At Refuge Church, we hold two statements of faith:

  1. Member Statement of Faith

  2. Elder Statement of Faith

Our Member Statement of Faith has two purposes

  1. To provide a clear test of salvific orthodoxy that every member must joyfully embrace and seek to defend.

  2. To provide a few key distinctives that move beyond a test of orthodoxy but are fundamental to the unity in this body. These must be joyfully embraced by each member.

Our Elder Statement of Faith also has two purposes

  1. The first purpose of our Elder Statement of Faith is to provide a unifying framework and teaching foundation for the elders of Refuge Church. All elders of Refuge must be in agreement with these doctrines (although exceptions may be allowed for minor differences over secondary doctrines). The elders also may require a certain measure of agreement to this document for various levels of leadership, especially regular teaching positions.

  2. The second purpose is to provide a theological compass for the members of Refuge. While all members may not always agree with every point of doctrine contained in this statement, all members of Refuge must at least agree that these are the doctrines they will be taught and pastored through. As well, they may not promote opposing views of our church in a divisive way. This statement is not intended to exhaustively represent all the beliefs of Refuge.

Doctrine and the Gospel

While we believe that the gospel is the most important thing, it is not the only important thing. The doctrines of the gospel are at the core of the Christian faith, while other doctrines have value for our growth in Christ and the health of the church. Those doctrines which are essential to the gospel and the Christian faith are primary, or “closed handed” doctrines. All true Christians should readily affirm these truths. Those doctrines which are not essential for salvation but are nonetheless valuable for Christian growth and church health are secondary, or “open handed” doctrines. Faithful Christians may not always agree on these doctrines. In a tract on Christian unity, one theologian put it this way: “in essentials unity, in non–essentials liberty, in all things charity.”

When you combine both of these statements they include both primary and secondary doctrines in order to set forth the pure gospel of Jesus Christ as well as the additional beliefs that shape our life as a church body. For example, as a Baptist church, we believe and practice “believer’s baptism” and have thus included it in this statement of faith. Despite our disagreement with other Christians and churches who practice infant baptism, we still have sincere love and respect for them and have learned much from them. Nevertheless, a church needs clarity on its own beliefs and practices to maintain unity and health.

The Spirit of these Statements

The spirit of having two statements of faith is to provide guardrails, not handcuffs. Inevitably, churches that value diversity will have members that disagree on secondary doctrines. But we believe it is wise for churches to plainly set forth what they believe and practice, in both primary and secondary matters, to give a clear direction for the church.

 Member Statement of Faith

I. The Word of God

God has disclosed His existence and power in the created order, and has revealed Himself to fallen human beings in the person of His Son, the incarnate Word. By His Spirit, this God has also disclosed Himself in human words. God has inspired the words preserved in the Scriptures, the sixty–six books of the Old and New Testaments. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments alone are the Word of God, being fully written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and therefore are without error in the original manuscripts and have supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct for all of humanity.

(Mark 13.31; John 8.31–32; John 20.31; Acts 20.32; 2 Tim. 3.16–17; 2 Pet. 1.20–21)

II. God

We believe that there is one living and true God, the Maker, Preserver, and Ruler of all things, having in and of Himself all perfections including holiness, wisdom, power, love, and being infinite in them all. He is the Creator of all things, visible and invisible. To Him, all creatures owe the highest love, reverence, trust, obedience, and worship.

(Deut. 6.4; Ps. 145.3; John 1.3; Rom. 11.36; 1 Cor. 8.4–6, 10.31; Col. 1.16–17; 1 Tim. 1.17)

III. The Father

We believe that God the Father, a personal Spirit, exhaustively decrees and infallibly foreknows all that shall come to pass, in keeping with His sovereign will and purposes, including the future free choices of all humans and other moral beings, that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of humanity, that He hears and answers prayer and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.

(Matt. 3.16–17, 23.9, 28.19; Luke 10.21–22; John 3.16, 6.27; Rom. 1.7; 1 Tim. 1.1–2, 2.5–6; 1 Pet. 1.3; Rev. 1:6)

IV. Jesus Christ

We accept as truth that Jesus Christ is God’s eternally begotten Son. Moved by love and in obedience to His Father, the eternal Son became human: the Word became flesh, fully God and fully human being. We place our faith in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal, visible return to earth. We believe that He is seated at the right hand of God the Father, exercising in heaven and on earth all of God’s sovereignty. He is the divinely appointed and only Mediator between God and man, the Prophet, Priest, and King of the Church, and Sovereign of the universe.

(Isa. 53.10–12; Matt. 1.18–25, 20.28, 28.18; Luke 1.26–38; John 1.1, 14, 20.28, 30–31; Acts 1.9–11; Rom. 3.21–27, 5.6–8, 6.9–10, 8.34, 9.5; 1 Cor. 1.20–31, 15.3–4; 2 Cor. 5.21; Gal. 3.13; Eph. 1.4; Heb. 1.1–3, 7.25, 9.28; 1 Tim. 2.5, 3.16; 1 Pet. 1.3, 2.21–23)

V. The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son to bring glory to the Father and the Son, to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, is present with and in believers, and by His powerful and mysterious work regenerates spiritually dead sinners, awakening them to repentance and faith. He sanctifies and empowers all who believe in Jesus Christ, giving spiritual gifts to each of them for the purpose of building up the body of Christ. He is the Spirit of adoption, the seal of our salvation, the guarantor of our inheritance in Christ, and an abiding helper, teacher, and guide.

(John 14.16–17, 26, 15.26, 27, 16.8–14; Rom. 8.9, 14–17; 1 Cor. 3.16, 6.19, 12.1–11; Gal. 5.22–26; Eph. 1.13–14; Ezek. 36.25–27)

VI. The Trinity

We believe that God eternally exists in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that these are without division of nature, essence, or being and equal in every divine perfection, and that They execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence, and redemption. They know love, and glorify one another.

(Gen. 1.1, 26; John 1.1, 3, 4.24; Matt. 3.16–17, 28.19; Rom. 1.19, 20; 2 Corinthians 13.14; Eph. 4.5–6)

VII. Providence

We believe that God, from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and all events, yet so as not in any way to be the author or approver of sin nor to destroy the free will and responsibility of moral beings. He perfectly and exhaustively knows the end from the beginning, sustains and sovereignly rules over all things, and providentially brings about His eternal good purposes to redeem a people for Himself and restore His fallen creation, to the praise of His glorious grace.

(Isa. 46.9–11; Prov. 16.33; Col. 1.17; Heb. 1.3; Jas. 1.13–15; Deut. 6.4; Matt. 3.16–17, 28.19)

VIII. The Creation of Humanity

We believe that God created human beings, male and female, in His own image. Adam and Eve belonged to the created order that God Himself declared to be very good, serving as God’s agents to care for, manage and govern creation, living in holy and devoted fellowship with their Maker. Men and women, equally made in the image of God, enjoy equal access to God by faith in Christ Jesus. Adam and Eve were made to exist in a one–flesh union that establishes the only normative pattern of sexual relations for men and women, such that marriage ultimately serves as a type of the union between Christ and His church.

(Gen. 1.27–31, 2.18–25; Eph. 5.22–33; 1 Cor. 11.3; Rom. 16.1–4; 1 Tim. 2.8–15)

IX. The Fall of Humanity

We believe that man was created by God in His own image and free from sin, that humanity distorted that image and forfeited its original blessedness by sinning against God and thereby incurred physical, spiritual, and eternal death, which is separation from God, and that, as a consequence, all human beings are born with a sinful nature opposed to God and His law, are sinners by choice and are under condemnation that results in eternal death.

(Gen. 1.26–27, 2.17, 3.1–7, 19, 6.5, 12, 8.21; Jer. 17.9; John 5.24; Rom. 3.9–20, 5.12–19, 6.21, 23, 7.13, 8.6–7, 9.22; Eph. 2.1–3; 2 Thess. 1.9; Jas. 1.14–15; 1 John 3.14; Rev. 21.8)

X. The Gospel, Repentance and Faith

We believe that the gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ—God’s very wisdom. Utter folly to the world, though it is the power of God to those who are being saved. The supreme need of all human beings is to be reconciled to the God under whose just and holy wrath we stand. In love God commands and implores all people to repent and believe.

We believe that salvation is conditioned upon genuine repentance and faith, which follow upon God’s gracious drawing of sinners through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Repentance occurs when a person, by the Holy Spirit, is made sensible of the manifold evil of his/her sin, detests and forsakes it, humbling himself/herself with godly sorrow and self–abhorrence, and endeavors to walk before God so as to please Him in all things for the glory of His name. Saving faith is the belief, on God’s authority, of whatever is revealed in His word concerning Christ and an accepting and resting upon Him alone for justification and eternal life. It is accompanied by all other saving graces and leads to a life of holiness

We believe that God justifies and sanctifies those who by grace have faith in Jesus and that He will one day glorify them — all to the praise of His glorious grace.

(Prov. 28.13; Matt. 3.8–10; Mark 1.15; John 1.1–4, 3.16, 36, 5.24, 6.40, 44, 65; Acts 2.37–38, 11.18, 13.38–39, 17.30–31, 20.21; Rom. 2.4–5, 3.21–28, 4.1–5, 4.17–25, 8.1, 29–30, 10.3–4, 9–14, 17; 2 Cor. 5.21; Phil. 1.29, 3.9; Eph. 2.8–10, 1.3–10; Heb. 11.6; Jas. 2.14–26; 2 Cor. 7.10–11; 1 Cor. 2.1–5, 15.1–8; Rev. 5.9–10)

XI. Justification

We believe that Christ, by His obedience and death, fully discharged the debt of all those who are justified. By His sacrifice, He bore in our stead the punishment due us for our sins, making a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice on our behalf. By His perfect obedience, He satisfied the just demands of God on our behalf since by faith alone that perfect obedience is credited to all who trust in Christ alone for their acceptance with God. Inasmuch as Christ was given by the Father for us, and His obedience and punishment were accepted in place of our own, freely and not for anything in us, this justification is solely of free grace, in order that both the exact justice and the rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners. We believe that a zeal for personal and public obedience flows from this free justification.

(Rom. 3.21–31; Tit. 2.11–14, 3.3–8)

XII. Regeneration

We believe that regeneration is a change in the nature of a person, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who by His powerful and mysterious work gives life to those dead in trespasses and sins, enlightening their minds, awakening them to repentance and faith and renewing their hearts so that they love and practice holiness according to the word of God. The Holy Spirit is Himself the down payment of the promised inheritance, and in this age indwells, guides, instructs, equips, revives, and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.

(Ezek. 36.25–26; John 1.13, 3.3, 5–8; 2 Cor. 5.17; Eph. 2.1–6; Tit. 3.5; 1 Jn. 5.1)

XIII. The Church

We believe that those who have been saved by the grace of God through union with Christ by faith and through regeneration by the Holy Spirit enter the kingdom of God. They become the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members.

This universal church is manifest in local churches of which Christ is the only Head; the church is the body of Christ, consisting of baptized believers in Jesus Christ, who have given a credible profession of faith and have associated for worship, work, edification, and fellowship. The church is distinguished by her gospel message, her sacred ordinances, her discipline, her great mission, and, above all, by her love for God, and by her members’ love for one another and for the world. We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world

(John 10.16; Acts 1.8, 2.42; Eph. 1.22, 2.19–22, 4.11–16, 5.19–21, 23; Col. 1.18, 3.16; Heb. 3.13, 10.24–25; Mark 1.14–15; Matt 5.13–16, 22.36–40; Gal. 6.10; Col. 1.15– 9; Rev. 21.1–5)

XIV. Christian Conduct

We believe that Christians should live for the glory of God and the well–being of others, as good works constitute indispensable evidence of saving grace; their conduct should strive to be blameless before the world, they should be faithful stewards of their possessions, and they should seek, through the strength that God supplies, to realize for themselves and others the full stature of maturity in Christ, pressing after a heavenly life in joyful obedience to all Christ’s commands. If any believer is behaving in a way that does not align with the Christian faith we believe it is the right and calling of his/her fellow Christians to plead with this person, in a loving manner worthy of Christ, to turn from a lifestyle unbecoming of a true follower of Jesus Christ.

(Ezek. 36.27; Matt. 5.13–16, 31–32, 19.1–9, 22.36–40, 28.20; Mark 1.14–15; John 14.15, 23–24; Rom. 1.26–27, 6.1–7, 8.3–4, 12–14; 12.1–3; 1 Cor. 4.2, 6.9–10, 18, 10.31; 2 Cor. 9.6–9, 12.21; Gal. 5.13–24, 6.7–10; Eph. 5.3–6; Heb. 12.1–2, 13.5; Col. 1.9–10, 15–19, 3.17; 1 Tim. 6.6–10; 1 Pet. 2.12; 2 Pet. 1.3–11; 1 Jn. 2.3–6, 3.16–18; Rev. 21.1–5, 8).

XV. The Ordinances

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The former is connected with entrance into the new covenant community, the latter with ongoing covenant renewal. We believe that Christian baptism occurs through immersion in water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as a sign when a person professes fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ and his/her remission of sins. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is in no sense a sacrifice, but was instituted by Christ to commemorate His death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a pledge and renewal of their communion with Him and with each other. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered by the local church until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

(Matt. 26.26–29, 28.18–20; Acts 2.38; Rom. 6.3–5; 1 Cor.10.16–17, 11.23–31, 12.13).

XVI. Restoration

We believe in the personal, glorious, and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ with His holy angels when He will exercise His role as final Judge, and His kingdom will be consummated. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the just and the unjust— the unjust to judgment and eternal conscious punishment in Hell, as our Lord Himself taught, and the just to eternal blessedness in the presence of Him who sits on the throne and of the Lamb, in the new heaven and the new earth, the home of righteousness. On that day the church will be presented faultless before God by the obedience, suffering, and triumph of Christ, all sin purged and its wretched effects forever banished. God will be all in all and His people will be enthralled by the immediacy of His ineffable holiness, and everything will be to the praise of His glorious grace.

(Matt. 16.27, 25.31–46; Mark 14.62; John 5.28–29, 14.3; Acts 1.11, 17.31; Rom. 2.6–11; Phil. 3.20; 1 Thess. 4.15; 2 Tim. 4.1, 8; Tit. 2.13; 1 Cor. 4.5; 15.12–28; 2 Cor. 5.1–10; 2 Thess. 1.7–10; Rev. 19.11–16, 20.4–6,11–15, 21.1–5).


 1. Scripture, the Word of God Written

1.1 We believe that the Bible, consisting of the sixty–six books of the Old and New Testaments, is the infallible Word of God, verbally inspired by God, and without error in the original manuscripts.

(2 Tim. 3.16; 2 Pet. 1.21, 3.16; 1 Cor. 2.13, 14.37, Matt. 22.29, 43–44, 24.36; John 14.26, 16.13–14, 17.17; Prov. 30.5; Num. 23.19; Ps. 12.6; Heb. 6.18; Tit. 1.2)

1.2 We believe that God’s intentions, revealed in the Bible, are the supreme and final authority in testing all claims about what is true and what is right. In matters not addressed by the Bible, what is true and right is assessed by criteria consistent with the teachings of Scripture.

1.3 We believe God’s intentions are revealed through the intentions of inspired human authors, even when the authors’ intention was to express divine meaning of which they were not fully aware, as, for example, in the case of some Old Testament prophecies. Thus the meaning of Biblical texts is a fixed historical reality, rooted in the historical, unchangeable intentions of its divine and human authors. However, while meaning does not change, the application of that meaning may change in various situations. Nevertheless, it is not legitimate to infer a meaning from a Biblical text that is not demonstrably carried by the words which God inspired.

(1 Pet. 1.10–11; John 11.51; 2 Pet. 3.16; Matt. 4.6–7

1.4 Therefore, the process of discovering the intention of God in the Bible (which is its fullest meaning) is a humble and careful effort to find in the language of Scripture what the human authors intended to communicate. Limited abilities, traditional biases, personal sin, and cultural assumptions often obscure Biblical texts. Therefore the work of the Holy Spirit is essential for right understanding of the Bible, and prayer for His assistance belongs to a proper effort to understand and apply God’s Word.

(1 Cor. 2.12–16; Ps. 119.12, 18; Eph. 1.18)

2. The Trinity, One God as Three Persons

2.1 We believe in one living, sovereign, and all–glorious God, eternally existing in three infinitely excellent and admirable Persons: God the Father, fountain of all being; God the Son, eternally begotten, not made, without beginning, being of one essence with the Father; and God the Holy Spirit, proceeding in the full, divine essence, as a Person, eternally from the Father and the Son. Thus each Person in the Godhead is fully and completely God.

(Deut. 6.4; Matt. 1.23, 11.27, 16.16, 28.19; 2 Cor. 6.16, 13.14; 1 Tim. 4.10; Heb. 1.3, 5–6, 8, 3.12; Rev. 7.2, 22.13; Job 42.2; Ps. 115.3, 138.5; Dan. 4.25, 34–35; Eph. 1.11, 4.30; John 1.1–3, 14, 18, 4.15, 5.18, 6.46, 10.30, 38, 12.45, 14.7, 26, 15.26, 16.13–14, 20.17, 31; Acts 2.33, 5.3–4; Rom. 1.7, 8.27, 9.5, 15.6 ; 1 Pet. 1.3; Phil. 1.3; 1 Cor. 2.10–11, 3.16, 8.6, 12.11; Col. 1. 15–16, 2.9; Tit. 2.13; 2 Pet. 1.1)

2.2 We believe that God is supremely joyful in the fellowship of the Trinity, each Person beholding and expressing His eternal and unsurpassed delight in the all-satisfying perfections of the triune God.

(1 Tim. 1.11; Matt. 12.18, 25.23; John 15.11, 17.26; Prov. 8.27–30)

3. God’s Eternal Purpose and Election

3.1 We believe that God, from all eternity, in order to display the full extent of His glory for the eternal and ever-increasing enjoyment of all who love Him, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His will, freely and unchangeably ordain and foreknow whatever comes to pass.

(2 Tim. 1.9; Eph. 1.4, 6, 11–12, 14, 3.11; 1 Pet. 1.20; Rev. 13.8, 21.4; Rom. 8.28, 11.36; Isa. 41.21–23, 42.8–9, 43.7, 44.6–8, 24–28, 45.11, 20–21, 46.1–6, 8–11, 60.21; John 6.64, 12.27–28, 17.1, 4, 19.36–37; Phil. 2.11, 4.4; Ps. 34.20, 37.4; Matt. 25.23; 1 Cor. 2.9; Num. 23.19; 1 Sam. 15.29; Prov. 19.21; Gen 15.13, 40.13, 19; Ex. 3.19; Deut. 31.16; Zech. 12.10)

3.2 We believe that God upholds and governs all things – from galaxies to subatomic particles, from the forces of nature to the movements of nations, and from the public plans of politicians to the secret acts of solitary persons – all in accord with His eternal, all-wise purposes to glorify Himself, yet in such a way that He never sins, nor ever condemns a person unjustly; but that His ordaining and governing all things is compatible with the moral accountability of all persons created in His image.

(Job 9.7, 37.6–13; Isa. 40.26; Matt. 10.29–30; Col. 1.16–17; Ps. 33.10–11, 104.24, 147.15–18; Mark 4.39–41; Amos 3.6; Lam. 3.37–38; Gen. 50.20; Rev. 17.16–17; Prov. 16.9, 33, 20.24, 21.1; Rom. 1.20, 2.11–12, 3.4, 19, 16.27; 1 Cor. 1.21; Deut. 32.4; 1 Jn. 1.5; Jas. 1.13; Dan. 4.37)

3.3 We believe that God’s election is an unconditional act of free grace which was given through His Son Christ Jesus before the world began. By this act God chose, before the foundation of the world, those who would be delivered from bondage to sin and brought to repentance and saving faith in His Son Christ Jesus.

(Rom. 6.17, 8.2, 28–30, 9.11–18, 11.5–8; 1 Cor. 1.26–31; John 6.37–39, 44, 65, 10.25–29, 17.6; 2 Tim. 1.9, 2.24–26; Eph. 1.4, 2.8–9; Acts 11.18, 16.4, Phil. 1.29; Matt. 11.27, 16.17)

4. God’s Creation of the Universe and Man

4.1 We believe that God created the universe, and everything in it, out of nothing, by the Word of His power. Having no deficiency in Himself, nor moved by any incompleteness in His joyful self–sufficiency, God was pleased in creation to display His glory for the everlasting joy of the redeemed, from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

(Gen. 1.1; Ps. 24.1–2, 50.9–15; Heb. 1.2, 11.3; John 1.1–3; Ex. 3.13–14; Acts 17.25; Isa. 35.10, 43.7; Matt. 25.23; Rev. 5.9, 7.9–10)

4.2 We believe that God directly created Adam from the dust of the ground and Eve from his side. We believe that Adam and Eve were the historical parents of the entire human race; that they were created male and female equally in the image of God, without sin; that they were created to glorify their Maker, Ruler, Provider, and Friend by trusting His all-sufficient goodness, admiring His infinite beauty, enjoying His personal fellowship, and obeying His all-wise counsel; and that, in God’s love and wisdom, they were appointed differing and complementary roles in marriage as a type of Christ and the church.

(Gen. 1.27, 31, 2.7, 18, 9.6, 21–22; 1 Cor. 15.22, 45; Rom. 5.14; Jas. 3.9; Eph. 5.22–33)

5. Man’s Sin and Fall from Fellowship with God

5.1 We believe that, although God created man morally upright, he was led astray from God’s Word and wisdom by the subtlety of Satan’s deceit, and chose to take what was forbidden, and thus declare his independence from, distrust for, and disobedience toward his all–good and gracious Creator. Thus, our first parents, by this sin, fell from their original innocence and communion with God.

(Eccles. 7.29; Gen. 3.1, 7–8, 13; 2 Cor. 2.17, 3.6, 11.3; Rom. 5.12; 1 Cor. 15.21)

5.2 We believe that, as the head of the human race, Adam‘s fall became the fall of all his posterity, in such a way that corruption, guilt, death, and condemnation belong properly to every person. All persons are thus corrupt by nature, enslaved to sin, and morally unable to delight in God and overcome their own proud preference for the fleeting pleasures of self–rule.

(Rom. 5.12–19; Eph. 2.2–3; Rom. 6.16, 20, 8.7–8; 1 Cor. 2.14; Deut. 29.4)

5.3 We believe God has subjected the creation to futility, and the entire human family is made justly liable to untold miseries of sickness, decay, calamity, and loss. Thus all the adversity and suffering in the world is an echo and a witness of the exceedingly great evil of moral depravity in the heart of mankind; and every new day of life is a God-given, merciful reprieve from imminent judgment, pointing to repentance.

(Rom. 2.4, 8.20, 23, 35–36; 2 Cor. 4.16; 1 Thess. 4.13)

6. Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God

6.1 We believe that in the fullness of time God sent forth His eternal Son as Jesus the Messiah, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary. We believe that, when the eternal Son became flesh, He took on fully human nature, so that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures were inseparably joined together in one Person, without confusion or mixture. Thus the Person, Jesus Christ, was and is truly God and truly man, yet one Christ and the only Mediator between God and man.

(Gal. 4.4; John 1.14, 3.16–17; Matt. 1.23, 16.16; Luke 1.34–35; Heb. 2.14, 17; Phil. 2.6–8; 1 Tim. 2.5)

6.2 We believe that Jesus Christ lived without sin, though He endured the common infirmities and temptations of human life. He preached and taught with truth and authority unparalleled in human history. He worked miracles, demonstrating His divine right and power over all creation: dispatching demons, healing the sick, raising the dead, stilling the storm, walking on water, multiplying loaves, and foreknowing what would befall Him and His disciples, including the betrayal of Judas and the denial, restoration, and eventual martyrdom of Peter.

(Heb. 4.15; John 6.64, 7.46, 13.19, 21, 21.18–19, 26–27; Mark 1.27, 4.39; Matt. 4.23, 11.4–6, 14.19.20, 25, 22.16, 26.2; Luke 22.31–34)

6.3 We believe that His life was governed by His Father‘s providence with a view to fulfilling all Old Testament prophecies concerning the One who was to come, such as the Seed of the woman, the Prophet like Moses, the Priest after the order of Melchizedek, the Son of David, and the Suffering Servant.

(Luke 24.25–26; Gen. 3.15; Rom. 16.20; Deut. 18.18; Acts 3.20–23; Ps. 110.4; Heb. 5.5–6; Isa. 9.7, 52.13, 53–3–6; Matt. 1.1, 22.42; Mark 10.45)

6.4 We believe that Jesus Christ suffered voluntarily in fulfillment of God’s redemptive plan, that He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, that He died, was buried and on the third day rose from the dead to vindicate the saving work of His life and death and to take His place as the invincible, everlasting Lord of glory. During forty days after His resurrection, He gave many compelling evidences of His bodily resurrection and then ascended bodily into heaven, where He is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for His people on the basis of His all-sufficient sacrifice for sin, and reigning until He puts all His enemies under His feet.

(John 10.18, 19.30, 40–41; Acts 1.3, 9–11, 2.23, 33, 4.27–28, 5.31, 17.31; 1 Cor. 15.3–4, 25; Matt. 28.6; Rom. 4.25, 8.34; Phil. 2.9–11; Luke 22.69; Col. 3.1; Heb. 1.13, 4.14; 1 Jn. 2.1)

7. The Saving Work of Christ

7.1 We believe that by His perfect obedience to God and by His suffering and death as the immaculate Lamb of God, Jesus Christ obtained forgiveness of sins and the gift of perfect righteousness for all who trusted in God prior to the cross and all who would trust in Christ thereafter. Through living a perfect life and dying in our place, the just for the unjust, Christ absorbed our punishment, appeased the wrath of God against us, vindicated the righteousness of God in our justification, and removed the condemnation of the law against us.

(Rom. 3.21–22, 24–26, 28, 4.3, 5.6, 9, 18–19, 8.1, 3, 34, 14.9; 1 Cor. 15.3; 1 Pet. 2.24, 3.18; 2 Cor. 5.14, 21; Gal. 2.21; John 1.29, Eph. 1.7, 2.3–6; Col. 1.14, 2.13–14; Acts 13.38; Phil. 3.9; Gal. 2.16, 3.13; 1 Thess. 1.10, 5.9)

7.2 We believe that the atonement of Christ for sin warrants and impels a universal offering of the gospel to all persons, so that to every person it may be truly said,―God gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him might not perish but have eternal life. Whosoever will come for cleansing at this fountain, and whoever does come, Jesus will not cast out.

(John 3.16, 4.14, 6.37; Matt. 28.19; Col. 1.23; Acts 1.8; Rev. 22.17)

7.3 We believe, moreover, that the death of Christ did obtain more than the bona fide offer of the gospel for all; it also obtained the omnipotent New Covenant mercy of repentance and faith for God‘s elect. Christ died for all, but not for all in the same way. In His death, Christ expressed a special covenant love to His friends, His sheep, His bride. For them, He obtained the infallible and effectual working of the Spirit to triumph over their resistance and bring them to saving faith.

(Luke 22.20; 1 Cor. 11.25; Heb. 8.6, 9.15, 12.24, 13.20–21; John 10.14–15, 11.51–52, 15.13, 17.6, 9, 19; Eph. 5.25; Rev. 5.9; Rom. 8.32)

8. The Saving Work of the Holy Spirit

8.1 We believe that the Holy Spirit has always been at work in the world, sharing in the work of creation, awakening faith in the remnant of God’s people, performing signs and wonders, giving triumphs in battle, empowering the preaching of prophets and inspiring the writing of Scripture. Yet, when Christ had made atonement for sin and ascended to the right hand of the Father, He inaugurated a new era of the Spirit by pouring out the promise of the Father on His Church.

(Ps. 104.30, 110.1; Gen. 1.2; Rom. 8.7–9; Judg. 3.10, 14.6; 1 Sam. 10.6; 2 Pet. 1.21; Matt. 22.43; Luke 24.49; Acts. 2.33)

8.2 We believe that the newness of this era is marked by the unprecedented mission of the Spirit to glorify the crucified and risen Christ. This He does by giving the disciples of Jesus greater power to preach the gospel of the glory of Christ, by opening the hearts of hearers that they might see Christ and believe, by revealing the beauty of Christ in His Word and transforming His people from glory to glory, by manifesting Himself in spiritual gifts (being sovereignly free to dispense, as He wills, all the gifts of 1 Corinthians 12:8–10) for the upbuilding of the body of Christ and the confirmation of His Word, by calling all the nations into the sway of the gospel of Christ, and, in all this, thus fulfilling the New Covenant promise to create and preserve a purified people for the everlasting habitation of God.

(John 3.8, 7.39, 16.13–14; Acts 1.8, 4.31, 13.2, 16.14; Rom. 15.18–19; 2 Cor. 3.17–18, 6.16; 1 Cor. 12.7–10; Heb. 2.3–4; 2 Thess. 3.1; Jer. 31.33–34, 32.40; Eph. 2.21)

8.3 We believe that, apart from the effectual work of the Spirit, no one would come to faith, because all are dead in trespasses and sins; that they are hostile to God, and morally unable to submit to God or please Him, because the pleasures of sin appear greater than the pleasures of God. Thus, for God‘s elect, the Spirit triumphs over all resistance, wakens the dead, removes blindness, and manifests Christ in such a compellingly beautiful way through the Gospel that He becomes irresistibly attractive to the regenerate heart.

(2 Tim. 2.24–25; Acts 11.18; John 6.44, 65; Phil. 1.29; Eph. 2.4–6, 8–9; Matt. 11.27, 16.17; Rom. 6.17, 8.7–9; Mark 4.19; 2 Cor. 4.4–6)

8.4 We believe the Holy Spirit does this saving work in connection with the presentation of the Gospel of the glory of Christ. Thus neither the work of the Father in election, nor the work of the Son in atonement, nor the work of the Spirit in regeneration is a hindrance or discouragement to the proclamation of the gospel to all peoples and persons everywhere. On the contrary, this divine saving work of the Trinity is the warrant and the ground of our hope that our evangelization is not in vain in the Lord. The Spirit binds His saving work to the gospel of Christ because His aim is to glorify the Christ of the Gospel. Therefore we do not believe that there is salvation through any other means than through receiving the gospel by the power of the Holy Spirit, except that infants and people with severe intellectual disabilities and minds physically incapable of comprehending the gospel may be saved.

(Acts 4.12, 16.14, 17.30–31; 2 Cor. 3.18, 4.4, 6; John 16.14; 1 Tim. 2.5; Rom. 1.5, 19–20, 3.19–22, 10.13–15; Eph. 3.6)

9. The Justifying Act of God

9.1 We believe that in a free act of righteous grace God justifies the ungodly by faith alone apart from works, pardoning their sins, and reckoning them as righteous and acceptable in His presence. Faith is thus the sole instrument by which we, as sinners, are united to Christ, whose perfect righteousness and satisfaction for sins is alone the ground of our acceptance with God. This acceptance happens fully and permanently at the first instant of justification. Thus the righteousness by which we come into right standing with God is not anything worked in us by God, neither imparted to us at baptism nor over time, but rather is accomplished for us, outside ourselves, and is imputed to us.

(Tit. 3.5–7; Rom. 3.21–24, 28, 4.4–8, 5.1, 18–19; Gal. 2.16, 3.24, 5.4; Phil. 3.8–9; 2 Cor. 5.21; Jer. 23.5–6)

9.2 We believe, nevertheless, that the faith, which alone receives the gift of justification, does not remain alone in the person so justified, but produces, by the Holy Spirit, the fruit of love and leads necessarily to sanctification. This necessary relation between justifying faith and the fruit of good works gives rise to some Biblical expressions which seem to make works the ground or means of justification, but in fact simply express the crucial truth that faith that does not yield the fruit of good works is dead, being no true faith.

(Gal 5.6, 22–23; 1 Tim. 1.5; Col. 1.4–5; John 3.14, 4.8, 20; 1 Jn. 2.3–4, 4.16, 5.1, 28–29; 1 Thess. 1.3, 11, 2.13; Acts 15.9, 26.18; Jas. 2.17, 21–26; Heb. 12.14; Rom. 8.13–14; Gal. 5.21, 6.8–9; 1 Cor. 6.9–10; Matt. 18.34–35)

10. God’s Work in Faith and Sanctification

10.1 We believe that justification and sanctification are both brought about by God through faith, but not in the same way. Justification is an act of God’s imputing and reckoning; sanctification is an act of God‘s imparting and transforming. Thus the function of faith in regard to each is different. In regard to justification, faith is not the channel through which power or transformation flows to the soul of the believer, but rather faith is the occasion of God‘s forgiving, acquitting, and reckoning as righteous. But in regard to sanctification, faith is indeed the channel through which divine power and transformation flow to the soul; and the sanctifying work of God through faith does indeed touch the soul and change it into the likeness of Christ.

(Acts 15.9, 26.18; Rom. 3.21–22, 4.3, 5, 5.1 6.19, 22; Luke 7.29, 35, 16.15; 1 Pet. 1.2; 1 Thess. 1.3, 4.7, 5.23; Gal. 3.5, 5.6; 2 Cor. 5.21; Phil. 3.9; 1 Tim. 1.5; Col. 1.4–5; 1 Jn. 2.3–4; 3.14, 4.8, 16, 20, 5.1; 2 Thess. 1.11, 2.13; Jas. 2.17–20, 26)

10.2 We believe that the reason justifying faith necessarily sanctifies in this way is fourfold:

First, justifying faith is a persevering, that is, continuing, kind of faith. Even though we are justified at the first instant of saving faith, yet this faith justifies only because it is the kind of faith that will surely persevere. The extension of this faith into the future is, as it were, contained in the first seed of faith, as the oak in the acorn. Thus the moral effects of persevering faith may be rightly described as the effects of justifying faith.

(1 Jn. 2.19; Phil. 1.6, 2.12–13; Rom. 4.3, 19–22, 5.1, 8.13–14; Gen. 15.6, 17.17, 22.10; Jas. 2.17–26; Heb. 12.14; Gal. 5.21, 6.8–9; John 5.28–29; 1 Cor. 6.9–10; Matt. 18.34–35)

Second, we believe that justifying faith trusts in Christ not only for the gift of imputed righteousness and the forgiveness of sins but also for the fulfillment of all His promises to us based on that reconciliation. Justifying faith magnifies the finished work of Christ’s atonement, by resting securely in all the promises of God obtained and guaranteed by that all-sufficient work.

(Phil. 3.9; Rom. 3.21–22, 4.20–22, 6.8; Acts 10.43; Col. 1.23; Heb. 11.1, 3.6; 1 Tim. 1.16; 2 Cor. 1.20)

Third, we believe that justifying faith embraces Christ in all His roles: Creator, Sustainer, Savior, Teacher, Guide, Comforter, Helper, Friend, Advocate, Protector, and Lord. Justifying faith does not divide Christ, accepting part of Him and rejecting the rest. All of Christ is embraced by justifying faith, even before we are fully aware of, or fully understand, all that He will be for us. As more of Christ is truly revealed to us in His Word, genuine faith recognizes Christ and embraces Him more fully.

(Rom. 10.9; 1 Jn. 2.1, 23; Acts 16.7, 20.21; Gal. 2.16; Col. 1.4, 17, 2.5; 2 Tim. 3.15; John 1.1–3, 13.13, 14.28, 27, 15.13–15, 20.31; Phil. 1.19, 29, 3.15; Heb. 1.3; Luke 2.11; 2 Cor. 1.5; 2 Thess. 3.3)

Fourth, we believe that this embracing of all of Christ is not a mere intellectual assent, or a mere decision of the will, but is also a heartfelt, Spirit-given (yet imperfect) satisfaction in all that God is for us in Jesus. Therefore, the change of mind and heart that turns from the moral ugliness and danger of sin, and is sometimes called “repentance,” is included in the very nature of saving faith.

(John 3.19–21, 6.35; 1 Jn. 5.1–4; Heb. 6.1, 11.1, 24–26; Matt. 3.8)

10.3 We believe that this preserving, future-oriented, Christ–embracing, heart-satisfying faith is life–transforming, and therefore renders intelligible the teaching of the Scripture that final salvation in the age to come depends on the transformation of life, and yet does not contradict justification by faith alone. The faith which alone justifies, cannot remain alone but works through love.

(Heb. 12.14; Rom. 8.13–14; Gal. 5.6, 21, 6.8–9; John 5.28–29; 1 Cor. 6.9–10; Matt. 18.34–35; Jas. 2.17–26; Acts 15.9, 26.18)

10.4 We believe that this simple, powerful reality of justifying faith is God’s gift which He gives unconditionally in accord with God’s electing love, so that no one can boast in himself, but only give all glory to God for every part of salvation. We believe that the Holy Spirit is the decisive agent in this life–transformation, but that He is supplied to us and works holiness in us through our daily faith in the Son of God whose trustworthiness He loves to glorify.

(2 Tim. 2.24–25; Acts 11.18, 16.14; John 6.44, 65, 16.13–14; Phil. 1.29; Eph. 2.8–9; Matt. 11.27, 16.17; 2 Thess. 2.13; Rom. 8.29–30, 11.36, 15.18; 1 Cor. 1.26–31, 4.7, 15.10; Heb. 13.21; Gal. 3.5)

10.5 We believe that the sanctification, which comes by the Spirit through faith, is imperfect and incomplete in this life. Although slavery to sin is broken, and sinful desires are progressively weakened by the power of a superior satisfaction in the glory of Christ, yet there remain remnants of corruption in every heart that give rise to irreconcilable war and call for vigilance in the lifelong fight of faith.

(1 Thess. 2.13; Phil. 3.12; 1 Jn. 1.8–10, 2.1; Matt. 6.11–12; Rom. 6.11–14, 17; Gal. 5.16–18, 2 Cor. 3.18; 1 Cor. 1.18; Heb. 3.12–13, 10.14; 2 Pet. 3.18; 1 Pet. 2.11; 1 Tim. 6.12; 2 Tim. 4.7–8)

10.6 We believe that all who are justified will win this fight. They will persevere in faith and never surrender to the enemy of their souls. This perseverance is the promise of the New Covenant, obtained by the blood of Christ, and worked in us by God Himself, yet not so as to diminish, but only to empower and encourage, our vigilance; so that we may say in the end, I have fought the good fight, but it was not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

(Mark 13.22; Luke 22.31–32; John 10.27–30; Rom. 8.30; Heb. 3.14, 13.20–21; 1 Jn. 2.19; 1 Cor. 1.8–9, 11.25, 15.10; Phil. 1.6, 2.12–13; 1 Thess. 5.23–24; 2 Tim. 1.12, 4.7–8; 1 Pet. 1.5; Jer. 32.40)

11. Living God’s Word by Meditation and Prayer

11.1 We believe that faith is awakened and sustained by God’s Spirit through His Word and prayer. The good fight of faith is fought mainly by meditating on the Scriptures and praying that God would apply them to our souls.

(2 Tim. 2.24–25; Acts 11.18, 16.14; John 6.44, 65; Phil. 1.29; Eph. 1.18–19, 2.8–9, 6.17–18; Matt. 11.27, 16.17; Rom. 10.17; Mark 9.24; Luke 22.31–32; 2 Thess. 1.11, 3.1; Heb. 4.12; Ps. 1.1–3, 86.11, 119.18, 36)

11.2 We believe that the promises of God recorded in the Scriptures are suited to save us from the deception of sin by displaying for us, and holding out to us, superior pleasures in the protection, provision, and presence of God. Therefore, reading, understanding, pondering, memorizing, and savoring the promises of all that God will be for us in Jesus are primary means of the Holy Spirit to break the power of sin’s deceitful promises in our lives. Therefore it is needful that we give ourselves to such meditation day and night.

(2 Pet. 1.3–4; Heb. 10.34, 11.24–26, 13.13–14; Eph. 3.4, 5.17; 2 Tim. 2.7; Ps. 1.2, 34.8, 37.4, 119.11)

11.3 We believe that God has ordained to bless and use His people for His glory through the means of prayer, offered in Jesus’ name by faith. All prayer should seek ultimately that God’s name be hallowed, and that His kingdom come, and that His will be done on earth as it is done in heaven. God’s sovereignty over all things is not a hindrance to prayer, but a reason for hope that our prayers will succeed.

(Phil. 4.6–7; Matt. 6.9–10, 7.7–11, 9.38; Rom. 15.30–31; Eph. 6.19; John 14.13, 15.16, 16.23–24, 26; Jas. 1.5–8; Ezek. 36.37–38)

11.4 We believe that prayer is the indispensable handmaid of meditation, as we cry out to God for the inclination to turn from the world to the Word, and for the spiritual ability to see the glory of God in His testimonies, and for a soul-satisfying sight of the love of God, and for strength in the inner man to do the will of God. By prayer, God sanctifies His people, sends gospel laborers into the world, and causes the Word of God to spread and triumph over Satan and unbelief.

(Ps. 90.14, 119.18, 36; Eph. 1.18, 3.14–16; Col. 1.9–11; 1 Thess. 3.12–13; Matt. 9.38; 2 Thess. 3.1)

12. Christ’s Church and Her Ordinances

12.1 We believe in the one universal Church, composed of all those, in every time and place, who are chosen in Christ and united to Him through faith by the Spirit in one Body, with Christ Himself as the all–supplying, all–sustaining, all–supreme, and all–authoritative Head. We believe that the ultimate purpose of the Church is to glorify God in the everlasting and ever-increasing gladness of worship.

(Col. 1.18; Eph. 1.22, 3.6,10 , 4.15–16, 5.23; Matt. 5.14–16; Rev. 5.9–12)

12.2 We believe it is God’s will that the universal Church find expression in local churches in which believers agree together to hear the Word of God proclaimed, to engage in corporate worship, to practice the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, to build each other‘s faith through the manifold ministries of love, to hold each other accountable in the obedience of faith through Biblical discipline, and to engage in local and world evangelization. The Church is a body in which each member should find a suitable ministry for His gifts; it is the household of God in which the Spirit dwells; it is the pillar and bulwark of God’s truth in a truth-denying world; and it is a city set on a hill so that men may see the light of its good deeds—especially to the poor—and give glory to the Father in heaven.

(Acts 8.1; 1 Cor. 5.7, 11–13, 11.23–26, 12.4–7, 13–18, 14.26, 16.19; Eph. 2.20–22, 4.11–12, 5.18–20; 2 Tim. 4.1–2; Col. 3.15–16, 4.5–6; Matt. 5.14–16, 28.18–20; Rom. 12.6–8, 15.24, 26; Gal. 2.10, 6.1; Jas. 5.19–20; 2 Thess. 3.14–15; 3 Jn. 7–8; 1 Tim. 3.15; Luke 14.13–14)

12.3 We believe that baptism is an ordinance of the Lord by which those who have repented and come to faith express their union with Christ in His death and resurrection, by being immersed in water in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is a sign of belonging to the new people of God, the true Israel, and an emblem of burial and cleansing, signifying death to the old life of unbelief, and purification from the pollution of sin.

(Col. 2.12; 1 Pet. 3.21; Gal. 3.7, 26–27; Acts 2.38, 18.8; Matt. 3.6, 28.19; 1 Cor. 12.13; Rom. 2.28–29, 4.16, 6.3–4, 8.36–39; John 3.23; Mark 1.4–5, Heb. 10.22)

12.4 We believe that the Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of the Lord in which gathered believers eat bread, signifying Christ’s body given for His people, and drink the cup of the Lord, signifying the New Covenant in Christ‘s blood. We do this in remembrance of the Lord, and thus proclaim His death until He comes. Those who eat and drink in a worthy manner partake of Christ‘s body and blood, not physically, but spiritually, in that, by faith, they are nourished with the benefits He obtained through His death, and thus grow in grace.

(1 Cor. 10.16–17, 11.17–26; John 6.53–57, 63)

12.5 We believe that each local church should recognize and affirm the divine calling of spiritually qualified men to give leadership to the church through the role of pastor-elder in the ministry of the Word and prayer. Women are not to fill the role of pastor-elder in the local church, but are encouraged to use their gifts in appropriate roles that edify the body of Christ and spread the gospel.

(Eph. 4.11–12; 1 Tim. 2.12–13, 5.17; Acts 6.4, 14.23; Tit. 1.5)

13. Christ’s Commission to Make Disciples of All Nations

We believe that the commission given by the Lord Jesus to make disciples of all nations is binding on His Church to the end of the age. This task is to proclaim the Gospel to every tribe and tongue and people and nation, baptizing them, teaching them the words and ways of the Lord, and gathering them into churches able to fulfill their Christian calling among their own people. The ultimate aim of world missions is that God would create, by His Word, worshippers who glorify His name through glad-hearted faith and obedience. Missions exists because worship doesn‘t. When the time of ingathering is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever. Worship, therefore, is the fuel and the goal of missions.

(Matt. 28.18–20; Rev. 5.9; Acts 14.23; Rom. 1.5, 15.8–11; John 4.23)

14. Death, Resurrection and the Coming of the Lord

14.1 We believe that when Christians die they are made perfect in holiness, are received into paradise, and are taken consciously into the presence of Christ, which is more glorious and more satisfying than any experience on earth.

(Heb. 12.22–23; Luke 23.43; Phil. 1.23; 2 Cor. 5.1–9, 12.2–3; Rev. 6.9–11)

14.2 We believe in the blessed hope that at the end of the age Jesus Christ will return to this earth personally, visibly, physically, and suddenly in power and great glory; and that He will gather His elect, raise the dead, judge the nations, and establish His kingdom. We believe that the righteous will enter into the everlasting joy of their Master, and those who suppressed the truth in unrighteousness will be consigned to everlasting conscious misery.

(Tit. 2.13; Acts 1.9–11; Mark 3.29, 9.43–48, 14.61–62; Phil. 3.20–21; Luke 16.26, 21.27, 22.28–30, 24.39–43; 1 Thess. 4.15–17, 5.2–3; Matt. 3.12, 10.28, 12.32, 18.8, 19.29, 24.31, 25.23, 41, 46, 26.24; 1 Cor. 15.22–24; 2 Tim. 4.1; Ps. 16.11; John 3.16; Rom. 1.18, 6.23; Jude 12–13, 24–25; Dan. 12.2; 2 Thess. 1.9; Rev. 14.11, 19.3, 20.10)

14.3 We believe that the end of all things in this age will be the beginning of a never-ending, ever-increasing happiness in the hearts of the redeemed, as God displays more and more of His infinite and inexhaustible greatness and glory for the enjoyment of His people.

(Eph. 2.6–7; Ps. 16.11; 1 Cor. 2.9, 13.12)

15. The Spirit of this Affirmation and the Unity of the Church

15.1 We do not believe that all things in this affirmation of faith are of equal weight, some being more essential, some less. We do not believe that every part of this affirmation must be believed in order for one to be saved.

15.2 Our aim is not to discover how little can be believed, but rather to embrace and teach ―the whole counsel of God. Our aim is to encourage a hearty adherence to the Bible, the fullness of its truth, and the glory of its Author. We believe Biblical doctrine stabilizes saints in the winds of confusion and strengthens the church in her mission to meet the great systems of false religion and secularism. We believe that the supreme virtue of love is nourished by the strong meat of God-centered doctrine. And we believe that a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ is sustained in an atmosphere of deep and joyful knowledge of God and His wonderful works.

(Acts 20.27; Tit. 1.1; 1 Tim. 1.5, 4.1, 6.3–5; Eph. 4.4–6, 13–14; Ps. 9.10)

15.3 We believe that the cause of unity in the church is best served, not by finding the lowest common denominator of doctrine, around which all can gather, but by elevating the value of truth, stating the doctrinal parameters of church or school or mission or ministry, seeking the unity that comes from the truth, and then demonstrating to the world how Christians can love each other across boundaries rather than by removing boundaries. In this way, the importance of truth is served by the existence of doctrinal borders, and unity is served by the way we love others across those borders.

(Eph. 4.4–6; John 13.34–35)

15.4 We do not claim infallibility for this affirmation and are open to refinement and correction from Scripture. Yet we do hold firmly to these truths as we see them and call on others to search the Scriptures to see if these things are so. As conversation and debate take place, it may be that we will learn from each other, and the boundaries will be adjusted, even possibly folding formerly disagreeing groups into closer fellowship.

(1 Cor. 13.12; 2 Pet. 3.18; Acts 17.11)