Doctrinal Distinctives

Seven Doctrinal Distinctives

1. A Biblical view of God

We believe and teach there is one true and living God, the eternal Creator and sovereign Lord of all, who exists eternally in three Persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Acts 17:24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,27 so that they should seek the Lord (God is eternal Creator and sovereign Lord over all.)

Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (“name” is singular because all three Persons of the Godhead – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are equally God and have the same name, the same glorious nature.)

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory… Jesus Christ is God)

Acts 5:3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit …You have not lied to men but to God." (The Holy Spirit is God)

2. A Biblical view of the Scriptures

We believe and teach that the 66 books of the Bible (39 OT, 27 NT) comprise the perfect, pure, authoritative, sufficient, and complete written revelation of the living God.

Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; 8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

(God’s word is perfect)

Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in

Him. 6 Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.
(God’s word is pure)

Matthew 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
(God’s word is authoritative)

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work..
(God’s word is sufficient)

Revelation 22:18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
(God’s word is complete)

3. A Biblical view of the revelatory and sign gifts like the gift of tongues

We believe and teach that certain gifts were given by God for the early years of the church when the NT was not complete. Tongues is an example. The following are key truths about tongues.

Tongues was the ability to speak in known foreign languages, not some angelic language.

Acts 2:8 how is it we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9 “Parthians and Medes and Elamites, residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.”

Tongues was a gift to some, not all, and what was said in a tongue was to be interpreted.

1Cor. 12:8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit…10 and …to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues…30 All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? (The answer implied by Paul is, “No, of course not, all do not speak with tongues.”)

Tongues were for a limited time only. The Spirit said through Paul that tongues would cease.

1Cor. 13:8… if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease;

Tongues was being abused by some in the church. It was to be a sign to unbelievers but some were speaking in tongues among believers, without interpretation, edifying no one but themselves. Paul rebuked them, said prophesying is superior, and regulated the use of tongues.

1Cor. 14:4 One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. 5 .. greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying. 19 in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind, that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue. 22 So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe, but to unbelievers…23 If therefore the whole church should assemble together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted or unbelievers enter, will they not say you are mad? (yes!) 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and let one interpret; 28 but if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in the church…

4. A Biblical view of preaching and teaching

We believe and teach that accurate, authoritative preaching and teaching of the word of God, both publicly and house to house, is a priority for church gatherings, as this is God’s ordained means of saving sinners, sanctifying saints, equipping servants, and exalting our Savior Jesus Christ.

Mark 1:38 But He said to them, "Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth."

Acts 6:2 The twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. …4 we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word."

1 Corinthians 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

John 7:17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

Ephesians 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ

5. A Biblical view of church leadership

We believe and teach that the local church is to be led by a plurality of godly men variously referred to as elders (a reference to their maturity) pastors or overseers/bishops (references to their ministry). The elders are to be helped by another group of godly men called deacons.

1 Timothy 3:1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, soberminded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, 9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. 11 Likewise their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
(See also Titus 1:5-9, 1 Peter 5:1-3)

6. A Biblical view of ministry by every member of the body

We believe and teach that God in His sovereignty has bestowed upon every believer various spiritual gifts for the purpose of serving Him in the church as a member of the body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.

7. A Biblical view of the future

We believe and teach the blessed hope of the personal, imminent return of the Lord Jesus to rapture the church before the great tribulation. The rapture will be followed by seven years of tribulation unlike anything the world has ever seen. That day of judgment will be ended by the Lord when He returns to earth to establish His Millennial Kingdom.

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

James 5:8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!