Copyright © 1997 by Larry G. Overton
(When this basic statement of faith was written in 1997, it represented not only my own beliefs but those of a fellowship of believers as well. It was our own expression of Biblical, historic Christianity. While we considered the specific wording of this statement our own, we did not see the doctrines as unique to us. We believed that the truths it contained we held in common with all who are truly born again. I have decided to emend the wording from first person plural, since neither this document nor my website represents anyone else’s beliefs. Aside from that small bit of editing, this statement is as it was written 18 years ago.)
I believe the Holy Bible to be God’s authoritative and inspired Word, which was preserved without error in the original manuscripts. The 66 books of the Old and New Testaments constitute the Holy Scriptures, relevant in all respects for our teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness. They are able to instruct us for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. In all matters of doctrine, worship and conduct, the Bible is our authority and guide.
(Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20-21.)
I believe in one God, the creator of all that is, who is infinitely perfect and is revealed to man as eternally existing in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Each divine Person is rightfully called God, and together they are the Godhead spoken of in Scripture. The Father, Son and Spirit each have the same nature, attributes and perfection, and they are each worthy of the same homage and obedience.
(Genesis 1:1-2, 26; Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Colossians 2:9; Revelation 1:4-6.)
The Lord Jesus Christ
I believe that Jesus is God revealed in the flesh, who was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. I further believe in the sinless life of our Lord, in His miracles, His vicarious and atoning death on the cross. I also believe in His bodily resurrection on the third day, His ascension into heaven where He is presently seated at the right hand of the Father, and in His imminent and personal return.
(John 1:1, 14; Luke 1:30-35; Hebrews 4:15; Matthew 4:23-25; Isaiah 53; 1 Peter 2:23-25; Acts 2:22-24; Philippians 2:5-11; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.)
The Holy Spirit
I believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life. He is our source for ministry, worship and service. He testifies of Christ and restrains evil in the world to the measure of the divine will. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment; regenerates all believers; and indwells and anoints all who are saved, thus sealing them until the day of redemption.
(Romans 8:9-17; John 15:26; 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7; John 16:7-15; John 3:5-8; 1 John 2:20, 27; Ephesians 1:13-14.)
The Fall of Man
I believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God. However, by willful transgression man fell, thereby incurring not only physical death but spiritual death, which is separation from God. The consequences of Adam’s sin are imputed to the whole of mankind and all therefore possess a sinful nature. In the case of all who reach a state of moral responsibility, we become sinners before God in thought, word and deed. Man cannot, then, attain to divine righteousness by his own efforts. A new nature imparted from above is absolutely essential to salvation, and only those thus saved are children of God.
(Genesis 1:26-27, 31; 3:1-6; 8:21; Romans 3:9-12, 23; 5:12-21; Ezekiel 18:20; Ephesians 2:1-10; Titus 3:3-5.)
The Salvation of Man
I believe in the salvation of lost man through the finished work of Jesus Christ upon the cross. Our salvation is based upon no work of merit on the part of sinful man. It is based rather on the substitutionary death of our Savior, Jesus Christ. This gracious gift is received by faith, at which point the believer is justified and has had imputed to him by God the righteousness of Christ.
(John 1:12-13; Romans 3:21-28; 4:1-5, 23-25; Romans 5:1-2, 6-8; Ephesians 1:13-14; 2:1-10; Colossians 1:19-20; 2:13-14; 1 Peter 1:3-5, 18-21; 2:24-25.)
I believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The saved will be raised to eternal life with their Lord and will receive their rewards for good deeds done in the body while here on this earth. The lost will be raised to face judgment and damnation, the conscious eternal punishment that awaits the unbeliever.
(John 5:24-29; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 25:41-46; Revelation 20:11-15.)