What We Believe

GOD'S WORD

We believe the Bible is God’s Word. It is accurate, authoritative and applicable to our everyday lives.

The Bible Is Inspired. The Scriptures of the entire Bible are verbally inspired of God. It was not just the ideas that were inspired; even the choice of the words was inspired as the original writers were moved by God to write what He wanted them to say. We therefore believe that (1) the Scriptures are God\’s revelation of himself to mankind, (2) they are infallible (never wrong), and (3) they are the divinely authoritative guide for our faith, belief, and manner of living.

GOD'S PERSON

We believe in one eternal God who is the Creator of all things. He exists in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He is totally loving and completely holy. The Lord Jesus Christ is both God and man and is the only one who can reconcile us to God. Each time we partake of communion we remember Jesus lived a sinless and exemplary life, died on the cross in our place, and rose again to prove His victory and empower us for life.

One True God. There is one true God. He has revealed Himself as having always existed without any outside cause or agent bringing Him into being (Isaiah 43:10). He is the Creator of heaven and earth (Genesis 1:1) and the One who redeems, saves, and rescues mankind from sin and its painful consequences (Isaiah 43:11). God has further revealed himself as a single Being (Deuteronomy 6:4) consisting of three interrelated persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19, Luke 3:22). This concept of one God or Being of three persons is called the Trinity.

The Lord Jesus Christ Is Fully God. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has always existed. He too is without beginning or end (Revelation 1:8). In order to complete His earthly sacrificial mission, He became human by being born of a virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:31,35). He lived a perfect life, absolutely without sin (Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peter 2:22). While on Earth He worked many miracles through the annointing of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:22, 10:38). In order to restore fallen mankind, He died on the cross as a substitute for the sins of every person (1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21). He was raised from the dead by the supernatural power of God (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:39; 1 Corinthians 6:14, 15:4). Since His resurrection He has been exalted (honored), and is seated at the right hand of God (Acts 1:9,11,2:23; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:3).

GOD'S PLAN FOR MAN

We believe sin has separated each of us from God and His purpose for our lives. In order to receive forgiveness we must repent of our sins, believe in Jesus Christ and submit to His will for our lives. God wants to heal and transform us so that we can live healthy and powerful lives in order to help others more effectively. In order to live the holy, fruitful, and power-filled lives God intends for us, we need to be baptized in water, set our mind on Him and His purpose, and be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Fall of Mankind. Mankind was created good and upright; for God said, \”Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.\” However, mankind by willful choice, ignored God\’s instructions …choosing to engage in what they knew was wrong and evil. As a result, mankind fell from innocence and goodness and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:17, 3:6; Romans 5:12-19).

The Salvation of Mankind. Salvation is deliverance from spiritual death and enslavement by sin. God provides salvation for all who believe and accept His free offer of forgiveness. Mankind\’s only hope of redemption from the fallen sinful state is through the blood of Jesus Christ, God\’s Son – blood that was shed as Jesus died on the cross. [The account of the crucifixion of Jesus is recounted by four of His contemporaries: Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19.]

The Experience of Salvation: Salvation is received as a person (1) repents before God for his sins and sinful nature or inclinations, and (2) believes or has faith in the fact that the death and resurrection (supernatural restoration to life) of Jesus Christ removes and brings forgiveness for his sin. In response to placing faith in God\’s love and freely given salvation, one experiences the washing of regeneration (or spiritual rebirth), the renewing work of the Holy Spirit, and is declared righteous (right with God). Regeneration, renewal, and justification (justified, or made right with God) are words describing what happens at salvation. At the moment of salvation, a person becomes heir to God\’s promised hope for eternal or everlasting life (Luke 24:47; John 3:3; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 2:8; Titus 2:11, 3:5-7).

The Evidences of Salvation: The inner evidence of salvation is the direct witness of the Holy Spirit giving one the assurance that God has accepted him (Romans 8:16). The outward evidence, visible to others, is a life of righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24; Titus 2:12). In other words it is living a life totally committed and pleasing to God.

Sanctification. Sanctification is an act of separating ourselves from evil and identifying with things that are good, upright, and morally pure. It is a process that takes place as Christians devote themselves to God (Romans 12:1,2; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 13:12). Scriptures teach that we are to be holy because God is holy (1 Peter 1:16). For \”Without holiness no one will see the Lord\” (Hebrews 12:14). Living in holiness is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit.

A Christian is sanctified as he identifies with Christ, and accepts in faith His sacrificial death and victorious resurrection. Sanctification is a daily acknowledgement of our union with God through His Son Jesus. As this identification occurs it is only natural for the Christian to offer every portion of his life to the control of the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:1-11, 13, 8:1,2,13; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 2:12,13; 1 Peter 1:5).

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The word ghost in the 16th-century King James Version of the Bible meant only what we today understand by the word \’spirit\’.

All believers are entitled to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and therefore should expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. [Some references in the Bible speak of \”the Holy Ghost and fire.\” Fire, an image commonly associated with the Holy Spirit, suggests the purging, cleansing action, and zeal of the Holy Spirit which continues the work of spiritual growth begun at salvation.]

The baptism in the Holy Spirit was the normal experience of all believers in the early Christian church. With the experience comes the provision of power for victorious Christian living and productive service. It also provides believers with specific spiritual gifts for more effective ministry (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4,8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31).

The baptism in the Holy Spirit is separate from salvation, and follows the new birth experience (Acts 8:12-17,10:44-46,11:14-16,15:7-9). With this baptism come such experiences as an overflowing of the Spirit (John 7:37-39; Acts 4:8), a deepended reverence for God (Acts 2:43; Hebrews 12:28), an intensified commitment to God and dedication to His work (Acts 2:42), and a more active love for Christ, for His Word, and for those who have not yet become believers (Mark 16:20).

The Initial Physical Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The baptism of Christians in the Holy Spirit is accompanied by the initial physical sign of speaking in other tongues (unlearned languages) as the Spirit of God gives them audible expression (Acts 2:4).

This form of speaking in tongues is basically the same as the gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:4-10, 28). The difference is the purpose and use. The manifestation of tongues can be observed in the life of every Spirit-filled believer at the initial infilling. The audible expression of tongues should also continue to function in the Spirit-filled believer\’s personal prayer life. However, the gift of tongues (sometimes called \”messages in tongues\”) operates publicly, usually in congregational worship settings. This gift is followed by the gift of interpreting the tongues. Both are given to individuals within the church. Their purpose is for the spiritual benefit of the individual and the congregation.

Divine Healing. Divine healing from God is an integral part of the Gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided in the Atonement (Christ\’s suffering and death for our reconciliation with God). Healing is a privilege of all believers (Isaiah 53:4-5; Matthew 8:16-17; James 5:14-16).

GOD'S PLAN FOR THE CHURCH

We believe God has individually equipped us and corporately gathered us as His living body so that we can successfully achieve His purpose for our lives, which is to worship God, strengthen the Church, and share the Gospel with the community in which we live.

The Ordinances of the Church. Some churches use the term sacraments instead of ordinances. Sacraments, however, carries for many people the idea that a spiritual work takes place in a person when the sacrament is received or experienced. The Assemblies of God chooses to call water baptism and Holy communion ordinances because they are religious practices ordained or established by Jesus himself.

In fulfilling these spiritual duties Christians are reminded of an important work that has already taken place in the heart of the believer.

Baptism in Water: The ordinance of baptism by immersion in water (not sprinkling) is commanded in the Scriptures (Mark 16:16). All who repent and believe on Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord are to be baptized. This act of baptism symbolically declares to everyone that the old sinful life and lifestyle of the baptized believer died with Christ at salvation and a new spiritual being has been raised with Christ (in His resurrection) to live a new life (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 10:47-48; Romans 6:4).

Holy Communion: The Lord\’s Supper or Communion, consisting of bread and the fruit of the vine (grape juice), is a memorial of Christ\’s suffering and death (1 Corinthians 11:26). In eating and drinking the symbols of Christ\’s suffering and death, the believer expresses his awareness that through salvation he, (1) has been made right with God, and (2) shares the divine nature of eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4). The ordinance also looks forward to Christ\’s second coming (1 Corinthians 11:26) for it is a reminder to proclaim the Lord\’s death \”until He comes!\”

The Church and Its Mission. The Church as described in the Bible consists of all people who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ as the only remedy for their sins. The Church includes all Christians and has no boundaries as to age, race, gender, or denomination. It is the body of Christ, the dwelling place of God through the Holy Spirit. Christ is the Head of the Church. He has made every provision for the fulfillment of \”the Church\’s\” Great Commission (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15). Each Christian is an integral part of that Church. The names of all true believers (those making up the Church) are written in heaven (Ephesians 1:22-23, 2:22; Hebrews 12:23).

God\’s purpose concerning mankind is (A) to seek and to save people who are lost in sin (Luke 19:10), (B) to be worshipped by all mankind (Revelation 19:10, 22:9), and (C) to build a unified body of believers mature in faith and knowledge like His Son, Jesus (Ephesians 4:12). Therefore the priority reason-for-being of the Assemblies of God as a part of the Church is:

  1. To be an agency of God for evangelizing the world (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16).
  2. To be a corporate or unified body in which man may worship God (1 Corinthians 12:13).
  3. To be a channel of God\’s purpose to build a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son (Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Corinthians 12:28, 14:12).

In fulfilling this three-fold mission of the Church, members of the Assemblies of God are taught and encouraged to be baptized in the Holy Spirit according to the New Testament pattern. Through this experience believers: evangelize in the power of the Spirit with accompanying supernatural signs (Mark 16:15-20; Acts 4:29-31; Hebrews 2:3-4); worship God in an added dimension (1 Corinthians 2:10-16; 1 Corinthians 12-14); and respond to the full working of the Holy Spirit in expressing the fruit, gifts, and ministries as in New Testament times in order to build up the church, the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:28, 14:12; Galatians 5:22-26; Ephesians 4:11-12; Colossians 1:29).

The Ministry. Involvement in ministry in response to a divine call is scripturally ordained in the Bible. It\’s a provision of our Lord for the threefold purpose of leading the Church in: (1) evangelization of the world (Mark 16:15-20), (2) worship of God (John 4:23-24), and (3) building a body of believers conforming to the life of Christ (Ephesians 4:11,16).

GOD'S PLAN FOR THE END OF TIMES

We believe the Lord Jesus Christ is coming back again as He promised and will rule and reign on this earth. History will conclude as the wicked are judged and the righteous enter a new heaven and a new earth.

The Blessed Hope. All Christians who have died will one day rise from their graves and will meet the Lord in the air. Christians who have not yet died will be raptured or caught up with them, to be with the Lord. Then Christians of all ages will live with God forever. The scriptural truth of the Lord\’s soon return is \”the blessed hope\” (Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Titus 2:13).

The Millennial Reign of Christ. The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of all Christians, which is our blessed hope, followed by the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on the earth for 1000 years (Zechariah 14:5; Matthew 24:27,30; Revelation 1:7, 19:11-14, 20:1-6). This millennial (1000-year) reign will bring the salvation of Israel as a nation (Ezekiel 37:21-22; Zephaniah 3:19-20; Romans 11:26-27) and the establishment of universal peace (Psalm 72:3-8; Isaiah 11:6-9; Micah 4:3-4).

The Final Judgment. There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead (those who have died without accepting Christ\’s salvation) will be raised and judged according to the way they lived. Anyone whose name is not found written in the Book of Life (the recorded list of people who received Christ\’s forgiveness), together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be sent to everlasting punishment in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone (sulfur), which is the second death (Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 19:20, 20:11-15, 21:8).

The New Heavens and the New Earth. \”According to God\’s promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will dwell and reign forever\” (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21,22).

Statement of Fundamental Truths

1. THE SCRIPTURES INSPIRED

The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct.

2. THE ONE TRUE GOD

The one true God has revealed Himself as the eternally self-existent “I AM,” the Creator of heaven and earth and the Redeemer of mankind. He has further revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

THE ADORABLE GODHEAD

a. Terms Defined
The terms “Trinity” and “persons” as related to the Godhead, while not found in the Scriptures, are words in harmony with Scripture, whereby we may convey to others our immediate understanding of the doctrine of Christ respecting the Being of God, as distinguished from “gods many and lords many.” We therefore may speak with propriety of the Lord our God who is One Lord, as a trinity or as one Being of three persons, and still be absolutely scriptural.

b. Distinction and Relationship in the Godhead
Christ taught a distinction of Persons in the Godhead which He expressed in specific terms of relationship, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but that this distinction and relationship, as to its mode is inscrutable and incomprehensible, because unexplained.

c. Unity of the One Being of Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Accordingly, therefore, there is that in the Father which constitutes him the Father and not the Son; there is that in the Son which constitutes Him the Son and not the Father; and there is that in the Holy Spirit which constitutes Him the Holy Spirit and not either the Father or the Son. Wherefore the Father is the Begetter, the Son is the Begotten, and the Holy Spirit is the one proceeding from the Father and the Son. Therefore, because these three persons in the Godhead are in a state of unity, there is but one Lord God Almighty and His name one.

d. Identity and Cooperation in the Godhead
The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are never identical as to Person; nor confused as to relation; nor divided in respect to the Godhead; nor opposed as to cooperation. The Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son as to relationship. The Son is with the Father and the Father is with the Son, as to fellowship. The Father is not from the Son, but the Son is from the Father, as to authority. The Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son proceeding, as to nature, relationship, cooperation and authority. Hence, neither Person in the Godhead either exists or works separately or independently of the others.

e. The Title, Lord Jesus Christ
The appellation, “Lord Jesus Christ,” is a proper name. It is never applied in the New Testament, either to the Father or to the Holy Spirit. It therefore belongs exclusively to the Son of God.

f. The Lord Jesus Christ, God with Us
The Lord Jesus Christ, as to His divine and eternal nature, is the proper and only Begotten of the Father, but as to His human nature, He is the proper Son of Man. He is therefore, acknowledged to be both God and man; who because He is God and man is “Immanuel,” God with us.

g. The Title, Son of God
Since the name “Immanuel” embraces both God and man in the one Person, our Lord Jesus Christ, it follows that the title, Son of God, describes His proper deity, and the title, Son of Man, His proper humanity. Therefore, the title Son of God, belongs to the order of eternity, and the title, Son of Man, to the order of time.

h. Transgression of the Doctrine of Christ
Wherefore, it is a transgression of the Doctrine of Christ to say that Jesus Christ derived the title, Son of God, solely from the fact of the incarnation, or because of His relation to the economy of redemption. Therefore, to deny that the Father is a real and eternal Father, and that the Son is a real and eternal Son, is a denial of the distinction and relationship in the Being of God; a denial of the Father, and the Son; and a displacement of the truth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.

i. Exaltation of Jesus Christ as Lord
The Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, having by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; angels and principalities and powers having been made subject unto Him. And having been made both Lord and Christ, He sent the Holy Spirit that we, in the name of Jesus, might bow our knees and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father until the end, when the Son shall become subject to the Father that God may be all in all.

j. Equal Honor to the Father and to the Son
Wherefore, since the Father has delivered all judgment unto the Son, it is not only the express duty of all in heaven and on earth to bow the knee, but it is an unspeakable joy in the Holy Spirit to ascribe unto the Son all the attributes of Deity, and to give Him all honor and the glory contained in all the names and titles of the Godhead except those which express relationship (see Distinction and Relationship in the Godhead, Unity of the One Being of Father, Son and Holy Spirit , and Identity and Cooperation in the Godhead) and thus honor the Son even as we honor the Father.

3. THE DEITY OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST

The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. The Scriptures declare:

His virgin birth,

His sinless life,

His miracles,

His substitutionary work on the cross,

His bodily resurrection from the dead,

His exaltation to the right hand of God.

4. THE FALL OF MAN

Man was created good and upright; for God said, “Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness.” However, man by voluntary transgression fell and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God.

5. THE SALVATION OF MAN

Man’s only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

Conditions to Salvation

Salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God, according to the hope of eternal life.

The Evidence of Salvation

The inward evidence of salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit.

The outward evidence to all men is a life of righteousness and true holiness.

6. THE ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH

BAPTISM IN WATER

The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded by the Scriptures. All who repent and believe on Christ as Saviour and Lord are to be baptized. Thus they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life.

HOLY COMMUNION

The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements –bread and the fruit of the vine– is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4 [KJV/NIV]), a memorial of his suffering and death (1 Corinthians 11:26 [KJV/NIV]), and a prophecy of His second coming (1 Corinthians 11:26 [KJV/NIV]), and is enjoined on all believers “till He come!”

7. THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT

All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience of all in the early Christian Church. With it comes the enduement of power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry.

This experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth.

With the baptism in the Holy Spirit come such experiences as:

  • an overflowing fullness of the Spirit, John 7:37-39 [KJV/NIV], Acts 4:8 [KJV/NIV]
  • a deepened reverence for God, Acts 2:43 [KJV/NIV], Hebrews 12:28 [KJV/NIV]
  • an intensified consecration to God and dedication to His work, Acts 2:42 [KJV/NIV]
  • and a more active love for Christ, for His Word and for the lost, Mark 16:20 [KJV/NIV]

8. THE INITIAL PHYSICAL EVIDENCE OF THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT

The baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance.

The speaking in tongues in this instance is the same in essence as the gift of tongues, but is different in purpose and use.

  • 1 Corinthians 12:4-10 [KJV/NIV]
  • 1 Corinthians 12:28 [KJV/NIV]

9. SANCTIFICATION

Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and of dedication unto God.

The Scriptures teach a life of “holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.”

By the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to obey the command: “Be ye holy, for I am holy.”

Sanctification is realized in the believer by recognizing his identification with Christ in His death and resurrection, and by the faith reckoning daily upon the fact of that union, and by offering every faculty continually to the dominion of the Holy Spirit.

10. THE CHURCH AND ITS MISSION

The Church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission. Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn, which are written in heaven.

Since God’s purpose concerning man is to seek and to save that which is lost, to be worshipped by man, to build a body of believers in the image of His Son, and to demonstrate His love and compassion for all the world, the priority reason for being of the Assemblies of God as part of the Church is:

  1. To be an agency of God for evangelizing the world.
  1. To be a corporate body in which man may worship God.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:13 [KJV/NIV]
  1. To be a channel of God’s purpose to build a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son.
  1. To be a people who demonstrate God’s love and compassion for all the world.

The Assemblies of God exists expressly to give continuing emphasis to this reason for being in the New Testament apostolic pattern by teaching and encouraging believers to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. This experience:

  1. Enables them to evangelize in the power of the Spirit with accompanying supernatural signs.
  1. Adds a necessary dimension to worshipful relationship with God.
  1. Enables them to respond to the full working of the Holy Spirit in expression of fruit and gifts and ministries as in New Testament times for the edifying of the body of Christ and care for the poor and needy of the world.

11. THE MINISTRY

A divinely called and scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for the fourfold purpose of leading the Church in:

Evangelization of the world.

Worship of God.

Building a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son.

Meeting human need with ministries of love and compassion.

12. DIVINE HEALING

Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers.

13. THE BLESSED HOPE

The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord is the imminent and blessed hope of the church.

14. THE MILLENNIAL REIGN OF CHRIST

The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of the saints, which is our blessed hope, followed by the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on earth for one thousand years.

This millennial reign will bring the salvation of national Israel,

and the establishment of universal peace.

15. THE FINAL JUDGMENT

There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to the everlasting punishment in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

16. THE NEW HEAVENS AND THE NEW EARTH

“We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.”

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