The Scriptures: The 66 books of the Bible constitute the written Word of God. All Scripture is God-breathed because His Spirit carried along the human authors in such a way that they freely wrote exactly what God was saying. In every part of the autographs, all Scripture is inerrant, infallible, and the final rule for all of life and faith. In Scripture, God has provided us with a sufficient resource for all disciple-making ministry.
The Trinity: God is eternal and infinite in all of His perfections. The God of the Bible is the one true God who eternally exists in three distinct and fully divine Persons. God, as the Creator of all that has been created, made the heavens and the earth out of nothing. God exerts comprehensive sovereignty over all of His creation, and He possesses exhaustive and perfect knowledge of all events past, present, and future, having decreed them from before the foundation of the world. God is fully present everywhere at all times, and He is infinitely good with no sin or deficiency in His being.
- God the Father: God the Father is an infinite and personal spirit. He is perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. He infallibly knows all things, concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, hears and answers prayer, and saves from sin and death all who come to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.
- God the Son: Jesus, eternally existing as God, took on a human nature in His incarnation. Therefore, He is the eternal Son of God who exists as one person with two distinct natures forevermore. Being born of a virgin, He lived and died as the perfect substitute for sinners. His wholly righteous life secures the righteousness that sinners lack, and His suffering under God’s wrath completely satisfies the punishment that sinners deserve. After He died, He rose, ascended into Heaven, and sat at the Father’s right hand where He perpetually intercedes for His people. He will personally and visibly return in order to reign from the Earth over the Earth.
- God the Spirit: The Holy Spirit has eternally existed as God, and He convicts the world of sin and indwells Christians. He causes God’s people to be born-again, empowers them to live a holy life, helps them understand God’s Word, gifts them for the work of ministry, and seals them in order to secure the salvation that Christ purchased.
God’s Saving Grace: God’s plan of salvation includes all the means that lead to His ordained end, and it utterly excludes human boasting. Before the foundation of the world, God the Father chose a people to save. Jesus Christ came to earth in order to purchase those people through His life, death, and resurrection. The Holy Spirit applies this work of Christ to all of God’s people, creating the gift of faith in their hearts, and He keeps them in that faith forever. Salvation is thoroughly a work of divine grace from beginning to end.
Humanity: All human beings are made in the image of God. God made mankind in two complementary genders of male and female who are equal in dignity and worth. Men are called to roles of spiritual leadership, particularly in the home and in the Church. Women are called to respond to and affirm godly servant leadership, particularly in the home and in the Church. God created the human person with a physical body and an immaterial spirit, each possessing equal honor and essential to humanity. These constituent aspects are separable only at death. The great hope of all Christians is the restoration of body and spirit in a glorified existence in the new heavens and new earth. Man is a dependent creature standing in need of divine counsel to serve God and to be conformed into the image of Christ.
Sin: God created mankind in a state of sinlessness, but the human race fell from this state when their representative, Adam, willfully chose to rebel against God by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Since that time, every human being, except Jesus Christ, has been born in sin and separated from God. Every element of human nature has been corrupted by sin from the moment of their conception, thereby making them sinners by nature and by choice. Therefore, mankind, in Adam, stands in desperate need of the grace of God.
The Church: The Church is the body of Christ made up of all those who have been born-again. Each local manifestation of the Church is called to proclaim the Word of God, administer baptism and the Lord’s supper, and exercise Church discipline. Baptism is a Church’s act of affirming and portraying a believer’s union with Christ by immersing the believer in water, and it is a believer’s act of publicly committing to Christ and His people. Therefore, baptism unites a believer to the Church and marks them off from the world. The Lord’s Supper is a Church’s act of communing with Christ and each other, and it is an act of commemorating Christ’s death by partaking of bread and wine. It is also a believer’s act of receiving Christ’s benefits and renewing their commitment to Christ and His people. Therefore, the Lord’s Supper makes the Church one body and marks it off from the world. Church discipline is a Church’s act of correcting sin in the life of its members with the goal of promoting growth in godliness. This involves confronting someone’s sin and calling them to repent, which, if the person fails to do, will culminate in excluding that professing Christian from membership in the Church and participation in the Lord’s Supper. The Church is the organism through which God is accomplishing His mission in the world.
Regeneration: Regeneration is a sovereign work of the Holy Spirit whereby He transforms the hardened heart of a sinner into the soft heart of a believer. This new heart loves God and therefore obeys His Word. Regeneration secures our new life in Christ, and it is granted solely by divine grace. Regeneration results in all the necessary evidences of our salvation in Christ.
Justification: Justification is a sovereign declaration by God that the righteousness of Jesus Christ has been imputed to all who have trusted in His substitutionary life and death for their salvation. When God justifies a person, He no longer treats them as a sinner but reckons them to possess that righteousness which Jesus Christ earned on their behalf. The declaration of justification does not come through any past, present, or future merit in the sinner. Justification is based exclusively on the merits of Jesus Christ and is received through faith alone.
Sanctification: Sanctification is a joint work between God and man, whereby God supplies grace for Christians to grow in obedience to Christ. While Christians are holy in a definitive sense at the moment of conversion, they still have a need to grow in holiness. This work of grace requires believers to utilize, by faith, the normal means of grace such as Bible reading, prayer, fellowship, and obedience in the context of the local Church. Christians will experience real progress in growing more like Christ, yet this work will remain incomplete until they are glorified. The Church’s work of discipleship is fundamentally a work of helping Christians grow in this grace of sanctification.
The Great Commission: The Church has been called to go into the world with the task of marking and making disciples. In giving this commission, Jesus requires His people to use their conversations to point sinners to Christ in evangelism and to build people up in Christ through discipleship. The Great Commission necessitates that all faithful disciple-making conversations must have Jesus Christ as their ultimate goal. Our Lord and Savior does not give believers the option to avoid disciple-making conversations or to avoid directing those conversations toward Jesus.
The Last Things: Jesus Christ will return for His people at a moment known only to God. When He comes, He will sit in judgment on the entirety of the human race, and, after all judgment is complete, He will usher humanity into the eternal state. All those who have spent their lives persisting in unbelief will go away into everlasting and conscious punishment. On the other hand, the righteous in Christ will go away into everlasting joy in the presence of God. Christians can therefore have hope that all wrongs will be punished, all righteous acts will be rewarded, and God’s people will ultimately abide with Him forever.
Standards For Teaching
Cornerstone Bible Church Bylaws