We believe the Bible to be God's Word:
The sixty-six books of the Bible are God's written revelation to man, God-breathed and verbally inspired (2 Timothy 3:16), absolutely without error in the original documents. The contents of every book are nothing less than the Word of God (1 Corinthians 2:7-14; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
The Holy Spirit so guided the human authors that, through their individual personalities and different styles of writing, they composed and recorded God's Word to man without error (2 Peter 1:20-21; Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16).
The Word of God is an objective and propositional revelation, as opposed to a subjective or intangible one (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13). We hold to the historical-grammatical interpretation of Scripture, believing that while there are countless subjective human interpretations there is a specific authorial intention (both human author and divine), which is the true meaning of the text. It is our responsibility to discern that intention, based on the chosen words and their context. (In keeping with this, we believe in a literal six day creation, based on the clear statement of Genesis 1:31 and Exodus 31:17.)
Not only is the Bible infallible, it is the exclusive rule of faith and practice (Matthew 5:18; 24:35; John 10:35; 16:12-13; 17:17; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20-21). This means that nothing else is or can be authoritative for our belief and practice--this includes any person or organization, and the ever-changing beliefs of psychology, education, science, religion, and the current body of political correctness.
Because we believe the Bible, this is what we believe about the following:
- God - We believe there is only one true God, who exists eternally in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:1; John 10:30; John 4:24; Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14).
- Man - We believe that man is created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam's sin the race fell, became alienated from God, inherited a sinful nature, and is unable by his own strength to remedy his lost condition (Gen. 1:27; Rom. 3:22-23; Eph. 2:12).
- Christ - We believe the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Christ came in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man. He accomplished our redemption through his death on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice. Our redemption is made sure to us by his literal physical resurrection from the dead (John 1:1-2, 14; Luke 1:35; Rom. 3:24-25; 4:25; I Pet. 1:3-5). We believe the Lord Jesus Christ is now in heaven, exalted at the right hand of God, where as the High Priest for his people, he fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor and Advocate (Heb. 9:24; 7:25; Rom. 8:34; I John 2:1-2).
- Holy Spirit - We believe the Holy Spirit is a divine person of the same nature as God the Father and the Son. He was active in the creation, he convicts men of sin, he restrains the evil one until God's purpose is fulfilled. He is the supernatural agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. We believe the Holy Spirit is the divine Teacher who guides believers into all truth. All who are saved can and should be filled with the Spirit. (John 6:63; II Cor. 3:6; Rom. 8:11; I Pet. 3:18; Eph. 5:18).
- Salvation - We believe salvation is the gift of God, given to man by grace (not earned by man's efforts) and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed for the forgiveness of our sins (Eph. 2:8-10; John 1:12; Eph. 1:7). Believers can know they are saved and kept by God's power and are thus secure in Christ (John 10:28-29; Rom. 8:31-39; I John 5:13). It is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation, but the Word clearly teaches the incompatibility of professing faith while living in sin (1 John 3:9), and forbids any spiritual presumption that minimizes the importance of the holy works God has called us to do (Eph. 2:8-10).
- The Church - We believe that the Church, which is the body and bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all born-again persons of this age, irrespective of their affiliation with Christian organizations (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27; I Cor. 12:12-24). The local church is at the very heart of God's kingdom program. Parachurch organizations such as EPM should only exist to serve Christ-centered local churches, not in any way to detract from them.
- Satan - We believe in the existence of Satan, a fallen angel, who is the open and declared enemy of God and man (Job 1:6-7; Matt. 4:2-11; Isa.14:12-17). Satan is not God's equal opposite, but that of Michael the Archangel--the devil is only a creature, and can do nothing without God's sovereign permission (Job 1:9-12).
- The Return of Christ - We believe in the premillenial second coming of the Lord Jesus, to raise the dead in Christ and receive believers who are alive at His coming (I Cor. 15:51-57; I Thess. 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-14; Matt 24:15-25; 46:11; II Thess. 1:7-10; Rev. 20:6).
- The Eternal State - We believe the souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation pass immediately into His presence at death, and there remain in conscious fellowship until the resurrection at his coming, when soul and body reunited shall be associated with Him forever in Glory. The souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery until the final judgment of the great white throne at the close of the millennium when soul and body reunited shall be cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power. (Luke 16:19-26; 23:42; II Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; II Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15). We believe in a literal and physical heaven and hell.
- The Responsibility of Believers - We believe Christians should live not in light of the moment, but in light of eternity, realizing that things are often not what they appear and that the true treasures are those which will last for eternity (2 Cor. 4:18; Matt. 6:19-25). We should all seek to walk in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior, who commands separation from sinful practices (Romans 12:1-2; 14: 2 Cor. 6:14; 7:1). It is the obligation of every believer to witness by deed and by word to the truths of Holy Scriptures and to seek to proclaim the Gospel to all the world (Acts 1:8). It is the responsibility of all believers to remember the work of the Lord in prayer and to support it with their assets of time, gifting and money (I Cor. 16:2). Believers in Christ should be the first to reach out to the poor and needy, and to defend the defenseless in the name of and for the sake of our Lord (Psalm 82:2-4; Proverbs 31:8-9; Matt. 25:31-46).