A Human Being and Sin
Things To Come
We believe that the Scripture, also known as the Bible, is the Word of God and God’s revelation to human beings. The Scripture is self-explanatory about its unique character and divine origin for many reasons. The most significant of its unique attributes lie in the fact that God has indeed spoken to human beings, inspiring them to write what is truly His message to man. It is unique in being the only divinely inspired and infallible Word of God. Thus it is our only guide and ultimate authority in matters relating to faith and life.
The sequential continuity of the Scripture’s message is complete. The content of the message ties together by historical sequence: type and anti type, prophecy and its fulfillment, and by anticipation, presentation, realization and glorification of the only perfect person who ever lived on earth- Jesus Christ.
The Scripture is a collection and composition of sixty- six books written by forty different authors, with different backgrounds. The authors resided in different locations, lived over 1500 years of human history, and had neither held any conference nor reached any agreement to decide on what to write. Each wrote parts of the Scripture and most likely they were unfamiliar with each other’s writings. Yet all the writings of the Bible reflect one doctrinal system, one plan of salvation, one program of ages and one world-view. Therefore, the Scripture is extremely continuous and remarkably unit, the whole in absolute oneness, signifying its supernatural character and divine origin.
A number of prophecies were predicted by Old Testament writers concerning the first advent of Jesus Christ; and these were declared and anticipated hundreds and in some instances thousands of years before their fulfillments. To mention a few: the virgin birth (Isa 7:14) and its fulfillment (Matt 1:18-21), and the place of His birth in Bethlehem Judea (Micah 5:2) and its fulfillment (Matt 2:5). These fulfillments also show that the Scriptures possess a Supernatural character and have a divine origin.
We believe that revelation is the act of God, by which He discloses Himself and communicates the Truth to Human beings; otherwise it would not be known in any other way. If a human being is to know God, it must come about by God’s revelation of Himself to a human being because human beings are finite while God is infinite. By this we mean that God’s manifestation of Himself to a human being is, in such a way that human beings are able to know and make fellowship with Him. God disclosed these revelations through miracles, prophecies, visions, dreams, angels, theophany and the ultimate revelation of God- Jesus Christ (Heb 1:1, John 1:14-18, 14:6).
We believe that inspiration is Gods super-intendance of the human authors of the Bible. Using their own individual personalities, men inspired by God composed and recorded Gods revelation to human beings without error in the words of the original autographs. Furthermore, we believe in verbal plenary inspiration of the Scripture. By verbal inspiration we mean that the Holy Spirit guided the authors of the Bible in their choice of the words used in the original writings. However, the authors individualities were respected to the extent that their styles and vocabularies are employed without error-as it is written in 1Cor 2:13, We speak in words taught by the Spirit. By plenary inspiration we mean that the accuracy, which the verbal inspiration secures, is extended to every portion of the Scripture. As it is written, All Scriptures is God-breathed (2 Tim 3:16).
We believe in the inerrancy of the Scripture. By inerrancy we mean that the Scripture possesses a distinct quality of freedom from error. It is free from the liability to mistake, incapable of error. The teachings of the Bible are in perfect accordance with the Truth. Furthermore, we believe that the Scripture in its original manuscript is free from error in all dimensions, whatever subject is addressed: history, science or geography (John 17:3, 17:17, 10:35).
We believe in the animation of the Scripture. By animation we mean that the living durable quality inherent in the Scripture. We believe that the Scripture is living and active in a sense that it works effectively in human lives (John 6:63, Heb 4:12, 1Peter 1:23, 1Th 2:13). We believe that the Scripture communicates a saving and life giving message (1Tim 3:15-17, John 6:63, 1Peter 1:23). We believe that the Scripture discerns and judges the intentions of the heart of man (Heb4: 12-13).
The Scripture regards all human beings as believing in the existence of God. Because of this, it does not attempt to prove Gods existence. The Scripture begins with powerful statement In the beginning God (Gen 1:1), and continues throughout taking His existence for granted (Psa 9:4 and Isa 40:12-13). The author of Hebrew also states, any one who comes to Him must believe that He exists (Heb 11:6). Thus, we acknowledge that the existence of God is some thing the Scripture totally assumes as fact or as a self-evident.
We believe that God is Spirit; that is, He is neither composed of matter nor does He posses a physical nature. This is most clearly stated in the Gospel of John 4:24, God is Spirit. His being Spirit is also clearly described by the phrase no one has seen Him (John 1:18), and He is invisible (Rome1: 20, Col 1:15, 1Tim 1:17, 6:15-16).
One consequence of Gods being Spirit is that He does not have the limitation involved with physical body. God is not limited to a particular spatial location (John 4:21, Act 17:24). While a human beings ground of existence is outside of oneself, Gods existence is not dependent upon any thing outside of Him. His self-existence is affirmed in the Scripture (Heb 11:6), and is considered as the most basic aspect of His nature. His self-existence is also asserted by His name Yahweh, and the great I am (Ex 3:14) implying that He has life in Himself (John 5:26, 1Th 1:9). While all other beings have their life in Him, God does not derive His life from any external source.
We believe that God is an individual being with Consciousness and Will. He is also capable of feeling, choosing and having a relationship with other personal beings. His personality is demonstrated by the name assigned to Him- Yahweh (Ex 3:14). By assigning this name to Himself, He demonstrates that He is not an abstract and nameless force. His personality is also clearly seen in other passages (Isa 45:5, 1Cor 2:10, Eph 1:9-11, Heb 6:17).
We believe that Gods attributes are uniquely demonstrated in the Scripture, which single Him out from the Universe and place Him in the position of Godhead: (1) His attributes of greatness are expressed by His being infinite in terms of space, in relation to time, in relation to knowledge and wisdom, and in relation to power. (2) He holds the attribute of constancy; God is an unchanging being, however His immutability does not imply the idea of immobility. Gods nature does not undergo modification. (3) God possess moral attributes: holiness, righteousness, justice, genuineness (being true), veracity (telling the truth), and faithfulness (proving true). (4) God has the attributes of love: benevolence, grace and mercy. Furthermore, (5) God is immanent (Gods presence and activity within the nature), and transcendent (God is separated from nature and is independent of it).
We believe that the three distinct divine subsistence of the Godhead fully, equally and simultaneously share the one and same undivided divine essence. While there is only one divine essence, there are three subsistence or persons in the Godhead- the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They possess the same and not similar essence. Furthermore, the distinction between them is not nominal, but real. Therefore, each member of the Triune God is co-equal, co-eternal and co-substantial with the other two persons of the Godhead.
We believe in the unity of God. By unity, we mean that there is one God whose divine nature is undivided and indivisible (Ex 20:2-5, Deu 6:4-7, Isa 43: 10-11, 45:5-6, 1Cor 8: 4-6,1Tim 2: 5-6, Jam 2:19). The Father is God (1Peter1: 2, John 6:27, Eph 1:3, 4:6); The Son is God (John 1:1-4, 14, 20:26-29, Rom 9:5, Phil 2:6-11, Col 1:13-19, 2:9-10,1John 5:20); and the Holy Spirit is God (Act 5:3-4). The Hebrew name of God Elohim, and Scriptures related to it signify the plurality and oneness of a person at the same time (Gen 1:26-28, 11:7, 19: 24, Isa 6:1-22). Moreover, the Hebrew word Echad in Deu 6:4 signifies the unity of more than one, stated as Yahweh Elohim Echad Yahweh (Deu 6:4). Also the statement I and the Father are one in (John 10:30, 17:21-23), and whoever seen me has seen the Father also in (John 14:9), demonstrate the Trinitys oneness.
We believe that Christ is God in the same way that the Father and the Holy Spirit are. He fully, equally and simultaneously shares the one and undivided divine essence together with the Father and the Holy Spirit. We believe that, while He is co-equal, co-eternal, and co-substantial with the Father and the Holy Spirit, He is a distinct person possessing all attributes of a person and is claimed to be God according to the Scripture.
His divine attributes prove His Deity (2Cor 5:21, 1Peter 3:18, Matt 7:29, John 5:27, Eph 5:25,28-29, John 1:1, 5:21, Heb 1:11, 13:8, Matt 11: 27, John 6: 64, John 3:13, Matt 18:10, 28:20, phil 3:21, 1Cor 15:28). His work proves His Deity (John 1:3-9, Col 1:17, Heb 1:3, John 5:40, 14:6, Mark 2:7). Receiving worship proves His Deity (Ex 20:25, 34:24, Matt 4: 10, 14:3,15:25,28:9,17, Heb1:6, Rev 5:5-12). Finally, his title proves His Deity (Col 1:16, Heb 1:3, Jon 1:18, Isa 7:14, Matt 1:22-23, John 1:1-5, 8:58, Ex 3:13-14, Deu 32:39, Isa 40:2,John 1:23, Joel 2:30:31-32, Rom 10:13, Phi 2:5-11,1Cor 2:8, Heb 1: 8, John 20:28, Rom 9:5,Totus 2:13).
We believe that the humanity of Jesus is very important for our salvation, since there are ontological, spiritual and moral gaps between God and man. Man is unable to elevate himself to the level of God. To fill these gaps and to create fellowship between the two, humanity and Deity had to be united in one person – Jesus (1Tim 2:5). We believe that the eternal Son of God took on Himself a full human nature, conceived and born of a virgin.
The Scripture affirms that the Father sent the Son (Gal 4:4) who came as the word of God (John 1:14), entered into the world (Heb 10:5), conceived by the Holy Spirit of a virgin whom God prepared (Isa 7:14, Matt 1: 18-23, Luke 1:34-38). As He entered the world, the Father miraculously prepared a body for Him (Heb 10:5), overshadowed by His power to ensure that He is free from contamination (Luke 1:35). Then the word became flesh and came under the law, being born of a woman (John 1:14, Gal 4:4). We believe that Jesus grew physically by food and water as a normal child, for the Scripture says, He increased in wisdom and stature (Luke 2:52).
We hold that He had neither the original sin nor the personal sin in Him, yet He was subject to the same physical limitations as other men, for He possessed the same physiology. He experienced hunger (Matt 4:2), thirst (John 19:28), fatigue (John 4:6), and weeping (John 11:33-38). Furthermore, when a spear was thrust into His side, a mixture of water and blood poured out of his body indicating that He was dead (John 19:34).
Hypostatic union refers to the union of Jesus divine and human nature in one person. We believe in His incarnation; Jesus human nature was forever inseparably united with His divine nature. Yet the two natures remain distinct and whole without mixture.
We believe that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose from the dead in the third day. The resurrection of Christ is the foundation and cornerstone of all Christian doctrine and belief. Thus, we believe that the resurrection of Christ is a grave emptying physical resurrection of an actual historical event that took place in time and space (1Cor 15:3-8). We believe that Jesus ascended to heaven physically, sat at the right hand of the Father and is ministering as High priest and Mediator (Act 1:9-11, Psa 110:1-4, Heb 5:6, 2:17-18, 10:12-13,1Tim 2:5). Also, we believe that Jesus will come back in glory to judge the living and the dead.
We believe in the existence of angels. Angels are spirit beings, which God created to be higher than a man (Heb 2:7, Pas 148:2-5, Col 1:16 Ezk 28:15). Some of the angels have remained obedient to God in carrying out His Will while others disobeyed Him and lost their holy status (Pas 148:1-2, 29:1-2, 10:19-22, Daniel 4:13, 1Cor 4:9, 11:10 2Pet 2:4, Matt 25:41). Those who disobeyed Him attempt to oppose God and hinder His work (James 4:7, 1Peter 5:8, Zech 3:1, 1Ch 21:1).
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person possessing all attributes of a person such as intellect, emotion, volition and self-conscious with capability to communicate. He is a person in the same sense that God the Father and the Lord Jesus are (Isa 11:2, Rom 8:26-28, 1Cor 2:10-11, Eph 1:17, 1Cor 12:11, Act 15:28, 13:2-4, 16:15-16, 20:28,Rom 15:30,Gal 5:22, Isa 63:10, Eph 4:30).
We believe that the Holy Spirit is God in the same way that the Father and the Son are. The Holy Spirit also fully, equally and simultaneously shares the one and undivided divine essence together with the Father and the Son. We believe that, while He is co-equal, co-eternal, and co-substantial with the Father and the Son, He is a distinct person -with all attributes of a person and is claimed to be God according to the Scripture. (Matt 28:19, 1Pter 1:2, 2The 2:13-14, 2Cor 13:13-14, Rev 1:4, 1Cor 12:4-6, Rom 14:17-18, 15:16-19, 2Sam 23:1-3).
We believe that the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity is working in the world in general and in the body of Christ in particular. Therefore, we believe in the restraining, convicting, regenerating, baptizing, indwelling, sealing, and empowering work of the Holy Spirit. We believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit that manifest to edify the body of Christ is working today. The gifts may be categorized roughly in three category: Gifts of revelation: word of wisdom, word of knowledge, and discerning of spirit. Gifts of power: gift of healings, gift of faith, and gift of working miracle. Gifts of utterance: gift of prophecy, gift of speaking in tongues, and gift of interpretation of tongues (1Cor 12:4-11,28-31, Rom 12: 3-6). Furthermore, we believe that the ministry gifts: Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, and Teacher are working today in the body of Christ (1Cor 12:28-31, Rom 12: 3-6, Eph 4:11-13).
We believe that the whole universe and everything in it is created by immediacy actions of God within a literal six-days period. Thus, we believe that a human being was created by the same instantaneous act of God. He created them male and female (Gen 1:26-31). A human being is a unique being created in the image and likeness of God, whose image substantively dwells within his being (Gen 1:26-28, 5:1, 9:6, James 3:9).
We believe that a human being is composed of three elements: spirit, soul and body (1Th 5:23, Heb 4:12, 1Cor 2: 14-16, 15:44). Also, we hold that the image of God is imprinted within the immaterial part of a human being, consisting of his/her personality, reasoning, free will, emotion, sense of morality, and consciousness of identity, and capability to communicate with God as well as with his/her fellow beings.
We believe that a human being was originally created as an innocent being, dependent upon God for his/her living and decision. The fall of a human being is an actual historical event that took place in time and space. The historical human beings, Adam and Eve, transgressed what was prohibited and sinned against God; thus bringing the fall of human kind (Gen 3).
The Hebrew word Chata and the equivalent Greek term Hamartia for sin means to miss the mark, or aiming at the wrong target. Thus, by definition sin is failing to fulfill Gods law or to meet His right standard to righteousness. The Bible also defines sin as rebellion against God (1 John 3:4), transgression of His law (Rom 2:13, 5:14, Gal 3:19), failure to conform to His standards (Rom 3:23, 14:23), and wrongful acts towards God and human beings (Ex 20:11-20, Rom 1:18).
We believe that sin existed prior to its entry into human race (Isa 14:12-14, Ezk 28:12-17). When Adam committed the act of sin, we believe that the whole human race was present in him in germinal or seminal form; participating in the same and single act of sin thereby all becoming sinners (Rome 5:12-17). In this case there is no difference, Jew and Gentile alike are all under sin (Rom 3:9), God has bound all men over to disobedience, so that He may have mercy on them all (Rom 11:32). The Scripture declares that the entire world is prisoner of sin, so that the justification by faith through Jesus might be given to those who believe (Gal 3:21-22).
Salvation is Gods way of communicating his blessings to a sinner and moreover His restoration to a divine favor and to a life of communion with Him. We believe that salvation originated from the Triune God. The Father planned it, the Son executed it, and the Holy Spirit applied it to His recipients (Eph 1:3-14). Salvation is the ultimate purpose of God. The Greek term for purpose conveys the idea to place before hand, which can also mean, to determine before hand. It involves the plan, and determination of God to perform a specific action. Thus, in the eternity past, God decreed and purposed for our salvation (Rom 8:28, 9:11, Eph 1:9-11, 3:11, 2Tim 1:9). However, we do not believe that God decreed others for damnation (2Peter 2:9). We believe that this divine purpose is efficacious and immutable, which will never be thwarted by any means, for they would be drawn by the Father (John 6:39-44, 12:32), and given to the Son (John 6:37, 65, 17:2, 6, 19, 21-24). Furthermore, those who are appointed for eternal life would believe (Act 13:48, 28:23-28). Therefore, we believe in the election, predestination, bestowal of grace, and calling of God.
We believe that the work of God for our salvation is tied together in the incarnation, hypostatic union, and the sacrificial work of Christ on the cross. Christ in eternal pre-existence, the second person of the Trinity is fully God. To His Deity, He added humanity and became fully God and fully man. As a man His atoning death is applicable to human being. As God His death can serve to atone for sins of all mankind, and satisfy the wrath principle in the nature of God. We believe that Christ indeed took our place and died instead of us. He gave himself to remove the judgment of God, and to release us from the bondage of sin. The Scripture plainly asserts that the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isa 53:6). He bore the sins of many and made intercession for transgressors (Isa 53:12). He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). God made Him sin that we might receive the righteousness of God in Him (2Cor 5:21), became a curse for us (Gal 3:13-14), offered Himself once to bear the sins of many (Heb 9:28), and bore our sins in His body on the tree (1Peter 2:24).
We believe that, we have propitiation, redemption, reconciliation, and justification through the death of our Savior. Furthermore, we believe in the work of the Holy Spirit in our conviction, regeneration, baptism, adoption, sanctification, and glorification. We also believe that a true believer in Christ never loses salvation, for salvation once truly received is eternal (John 10:27-30, 11:24-26, 17:20-24, Heb 10:10-14, 1Cor 12:12-13).
The Biblical concept of the church is related to the Greek term Ekklesia, which means, to call out. Hence, we believe that the church is a composition of believers whom God called out of the world, out of the dominion of satanic power, and out of the bondage of sin for His own glory. We believe that the universal church is composed of believers spiritually united in Christ– who is The Head of the church. The reality of the unity is that of the spirit in the body of Christ. The one universal church is manifested in particular localities all over the world, yet each individual assembly is the church in that place (1Th 1:1). Furthermore, we believe that the church is called the body of Christ and the temple of God (Col 1:18, 24, Eph 1:23,2: 20, 22, 1Peter 2:6-7).
We believe in organized membership of a local church. For the church is called to fellowship with the Triune God (1Cor 1:19, 2Cor 13:14,1 John 1:1-3), and to enjoy fellowship with other believers (1John 1:3, Acts 2). In order to develop a strong fellowship, the local assembly of believers need to have a strong structured organization. Some Scriptural indication of membership in the local assembly is found written in the letters of recommendations in the Scripture (Act 18:27, Rom 16:1, 1Cor 4:10, 2Cor 3:1-3). It is also found in the personal introductions by members of the specific local churches in the Bible (Act 9:27).
We believe that whoever is genuinely regenerated and baptized into Christ is eligible to be a member of a local church. Furthermore, we believe that there are two forms of church governments, which can be utilized with Biblical evidence, namely Presbyterian and Congregational. As a local church, we prefer to hold the congregational church government. This form of a church government emphasizes the autonomy and democracy of the members of the church. The authority rests upon the entire congregation and does not open to any outside authority or influence. The Biblical evidence is indicated in the following Scriptures (Matt 18:15-17, 1Cor 5:5, 2Th 3:6,14-15). For further information regarding this issue, please refer to other articles, found in our churchs Bylaw.
We believe that the church has threefold function towards God, towards itself, and towards the world. Regarding the church s function towards God, we believe that the church is predestined to the praise of the glory of His grace (Eph 1:6,11-14), and to give Him glory forever (Eph 3:21). The purpose of the churchs existence is to live in the attitude of reverence, and to express this reverence through worship in spirit, truth, and singing psalm and hymns (John 4:24, Phil 3:3, 1Cor 14:26, Eph 5:19, Col 3:16). The church also exists to express the attitude of reverence, by offering self as reasonable service (Rom 12:1-3), by offering sacrifice of thanksgiving (Heb13: 15-16), by teaching and learning (2Tim 3:16), and by gathering offerings and tithes (1Cor 16:2). The function of the church in relation to itself is to edify the community in the life of faith (Eph 4:16, 1Cor 14:26, Jude 20), so that they might grow to maturity in every aspect (Eph 4:11-16, 2Peter 3:18). This edification is accomplished through instruction (Col 1:27-28), exhortation (The 5:11-14), and with spirit of love and peace (Eph 4:16,Rom 14:19). The primary purpose of the function of the church in relation to the world is evangelization thus, witnessing and preaching the good news, in obedience to the great commission of our Lord Jesus (Matt 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-21, Luke 24:46-48, John 20:21, Act 1:8).
We believe that there are two ordinances in the church, which can be supported by Scriptural evidence, Water Baptism and the Lords Supper. Baptism in its real essence means identification with someone and his teachings. In this case baptism into Christ is identification with His death, burial and resurrection. However, water baptism is a symbolic picture of the spiritual reality that took place in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We believe that the Lord Himself instituted to perform water baptism only to believers who have awareness of their faith (Act 2:48, 8:38). We believe that the act of baptism is performed through immersion in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matt 28:18-20). On the other hand, we believe that the rite of the Lords Supper (1Cor 11:20), or Holy Communion, (1Cor 10:16) is instituted by the Lord the eve before His crucifixion. He commanded the church to keep it as part of the worship, and thereby to remember His suffering and to tell His death until His coming (Matt 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:14-23, 1Cor 11:226). We believe that the Lords Supper is only symbol of remembrance to His suffering for us. However, we affirm that His spiritual omnipresence is there, according to the fact that He is everywhere. Also the partaker of the communion receives grace in the same sense that he receives grace from the written word of God
We believe in the imminence of the second coming of Christ, pre-tribulation rapture of the church, and premillenial advent of Christ. By pre-tribulation rapture is meant that before any part of the seven years of the seventieth week in the book of Daniel, the church in its entirety will by resurrection and translation be removed from the earth (1Th 5:9, 4:13-16, 1:9-10, Rev 3:10). We believe that the raptured believers will be rewarded in the bema seat of Christ; according to the works that they did while they were in the body (2Cor 5:9-10). Those who endure temptation will be awarded the crown of life (Jam 1:12, Rev 2:10), those who love His appearance the crown of righteousness (Tim 4:8), those who fed and took care of the flock-the crown of glory (Peter 5:2-3), those who are soul winners – the crown of joy (1The 2:18-19), and those who run lawfully will receive the incorruptible crown (1Cor 9:25).
By premillenial, is meant that the Lord will come back to earth in a literal physical manifestation (Act 1:9-11). We believe He will come at the end of seventieth week in the book of Daniel or at the termination of seven years of great tribulation, to establish a millennial kingdom. After He reigns one thousand years on earth, the heaven and the earth shall pass away, and eternity shall be inaugurated (Zech 12:10, 14:4-5, Rev 1:7, 20:1-15, Daniel 9:24-27). Thus, while those who believe in Jesus as their personal Savior enjoy Gods presence forever, the unbelieving will suffer eternal damnation in the lake of fire (Rev 20: 11-15, John 3: 16-18).