WHAT WE BELIEVE (TENET OF FAITH)
The following GROUPWORLD MISSIONS OUTREACH INT’L INC (CENTER FOR BIBLICAL AND ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADERSHIP STUDIES – NIGERIA) Confession of Faith (Core-Values) is binding upon all Members, Faculty, Administrators, Christian workers, and Organizations under the Auspices of GROUPWORLD MISSIONS OUTREACH INT’L INC (CENTER FOR BIBLICAL AND ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADERSHIP STUDIES – NIGERIA). It is open-ended to permit individuals to adopt their own particular understanding and interpretation in areas such as eschatology, water baptism, spiritual gifts, local church structure, etc. This confession emphasizes the basics or fundamentals of the historic biblical faith, realizing that Christians often differ in areas other than in the basics of orthodox Christianity.
Our Students / affiliate body may take individual regular / correspondence / distant learning courses through GROUPWORLD MISSIONS OUTREACH INT’L INC (CENTER FOR BIBLICAL AND ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADERSHIP STUDIES – NIGERIA); Short-Term Mission Training Program, Discipleship College of Ministry; International Missionary Training and Community Development Centers around the World, through Partnership / Networking with Christian Universities and Institutions, without subscribing to the GROUPWORLD MISSIONS OUTREACH INT’L INC (BIBLICAL ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADERSHIP STUDIES – NIGERIA) Confession of Faith. Students, who are pursuing the Christian Worker’s Basic Certificate Course (CWBCC), must subscribe to the following Confession of Faith. Exception(s) to one or more of the five points in the Confession of Faith may be granted, if the prospective student details the Biblical basis for his/her exception(s) to the point.
- The Bible
We Believe that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments consisting of sixty-six books, is the divinely-inspired written Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:19-21; Ps. 119:89; Heb. 4:12); that the Bible is the final authority for believers in all matters of faith, doctrine and practice (Jn. 20:30-31; Acts 17:11); that all doctrinal teaching must conform to the Bible rather than be based upon the opinions and pronouncements of religious hierarchy or tradition (1 Tim. 4:13-16; 2 Tim. 2:15; 3:15; 4:2-5; Tit. 2:1; 2 Jn. 7-11; Jude 3-4).
- The Creator and Creation
We Believe that God alone is Creator (Gen 1:1; Jn 1:1-3; Acts 17:24-28; Col 1:16-17; Heb 1:2; 11:3; Rev. 4:11) and that human beings have been formed in the image of their Creator (Gen 1:26-27; 2:7).
- The Trinity
We Believe in the tri-unity (trinity) of God, i.e., one God in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Dt. 6:4; 5:7; Gen. 1:26; Mt. 28:19; 1 Jn. 5:7-8; Jn. 16:12-15); that this God is Creator of the universe (Gen. 1:1,26; Jn. 1:3-4; Col. 1:16-17).
- The Deity of Christ
- We Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ (Jn. 1:1-3,14; 8:58; Col. 1:15-17; 2:9; Rom. 1:3-4; Jn. 10:30); that He was not simply a representation of God, that He was and is God.
- We Believe in the incarnation of Christ (1 Tim. 3:16); in His virgin birth (Is. 7:14; 9:6; Mt. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:3,5; Jn. 1:14; Gal. 4:4); that His miracles literally took place (Jn. 2:11,23; 3:2; 6:2; 7:31; 12:37; Acts 2:22); that He lived a sinless life (2 Cor. 5:21); that He is the only mediator between God and people (1 Tim. 2:5); that He is the believer’s high priest and intercessor (Heb. chapters 9 & 10); that it is only through Jesus Christ that we can reach God (Jn. 14:6); and that He alone is Savior and Lord (Acts 4:12; Jn. 3:36; 5:24; Phil. 2:5-11).
- The Substitutionary Death and Blood Atonement. We Believe in the substitutionary death and blood atonement of Jesus Christ to pay for the full penalty of sin (Lev. 17:11; Is. 53; Heb. 2:17; 7:25-27; 9:12-15,22,26-28; 10:4-14,17-18; 1 Pet. 1:18-20; 1 Jn. 1:7; 2:2); that the sacrifice of Christ was once and for all time and can never be repeated. Therefore, we reject the concept of the mass as an on-going unbloody sacrifice for sin, as unfounded, unscriptural, and a violation of the doctrine of the atonement (Heb. 7:23-28; 10:10-18; 13:20-21).
- Bodily Resurrection
We Believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, thus overcoming the power and penalty of sin, death and hell for all eternity (Mt. 28:6-7; Lk. 24:6; Jn. 20:19-20, 26-29; 1 Cor. 15:1-10).
- The Universality of Sin
We Believe in the universality of sin (Rom. 3:23; 5:12; Is. 64:6; Jer. 17:9).
- The New Birth
We Believe in the necessity of the new birth, i.e., born again experience, as the only means of eternal salvation (Jn. 3:3,5,7, 16-18; 1 Jn. 5:4-6; 1 Pet. 1:23); that salvation is by the Grace of God to all who personally receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord (Eph. 2:8-9; Tit. 3:5; Rom. 10;9-13; Jn. 1:11-13); that justification is by faith in Christ alone without the aid of human effort, e.g. good works, Sacraments, religious rituals, church membership (Rom. 1:17b; 5:1; 1 Pet. 1:8-9; Gal. 2:15-16; Eph. 2:8-9); that all believers are given a new nature upon their new birth (2 Cor 5:17).
- The Maintenance of Good Works. We Believe that the maintenance of good works in the lives of believers is the result of salvation (Eph. 2:8-10; Jn. 15:16; Tit. 3:8,14); that a faith without works is a dead faith (Ja. 1:21-25; 2:14-26).
- The Holy Spirit
- We Believe in the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 16:7-15; Lk. 3:22; Acts 5:3,4b); that He baptizes all believers into the Body of Christ at the time of their regeneration (1 Cor. 12:12-13,27; Rom. 8:9b; Tit. 3:5-7); that the Holy Spirit indwells all believers (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19).
- We Believe that all believers are sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption (Eph. 1:11-14); that He gives assurance to believers of their adoption into God’s family (Rom. 8:16-17); that He sovereignly bestows spiritual gifts upon whomsoever He wills (1 Cor. 12:1,4); that the Holy Spirit guides, illuminates and gives understanding to the Bible (Jn. 16:13); that He alone divinely inspired the writers of scripture to record what is needful for eternal salvation (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21; Jn. 5:39-40; 20:30-31); that He presently glorifies and lifts up Jesus (Jn. 16:14); that He joins the believer in intercessory prayer (Rom. 8:26-27).
- We Further Believe that all believers are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18), thus producing personal lives that glorify God (Gal. 5:16-25; Eph. 4:1-3; 5:12; 1 Tim. 4:12). We believe that being filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18) is demonstrated in a godly walk and holy life that is lived by the believer in accord with biblical standards (1 Pet. 1:14-16; Heb. 12:14; Rom. 8:5-14; 1 Cor. 3:15-16; 6:18-20).
The Assurance of Eternal Life
We Believe that the assurance of eternal life is the present possession of every believer (1 Jn. 5:11-13; Jn. 3:36; 5:24) and is guaranteed (Rom. 8:1); that this salvation is fully secure to those who are “in” Christ (Rom. 8:1,16-17, 28-39; Jn. 10:27-30); that all believers are included in God’s family without distinction, discrimination, partiality and/or favoritism (Gal. 3:26-29; Eph. 2:19-22; Col. 1:21-22; 1 Pet. 2:9-10; 1 Cor. 12:12-13,27; Mt. 23:8). We acknowledge that believers are the elect of God (Eph. 1:3-12; 1 Pet. 1:1-2; Rom. 9:11-12; 11:4-6; Jn. 15:16).
- The Return of Jesus Christ
We Believe in the imminent bodily return of Jesus Christ for His own (Acts 1:11; Jn. 14:3; Mt. 24; 1 Th. 4:14-18). We do not take a dogmatic position as to the details of the Return of Christ, i.e., rapture, pre, mid, post-tribulation, etc.
We acknowledge room for differences of opinion and understanding in these matters, believing that what matters most is that Jesus will return for all those who have personally received him as Savior and Lord (1 Cor. 15:51-52; Rev. 21:3-8).
- The Future of All People
- We Believe in the resurrection of the saved (Jn. 5:21; 1 Cor. 15:51-58; Jn. 11:25) and the lost: the saved to life eternal with God (2 Cor. 5:8), and the lost to eternal separation from the presence of God (Rev. 20:4-6; Jn. 5:28-29; 8:24; 2 Th. 1:7-9; Rev. 10:10-15); that there is a literal heaven (Phil. 3:20; Jn. 14:2; Rev. 21:1-4,9-22:5) and a literal hell (Lk. 12:5; Rev. 21:8).
- We Further Believe that so-called universalism, i.e., that everyone will eventually be saved, is contrary to biblical teaching (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:36; 5:24; Acts 16: 30-31; Rom. 10:9-13). We also reject, as heresy, the teaching that Christians will bring in Christ’s rule through the establishment of a Christian civil government, i.e., kingdom now / reconstruction theology (1 Th. 5:1-12; 2 Th. 2:1-12; 1 Ti 4:1; 2 Ti 3:1-5). We uphold the complete separation of Church and State as an important biblical principle to the vitality of both Church and State (Mt. 22:16-21).
The Devil and His Own
We Believe in the reality and personality of Satan (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7; Lk. 4:1-13; 22:31-32; Gen. 3:1-5; Rev. 20:10); the reality of a host of unseen spirit beings in subjection and allegiance to him (Mk. 5:8-9); that believers are to actively resist the devil and his host (Eph. 6:10-18; 1 Pet. 5:7-9; Jas. 4:7; Mk. 16:17); that all manner of occult practices, including so-called New Age philosophy, concepts and practices are to be rejected and carefully avoided by biblical Christians (Lev. 19:31; 20:6; Dt. 18:10-12; Is. 8:19: Rev. 21:8; 22:15).
- The Church
- We Believe that the Church belongs to Jesus Christ (Mt. 16:18), who alone is its only rightful Head (Col. 1:18; Eph. 5:23b); that the Church is being built upon Christ (1 Cor. 3:11); that the Church-Universal [catholic] is the Body of Christ in which all believers are included (Eph. 1:22-23; 4:16; 1 Cor. 12:12-13,27); that local churches are companies of born again [regenerated] believers who have joined themselves together in common shared biblical faith, doctrine, fellowship, practices and purpose (Acts 2:41-42,47; Heb. 10:23-25); that scriptural local churches are fully autonomous, having called-out ministers [servants] to equip, instruct, preach, teach, edify, and encourage (Eph. 4:11-16; Acts 6:1-6; 20:28-31; 1 Pet. 5:1-4; 1 Ti 3:1-13; 1 Ti 4; 1 Ti 5:17-20; 2 Ti 4:2-5); that the pulpit of the local church is to be kept free from all religious apostasy, unbelief, and heresy (Jude 3-4; Gal 1:6-9); that thanksgiving, praise, worship and prayer are to focus on the triune God rather than on humanly devised structure, rituals, liturgy and forms (Jn 4:20-24; Eph 5:19-20; Col 3:15-17; 4:2; Ps 95:1-7a; Ps 100).
- We Believe that the Church was a mystery hidden from the prophets of the Old Testament, but revealed in the New Testament and that the apostle Paul was especially chosen to reveal the secrets of this mystery to us through his writings (Eph 3:1-12; 5:32; Col 1:24-27).
- We Believe that the true Church is the Body of Christ and is not confined to any one particular sect or denomination but is made up of all born again believers in Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 12:12-13; Gal 3:26-28).
- We Believe there is a need for local churches to fellowship with one another without developing a sectarian spirit. We reject a narrow denominational-ism as unscriptural and divisive to the Body of Christ (1 Cor 1:10-18; 3:1-11), but we acknowledge the need to work together with others of commonly-shared faith in fellowship and united mission.
The Great Commission
We Believe that the Lord’s commission [command] to the Church is to share the gospel in love (Mt 22:37-39) with all who will listen (Mt 28:19; Mk 16:15; Lk 24:47-48; Acts 1:8; Rom 1:16-17; 10:14-15); that evangelism should have priority among biblical Christians (Is 6:1-8) followed closely by discipleship (Mt 28:19-20); that “agape” love is the sign of true discipleship (Jn 13:34-35).
- The Scriptural Ordinances
- We Believe that local churches are to practice the scriptural ordinances of the Lord’s Supper, i.e., communion/breaking bread (Lk 22:19-20; 1 Cor 11:23-31) and believer’s baptism (Mt 28:19-20; Acts 8:36-39; Rom 6:1-5; Col 2:12) according to New Testament practice (with baptism preferably by immersion in the Name of the Lord). We do not believe that these ordinances or any other religious ceremonies, rituals or observances impart salvation. Salvation is entirely by grace through faith and that is not dependent on “works” [human effort] (Eph 2:8-9; Tit 3:5).
- We Believe that these observances are to be reserved for those who have already been born again, i.e., believers only.
- The Priesthood of All Believers
We Believe in the Priesthood of all Believers (1 Pet 2:4-5,9; Rev 1:6); that the people of God are to be one in Christ (Gal. 3:26-28; Eph 2:11-13,19; Jn 13); that religious hierarchy violates this principle and, therefore, that there should be no distinction among the people of God between “clergy” and “laity” (Mt 23:1-12); that all believers are called by God into ministry within the local church (1 Cor 12-12-17); that God calls some in the body of Christ to special aspects of ministry (1 Cor 12:28-30; Eph 4:11-16). In that we are all priests, we are commanded to offer unto God a sacrifice of praise (Heb 13:15) and to present our bodies to God as an act of spiritual worship (Rom 12:1-2).
- God’s Call to Holy Living
We Believe that God’s call to every believer is to live a holy life (1 Pet 1:15-16); that biblical holiness is not a system of rules and regulations (Col 2:13-3:4) but, instead, clothing oneself with Christ (Rom 13:14) and crucifying the old nature (Gal 2:20; 5:24), for believers are new creations in Christ (2 Cor 5:17); that believers are to subdue the old nature by taking positive action (Gal 5:16-21; Eph 4:17-5:3; Phil 4:4-8; Col 3:1-17), which includes being filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18) and, then, walking in step with God’s Spirit (Gal 5:25); that living a holy life is a life of fullness (Gal 5:22-23).
- Responsible Sexuality
We Believe that Christians are called to live their sexuality in a responsible manner; that monogamy is the biblical principle and, therefore, precludes serial monogamy and promiscuous behavior; that lust in one’s life can be brought under control by the power of God (Prov 25:28; Gal 5:23; Tit 2:11-12).
- Accountability and Scriptural Discipline
- We Believe that there is a need for Christian accountability applicable to individual believers as well as to church leadership in local churches and ministries (Rom 14:12; Heb 4:13; 13:17; Mt 7:1-5).
- We Further Believe that all discipline is to be carried out in love and only in proper scriptural order (Mt 18:15-17; Gal 6:1; 1 Ti 5:19-20; 1 Cor 5:1-6,8).