I believe that God has provided his non-redemptive goodness to all people, both saved and the unsaved, which is characterized by the restraint of sin (1 Sam 25:26; 2 Thess. 2:6-7), preservation of righteousness (Gen 20:6), the postponement of judgment until the day of God’s wrath (Rom 2:5) and by the giving of natural blessings (Matt 5:45; Acts 14:17). The means of common grace include the establishment of civil governments (Rom 13:1, 6), families (Matt 7:9-10), and the human conscience (Rom 2:14-15).
I believe that God verbally calls all people unto Himself (John 12:32; 1 Cor 1:9; Gal 1:15; 2 Thess 2:14) by His grace. God took the initiative (John 15:16) when we were powerless (Rom 5:6) enabling us to experience the miracle of the possibility of new birth from above (John 3:3). Some people will respond to this calling (Matt 22:14; Act 8:37) by their own will, whereas others will have an effectual drawing (John 6:44) whereby the gracious act of the Holy Spirit in their heart infallibly leads to conviction of sin and belief in the gospel (Acts 9:1-18).
I believe that sinners experience a decisive change (Tit 3:3-4) of the new birth (John 3:3-8) and receive an implanted new heart (Ezek 36:25-28) and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19) at the time of conversion. They have come new people (Col 3:10; 2 Cor 5:17) who are no longer conformed to this world (Rom 12:2; Eph 4:22; Col 3:9), but in the knowledge and holiness of the truth created after the image of God. Regeneration enlightens the blinded mind to discern spiritual realities (1 Cor 2:14-15; 2 Cor 4:6) and liberates and energizes the enslaved will for free obedience unto God (Rom 6:14, 17-22; Phil 2:13).
I believe that sinners experience conversion marked by repentance, which a change of mind about who is God and is truly important in their life (Acts 3:19; Acts 11:21; 1 Thess 1:9). Sinners are exhorted to produce fruit in keeping with repentance (Matt 3:8) that will lead them to the knowledge of truth (2 Tim 2:25-26) whereby they acknowledge their sin (Psa 51:3-4; Luke 15:18). Conversion is also evidenced by faith where a person has knowledge (Acts 8:32; Jas 2:19) about God, agrees the truthfulness of that knowledge (Matt 13:20-21; John 8:30-31), and makes a commitment to live according to trustworthiness of the knowledge (Rom 10:9-10).
I believe that sinners are justified, whereby they are declared righteous and fully acceptable (Rom 3:24; 4:25) with God, by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone apart from all works at the time of conversion (Eph 2:8-9). Sinners have been completely acquitted (Acts 18:38-39), set free (Rom 6:7, 18), and their guilt has been removed (Rom 5:16, 18; 6:7). Good deeds are the evidence that a sinner has been justified (Jas 2:14-20).
I believe that all sinners who have been justified have been adopted as sons being led by the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:14-15, 23; Gal 4:5-7; Eph 1:5) as children of God (Rom 8:16; 1 John 3:1) with a promised eternal inheritance (Heb 9:15).
I believe that all believers have union with Christ through our identification and relationship with Him (John 14:20; Rom 6:4; Gal 3:27) that is made known through communion, spiritual life, and the bearing of fruit (John 15:1-6). Christ is the head and all believers make up the body (Eph 1:22-23; 4:12-16; 5:23-32). Believers are identified with Christ in His death (Rom 6:1-11); His burial (Rom 6:4); His resurrection (Col 3:1); His ascension (Eph 2:6); His reign (2 Tim 2:12); and His glory (Rom 8:17).
I believe that all believers have the personal responsibility and obligation to progressively mature (Rom 6:22; 2 Cor 7:1; Heb 6:1) throughout their entire life toward the likeness and perfection of Christ (Matt 5:48; 1 Peter 1:15-16) by the empowerment and indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23), the word of God (John 17:17), other believers (Heb 10:24-25), providence (Heb 12:5-10), faith (Acts 26:18; Matt 9:29), prayer (Phil 4:7), repentance (Rev 2:21-22), occasions of grace (1 Cor 11:17-34), and wisdom (Prov 1; James 3:15-18). This process of sanctification includes the whole person (1 Thess 5:23) including the body (Rom 6:12-14; 12:1) and the immaterial (Mark 12:28-31; Rom 6:11-14; 12:2).
I believe that God’s sovereign power and the Spirit’s transforming work (Phil 1:6) keeps believers from losing or forfeiting their salvation (John 6:39; 10:26-30; Rom 8:28-39). Persistent disobedient believers may loose blessings (Heb 6:4-8) and may be seriously punished (Heb 10:25-29), but they will still partake in the inheritance (Heb 6:9-12; 1 Pet 1:5).
I believe that believers will be attain the completion of our salvation when we are given immortal (1 Cor 15:53) resurrected bodies (John 6:39-40) that will be glorified (Rom 8:21; 8:29-30) and will be transformed (Phil 3:20-21) to be like Jesus (1 John 3:2).