2) There is only one eternal, almighty and perfect God. Within the Being of this one true God exist three eternally distinct and coequal Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three Persons are the one true God.
(3) Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, who took upon Himself human flesh through the miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary. He who is true God became true man, uniting two natures in one person forever. Christ lived a perfect, sinless life, died on the cross as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, rose bodily from the dead, and ascended into Heaven where He now serves as our High Priest, our only Mediator. He will return bodily and visibly to the earth as King of kings and will judge every human being who has ever lived.
(4) The Holy Spirit is the eternal Third Person of the Triune God, the Regenerator and Sanctifier of the redeemed, the Bestower of spiritual fruit and gifts, and the abiding Advocate who empowers believers for godly living and service.
(5) In Adam human beings were created in the image of God (i.e., they share in a finite way the communicable attributes of God, including personality, spirituality, rationality, and morality). Through the fall of Adam that image of God in humanity has been defiled, although not eradicated. Every human being is radically corrupt and estranged from God. Human beings are condemned by God because of their descent into sin, both through their relationship to Adam and through individual choice. The desperate need of humanity is forgiveness of sins and consequent restoration of fellowship with God; yet humans remain totally unable to atone for and restore themselves.
(6) Jesus' death on the cross provided a penal substitutionary atonement for the sins of humanity. In salvation we are rescued from God's wrath by His unmerited grace alone, through faith alone, on account of Christ alone.
(7) Those who have received the free gift of salvation will be raised from the dead or raptured (snatched up from their earthly lives) to meet Christ at His Second Coming, and their bodies will be transformed like unto His glorious, immortal body. They will live forever in the fellowship and Kingdom of God in a new heaven and a new earth. Eternal, conscious punishment apart from the fellowship and Kingdom of God (The Lake of Fire) is the ultimate destiny of unredeemed humanity, Satan, and his entire angelic host.
(8) The Christian church, which is the body and bride of Christ, is composed of all persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Corporately and individually, its members strive to worship, serve, and glorify God through prayer and praise, diligent study and application of the Scriptures, evangelism, sanctified living, good works, and observance of the rites of baptism and the Lord's Supper. The ultimate mission of the church is the discipleship of all nations - not only the saving of souls (which is primary) but also the bringing of the gospel to bear on every aspect of life and thought - until the Lord returns.