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Doctrines and Distinctives

THE HOLY BIBLE – We believe the Holy Bible is God’s Word, accepting fully the writings of the thirty-nine (39) books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven (27) books of the New Testaments as the inerrant Word of God, verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit in all parts, and therefore altogether sufficient as our only infallible and authoritative rule of faith and practice.  Psalm 119:160; Proverbs 30:5a; II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:19-21

 

We believe in THE ONE TRUE GOD who is an intelligent, sovereign, spiritual and personal Being.  HE is perfect, infinite, and eternal in His Being, holiness and love, wisdom and power, absolutely separate from above the world as its Creator, yet everywhere present in the world as the Upholder of all things.  He is revealed to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three distinct persons but without division of nature, essence or being, and each having a distinct ministry in God’s relation to His creation and people.  Genesis 1:1; Exodus 15:11; Psalm 83:18; Psalm 139:7-9; Matthew 28:19; John 10:30; John 15:26

 

We believe in THE LORD JESUS CHRIST who is the Second Person of the Triune God, the eternal Word and Only Begotten Son; that without any change in His Divine Person, He became man by miracle of the Virgin Birth, thus to continue forever as both true God and true Man, one Person with two natures; that as Man HE was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin; that as the perfect Lamb of God HE gave Himself in death upon the cross, bearing there the sin of the world, and suffering its full penalty of divine wrath in our stead; that HE arose from the grave in a glorified body, that as our great High Priest HE ascended into Heaven, there to appear before the face of God as our Advocate and Intercessor.  John 1:1,14,; John 3:16; Matthew 1:18-25; Galatians 4:4-5; Philippians 2:6-10; I Corinthians 15:3-7; Hebrews 2:9; Hebrews 4:14-16; I John 2:1-2

 

We believe in THE HOLY SPIRIT who is the Third Person of the Trinity, and the divine Agent in nature, revelation and redemption; that HE convicts the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment; that HE generates, indwells, baptizes, seals and anoints all who become children of God through Christ; that HE further empowers, guides, teaches, sanctifies and fills believers who daily surrender to Him.  John 3:5; John 14:16-17, 26; John 16:7-14; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 12:3:18; Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 5:18

 

We believe ALL MEN ARE BY NATURE AND CHOICE SINFUL AND LOST:  We believe man was the direct creation of God, made in His image and likeness; that by personal disobedience to the revealed will of God, man became a sinful creature, the father of a fallen race which is universally sinful in both nature and practice, thus alienated from the life and family of God and rests under the righteous judgment and wrath of God, and has within himself no possible means of salvation.  Genesis 1:27; Genesis 3:6; Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:23; Romans 5:12 19; Galatians 3:11

 

SALVATION BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH – We believe that salvation is the free gift of God, neither merited nor secured in part or in whole by any virtue or work of man, but received only by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom all true believers have as a present possession the gift of eternal life, a perfect righteousness, son-ship in the family of God, deliverance and security from all condemnation, every spiritual resource needed for life and godliness and the divine guarantee that they shall never perish; that this salvation affects the whole man; that apart from Christ there is no possible salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; John 1:12; John 3:14; John 10:28-29; Romans 8:1 Philippians 1:6

 

We believe in RIGHTEOUS LIVING AND GODLY WORKS, not as a means of salvation in any sense, but as its proper evidence and fruit, and therefore as Christians we should obey the Word of our Lord, seek the things which are above, walk as HE walked, accept as our solemn responsibility the duty and privileges of bearing the gospel to a lost world, remembering that a victorious and fruitful Christian life is possible only for those who in gratitude for the infinite and underserved mercies of God have presented themselves wholly to Christ.  Ephesians 2:10; Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 2:16

 

We believe in THE EXISTENCE OF SATAN, who originally was created a holy and perfect being, but through pride and wicked ambition rebelled against God, thus becoming utterly depraved in character, the great adversary of God and His people, leader of all other evil angels and wicked spirits, the deceiver and god of this present world; that his powers are vast, but strictly limited by the permissive will of God who overrules all his wicked devices for good; that he was defeated and judged at the cross, and therefore his final doom is certain; that we are able to resist and overcome him only in the armor of God, by the blood of the Lamb, and through the power of the Holy Spirit.   Isaiah 14:12-15; Ephesians 6:12; I Peter 5:8; I John 3:8; Revelation 12:9-11; Revelation 20:10

 

THE WORD TO COME – We believe the coming of Christ in the air to rapture His Church, which is our blessed Hope, is always imminent.   We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and of the unjust, the everlasting blessedness of the saved, and the everlasting punishment of the lost.   I Thessalonians 4:13-18; James 5:8; Hebrews 10:37; Jude 14-15; Revelation 19:11-16; Revelation 20:4-7; Acts 1:11

 

We believe in THE LITERAL, BIBLICAL ACCOUNT OF CREATION as recorded in the book of Genesis. We believe man and woman are created in the image of God and are mandated by God to relationship with each other and dominion over the earth; that the universe with all that is in it was created by God, not produced by some process of evolution.  Genesis Chapters 1 & 2; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16

 

 We believe MARRIAGE is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime.  It is God’s unique gift to provide for the man and woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel for sexual expression according to Biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.  Genesis 2:24

 

FUTURE LIFE, BODILY RESURRECTION AND ETERNAL JUDGMENT – We believe the spirits of the saved at death go immediately to be with Christ in Heaven, that their works shall be brought before the Judgment Seat of Christ for the determination of rewards which will take place at the time when Christ comes for His own; that the spirits of the unsaved at death descend immediately into Hades where they are kept under punishment until the final day of judgment, at which time their bodies shall be raised from the grave, that they shall be judged and cast in Hell, the place of final and everlasting punishment.  I Corinthians 15; II Corinthians 5:8-10; Luke 16: 19-22; Revelation 20:11-15

 

We believe in the SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE with each having definite and distinct spheres of responsibility.  Matthew 22:21; Romans 13:1-7

 

THE PRIESTHOOD OF ALL BELIEVERS – We believe Christ is our Great High Priest and through Him every born-again person has direct access into God’s presence without the need of a human priest, that the believer has the right and responsibility to personally study and interpret the Scriptures guided by the Holy Spirit.  John 14:6; Hebrews 4:16; II Timothy 2:15; I Peter 2:1; I Peter 5:9

 

THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST – We believe Christ alone is Head of the Body of Christ, into which all true believers are immediately baptized by the Holy Spirit; that all members of this one spiritual body should assemble and identify themselves in local churches.  I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 4:11-15; Galatians 1:22

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LOCAL CHURCH – We believe a New Testament church is a local assembly of born-again baptized believers united in organization to practice New Testament ordinances, to meet together for worship, prayer, fellowship, teaching and a united testimony, and to actively engage in carrying out the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.  We further believe that the only Scriptural officers of the church are pastors and deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.  The terms elder, pastor (shepherd), and bishop are all synonymous in that they refer to the same office. They differ only in emphasis.  Matthew 8:17; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:14-42, 47; I Corinthians 1:1-13; I Corinthians 11:2

 

THE INDEPENDENCE AND AUTONOMY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH – We believe each New Testament church is free to govern itself without ecclesiastical interference, and should cooperate with other New Testament churches as the Holy Spirit leads; that it is responsible to follow the pattern of the New Testament church and is directly accountable to God.  Matthew 18:17; Acts 6:1-5; Acts 13:1-3; Acts 15:22-23

 

We believe THE ORDINANCES GIVEN TO THE LOCAL CHURCH ARE TWO, BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER - Baptism is by immersion of a believer in water, in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, thus portraying the death, burial, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The Lord’s Supper is the partaking of the bread and juice by the believer as a continuing memorial of the broken body and shed blood of Christ.  We believe that participation in the Lord’s Supper, in which baptized believers commemorate together the dying love of Christ, is to be preceded always with solemn self-examination.  Matthew 26:26-30; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41; Acts 8:38-39; I Corinthians 11:23-34

 

These doctrines and distinctives, Pgs. 1-3, as written and adopted by GAP MISSIONS MINISTRIES, Inc, August 26th, 2011, can never be altered, deleted, or changed.  (Bylaws - Pg 6, Article V, Section 5.8)