by Issa Haddad

In order to see part 1 click on this link.

It is the church privilege to be able to write this Faith Statement and express its theological understanding of the precious doctrines of the Christian faith.
As an introduction, the church shares the following Fundamental Principles and Statements of Faith that guide their theology and practice. This comes straight from the most holy and infallible book the living and powerful Word of God, and the church wholeheartedly keeps these Principles in mind for the guiding light of its life and practice in the hopes of continued furtherance of such Principles for the whole of Humanity now and forever.
It is understood that the below articles do not by any means exhaust the content of our creed which is the whole Word of God, and they are not intended to set a limit beyond which faith cannot go within this Word; but the author does believe that insofar as these articles extend they are a true presentation of the sound doctrine taught in the Scriptures, and therefore binding upon us as Christian believers.
ARTICLE ONE: THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
The Bible is God’s written revelation to man (John 5:39; Revelation 1:1), and hence the 66 books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit compose the plenary[1] Word of God (1 Corinthians 2:7-14; 2 Peter 1:20-21). The Bible consists of 39 books in the Old Testament–from Genesis through Malachi–and 27 books in the New Testament–Matthew through Revelation.
I. REVELATION, INSPIRATION, INERRANCY

The Word of God is an objective (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13), verbally inspired in every word (2 Timothy 3:16), absolutely inerrant in the original manuscripts, infallible, and God-breathed. The hermeneutic that is used is the literal, grammatical-historical interpretation of Scripture which affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days (Genesis 1:31; Exodus 31:17).
The Bible forms the final authority on all matters of faith and practice to the individual, and the church as corporate body, or on any other subject on which it touches (Isaiah 8:20; Matthew 5:18; 24:35; John 10:35; 16:12-13; 17:17; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
The written Word came to mankind through God by the process of dual authorship. This means that the Holy Spirit superintended the human authors so that, through their individual personalities and different styles of writing, they composed and recorded, without error in the words of the original autographs, His revelation to man (Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

II. INTERPRETATION, HERMENEUTIC

While there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation. The meaning of Scripture is to be found as one diligently applies the literal grammatical-historical method of interpretation under the illumination of the Holy Spirit (John 7:17; 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:7-15; 3:2; 1 John 2:20). Literal interpretation of the Bible simply means explaining the original sense of the Bible according to the normal and customary usages of its language. Conservative, normal and literal hermeneutics take a tried and true approach to understanding the Bible that should include close observation of its grammatical and historical components. The literalist is not one who denies that figurative language, that symbols, are used in prophecy, nor does he deny that great spiritual truths are set forth therein; his position is, simply, that the prophecies are to be normally interpreted (i.e., according to the received laws of language) as any other utterances are interpreted–that which is manifestly figurative being so regarded.
The Scripture should be understood in a dispensational understanding, an approach to Scripture based on the progressive unfolding of the divine mysteries or new revelation from God which results in various dispensations or distinguishable administrations/stewardships of God’s revealed truth (Romans 16:25; 1 Corinthians 4:1; Ephesians 3:2-4, 9; Colossian 1:25-27; Hebrew 1:1), such as Promise (Genesis 12:1-3; Galatians 3:17; Hebrew 6:15; 11:9), Law (Deuteronomy 5:2; John 1:17), Grace (John 1:17; Romans 6:14; 10:14; Hebrew 7:11-12; 8:6-13) and Kingdom(Ephesians 1:10), among others. The Bible presents the fact that God has not always dealt with mankind the same way in every age. According to Biblical terminology, these distinct periods are called “administrations” in regard to the purpose of God or “stewardships” concerning the responsibility of man as originated from the New Testament usage of the Greek word, oikonomia. This approach recognizes a fundamental distinction between Israel and the Church (1 Corinthians 10:32) in origin, purposes, and destiny; taking into account progressive revelation; recognizing the glory of God as the ultimate purpose of God in the world.
ARTICLE TWO: GOD
There is but one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7, 14, 18; John 5:44; 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:4; James 2:19), an infinite, all-knowing Spirit (John 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three uncreated Persons (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Jude 20-21)–Father (John 4:21, 23; Romans 15:6), Son (Matthew 3:17; Romans 1:3-4), and Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:2; Matthew 1:18; 12:32). These three are of one and the same essence though distinct in personality (2 Samuel 23:2-3; John 6:27; Hebrew 1:8), equal in every divine perfection and attribute (John 5:23; 16:15; Acts 5:3-4), and function in perfect harmony to accomplish the manifold works of God (Ephesians 2:18; Hebrew 9:14).
The original, direct creation of the universe is a voluntary act of God whereby, for his own glory and according to His eternal counsel, in six successive days of twenty-four hours each, He gave existence to all things in distinction from Himself (Genesis 1-2; Exodus 20:11; Psalm 13:1-6; 33:6, 9; 30:2; Isaiah 40:28; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Hebrews 11:3; Revelation 4:9-11). All forms of the evolutionary hypothesis of origins, whether theistic or atheistic is not biblical, therefore are rejected.
I. GOD THE FATHER

A. THE DEITY OF THE FATHER

God the Father is the first Person of the Trinity.[2] The fact that the Father is a person indicated by His possessing features of personhood, like self-awareness (Matthew 3:17; John 4:23), self-determination (John 6:38-39), moral awareness (Matthew 7:11; Luke 10:21), personal distinctiveness (John 14:16), and perpetuity [eternity, infinity] (Revelation 4:9). Other features that are considered qualities of personhood are intelligence (Matthew 6:8; Mark 13:32), emotion (1 John 4:9-10), and communication (Matthew 3:17; Hebrew 1:1-2; John 12:28).
Possessing the divine nature in common with the other Persons of the Trinity, the Father is God. His deity is indicated by the following: He is called God (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; Ephesians 4:6; Philippians 2:11; and 1 Thessalonians 3:13). He manifests divine attributes. These include life (John 6:57), self-existence (John 5:26), omnipotence (John 10:29), omniscience (Romans 8:27), omnipresence (John 14:23; 16;32), sovereignty (Luke 10:21), wisdom (Romans 16;27), holiness (John 17:11), perfection (Matthew 5:48), righteousness (John 17:25), love (John 3:16), mercy (Luke 6:36), grace (Ephesians 1;6), faithfulness (1 Corinthians 1:9), and goodness (Matthew 6:25-30; Ephesians 1:3).

B. THE WORK OF THE FATHER

God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (Psalm 145:8-9; 1 Corinthians 8:6). He is the Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1-31; Isaiah 44:24; Ephesians 3:9). As the only absolute and omnipotent Ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:36). Being the Father because of His personal relationship to the Son (Psalm 2:7; 2 John 3), whom He sent into the world (John 3:16-17; 1 John 4:10), and who, together with the Son, sent the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 15:26). As Creator He is Father [the source] to all men (Ephesians 4:6), but He is spiritual Father only to believers (Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 6:18). He enters into a Fatherhood relationship with men spiritually through the new birth (John 1:12, 13; Gal 3:26; 4:4-5), indwells believers (John 14:23), forgives their sins (1 John 1:9), and answers their prayers (John 16:23). He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (Ephesians 1:11). He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events (1 Chronicles 29:11). In His sovereignty He is neither the author nor approver of sin (Habakkuk 1:13; John 8:38-47), nor does He abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (1 Peter 1:17). He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own (Ephesians 1:4-6); He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ; He adopts as His own all those who come to Him; and He becomes, upon adoption, Father to His own (John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Hebrews 12:5-9).
II. GOD THE SON

A. THE DEITY OF GOD THE SON 

Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine perfections, and in these He is coequal, consubstantial [to be of the same substance], and coeternal with the Father (Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 16:16; John 10:30, 36; 17:5). Possessing the divine nature in common with the other Persons of the Trinity, the Son is God. His deity is indicated by the following: He is called God (Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1, 18; 20:28; Romans 9:5; 14:7-12; 1 Timothy 3:16; Titus 1:3; Hebrews 1:8; 1 John 5:20). He exists in “the form of God” (Philippians 2:6); He is “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15); and He is “the express image of His (God’s) Being” (Hebrews 1:3). He is called also Lord (Luke 1:68 cp. Psalm 106:48; Luke 3:4-6 cp. Isaiah 40:3-4; 1 Corinthians 1:30 cp. Jeremiah 23:5-6; Revelation 1;7 with Zechariah 12:1, 10; Ephesians 4:8-10 cp. Psalm 68:4, 18; and Hebrews 1:10 cp. Psalm 102:12, 25-27). He is eternally preexistent before His incarnation (John 1:1, 14, 30; 6:33, 38; Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 10:5). He possesses divine attributes. Some of these are eternality (Micah 5:2; John 1:1; Revelation 1:11); omnipresence (Matthew 28:20; John 3:13; Colossians 1:27); omnipotence (John 1:1-3; 1 Corinthians 1:24; Hebrews 1:3); omniscience (John 2:24-25; 6:64; Colossians 2:3), etc.
God the Father created according to His own will, through His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence and in operation (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2).

B. THE KENOSIS (THE INCARNATION OF THE SON)

In the incarnation (God becoming man) Christ merely surrendered the independent exercise of some of his relative or transitive attributes. He did not surrender the absolute or immanent attributes in any sense; He was always perfectly holy, just, merciful, truthful, and faithful; and He always loved with all the intensity of His being. But He emptied Himself by giving up the independent exercise of His relative attributes (Philippians 2:6-8). In His incarnation, the eternally existing second Person of the Trinity accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God-Man (Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9).
The person (not the nature) of Christ is theanthropic; he has two natures, divine and human, in one person (John 10:30; 19:28). The union of the two natures in Christ is called the hypostatic union. That is, the two natures or substances constitute one personal subsistence. Because Christ did not unite with a human person but with a human nature, the seat of the personality of Christ is in the divine nature.

C. THE VIRGIN CONCEPTION AND BIRTH

The Lord Jesus Christ was of virgin conception and birth (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:22-23). Scripture clearly asserts that Jesus was conceived in the womb of his mother Mary by a miraculous work of the Holy Spirit and without a human father (Matthew 1:18, 23-25; Luke 1:35). The importance of the virgin birth is seen in at least three areas: (1) it shows that salvation ultimately must come from the Lord (Genesis 3:15; Galatians 4:4-5). (2) The virgin birth made possible the uniting of full deity and full humanity in one person (John 3:16; Galatians 4:4). (3) The virgin birth also makes possible Christ’s true humanity without inherited sin (Luke 1:35; cf. Romans 5:12 [Adam (meaning man) as the representative for humanity]).

D. THE DEATH OF CHRIST

The main and chief purpose of the incarnation of Christ is not to set us an example or to teach us doctrine, but to die for us (Mark 10:45; Hebrews 2:9, 14; 9:23; 1 John 3:5). The Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross and His death was voluntary and vicarious (one in place of another) for the sins of mankind (Isaiah 53:1-12; John 1:29; 10:15; Romans 3:24-25; 5:8; 1 Timothy 4:2, 6, 10; 1 Peter 2:24; 2 Peter 3:9;1 John 2:2). The death of Christ also provided propitiation, meaning the righteous demands of a holy God were fully satisfied (Romans 3:25). Further, the death of Christ provided redemption (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23; Galatians 3:13; 4:5; Revelation 5:9; 14:3, 4).
Christ’s atonement was unlimited as to its provision for fallen humanity but limited as to its application to the elect (1 Timothy 4:2, 6; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 John 2:2; 1 Timothy 4:10). For, on the basis of the value of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from the punishment, the penalty, the power, and one day the very presence of sin; and he is declared righteous, given eternal life, and adopted into the family of God (Romans 3:25; 5:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18).

E. THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST FROM THE DEAD

The fact of the literal, physical resurrection of Christ from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures made sure our justification (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 12-22) and He is now ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now mediates as our Advocate and High Priest (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:38-39; Acts 2:30-31; Romans 4:25; 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1).
By the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that God has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Jesus’ bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers (John 5:26-29; 14:19; Romans 1:4; 4:25; 6:5-10; 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23).

F. THE RAPTURE AND SECOND COMING OF CHRIST

The Lord Jesus Christ will return some day to receive the church, which is His Body, unto Himself at the rapture [pretribulational rapture] and, returning with His church in glory, will establish His millennial kingdom on earth [premillennial coming] (Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20).
The Lord Jesus Christ is the One through whom God will judge all mankind (John 5:22-23): Believers (1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10); living inhabitants of the earth at His glorious return (Matthew 25:31-46); and unbelieving dead at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-15). As the Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5), the Head of His Body the church (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23; Colossians 1:18), and the coming universal King, who will reign on the throne of David (Isaiah 9:6; Luke 1:31-33), He is the final Judge of all who fail to place their trust in Him as Lord and Savior (Matthew 25:14-46; Acts 17:30-31).
III. GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
A. THE DEITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is a divine Person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity, including intellect (1 Corinthians 2:10-13), emotions (Ephesians 4:30), will (1 Corinthians 12:11), eternality (Hebrews 9:14), omnipresence (Psalm 139:7-10), omniscience (Isaiah 40:13-14), omnipotence (Romans 15:13), and truthfulness (John 16:13). In all the divine attributes He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 28:25-26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Jeremiah 31:31-34 with Hebrews 10:15-17).

B. THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

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 (Genesis 1:2), the incarnation (Matthew 1:18), the written revelation (2 Peter 1:20-21), and the work of salvation (John 3:5-7).
The work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost, when He came from the Father as promised by Christ (John 14:16-17; 15:26) to initiate and complete the building of the Body of Christ, which is His church (1 Corinthians 12:13). 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 (John 16:7-9; Acts 1:5; 2:4; Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 2:22).
The Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration (John 3:3, 5; Titus 3:5), baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). The Holy Spirit also indwells permanently all believers (John 7:37-39; 14:16; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16), sanctifies (1 Thessalonians 2:13; Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Peter 1:2), instructs (2 Timothy 3:16), empowers them for service (1 Corinthians 12:7-11), and becomes the seal of divine ownership and earnest that guarantees the final salvation of the believer (Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13).
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 (2 Peter 1:19-21). 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 (John 16:13; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27). This filling of the Holy Spirit–the controlling of the believer by the Spirit is in proportion to his yieldedness and obedience to God and the Word (Acts 2:4; Romans 6:13; 12:1-2; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 4:30)–that is evidenced by the fruit of the Spirit in the life (John 15:16; Galatians 5:22-23; Colossians 1:10).
The Holy Spirit bestows spiritual gifts to all the members of the church (John 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians 3:18). Spiritual gifts may be defined as such: a divine endowment of a special ability for service upon a member of the body of Christ.
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 (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 13:8-10; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12; Hebrews 2:1-4).
ARTICLE THREE: MAN
I. CREATION OF MAN
Man was directly and immediately created by God on Day Six of the creation week (Genesis 1:26-31; 2:7-25), in His image and likeness, a finite, creaturely replication of the infinite Creator (Genesis 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 11:7; James 3:9). Man was created in a state of sinlessness or innocence, righteousness, and holiness (Ecclesiastes 7:29; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:9-10). Man was created with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination, and moral responsibility to God (Genesis 2:7, 15-25; James 3:9).
God’s intention in the creation of man was that man should glorify God, enjoy God’s fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and by this accomplish God’s purpose for man in the world (Isaiah 43:7; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11).

II. MAN’S TOTAL DEPRAVITY AND INABILITY

In Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God (Genesis 3:1-7; 1 Timothy 2:14), man lost his innocence, incurred sin (Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12, 19), condemnation (Romans 5:16, 18), and the penalty of spiritual and physical death (Genesis 2:17; Romans 5:12, 14, 15, 17, 21; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; Ephesians 2:1), so that man is a sinner by nature and by choice (Genesis 8:21; 1 Kings 8;46; Isaiah 53:6; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10, 12, 23; 1 John 1:8, 10), and is totally depraved, destitute of any moral good, and utterly unable to merit God’s favor or contribute to his salvation (Isaiah 64:6; Matthew 19:25-26; Romans 4:5-6; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).
Mankind is sinful. According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin: “There is no man who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46). That doesn’t mean we’re incapable of performing acts of human kindness, but we are utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own. (Romans 3:10-12).
Sin demands a penalty. God’s holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death: (Ezekiel 18:4). That is why simply changing our patterns of behavior cannot solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences. Thus, because all men were in Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam’s sin has been transmitted to all men of all ages, Jesus Christ being the only exception. All men are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (Psalm 14:1-3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18, 23; 5:10-12).
With no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, man is hopelessly lost. Man’s salvation is thereby wholly of God’s grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-19; John 3:36; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 Timothy 2:13-14; 1 John 1:8).
ARTICLE FOUR: SALVATION
Salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
I. ELECTION

Election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies, not on account of any foreseen merit in them, but only because of His sovereign good pleasure (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:4-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Peter 1:1-2).
The sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord (Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11; John 3:18-19, 36; 5:40; Romans 9:22-23; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; Revelation 22:17). Nevertheless, since sovereign grace includes the means of receiving the gift of salvation as well as the gift itself, sovereign election will result in what God determines. All whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith, and all who come in faith the Father will receive (John 6:37-40, 44; Acts 13:48; James 4:8).
The unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative of their own part or to God’s anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of His sovereign grace and mercy (Ephesians 1:4-7; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Peter 1:2).
Election should not be looked upon as based merely on abstract sovereignty. God is truly sovereign, but He exercises this sovereignty in harmony with His other attributes, especially His omniscience, justice, holiness, wisdom, grace, and love (Romans 9:11-16). This sovereignty will always exalt the will of God in a manner totally consistent with His character as revealed in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:25-28; 2 Timothy 1:9).

II. EFFECTUAL CALL (THE SPECIAL CALL FOR SALVATION)

It is apparent from Scripture that there is a general calling to salvation, an invitation extended to all persons (Isaiah 45:22a; Matthew 11:28; 22:14). However, several New Testament references to God’s calling imply that not everyone is being called. This last calling is being identified in theology as the “effectual calling” or “special calling.” Effectual or effective calling is an act of God the Father (John 6:44; Romans 8:30; 1 Corinthians 1:9), speaking through the human proclamation of the gospel (Acts 16:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:14), in which He summons people to Himself in such a way that they respond in saving faith (Romans 8:30). Special or effectual calling, then, involves an extraordinary presentation of the message of salvation. It is sufficiently powerful to counteract the effects of sin and enable the person to believe. It is also so appealing that the person will believe (Romans 8:30; 1 Corinthians 1:9).

III. REGENERATION

Regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5). It is instantaneous and is accomplished only by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God (John 5:24) when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the Divine provision of salvation. Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruit worthy of repentance, as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works are the proper evidence and fruit of regeneration (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 2:10) and will be experienced to the extent that the believer submits to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life through faithful obedience to the Word of God (Ephesians 5:17-21; Philippians 2:12b; Colossians 3:16; 2 Peter 1:4-10). This obedience causes the believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). Such conformity is climaxed in the believer’s glorification at Christ’s coming (Romans 8:17; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:2-3).

IV. CONVERSION

This speaks about man’s responsibility toward God concerning salvation by repenting and trusting in Christ. Conversion is a single entity that has two distinguishable but inseparable aspects: repentance and faith. True faith is appropriated by repentance from sin. Repentance is agreeing with God that you are sinful (Luke 18:13-14), confessing your sins to Him (Acts 8:19-23), and making a conscious choice to turn from sin (Matthew 3:2, 8; Luke 13:3,5; Acts 3:19; 20:21; 26:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Hebrew 6:1) and pursue Christ (Matthew 11:28-30; John 17:3) in obedience to Him (1 John 2:3).

V. JUSTIFICATION

Justification before God is an act of God (Romans 8:33) by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Isaiah 55:6-7) and confess Him as sovereign Lord (Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 12:3; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Philippians 2:11). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Romans 3:20; 4:6) and involves the imputation of our sins to Christ (Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21). By this means God is enabled to “be Just and the Justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).

VI. SANCTIFICATION

Every believer is sanctified, which means that every believer is to be separated from sin and set apart unto God. Sanctification has three aspects. First, there is positional sanctification by which the believer is given a perfect standing before God, i.e. the status of a saint (Acts 26:18; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 6:11; Hebrews 10:10, 14). This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification. This sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing, not his present walk or condition (Acts 20:32; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Peter 1:2). 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 Christ (positionally speaking), and is therefore, in no way required by God to seek a so-called “second blessing,” “second work of grace,” or a “second baptism.” (1 Corinthians 3:21-23; Ephesians 1:3; Col. 2:10; 1 John 4:17; 5:11-12).
Second, there is experiential or present sanctification. This is accomplished by the work of the Holy Spirit, a progressive sanctification by which the believer is cleansed of the daily defilement of sin and is progressively brought into conformity to the image of Christ (John 13:10; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:23). Through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:17, 19; Romans 6:1-22; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:23).
After the new birth the believer still has a sinful nature (unsubdued tendencies to evil and a complex of sinful attributes) which is in constant and life-long conflict with the spiritual nature (a set of righteous attributes and propensities to and desires for holiness which came with the new spiritual life and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit) (Romans 7:22-23; Galatians 5:17). While the believer’s addiction to sin is gone, the presence of sin and its tendencies are not. Present sanctification is the progressive elimination of sin in the believer’s life and a gradual conformity to Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit through the means of the Word of God and prayer (Mark 14:38; John 17:17; 1 Peter 2:2; Jude 20-21), faith (Romans 6:11), obedience (Romans 6:12-14; 12:1-2; James 4:7-8), self denial (Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5; Titus 2:12; 1 Peter 1:14-15), and an active resistance against sin and Satan (1 Corinthians 6:14, 18; Hebrews 12:1; 1 John 3:3).
Third, there is final sanctification when the believer will be fully conformed to the image of Christ and sin will be eliminated forever from his experience (Philippians 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13; Hebrews 9:28; 1 John 3:2; Jude 24) when he is ushered into glory.

VII. ETERNAL SECURITY AND PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS

This means that all those who are truly born again will be kept by God’s power (John 5:24; 6:39; 10:27-30; Romans 8:35-39; 1 Corinthians 1:8-9; Ephesians 4:30; Philippians 1:6; Jude 24), and will persevere as Christians until the end of their lives, and that only those who persevere until the end have been truly born again (John 8:31-32; Romans 5:9-10; 8:1; 1 Corinthians 15:2; Colossians 1:23; 2 Timothy 2:12; Hebrews 3:14; 4:14; 6:11-12; 7:25; 12:14; 13:5; 1 Peter 1:5; 1 John 2:19; 5:4).
It is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living and carnality (Romans 6:15-22; 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13, 25-26; Titus 2:11-14).

[1]Verbal, plenary means that the very words [verbal] and all of them [plenary] were inspired by God.
[2]As to order, or rank, the Father is first (Matthew 28:19). This does not imply that there are qualitative differences in attributes or substantive differences in the divine nature, possessed by the Persons of the Trinity, for each One has the same divine nature wholly and simultaneously with the other Persons. Nor does it imply that the Father first existed alone and then generated the other divine Persons. This order only concerns Their eternal essential, or constitutional, interpersonal relationship, with the unbegotten Father being first in rank.

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