statement of faith
We believe that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” by which we understand the whole Bible is inspired in the sense that holy men of God “were moved by the Holy Spirit” to write the very words of Scripture. We believe that the whole Bible in the originals is therefore without error. We believe that all the Scriptures center about the Lord Jesus Christ in His person and work in His first and second coming. We believe that all the Scriptures were designed for our practical instruction.
1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15–17; and 2 Peter 1:20–21
We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections, and worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things, limitless in knowledge, sovereign in power, infinite in love, perfect in judgments and unchanging in mercy.
The Lord Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man. Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God came into this world that He might manifest God to men. He was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and Advocate. He will come again personally and visibly to set up His kingdom and to judge the quick and the dead.
John 1:1–3, 14; Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 1:1–3; and 1 John 5:11–12.
The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the blessed Trinity, though omnipresent from all eternity, took up His abode in the world in a special sense on the day of Pentecost according to the divine promise, dwells in every believer, and by His baptism unites all to Christ in one body, and that He, as the Indwelling One, is the source of all power and all acceptable worship and service. We believe that He never takes His departure from the church, nor from the feeblest of the saints, but is ever present to testify of Christ; seeking to occupy believers with Him and not with themselves nor with their experiences.
The Depravity of Humanity
We believe that man was originally created in the image and after the likeness of God, and that he fell through sin, and, as a consequence of his sin, lost his spiritual life, becoming dead in trespasses and sins, and that he became subject to the power of the devil. We also believe that this spiritual death, or total depravity of human nature, has been transmitted to the entire human race of man, the Man Christ Jesus alone being excepted; and hence that every child of Adam is born into the world with a nature which not only possesses no spark of divine life, but is essentially and unchangeably bad apart from divine grace.
We believe the offer of salvation is God’s love-gift to all. Those who accept it by faith, apart from works, become new creatures in Christ. Because fallen humans are unable to save themselves, God, according to His own sovereign mercy, acts to save those who come to Him by grace through faith. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer the penalty of death in place of condemned humanity. Simply through believing the good news that Christ died for his or her sins and then rose from the dead, a person can be forgiven of all sin, declared righteous by God, reborn into new life, and guaranteed eternal life with God.
John 3:16; Romans 10:9–10; 1 Corinthians 15:1–5; and Ephesians 1:4–12; 2:8–9.
The Great Commission
We believe that it is the explicit message of our Lord Jesus Christ to those whom He has saved that they are sent forth by Him into the world even as He was sent forth of His Father into the world. We believe that, after they are saved, followers of Jesus Christ are divinely reckoned to be related to this world as ambassadors and witnesses, and that their primary purpose in life should be to make Christ known to the whole world. It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations.
The Return of Christ
We anticipate our Lord’s promised return, which could occur at any moment. According to the Father’s plan, Jesus Christ will one day return in power to bring completion of salvation and rewards to believers and judgment and wrath to unbelievers. The Bible teaches that the years leading up to the judgment will be marked by increasing evil, but the actual time of the end is unknown. It could begin at any moment. Though the details of Christ’s return are sometimes unclear, its reality is certain, and all believers are called to live holy lives in anticipation of His coming.
1 Thessalonians 4:13–5:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12; Hebrews 9:28; and Revelation 19:11–16.
Resurrection of Humanity
We are convinced that all who have died will be brought back from beyond—believers to everlasting communion with God and unbelievers to everlasting separation from God. Though a believer’s spirit is ushered into the Lord’s presence immediately upon physical death, the fullness of salvation awaits Christ’s return, when He will resurrect believers in glorified bodies like His own immortal body which can never die. While all believers throughout history will enjoy eternal life in perfect paradise, unbelievers will be resurrected to suffer eternal conscious punishment for their sins.
John 11:23–27; 1 Corinthians 15:51–57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18; and Revelation 20:4–21:5.
The Body of Christ
We believe that all who are united to the risen and ascended Son of God are members of the church which is the body and bride of Christ, which began at Pentecost and is completely distinct from Israel. Its members are constituted as such regardless of membership or non-membership in the organized churches of earth. We believe that by the same Spirit all believers in this age are baptized into, and thus become, one body that is Christ’s, whether Jews or Gentiles, and having become members one of another, are under solemn duty to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, rising above all sectarian differences, and loving one another with a pure heart fervently. Romans 12:4–5; 1 Corinthians 12:12–14; Ephesians 4:11–16; and 1 Peter 2:9–10.
Reference: Doctrinal statement of Dallas Theological Seminary