Outlined below is what we call our Core Confession (adapted from the Abstract of Principles). Our Core Confession contains our most basic statement of faith—the things we think anyone needs to believe to be a healthy, thriving follower of Jesus.
I. The Scriptures
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were given by inspiration of God, and are the only sufficient, certain, and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience.
John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21
There is but one God—the Maker, Preserver, and Ruler of all things—having, in and of Himself, all perfections, and being infinite in them all. To Him all men owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience.
Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; 1 Timothy 1:17
III. The Trinity
God is revealed to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
Genesis 1:1-3; Matthew 28:19; John 1:1-4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:4-6
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 author or approver of sin, nor to destroy the free will and responsibility of men.
Psalm 115:3; Proverbs 16:33; Daniel 4:34-35; Matthew 10:29-31; Hebrews 1:3; James 1:13-15
V. The Fall of Man
God originally created man in His own image, and free from sin; but, through the temptation of Satan, he transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; whereby his descendants inherit a nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law, are under condemnation, and, as soon as they are capable of moral action, become actual transgressors.
Genesis 1:27, 3:4-7; Romans 5:12-21; Ephesians 2:1-3
VI. The Mediator
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the divinely appointed Mediator between God and man. Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the Law, suffered, and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. He was buried, and rose again on the third day, and ascended to His Father, at whose hand He ever lives to make intercession for His people. He is the only Mediator—the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church—and Sovereign of the Universe.
Matthew 3:17; Romans 5:6-11; 1 Corinthians 15:3-7; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 1:3
Regeneration is a change of heart, effected by union with Christ, through the working of the Holy Spirit, who quickens those dead in trespasses and sins, and renews their whole nature, so that they begin to love God with all of their heart, mind, soul, and strength, and their neighbor as themselves.
Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 36:22-32; John 3:1-8; Ephesians 2:1-10; 2 Corinthians 3:3; Titus 3:3-8; Hebrews 10:16; 1 Peter 1:3
Repentance is a gift of God’s grace, wherein a person being, by the Holy Spirit, made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin, humbles himself for it, with godly sorrow and detestation of it, and purposes to walk before God so as to please Him in all things.
Mark 1:15; Acts 20:21; 2 Corinthians 7:9; James 4:6-10
Saving faith is the belief, on God’s authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ; accepting, trusting, 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.
John 1:12, 5:24; Romans 10:17; Ephesians 2:8-9
Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal of sinners from all sin through the satisfaction that Christ made on the cross. It is not for anything worked in them or done by them, but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ; they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith.
Romans 3:21-26; 4:4-5; 5:1-2, 18-19; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 2:16
Those who have been regenerated are also sanctified, by God’s word and Spirit dwelling in them. This sanctification is progressive through the supply of Divine strength, which all saints earnestly seek, pressing after a heavenly life in heartfelt obedience to all of Christ’s commands, while waiting eagerly to obtain the full freedom of the glory of the children of God.
John 14:15; 17:17; Romans 8:1-25; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 12:14
XII. The Church
The Lord Jesus is the Head of the Church, which is composed of all His true disciples, and in Him is invested supremely all power for its government. According to His commandment, Christians are to associate themselves into particular churches; and to each of these churches He has given needful authority for administering that order, discipline, and worship which He has appointed. Being the Head, He unites, guides, and equips the church as members of His body so that, as each part is working properly, the whole is built up in love.
Matthew 16:18; 18:15-18; Acts 20:28; Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:1-16; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 3:1-15; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 4:10-11; 5:1-4
Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, commanded of all believers, to be administered to them with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. It is a sign of their fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of their giving themselves up to God, to live and walk in newness of life.
Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 8:38-39; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Peter 3:21
XIV. The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and the fruit of the vine, and to be observed by His churches until the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate His death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with Him, and of their church fellowship.
Matthew 26:26-27; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 11:23-26
XV. The Lord’s Day
The Lord’s Day is a Christian institution for regular observance, and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private.
Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; Hebrews 10:24-25; Revelation 1:10
XVI. The Civil Government
The civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society. Governing authorities are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed; except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the King of the kings of the earth.
Daniel 3:16-18; Matthew 22:21; Acts 5:29; Romans 13:1-7; 14:1-12; 1 Timothy 2:1-4; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-17; Revelation 19:16
XVII. The Resurrection
The bodies of men after death return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God—the righteous to rest with Him; the wicked to be reserved under darkness until the judgment. On the last day, the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised.
Luke 23:43; John 5:28-29; 1 Corinthians 15; Philippians 3:21
XVIII. The Judgment
God has appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when everyone shall receive according to his deeds—the wicked shall go into everlasting punishment and sorrow; the righteous, whose names are found written in the Lamb’s book, shall go into everlasting life and joy.
Matthew 25:31-46; 1 Corinthians 4: 5; 15:35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10; 2 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 20:11-15