Doctrine

The following statement of faith is excerpted from the Constitution of Columbia Evangelical Church

PURPOSE

The purpose of this church is to glorify God through the salvation of souls; and the edification of Christians (which includes the teaching of the victorious Christian life); the teaching of the Word of God; the world-wide proclamation of God’s saving grace expressed in the shed blood of the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary; the promotion of godly worship; the defense of “the faith once delivered”; and the cooperation with Christian activity functioning in harmony with God’s Holy Word, the Bible, until He comes..

DOCTRINE

The Scriptures.

We believe in the plenary-verbal inspiration of the Bible, the Word of God written without error, omission or contradiction of any kind in the original manuscripts.

It is our sole authority in matters of faith and practice. (2 Tim. 3:16-17; John 10:35; John 17:17; Luke 24:25; 2 Peter 1:21. For authority of Scripture – Matt. 15:2-9; 1 Cor. 14:37; John 12:48.)

God.

We believe in one God (Deut. 6:4), eternally existent in three persons (Rom. 1:7; Titus 2:13; Acts 5:3,4), Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:13-17; John 14:16), the same in essence and equal in power and glory. (Gen. 1:26; John 14:9; Rom. 8:9; John 17:5; 1 Peter 4:14.)

God the Father.

We believe in God the Father, the fullness of the Godhead invisible; the Divine Source. (John 1:18, 1 Cor. 8:6)

God the Son.

We believe in the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, that He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, and that He is true God and true Man in one Person. (Isa. 9:6, John 1:1,14, Luke 1:34-35, Romans 1:3-4)

We believe that Jesus Christ who knew no sin, died a substitutionary death on Calvary for the whole world, being made sin for us; that He arose bodily from the grave; that He ascended into heaven where He now is our Advocate and High Priest at the right hand of the Father. (2 Cor. 5:21, Gal. 3:13, 1 John 2:2, Luke 24:36-39, Acts 1:9-11, 1 John 2:1, Heb. 7:25, Heb. 8:1)

We believe that Jesus Christ who knew no sin, died a substitutionary death on Calvary for the whole world, being made sin for us; that He arose bodily from the grave; that He ascended into heaven where He now is our Advocate and High Priest at the right hand of the Father. (2 Cor. 5:21, Gal. 3:13, 1 John 2:2, Luke 24:36-39, Acts 1:9-11, 1 John 2:1, Heb. 7:25, Heb. 8:1)

God the Holy Spirit.

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person (Acts 5:3-4) who glorifies Christ (John 16:14), convicts the world of sin (John 16:8), seals (Eph. 1:13) and indwells the believer at salvation (John 14:17), leads into a life in increasing likeness to Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3:18), and empowers the believer for Christian witness (Acts 1:8).

We believe that Jesus Christ baptizes the believer in the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ, the Church, at the moment of regeneration (1 Cor. 12:13).  We believe that God’s norm for the believer is to be continually being filled with the Holy Spirit as he yields to and trusts in Christ Jesus as Lord (Eph. 5:18). The fruit of the Holy Spirit will be evident in such a life (Gal. 5:16, 22-26). We reject the teaching of a necessary second work of grace subsequent to regeneration for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the teaching that tongues or other sign gifts are necessary evidences of the fullness of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 12:13; Acts 11:15-18)

Angelic Beings.

We believe that God created a great company of holy angelic beings (Col. 2:16).

A host of these angels, led by Satan, fell into sin (1 Pet. 2:4). Satan is a personal being (2 Cor. 11:3) who beguiled Eve by his subtlety and secured the Fall of Adam (Gen. 3:6).

Satan is the god of this age (Matt. 4:8-9). He is that wicked one who originates all that is opposite to God: the archenemy of the believer (Rev. 12:9-10), the accuser of the brethren (1 Pet. 5:8), the blinder of the eyes of the unbeliever (2 Cor. 4:4).  His power is definitely limited (Job 1:12); he is a defeated foe (Heb. 2:14); and his destiny is eternal punishment in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10).

The angels that did not fall are servants of God, ministering spirits to those who are heirs of salvation (Heb. 1:13-14). They will also accompany the Lord Jesus at His coming (2 Thess. 1:7).

Man.

We believe that man alone of all beings was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27). He fell from his state of righteousness in the Fall of Adam as the head of the human race.  As a consequence of the Fall, all men are under the just condemnation of God and are depraved by nature (Rom. 5:12, 17-19)

Man’s freedom of will was compromised by the Fall.  In the unregenerate state, he is now in bondage to sin, (Jn. 8:31-36), and under domination of Satan (Col. 1:13).  His will is not subject to God and, indeed, is not even able to subject itself to God (Rom. 8:7); he cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God (1Cor. 2:14); he is dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1-100; and he does not seek God (Rom. 3:11).  In such state, man is unable, by his own efforts,, merit, or will come into a right relationship with God.

Salvation.

We believe that salvation is entirely a work of grace; its direct result being the rescue of men, its ultimate purpose being the demonstration of the glory of God.  Grace is an attribute of God.  It is His favor , good will, and blessing apart from human merit.  Grace also denotes the operation of God in the heart of man by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:11).  We believe the following movements by the triune God for our salvation are identified in Scripture.

A. Election: God, out of His good pleasure and apart from any human merit or foreseen faith calls out/chooses people to be the recipients of His favor resulting in salvation (2 Tim. 2:10; Mt. 22:1-14, 24:22, 24, 31; Rom. 8:33; 2 Thess. 2:13,14; John 1:12-14; 1 Peter 1:1-2).

B.    Calling: General calling is the presentation of the Gospel facts and the doctrine of redemption, combined with the exhortation to accept Christ by faith (Mt. 8:33; Mark 1:15; Isa. 45:22).  This calling however, is made effectual in the life of the sinner by the ministry of the Holy Spirit such      that, after the Holy Spirit regenerates a sinner, he responds by believing in Christ.  This response to the Gospel is dependent on God’s choosing and the work of the Spirit of God, not on any ability by man to choose God.  The external call is the divinely appointed means whereby the elect are brought to repentance and faith unto salvation (john 6:37, 44; Rom. 8:28-30; 1 Cor. 1:22-24; Heb. 9:15).

C.    Regeneration: Regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit in which the sinner is made alive.  The necessity if regeneration arises from the profound and complete inability of man in spiritual exercises (Rom. 8:5-8).  The external call is realized in the consciousness of man only after this prior work of regeneration (John 3:1-10, 5:21-25; Rom. 6:4-6; Eph. 2:1-5).

D.    Conversion: The regenerated sinner turns away from his former life of sin and to Christ because God grants him repentance and faith unto salvation (Acts 2:37-47, 15:3-19, 26L20; 1 Thess. 1:9).

D.    Repentance: Repentance is the change brought about by the Holy Spirit in the conscious life of the regenerated sinner whereby he realizes personal guilt, senses sorrow for sin, and is motivated to seek pardon (Luke 1:3-14, 19:8,9; Acts 11:15-18; 2 Cor. 7:8-10; 1 Thess. 1:9; 2 Tim. 2:24-26).

E.    Faith Unto Salvation: Faith is the conviction of the truth of the Gospel and reliance on the promises of God.  It is brought about in the heart of the believer bu=y the work of the Holy Spirit and not by man’s own will.  It is the first exercise of the new life; and is resultant from, and not initiatory of the new birth.  In the order of salvation, regeneration preceded faith (john 6:44; Eph. 2:8,9; 1 Cor 2:4,5).

F.    Justification: God renders a verdict of not guilty from the din charges against the believer, rather than a deserved sentence of condemnation.  Out of His grace, He has provided Christ as a divine, sin-bearing substitute for regenerate

sinners and credited Christ’s righteousness to them (Rom. 3:23.24, 4:4-8; 8:31-34; 2 Cor. 5:21).

G.   Preservation: All of those who are united to Christ have eternal life, which can never be lost.  It is the continuous ministry by the Holy spirit in which the work of grace begun in the believer is guarded and brought to completion (John 6:35-40, 10:26-29; Rom. 8:29, 30, 35-39; 1 Pet. 1:1-5; 1 Thess. 5:33; Philip.1:6; Jude 1:24).

H.   Glorification: The work of grace in the believer is brought to completion after death when he is raised with an incorruptible body, delivered from indwelling sin, and enjoys eternal life in the presence of God (Rom. 8:16, 17, 30; 1 Cor. 15:35-37; 2 Tim. 1:8-10; 1 John 3:2; Rev. 21: 1-4, 22:1-5

The Church.

We believe that the Church beginning at Pentecost to be the body and bride of Jesus Christ, composed of all who have been born again. (Eph. 1:22-23, 1 Cor. 12:12-13, Eph. 5:22-32)

We believe that a person who is justified and regenerated of the Spirit is also under the new covenant, a member of the people of God, a child of God no matter what his nationality or race may be. (Heb. 9:15, 1 Pet. 2:9-10, John 1:12, Eph. 2:11-16)

We believe that there are but two divine ordinances which the Lord instructs (or commands) us to practice, baptism (Matt.28:19) and the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor.11:23-26).

We believe a local church is a group of believers. It will be organized under elders and deacons (Phil. 1:1) and meeting together (Acts 20:7) for worship (Phil. 3:3), instruction in the Word of God (Acts 2:41-42), edification (1 Cor. 14:26), evangelism (1 Cor. 14:24), fellowship, observing the ordinances, and prayer (Acts 2:41-42).

We believe that the members of a local church have a responsibility to love and to help fellow believers and the unsaved (Gal. 6:2,10) and to evangelize the world by praying (Eph. 6:19), giving (Rom. 15:26), witnessing (1 Thess. 1:8), and sending missionaries (Acts 13:1-3).

The Christian Life.

We believe that the new life in Christ will be manifested in holiness and good works. (2 Cor. 5:17, 1 Jn. 2:3-5, Eph. 2:10, Sec. G.)

We believe that it is God’s will for the Christian to live a life of victory over sin (Rom. 6:4-11). Such a life is possible as he yields himself to God (Rom. 12:1-2), daily engages in prayer (Matt. 26:41), feeds on the Word (1 Pet. 2:2), walks by the Spirit (Gal. 5:16), and reckons on his death-resurrection union with Christ (Rom. 6:10-11).

We believe that the sanctification as separation unto God is instantaneous (Heb. 10:10,14) and as separation from evil is progressive (2 Cor. 7:1). It does not involved the eradication of the Adamic nature (1 Jn. 1:8), but it is a progressive conformity to Jesus Christ through the indwelling Spirit (Rom. 12:2, 2 Cor. 3:18). Such conformity to Christ will manifest a lack of conformity to this world (1 Pet. 1:14, 1 Thess. 5:22) and a separation from evil associations (2 Cor. 6:14-18). The Christian should not adopt any manner of life which stands as a symbol for such anti-Biblical principles as impurity, rebellion against God-given authority, or any work of the flesh. (Rom. 12:2, Rom. 13:1, Eph. 4:17-20)

We believe that God can and does heal His people in answer to prayer whenever such is His will (James 5:14-15), but that it is not always His will to heal all of the physically sick of His people (2 Cor. 12:7-10).

We believe that Christians should be baptized (Matt. 28:18-20) and partake of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:23-32) in obedience to God’s Word. This church shall baptize only by immersion. (Acts 8:38-39)

The Future.

We believe that at death the spirits of all men continue to exist. The wicked are consciously suffering in hades (Luke 16:19-31); the righteous or saved are in conscious fellowship with Christ in heaven (Phil. 1:21-23, 2 Cor. 5:1-8). There is no second chance for salvation after death (John 8:21,24) and there is no purgatory (Luke 16:19-31).

We believe in the personal (Acts 1:10-11), visible (Rev. 1:7), and pre-millennial return of the Lord (Rev. 19:11-20:10). We believe that Christ will establish a millennial kingdom upon the earth. (Ezek. 37:21-28, Zech. 14:4-21)

We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead, both of the just (1 Thess. 4:16) and the unjust (Rev. 20:4-5); the everlasting conscious blessedness of the saved (Rev. 22:3-5) and the everlasting conscious punishment of the lost (Rev. 20:10,15).