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