I. The Scriptures
The Master's Community Statement of Faith
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; being inerrant in the original manuscripts. Psalm 19.7-10; Isaiah 40.6-8; Matthew 5.17-20; Romans 15.1-6; 2 Timothy 3.15-17; Hebrews 4.6-13; 2 Peter 1.19-21.
II. God the Father.
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; and to Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience. As Creator He is Father to all men, but He is spiritual Father only to believers. Genesis 1.1-2; Exodus 3.12-15; Deuteronomy 6.4; Jeremiah 10.1-16; Matthew 6.5-15; Romans 8.12-14; Ephesians 4.1-6; James 1.13-18; Revelation 4.
III. God the Son.
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 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. Genesis 3.15; Psalm 110.1-4; Isaiah 53; John 4.24, 5.19-30, 14.6-13; Colossians 1.15-19; Hebrews 1.1-4; 7.11-28; 1 Timothy 2.5-6, 3.16; Revelation 5. IV. God the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Savior, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
Genesis 1:2; Psalm 51:11; 139:7ff.; Joel 2:28-32; Luke 1:35; 4:1,18-19; John 14:16-17, 26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4, 38; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 12:3-13; Galatians 5.16-23; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 John 4:13.
V. 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 1.2, 26; 3.22; Deuteronomy 6.4; Psalm 110 and Matthew 22.41-46; Matthew 3.13-17; Romans 8.12-17; 2 Corinthians 13.14; Ephesians 1.3-14; Colossians 1.15-20.
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 to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures. Genesis 50.20; Psalm 103, 104; Proverbs 16.9; Isaiah 40.7-26; 45.5-7; 46.3-13; Matthew 6.26-33; 11.25-30; Acts 2.22-24; 17.24-31; Romans 11.33-36; 1 Timothy 6.15-16; Hebrews 1.1-4; Revelation 20.
Election is God's eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life -- not because of foreseen merit in them, but of his mere mercy in Christ -- in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified. Genesis 25.19-26; John 6.37-40; Acts 13.48; Romans 8.28-38; 9-11; 1 Corinthians 1.26-31; Ephesians 1.3-11; 1 Thessalonians 1.3; 2 Timothy 2.10; 1 Peter 2.1-10.
VIII. 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 descendents 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 3; 6.5-8; Psalm 51; John 3.19-21; 8.30-47; Romans 3.9-20; 5.12-19; Ephesians 2.1-10; Titus 3.3-7.
Regeneration is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who awakens the dead in trespasses and sins enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature, so that they love and practice holiness. It is a work of God's free and special grace alone. Deuteronomy 30.1-6; Jeremiah 31.31-34; Ezekiel 11.17-21; 36.25-29; John 3.3-7, 5.24; Acts 2.38-39; Romans 8.1-2; Titus 3.4-7; James 1.18; 1 Peter 1.3, 22-25.
Repentance is an evangelical 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, hatred of it, and self-abhorrence, with a purpose and endeavor to walk before God so as to please Him in all things. Job 42.1-6; Psalm 51; Luke 3.3-14; 19.1-10; Acts 2.22-38; 2 Corinthians 7.8-13; 1 Thessalonians 1.9-10; 2 Timothy 2.25; Titus 2.11-14.
Saving faith is the belief, on God's authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ; accepting and resting upon Him alone for justification and eternal life. It is wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by all other saving graces, and leads to a life of holiness. Genesis 15.1-6; Matthew 11.22-30; John 3.16-18; 6.35-36; Romans 1.16-17; 3.21-26; 4.1ff; 6.1-10; 10.8-10; Galatians 2.15-21; Ephesians 2.1-10; Hebrews 3.12-19; Hebrews 11; Revelation 13.10; 14.12.
Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal of sinners, who believe in Christ, from all sin, through the satisfaction that Christ has made; not for anything wrought 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. Psalm 32.1-2; Isaiah 53.4-6; Micah 7.18-20; Romans 3.21-26; 4.1-5; 2 Corinthians 5.17-21; Galatians 2.15-21; Titus 3.3-7.
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 seek to obtain, pressing after a heavenly life in cordial obedience to all Christ's commands.
Matthew 28.18-20; John 17.14-19; Romans 8.28-30; 1 Corinthians 1.2; 6.7-11; 2 Corinthians 3.7-18; 6.14-7.1; 2 Thessalonians 2.13-15; Hebrews 2.11; 10.10, 14; 12.14; 13.12; 1 Peter 1.2.
XIV. Perseverance of the Saints.
Those whom God has accepted in the Beloved, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end; and though they may fall, through neglect and temptation, into sin, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again unto repentance, and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. John 6.37-40; 10.27-30; Romans 5.9-11; 8.1, 28-39; 1 Corinthians 1.4-8; Hebrews 7.23-25, 10.19-31; 1 Peter 1.3-5; 1 John 2.19, 28-3.3.
XV. 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 assemblies or churches; and to each of these churches He has given needful authority for administering order, discipline and worship which He has appointed. The regular officers of a Church are Bishops, or Elders, Deacons and Deaconesses. Matthew 16.15-19; 18.15-20; Acts 2.41-47; Ephesians 2.11-22; 4.11-16; Philippians 1.1-2; Colossians 1.15-18; 2.4-7; 1 Timothy 3; 5.3-18; 6.14-16.
Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a public profession of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of his giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. It is prerequisite to church fellowship, and to participation in the Lord's Supper. Matthew 3.13-17; 28.18-20; Acts 2.38-42; 8.35-40; Romans 6.1-11; Colossians 2.11-15.
XVII. The Lord's Supper.
The Lord's Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and the cup, and to be observed by His churches till the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate and proclaim His death, to confirm the faith of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with Him, and of their church fellowship. Matthew 26.26-30; Mark 14.22-25; Luke 22.14-23; Acts 2.46-47; 1 Corinthians 10.14-22; 11.28-32; Hebrews 9.11-28.
XVIII. The Lord's Day.
The first day of the week is the Lord’s Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should include exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. Activities on the Lord’s Day should be commensurate with the Christian’s conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Matthew 28.1ff; Mark 16.1-9; Luke 24.1-12; John 4.21-24; 20.1-9; Acts 20.7; Romans 14.5-10; 1 Corinthians 16.1-2; Colossians 2.16-23; 3.16-17; Revelation 1.10.
XIX. Liberty of Conscience.
God alone is Lord of the conscience; and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are in anything contrary to His word, or not contained in it. Civil leadership being ordained of God, subjection in all lawful things commanded by them ought to be done by us in the Lord, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience sake. Matthew 22.15-22; Acts 4.19-20; Romans 12.18-13.7; 14.1-23; 1 Corinthians 6.1-7; 8.4-13; 1 Timothy 2.1-4; 1 Peter 2.11-25.
XX. 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 to the judgment. At the last day, the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised. Matthew 16.24-28; Luke 16.19-31; John 11.17-27; 14.1-6; 1 Corinthians 15.24-28, 35-58; Philippians 3.20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18; 2 Peter 3.8-13.
XXI. The Judgment.
God has appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when every one shall receive according to his deeds; the wicked will go into everlasting punishment; the righteous, into everlasting life. Matthew 25.31-46; John 5.24-30; Acts 17.30-34; Romans 1.18-2.16; 1 Thessalonians 1.10; Hebrews 10.26-31; Revelation 20.1-22.13.
XXII. The Family.
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents. Genesis 1.26-28; 2.15-25; 3.1-20; Deuteronomy 6.4-9; Proverbs 1.8; 5.15-20; 23.13-14; 31.10-31; Matthew 5.31-32; Mark 10.1-12; 1 Corinthians 7.1-16; Ephesians 5.21-33; 6.1-4; 1 Timothy 5.8,14; 2 Timothy 1.3-5; Titus 2.3-5; 1 Peter 3.1-7.Original Abstract of Principles