What We Believe Doctrinally
We hold to this statement of Christian faith in its teaching and practice. We teach the biblical doctrines that are stated here, though we know that any doctrinal statement fails to perfectly express God’s infallible revelation.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” II Timothy 3:16-17
“…learn not to exceed what is written, in order that no one of you might become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.” I Corinthians 4:6
The Word of God
We believe that the Bible is God’s written revelation to man, and that the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments were given to us through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and are the supreme and final authority in all matters of faith and practice. (Matt. 5:18; 24:35; John 10:35; 16:12, 13; 17:17; I Cor. 2:7-14; I Thess. 2:13; II Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 4:12; II Pet. 1:20, 21).
We believe that the Bible constitutes the verbal plenary Word of God.
Verbal – that in the original writings the Holy Spirit guided without error the choice of words used while preserving the individual writer’s personality, style, and vocabulary
Plenary – that every portion of the Bible is infallible as to its truth and final as to its divine authority
We teach that, whereas there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation. The meaning of Scripture is to be found as one diligently applies the literal, grammatical-historical method of interpretation under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (John 7:17; 16:12-15; I Cor. 2:7-15; I John 2:20). We teach that Scripture affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days (Gen. 1:31; Ex. 31:17).
We believe that it is the responsibility of believers to ascertain carefully the true intent and meaning of Scripture, recognizing that proper application is binding on all generations. Yet the truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of it.
God and the Trinity
We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; these three are the one true God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections. They have the same nature and are co-existent, co-equal and co-eternal, and are worthy of the same confidence and obedience. (Matt. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14).
The Work of Jesus Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, being truly God (John 1:1) and truly man and born of a virgin (John 1:14), is sinlessly perfect. By His substitutionary sacrifice on the cross (Rom. 3:24), and his physical resurrection from the dead (Rom. 6:5-10), He is the substitute for sinners. He, the one and only mediator between God and man (Heb. 7:25), can bring about reconciliation between sinful man and a holy God. He ascended into Heaven where He now ministers as the head of His body, the Church.
The Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that each believer is indwelt and sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption. The believer can live a life pleasing to God by yielding to the Holy Spirit and obeying the Word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. We believe that the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead, convicts men of sin and regenerates, baptizes, indwells, seals, and sets apart believers unto a holy life; keeps and empowers believers day by day; and is the Teacher of the Word of God and the Guide for daily living (John 16:7-9,13; Rom. 8:9-11; I Cor. 12:13).
We believe that man, through Adam, was originally created in the image and after the likeness of God. Through Adam’s willful sin, man fell and died spiritually. Thus, this spiritual death and totally depraved sin nature has been transmitted to the entire human race. Therefore, every human being is born into the world with a nature that does not possess divine life but is sinful and unchangeable apart from the grace of God found in Jesus Christ (Gen. 2:7; Ps. 14:1-3; I John 1:8-10).
We believe that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone. Salvation is a free gift of God apart from human merit or works. It requires repentance, which is a turning from one’s own way to God’s way. Salvation is through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Redemption is wholly by the blood of Christ. All who receive Jesus Christ are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and become the children of God. Each born again Christian possesses the security of eternal life. Lastly, true salvation will be manifested by a changed life (Eph. 2:8-9; Acts 2:38; II Pet. 1:4-11).
The Christian Life
We believe that it is the obligation of every Christian believer to walk worthy of His calling – to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh (I Thessalonians 2:12; Romans 8:4, 5). We believe that Christian character and fruit is produced solely by the operation of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:6, 7; 4:22-24; Galatians 5:16-23).
We believe that the Church universal is not an organization, but a living organism comprised of all believers. The local church is the expression of that Church universal. We teach that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body, the church (I Cor. 12:12, 13), the bride of Christ (II Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:23-32; Rev. 19:7, 8), of which Christ is the head (Eph. 1:22; 4:15; Col. 1:18). This local expression of the body of Christ gathers by the leading of the Holy Spirit primarily for teaching, fellowship, prayer, and worship (Acts 2:38-42). We practice the two ordinances of the church: the Lord’s Supper and baptism. We believe that government and discipline are the responsibilities of the local church.
The Return of Christ
We believe in the certain return of our Lord Jesus Christ to take His Church out of this world. We believe in the personal, visible, bodily return of Jesus Christ to earth; the bodily resurrection of the just to the eternal abode in the glory of God’s presence in Heaven; and the bodily resurrection of the unjust to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment in Hell (Lake of Fire) (John 6:39; Rom. 8:10-23; I Thess. 4:16; Rev. 20:11-15).
We are in agreement with the Constitution, By-laws, Standards of Conduct, Code of Ethics and Policies and Procedures of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (formerly N.A.N.C. the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors) and hereby affirm our commitment to the sufficiency of the Scriptures in counseling as follows:
Biblical counselors affirm the value and usefulness of God’s revelation in toto, including both Special and General Revelation. God has chosen to reveal those truths that must be believed and practiced in order to please Him only through Special Revelation, now recorded exclusively and completely in the Scriptures.
God reveals Himself and man’s moral accountability to Him through His acts of creation and works of providence. These acts and works (sometimes called General Revelation and Common Grace, respectively) do not and were not extended to provide data necessary for life and godliness.
Neither creation nor providence is or ever was self-interpreting. Man’s fall into sin only increases his need for Special Revelation. He now actively misinterprets God’s world, exchanging the truth for a lie and suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.
The counselor must build his counseling system, including its presuppositions, principles and methodologies solely from scripture. His counseling must demonstrate that Scriptural truth, ministered in the power of the Holy Spirit, is sufficient to enable counselees to love God and their neighbors.
We deny that secular theories and practices are manifestations of General Revelation or Common Grace. We affirm that they are, in fact, attempts to substitute the “discoveries” of rebellious human thought for the truths revealed in Scripture, and are, therefore, in competition with a proper interpretation of General Revelation and with biblical counseling. They cannot be integrated with the Faith once for all delivered to the saints.
August 5, 2009
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