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    DOCTRINAL STATEMENT

Salvation

We teach that 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).

Regeneration
We teach that 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 solely 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 will be its proper evidence and fruit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 5:17-21), 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 (Galatians 5:22-25; 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 2:18). 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).

Election
We teach that 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 (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:4-11, 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:10; 2 Peter 1:1-2).

We teach that 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).

We teach that the unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative of their own part nor 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; 2 Peter 1:2).

We teach that 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).

Justification
We teach that 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 placing of our sins on Christ (Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24) and the imputation of Christ's righteousness to us (1 Corinthians 1:2, 30:6:11; 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).

Sanctification
We teach that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and is therefore identified as a saint. 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).

We teach that there is also by the work of the Holy Spirit a progressive sanctification by which the state of the believer is brought closer to the standing the believer positionally enjoys through justification. 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).

In this respect, we teach that every saved person is involved in a daily conflict -- the new creation in Christ doing battle against the flesh -- but adequate provision is made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The struggle nevertheless stays with the believer all through this earthly life and is never completely ended. All claims to the eradication of sin in this life are unscriptural. Eradication of sin is not possible, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin (Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 3:12; Colossians 3:9-10; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 John 3:5-9).

Security
We teach that all the redeemed once saved are kept by God's power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 5:9-10; 8:1, 31-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 7:25; 13:5; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24).

We teach that 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).

We teach that as a result of regeneration, believers receive a "divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4); a "new self" (Ephesians 4:24); a new mind (1 Corinthians 2:16); a new will (Romans 6:13); a new nature (Romans 6:6); and become a "new creature" (2 Corinthians 5:17). Consequently, genuine salvation is transformation of the inner person (Galatians 2:20) and is therefore not defective or short-lived, but rather a faith which will endure forever (John 6:37-44); Philippians 1:6, cf. Hebrews 11).

We teach that although some genuine believers may stumble and fall, nevertheless, because of the radical transformation imparted by the grace of a sovereign God, they will persevere in the faith (1 Corinthians 1:8). Those who completely reject the Lord provide irrefutable evidence that they were never truly born again (1 John 2:19), being "tares" among the "wheat" (Matthew 13:24-30). God's power is never limited, especially in His ability to accomplish what he has sovereignly decreed in divine election. The security of a believer is based upon the work of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Securing Work of the Father
We teach that believers are secure because the Father has chosen them to salvation from eternity past (Ephesians 1:4), having predestined them to come to the status of sonship in Christ (Ephesians 1:5). Thus, the ones the Father foreknew, predestined, called and justified are the same ones He will bring to future glorification (Romans 8:29-30). Therefore, if a genuine believer could be lost, man would in fact be capable of thwarting the purposes and power of God the Father, rendering His decrees subject to the will of man and therefore utterly untrustworthy and useless.

Securing Work of the Son
We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ has redeemed the believer (Ephesians 1:7), appeased the wrath of God from the believer (Romans 3:25), justified the believer (Romans 5:1), provided forgiveness for the believer (Colossians 2:13), and sanctified the believer (1 Corinthians 1:2). Moreover, the Son prays for believers to be with Him (John 17:24); He continues to be their Advocate at God's bar of justice (1 John 2:12) and He continues to make intercession as the believer's High Priest (Hebrews 7:25). Therefore, if a genuine believer could be lost, it would imply that Christ's work as the Mediator for believers is deficient and ineffective.

Securing Work of the Holy Spirit
We teach that the Holy Spirit has regenerated the believer, giving him life (Titus 3:5); indwells the believer forever (John 14:17); sealed the believer for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30), the sealing being a down payment, guaranteeing a believers' future inheritance; and baptized the believer into union with Christ and into the body of believers (1 Corinthians 12:13). Therefore, if a genuine believer could be lost, all of these divine works would become invalid and must be rescinded and reversed.

Separation
We teach that separation from sin is clearly called for throughout the Old and New Testaments, and that the Scriptures clearly indicate that in the last days, apostasy and worldliness shall increase (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5).

We teach that out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to us and because our glorious God is so worthy of our total consecration, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to God and so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior. We also believe that God commands separation from any association with religious apostasy and worldly, sinful practices (Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11).

We teach that believers should be separated unto our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12; Hebrews 12:1-2). We affirm that the Christian life is a life of obedient righteousness demonstrated by a beatitude attitude (Matthew 5:2-12) and a continual pursuit of holiness (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; Titus 2:11-14; 1 John 3:1-10).

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