January 18, 2016 at 1:35 pm #13719
Mari – AdministratorKeymaster
Statement of Faith for Strong Women Of Rightly Dividing Studies, SWORDS
- We draft our beliefs from God’s word. Though this statement of faith is not exhaustive or a replacement for God’s inspired Truth, it recognizes those areas that we would consider fundamental and that may differ from other assemblies, churches, institutions, cults or organizations. This statement of faith firmly established upon the authority of the Bible describes what we preach and teach in our assembly.
- Inspiration –We believe that all of Scripture was given by inspiration of God. The Bible as originally written was verbally inspired by God.
- Preservation – We believe God has providentially preserved his word for us to utilize, study, and preach. We believe it is preserved without error for the English speaking people in the King James Authorized Version of the Bible.
iii. Final Authority – The Bible is our final authority in doctrine, faith, purpose, and manner of living. It is a discerner of the soul and spirit, and the source of revealed Truth from God.
- God is the one and only true God.
- He will judge all of mankind.
- Through Him all of mankind can be saved.
- He is the timeless, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent Spirit to which all man, power, and creature are subject.
- God manifests himself in three persons: The Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
- The Father –
- All things are of God the Father.
- He is above all and through all things.
- To Him all glory and honor is due, yet it pleases him that in his son, Jesus, should all the fullness dwell.
iii. Lord Jesus Christ –
- He has always been God and did not become God at His human birth through Mary, or on the cross. Jesus also did not lay aside any of his characteristics as God though he subjected himself in a position under God the Father, taking the form of man.
- He is the fullness of the Godhead bodily, God manifest in the flesh.
- He is and was without sin, but became man, was tempted as man, and did not succumb to sin. It is his sinless nature as God that allowed Him to take the place of sinful man on the cross in order to offer himself as a perfect Saviour.
- Jesus was begotten of the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary.
- Jesus was a minister of the circumcision during his earthly ministry, and came to confirm the promises made unto the fathers of Israel. He is the promised Messiah to Israel and will fulfill that prophesied position in his future return.
- Jesus Christ offered the promised kingdom to Israel, but he was rejected and crucified on the cross. He then was resurrected in bodily form on the third day after his death.
- Through his death, burial, and resurrection Jesus has provided the sacrifice needed for all of mankind in order to receive salvation.
- Jesus is the head of the church the Body of Christ.
- The Holy Spirit –
- The Holy Spirit has always been active in the regeneration and anointing of mankind with the power of God.
- The Holy Spirit seals us unto the day of redemption.
- He is active in our regeneration and renewing at salvation.
- He baptizes us into the Body of Christ.
- Satan, The Devil – Satan was a created cherub named Lucifer, who, because of pride, rebelled against God and became the author of sin. He has now transformed himself into an angel of light in order to hide the gospel from those who need it.
- Creation – The universe was created by God as described in the book of Genesis in six literal 24-hour days. The creation is cursed as a result of man’s sin. The creation was destroyed in the Noahic flood but will not be destroyed again until the return of Christ.
- Sin – Sin began as rebellion and disobedience against God. Every human has continued in this sinful nature except for Jesus Christ born of a virgin. Sin entered into mankind through the disobedience of Adam. The judgment for disobedience against God is eternal damnation in Hell. All in Adam have sinned and are deserving of this judgment. A supernatural intervention from God is required to save us.
- Salvation – Though in other dispensations God required certain performances to accompany faith for salvation, salvation is always by the grace of God. Because of the holiness of God and the sinful condition of man, there is no work or deed of righteousness that man can perform in order to change the destination and judgment of eternal damnation God gives to all sinners without justification.
- Our Gospel – Salvation is by the grace of God through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through his death and blood on the cross in our place he commended is love and justice to justify mankind. Through his resurrection he saves us from eternal damnation and gives the hope of redemption and a present salvation. Faith in what Jesus has done on the cross for us ensures our salvation today in the dispensation of grace. Other ages offered distinctly different objects of faith for salvation as according to God’s purpose and programs.
- Jesus’ Return – Jesus will physically return to the earth in the future.
- To Israel – God’s covenants with Israel will be fulfilled literally according to the plain and necessary interpretation of Scripture and the fulfillment of the prophecy. Included is the return of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, in order to set up and establish his kingdom on earth through the nation Israel and to rule as its King forever. Upon his return, Christ will reclaim authority over the dominion of the earth from its current ruler, Satan. We believe this will occur, as prophecy suggests, after Daniel’s 70th week, the tribulation.
- For the Body of Christ – The prophecies concerning the day of the Lord and the return of Christ to reign on earth pertain to God’s program with Israel and the earth. God has a distinctly different program for the Body of Christ today revealed in the mystery given to Paul. At the end of this dispensation at the fullness of the Gentiles, Jesus will come down from heaven, and the Body of Christ will meet him in the air and will then always be with the Lord. This event is the end of our ambassadorship on earth and we will then occupy our appointed positions in heaven.
- Bible Study – God requires that we study to show ourselves approved unto him as proper workman. Bible study is what will perfect his saints furnished unto good works. We study the Bible in the light of Pauline Dispensational Right Division.
- Pauline –
- We believe that Paul was saved and appointed by Jesus Christ to be the apostle, teacher, and preacher of the Gentiles in this dispensation. We are instructed to follow him in doctrine, manner of life, purpose, and faith as he followed Christ.
- We believe Jesus Christ instituted the present dispensation of Grace and the Church, the Body of Christ through revelation to Paul recorded in all his epistles.
- Paul details the instructions and information he received of Christ as being secret since the world began, hid in God, but now revealed to the church.
- Dispensational – God progressively revealed his instructions for man’s obedience throughout history. Distinct programs of instruction and responsibility are called dispensations. Dispensation is a word found in scripture to describe the instructions and responsibilities given to man from God. We study God’s word in light of his distinct dispensations.
- We believe that the Bible describes five distinct dispensations or administrations: Promise, Law, Grace, Age to Come (Kingdom), and Fullness of Times.
iii. Right Division – Right division of the scripture discerns between God’s prophetic purpose and his mystery purpose. God revealed the scripture progressively and so proper study requires us to respect the order of those revelations. We believe the authority, instruction, and purpose of the church today is found primarily in Paul’s epistles as revealed by Jesus Christ.
- God’s Intervention – God is omniscient, omnipotent, has universal authority and by him all things consist. God directly intervenes primarily in this age of Grace through the saving power of his gospel, the ministry of Jesus Christ according to the mystery, and the effectual working of the Holy Spirit through his preserved word. God also utilizes the ministry of his ambassadors to perform his will to see all men saved.
- Supernatural Powers and Signs – The supernatural power of the Holy Spirit works in all of us who believe the glorious gospel of the grace of God. We understand that the supernatural signs and powers given to men throughout the ministry of the twelve disciples were promised powers to the saints of that day. They were given for a specific function and are not operable in this late part of God’s economy today.
- Hell – Hell is a real literal place where Satan and all unsaved man will eternally inhabit if they are found guilty at the judgment seat of Christ. In order to save us from eternal damnation in Hell, God intervened by sending Jesus Christ to die in our place.
- Church (Body of Christ) – Each saved person today is a part of the Body of Christ and the temple of the Holy Spirit despite their denominational or organizational affiliation. The church is not a building, but is each member of his body individually and collectively. The Church today is separate and distinct from the nation Israel not usurping the promises or covenants made exclusively to them. The purpose of the Church today is to glorify God by preaching salvation to the lost, edifying of itself in truth, and raising faithful men to continue in this ministry.
- Baptism – Baptism is always used as the identification of God’s elect. Water baptism was a requirement for priesthood and entry into the kingdom of God practiced by Moses, John the Baptist, and Jesus. There is more than one baptism in the Bible, but only one is used today. We believe the one baptism is the baptism into Christ by the Holy Ghost. This baptism occurs at the moment of salvation of the individual.
- Tithing – Giving – Giving is not a requirement of membership or legality in this age. Today we are to give to the laborers and ministers of the church as we purpose in our hearts and not out of requirement under the law. Under the Old Covenant laws, Israel was required to give a tithe to the priests as their inheritance required. Pastors and teachers today are not Levitical priests or replacements for those priests as set up in the Mosaic Law. Instead Pastors and teachers are simply men like every other saved member of the Body of Christ, and so they do not require a tithe as did the Levitical priests of the Mosaic Law.
- Governments/ Authorities
- The Church – The church is subject to Christ. Every man is also subject to Christ, and Christ to God. This church is not established by the State and therefore not under its jurisdiction in matters of doctrine, authority, or purpose. The head of our assembly and the Body of Christ is Jesus Christ our Lord. His members are given subordinate positions as ambassadors. From our position in Christ we derive our freedom, liberty, and knowledge of the truth.
- Family – God has instituted the family to provide an order for the education and dissemination of knowledge from generation to generation. The relationship of Christ to the church is the pattern for the family order. Each role is patterned after our relationship to Christ and is accountable to him as our head.
- The Husband – a. He is to love his wife as himself, and as Christ the church.
- He is the responsible head of his wife, just as Christ is to the church.
- The Wife – a. She is the perfect companion and glory of man, meet for his help.
- Children – a. Children should honor their father and mother. Subject and in respect to their authority as it is from God.
iii. Government – Governments are ordained by God as his ministers to execute justice and judgment among those who would do evil. We are to be subject to our magistrates and higher powers ordained of God for the purpose of protecting those that do good. It is the responsibility of the church to maintain moral order in the governmental affairs of men without which governments become corrupt and rebellious to their God-ordained function. We do not believe in the unlimited submission to government, or to superior authority of any government over Christ’s church.
- Anti-government – We are not an antigovernment organization and do not promote antigovernment ideas, as government is an institution established by God for the necessary judgment of those that would do evil. Freedom requires a moral society and in an evil world government is needed.
- Taxes – We do not teach or endorse tax evasion or not paying due taxes