Statement of Faith

The Bible

We believe the Bible is God’s written and complete revelation to man (Deuteronomy4:2; 12:32; Proverbs 30:6; Galatians 1:612; 2 Peter 1:2021; Revelation 22:1819).

We believe the Word of God is an objective, propositional revelation (1 Thessalonians2:13; John 17:17; 1 Corinthians 2:1213), is verbally inspired in every word (2Timothy 3:16), and absolutely inerrant in the original documents, infallible and Godbreathed.

We believe the Holy Spirit carried along the human authors such that through their personalities and writing styles, they recorded God’s Word to man (2 Peter 1:2021; 1Corinthians 2:714) without error in whole or in part (Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16).

We believe that, though several applications of any given passage of Scripture may exist, there is only one true interpretation. The meaning is found through literal (plain) interpretation because context, grammar, and history confine the author’s intended single meaning. The Holy Spirit’s illuminating ministry enables the believer to ascertain Scripture’s true intent and meaning (John 7:17; 16:1215; 1 Corinthians 2:715; 1 John2:20), recognizing that proper application of the single meaning of Scripture is binding on all generations and cultures. Yet the truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of it (John 17:14, 17).

We affirm the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days (Genesis 1:31; Exodus 31:17).

Because we believe that the Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God, it alone is and will be the basis and authority of answering any and all questions regarding the purpose, structure, and function of FinisTerre (Matthew 5:18; 24:35; John 10:35;16:1213; 17:17; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:1517; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:2021).

God (Theology Proper)

We believe that there is but one true and living God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:57; 1 Corinthians 8:4), an infinite, eternal, allknowing Spirit (John 4:24), who is transcendent, unchanging, and perfect in all His attributes.

We believe that He is one in essence, living eternally, distinctly, and simultaneously as three PersonsFather, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each Person is equally God, yet functions with distinct roles, and each Person equally deserves worship and obedience (Genesis 1:1; Exodus 3:6; Deuteronomy 6:4; 10:17; Psalm 68:8; Isaiah 6:3; 45:57; Jeremiah 10:10; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Colossians 1:3).

We believe God exhibits an array of attributes or peculiarities which define the mode of His existence and constitutes His character (Exodus 34:57; Deuteronomy 7:910; 32:34; Psalm 145:820). Certain attributes are unique to God alone (i.e.,omniscience, omnipotence, eternality, selfexistence, immutability, etc.), and are therefore described as incommunicable attributes. There are, however, communicable attributes which, to a limited degree, He bestows upon His creatures and which man can reflect (i.e.justice, grace, mercy, love, faithfulness, etc.).

We believe that God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (Psalm 145:89; 1 Corinthians 8:6). He is the Creator of all things (Genesis 1:131; 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). His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. As Creator, He is Father to all men (Ephesians 4:6), but He is spiritual Father only to believers (Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 6:18). He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (Ephesians 1:1112). He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events (1 Chronicles 29:11). In His sovereignty, He is neither author nor approver of sin (James 1:13), 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 1:46); He saves from sin 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 12:59).

God the Son (Christology)

We believe that Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father (John 10:30; 14:9).

We believe that in the incarnation (God becoming man), the second Person of theTrinity laid aside His right to the full prerogatives of coexistence with God and took on an existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes (Philippians 2:58). In His incarnation, Jesus Christ the Godman, represents humanity and deity in indivisible oneness (Micah 5:2; John 5:23; 14:911; Colossians 2:9).

We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23, 25; Luke 1:2635); and that the purpose of the incarnation was to fully reveal God’s nature and to redeem men (Psalm 2:79; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:18, 29; Philippians 2:911; Hebrews 1:3; 7:2526; 1 Peter 1:1819).

We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross and that His death was voluntary (Philippians 2:8), vicarious (Leviticus 17:11; Romans 5:89; 2 Corinthians 5:21), substitutionary (Isaiah 53:11; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18), propitiatory (Romans 3:2425;5:8; Hebrews 7:27), and redemptive (John 10:15; Romans 3:2425; Hebrews 9:1114).

We believe on the basis of the efficacy of the perfect life and substitutionary death of our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:89; 2 Corinthians 5:1415), the believing sinner is freed from the penalty and power of sin (1 Peter 2:24; Romans 6:18; 8:1), and at the final revelation of Jesus Christ will be delivered from the very presence of sin; and that he is declared righteous, given eternal life, and adopted into the family of God (Romans 3:25; 5:89; 2 Corinthians 5:1415; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18).

We believe that our justification is made certain and secure by Jesus Christ’s literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:3839; Acts 2:3031), which confirmed God’s acceptance of Christ’s atoning work (Acts 17:31).

We believe that Christ now ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He mediates as our Advocate and High Priest (Acts 1:911; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:2526;9:24; 10:12; 1 John 2:1).

We believe that Jesus Christ will return to receive the church (Acts 1:911; 1 Thessalonians 4:1318) unto Himself and returning with His church in glory, will establish His millennial kingdom on earth (Revelation 20). 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 1:3133), He is the final judge of all who fail to place their trust in Him as Lord and Savior (Matthew 25:1446; Acts 17:3031; John 5:2230).

God the Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity including intellect (1 Corinthians 2:1013), emotions (Ephesians 4:30), will (1 Corinthians 12:11), eternality (Hebrews 9:14), omnipresence (Psalm 139:710), omniscience (Isaiah 40:1314), omnipotence (Romans 15:13), and truthfulness (John 16:1315). In all the divine perfections He is coequal, consubstantial and coeternal with the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:34; 28:2526; 1 Corinthians 12:46; 2 Corinthians 13:14; and Jeremiah 31:3134 with Hebrews 10:1517).

We believe that the broad scope of His divine activity in this age, is everywhere present and operative and includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement (John 16:79; Acts 1:5; 2:4); glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and transforming believers into the image ofChrist (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 2:1922).

We believe that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers believers for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption (Romans 8:9, 1314; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13).

We believe that 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; 2 Peter 1:1921; 1 John 2:20, 27).

We believe that the Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the church. The Holy Spirit glorifies neither Himself nor His gifts by ostentatious displays, but He does glorify Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in their faith (John 16:1314; Acts 2:18; 1 Corinthians 12:411; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

We believe 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 12:411; 13:810; 14:2122; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:712; Hebrews 2:14).

Man (Anthropology)

We believe that man was created by God in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:2627;2:7). Man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, selfdetermination, and moral responsibility to God (Genesis 2:1525; James 3:9). The image of God in every person is the basis of special human dignity and uniqueness among all creation. No other creature in all creation is made in the image and likeness of God.

We believe that God’s intention in the creation of man was that man should glorify God (Isaiah 43:7), enjoy God’s fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and by this accomplish God’s purpose for man in the world (Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11).

We believe that in Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God (Genesis 2:1617), man lost his innocence; incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death (Genesis 3:119); became subject to the wrath of God (John 3:36); and became inherently corrupt and utterly unable and unwilling to choose or do that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace (Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 2:14).With no power to enable him to recover himself, man is hopelessly lost. All men are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and therefore declared guilty before God (Psalm 14:13; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:918, 23; 5:1214). Man’s salvation is thereby wholly of God’s grace through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, and the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:13; 1 Timothy 2:1314; 1 John 1:8).

We believe that in creating man for God’s own glory, God is glorified both through the salvation of man (Ephesians 1:36, 1214; 1 Peter 1:39; Revelation 1:6; 5:12; 16:9) and through the judgment and condemnation of man (Exodus 9:1316; Numbers 14:2038; Isaiah 5:1316; 26:9; Ezekiel 28:2123; 39:1113; Romans 3:38; 9:1723; 2 Thessalonians 1:510; Revelation 14:7).

We believe that every person will endure everlastingly (John 5:2829; see also Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:46; Acts 24:15).

Salvation (Soteriology)

We believe that the salvation of man comes exclusively through the gracious provision of God by the name of the Lord Jesus Christ alone (Acts 4:1012; John 10:79; 14:6; Philippians 2:1011; 1 Timothy 2:5).

We believe that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (John 3:37; 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 fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works 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 (1 Corinthians 6:1920; Ephesians 2:10; 5:1721; Philippians 2:12b; Colossians 3:16; 2 Peter 1:411).

We believe that justification is an instantaneous 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 55:67) and confess Him as sovereign Lord (Romans 10:910; 1 Corinthians 12:3; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Philippians2:11).

We believe 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 (Romans 4:6; 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).

We believe 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 6:122; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:34; 5:23). In this respect, we believe that every saved person is involved in a daily conflictthe new creation in Christ doing battle against the fleshbut adequate provision is made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:1625; Ephesians 4:2224; Philippians 3:12; Colossians 3:910; 1 Peter 1:1416; 1 John 3:59). 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, although the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin.

We believe that once saved all the redeemed are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 5:24; 6:3740; 10:2730; Romans 5:910; 8:1, 3139; 1 Corinthians 1:48; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 7:25; 13:5; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 1, 24).However, we believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through obedience, and that they should avoid the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living and carnality (Romans 6:1522; 13:1314; Galatians 5:13, 2526; Titus 2:1114). Therefore, we believe that out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to us, all believers should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our love to God so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior.

We also believe that separation from any association with religious apostasy, and sinful practices is commanded of us by God (Romans 12:12; 1 Corinthians 5:913; 2 Corinthians 6:147:1; 1 John 2:1517; 2 John 911). We affirm that the Christian life is a life of obedient righteousness demonstrated by a continual pursuit of holiness (Matthew 5:212; Romans 12:12; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; Titus 2:1114; 1 John 3:110).

The Church (Ecclesiology)

We believe that the church, the body of Christ, was begun on the first day of Pentecost after Jesus’ ascension, and was a previously unseen mystery, hidden in God prior to the revelatory ministry of the New Testament apostles and prophets (Ephesians 3:410).

We believe that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body, the church (1 Corinthians 12:1213), the bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:2332; Revelation 19:78), of which Christ is the head (Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; Colossians 1:18).

We believe Christians are to associate themselves into particular assemblies or local churches, where they can enjoy the importance of discipleship (Matthew 28:1920; 2 Timothy 2:2) and mutual accountability to each other (Matthew 18:514).

We believe that the purpose of the church is to glorify God (Ephesians 3:21) by building itself up in the faith (Ephesians 4:1316), by instruction of the Word (2 Timothy 2:2, 15;3:1617), by fellowship (Acts 2:42; 1 John 1:3), by keeping the ordinances (Luke 22:19; Acts2:3842) and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8).

We believe that two ordinances have been committed to the local church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:3842). Christian baptism by immersion (Acts 8:3639) is the solemn and beautiful testimony of the believer showing forth his faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and his union with Him in death to sin and resurrection new life (Romans 6:111). It is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible body of Christ (Acts 2:4142).

We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes and should always be preceded by solemn selfexamination (1 Corinthians 11:2832). We also teach that whereas the elements of communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ, the Lord’s Supper is nevertheless an actual communion with the risen Christ who is present, fellowshipping with His people corporately (1 Corinthians 10:16).

We believe in a plurality of leaders for the church (Acts 6:16; 14:23; 15:2, 4; 20:17, 28;21:18; Philippians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:12; 1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:5; Hebrews 13:17; James 5:14; 1 Peter 5:15) who are biblically qualified (1 Timothy 3:115; Titus 1:59). These men are elders and deacons who together lead a local body of believers in matters of membership, policy, discipline (Matthew 18:1520), and benevolence (Acts 15:1931; 16:4; 20:28; 1 Peter 5:15).

Last Things (Eschatology)

We believe the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life (John 6:39;Romans 8:1011, 1923; 2 Corinthians 4:14), and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; Revelation 20:1315). We reject any concept of the annihilation of the wicked or anything less than a literal and eternal punishment in hell (Matthew 25:4146; 2 Thessalonians 1:512; Revelation 14:913;20:1015).

We believe that the souls of the unsaved at death are kept under punishment until the second resurrection (Luke 16:1926; Revelation 20:1315), when the soul and the resurrection body will be united (John 5:2829). They shall then appear at the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20:1115) and shall be cast into hell, the lake of fire (Matthew 25:4146), cut off from the life of God forever (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:4146; 2 Thessalonians 1:79).

We believe the personal, bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ to translate His church from this earth (John 14:13; 1 Corinthians 15:5153; 1 Thessalonians 4:155:11) and return with His saints to reward believers according to their works (1 Corinthians 3:1115; 2 Corinthians 5:10). All good works of the believer will receive praise from God, all unholy works will be burned up, in which the believer’s loss of reward will be swallowed up in the joy of grace.

We believe that Christ will come to earth to occupy the throne of David (Matthew 25:31; Luke 1:3133; Acts 1:1011; 2:2930) and establish His Messianic kingdom for a thousand years on the earth (Revelation 20:17). During this time the resurrected saints will reign with Him over Israel and all the nations of the earth (Ezekiel 37:2128; Daniel 7:1722; Revelation 19:1116). This reign will be preceded by the overthrow of the Antichrist and the False Prophet, and by the removal of Satan from the world (Daniel 7:1727; Revelation 20:17).

We believe that this time of our Lord’s reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace, righteousness, and long life (Isaiah 11; 65:1725; Ezekiel 36:3338) and will be brought to an end with the release of Satan (Revelation 20:7).

We believe that following the release of Satan after the thousandyear reign of Christ on the earth (Revelation 20:7), Satan will deceive the nations of the earth and gather them to battle against the saints and the beloved city, at which time Satan and his army will be devoured by fire from heaven (Revelation 20:9). Following this, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10) whereupon Christ, who is the judge of all men (John 5:22), will resurrect and judge the great and small at the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20:1115). We believe that this resurrection of the unsaved dead to judgment will be a physical resurrection, whereupon receiving their judgment, they will be committed to an eternal conscious punishment in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:1115).

We believe that after the closing of the millennial reign of Christ on earth, the temporary release of Satan, and the judgment of unbelievers (2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation20:715), the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God, after which the elements of this earth are to be dissolved (2 Peter 3:10) and replaced with a new earth wherein only righteousness dwells (Ephesians 5:5; Revelation 20:15, chs. 2122). Following this, the heavenly city will come down out of heaven (Revelation 21:2) and will be the dwelling place of the saints, where they will enjoy forever fellowship with God and one another (John 17:3; Revelation 21, 22). Our Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will then deliver up the kingdom to God the Father (1 Corinthians 15:2428) that in all spheres the triune God may reign forever and ever (1 Corinthians 15:28).

The Family

We believe that 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. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It 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 for sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.

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 Godgiven 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 has the Godgiven responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.

Children, from the moment of conception, 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 (Genesis 2:2125; 3:16; 1 Corinthians7:15;11:3; Ephesians 5:2233; 1 Peter 3:17; Colossians 3:1920).

Sexuality and Gender

We believe that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pedophilia, pornography, any attempt to change one’s sex or disagreement with one’s biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God (Leviticus 18:130; Matthew 5:28; Romans 1:2628; 1 Corinthians 5:1;6:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:18).

We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture or the doctrines of the church. We believe that the faithful proclamation of Scripture, including the call to repentance, does not constitute hate speech, or hateful and harassing behavior, but is instead a fundamental part of the church’s loving mission to the world (Matthew 28:1620; 2 Corinthians 5:1120; 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 4:12).

We believe that God offers redemption and forgiveness to all who confess and forsake their sin, including sexual sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. We believe that His forgiveness is total and complete (Psalm 103:1112; 130:34; Isaiah 43:25; 44:22; John 5:24; Colossians 2:1314) and that God imputes the full righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21) to the believing sinner. We believe that the forgiven sinner has been cleansed from the guilt of sin, set apart unto God, or made holy, and justified before Him (1 Corinthians 6:911). We believe that any man or woman who has received that forgiveness is “in Christ” and is a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

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