"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all" (Eph. 4:1-6).
Desiring to be in full accord with the mind of the Spirit for this present dispensation, we hold and require the following doctrinal beliefs:
The entire Bible in its original writings is verbally inspired of God and is of plenary authority (II Tim. 3:16,17; II Peter 1:21).
There is one God, eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Deut. 6:4; I Tim. 2:5; Eph. 4:4-6; Matt. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14).
THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST
Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, and is true God and true man (Luke 1:35; Phil. 2:6-9; Rom. 1:3,4).
We believe God created the heavens and the earth in six days according to Genesis 1 and Exodus 20:11. We understand the days of the creation week each began with an evening and concluded with a morning. We believe God finished a perfect creation and has ceased from all such creation activities. (Genesis 1, Exod. 20:11 ).
THE CONDITION OF LOST MANKIND
All men by nature are dead in trespasses and sins and are, therefore, totally unable by their own wisdom or strength to do anything pleasing to God (Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 3:9-12; I Cor. 1:18-31).
God justifies ungodly sinners by His grace upon the ground of the shed blood of Christ through the means of faith. This complete salvation is bestowed as a free gift of God apart from man's works. It is a personal matter, leaving no room for the so-called "social gospel" (Rom. 3:24-28; 5:1,9; Eph. 2:8,9).
All the saved are eternally secure in Christ (Col. 3:1-4; Phil 1:6; Rom. 8:1; 8:29-34; 8:38,39; Eph 1:13,14).
PERSONALITY AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is a Person, Who convicts the world of sin and Who regenerates, baptizes, indwells, seals, enlightens, and empowers believers (Titus 3:5; I Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:13,14,17,18; 3:16).
In the present dispensation there is only one true Church, which is called the Body of Christ (I Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:22,23; 3:1-6) separate and distinct from the prophesied earthly kingdom of Christ. The historical manifestation of the Body of Christ began with the Apostle Paul before he wrote his first epistle (I Thes. 2:14-16 cf. Acts 13:45,46; Phil. 1:5,6 cf. Acts 16; I Cor. 12:13,27 cf. Acts 18).
The spiritual gifts necessary for the ministry of the Body of Christ in Paul's day are those enumerated in Ephesians 4:7-16. Of these, only the gifts of evangelists, pastors and teachers are in operation today. The gifts of ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, and showing of mercy as listed in Romans 12:7 and 8 as well as the gifts of helps and governments from I Corinthians 12:28 may also, be considered operational today.
All the sign gifts of the Acts period, such as tongues, prophesy and healing (I Cor. 12:1-31), being temporary in character, have ceased (I Cor. 13:8-11).
By reason of Christ's victory over sin and of His indwelling Spirit, all of the saved may and should experience deliverance from the power of sin by obedience to Romans 6:11. We deny that man's sinful nature is ever eradicated during this life (Rom. 6:6-14; Gal. 5:16-25; Rom. 8:37; II Cor. 2:14; 10:2-5).
As saints (Lit., "set-apart ones") and members of the true Church (Lit., "called-out ones") we are to maintain a Christ-honoring testimony, separate from all forms of worldliness and apostasy, and to demonstrate obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ and love to all men (Rom. 12:1,2,9; II Cor. 6:14-18; Eph. 5:11; I Tim. 6:20,21).
All saved persons have been made members of the Body of Christ by one divine baptism (I Cor. 12:13). By this one baptism every member of the Body of Christ is identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. In the light of the statement concerning the one baptism in Ephesians 4:5, the statements concerning baptism in Colossians 2:12 and Romans 6:3,4 and Paul's statement in I Corinthians 1:17 that "Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel," we affirm that water baptism has no place in God's spiritual program for the Body of Christ in this Dispensation of grace.
THE LORD'S SUPPER
The communion of the Lord's Supper as revealed through the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 11:23-26 is for members of the Body of Christ to observe "until He comes."
There is no place in Scripture where the Lord's Supper and water baptism are linked together as ordinances or as sacraments for the Church.
Jesus Christ was resurrected bodily from the dead (Luke 24:39-43). Based on I Cor. 15:21, all men will have a bodily resurrection (Acts 24:15): the saved to everlasting glory and the unsaved to everlasting punishment (John 5:29; Rev. 20:11-15).
THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
The rapture of the Church "which is His Body," and the second coming of Christ will be pre-millennial. He will come first to receive the members of His Body to Himself (I Thes. 4:13-18; Phil. 3:20,21), and later to receive His millennial kingdom, over which He will reign (Zech. 14:4,9; Acts 1:10,11; Rev. 19:11-16; 20:4-6). Because of the distinctive nature of the Body of Christ, the resurrection and rapture of the Church, which is His Body, will take place before the Tribulation (Jer. 30:7; Matt. 24:15-31) at His appearing in the air (I Thes. 4:13-18; Phil 3:20,21; Titus 2:13,14; I Cor. 15:15-53). The resurrection of the other saved dead will occur after the tribulation (Rev. 20:4-6).
The mission and commission of the Church which is His Body is to proclaim the message of reconciliation (II Cor. 5:14-21) and to preach Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:8,9) with all boldness. In this we should follow the example of the Apostle Paul (I Cor. 4:16; 11:1; Phil. 3:17; 4:9; I Tim. 1:11-16). That distinctive message which the Apostle of the Gentiles (Rom. 11:13; 15:16) calls "my gospel" (Rom. 2:16; 16:25) is also called "the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24). We, like Paul, must preach the entire Word of God in the light of 'this' gospel (II Tim. 4:2; Gal. 1:8,9), and strive to reach those in the regions beyond where Christ is not yet named (Rom. 15:20; II Cor. 10:16).