- We affirm that the sole and ultimate authority for the Church is the Bible, as it is verbally inspired, inerrant, infallible, and totally sufficient and trustworthy. The authority of Scripture extends to the entire 66 books which make up the Bible. We deny that the Bible is a mere witness to divine revelation, that any portion of the Bible is marked by error, or that any portion of the Bible can be used to deny the truthfulness of another portion of the Bible.
- We affirm that the doctrine of the Trinity is a Christian essential, bearing witness to the reality of the one true God in three divine persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and each of the same substance and perfections. We deny the claim that the Trinity is not an essential doctrine.
- We affirm that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, in perfect, undiluted, and unconfused union throughout his incarnation and now eternally. We also affirm that Christ died on the cross as a substitute for sinners, as a sacrifice for sin, and as a propitiation of the wrath of God towards sinners. We affirm the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Christ as essential to the Gospel. We further affirm that Jesus Christ is Lord over his Church, and that Christ will reign over the entire cosmos in fulfillment of the Father’s gracious purpose. We deny that the substitutionary character of Christ’s atonement for sin can be compromised without serious injury to the Gospel.
- We affirm that the Holy Spirit, as part of the Trinity, convicts and confronts mankind of their depravity and sinful nature and is God’s means to bring the truth of salvation to His people, that sinners are commanded to believe the Gospel, and that the Church is commissioned to preach and teach the Gospel to all nations. We deny that mankind can come to this conclusion by himself without the Holy Spirit, and through the power of the Holy Spirit has eternal assurances that they have been justified for eternity.
- We affirm that all mankind stands guilty before a Holy God and deserve his righteous judgment. Sin entered the world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and has inhabited the nature of every person who has ever lived with the exception of Jesus. By nature man’s desire is to do evil and in his own ability is unable to please a Holy and just God. We deny that man through his own ability, power, or works, can reconcile himself to God.
- We affirm that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s means of bring salvation to his people, that sinners are called to believe the Gospel and the Church is called to preach and teach the Gospel. Salvation is a gift of grace and the Gospel clearly reveals God’s sovereign purpose to save sinners through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We deny that salvation comes through any other means than faith in the substitutionary life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- We affirm the importance of the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s supper in the life of the Church. These symbols serve to remind us of our new identity in Christ and our call to live for his honor and glory. We deny that the ordinances of the church have the ability to save anyone.
- We affirm our calling as the Church to make disciples of all nations. It is our responsibility to teach and preach God’s word faithfully in the local church and in evangelizing the lost. It is also our privilege to support others who take the Gospel to places where we cannot go. We deny that any Christian can truly be a faithful disciple apart from the teaching discipline, fellowship, and accountability of the local church.
Affirmations and Denials Alison Schmucker