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Statement of Faith

Statement of Faith

From the time of the Apostles to today, Christians have laid out doctrine in brief, definitive statements. As those who know God and desire to deepen one another’s joy in God, we believe it necessary to set forth in a concise fashion the truths our church affirms as guided by Scripture. Our Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith, but summarizes historic Christian beliefs, promotes unity in Christ, and guards the church from error.

We believe that the Bible alone speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, and is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We also believe that for purposes of church doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, we must state and agree to the Bible’s meaning and application. Once we as members agree to the Statement of Faith, we are responsible to God and each other for believing and living in accordance with it.

Section 1: The Word of God

We affirm that the Scriptures, consisting only of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, are not a mere witness to divine revelation but are God’s complete written revelation of himself to humanity, graciously given to us through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and according to God’s sovereign purposes in Jesus Christ. John 5:39; 14:26; 16:13-15; 20:31; Acts 13:27-29; Romans 1:2-3; 16:25-26; 1 Corinthians 2:6-14; 2 Timothy 3:15-16; Hebrews 1:1-2; 3:7 [cf. Psalm 95:7-11]; 2 Peter 1:20-21

We affirm that as God’s written revelation to humanity, the Scriptures constitute the holy Word of God communicated through appointed human authors. In his sovereignty, God so superintended the human authors of Scripture that although what they wrote was genuinely their own, it was nevertheless the very word of God, verbally inspired in every part equally, without error in the original manuscripts, totally true in all they affirm, and completely trustworthy. Thusw, we also deny that any portion of Scripture is marked by error or the effects of human sinfulness. Exodus 24:4; Numbers 23:19; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; Jeremiah 36:2-4; Psalms 12:6; 19:7-10; 119:11; Proverbs 30:5; Ezra 1:1 [cf. Jeremiah 1:1-2]; Matthew 22:43-44; Mark 7:13; Luke 3:2; Acts 4:25; 28:25-27; John 10:35; 14:26; 16:13-14; 17:17; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 14:37; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 1:5 [cf. Psalm 2:7; 2 Samuel 7:14; Acts 13:33], 6 [cf. Deuteronomy 32:43], 8 [cf. Psalm 45:6-7]; 3:7 [cf. Hebrews 4:7]; 1 Peter 1:23-24; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 3:16; 1 John 4:6

We affirm that the Scriptures carry with them the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and thus stand as the supreme and final authority over every domain of knowledge to which they speak, and that they are sufficient for all that God requires the Christian and the church to believe and do. Therefore, the Scriptures must remain central to the teaching ministry of the church, the formation and preservation of sound doctrine, and the proclamation and spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Deuteronomy 17:19; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 4:4, 7, 10; 5:17-20; 16:18; 19:4-6; 22:29; 26:31, 52-54; Luke 4:16-21; 16:17; 18:31-33; 21:33; 22:37; 24:25-27, 44-46; John 10:35; 14:26; 15:26; 16:13, 15; Acts 1:2; 10:41 [cf. Acts 1:22, 26]; 20:27, 32; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Galatians 2:9; Ephesians 2:20; 1 Timothy 4:13; Hebrews 2:3; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25

Section 2: The Trinity

We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—who are equal in every divine perfection, and that the persons of God execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence, and redemption. Genesis 1:1, 26; Matthew 28:19; John 1:1, 3; 4:24; Romans 1:19–20; Ephesians 4:5–6

Section 3: God the Father

We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of man, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all that come to Him through Jesus Christ. We believe that the Father orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace. Isaiah 46:9–10; Matthew 23:9; Luke 10:21–22; John 3:16; 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:1–2; 2:5–6; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 1:6

We believe that, as the only absolute and omnipotent ruler in the universe, God is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption. In His sovereignty, He is neither author nor approver of sin, nor does He waive the accountability of His creatures. He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own, not based on anything they have done, but according to His own good pleasure. Genesis 1:1–31; Psalm 103:19; Habakkuk 1:13; John 8:38–47; Romans 11:36; Ephesians 1:4–6; 2:8–9; 1 Timothy 6:13–16; James 1:13; 1 Peter 1:17; Revelation 4:11

Section 4: Jesus Christ

We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son. We believe in His virgin birth by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18, 25 point to the miraculous nature of both Christ’s conception and birth), sinless life, miracles, and teachings. We believe in His substitutionary and propitiatory death (on our behalf the Son satisfied His Father’s holiness, averting His Father’s wrath), bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal, visible return to earth. We believe Jesus Christ is coequal, consubstantial (i.e., having the same substance, nature, or essence), and coeternal with the Father. Isaiah 9:6–7; Matthew 1:18–25; 20:28; Luke 1:26–38; John 1:1, 14; 10:30; 14:9; 20:28, 30–31; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6–8; 6:9–10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 8:46; 9:5; Ephesians 1:4; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:8; 7:25; 9:28; 1 Peter 2:21–23; 2 Peter 1:1

We believe that in the incarnation (when God became man), Christ surrendered only the prerogatives of deity, and nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind. We believe that Jesus Christ represents humanity and deity in indivisible oneness. Micah 5:2; John 5:23; 14:9–10; Philippians 2:5–8; Colossians 2:9

We believe that on the basis of the efficacy (effectiveness) of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, every genuine believer is freed from the punishment, the penalty, the power, and one day the very presence of sin; and that he is declared righteous (i.e., justified), 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

We believe that in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, God the Father displayed to His creation the deity of His Son and gave proof that He accepted the propitiatory work of Christ on the cross. Isaiah 53:10–12

Section 5: The Holy Spirit

We believe in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. We believe that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign agent in regeneration. It is His work to indwell, sanctify, instruct, empower for service, and seal until the day of redemption all who believe on Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that He is an abiding helper, teacher, and guide. He is a divine person, eternal, underived (i.e., having no beginning or source), possessing all the attributes of personality and deity. In all the divine attributes, He is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father and the Son. Jeremiah 31:31–34; John 14:16–17, 26; 15:26–27; 16:9–14; Acts 2:15–20; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Galatians 5:22–26; Ephesians 1:13; Hebrews 10:15–17

Section 6: Man

We believe the triune God created man directly and immediately in His own image and likeness. God created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, and with a moral responsibility to God. God created man to glorify God by enjoying him forever. Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5, 7, 18-25; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 43:7; Romans 11:36; 1 Corinthians 11:3, 7-12; Colossians 1:16; James 3:9; Revelation 4:11

We believe that man, by his own will, sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man disobeyed the revealed will and Word of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin, incur the penalty of spiritual and physical death, and become subject to the wrath of God. Thus, every human being in Adam is totally depraved, unable to choose or do what is acceptable to God apart from divine grace, and has no recuperative powers to enable him to rescue himself. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-19; Psalm 1:1-6; 14:1-3; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5, 9; John 3:36; Romans 1:18-3:26; 5:10-21; 6:23; 8:7, 14-18, 29; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 2:13-15; 15:19, 21-22; Ephesians 2:1-10; Colossians 3:9-11; 1 John 1:8; 3:4-10

We believe the sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love. Genesis 1:26-30; 9:6; Psalm 8:3-6; Mark 12:16-17; 1 Corinthians 11:7; Galatians 6:10; 1 Timothy 1:15; 4:10

Section 7: Salvation

A. Election

We believe that election is the sole act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ all whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies. Romans 8:28–30; Ephesians 1:4–11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Peter 1:1–2

We believe that sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of human beings to their Creator. Spiritually dead humanity, however, can never be considered righteous, and none will ever understand spiritual truths, much less ever seek after God, on their own accord. Therefore, God’s sovereign grace includes the only means of receiving the gift of salvation. God’s sovereign election always results in what God determines. Therefore, all whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith, and all who come in faith the Father will receive. Isaiah 55:6–7; Luke 13:3; John 6:37–40, 44; Acts 2:38; 13:48; 3:19; 11:18; Romans 2:4; 3:10–18; 8:28–30; 9:11–16; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 1:4–11; 2:1–2, 4–5, 8-9; 2 Peter 1:1

We believe that when God grants grace to utterly depraved sinners, it is not related to any initiative of their own, nor to God’s anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely on the basis of His sovereign purpose and will. Ephesians 1:4–8; Titus 3:4–7; 1 Peter 1:1–2; 2 Peter 1:1

B. Regeneration

We believe that man was created by God in His own image; that he sinned and thereby incurred physical, spiritual, and eternal death, which is separation from God; that as a consequence, all human beings are born with a sinful nature and are sinners, and are, therefore, under condemnation. We believe that those who are regenerated by the Holy Spirit repent and forsake sin, trust Jesus Christ as Savior, become new creatures, are delivered from condemnation, and receive eternal life. Genesis 1:26; 2:17; 3; 5:2; Psalm 51:7; Proverbs 28:13; Ecclesiastes 2:11; Jeremiah 17:9; John 1:13; 3:14, 16; 5:24, 30; 7:13; 8:12; 9:22; 10:26; Romans 3:19; 5:19; 8:1; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; James 1:14; 1 John 1:9; Revelation 19:3, 20; 20:10, 14–15; 21:18

We believe that regeneration is manifested by fruits consistent with repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works done in faith and love will be the proper fruit (result) and evidence of genuine repentance. Matthew 7:18–21; 1 Corinthians 6:19–20; Ephesians 2:10

C. Justification

We believe that justification is the act of God by which He declares man righteous. This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man and involves the imputation of our sins to Christ and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us. By this means, God is able to “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). Romans 3:26; 8:33; 3:20; 4:6; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:8–9; Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24

D. Sanctification

We believe that every genuine believer experiences justification before God. Therefore, having been justified, we believe that in the daily life of the believer he is being progressively conformed to the likeness of Christ. In this respect, every saved person is involved in a daily conflict—the new creation in Christ doing battle against the remnant of the flesh (sinful thoughts, desires, actions, and words). Those who are genuinely saved will persevere to the end in this battle against the flesh. Matthew 24:13; John 17:17, 19; Romans 6:1–22; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3–4; 5:23

E. Perseverance of the Saints/Preservation by the Savior

We believe that all those regenerated by the Spirit of God will be likewise kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ. 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; Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 7:25; 13:5; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24

We believe that the true children of God, chosen from the foundation of the world, will stand firm for Christ to the end, because they are kept in Christ by the Holy Spirit. Paralleling the clear teachings concerning the security of the true believer, God’s Word warns the professing church concerning the perseverance of those who claim the name of Christ. Matthew 24:9–13; Hebrews 10:23-39; Revelation 2–3

We believe that references to those who do “fall away” (Matthew 24:10), whose “love will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12), are references to men and women who claim that they are in Christ but, in reality, are not. Christ taught that the kingdom of God—the genuine elect of God—will be infiltrated with tares, those who claim (and may even think) that they are in Christ but who, in reality, are not. These claimants (tares) may be members of a local church, but they are not, and have never been, true citizens of the kingdom of God. Matthew 7:21; 13:24–30, 37–42; 24:10, 12; 1 John 2:19

We believe the foregoing warnings should be taken seriously by all of us who claim the name of Christ, including the leadership of Redeemer Church, “so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming” (1 John 2:28). Only the genuine elect of God will ever experience the promise of Christ, “that I [Christ] should lose nothing of all that he [the Father] has given me [Christ], but raise it up at the last day” (John 6:39). Therefore, we teach and encourage all who claim the name of Christ to “examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves” (2 Corinthians 13:5; cf., 1 Corinthians 10:12).

We believe that it is the privilege of all genuine believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word. But we also teach that God’s Word clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living and carnality. For that reason, we teach that “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17). Romans 6:1–2, 15-22; 13:13–14; Galatians 5:13, 25–26; Titus 2:11–14

Section 8: The Church

We believe the New Testament speaks of the church as the universal body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation. Matthew 16:15-19; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:4; 3:10, 21; 5:22-32; Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 11:39-40; Revelation 19:7–8; 21:2-3

We further believe the New Testament emphasizes that in the age preceding Christ’s return, the redeemed should gather in and be accountable to visible, local churches. The local church is the primary context in which believers joyfully fulfill the demands of the new covenant. In essence, the local church is an assembly of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel (Acts 2:41; 14:21-23; Romans 6:1-14; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 13-16; 10:16-17; 11:27; 16:13; Galatians 1:8-9; Ephesians 4:1-6, 13; Philippians 1:27; Hebrews 10:24-25). The local church visibly manifests obedience to Jesus when, depending on her Lord in prayer, the believers joyfully submit to one another (Acts 2:38, 41; Ephesians 2:1-22; 1 Corinthians 12:1-3; Galatians 5:13-6:10; Hebrews 12:22-23) under faithful leadership (Acts 14:23; 20:28; 1 Corinthians 16:15-16; Philippians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; 5:17-25; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 13:7, 17; 1 Peter 5:2-3; cf. Acts 6:1-7; 14:23; James 5:14), to heed the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:42; Romans 10:16-17; 15:14; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Ephesians 5:26; 6:11-20; Colossians 1:23-26; 1 Thessalonians 2:13), to celebrate the new-covenant ordinances of believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper and practice corrective discipline when out of step with their meaning (Matthew 18:17-20; 28:18-19; Luke 22:14-23; Acts 2:42-47; Romans 6:4; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 10:16-17; 11:17-34; 14:26; 16:1-4; Ephesians 4:5; Colossians 2:12; Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Peter 3:21), to edify and care for one another by the aid and gifting of the Holy Spirit (John 13:34; Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Galatians 6:2; Ephesians 4:11-16; 5:19-21; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Hebrews 10:24-25), and to scatter on mission to make disciples among all peoples both locally and globally (Matthew 24:14; 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Romans 1:7, 14; 10:12-15; 15:14, 20-21; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; 10:31- 11:1; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; 2 Timothy 2:2; Titus 2:1-8).

We believe each local church operates under the lordship of Christ. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are elders and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of elder is limited to men as qualified by Scripture. The local church practices congregational involvement under the spiritual care of elders. The members of the local church should honor and submit to their leadership, while also holding such leadership accountable to biblical precepts and qualifications. Elders who persist in sin must be rebuked publicly before the congregation for the purpose of making the church fearful of sinning. Matthew 18:15-20; Acts 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 15:1-30; 1 Corinthians 5:1-8; 11:2-16; Galatians 6:6; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:13; 1 Timothy 2:9-14 [cf. Gen 2:5-9, 15-25]; 3:1-15; 4:14; 5:17-22; Titus 3:5-9; Hebrews 13:7, 17; 1 Peter 5:1-4

We believe in the importance of discipleship and the mutual accountability of all believers to each other, including the need for corrective discipline of unrepentant members of the local church in accordance with Scripture. Moreover, wherever communication between local churches will serve to protect, honor, and promote the gospel, and ensure further care, accountability, or discipline for their members, the local church and its leadership should pursue it. When a local church or cooperation of churches departs from the gospel, it is proper for faithful, gospel-believing churches to hold such congregations and their leaders accountable by means of warnings, rebukes, and calls to repentance. Matthew 18:15-20; 28:19-20; Acts 5:1-11; Romans 16:1-2; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 16:10-11; 2 Corinthians 8:18-19; Galatians 1:8-9; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12; 1 Timothy 1:19-20; 2 Timothy 2:2; 4:9-18; Titus 1:10-16; 3:9-11; 1 John 4:6; 2 John 9-11; 3 John 5-12; Revelation 2:23

Section 9: Christian Conduct

We believe that a Christian should live for the glory of God and the well-being of his fellow man, that his conduct should be blameless before the world, that he should be a faithful steward of his possessions, and that he should seek to realize for himself and others the full stature of maturity in Christ. John 14:15, 23–24; Romans 12:1–3; 1 Corinthians 4:2; 10:31; 2 Corinthians 9:6–9; Colossians 1:9–10; Hebrews 12:1–2; 1 John 2:3–6

Section 10: The Ordinances

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe that Christian baptism by immersion, in the name of the triune God, is the visual representation with water of the believer’s identification with Christ spiritually. We believe that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ for commemoration of His death. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. We do not believe these ordinances hold any salvific value—they do not convey saving grace upon the recipient. These ordinances, however, are means by which God reveals His gospel to His people and brings loving encouragement into their lives. Matthew 28:18–20; Romans 6:3–5; 1 Corinthians 11:23–26

Section 11: The Family, Marriage, and Sexuality

God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Psalms 78:1-8; 127; 128; Proverbs 14:1; Ephesians 5:21-6:4; 1 Timothy 4:3

We believe that “marriage” has only one meaning, namely, marriage sanctioned by God that joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive, covenant union as delineated in Scripture. Marriage is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and his church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation and thriving of the human race. Thus, God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other and that he has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Genesis 1:26-27; 2:15-25; Ecclesiastes 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 14:3-4; 19:3-9; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18; Romans1:18-32; 7:1-3; 1 Corinthians 7:1-40; Ephesians 5:21-33; 1 Timothy 3:2; 5:8, 14; Titus 1:6; Hebrews 13:4; Revelation 19:7-9

The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation. Genesis 1:26-27; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; 5:2; Proverbs 5:15-20; 12:4; 18:22; 31:10-31; Matthew 5:31-32; 19:3-9; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18; Ephesians 5:21-33; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 6:9-20; 7:1-16; 11:2-16; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-7

Children, from the moment of fertilization, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents. Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 6:20-22; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 22:6, 15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15, 17; 31:10-31; Matthew 18:2-5; Romans 1:30; Ephesians 6:1-4; Colossians 3:20-21; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5

We further affirm that God offers redemption and complete restoration to all who confess and forsake their marital, sexual, or parental sins, seeking God’s mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. John 4:1-30, 39-42; Romans 3:21-26; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Ephesians 2:1-10; Titus 3:3-8

Section 12: The Christian and Social Order

All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from fertilization to natural death. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, justice, and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth. Genesis 1:26-31; 2:7; Exodus 20:3-17; 21:22-25; Leviticus 6:2-5; Deuteronomy 10:12, 17-18; 27:17; Job 10:11-12; Psalms 8:3-8; 51:5; 101:5; 139:13-16; Micah 6:8; Zechariah 8:16; Matthew 5:13-16,43-48; 22:36-40; 25:35; Mark 1:29-34; 2:3ff.; 10:21; Luke 1:41; 4:18-21; 10:27-37; 20:25; John 15:12; 17:15; Romans 12–14; 1Corinthians 5:9-10; 6:1-7; 7:20-24; 10:23-11:1; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:12-17; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Philemon; James 1:27; 2:8

Section 13: The Christian and Civil Government

Civil government is ordained by God to restrain and punish evil and to preserve and reward good, which promotes the temporal well-being of humanity, those created in God’s image. It is the duty of Christians to pray for those in governing positions and to render loyal obedience to civil authorities in all things not opposed to God’s revealed will in Scripture. As Prince over the kings of the earth, Jesus Christ alone is Lord of the conscience, and he has left the conscience free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to his word. The church should not resort to the coercive powers of the state to carry on its work or advance its mission since the gospel of Jesus Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends. It is also unjust for the state to usurp the role of any church by enforcing its will in matters contrary to Scripture, yet if the state should do so, the Christian is to respond with humility and faithfulness to the word of God. Genesis 1:26-27; 2:7; Matthew 6:24; 10:17-18; 16:24-26; 22:21; Mark 13:9; John 8:36; Acts 4:19-20; Romans 6:1-2; 13:1-10; 14:7-9; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; Galatians 5:1,13; Philippians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:1-5; James 4:12; 1 Peter 2:12-17; 3:11-17; 4:12-19

Section 14: The Last Things

We believe in the personal, bodily, and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth, and in His eternal kingdom in heaven. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal felicity (i.e., intense joy) of the righteous who have been saved by the grace of God to worship Him forever, and the eternal conscious torment (in opposition to annihilationism) of the wicked who eternally perish in their sins apart from Christ. Matthew 16:27; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; 2 Thessalonians 1:7–10; 2 Timothy 4:1; Titus 2:13; Revelation 20:4–6, 11–15