We believe the Scriptures, both the Old and the New Testaments, to be the verbally inspired Word of God, written by men in God’s control, inerrant and infallible in the original manuscripts, and the final authority in the faith and life. We accept the grammatical- historical system of interpretation of the Scriptures and accept the historical record of the Bible as accurate.
We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who are identical in essence, equal in power and glory, and possess precisely the same attributes and perfection.
The Person and Work of Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God; that He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, in order that He might redeem sinful man. He accomplished this redemption by voluntarily giving Himself as a sinless substitutionary sacrifice on the cross, thereby satisfying God’s righteous judgment against the sin of the elect. He gave proof that He accomplished that redemption by His bodily resurrection from the grave. He then ascended to the right hand of His Father where He intercedes on behalf of His people.
The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Divine Person who convicts the world of sin; that He alone brings new life to those who are spiritually dead; that He places all believers into the one true church, which is the Body of Christ and that He indwells them permanently, seals them unto the day of redemption, and bestows spiritual gifts upon them.
The Condition of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, in innocence and without sin. But in Adam’s sin the race fell, inherited the guilt of his sin, a sinful nature, becoming spiritually dead and alienated from God so that man is a sinner both by nature and by choice. Man, of himself, is incapable of remedying his lost and depraved condition.
We believe that salvation is the gift of God’s grace given to all whom God has elected to salvation. It includes all that God does in saving the elect from the penalty, power and presence of sin and in restoring them to a right relationship with God. As such, it is solely the work of God from the initiation to completion. The regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is the cause, not the result, of the believer’s saving faith. It cannot be gained by good works, but is a free gift for all who put their trust in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. All who trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are forgiven and saved from their sins and made righteous before God and are born into the family of God. God’s purpose for saving His elect is so that they bring glory to Him by their lives.
Security, Assurance, and Responsibility
We believe that all saved, those in whom God has accomplished His transforming work of grace, are kept by His power and thus secure in Christ forever. This assurance, however, is not the occasion for sin, for God in holiness cannot tolerate persistent sin in His children, and in infinite love He corrects them. True faith in Christ is expressed by a fruitful, God-pleasing life that endures until death.
We believe that God, in the Scriptures, has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness. This includes the salvation from the penalty of sin and just as surely the provision of sanctification (separation) from sin. Sanctification from sin affects both the positional and practical aspects. Positional sanctification is a result of the continuing work of the Spirit using the Word of God to provide nourishment for growth into maturity in Christ. While the process of practical sanctification is assured by the Word and the Spirit, it is yet imperfect in this life. There is some element of corruption in every part of the fallen nature that is the source for the war between the flesh and the Spirit. Spiritual growth occurs as believers feed on the Word and are in fellowship with other believers for encouragement and service.
We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ instituted two ordinances to be observed by all believers as a matter of obedience, not as a condition for salvation: Water Baptism (subsequent to the believer’s profession of faith) and the Lord’s Supper.
The Eternal State
We believe that at death the souls of those who have trusted Christ for salvation pass immediately into His presence and remain there in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body of Christ’s coming for the Church, when the soul and the body will be reunited. We then shall be with Him forever in glory. We also believe that at death the souls of unbelievers remain in conscious misery until the final judgment when the soul and body will be reunited and cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to be separated from God forever in conscious punishment.
We believe, according to His promise, that Jesus will physically return for His people. This truth has been revealed to provide the believer comfort and encouragement in his life.
Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Gen. 1:26-27) Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person. Click HERE to read the Sex and Gender Position, Policies, and Procedures.
Statement on the Sanctity of Human Life
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect and value all human life. (Psalm 139)
Final Authority for Matters of Belief and Conduct
The statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of Gilbert Christian’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Superintendent is Gilbert Christian’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.