The purpose of this statement of faith is to set forth certain teachings, which we at Northrise University believe to be cardinal and foundational to the Christian Faith and as guidelines for our conduct:
1. The Scriptures
The Holy Bible is the written Word of God and was given by the inspiration of God to be the rule, standard, and final authority for all matters of faith, conduct, practice, and judgment. It is the all-sufficient, self-authenticating, inerrant, infallible, true, and perfect treasure of God’s special revelation to humanity. The Bible is the means by which God's salvific plan and values are revealed to man. The written Word of God consists of the sixty-six books that make up the Old and New Testaments. One part of Scripture is to be interpreted by another, and all religious controversies are to be settled by Scripture alone.
2. God and the Trinity
There is only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual and personal being who is the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Sovereign Ruler of the universe; all things are under His control. He is self-existent and infinite in holiness and in all His attributes. He is eternally existent in the three persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, with distinct personalities but without division of nature or being. He is the origin of all things and the source of all truths and values. He is all-powerful, all- sufficient, and all-knowing. His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future. He is undying, unchanging, most holy, most wise, ever blessing and ever blessed; to Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. Nothing can exist apart from Him, and everything finds its goal and purpose in His glory.
a. God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over the universe, creatures, and humans in accordance with His grace and will. In general, He is fatherly toward all men by sustaining them; but, in particular, He is Father to those who become God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus through the gospel. He has made himself known to us in His creation, in human experience, and finally and fully, in His only begotten and eternal son, Jesus Christ.
b. God the Son
Jesus Christ is the good news revealed to man through His birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension. He is the eternal Son of God, incarnated as Jesus Christ through the Virgin Mary conceiving Him by the Holy Spirit and giving birth to Him. He took upon Himself human nature and identified Himself with mankind yet without sin. By His personal obedience He satisfied the demands of God’s holy justice and appeased His holy wrath. In His substitutionary and vicarious death on the cross he became a propitiatory sacrifice to God for man’s sin. Thereby, He provided for man’s redemption from sin and death. His crucifixion is the heart of the Gospel, His resurrection is the power of the Gospel, and His ascension is the Glory of the gospel. It also demonstrates His love and reveals His amazing grace. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. There is no other name by which humankind must be saved.
c. God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and of Christ, and He is fully God. He inspired the writing of Holy Scripture long ago, and He illumines people’s minds to understand the truth revealed in it. He is working to exalt Jesus Christ by convicting men of sin, calling men to the Savior, regenerating men to effect the new birth, cultivating Christian character in believers, comforting and encouraging believers, and granting them spiritual gift by which they are enabled to serve God through the Church. The Holy Spirit is the seal of the believer’s redemption, the guarantee of the believer’s heavenly inheritance, and the enabler for the believer and the church in worship, missions, and service.
Among all terrestrial creatures, man is the crown of God’s creation. God created man in both genders—male and female—in His own image so that man might have fellowship with Him. Man was innocent of sin and endowed with freedom of choice. Through temptation of Satan, man rebelled against God and consequently fell from his original innocence; and thereby brought sin into the human race. Being estranged from his Maker, yet responsible to Him, man became subject to divine wrath, inwardly depraved and, apart from a special work of saving grace, utterly incapable of returning to God. Man’s depravity is so radical and pervasive that it extends to his mind, will, and affections.
All people are equally loved by God. God is constantly reaching out to all human beings. Christians are called to follow Christ's lead in giving their lives away through acts of love and service toward others. Every person of every race has value and dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love because God’s image is in him and because Christ died for man.
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Broadly speaking, salvation includes regeneration (i.e., the new birth, becoming new creatures in Christ), justification (i.e., God’s gracious and full acquittal for sinners who repent and believe in Christ), sanctification (i.e., the experience of being set apart to God’s purposes and growing in grace to moral and spiritual maturity), and glorification (i.e., culmination of salvation and the final blessed state of the redeemed).
There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Him. Yet man’s faith response to the offer of salvation is rooted and grounded in the free and unconditional election of God for His own pleasure and glory. It is also true that the Gospel is only effectual to those who genuinely repent of their sins and, by God’s grace, put saving faith in Christ. Biblical repentance is characterized by a changed life, and saving faith is evidenced by kingdom service or works. While neither repentance nor works saves, unless a person is willing to deny himself, pick up his cross, and follow Christ, he cannot become His disciple.
5. Perseverance of God in Keeping His People
All true believers will endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally or finally fall away from the grace of God, but will persevere to the end. If a believer falls into sin through neglect and temptation: they grieve the Holy Spirit; bring reproach on the cause of Christ; bring temporal judgments on themselves; and yet, they shall be restored again upon repentance and kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal salvation.
6. The Church
The church is the universal body of Christ, which includes the believers of all ages and from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation who have been redeemed by God to be His people through faith in Christ Jesus. The church is represented in a geographical area by a local congregation of believers who have put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, which assembles together to hear God’s Word, pray, fellowship, observe the two ordinances of Christ (namely, Baptism and Lord’s Supper), serve one another and the community, and do missions in the world to extend the Kingdom of God. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, both local and universal; and therefore all Christians must associate themselves into local churches where they can exercise responsibility and accountability to Christ as their Lord. The scriptural officers of the Church are Pastors, Elders, and Deacons. Our church-related institution intends to show love toward God and neighbor through worship, prayer, witness, mission, wise stewardship of our resources, acts of mercy, forgiveness toward others, and compassion for the oppressed; and to practice community among ourselves as members of one Body of Christ, maintaining a nonsectarian openness toward all Christians.
7. The Resurrection
We believe that the bodies of men after death return to dust but their spirits return immediately to the place of eternal destiny; the righteous to rest with God, the wicked to be under darkness until the Day of Judgment. At the last day the bodies of all the dead, both the just and the unjust, will be raised.
8. The Last Things
God will bring the world to its appropriate end in His own time and in His own way. Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised and then Christ will judge all men in righteousness: the unrighteous will be consigned to Hell (the place of everlasting punishment), while the righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.
Christianity is the faith of enlightenment and intelligence. All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge abide in Christ Jesus. Therefore, all sound learning is part of our Christian heritage. The new birth redeems our human faculties and creates a thirst for knowledge. Moreover, the cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is coordinated with the cause of missions and general benevolence, and should receive support from the churches. An adequate system of Christian education is necessary to form a complete spiritual program for the People of Christ.
In Christian education, there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility. Freedom in any orderly relationship of human life is always limited and never absolute. The freedom of a teacher in a Christian School, College, University, or Seminary is limited by the preeminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.
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