The Doctrine of Sin

WE AFFIRM that sin is the transgression of the Law-Word of God. It is both the violation of the commands of God (sins of commission), and the withholding of duties found in the commands of God (sins of omission). We believe that sin has radically altered the hearts, souls, minds, and wills of all men and women. The transgression of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden was an assertion of the self: a desire to know and establish good and evil in terms of man, not God. This original corruption was, we believe, the distortion of the image of God in man. Man’s entire race was thus plunged into sin and ruin, making mankind inclined to all kinds of evil, debased in thought, word, and deed. We believe that the nature of mankind, entirely distorted and corrupted, is in need of the remedy of regeneration in order to be rescued from this plight. Regeneration does not entirely wipe away the natural desire for autonomy in those regenerated, and thus the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification is still at work in the life of those justified by faith alone. We believe that both original sin and actual sins brings guilt upon the sinner, making him/her liable to God’s wrath, the curse of God’s law, and thus subject to death. We believe the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only solution to this real problem. 

WE DENY that sin is the transgression of man’s thoughts, feelings, social customs, and/or arbitrary fiat standards. We deny that one can be rescued from the plight of sin through man’s efforts of self-actualization and self-assertion. We deny that good works can save any man or woman. We deny that the gospel is one of many different ways of solving the problem of sin.

Genesis 2:17, 3:5-8, 6:5; Job 14:4, 15:14; Psalm 51:5; Proverbs 20:9; Ecclesiastes 7:20, 29; Isaiah 64:6; Jeremiah 13:23, 17:9; Lamentations 3:39; Ezekiel 18:20; Matthew 15:19, 25:41; Romans 2:15, 3:9-19, 23; 5:6, 12, 15-19, 6:23, 7:5, 7-8, 14, 17-18, 8:20, 11:32; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 45, 49; Galatians 3:10, 5:17; Ephesians 2:1-3, 4:18; Colossians 1:21; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Titus 1:15; James 1:14-15, 3:2; 1 John 1:8, 10, 3:4

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John Reasnor
The Doctrine of the Cross

WE AFFIRM that the cross of Christ upon which our Lord was crucified, serves as the judicial standard by which mankind is justified, absolved of guilt and sin, and freed from the wrath of God’s holy justice. We believe that we have been crucified with Christ, that our sins were nailed to the cross. We believe that Christ’s human death is our judicial death and only in him do we find absolution of sin and the establishment of righteousness before God. We believe the cross was the necessary and only sufficient atonement that appeased the wrath of God. We believe Jesus became sin on the cross so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. We believe that the public crucifixion, along with the very public resurrection, serves as the fuel of our public preaching and witness. We believe that Jesus is one person with two natures and that this one person actually died on the cross.

WE DENY that man can be saved, justified, or otherwise freed from sin apart from the cross of Christ. We deny that the cross is only one way among other ways to the Father. We deny that Christ only partially died and was resuscitated. We deny that his death was meaningless and left for vague sentimentalism. We deny that Christ’s divinity died and that he is two persons. We deny that man can be dead to the condemnation of the law apart from the cross of Christ.

WE AFFIRM that man can only be justified, that is, declared both “not guilty” and “righteous,” through faith in Christ alone. We believe that the doctrine of justification, rightly understood, is foundational to the gospel of the Kingdom and its advancement in history. 

WE DENY that justification before God is accomplished through man’s works.

WE AFFIRM that Christ is our sanctification and that only through the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer can we be set apart for glory, mortify our flesh, and serve the Lord with a clean conscience. We believe that sanctification, like justification, is by grace through faith as the Holy Spirit works out the implications of Christ’s person and work in our obedience. We believe that we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that God is at work in us.

WE DENY that sanctification is the sole effort of man to be like God. We deny that grace plays no role in the holiness of man. We deny that good works done by believers is the grounding of our sanctification.

Genesis 3:15; Psalm 2:6, 45:7; Isaiah 53:1-12; Daniel 9:24-26; Matthew 3:15, 5:17, 28:18; Mark 16:19; John 1:1-14; 3:13, 16, 34, 10:15-16, 18, 15:13, 15, 17:2, 17, 20:25-27; Acts 2:23-24, 27, 2:36, 10:38, 13:37; Romans 1:3-4, 3:25-26, 5:19, 6:9, 8:9, 14, 34, 9:5; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:7-9, 11, 14, 5:2; Philippians 2:6-8; Colossians 1:19-20, 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:5-6, 3:16; 2 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:14-17, 4:15, 7:22-26, 9:12, 14-16, 24, 10:5-10, 14, 12:2, 24, 13:8; 1 Peter 1:19-20, 3:18; 1 John 2:1-2, 3:16, 5:20; Revelation 13:8

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John Reasnor
The Doctrine of the Kingdom

WE AFFIRM that the Kingdom of God is the rule and reign of the Triune God in and over all creation. We believe that in one sense, God has always been King—fully and exhaustively the sovereign authority in and over all of creation. In another sense, we believe that Jesus Christ has been established as King, and this mediatorial reign will end when Jesus hands the fully conquered world over to the Father. We believe that the Kingdom of God reflects to the world what it looks like for peace and righteousness and justice to reign in all areas of life. 

WE DENY that the establishment of the Kingdom of God means the forceful, violent imposition of God’s standards by Christians upon unbelievers. We deny that regeneration plays no role in the ministry of the Spirit and Church. We deny that the Kingdom of God has nothing to do with justice and abolition. We deny that the Kingdom of God has nothing to do with confronting the kingdoms of man. 

Genesis 3:15; Psalm 2:6, 45:6, 68:1, 18, 72:8, 103:19, 110:1, 145:13; Isaiah 9:7; Daniel 9:24-27; Malachi 1:11; Matthew 3:2, 4:17, 6:10, 33, 12:28, 13:1-58, 28:18-20; Mark 1:14-15, 16:19; Luke 1:33, 4:43; John 3:3 Acts 1:2-3, 3:21, 8:12, 14:22, 19:8, 20:25 28:23, 31; Romans 8:34, 14:17; 1 Corinthians 4:20, 6:9-10, 15:21-28, 50; Ephesians 1:22, 2:2-3, 4:8; Philippians 2:9; Colossians 3:1-2; 2 Timothy 4:1, 18; Hebrews 1:8, 11:33, 12:28; James 2:5; 1 Peter 3:22; 2 Peter 1:11; Revelation 1:6, 9, 5:10, 11:15, 12:10-11

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John Reasnor
The Doctrine of Last Things

WE AFFIRM that upon death, those regenerate members of the invisible church are with Christ perfected in holiness, beholding his glory, waiting for the final resurrection when history is consummated and the final new heavens and new earth is instituted. We believe that those who die in history apart from Christ await resurrection and judgment and the subsequent everlasting punishment in hell. We affirm that believers, the just, and unbelievers, the unjust, await final resurrection and final judgment which is appointed for all men. We believe that Jesus intends to purify his bride fully and finally in the resurrection. We believe that those who enter the new heavens and new earth do so by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. We believe that those who are judged and sentenced to eternal hell are justly punished in accordance to the immutable standards of the thrice-holy God. 

WE DENY that salvation and resurrection unto eternal life is accomplished by works of the law. We deny that sinners are wrongly sentenced to hell. We deny that the just judgment of souls is temporary or results in the destruction of the soul. We deny that God may be charged with injustice in his final determination set forth at the final judgment. We deny that history will remain unresolved into an indefinite future. We deny that man may escape death and judgment.  

Matthew 13:40-42, 24:36, 42, 44, 25:31, 33, 46; Luke 9:26 16:23-24, 21:35-36; John 5:27-29, 17:2; Acts 1:11, 25, 3:21, 10:42, 17:31, 24:15; Romans 8:23, 14:9-10; 1 Corinthians 13:12, 15:21-28, 42-44, 51-53; 2 Corinthians 5:1, 6, 8; Philippians 1:23, 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9; Hebrews 9:27, 12:23; 2 Peter 2:4; 1 John 3:2; Jude 1:6-7, 14-15; Revelation 14:13, 20:10

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John Reasnor