Article 1 – The Holy Scriptures
1-1 The Holy Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are the inspired,1 infallible Word of God,2 a divine revelation, the original writings of which were verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit.3 They are the supreme and final authority of faith and conduct.4
1-2 Inspiration is a special act of the Holy Spirit3 by which He guided the writers of the Scriptures so that their words would convey the thoughts He wished conveyed, would bear a proper relationship to the thoughts of the other inspired books, and would be kept free from error of fact, doctrine, and judgment.5
1-3 The Holy Scriptures, the written Word of God, are composed of all 66 books of the Old Testament and New Testament.
1 And how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2Tim.3:15-17).
2 Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens (Psa.119:89). If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came–and the Scripture cannot be broken– (John 10:35). The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever (Isa.40:8).
3 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2Pe.1:21). Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow (1Pe.1:10,11). We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words (1Cor.2:12,13).
4 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth (John 17:17). And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms” (Luke 24:27,44). I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book (Rev.22:18,19).
5 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished (Mat.5:17,18).
Article 2 – The Trinity
2-1 There are three persons in the Godhead: the Father, the Son,1 and the Holy Spirit.2 These three are one God,3 the same in substance, eternally equal in power and glory.
1 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Mat.3:16,17). Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).
2 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God” (Acts 5:3,4).
3 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground” (Gen.1:1,26). Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Mat.28:19). May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all (2Cor.13:14).
Article 3 – God The Father
3-1 There is but one living and true God,1 immanent, transcendent, infinite in being and perfection, pure spirit,2 invisible, immutable,3 eternal, almighty, all wise,4 most holy, most free, most loving, most gracious, most merciful, longsuffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin,5 the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him, and withal most just and terrible in His judgments, hating all sin. He will by no means clear the guilty.
1 I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the LORD, and there is no other (Isa.45:5,6).
2 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
3 I the LORD do not change (Mal.3:6a).
4 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” (Rom.11:33,34).
5 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation” (Exo.34:6,7).
Article 4 – God The Son
4-1 Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the Word,1 the eternal and true God who is of one substance and equal with the Father.2 He took on Himself man’s nature, with all of its essential properties except sin: Being conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary,3 He embodied two perfect and distinct natures in one person. He is truly God and truly man, the only mediator between God and man.
4-2 The Lord Jesus Christ is the revelation of God to man.4 In the days of His humiliation5 He lived a sinless life, performed miracles, taught the will of God,5 was crucified, and died. He was buried and arose bodily from the dead on the third day. The Lord Jesus offered Himself a sacrifice for sins,6 satisfied the justice of the Father, propitiated the wrath of God, reconciled God and man,7 and obtained an eternal inheritance.
4-3 The Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, from whence He had come, and was exalted, taking His place at the right hand of the Father, where He makes intercession on behalf of all who come to God through Him.8
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:1-3,14).
2 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Col.1:15-20).
3 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us” (Mat.1:22,23).
4 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs (Heb.1:1-4).
5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil.2:5-11).
6 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! (Heb.9:14).
7 For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (Rom.5:10).
8 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin (Heb.4:14,15).
Article 5 – God the Holy Spirit
5-1 The eternal1 Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son,2 is of the same substance and equal in power and glory with the Father and the Son. By Him the prophets were moved to speak the Word of God, and all writers of the Holy Scriptures were inspired to record infallibly the mind and will of God.3 He is the only efficient agent in the application of redemption. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment,4 moves them to repentance, and regenerates5 them by His grace, enabling them to embrace Jesus Christ by faith.
5-2 The Holy Spirit indwells all true believers, baptizing them into one body, of which Christ is the head.6 He, the divine Comforter, Intercessor, and Advocate, empowers the believer for service.7
1 Who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God (Heb.9:14b).
2 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you (John 14:16,26).
3 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2Pe.1:21).
4 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned (John 16:7-11).
5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit (John 3:5).
6 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink (1Cor.12:13).
7 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
Article 6 – Creation
6-1 The triune God, according to His sovereign will, created out of nothing and out of things that He had made, by immediate and mediate action, the worlds and all that is in them.1 He is the Governor and Upholder of the creation by His wisdom and by the word of His mighty power.2
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters (Gen.1:1,2). (See also Gen.1:3-2:3). By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible (Heb.11:3).
2 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together (Col.1:16,17).
Article 7 – Satan
7-1 Satan is a created angelic being who fell from his first estate.1 He is the god of this age, ruling by the permissive will of God.2 He exercises authority over the unsaved, tempts the believer to sin, and continually accuses the brethren before the throne of God.3
7-2 He has been defeated by the finished work of Christ on Calvary. During the millennium he will be confined to the abyss,4 to be released at the end of that period to lead the armies of evil against God. He will be finally judged and doomed to the lake of fire.5
1 How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit. Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: “Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble, the man who made the world a desert, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?” (Isa.14:12-17). And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home–these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day (Jude 1:6).
2 In which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient (Eph.2:2). The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (2Cor.4:4).
3 For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless (1Thes.3:5). For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down (Rev.12:10b).
4 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time (Rev.20:2,3).
5 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Rev.20:10).
Article 8 – Man
8-1 God, by a special, instantaneous act, created man in His image1 — holy, righteous, and possessing true knowledge2 — by forming him out of the dust of the earth and breathing into his nostrils the breath of life. Thus man became a living soul.
8-2 Our first parents did not remain in the glorious and happy state of their original creation, but, through the subtlety and deception of the devil,3 they disobeyed and transgressed the command of God the creator, incurring on themselves and their posterity the sentence of spiritual and physical death. The guilt and consequences of Adam’s sin are imputed to the whole human race, so that all men are guilty,4 inherently corrupt, totally depraved,5 and subjects of the wrath of God.6
1 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Gen.1:27).
2 And to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph.4:24). And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator (Col.3:10). (See also Psa.8:4-6).
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'” “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it (Gen.3:1-6).
4 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned–for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come. But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men (Rom.5:12-18).
5 There is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Rom.3:11-18).
6 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath (Eph.2:3). (See also Rom.1:18)
Article 9 – Sin
9-1 Sin is any lack of conformity to the will of God1 or any transgression of the law of God. 2 Sin separates man from God, incurring His wrath and judgment, and is manifest in the selfishness, rebellion, unbelief and total depravity of man’s being.3 Sin is the cause of the curse on and defilement of the created universe. 4
1 All wrongdoing is sin (1Jo.5:17a). Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins (James 4:17).
2 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness (1Jo.3:4). For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it (James 2:10).
3 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air … All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath (Eph.2:1-3). The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened (Rom.1:18-21). (See also Rom. 3:10-12, 8:7-8).
4 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time (Rom.8:22). (See also Gen.3:17,18).
Article 10 – Human Ability and Responsibility
10-1 In his original creation man was endowed with the ability to will and do good or evil and was accountable for his willing and doing.1 But through the fall of Adam man lost his ability, apart from God’s grace,2 to will and to do those things necessary for a right relationship with God;3 however, he is still accountable to God for obedience to all of His commands.4 Man has not lost his ability to make decisions,5 but left to himself, he acts only in accordance with his fallen, sinful nature.6
10-2 Only by God’s infinite grace can man will or do anything necessary to his salvation. 7 By that grace, God saves those men whom He causes to will and to do good;8 however, He does this without nullifying man’s ability to act responsibly. 9
1 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Gen.2:16,17).
2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath (Eph.2:1-3).
3 There is no one who understands, no one who seeks God (Rom.3:11). Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God (Rom.8:8).
4 God “will give to each person according to what he has done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile (Rom.2:6-10). In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30).
5 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live (Deu.30:11,19).
6 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one” (Rom.3:10,12). Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil (Jer.13:23). (See also footnote 2).
7 It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy