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Detailed Beliefs

The New England Center for Expository Preaching - Introduction

Since our actions and attitudes are a reflection of what we think and believe, we want to know and believe the truth. The sovereign God of the universe has spoken and what He said is of utmost importance. Our desire as Christians and our vision as a church can be summarized quite simply: we want to know and do what God has said so that we can please Him and sense His pleasure. Everything we teach, the way we relate to one another and the decisions we make are all guided by or commitment to Scripture. Our doctrinal statement is a summary of the major themes and truths of God's Word and it allows us to serve side by side in unity and love. Everything we teach lines up with the doctrine presented below.

The Core Believes of the NECEP Leadership

The Scriptures 
We believe that the Bible as originally written was verbally and plenarily inspired, is the product of spirit-controlled men, and, therefore, is truth without any mixture of error. We believe the Bible to be the center of true Christian unity and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions shall be tried. (II Timothy 3:16, 17; II Peter 1:19, 20, 21) 
The Triune God 
We believe there is one and only one living and true God, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. (Exodus 20:2, 3; I Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 4:11) 
Jesus Christ 
We believe that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, having not been created, but being the Second Person of the Trinity, came into this world as foretold in the Scriptures to manifest God to mankind and to be the Redeemer of the sinful world. He took upon Himself human flesh and a sinless human nature through the supernatural conception by the Holy Spirit in a virgin, Mary. Jesus was both fully God and fully man, and His earthly life sometimes functioned in the realm of the humanly and at other times in the realm of the divine. He came to die for the sin of the world -the just for the unjust. Jesus Christ alone is the full and complete propitiation for sin -the full satisfaction of the Father's justice regarding sin. He rose from the dead, according to the Scriptures, retaining the same body, though glorified; His bodily resurrection and ascension into heaven, where He now serves as the High Priest for the redeemed of God and head over the church, gives proof to the fact that His sacrificial death was fully acceptable to the Father for sin. (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; 53:1ff; Micah 5:2; Luke 1:30-35; 24:34-39; John 1:1-2; 20:20; Acts 2:22-6; Rom. 3:25-26; Heb. 1:3; 2:17; 4:14-15; 7:25; 10:1-14) 
The Holy Spirit 
We believe the Holy Spirit is a divine person, equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God's purpose is fulfilled. He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment; that He bears witness to the truth of the gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the new birth; that He seals, bestows gifts, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer. (Genesis 1:1-3; Matthew 28:19; John 14:16, 17, 26; 16:8-11; Hebrews 9:14) We believe that certain gifts of the Spirit are temporary, providing the foundation for the New Testament church and are not active today. These gifts were revelatory in nature -word of knowledge, tongues, interpretation -and were critical for a church that was without the written New Testament. Other foundational gifts were used to confirm and validate the ministry of the Apostles, such as healing, raising from the dead, as the authentic founders of the church. (Hebrews 2:1-4; Acts 2:22; Mark 16:14-18; Matthew 10:8; I Cor. 13:8) 
The Devil 
We believe in the personality of Satan; that he is the unholy god of this age and the ruler of all the powers of darkness and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire. (Matthew 4:1-11; Revelation 20:10)

We believe the Genesis account of creation as being neither allegory nor myth but a literal, historical account of the direct, immediate, creative acts of God over six literal days without any evolutionary process; that man -spirit, soul and body -was created by a direct work of God and not from previously existing forms of life; and that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race. (Genesis 1-2; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16, 17) 
The Fall of Man 
We believe that man was created in innocence under the laws of his Maker; but, by voluntary transgression, Adam fell from his sinless and happy estate; all men sinned in him, in consequence of which, all men are totally depraved, are partakers of Adam's fallen nature and are sinners by nature and by conduct, and, therefore, are under just condemnation without defense or excuse. (Genesis 3:1-6, 24; Romans 1:18-32, 3:10-19, 5:12, 19) 
Grace and the New Creation 
We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sin is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about by our sovereign God in a manner above our comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith and newness of life. (John 3:3; 3:6, 7; Acts 16:30-33; Romans 6:23; II Cor. 5:17; Ephesians 2:1, 5; II Peter 1:4; I John 5:1) 
We believe that justification is the judicial act of God, whereby He declares us to be righteous through faith in Christ Jesus; that justification includes the pardon of sin and the imputation of God's righteousness; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer. (Isaiah 53:11; Zechariah 13:1; Acts 13:39; Romans 5:1, 9; 8:1; II Corinthians 5:18-21) 
We believe that repentance is a change of mind and purpose toward God prompted by the Holy Spirit. Sin is ruinous to the soul and that true repentance is inseparably related to true faith.(Luke 13:1-3; 15:7, Romans 2:4)

Faith and Salvation
We believe that faith alone in Jesus Christ is the only condition for salvation. (Acts 16:31) 

We believe that sanctification is the divine setting apart of the believer unto God accomplished in a threefold manner: first, an eternal act of God, based upon redemption in Christ, establishing the believer in a position of holiness at the moment he trusts the Savior; second, a continuing process in the saint as the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to the life; third, the final accomplishment of this process at the Lord's return. (John 17:17; I Corinthians 1:30; II Cor. 3:18; Ephesians 5:25, 26; I Thessalonians 4:3, 4; Hebrews 3:1) 

We believe that adoption is the gracious act whereby the Father, for the sake of Christ, places new believers into the honored position of mature sons -in contrast with regeneration whereby the believer receives the nature of God and becomes a child of God. The full benefit of the position accorded by adoption as the sons of God await the glorification of the believer at the coming of the Lord. (Galatians 4:1-7; Eph. 1:5, 13, 14; I John 3:1, 2) 

Eternal Security 
We believe that all who are truly born again are kept secure by God the Father for Jesus. (Philippians 1:6) 

The Church 
We believe in the unity of all true believers in the church, which is the body of Christ and was established on the Day of Pentecost, and that all believers, from Pentecost to the Rapture, both Jews and Gentiles, are added to this church by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:41, 42; I Corinthians 11:2, 12:12, 13; Eph. 3:1-6) We believe that this church is manifested through the local church which is a congregation of baptized believers associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word; and that its officers are pastors and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scripture. We believe the true mission of the church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all as we have opportunity. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self government free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; that the one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for biblical churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel. Each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; and that on all matters of membership, polity, government, discipline, benevolence, the will of the local church is final. (Acts 15:13-18; 20:17-28; I Tim. 3:1-7; Eph. 1:22, 23, 4:11, 5:23, 24; Col. 1:18) 

We believe that biblical baptism is the immersion of a believer in water, under the authority of the local church, to show in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, through Whom we died to sin and rose to a new life; that baptism is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership. We believe that the Lord's Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes and should be preceded always by solemn self-examination. The elements themselves represent the body and blood of the Savior in symbol only. There is neither common nor efficacious grace extended to the recipient of these ordinances. (Matthew 3:16, 28:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-24, 8:36, 38, 39; Romans 6:3-6; I Cor. 11:23-28; Colossians 2:12) 

We believe in obedience to the biblical commands to separate entirely from worldliness and ecclesiastical apostasy unto God. (II Corinthians 6:14-7:1) 

Civil Government 
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the only Lord of the conscience and the coming King of Kings. (Exodus 18:21, 22; II Samuel 23:3; Acts 23:5; Romans 13:17) 

We believe in the sovereign selection of Israel as God's eternal covenant people. Israel is now dispersed because of her disobedience and rejection of Christ; and that she will be regathered in the Holy Land. After the completion of the church, Israel will be saved as a nation at the second advent of Christ. (Genesis 13:14-17; Ezekiel 37; Romans 11:1-32) 

The Rapture and Subsequent Events 
We believe in the imminent, pretribulational, premillennial return of Christ for His church; and that at that moment the dead in Christ shall be raised in glorified bodies, and the living in Christ shall be given glorified bodies without tasting death; and all shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air before the tribulation, the seventieth week of Daniel. (Daniel 9:25-27; Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 20:1-4, 6) 

The Righteous and the Wicked 
We believe there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked. Only those who are justified by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and sanctified by the Spirit of our God are truly righteous in His esteem; while all who continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting joy in heaven for the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost in the lake of fire. (Genesis 18:23; Malachi 3:18; John 8:21; Romans 6:17, 18, 23, 7:6; I John 5:1

Note:  From the Beliefs of Colonial Baptist Church - Cary, NC