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Explanation of Beliefs

The following is a summary of our understanding of each of these basic beliefs at TJC:

The Word of God

We believe the Bible is the written Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written by men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Bible, in both the Old Testament and New Testament, is the essential and infallible revelation of God’s self-disclosure to mankind. Inspired by God, therefore, the Bible is free of error in all it teaches. The Bible is supremely authoritative, providing guidance for all Christian life, practice, and doctrine. Furthermore, we affirm the general counsel of the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy (1978).

2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Mark 13:31; John 8:31-32; John 20:31

God is Triune

We believe there is one God who is infinite, eternal, almighty, and perfect in holiness, truth, and love; existing in three co-existent, co-equal, and co-eternal Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Trinity is without division of nature, essence, or being. The Father is of none, neither begotten, nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Spirit eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son. The persons of the Trinity execute distinct but harmonious functions in the work of creation, history, providence, and redemption.

1 John 5:7; Matthew 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 15:26; Galatians 4:6; Genesis 1:1, 26; John 1:1, 3; 4:24; 5:26; Matthew 28:19; Acts 7:2; Romans 1:19, 20; 9:5; Ephesians 4:5, 6; Colossians 2:9

God the Father

We believe God the Father is the Creator of heaven and earth. He is, then, an everlasting, infinite, perfect personal being who is the sovereign and rightful ruler of all that exists. By His Word and for His glory, He freely and supernaturally created the world out of nothing. Through the same word, He, the sovereign God, daily sustains all His creation. His plans and purposes cannot be thwarted; He is faithful to every promise; works all things together for the good of those who love him. In His unfathomable grace, He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, for mankind’s redemption. He created all things for the praise of His glory and intends for man, in particular, to live in fellowship with Himself.

Job 22:2-3; 34:10; Psalm 139:1-24; Isaiah 55:10; Daniel 3:27; Hosea 1:7; 2:21-22; Luke 10:21-22; Matthew 4:4; 23:9; John 3:16; 6:27; Acts 17:24-28, 31, 44; Colossians 1:16-17; Revelation 1:4-6; Romans 1:7; 4:19-21; 1 Timothy 1:1, 2; 2:5, 6; 1 Peter 1:3

God the Son

We believe that Jesus Christ is the only Son of God. Indeed, He is the image of the invisible God. He is the eternal Word made flesh, supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary. He is fully God and fully man. Through Him, all things came into being and were created. He was before all things, and in Him all things hold together by the Word of His power. He is the only Savior for the sins of the world since He offered Himself as a penal substitutionary sacrifice for sinners. He was physically crucified, suffered, bled, died, and was buried. On the third day, He rose again in fulfillment of the Scripture. He is now at God’s right hand interceding for His people and rules as Lord over all. He will one day return again. He is the head of His body, the Church. At His appearing, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.

Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 15:1-28; Hebrews 7:25; 9:28; 1 Peter 2:21-23; Matthew 20:28; Romans 5:6-8; 6:9, 10; 8:34; 1 Timothy 3:16; Revelation 5:12-14

God the Holy Spirit

We believe the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. Through the proclamation of the gospel, the Spirit persuades men and women to repent of their sins and confess Jesus Christ as Lord. The Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ, and to lead them to trust in His divine mercy. The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth, and dwells within the regenerate. As our abiding helper, the Spirit effectually calls, sanctifies, empowers, baptizes, indwells, guides, teaches, and equips all Christians for service and witness. He is the active agent in our sanctification, providing the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right.

John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26-27; 16:9-14; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11; 3:16; 6:19; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Galatians 5:22-26; Titus 3:5; Romans 8:9, 12-13; Ephesians 6:11-18

Creation

We believe that God created all things visible and invisible for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness. He created every molecule and galaxy. He created each species of life separately and finished His work by creating Adam from the dust and Eve from Adam. We believe that the universe has its beginning and end in God’s will. The universe is in no sense independent of Him and creation does not reflect a prior deficiency but its formation and maintenance represent a continuing exertion of His creative power and ability. Both Adam and Eve were created equally in the image of God without sin. He endued them with knowledge, righteousness, and holiness having God’s natural law of conscience written in their hearts and the power to fulfill that law. They lived with the possibility of transgressing since they were left to the liberty of their own will. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man and woman in His own image and therefore every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.

Genesis 1:1-2:7; Ecclesiastes 7:29; 12:7; Job 26:13; 33:4; Psalm 24:1-2; 33:5-6; 104:24; Isaiah 55:10-11; Jeremiah 10:12; Matthew 10:28; John 1:1-3; Acts 17:24; Romans 1:20; 2:14-15; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 1:16; 3:10; Hebrews 1:2; 11:3; Revelation 4:11

Condition of Man & Woman

We believe God made man – male and female – in His own image. Tempted by Satan, however, man rebelled against God, is subject to divine wrath, and is inwardly depraved. Apart from a special work of grace, he is utterly incapable of returning to God. This depravity is radical and pervasive, extending to the mind, will, and affections. Fallen, sinful people are lost and without hope apart from the salvation that comes from God by grace alone through faith in Christ alone.

Genesis 1:27-28; 2:16-17; 3:6-8, 11,13,23; 5:3; 6:5; 8:21; Job 14:4; 15:4; Psalm 51:5; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 15:19; Acts 17:26; Romans 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12, 15-19; 7:18; 8:7; 11:32; I Corinthians 15:21-22, 45, 49; II Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 2:1-3; Colossians 1:21; Titus 1:15; James 1:14-15; 1 John 1:8,10; Romans 7:5,8, 14, 17-18, 23, 25; Galatians 5:17

The Gospel

We believe the gospel is the good news of God’s grace invading the darkness of this world in the person of Jesus. It is the grand narrative of the Scriptures—creation, fall, redemption and consummation—ordained by God and orchestrated through the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. Christ’s crucifixion is the heart of the gospel. His resurrection is the power of the gospel. His ascension is the glory of the gospel. Christ’s death is a substitutionary and propitiatory sacrifice to God for our sins. It satisfies the demands of God’s holy justice and appeases His holy wrath. It also demonstrates His mysterious love and reveals His amazing grace. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. There is no other name by which men can be saved. At the heart of all sound doctrine is the cross of Jesus Christ and the infinite privilege that redeemed sinners have in glorifying God because of what He has accomplished. Therefore, we want all that takes place in our hearts, church, and ministries to proceed from and be related to the gospel.

John 1:1-4; Colossians 1:2-14; Romans 1:4; 3:22; 10:8-9; Isaiah 53:1-12; 1 John 1:9; 1 Timothy 2:5; Acts 4:11-12

Salvation

We believe salvation, the free gift of God, is provided by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. Anyone repenting of sin by the miracle of regeneration and looking to Christ and His substitutionary death receives the gift of eternal life and is declared righteous by God as a free gift. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to him. He is justified and fully accepted by God. Through Christ’s atonement for sin, an individual is reconciled to God as Father and becomes His child. The believer is forgiven the debt of his sin and liberated from the law of sin and death into the freedom of God’s Spirit.

Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:21-31;4:23-5:2; 6:23; 8:1-2; 10:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 1:9; 5:12; Colossians 1:12-14, 21-23; 2:13-15

Spiritual Gifts

We believe the Holy Spirit empowers spiritual gifts as God wills to His children. These gifts are designed to testify to the presence of the Kingdom and distributed to equip the saints for worship and ministry to build up the body of Jesus Christ. The use of spiritual gifts is for the purpose of edification within the body that it would be built up in Christ. We believe that God uses these spiritual gifts to display His glory and anointing in individual saints for the work of His ministry established in the timeless message of the Bible.

Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:8-11; 14:12; Ephesians 4:11-12; Acts 2:1-4

The Church

We believe the Church consists of all who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for their eternal salvation and is the spiritual body of Christ. This includes all the redeemed of the ages, believers from among all peoples from every tribe, tongue, and nation. God, by His Word and Spirit, creates the Church, calling sinful men out of the whole human race into the fellowship of Christ’s body. By the same Word and Spirit, He guides and preserves that newly redeemed humanity. The Church is not a religious institution or denomination. Rather, the Church is made up of those who have become genuine followers of Jesus Christ and have personally appropriated the gospel. The Church exists to worship and glorify God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It also exists to serve Him by faithfully doing His will on earth. The ultimate mission of the Church is to bring glory to God by making disciples. The local congregation is a gathering of believers who are associated by the New Covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Spirit; observe the ordinances of Christ; are governed by His laws; and exercise the gifts, rights, and privileges within them by the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit. Upon conversion, newly redeemed men and women are added to a local church in which they devote themselves to teaching, fellowship, the Lord’s Supper, and prayer.

We believe all members of the Church are to be a vital and committed part of a local church. In this context, they are called to live out the implications of the gospel as the people of God and demonstrate the reality of the kingdom of God. The ascended Christ has given ministers to the Church, including prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, for the equipping of Christ’s body so that it might mature and grow. In the context of the local church, God’s people receive pastoral care and oversight and the opportunity to steward their gifts for His glory and the good of the others.

Acts 3:22-23; Hebrews 4:14; 8:1; Matthew 16:15-19; Acts 2:41-42, 47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:17-32; I Corinthians 3:16; 7:17; 9:13- 14; 12:1-31; Colossians 1:18; I Timothy 3:1-15; 4:14; Titus 1:5-9;I Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2:1-3:22; 21:2-3

The Ordinances of the Church: Believer's Baptism by Immersion & Lord’s Supper

We believe the ordinance of baptism is for individuals who profess faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. In obedience to Christ’s command and as a public testimony, a believer should be immersed in water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Baptism serves as a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person’s union with Christ. It is an act of outward obedience symbolizing the Christian’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior; death to sin; burial to the old life; and resurrection to walk in the newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to a Believer’s faith in an ultimate bodily resurrection to eternal life with Christ in His Kingdom. Being a church ordinance, baptism is a prerequisite to the Lord’s Supper.

We believe the Lord’s Supper is an act of worship to be observed only by those who have become followers of Christ by grace through faith. Through the partaking of bread and the fruit of the vine, this ordinance symbolizes the breaking of Christ’s body and the shedding of His blood on the believer’s behalf. We partake of the Lord’s Supper with an attitude of self-examination. In observing the Lord’s Supper, we remember the death of Christ, receive spiritual nourishment for our souls, signify our unity with other members of Christ’s body, and look forward to his return.

Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35- 39; 16:30-33; 20:7; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 21; 11:23-29; Colossians 2:12

Evangelism and Missions

We believe the call and holy privilege of every child of God and of all churches of Jesus Christ is to go and make disciples of the nations. God creates transformed lives evidenced by purity, holiness, and growth in Christ-like character by means of new birth. The Holy Spirit imputes the love of Christ into the hearts of believers, thus transforming their love toward others, for His Name’s sake. This results in children of God who actively seek to take the gospel to sinners and who share in carrying out the Great Commission. The highest purpose for evangelism and missions is that the name of Jesus Christ and the glory of His kingdom be taken to the ends of the earth until He returns.

Matthew 9:37-38; 24:14; 28:18-20; 2 Timothy 4:5 Romans 1:5; 10:13-15; 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 22:17

Heaven and Hell

We believe that Heaven is a real place of eternal blessedness prepared by God for those who have been saved by grace through faith in the shed blood of Christ. We believe that Hell is a real place of eternal suffering for those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life. There is no intermediate state in which the unsaved can atone for his own sins.

John 14:1-6; Revelation 7:13-17; 20:11-15; 21:22-27; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Luke 16:19-31

Last Things

We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal joy of the righteous, and the eternal punishment of the unredeemed.

Matthew 16:27; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Philippians 3:20; I Thessalonians 4:15; II Timothy 4:1; Titus 2:13; I Corinthians 15:1-58; II Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 20:4-6, 11-15