The Doctrine of the Bible
The Bible is the divine revelation of God given to man. All of its sixty-six books of the Older and Newer Testaments, are inspired by God and are therefore without error (2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:21). They were written by chosen men of God that were “borne along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). The Bible must be rightly interpreted and applied to our daily lives. Its message is life-giving and speaks with divine-authority (Psalms 119:105; Hebrews 4:12). God has given this revelation concerning Himself and His eternal plan so that “the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:17).
The Doctrine of God
There is only one true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 44:6). This one God has and does eternally exist in three persons (Luke 3:22; Matthew 28:19). His unique greatness is displayed throughout Scripture. His is: self-existent (Psalm 36:9); eternal (Deuteronomy 33:27); unchangeable (Malachi 3:6); omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-10); omniscient (Job 37:16); perfect (Psalm 18:30); infinite (Psalm 147:5); and incomprehensible (Psalm 145:3). In His goodness He is holy (Isaiah 6:1-5); loving (1 John 4:7-10); righteous (Psalm 145:17); faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9) and merciful (Deuteronomy 4:31).
The Doctrine of Christ
Christ did have a pre-existence. He existed in eternity past with the Father and the Holy Spirit in all of the glory that belongs to God (John 1:1). Although He became flesh, He still was and always has been God (John 1:1,14). He obeyed the Father’s plan and became flesh, the God-Man (Philippians 2:6-11). He was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:20). He was and is considered to be a man (1 Timothy 2:5). He was and still is without sin (Hebrews 4:15). His works testified of His deity (John 10:25). He “died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). God raised Him from the dead (Acts 4:10). He ascended back to heaven and is in the presence of the Father (Ephesians 4:8). He was and is the promised Messiah (John 1:41). He has promised that He will return for His church (John 14:3).
The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4). He has all of the divine attributes equally with God the Father and God the Son. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to baptize each believer into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13) and to indwell each believer (Romans 8:9) and to fill each believer (Ephesians 5:18). He does the following works in the believer: He regenerates them (Titus 3:5); seals them (Ephesians 4:30); leads them (Romans 8:14); teaches them (1 John 2:20, 27); sanctifies them (1 Peter 1:2); witnesses to them (Romans 8:15); and produces fruit in them (Galatians 5:22-23). (The Bible teaches that the “Sign Gifts” (miracles, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, dreams, visions, etc.) were the credentials of Christ (John 20:31) and His apostles (2 Corinthians 12:12). When these gifts were available in the 1st century church they were never considered as a measure of a person’s spirituality because not everyone was given one of these gifts (1 Corinthians 12, 14). These gifts did eventually “cease” (1 Corinthians 13:8-13). However, they will once again be renewed in the Tribulation Period, when the Holy Spirit will give these supernatural credentials to the messengers of God (Joel 2:28-29; Revelation 11:3-6). The issue in this consideration is not the power of God. The Lord has all power and He never changes (Malachi 3:6). However, a study of the Bible quickly reveals that the Lord has ordained that there would be unique periods of time in which He has chosen to endue His servants with these special supernatural “sign gifts”.
The Doctrine of Man
Man is the direct creation of God (Genesis 1:26-27) and was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). In his original created state, man was innocent. However, after being deceived by Satan, man fell from this condition into total depravity (Genesis 3:1-24). The penalty of sin was physical and spiritual death (Genesis 2:18; Romans 6:23). Since the fall, God has brought about His plan of salvation to make men the “children of God” (John 1:12-13), through the blood of His Son.
The Doctrine of Salvation
Salvation is the work of God alone (Jonah 2:9). Regeneration is totally the work of God. God has provided redemption, and He alone is the one who forgives, justifies, sanctifies, preserves, and will ultimately glorify the believer. Jesus Christ became our only substitute when He died for our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21). A person is saved when he verbally and willfully submits to the Lordship of Christ (Romans 10:8-9), repenting of his sins (Acts 2:38) and surrendering his life to Jesus Christ (Luke 9:23-26). Man is saved by grace though faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). The believer has been saved from the guilt and penalty of sin (1 Corinthians 1:18), is being saved from the power of sin (Romans 6:13), and will be saved from the very presence of sin (1 John 3:1-2).
The Doctrine of the Church
The church is the body and bride of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23). The church began on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2 and is “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20). It is composed of all true believers of this present age (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). The organization of its members is for worship, edification, and evangelism.
The Christian Life
It is God’s desire that all believers be like Christ. The Scriptures point out that He is our example (1 Peter 2:21) and that this should be the ultimate goal of every believer, realizing that he will not completely reach this goal until we are in His presence (1 John 3:2). If this is the believer’s goal, there will be certain characteristics that will be found in his life.His life will be one of righteousness, good works and separation from evil and unto God (Romans 12:1-2). He will speak the truth (James 5:12). He will maintain the sanctity of the home (Ephesians 5:22 - 6:4). He will have a Christ-like attitude toward all men (Romans 12:17-21). He will exhibit the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). And, he will have a life characterized by prayer (Ephesians 6:18).
Satan is a real created being (Matthew 13:39). He was originally created as a good angel but rebelled against the Lord, and became the leader of the angels who followed his rebellion (Isaiah 14:12-17; Revelation 9:11). He opposes God and all those whom He loves and calls His own, the church (Ephesians 6:10-17) and Israel (Revelation 12; 16:13-16). He will continue to use, abuse, weaken and manipulate the nations to accomplish his evil agenda of opposing God (Isaiah 14:12; John 10:10). His efforts will fail when the Lord returns at the end of the Tribulation Period and binds him for 1000 years (Revelation 20:1-3). Finally, after this last rebellion, he will be cast forever into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:10).
The End Times
When the Scriptures speak of the Second Coming of Christ, they actually teach that there will be two very dramatic historical events in time that are separated by seven years. The rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) is the first event, and takes place before a time when God will judge the entire world (Revelation 3:10). During the rapture, all the church believers will be supernaturally transported to heaven, and will remain with their Lord until He returns to earth. The judgment following the rapture will last exactly seven years (Revelation 11:2-3). At the end of this period of time, commonly referred to as “The Tribulation Period,” Christ will return from heaven with the resurrected church (Zechariah 14:5). The Old Testament saints (Daniel 12:2) and those who were killed during the Tribulation Period (Revelation 20:4) will be resurrected. A study of the many prophetic Scriptures sharply contrasts these two events, and forces us to conclude that they are not the same and cannot take place at the same time. The return of Christ at the end of the Tribulation Period will mark the beginning of the 1000 year Kingdom of our Lord upon the earth (Revelation 20:4-6). Jesus Christ will reign from Jerusalem over all the nations of the earth (Zechariah 14:16-21). His Kingdom will usher in the greatest time ever experienced by man upon the earth. The Kingdom will be followed by the new heaven and the new earth (Revelation 21,22). This will be a time when all things will be made new and there will be no more evidences of sin.
The Bible clearly teaches that all of the dead sinners are conscious in Hell (Luke 16:19-31), and that all true dead believers are in the presence of the Lord at the moment of death (2 Corinthians 5:6). There are two resurrections of the dead (John 5:25-29). The first resurrection takes place in two phases. First is the resurrection of the church saints and the translation of all living church saints, commonly referred to as the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). This first phase of the first resurrection takes place before the Tribulation Period. The second phase of the first resurrection takes place at the revelation of Jesus Christ at the end of the Tribulation Period (Matthew 24:30-31). The second resurrection is the resurrection of the dead of all the ages (Revelation 20:11-15). This will follow the end of the Kingdom Age. All sinners will be cast into the place of final eternal punishment, “the Lake of Fire.”