The sole basis of our beliefs is the Bible, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. It was uniquely, verbally, and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, and was written without error in the original manuscripts. It is the supreme and final authority in faith and life in every age.
There is but one God, infinite in power, wisdom, justice, goodness and love, Creator of the universe, eternally existing in three persons-Father, Son and Holy Spirit-each of whom possesses all the attributes of Deity and the characteristics of personality.
God created man in His own image, and man as he was originally created, was innocent before God. But man chose to sin by disobeying God, and therefore was alienated from his Creator and came under divine condemnation. Thus, all human beings are born with a corrupted nature and without spiritual life, and are totally incapable of pleasing God in and of themselves.
God the Father, by His own choice and out of love for sinful men and women, sent Jesus Christ into the world to reconcile sinners to Himself. Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. He was God in the flesh, both true God and true man. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life and voluntarily suffered and died as our substitute to pay the penalty for our sins, thus satisfying God's justice and accomplishing salvation for all those who trust in Him alone. He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He lived and died. He bodily ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Father, where He, the only mediator between God and man, makes intercession for His own. He will return to earth personally, visibly, and bodily to judge all men and establish His kingdom.
Men and women are freed from the penalty for their sins not as a result, in whole or in part, of their own works, goodness, or religious ceremony, but by the undeserved favor of God alone. God declares righteous all who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation.
The Holy Spirit has come into the world to reveal and glorify Christ, to convict men and women of their sins, and to impart new life to all who place their faith in Christ. He indwells believers from the moment of spiritual birth, seals them until the day of redemption, and empowers them to live a life pleasing to God.
All who are born again of the Spirit can, through the sure promises of God, be fully assured of eternal life from the very moment they put their faith in Christ. This assurance is not based upon any kind of human merit but upon the finished work of Christ, who completely paid for their sins and upon the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who is the deposit guaranteeing their inheritance.
At physical death, the believer enters immediately into eternal, conscious fellowship with the Lord and awaits the resurrection of his or her body to everlasting glory, and blessing. At physical death, the unbeliever enters into eternal, conscious separation from the Lord and awaits the resurrection of his or her body to everlasting suffering, judgment, and condemnation.
Jesus Christ has instructed those who believe in Him to be baptized in water as a symbol of their new birth in Christ. Baptism is only for those who have personally believed in Christ. Our practice is to baptize by immersion. The Lord also instituted the Lord's Supper as a remembrance of His suffering, death, and resurrection. Neither baptism nor the Lord's Supper has any merit in helping a person obtain eternal life.
All true believers make up the church worldwide and should assemble together in local churches for worship, prayer, fellowship, and teaching, in order to become conformed to the image of Christ and to become equipped to carry out the ‘Great Commission' that Christ gave His followers in Matthew 28:19-20.
For much of 2014 the way I would describe my life was “boring.” I was thriving at work, enjoying friendships, and with a ministry team at my church. But something was still missing that had the power to satisfy my deepest longings and…
Matthew Anfinson is a college student at Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. Matthew is Haitian, and the adopted son of Byron and Heidi, founding members of the Urban Refuge. Matthew was adopted at 18 months old when his adoptive mother was pregnant…