A passage of Holy Scripture must be taken as veracious in its natural, literal sense unless the context of the passage itself dictates otherwise, or unless an article of faith established elsewhere in Scripture requires a broader understanding of the test.Because of our desire to uphold and teach the truth of Holy Scripture, Word at Work Ministries sets forth the following statement of faith. The Board of Directors shall subscribe annually. We believe that:
- The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the infallible Word of God, the source of all our faith and practice. They are designed to lead us to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. They are fully inspired by God and therefore serve as an authoritative guide for Christian understanding, life and ministry. The Scriptures are without error, in the whole and in the part; completely trustworthy in all areas in which they speak. They are not to be added to, superseded, or changed by later tradition or supposed revelation. Every doctrinal formulation, whether of creed, confession, or theology, must be put to the test of the full counsel of God in Holy Scripture. A saving understanding of the Scriptures depends upon the illumination of the Holy Spirit; therefore, the most accurate factual knowledge attained through exegesis, exposition, and interpretation is inadequate for conversion or spiritual growth apart from the Holy Spirit Who creates faith through the Word and applies its message to the heart.
- God Is Triune. There is but one God infinite, eternal, almighty, and perfect in holiness, truth, and love. In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, coexistent, coequal, collaterally. The Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Holy Spirit, yet each is truly Deity. One God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is the foundation of Christian faith and life.
- God The Father is the Creator of heaven and earth. By His Word all things were made, and through the same Word He daily sustains all His creatures. He is faithful to every promise, works all things together for good to those who love Him, and in His unfathomable grace He gave His Son Jesus Christ for mankind’s redemption. He made man for fellowship with Himself, and intended that all creation should live to the praise of His glory.
- Man – -male and female- – was created in the image and likeness of God. Through the original sin of man – -Adam and Eve- – mankind has fallen from God, become corrupt in his whole nature, and is totally incapable of returning to God. Fallen, sinful men, whatever their character or attainments, are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ.
- Jesus Christ the Son is fully God and fully man: the only Savior for the sins of the world. He was the Word made flesh, supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and was perfect in nature, teaching, and obedience. He died on the Cross as the vicarious sacrifice for all mankind, rose from the dead in His own glorified body, ascended into heaven and will return in glory. He is the Head of His body the Church, Victor over all the powers of darkness, and now reigns at the right hand of the Father.
- Salvation, the gift of God, is provided solely by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Turning from sin in repentance, looking to Christ and His vicarious death, man is born anew into eternal life by the Holy Spirit. There is no other name except Jesus Christ by which men may be saved. Through His great redemptive act there is forgiveness of sin, liberation from bondage to the world, and freedom in His Spirit.
- The Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, unites man to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth, dwells within the regenerate, and enables them to grow in sanctification. The Holy Spirit inspired prophets, judges, and kings in ancient times, anointed Jesus Christ for His ministry, filled the Church with power, and will transform the mortal bodies of believers into one like His own immortal body in the glory of the resurrection.
- The Baptism and Gifts of the Holy Spirit are available to all who believe in Jesus Christ. The promise of the Father that the Holy Spirit would be sent in power was not only made to the early disciples but continues through generations to come. God’s gracious and supernatural action in the believer’s life is manifested by a diversity of gifts, and is evidenced by overflowing joy, praise, and often a new prayer language. The work of the Holy Spirit, and that work alone, enables the believer to exercise the powers of the age to come in ministry and mission. God delights to give the gifts of the Holy Spirit to those who ask and obey, but since they are gifts, there is nothing man can do to merit them. Christians should be encouraged earnestly to desire the Spirit’s gifts – – gifts such as the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discernment of spirits, tongues and interpretation of tongues. They are God’s sovereign action for edifying the Body of Christ, and manifest the trans-denominational spiritual renewal of the Church in these last days.
- The Church, which is the Body and Bride of Christ, is dedicated to the worship and service of God, the observance of the sacraments or ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and the practice of good works. The primary task of the Church in all ages is to teach all nations and to make disciples, bringing the Gospel to bear on every aspect of life and thought. The ultimate mission of the Church is the redemption of souls. When God transforms human nature, this then becomes the chief means of society’s transformation.
- The Consummation of all things includes the visible, personal, and glorious return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead and the translation of those alive in Christ, the judgment of the just and the unjust, and the fulfillment of Christ’s kingdom in the new heavens and the new earth. Satan with his hosts and all men outside Christ will be eternally separated from the presence of God, enduring everlasting punishment. All who have been redeemed by Christ from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light will be in the presence of God forever, giving Him unending praise and glory. Amen.
All genuine Christian Statements of Doctrine, including the foregoing, depend upon a proper interpretation of the Holy Scriptures. Word at Work Ministries, therefore, also unreservedly commits itself to the following hermeneutic rules:
- A passage of Holy Scripture must be taken as veracious in its natural, literal sense unless the context of the passage itself dictates otherwise, or unless an article of faith established elsewhere in Scripture requires a broader understanding of the test.
- The prime article of faith applicable to biblical interpretation is the attitude of Christ and His Apostles toward the Scriptures. Their utter trust in Scripture – – in all it teaches or touches – – must govern the interpreter’s practice, thus elimination in principle any interpretation which sees the biblical texts as erroneous or contradictory in fulfilling their natural, literal intent.
- Extra-biblical linguistic and cultural considerations must never decide the interpretation of a text; and any use of extra-biblical material to arrive at an interpretation inconsistent with the truth of a scriptural passage is illegitimate. Extra-biblical data can and should put critical questions to a text, but only Scripture itself can legitimately answer questions about itself.
- Not all literary forms are consistent with scriptural revelation. The interpreter must not appeal to literary forms (such as mythology) which cast doubt on the reliability or the morality of the Divine Author of Scripture.
- The interpreter should employ all tools of scholarly research that do not make experience, reason, or feeling the basis of interpretation. Such unbiblical practices are identified by their assumptions, which either (like Bultman’s demythologizing) do violence to articles of faith, or (like certain documentary theories) oppose the clarity of the authentic biblical texts and the factuality of the events recorded in them, or (like the so-called “New Hermeneutic”) give to the sinful cultural context, past and present, a definitive role in the formulation of biblical teaching. These and other unscriptural techniques are to be scrupulously avoided in carrying out the task of interpretation.
- Harmonization of apparent scriptural difficulties should be pursued within reasonable limits, and when harmonization would pass beyond such bounds, the interpreter must leave the problem open rather than, by assuming error, impugn the absolute truthfulness of God, Who inspires all Holy Scripture for our learning.