“We, the Conservative Grace Brethren Churches, International, in harmony with our historic Grace Brethren position, believing the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible to be our infallible rule of faith and practice, and understanding our responsibility to make known the divine message of the Bible, present the following articles as a statement of those basic truths taught in the Bible, and which every member church of The Conservative Grace Brethren Churches, International believes, holds as its conviction, and practices.”
1.THE BIBLE: We believe the Word of God, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, to be verbally inspired in all parts, and therefore wholly without error as originally given of God (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1 :21). This record is final, authoritative, and unchanging! We believe the Bible to be the all-sufficient rule for faith and conduct (apart from integration with any other discipline) through the power of the Holy Spirit to regenerate, sanctify, and equip the believer for life and service (Jn. 17:17; Heb. 4:12; James 1:18-27).
2.THE ONE TRUE GOD: We believe in the One True God (Deut. 6:4; Isa. 44:6), existing eternally as three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:22; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14). This tri-unity is clearly set forth in the form and formula of Christian baptism (Matt. 28:19-20).
3.THE LORD JESUS CHRIST: We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, in His pre-existence and deity (Jn. 1:1-3), incarnation by virgin birth (Jn. 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). Further scriptural evidence of His pre-existence as God the Son is found in John 8:58; His deity, Jn. 20:28 & 1 Jn. 5:20; and His coming again, Jn. 14:3.
4.THE HOLY SPIRIT: We believe in the Holy Spirit, in His personality (Jn. 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). We believe that the Holy Spirit provides to each believer one or more spiritual gifts “for serving one another” (1 Peter 4:10); and gifted men to the Church for perfecting (Eph. 4:11-13). However, apostolic sign-gifts and miracles, even in the early Church, were not for all believers (1 Cor. 12:28-30) and ended with the apostolic era (1 Cor. 13:8; 2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:3-4). We also believe that Spirit baptism is a once for all action, at the moment of regeneration (Eph. 4:5; 1 Cor. 12:13).
5.MAN: We believe in man’s 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 the new birth for his salvation (Jn. 3:3-5). We believe in the recent, direct creation of the heavens, the earth, and all their hosts, without pre-existing material, in six literal 24-hour days (Gen. 1:1-2, 25; Exod. 20:11; Jn. 1:3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 11:3). We believe in the sanctity of human life (Gen. 9:6; Ps. 139:13-16) and in the distinct function of men and women in the home and the church (Eph. 5:22-33;1 Tim. 2:8-15).
6.SALVATION: We believe in 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 Peter 1:18-19).
7.THE CHURCH: We believe in the 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). We believe confession of faith and triune immersion to be the two essential scriptural requirements for membership in the local church (Matt. 28:16-20; Acts 2:38). Each local church shall determine its own additional membership requirements (Acts 2:42-47), and the discipline of its own members (1 Cor. 5:3-5). Triune immersion may not be circumvented except for medical reasons of a physical nature.
8.CHRISTIAN LIFE: We believe the Christian life consists of 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 (James 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 (James 5: 13-18). Not engaging in carnal strife is understood to include not only war but also church and personal relationships. This is to reaffirm the biblical teaching on nonresistance (not to be equated with pacifism) in war and peace (Matt. 5:39-41; Luke 6:27-29; Jn. 18:36).
9.ORDINANCES: We believe the Christian should observe the ordinances of our Lord Jesus Christ, which are (1) baptism of believers by triune immersion (Matt. 28:19) and (2) the threefold communion service, consisting of the washing of the saints’ feet (Jn. 13:1-17), the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:20, 33-34; Jude 12), and the communion of the bread and the cup (1 Cor. 11:23-26). We believe that only triune immersion and only threefold communion meet the biblical mandates of our Lord Jesus Christ concerning ordinances (Matt. 28:20; Jn. 13:13-17).
10. SATAN: We believe in Satan’s existence and personality as the great adversary of God and His people (Rev. 12:1-10), his judgment (Jn. 12:31), and final doom (Rev. 20:10).
11.SECOND COMING: We believe in 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). We believe the tribulation will be a seven-year period (Dan. 9:24-27) following the rapture of the Church; and we believe the thousand-year kingdom will include the literal fulfillment of God’s covenant promises to ethnic Israel (Jer. 33:14-26; Ezek. 36:25-28; 40-48; Rom. 11:23-32).
12. FUTURE LIFE: We believe in the conscious existence of the dead (Phil. 1:21-23; Luke 16:19-31), the resurrection of the body (Jn. 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 (Jn. 3:16), and the eternal punishment of the lost (Matt. 25:46; Rev. 20:15). We understand eternal punishment to be a conscious state (Rev.14:11).