essential doctrine

Note from the Elders:

This section is purposely entitled “Essential Doctrine.” However, if in reading these twenty bullet points you come across a concept you don’t fully understand or have never heard of, don’t be intimidated! Our heart in putting forth this body of doctrine is not to embarrass or intimidate potential new members. By publishing these twenty points we are not communicating that we only accept the most mature of believers into our fellowship.


This body of doctrine is published to communicate to you what we believe to be a helpful summation of the major categories of theology contained in the Bible. Certainly, the Bible contains more theology than these twenty points. But, as elders and as a church, we don’t want to reduce the Bible’s message down to less than this. 


Please know this as well, it is not required for membership that you comprehensively understand and affirm these twenty points of doctrine before you are welcomed as a member. We simply require our teachers, guest preachers, small group leaders, etc. to not teach contrary to these doctrines as stated.   


We encourage you to keep this list of essential doctrines and use it to guide your personal and/or family devotional times. Use it as a reference tool in your personal growth in Christian maturity. We have found it to be beneficial to use statements like these as a “teacher” in our progressive sanctification, and we hope you will too.    


I. The Scriptures

The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience. This affirms the verbal and plenary inerrancy for the sixty-six books of the Bible in the original autographs. The Scriptures endure forever. (2 Timothy 3:15-17; Isaiah 8:20, 40:8; Luke 16:29,31; Ephesians 2:20; 2 Peter 1:3, 19-2)


II. God

There is but one God, the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, having in and of Himself, all perfections, and being infinite in them all; and to Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience. (Deut. 6:4; 1 Cor. 8:4, 6; Gal. 3:20; 1 Thess. 1:9; Jer. 10:10; Job 11:7-9, 26:14; Ps. 139:6)


III. The Trinity

God is revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being. (1 John 5:7; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Exodus 3:14; John 14:11, 15:26; 1 Corinthians 8:6; John 1:14,18; Galatians 4:6)


IV. Providence

God from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events; yet so as not in any way to be the author or approver of sin nor to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures. (Neh. 9:6; Ps. 145:14-17; Heb. 1:3; Dan. 4:34-35; Ps. 135:6; Acts 17:25-28; Matt. 10:29-31; Prov. 15:3; Ps. 104:24; Acts 15:18; Is. 42:9; Ezek. 11:5; Eph. 1:11; Ps. 33:10-11; Is. 63:14; Eph. 3:10; Rom. 9:17; Gen. 45:7; Ps. 145:7)


V. Election

Election is God’s eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life—not because of foreseen merit in them, but of His mere mercy in Christ—in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified. (Eph. 1:4,9,11,2:8-9; Rom. 8:28-30, 9:11,13,15-16; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 Thess. 5:9; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2)


VI. The Fall of Man

God originally created Man in His own image, and free from sin; but, through the temptation of Satan, he transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; whereby his posterity inherit a corrupt nature that is wholly opposed to God and His law, are under condemnation, and as soon as they are capable of moral action, become actual transgressors. (Gen. 3:13; Rom. 3:10-19, 23, 5:12, 8:7; 2 Cor.11:3; Gen. 2:17; Eph. 2:1-3; Acts 17:26)


VII. The Mediator

Jesus Christ, the one and only Son of God, is the divinely appointed mediator between God and man. Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the law; suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. He was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended to His Father, at whose right hand He ever lives to make intercession for His people. He is the only Mediator, the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church, and Sovereign of the Universe. (Is. 42:1; 1 Peter 1:19-20; John 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:5; Acts 3:20,22; Deut. 18:15; Heb. 5:5-6, Ps. 2:6, Luke 1:33; John 1:1-3,14; 1 John 5:20; Phil. 2:6; Gal. 4:4; Matt. 16:16; Rom. 5:19; Heb. 9:14; 2 Cor. 5:18; Col. 1:20)


VIII. Regeneration

Regeneration is a change of heart, brought about by the Holy Spirit, who makes alive those who are dead in trespasses and sins, enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature, so that they love and practice holiness. It is a work of God’s free and special grace alone. (Ezek. 11:19, 36:26-27; Deut. 30:6; John 3:5; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:23; John 6:44-45; 2 Tim. 1:9; Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 9:11)  


IX. Repentance

Repentance is an evangelical grace, wherein a person being by the Holy Spirit, made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin, humbles himself for it, with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and abhorrence of the old self, with a purpose and endeavor to walk before God so as to please Him in all things. (Acts 11:18; 2 Cor. 7:10; Zech. 12:10; Ezek. 18:30-31, 36:31; Is. 30:22; Ps. 51:4, 119:6, 59, 106, 128; Jer. 31:18-19; Joel 2:12-13; Amos 5:15; 2 Cor. 7:11; 1 Thess. 1:9; 2 Kings 23:25)


X. Faith

Saving faith is the belief, on God’s authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ; trusting and resting upon Him alone for justification and eternal life. It is brought about in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by all other saving graces, and leads to a life of holiness. (John 4:42; 1 Thess. 2:13; Acts. 24:14; John 3:5; 1 Cor. 12:3; Titus 3:5; John 1:12; Acts 16:31; Gal. 2:20; Acts 15:11; 1 John 5:4-5; Heb. 6:11-12, 10:22)


XI. Justification

Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal of sinners, who believe in Christ, from all sin, through the satisfaction that Christ has made; not for anything brought about in them or done by them; but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith. In justification God declares the sinner righteous. (Rom. 3:22-28, 4:5-8, 5:15-19, 8:30; 2 Cor. 5:19, 21; Titus 3:5, 7; Eph. 1:7; Jer. 23:6; 1 Cor. 1:30-3; Acts 13:38-39; Phil. 1:29, 3:9) 


XII. Sanctification

Those who have been regenerated, and thus justified, are also sanctified by God’s word and Spirit dwelling in them. This sanctification is progressive through the supply of Divine strength, which all saints seek to obtain, pressing after a heavenly life in joyful obedience to all Christ’s commands. (1 Thess. 5:23-24; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; Acts 20:32; Rom. 6:5-6; Phil. 3:10; John 17:17, 19; Rom. 8:13; Col. 1:10-11; Eph. 3:16-19; 2 Cor. 7:1; Col. 1:28; Heb. 12:14)


XIII. Perseverance of the Saints

Those whom God has accepted in the Son, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end; and though they may temporarily fall through neglect and temptation, into sin, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again unto repentance, and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. (Phil. 1:6; 2 Peter 1:10; Rom. 8:28-30; John 6:37, 10:28-29; 1 Peter 1:5, 9; 2 Tim. 2:18-19; Ps. 51:14; Matt. 26:70, 72, 74; 2 Sam. 12:9, 13; Gal. 2:11-14; Eph. 4:30; Rev. 2:4)


XIV. The Church

The Lord Jesus is the head of the Church, which is composed of all His true disciples, and in Him is invested supremely all power for its government. According to His commandment, Christians are to associate themselves into particular societies or churches; and to each of these churches He has given needful authority for administering the order of discipline and worship which He has appointed. The regular officers of a Church are elders and deacons. (Eph. 5:23, 27, 32; Col. 1:18; 1 Cor. 1:2, 12:12-13; Ps. 2:8; Rev. 7:9; Eph. 2:19, 3:15; Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 12:18; Eph. 4:11-13) 


XV. Baptism

Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is baptized in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. It is prerequisite to church membership, and to participation in the Lord’s Supper. (Rom. 6:2-5; Col. 2:12; Acts 8:36-37; Matt. 28:19-20)


XVI. The Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and wine, and to be observed by His churches till the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate His death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with Him, and of their church fellowship. (1 Cor. 11:23-26; Matt. 26:26-27; Luke 22:19-20; Heb. 9:22, 25-26, 28, 10:10-14) 


XVII. The Lord’s Day

The Lord’s Day is a Christian institution for regular observance, and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private, individually and corporately, every Sunday (the first day of the week). (Ex. 20:6; Is. 58:13-14; Matt. 12:1-13; Mark 3:1-5; Heb. 10:24-25; 1 Cor. 16:1-2; Acts 20:7; Rev. 1:10)


XVIII. Liberty of Conscience

God alone is Lord of the conscience; and He has left it free from the constriction of men, which are contrary to His word, or not contained in it. Civil authorities and government are ordained by God, as such we are to be in subjection to them in all lawful things commanded by them, not only to avoid civil consequences, but also for our conscience’s sake. (James 4:12; Rom. 14:4,10; 1 Cor. 10:29; Acts 4:19, 5:29; Matt. 15:1-6; Col. 2:20-23; Gal. 2:4-5)


XIX. The Resurrection

The bodies of men after death return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God—the righteous to rest with Him; the wicked, to be reserved under darkness to the judgment. At the last day, the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised. (Gen. 3:19; Acts 13:36; Luke 23:43; Eccl. 12:7; 2 Cor. 5:1-8; Phil. 1:23; Rom. 8:23; Luke 16:23-24; Acts 1:25; Jude 6-7; Acts 24:15; Phil. 3:21)


XX. The Judgment

God hath appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when everyone shall receive according to his deeds: the wicked shall go into everlasting punishment and the righteous into everlasting life. (Acts 17:31; John 5:22, 27; 2 Tim. 4:1; Matt. 25:31-46; Rom. 2:5-6; Acts 3:19; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; Mark 9:48; Matt. 24:36, 42-44; Mark 13:35-37; Luke 12:35-36; Rev. 22:20) 

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