Armor of Truth Statement of Faith

Bible

We believe the Bible is the Word of God and that its original manuscripts are free from errors and contradictions. It is the one and only infallible, authoritative, and trustworthy rule for faith and life. (2 Peter. 1:21, 2 Tim. 3:16). The Roman Catholic Apocrypha is not inspired scripture and is not part of the canon of scripture. The Bible is to be taken as literally as possible except where obviously figurative. Genesis, for example, is literal, and Adam and Eve were actual people.

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God

God is the only Supreme Being with no gods created before or after Him in all of existence, in all places, in all time (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6; 44:8; 1 Tim. 1:17). He has always been God and was never anything else (Psalm 90:2). He is Holy (Rev. 4:8), Eternal (Isaiah 57:15), Omnipotent (Jer. 32:17,27), Omnipresent (Psalm 139:7), Omniscient (1 John 3:20); etc. He is Love (1 John 4:8, 16); Light (1 John 1:5); Spirit (John 4:24); Truth (Psalm 117:2); Creator (Isaiah 40:12,22,26), etc. He is to be worshiped (Gen. 24:26; Ex. 4:31; 2 Chron. 29:28; 1 Cor. 14:25;Rev. 7:11). He is to be served (Matt. 4:10;1 Cor. 6:19; Phil. 3:7; 1 Thess. 1:9; Heb. 9:14). He is to be proclaimed (Matt. 28:19f.; John 14:15f.; Acts 1:8).

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Trinity

We are strictly monotheistic. There is one God in whom are three eternal, distinct, simultaneous persons — the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. All three are the one God, coeternal, coequal, etc., yet there is only one God, not three gods, and not one person who took three modes, offices, or forms. (Isaiah 44:6,8; 45:5; Gen. 1:26-27; 3:22; Matt. 3:17; 28:19; Luke 10:35; 2 Cor. 13:14). The Godhead is transcendent: timeless, spaceless, immaterial; also personal, volitional and uncreated (existing eternally).

See also The Trinity.

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Jesus

Jesus Christ is the Word (God) who became a man. He added human nature to His divine nature. He is both human and divine, and, therefore, has two natures. Yet, He is one person, not two. He is not part God and part man. Jesus is presently a man, one person, with two natures where one nature is wholly God and the other wholly man. (Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 2:9; 1 Tim. 3:16;Heb. 1:5-13; John 1:1-3,14). See also the doctrine of the Hypostatic Union. Jesus will eternally remain as a man and intercedes for us eternally as a high priest after the order of Melchezedek (Heb. 6:20; 7:25).

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Virgin birth

Jesus Christ was miraculously conceived and born of the virgin Mary, (Luke 1:42). Mary ceased to be a virgin after the birth of Jesus (Matt. 1:25).

See also Was Mary perpetually virgin?.

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Resurrection

Jesus Christ rose from the dead after being in the grave for three days. He rose in the same body in which He died. He was raised in a glorified, physical body (still retaining his crucifixion wounds). He ascended bodily into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and rules heaven and earth. (John 2:19; 1 Cor. 15; Luke 24:39). Likewise, we Christians will be raised bodily from the dead and spend eternity with the Lord.

See also What is Glorification?.

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Substitutionary atonement

God the Father so loved us that He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. Jesus, the Word, became man, bore our sins in His body on the cross (1 Peter. 2:24), and died in our place, suffering the consequences of the breaking of the Law (1 John 3:4), which is physical death (Rom. 6:23) and spiritual death (Isa. 59:2), that was due us (Isaiah 53:4-6). He became sin on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21). His sacrifice was a legal substitution for us (1 John 2:2; John 19:30; 1 Pet. 2:24). It was legal since sin is breaking God’s Law (1 John 3:4) and substitutionary since Christ took our punishment (Isaiah 53:4-6) and tasted death for everyone (Heb. 2:9). As a result God’s justice was satisfied and Christian believers are released from eternal punishment (1 Pet. 3:18; Matt. 1:21; 25:46; Rom. 5; 1 John 2:2), and the debt that our sin brings against us has been cancelled (Col. 2:14).

See also Penal Substitutionary Atonement.

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Baptism

Baptism is an important action of obedience for a Christian and signifies a person’s identification with Christ. Baptism is not necessary for salvation. It is an outward manifestation of an inward reality of trust in the sacrifice of Christ, of conversion, and of identification with Christ. The act of water baptism does not save anyone. We are made right before God by grace through faith alone, in Christ alone (Rom. 3:28-30; 4:3,5; 5:1; Gal. 2:16, 21; Phil. 3:9; see also Acts 10:44-48).

See also Baptism.

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Salvation

Salvation is being saved from the righteous judgment of God upon the sinner. Salvation is obtained by grace alone, through faith alone, in the work of Christ alone (John 3:16) and not by our good works (Rom. 3:20; Eph. 2:8-9). We are chosen for salvation by God (2 Thess. 2:13).

See also Salvation.

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Justification by grace through faith alone

Justification is being declared legally righteous by God. This justification is received by faith alone without any ceremony/baptism (Rom. 4:1-6), in the work of Christ fulfilling the Law in his earthly ministry (1 Pet. 2:22), and his removing of sin by his sacrifice. Justification is a gift from God (Rom. 3:24) and is received apart from the works of the Law (Rom. 3:28; Gal. 2:21).

See also What is Justification?.

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Regeneration

Regeneration is the work of God that occurs with faith. This regeneration means the person is made a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17) and is then able to resist his sin and seek to increase in sanctification before the Lord. Those thus regenerated do not seek to abide (remain) in sin, though they do fall into it, but war against it and repent of sin before the Lord.

See also Regeneration.

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Sanctification

Sanctification is the process by which the Holy Spirit makes us more like Christ in all that we do, think, and desire and increases our ability to repent from sin — by God’s grace, (1 Thess. 4:7; Eph. 2:10; 1 Tim. 4:4; 1 Peter. 3:15; 2 Tim. 2:25). This process continues all of the Christian’s life and is the result of salvation, not a cause of it, nor a contributing factor to it. Furthermore, the effort of sanctification does not maintain the believer’s salvation.

See also What is the difference between Justification and Sanctification?.

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Christian church

God calls Christians to his Church where the Word of God is preached, where baptism and the Lord’s Supper (communion) are administered, where believers are discipled and disciplined, and where believers serve to build up one another (Matt. 16:18). There is no one true earthly ecclesiastical body that is ‘the true church.’ Rather, the True Church consists of all true believers wherever they might be.

See also What is the purpose of the Christian church?.

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Church officers

God calls qualified Christians to be ordained and to serve Jesus Christ in special leadership capacities, i.e. Elders, Deacons, Ministers of the Word, and Evangelists. The office(s) of pastor and elder is limited to qualified men only who are called by God, recognized by the body, and who meet the biblical standard of eldership (Titus 1:5-9). Women are not to be pastors nor elders and are not to hold positions of authority in the Christian Church where that authority is exercised over men, (1 Tim. 2:11-15; 3:11-13; Titus 1:5-9).

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Rapture

The event where, upon Jesus’ return, those who have died in Christ and those Christians who are then alive will be physically caught up to the clouds and meet the Lord Jesus in the air. We will then forever be with the Lord (1 Thess. 4:16-5:2). Because of the diverse opinions among Christians regarding the rapture, we consider Pre-wrath rapture, pre-trib rapture, mid-trib rapture, and post-trib rapture to be within the scope of Christian orthodoxy. Though we hold to the Pre-wrath rapture position.

See also What is the Rapture?.

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Second coming

Jesus Christ will bodily and visibly return from heaven to earth with great glory and majesty.

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Millennium

Because of the diverse opinions among Christians regarding the millennium, our position is that amillennialism, premillennialism, and post millennialism are within the scope of Christian orthodoxy. we reject full preterism (the teaching that Jesus returned in 70 A.D.) but affirm that partial preterism is within orthodoxy. though we hold to the premillennialism view.

See also Premillennialism.

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Spiritual realm

There is a spiritual realm of angels and demons. Angels serve God and carry out his will. Demons are fallen angels (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6) who war against God and who will ultimately face eternal punishment (Matt. 25:41; 2 Per. 2:4). Christians cannot be demon possessed.

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Eternal judgment

All who are not justified by faith in Christ and the blood of Christ will face eternal, conscious, and agonizing judgment away from the presence of God (Matt. 8:12; Luke 16:19-31; Rev. 20:14-15; 21:8)

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Evangelism

We must teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to all people, in every nation (Matt. 28:19-20). Also, we are to refute false doctrines, false religions, and whatever else might contradict the word of God but we are to do this without insult (1 Pet. 3:15) if per chance God would grant them repentance (2 Tim. 2:25).

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Kingdom work

Part of being a Christian means to participate in expanding the Kingdom of God. Every Christian is to work for this end according to the gifts given him or her by the Lord (Matt. 28:18-20; Rom. 12). Not all are pastors, or evangelists, or teachers (Rom. 12), but each Christian is expected to do his or her part to promote the gospel whether it be by prayer and/or tithing, and/or teaching, and/or bearing and training children, and/or evangelism, etc.

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Heresy

Any doctrine that deviates from the historical, orthodox, and biblical position of the Christian Church, throughout Church history, as judged from a Protestant perspective is a heresy. There are heresies that are damnable (denying the Deity of Christ, denying Christ’s physical resurrection, denying justification by grace through faith, etc.). There are heresies that are not damnable (advocating women pastors; practicing polygamy, divorce for convenience sake, etc., although the repentance is necessary). There are also teachings within Christianity that are debatable whereas differences of opinion are not heresy (eating or not eating meat, worship on Saturday or Sunday, etc.) See Rom. 14:1-12, and Col. 2:16-19

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Living

Where possible, Christians are to live in peace with all men, suffering wrongs, false accusations, and misrepresentations with charity. However, Christians are free to defend themselves (Luke 22:36) and promote the truth of Christianity by correcting false teachings and refuting error (2 Tim. 2:25; 1 Pet. 3:15). They are free to use the political system and its laws in order to promote a more godly and moral society. Christians are to live in the world as examples of godliness and are not to participate in the sinful passions of the world.

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Creation and evolution

God created the universe and all that is in it by his creative effort. God brought the universe into existence by the exertion of his will. Within Christianity there is room for the interpretation of the six creation days (Genesis 1:1-31) to be literal seven 24 hour periods but also longer periods. Nevertheless, Adam and Eve were real people, created by God just as Genesis says. We do not affirm macro evolution (the formation of life on earth from a single cell that evolved via natural selection over millions of years into the species now seen all over the earth) or theistic evolution (that God guided macro evolution to bring humanity into existence). We deny them both. However, micro evolution, the modification of existing species with existing genetic information that allows species to adapt to environments, is within the realm of Christian orthodoxy. We did not evolve from other species into our present condition. God did not guide evolution of species by which humanity, the animal kingdom, or the plant kingdom was developed. The General theory of evolution is unscriptural and counterfactual (in opposition to available facts).

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