STATEMENT OF DOCTRINE
of the Inner-City Church Planting Mission
Section A-The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally inspired Word of GOD, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the original writings, infallible and GOD-breathed. Luke 24:44; John 16:12-13; 17:14, 20; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21.
Section B-The GODHEAD
We believe in one GOD, eternally existing in three persons – FATHER, SON, and HOLY SPIRIT – co-eternal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections, but performing different functions within the GODhead. Genesis 1:26; Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19-20; 2 Corinthians 13:14.
Section C – 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, having been conceived by the HOLY SPIRIT and born of the Virgin Mary, in order that HE might reveal GOD and redeem sinful men. Isaiah 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; John 10:30-33.
- We believe that the LORD JESUS CHRIST accomplished our redemption through HIS death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice and that our justification is made sure by HIS literal, physical resurrection from the dead. Romans 3:24-25; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 1 Peter 2:24.In addition, CHRIST provided Life at the Cross for the believer. Romans 6:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17. This Life is CHRIST HIMSELF imparted to each believer. Colossians 3:4. It provides a new identity to the believer–in contrast to the old identity in Adam.
- We believe that the LORD JESUS CHRIST ascended to heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of GOD where, as our High Priest, HE fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate. Acts 1:9-11; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1, 2.
section D –The Person and Work of the HOLY SPIRIT
- We believe that the HOLY SPIRIT is a person WHO convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement, and that HE is the Supernatural person of the GODhead in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of CHRIST, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. John 16:7-15; Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Ephesians 1:13, 14.
- We believe that HE is the Divine Teacher, WHO guides believers into all truth, and that it is the privilege and call of all the saved to be filled with the SPIRIT. John 16:13-15; Ephesians 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 20.
section e –The Total Depravity of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of GOD, but that in Adam’s sin, the race fell, inherited “the old man“ (Ephesians 4:22), and became alienated from GOD, and that man is totally depraved and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition. Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:10-23; 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3, 12.
section f –Salvation
We believe that salvation is the gift of GOD brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the LORD JESUS CHRIST, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins. John 1:12; 3:14-18, 36; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:5-9; 1 Peter 1:18-19.
SECTION G –The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers
- We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by GOD’s power and are thus secure in CHRIST forever. John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 8:1, 35-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; 1 Peter 1:3-5.
- We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of GOD’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of CHRISTian liberty as an occasion to the flesh. Romans 6:1-23; 13:13-14; Colossians 3:1-17; Titus 2:11-15.
SECTION H –The Believer’s Resource in Christ
Once a person is born into the family of GOD by the regenerative work of the HOLY SPIRIT, he becomes a new creation in CHRIST (sins are forgiven, washed in the blood of CHRIST), the old is passed away and “all things become new.” From Romans 6, we learn that the Old Man (old self) has been crucified with CHRIST (v. 6), and we have been buried with HIM (v. 4), but also raised in Newness of Life (v. 4). This new Life is “CHRIST in you the hope of glory,” Colossians 1:27. He is instructed to walk in the SPIRIT, (Galatians 5:16). As long as he does this, the SPIRIT is controlling his behavior. However, if he fails to be obedient, he will walk automatically after the flesh (Galatians 5:16-17), in the patterns of the Old Man set up in his memory. As a CHRISTian he has a choice as to whether he walks after the flesh or after the SPIRIT. (Romans 8:4-8; Colossians 2:20-23).
SECTION I –Separation
We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their SAVIOR and LORD, and that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices, and associations in command of GOD (Romans 12:1, 2; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11). We believe that in salvation a person passes from death to LIFE ( John 5:24; Colossians 1:13). Hence for the believer, as life in CHRIST begins there is a turning from (separation from), death and sin and all that that represents to GOD. However, there is also a turning to (separation unto) a new life (Acts 26:18). See also 2 Corinthians 10:5; 1 Peter 1:2.
SECTION J –Mission and Privilege
We believe that it is the duty and privilege of the saved to witness by life and word, the truths of Holy Scripture and to seek to proclaim the Gospel to all mankind (Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 10:14-17; 2 Corinthians 5:11-20; 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 John 3:16-20).
SECTION K –The Ministry and Spiritual Gifts
- We believe GOD has given gifts to people. See 1 Corinthians 12:4, 7; Ephesians 4:7. These are given by the HOLY SPIRIT and CHRIST in these two passages. See also Romans 12:6-8 on gifts. The purpose is for “the equipping of the saints for the work of service” (Ephesians 4:12), to build up the body. We recognize GOD’s sovereignty and HE may at times use any gift that HE chooses. In light of the confusion caused (see in 1 Corinthians 14), we do not see sign gifts as one of the “greater gifts“ of 1 Corinthians 12:31. We also emphasize the superiority of Divine Scripture, and thus reject all extra-Biblical “revelations” as authoritative. Because we are called to “agape” love and unity (1 Corinthians 13) and to walk in the fullness of the HOLY SPIRIT (Ephesians 5:18), we desire to avoid these issues that have divided the church in the past.
- We believe that GOD does hear and answer the prayer of faith, in accord with HIS own will, for the sick and afflicted (John 15:7; James 5:13-16; 1 John 5:14-15).
SECTION L –The Church
- We believe that the Church, which is the body and the espoused bride of CHRIST (Ephesians 5:22-33; Revelation 21:9), is a spiritual organism made up of all born-again persons. 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Ephesians 1:22, 23.
- We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament of Scriptures. Acts 14:27; 20:17, 28-32; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11.
- We recognize the ordinances of water baptism and the LORD’s supper as a Scriptural means of testimony for the Church in this age. Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34.
SECTION M –Theological Orientations
We recognize the differences in how people understand Scriptures. Calvinism and Armenianism and dispensationalism are prominent among believers. GOD’s Word teaches GOD’s election as well as man’s responsibility. GOD is changeless –same yesterday, today, and forever. HE chose various peoples in the Old Testament, especially Israel, gave promises, and now Israel is set aside while HE calls in the Church (body of CHRIST). We believe HE will return to fulfill Old Testament prophecies to Israel after the Church is raptured out of this world.
SECTION N –The Character of Satan
We recognize the Biblical teaching of a literal Satan, the enemy of all that is just and holy. We are instructed to “put on the whole armor of GOD“ and to stand against him. (Ephesians 6). He has been defeated at the cross (Colossians 2:14-15). We now are as if “deputized” by GOD and in the authority of the ONE who “deputized” us (the LORD JESUS CHRIST), Satan is brought into submission to the ONE WHO defeated him at the cross.
SECTION O –The Second Advent of Christ
We believe in that “Blessed Hope,” the personal, imminent coming of the LORD JESUS CHRIST for HIS redeemed ones, and in HIS subsequent return to earth, with HIS saints, to establish HIS Millennial Kingdom. Zechariah 14:4-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6.
SECTION P –The Eternal State
- We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgement and everlasting punishment. Matthew 25:46; John 5:28-29; 11:25-26; Revelation 20:5-6, 12-13.
- We believe that at the death of the redeemed, we will be, “absent from the body and to be home with the LORD.” 2 Corinthians 5:8.
- We believe that the unbeliever will be forever separated from the presence of GOD and suffer the judgements and condemnation of GOD forever.
ARTICLE IV –ORDINANCES
We recognize two ordinances of the Church for this age –the Lord’s Supper and Water Baptism. They are not to be regarded however, as a means of salvation, nor as means of grace by which special merit is obtained.
SECTION A –The Lord’s Supper or Communion
This privilege shall be observed as often as the leadership of the church senses it is appropriate. The Scripture is not clear on frequency. Perhaps in the Acts of the apostles it was daily, i.e. “house to house“. It is a privilege and glorious act of obedience to “remember HIM.” This privilege is only for those who are HIS children, having been born again, and walking in fellowship with their LORD. 1 Corinthians 11:17-34.
SECTION B –Water Baptism
When administered by this Mission, baptism shall be at the request of those who have personally acknowledged CHRIST as SAVIOR and LORD. Matthew 28:18-20.
ARTICLE V –DISCIPLINE OF MEMBERS
- The reasons for discipline are threefold:
- Doctrinal deviation of heresy. Romans 16:17-18; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; Titus 3:10-11.
- Immoral Conduct. 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 2 Thessalonians 3:6.
- Sowing discord, causing division or walking disorderly. Proverbs 6:19; Romans 16-17; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-7, 11.
- The discipline of this Mission in a, b, and c above shall be entrusted to the Pastors and Elders. Any disciplinary action that is deemed necessary shall be in the spirit of love (2 Thessalonians 3:14-15), and meekness (Galatians 6:1). This discipline shall be carried out in accordance with JESUS’ instructions in Matthew 18:15-17.
- The purpose of all discipline shall be to restore the individual to fellowship in the Church. Such efforts shall be made in the light of the following Scriptures: Galatians 6:1-2; 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15; Hebrews 10:24-25; James 5:19-20. Restoration to fellowship shall be granted upon due repentance and by action of the Pastors and Elders.
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