The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are inspired by God and form the sole and sufficient rule of faith and practice for man. Continuity between the Old and New Testaments is presumed, such that Old Testament laws and commands are binding unless explicitly rescinded or modified in the New Testament. The Bible is the sole rule of moral conduct for the individual, instruction for the Family, worship and discipline in the Church, and law and justice in the State.
The Person and Sovereignty of God
The God of the Old and New Testaments is the Creator and Ruler of the universe and all things therein. God is one in substance and essence, existing in three distinct persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, without mixture or subordination. God is sovereign over all events, past, present and future. He has ordained all events and the destiny of each person from eternity past, and He administers all events according to His providence.
The Depravity and Accountability of Man
Because of the sin and rebellion of Adam in the Garden of Eden, all men are born with a sin nature and are dead in trespasses and sins. Man’s will is not free, in that he cannot do good works or exercise faith without being born again by God’s grace. Yet man is a free moral agent, and is thus held accountable for his evil deeds and unbelief.
Salvation by Grace through Faith Alone
Salvation is entirely by the grace of God. It was purchased for us by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, by which He conquered sin and death, and bestowed His righteousness on His own who believe on Him. A man can be saved only when the Holy Spirit awakens him, convicts him of sin, and enables him to believe on Jesus. Man cannot purchase salvation by good works, nor can he add to the work of Christ. Salvation delivers the believer both from eternal punishment and from the power of sin in the present, so that the Christian has the duty and the ability, by the resurrection of Christ, to live a Godly and holy life according the commandments of God. Perfect sanctification is never fully accomplished in this life because of remaining sin, but the true believer will continue to war against it, and will persevere to the end.
Those who have been called to the ministry of preaching by the Holy Spirit, and have been ordained thereto by the Church, have the duty to proclaim the whole counsel of God contained in the Scriptures. Preaching involves teaching sound doctrine, reproving sin, correcting errors in doctrine and practice, and instruction in godly living. Preaching should be expository, by which the Bible is methodically expounded both with grammatical accuracy and in its historical context. It should also be declarative, applying the revealed will of God to family, church, and national life.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
Scripture has set forth two ordinances for the church. First, baptism is representative of the sealing work of the Holy Spirit whereby believers in Christ are made partakers of the covenant of grace. Baptism does not merit salvation.
Second, the Lord’s supper is the means by which believers in Christ commemorate the sacrifice of Christ once offered for sin. The elements are representative of the body and blood of Christ, the spiritual nourishment of those who partake worthily. It is to be administered only to those who profess faith in Jesus Christ and who are living a Godly life. Ecclesiastical discipline is administered by excluding those who live in open and scandalous sin from partaking of the Lord’s supper.
The Unity and Purity of the Church
The invisible Church is the body of Christ, and consists of all those who are elect unto salvation, including those already departed and those not yet born, and is known only to God. The visible Church of Christ on earth consist of all who profess true faith in Christ and submit to His revealed law.
Every Christian has the duty to join a local gathering of the visible Church. Each local church must strive for both unity and purity, both with each other and with other churches. A true church is not defined by apostolic succession, but by the faithful preaching of Scripture, faithful administration of baptism and the Lord’s supper, and faithful exercise of church discipline. The only officers of the church are pastors and deacons. These must meet the qualifications listed in I Timothy 3.
The Hope and Duty of the Christian
The Christian has the hope of the imminent second coming of Jesus Christ, whereby sin will be finally eradicated and perfect righteousness will come. Until then, the Christian has the duty to pray and work for the coming of Christ’s kingdom, and to seek to subdue every thought and activity under the rule and dominion of Christ according to His law.