The Word of God, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is verbally inspired in all parts, and therefore wholly without error as originally given of God (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:21).

Existing eternally as three persons–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:22; Matt 28:19; 2 Cor 13:14).

His preexistence and deity (John 1:1-3), incarnation by virgin birth (John 1:14; Matt 1:18-23), sinless life (Heb 4:15), substitutionary death (2 Cor 5:21), bodily resurrection (Luke 24:36-43), ascension into heaven and present ministry (Heb 4:14-16), and coming again (Acts 1:11).

His personality (John 16:7-15) and deity (Acts 5:3-4); and His work in each believer: baptism and indwelling at the moment of regeneration (1 Cor 12:13; Rom 8:9), and filling (Eph 5:18) to empower for Christian life and service (Eph 3:16; Acts 1:8; Gal 5:22-23).

His direct creation in the image of God (Gen 1:26-28), his subsequent fall into sin resulting in spiritual death (Gen 3:1-24; Rom 5:12), and the necessity of new birth for his salvation (John 3:3-5).

A complete and eternal salvation by God’s grace alone, received as the gift of God through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work (Eph 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7; 1 Pet 1:18-19).

One true Church, the body and bride of Christ (Eph 1:22-23; 5:25-32), composed of all true believers of the present age (1 Cor 12:12-13); and the organization of its members in local churches for worship, for edification of believers, and for world-wide gospel witness, each local church being autonomous but cooperating in fellowship and work (Eph 4:11-16).

A life of righteousness, good works, and separation unto God from the evil ways of the world (Rom 12:1-2), manifested by speaking the truth (Jas 5:12), maintaining the sanctity of the home (Eph 5:22-6:4), settling differences between Christians in accordance with the Word of God (1 Cor 6:1-8), not engaging in carnal strife but showing a Christ-like attitude toward all men (Rom 12:17-21), exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23), and maintaining a life of prayer (Eph 6:18; Phil 4:6), including the privilege, when sick, of calling for the elders of the church to pray and to anoint with oil in the name of the Lord (Jas 5:13-18).

Christians should observe the ordinances of our Lord Jesus Christ, which are (1) baptism of believers by immersion (Matt 28:19) and (2) communion of the bread and the cup (1 Cor 11:23-26).

His existence and personality as the great adversary of God and His people (Rev 12:1-10), his judgment (John 12:31), and final doom (Rev 20:10).

The personal, visible, and imminent return of Christ to remove His church from the earth (1 Thess 4:16-17) before the tribulation (1 Thess 1:10; Rev 3:10), and afterward to descend with the Church to establish His millennial kingdom upon the earth (Rev 19:11-20:6).

The conscious existence of the dead (Phil 1:21-23; Luke 16:19-31), the resurrection of the body (John 5:28-29), the judgment and reward of believers (Rom 14:10-12); 2 Cor 5:10), the judgment and condemnation of unbelievers (Rev 20:11-15), the eternal life of the saved (John 3:16), and the eternal punishment of the lost (Matt 25:46; Rev 20:15).

God established marriage from the beginning of creation as an exclusive covenant relationship uniting together one biological man and one biological woman (Gen 2:24; Mal 2:14). This definition of marriage is reaffirmed throughout the Bible (Matt 19:5; Mark 10:7-8; Eph 5:31). As a divinely ordained institution, it derives its meaning from God alone and is thus not subject to redefinition by any other authority.

Marriage is a gift given by God as part of His common grace to mankind (Gen 2:18; 1 Pet 3:7). While it is subject to the curse of the Fall (Gen 3:16), it is nonetheless still capable of fulfilling God’s purposes (Gen 9:1; Mal 2:15; 1 Cor 7:2). What’s more, when modeled by two Christians, it is intended to illustrate the relationship between Christ and the Church and is thus a living and dynamic picture of the gospel (Eph 5:23-32).

Sexual intimacy is designed by God, and when expressed between a man and a woman (as identified biologically) who are united in marriage, is right and acceptable (Heb 13:4; 1 Tim 4:3; 1 Pet 3:7). However, any form of sexual immorality—be it adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, pedophilia, pornography, attempting to change one’s biological sex, or even disagreement with one’s biological sex—is sinful, offensive to God, and incurs His judgment (Lev 18:1-30; Matt 5:28; Rom 1:26-29; 1 Cor 5:1-5, 11; 6:9; Gal 5:19-21; 1 Thess 4:1-8; Heb 13:4).

Nevertheless, no form of sexual sin renders a person incapable of receiving forgiveness. Rather, God promises that anyone who turns from their sin in repentance and places their trust in the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ will receive forgiveness and redemption from sin, reconciliation with God, peace through a purified conscience, and hope for a new life (Rom 3:24; 5:1, 10-11; 6:18, 22; 10:9-10; 1 Cor 6:11; 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 3:13; Eph 1:7; Tit 2:14; Heb 9:12, 14; 1 John 3:5).

This is the gospel message, and believers are called to faithfully proclaim it to the world (Matt 28:16-20; 2 Cor 5:11-20; 1 Tim 1:5; 2 Tim 4:1-2). The manner of their proclamation should not be harassing or harsh, but rather humble, compassionate, and kind. The content of the gospel, however, involves a call to repent of sin, a message which though unpopular and offensive to some, is nonetheless integral to the message and part of the church’s loving mission to the world. It is not harsh, unloving, or hateful to identify sinful behavior and as such to warn the lost of coming judgment, or to direct them to the only means of deliverance, and proclaiming this message to others does not constitute hate speech.

The term “minister” has been used culturally to define a narrow group of individuals who hold a special office within the church responsible for carrying out certain “sacerdotal” duties. The New Testament, however, defines a minister in a much broader manner. The word “minister” translates the Greek term diakonos, a term that originally denoted a table waiter but eventually came to encapsulate the general concept of “service.” Throughout the New Testament, it came to form the foundational thought for the ministry of Christians because it was able, more than any other Greek term, to express the concept of loving service and care for others.

The term, in fact, derives its definition from the person of Christ himself and the gospel he preached. Service (i.e., ministry) is a distinguishing mark of Jesus’ life. As the prophesied Servant of the Lord (Isa 42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-7; 52:13-53:12), he fulfilled “by word and deed . . . the great themes of obedience, witnessing and suffering, climaxing His servanthood with the giving of His life for the world.”His own words testify to the fact that he “did not come to be served but to serve [diakoneō] and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matt 20:28; cf. Mk 10:45).

Scripture clearly teaches that the ministry modeled and lived out by Christ is to characterize the ministry of his followers. He taught his disciples that, contrary to the authoritarian manner of secular rulers, true greatness as a disciple of Christ involves a life of humble service (Luke 22:25-27; cf. Matt 20:25-27). As he washed the feet of his disciples, he told them, “If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him” (John 13:14-16).

Every Christian—those who have repented of sin and placed their faith in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ—have been freed from the dominion of sin and the law and have become servants—ministers—of God. It is true that the term “minister” is used in conjunction with particular offices within the church (1 Tim 3:1ff). But, as Robert Saucy explains,By choosing the term diakonia to describe the work of the ministry, the early church deliberately steered clear of the many alternatives which would have pointed toward the concept of office and distinction in rank.”