Doctrinal Statement

What We Believe and Teach

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Our DOCTRINAL STATEMENT represents our convictions regarding the theological truths of the Bible and also serves as the basis for teaching at Northside Christian Fellowship.

THE SCRIPTURES

We believe and teach accordingly that the Bible is the inspired, written revelation of God to man. Inspired, in that the Holy Spirit “moved upon” men in such a way that through their individual personalities and different styles of writing they faithfully, accurately, and completely recorded in the original manuscripts all that God intended. We believe that this divine inspiration extends equally and fully to all the sixty-six books of the Bible - historical, poetical, doctrinal, practical and prophetical. Therefore, we believe that the whole Bible in the original manuscripts is without error. [II Tim 3:16; I Cor 2:7-14; II Pet 1:20,21; I Tim 5:18; II Pet 3:16; Luke 24:27,44; Matt 5:18; John 10:35]

We believe and teach accordingly that the scarlet thread of the redemption in Jesus Christ goes from Genesis through the Bible to and including Revelation. The focus of Scripture is Jesus Christ, His person, work, and advents. Scripture is not properly understood unless it leads to Him. [Gen 3:15; Rev 22:20,21; John 5:39; Gal 3:24; Luke 24:27,44; Acts 17:2,3 & 18:28 & 28:23; Rom 15:4; Heb 1:1-3]

We believe and teach accordingly that the Scriptures are the only infallible standard of faith and practice by which the life of the church, families and individual members are to be governed. [John 16:12,13 & 17:17; Acts 20:32; Romans 15:4; I Cor 2:13; I Cor 10:11; II Tim 3:15-17; II Pet 1:20,21 & 3:15,16]

 

THE GODHEAD

We believe and teach accordingly that there is but one living, eternal, and true God. He is one essence, but eternally existing in three persons-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-each having precisely the same nature, attributes and perfections. Each are worthy of the same homage, obedience, and confidence. [Deut 6:4; Isa 48:16; Matt 3:16,17 & 28:19; Mark 12:29,30; Psalm 139:7,8; John 1:1,14 & 5:23 & 10:30; Acts 5:3,4 & 17:24,29; I Cor 8:6; II Cor 13:14; Titus 2:13; Heb 1:1-3]

A. God, the Father
The Father, the first person of the Trinity, sovereignly governs all creation and history by His wise and holy providence in accordance with His own purpose and grace. He demonstrates His fatherly love for all who become His children through Jesus Christ by caring for them, providing their needs, and disciplining. [Gen 1 & 45:5-8; I Chron 29:11; Psalm 103:19; Isa 46:11; Acts 2:22-24; Eph 1:11 & 3:11; Rev 4:11; John 1:12,13 & 14:23,24; Rom 8:35-39; Matt 6:31-33; Heb 12:5-17]

B. God, the Son
Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, is God the Son. Christ is God incarnate, the Immanuel (God with us). He is the fusion of humanity and deity into an indivisible oneness, yet wholly without sin. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. [John 1:1,14; Matt 1:23; Micah 5:2; Phil 2:508; Col 2:9; John 14:9,10; I John 5:20; Heb 4:15; I Pet 2:22; Isa 7:14; Matt 1:20, 23-25]

Through His voluntary death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, He made the provision for redemption of all mankind, however, this redemption is only realized in the lives of those, who by grace, place their faith in Him. [John 3:16; Rom 3:24,25 & 10:9; Eph 2:8,9; Titus 3:5,6; John 1:12,13]

He ascended into heaven and is now seated in exaltation at the right hand of the Father. He is the head of His body, the Church; our Advocate; High Priest/Intercessor; Mediator between God and man and the One through whom God will judge all mankind. He will return for His own (the Church) at the Rapture and seven years later will return to earth in power and great glory with His Church and His heavenly host to establish His Kingdom reign. [Acts 1:9 & 2:31-36 & 5:30,31; Eph 1:20,21; Phil 2:9-11; Eph 1:22-23 & 5:23,24; I John 2:1; Heb 4:14-16 & 7:25 & 9:24; I Tim 2:5; John 5:22,23 & 14:1-3; I Thess 4:13-18; Rev 19:11-16; Rev 20]

C. God, the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, executes God’s divine will in relation to the world of men. His activities include creation, the incarnation, the Scriptures, and salvation. He is the supernatural and sovereign agent in conviction of sin; effecting regeneration; indwelling; sealing; illuminating and enlightening God’s truth; comforting; empowerment; bestowing spiritual gifts; transforming believers into Christlikeness and in it all He glorifies Christ. [Gen 1:2; Matt 1:18,20; II Pet 1:20,21; John 16:7-11 & 3:3-8; I Cor 12:13; Titus 3:5; Rom 8:9; I Cor 6:19,20; Eph 1:13,14; John 6:13; I Cor 2:6-16; John 14:16; Acts 9:31; I Cor 12:7,11; Eph 3:20; II Cor 3:18; Gal 5:16; Eph 5;18-21; John 16:14]

 

MAN

We believe and teach accordingly that man was created in the image and likeness of God. He was created body, soul, and spirit; with the soul consisting of intellect (capacity to think), will (capacity to act, do, behave in accordance with thought process), and sensibilities (to feel emotions). He was created free from sin, but with moral responsibility. [Gen 1:26-28; 2:15-25; I Cor 11:7; James 3:9; I Thess 5:23; Heb 4:12; Prov 23:7; Col 3:2; Gen 4:7; Phil 4:7; Gen 2:16,17]

We believe and teach accordingly that God’s purpose in creating man was fellowship, to rule the earth under God’s headship, willingly obey, and in and above all to glorify God. [Gen 1:26-31 & 2;15-25; Col 1:16; Isa 43:7; Rev 4:11]

We believe and teach accordingly that Adam, through knowing disobedience to the revealed will of God, sinned, therefore, incurring the consequence of physical and spiritual death. All the descendants of Adam possess this same sin nature which is totally depraved and totally unable (utterly separated and incapable of choosing or doing anything which is acceptable to God). [Gen 2:16,17 & 3:1-19 & 6:5; Isa 64:6; Jer 17:9; John 3:36; Rom 3:10-12, 23 & 5:12-21 & 6:23; Eph 2:1-3; James 2:10; I John 5:19]

We believe and teach accordingly that there is absolutely nothing that man can do (apart from the grace of God through the person and work of Christ) to seek salvation or secure salvation for themselves.

 

SALVATION

A. Through Christ
We believe and teach accordingly that no degree of reformation, including sincere efforts, good resolutions, etc.-no matter how drastic in nature; no attainments in morality, no matter how great; no culture however civilized; no feeling, however ecstatic; no baptism or other ordinance whenever or wherever administered; no membership in a church; no submission to the rules and regulations of any church, nor all the churches that have existed since the days of the Apostles; nor any other human merits or works can help the sinner to take even one step in securing salvation. It is God’s gift to us-costing us nothing-and Christ everything. Salvation is wholly of God, by His grace, through the finished work of Jesus Christ. [John 1:12,13 & 14:6; Eph 2:8,9; Titus 3:5,6; Rom 6:23 & Rom 10:9; I Pet 1:18,19]

We believe and teach accordingly that the new birth occurs only when, by the Holy Spirit, a sinner hears and understands the gospel; is convicted of his sinfulness, of who Christ is, what He has done, and that sinner’s need for Him. Then, by God’s grace, the repentant sinner receives Christ through believing and becomes a child of God, baptized into the body of Christ. This is a supernatural, instantaneous work of the Spirit and is not conditioned upon verbal prayer(s), water baptism, or any other acts. [John 16:7-11 & 3:3-8 & 5:24; Titus 3:5,6; John 1:12,13; I Cor 12:13; Eph 2:8,9; John 14:6]

B. The Extent
We believe and teach accordingly that in accordance with God’s will, His provision of the gift of salvation through Christ has been offered to all. [Ezek 33:11; John 3:16 & 4:42 & 6:29; I Tim 2:3,4; II Pet 3:9]

We believe and teach accordingly that although offered to all, the new birth is only experienced and possessed by the one who exercises faith in Christ by grace through faith. Instantaneously, the unregenerate sinner passes from spiritual death to eternal life. The child of God is justified, sanctified, adopted, sealed, etc.; becomes a partaker of the divine nature, in possession of every spiritual blessing; and absolutely complete in Christ. [John 1:12,18 & 3:3-8,19-21,36 & 5:24; Rom 3:20,26 & 4:3-5 & 5:1 & 8:1; I Cor 1:4-8; Heb 7:25 & 13:5; I Pet 1:5; I John 5:11-13; Jude 24]

C. The Assurance
We believe and teach accordingly that when one is truly born again, he does not need to hope, wonder, wish, want or worry about being saved. At the instant of the new birth he has eternal life and will have in Christ forever. [Psalm 37:28; John 5:24 & 6:37-50 & 10:27-30; Rom 5:9,10 & 8:1; I Cor 1:4-8; Heb 7:25 & 13:5; I Pet 1:5; I John 5:11-13; Jude 24]

We believe and teach accordingly that our liberty in Christ is not to be abused in the flesh and become license (premeditated sin, carnality). [Rom 6:15-22 & 13:13,14; Gal 5:13,16-18,25]

 

THE CHURCH

A. Universal
We believe and teach accordingly that all who by grace through faith receive Christ personally are immediately baptized by the Spirit into one universal spiritual body-the Church-the Bride of Christ and of which He is the Head. [Eph 2:8,9; John 1:12,13; I Cor 12:12,13; II Cor 11:2; Eph 5:23-32; Rev 19:7,8; Eph 1:22,23 & 4:15; Col 1:18]

The formation of this unique spiritual organism was initiated on the day of Pentecost and will be completed when Christ comes for His own at the Rapture. [Acts 2:1-21,38-47; John 14:1-3; I Cor 15:15-47; I Thess 4:13-18]

B. Local
We believe and teach accordingly that the members of the one universal spiritual body are directed to associate themselves in local assemblies. [Acts 14:23,27 & 20:17; Gal 1:2; Phil 1:1; I Thess 1:1; I Cor 11:18-20; Heb 10:24,25]

We believe and teach accordingly that it is God’s purpose that each believer is to be a worker in the ministry. To accomplish that God has given gifted men and spiritual gifts to the church. It is essential that each believer discovers and utilizes his gift(s) for the edification of the body and advancement of the gospel. [I Cor 15:58; Eph 4:12; Rev 22:12; Eph 4:7-12; Rom 12:5-8; II Cor 12:4-31; I Pet 4:10,11]

We believe and teach accordingly that the local church is to be autonomous, free from external authority or control not covered by scripture. A local church is to be self-governing, unshackled from interference by other organizations or any hierarchy of individuals. Each local church, through the proper leadership of their elders, is to discern the measure and method of cooperation with other assemblies professing like faith. [Acts 15:19-31 & 20:28; I Cor 5:4-7,13; Titus 1:5; I Pet 5:1-4]

We believe and teach accordingly that Christ, the supreme authority, has designated those who are to serve under Him and over local assemblies. They are to serve in the grace and power of the Spirit and the congregation is to submit to their leadership. [Acts 20:28; Eph 4:11; I Tim 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; I Pet 5:1-5; I Cor 16:16; Heb 13:7,17]

C. Purpose
We believe and teach accordingly that God’s purpose for the church is to glorify Him. This is to be done through trusting and obeying by God’s grace and the power of the Spirit. This obedience to God will manifest itself in the body, building itself up in the faith; proper preaching, teaching, counseling, follow-up and discipleship using God’s word; fellowship; by keeping the ordinances; discipline; continually loving one another; caring for its own; doing good in the world; and telling the world of Christ. [Eph 3:21; Rev 4:11; Eph 5:27 & 5:18; Gal 5:16-26; Eph 4;13-16; II Tim 2:2,15 & 3:16,17; I Tim 5:17; Matt 28:19,20; Acts 2:42; I John 1:3; Heb 10:24,25; Luke 22:19; Acts 2:42; I John 4:7-21; Matt 18:15-20; I Cor 5 & 6; I Tim 5; Gal 6:10; Matt 28:29,20; Acts 1:8]

D. The Ordinances
We believe and teach accordingly that two ordinances have been committed to the church:
Water baptism by immersion is a testimony of our faith in the risen Christ. It is a picture of our union with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life. It is the believer identifying with the person of Christ and the body of Christ (the Church). [Matt 28:19; Acts 8:36-38 & 10:47,48 & 2:41,42]

The Lord’s supper is a memorial to remember and proclaim the death of Christ for us until He comes. Before partaking, one should seriously examine himself and not take unworthily. [Luke 22:29,20; Acts 2:42; I Cor 10:16 & 11:17-34]

E. Authority
We believe and teach accordingly as believers who should be separated unto Christ that only God is the source of all legitimate authority. All earthly authority was intended to fulfill the intentions of God. [John 15;1-5; Rom 13:14; Gal 5:16; I Thess 2:11,12; II Thess 1:11,12; Heb 12:1,2; John 14:6 & 19:10,11; Acts 4:15-19; Rom 13:1; Col 1:15-19 & 2:6-10]

We believe and teach accordingly that all believers are to submit themselves to the authorities ordained of God unless we are asked or commanded to do something that would cause us to sin in direct violation of God’s Word.

God has established for man three spheres of authority: the family, the church, and civil government. Each has its own set of responsibilities; limits of authority; and procedures for the correction, discipline, and punishment of wrong doers.

1. The Family
It is to be the basic unit of society. It is to be headed and led by a man with those under his care and protection (wife, children, elderly parents, or displaced persons). He is to love his wife, she is to submit to him as unto the Lord, and the children are to obey the parents. The man, assisted by his wife, has the responsibility to lead, train, educate, correct, and discipline his children according to the principles and methods given in Scripture. [Gen 1:26-31 & 2:15-25; Matt 19:3-9; Psalm 127:3-5; I Cor 11:3,7-12; Eph 5:18-33; I Tim 5:8,16 & 3:1-13; Titus 1:6-9 & 2:1-10; Col 3:14-21; I Pet 3:1-7; Eph 6:1-4; Isaiah 54:13; Eph 6:4; Prov 22:6; Deut 6:6-9; Psalm 78:1-8; Prov 3:11,12 & 19:18]

2. The Church
The church is God’s “called-out assembly” on earth. A local church is a group of professing Christians organized for the purpose of doing God’s will. Its Foundation, Chief Cornerstone, and Head, is Christ. His ordained overseers, rulers, and protectors of pure doctrine are elders. They are to serve according to the conditions placed forth in God’s Word. Those under their ordained rulership are to willingly meet God’s conditions of “knowing,” “honoring,” “obeying,” and “submitting” to those who have the rule over them. [Eph 1-6; I & II Tim; Titus; I Cor 3:10,11; Eph 1:22,23, 2:20-22, 5:23; I Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9; I Tim 5:17; Heb 13:17; I Pet 5:1-4; I Thess 5:12,13; I Tim 5:17-19]

Members of the body are to be living lives of practical holiness by the grace of God through the empowering of the Spirit. When a professing believer chooses not to live for God, the church, from a motive of love, must discipline the erring one(s) even to the point, if necessary, of a ban from participation in the life of the church community with the purpose being restoration. [I Pet 1:13-16; I Cor 6:19,20; Ps 119:1-3; Rom 6; Gal 5:1; Phil 1:27; Phil 2:15; Matt 18: 15-17; Jn 7:24; Rom 16:17; I Cor 5:1-13, 10:31; II Cor 2:6-8, 6:14-17; II Cor 13:1,2; Gal 6:1; II Thess 3:6,11-15; I Tim 1:18-20, 5:29,20, 6:3-5; Titus 1:10-13, 3:10; Heb 10:24,25, 12:5-15, 13:7; I Jn 4:1; II Jn 10,11]

3. Civil Government
Civil Government is ordained of God to preserve peace among people. In accordance with its responsibilities, it may punish wrongdoers with penalty to their property or person. Christians are to submit, obey, do good, and pray for civil authorities over them. [Ezra 7:26; Matt 22:17-21; Jn 19:10,11; Rom 13:1-7; Titus 3:1; I Pet 2:13-17; Gal 6:10; I Tim 2:1,2]

Biblical submission to civil authorities is not the equivalent of condoning evil or the compromising thereof. Acting upon every God directed opportunity, Christians, in God’s love, must expose deeds of darkness, being proclaimers of God’s truths. [Isa 5:20-24; Ps 97:10; I Thess 5:22; Matt 14:3-12; Lk 11:37-54; Jn 19:11,12; Eph 5:11-16; Acts 2:22-37, 4:19,20, 7, 13:13-41, 44-46]

Christians may exercise the rights afforded them by whatever form of civil government they are under in a manner glorifying to God. This would include proper appealing. [Esther 1:8, 5:1-8, 8:1-17; Dan 1:8-17; Acts 16:35-39, 19:35-41, 22:24-30, 25:13-22]

If a Christian is asked or ordered to sin against God-disobey explicit Scripture-he may first appeal, and if that doesn’t resolve it, obey God, and trust God for the outcome. [Dan 3, 6; Acts 4:13-21, 5:24-29, 6:8-8:3]

 

SANCTIFICATION

A. Positional

We believe and teach accordingly that every believer has been “set apart” unto God through their union in Christ. God’s word declares a believer to be holy and a saint; possessors of every spiritual blessing; possessors of everything pertaining to life and Godliness; and partakers of the divine nature-complete in Him. This is our standing, everything that we already are in Christ. [Acts 20:32; I Cor 1:2,30, 6:11; II Thess 2:13; Eph 1:3; II Pet 1:3,4; II Cor 5:17; Col 2:10; Heb 10:14]

B. Practical
We believe and teach accordingly that a believer is a “saved sinner” that retains his sin nature which cannot be eradicated during his lifetime. Therefore, although a believer’s standing is perfect, his present state is totally dependent upon his relationship to the Lord-walking in the Spirit or in the flesh. Because of the grace of God, a believer is enabled to be obedient to the Word of God, by the empowering of the Spirit, to live a life of increasing experiential, practical holiness in conformity to the will of God. The believer becomes more and more like his Lord. [I Jn 1:8,9; Gal 5:16-25; Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:9,10; Jn 17:17; Rom 6:1-22; II Cor 3:18, 7:1; Eph 5:26,27; Col 2:6,7; I Thess 4:3,4, 5:23; Heb 12:10,11]

We believe and teach accordingly that each Christian is personally responsible and accountable to God for their choices and behavior. Sin cannot be excused by arguments concerning environment, upbringing, or circumstances. [Gen 3; Rom 1:20; Rom 2, 6; Gal 5; Eph 2:1-10, 4:17-32; James 1:14-16; I Jn 1:9]

 

SPIRITUAL WARFARE

A. Satan
We believe and teach accordingly that God and His people are opposed by supernatural foes. Satan is a created angel who opposed God as he tried to exalt himself through pride. He is the author of sin and incurred God’s judgment for his attempt. He introduced sin to the human race and is presently the “god” of this planet. [Isa 14:12-17; Ezek 28:11-19; Gen 3; Job 1:7,8, 2:2; II Cor 4:4]

We believe and teach accordingly that Satan is the enemy of God and man, especially Christians, and is bent on evil and its intended ends. However, his power is limited by the sovereign purposes of God. Believers have been given the power and authority to know their enemy, to expose him, and to thwart his efforts. [Gen 3; II Cor 4:3,4, 11:13-15; Eph 6:10-12; II Thess 2:3,4; Job 1:12, 2:6; Jn 8:44; Matt 4:1-11; II Cor 2:11; I Pet 5:8,9]

We believe and teach accordingly that Satan is already judged, although that has not been executed yet. At the Second Coming of Christ, the devil will be bound and cast into the abyss for a thousand years. Then he will be loosed for a little season, and after that he will be “cast into the lake of fire and brimstone” where he “shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.” [Rom 16:20; Col 2:15; Matt 25:41; Rev 20:1-3, 7-10]

B. Demons
We believe and teach accordingly that a great company of angels chose to follow Lucifer in his rebellion toward God. Some are in chains awaiting judgment. The rest are active agents and associates of the devil in carrying out his evil purposes. They will suffer the same fate as the one they follow. [Rev 12:4; II Pet 2:4; Jude 6; II Cor 11:13-15; I Tim 4:1; Eph 6:10-12; Matt 25:41; Rev 20:10]

C. Unfallen
We believe and teach accordingly that there was also a great company of angels who kept their holy estate. They are a higher order of creation than man, created to serve and worship God. Many are sent forth from the throne of God as ministering spirits to believers, many times as our aids in this supernatural opposition we face. [Dan 10:5,6, 10-20; Lk 2:9-20, 15:10; Eph 1:21; Heb 1:6,7,14; Heb 2:6,7; Rev 5:11, 7:11,12, 22:8,9]

 

THE ADVENTS

A. The First Advent
We believe and teach accordingly that Jesus was the incarnation of God-Immanuel (God with us). Christ’s birth was preannounced, prophecy fulfilled, and supernatural (virgin born). He was born to die, a ransom for all. He was crucified, buried, and rose on the third day, just as He said. He is now exalted at the right hand of the Father. [Matt 1:18-25; Lk 1:26-56, 2:6-38; Jn 1:1,11-14, 3:16-18,36, 20:31; Matt 28:5-7; I Cor 15:3,4; Eph 1:10-23; Col 3:1]

1. The Rapture
Just prior to the tribulation, Christ will personally and bodily return in the air to receive His church up to Himself. The bodies of the dead will be glorified first, and the believers will “change” enroute. All will occur in the “twinkling of an eye.” [Jn 14:1-3; I Cor 15:51-53; I Thess 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-14]

2. The Tribulation
Following the translation of the church, the fulfillment of Israel’s seventieth week will occur. It will be the righteous judgments of God upon an unbelieving/non-repentant world. The last 3 1/2 years of this 7-year period will be the time of Jacob’s trouble. Christ referred to it as the “great tribulation.” The times of the Gentiles come to a close. [Dan 9:27, 12:1; Rev 6:1-19:21; Jere 30:7; Matt 24:15-21; II Thess 2:1-12; Lk 2:32; Acts 15:14-18; Rom 11:11-26]

B. The Second Advent
We believe and teach accordingly that the climax of the tribulation period will be the physical return of Christ with all His saints and angels to earth in power and great glory as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He will overthrow the antichrist, initiate the millennium, bind Satan, and put him in the abyss, lift the curse that is now upon all creation, and restore Israel to her land and the realization of covenant promises. [Rev 19:11-16; Rev 20:1-7; Isa 11:6-9; Rom 8:18-22; Deut 30:1-10; Isa 60:62; Ezek 37:21-28; Zech 8:1-17]

 

THE ETERNAL STATE

We believe and teach accordingly that at physical death the spirits and souls of those who have trusted in Christ for salvation immediately pass into His presence and remain with Him in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the glorified body (this occurs at the rapture) which is reunited with the believer. We shall from the moment of entering His presence dwell with Him from then on to all eternity. However, the souls and spirits of the unbelieving suffer conscious torment in the hell which is the temporary abode of the unbelieving dead. At the Great White throne judgment, Christ, who is the judge of all men, will carry out judgment on all unbelievers. They will be committed to an eternal, conscious punishment in the lake of fire. [Lk 16:19-26, 23:42,43; II Cor 5:8; Phil 1:23; II Thess 1:7-9; Jude 7; Rev 20:11-15]

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