The Almaty Bible Institute Statement of Faith
A New Gospel Frontiers Background Paper
Introduction by New Gospel Frontiers
The Statement of Faith that follows was provided to New Gospel Frontiers by the Almaty Bible Institute which is located in Almaty, Kazakhstan. This Statement of Faith was adopted on October 9, 1997, by the Evangelical Christian � Baptists, the denomination that founded the Almaty Bible Institute. The Evangelical Christian-Baptists are a church of born-again Christians whose teaching reflects sound Biblical doctrine. This is an abridged version of the full 17 page original that was received by New Gospel Frontiers. Since the original was translated into rough English, some limited editing for the sake of clarity has also been performed.
The Triune God
We believe in the united, living, true God (Isaiah 45:22; Jeremiah 10:10; John17:3), who created the heavens, the earth and the fullness thereof (Genesis 1:1-2; Psalm 24:1; Isaiah 40:26-29, 45:12; Acts 17:24-29), who manifests Himself in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit-three in one and the one in three persons, who lives forever, �and these three are one� (Isaiah 48:16; I John 5:7; Romans 11:33).
�God is Spirit� (John 4:24), and as a Spirit, He is an invisible being (Genesis 33:20, John 1:18, I John 4:12, I Timothy 6:16). However, �for the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood from the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead...� (Romans 1:20).
A man can get to know God only through the revelation of God about Himself, which is contained in the Word of God, and becomes understood because of the action of the Holy Spirit (II Peter 1:20-21, John 14:26).
God the Father
We believe, that God is without beginning (I John 2:14), omnipresent (Psalm 139:7, Acts 17:27), omnipotent (Genesis 17:1), omniscient (Hebrews 4:13), wise (Romans 16:27, I Timothy 1:17), perfect (Matthew 5:48), philanthropic (Exodus 34:6), merciful, longsuffering, abundant in goodness and truth (Exodus 34:6) holy (Isaiah 6:3, I Peter 1:15-16), righteous (Deuteronomy 32:4), just (Psalm 119:137), immutable (Numbers 23:19, Malachi 3:6, Luke 21:33, James 1:17, Hebrews 13:8), hates sin (Psalm 5:5-6, 34:16, Habakkuk 1:13, John 3:36, Romans 1:18, Ephesians 5:6), punishes lies (Jeremiah 5:1-9, Hebrews 2:2), the avenger Nahum 1:2, I Thessalonians 4:6), a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24, Hebrews 12:29), judges the righteous (Psalm 7:11-13, Acts 17:31), has tender mercy (James 5:11), is willing to have all men be saved (I Timothy 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9). God is light (I John 1:5). He dwells in the unapproachable light (I Timothy 6:16).
God is love (I John 4:16). He loves His creation and this love was shown in Jesus Christ (John 3:16, I John 4:9-10, Rom. 5:8, Ephesians 2:4-5). God sent His Son and Holy Spirit to the Earth that the world might be saved (John 3:17, 16:8-11, 13-14, I John 2:27, Romans 26-27).
God the Son - Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the eternal God (I John 5:20), and does not have a beginning of days or the end of life (Hebrews 7:3). He is also the Creator of the Universe (Colossians 1:16).
Jesus Christ appeared in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16), being born of the Virgin Mary through the immaculate conception from the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18). God the Son joined in Himself the Divine and human nature (Luke 1:35). He came to the world �in the likeness of sinful flesh� (Romans 8:3), but there was no sin in Him (I John 3:5). �He who did no sin� (I Peter 2:22) is not implicated in evil, so He could be the sacrificed for the world�s sin (John 1:29, II Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 9:26).
Jesus Christ is the promised anointed sovereign and only Savior of the world (Luke 4:18, John 4:42, 10:28, Acts 2:36, 4:12, Ephesians 5:2). He won the victory over Satan and Hell (Revelation 3:21, 5:5, I Corinthians 15:54-55) and destroyed death (II Timothy 1:10).
The Lord Jesus Christ deprived Satan of the power of death (Luke 4:33-36, 41, I John 3:8, Hebrews 2:14-15, Revelation 20:3-4, 14). He redeemed us by His blood, becoming the only mediator between God and man (Colossians 1:20, I Timothy 2:5-6, Titus 2:14, Hebrews 7:24-25). He became the Advocate for us before the Father and is the High Priest of future blessings (I John 2:1, Hebrews 9:11-12, 24). A believer in Him has eternal life (John 6:47).
The resurrected, ascended into Heaven and glorified Jesus Christ is the Creator and Head of the Church (Matthew 16:18, Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:23, Colossians 1:18, I Timothy 3:16). He will judge the universe (John 5:22, Acts 17:31).
God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is a person, and since He is God (Acts 5:3-4) He is also:
- Omnipotent (Romans 15:19)
- Omniscient (I Corinthians 2:10)
- Omnipresent (Psalm 139:7)
- Holy (Ephesians 4:30) and other attributes.
The Holy Spirit is the Creator of the universe equally with the Father and the Son (Gen. 1:2, Job 33:4). The Holy Spirit inspired the prophets and the Apostles (II Peter 1:21). On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was sent for a testimony about Christ, for praising Him and for the creation of the Church (John 15:26, 16:7, Acts 1:8, I Corinthians 12:13).
The Holy Spirit condemns the world about sin, truth and judgment (John 16:8), guides men to repentance and revives him. He moves into the repentant, converted and obedient persons (John 3:3-6, Acts 5:32, I Corinthians 6:19, Titus 3:5). The Holy Spirit lives in those born from above (Romans 8:9, I Corinthians 3:16, Ephesians 1:13), teaches (John 14:26), condemns (John 16:8-9), directs (John 16:13, I Corinthians. 2:12-13), guides (Acts 8:29, 13:2), encourages and comforts (John 14:26), affirms (Ephesians 3:16-19), bears fruit (Galatians 5:22-23, Ephesians 5:9), and provides benefits for service in the church (I Corinthians 12:7-11, 28).
God�s Word repeatedly commands believers to be filled by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18, Acts 2:4, 4:8, 8:31, I Corinthians 2:4), to have power for a holy life and a testimony about Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8, 4:31, I Corinthians 2:4). The Holy Scripture commands us not to sin against the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 63:10, Mark 3:29, Acts 5:3, 9, 7:51, Ephesians 4:30, I Thessalonians 5:19).
ABOUT THE WORD OF GOD
We believe that the Bible, the canonical books of the Old (39) and New (27) Testaments, is the Word of God which was written by men of God through inspiration of the Holy Spirit (II Peter 1:21) for the direction of mankind to the way of salvation (II Timothy 3:15-16). The Holy Spirit opens the mind of every God-fearing person to the comprehension of the Holy Scriptures (Psalm 23:14, Luke 10:22-24, II Peter 1:20), so that with His assistance they become the source of God�s knowledge and truth, and God�s will concerning life and service (II Timothy 3:16). Any revelation contradicting the Word of God is false. (Isaiah 8:20).
The Holy Scripture is the only source of Christian faith (John 20:31, Romans 10:17) and is the spiritual guide for believers concerning salvation, life and service (Joshua 1:7-8, II Peter 1:19, Romans 15:4, I Timothy 4:16, Hebrews 4:12). Addition, deletions or changes to the Word of God, whether the text, translation or interpretation, draws severe punishment from God (Revelation 22:18-19).
We believe that God created man in His appearance and likeness (Genesis 1:27, 5:1, Isaiah 45:12) and put him as a ruler over His hand�s affairs (Psalm 7:7). God created man to be sinless and with a free will (Genesis 2:16-17, Joshua 24:15, Jeremiah 21:8).
Tempted by Satan, man fell into sin and was deprived of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). By one man sin came into the world (Romans 5:12) and it passed on to all generations in each man (Romans 5:19), all became as children of anger (Ephesians 2:3) and the retribution for sin is waiting for everybody, which is death (Romans 6:23).
Sin divided man from God (Isaiah 59:2). By breaking the commandment of God, man fell, separated from God and came to do evil. Man is not in a condition to independently go back to the way of righteousness, since his intellect and conscience are defiled (Titus 1:15) and by nature he is the child of anger.
God loves man and does not want his destruction. He sent into the world His only-begotten Son in human flesh (Hebrews 10:5), so that His blood shed on Golgotha�s cross would accomplish the redemption for all people (Ephesians 1:7, Revelations 5:9). Jesus Christ satisfied the demand of God�s holiness (Romans 3:25-26) and now salvation by grace is offered to all people (Acts 28:28, II Peter 3:9, Romans 3:24, Titus 2:11).
In order to receive salvation, it is necessary to have faith, which takes place by hearing God�s Word (Acts 4:4, Romans 10:17, Hebrews11:6). God gives salvation to one who accepts His Word and repents from sins under the action of the Holy Spirit (Luke 7:29-39, Mark 1:15, John 3:16, Acts 2:38,41, 16:31, 26:18, Ephesians 2:8).
Faith induces a man to trust the Lord and be obedient to Him (Matthew 4:18-20, Luke 8:38-40, Acts 19:18-20, II Timothy 1:12, Hebrews 11:8). The confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is confirmation of true faith (Matthew 10:32-33, Luke 12:8-9, John 20:28, Acts 8:37, Romans 10:9-10, II Corinthians 4:13). The evidence of true faith are the works of faith (James 2:26, Gal. 5:6, Hebrews chapter 11). �Even so faith, if it hath not works is dead, being alone.� (James 2:17)
Repentance, Conversion, Forgiveness and Revival
The Holy Spirit reveals a man in sin and opens him to the goodness of God, motivates him to repent and convert to God (John 16:8, Acts 2:31-38, Romans 2:4). Repentance and conversion include in themselves the contrition about sins (Psalm 38:19, II Corinthians 7:10), confession of sins and leaving them behind (Proverbs 28:13, Luke 18:13-14, Acts 19:18-19, 26:20).
The consequence of conversion and personally receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is the forgiveness for sins (Acts 10:42-43, I John 1:9, Colossians 1:13-14), the birth from the Holy Spirit, and God�s Word, without which it is impossible to be saved and to come into God�s kingdom (John 1:12-13, 3:5-6, James 1:18).
Through the birth from above, man becomes a child of God, a partaker of God�s nature and a temple of the Holy Spirit (II Peter 1:4, I Corinthians 6:19, Hebrews 2:14).
Indicators of the birth from above:
- Change from a way of life (II Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 4:22, 5:8, Romans 6:16-17).
- Rejection of profane and worldly lusts, hatred of evil (Psalm 97:10, James 1:21, II Peter 1:4, Ephesians 4:22-24, Titus 2:12).
- Fulfillment of the will of God (Psalm 143:10, Ephesians 6:6).
- Love toward the Lord and the Church (John 13:34, I John 3:14, 5:1, I Corinthians 16:14, Galatians 5:13, Ephesians 4:15).
- Thirst for fellowship with God through the Bible and prayer (Psalm 55:18, 63:2, 119:10, Acts 17:11).
- Aspiration for the likeness of Jesus (Philippians 2: 13-15, II Corinthians 3:18, Galatians 4:19).
Justification and Adoption
By faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, men are born from above, receiving justification for free, by His grace, by redemption in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:24, Galatians 2:16). By faith, they find peace with God (Romans 5:1), and receive the evidence from the Holy Spirit, that they are children of God and legatees of eternal life (I John 5:10-11, Romans 8:16-17, Galatians 4:6-7).
Justification changes the condition of the man who came to believe before God: he is saved from the anger of God (Romans 5:9), and is freed from eternal blame (Romans 4:5, 5:1, 8:1, 30). The one, who came to believe, becomes free from guilt for past sins and from fear of judgment for them (Romans 3:24-25, 28, 5:9, II Corinthians 5:21, Galatians 2:16). God adopts these atoned and justified ones and they become the legatees of the Kingdom of God (Romans 8:16-18, Galatians 3:26, 4:4-5, Ephesians 1:4-7).
Sanctification is the will of God for all redeemed people: �For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness� (I Thessalonians 4:3-8). Without holiness nobody can see God (I Thessalonians 4:3-7, Hebrews 12:14).
Sanctification is separating from sin (I Peter 2:9, Titus 2:14), dedicating yourself to God and transforming in the image of Jesus Christ (I John 3:23, Romans 6:2,6,8,12-13,12:1-2, II Corinthians 5:15, Philippians 2:5,15, I Thessalonians 3:13).
Sanctification is carried out by God (I Thessalonians 5:23) with the participation of the believer himself. God operates through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:11-12, I Corinthians 1:30, Ephesians 5:27, I Thessalonians 5:23, Hebrews 10:10), through His Word (John 5:27) and the Holy Spirit living in us (I Corinthians 6:19-20).
Out of man�s participation are attributed:
- Blame, confession of your sins and the realization of need in the forgiving grace of God (I John 1:7-9, I Corinthians 11:31, II Corinthians 7:1, Hebrews 4:16).
- Faith in cleaning by the blood of Christ (Hebrews 10:19-22).
- Investigation and acceptance of the Word of God with the desire to obey it (John 5:39, Acts 17:11, James 1:21, I Peter 2:1-2, I Timothy 1:13, 3:15-16).
- Holy walking before God under the influence of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14, 12:1-2, Revelation 22:11).
- Trust to the Lord in all circumstances of life (Jude 24-25, II Timothy 1:12).
ABOUT THE CHURCH
We believe that Jesus Christ created the Church (Matthew 16:18). She is maintained on the foundation of the teaching of the Apostles and prophets and has Jesus Christ as the foundation stone (I Corinthians 3:11, Ephesians 2:20, Colossians 1:18).
Members of the Church are baptized by the same Spirit (I Corinthians 12:13), represent each other as members and constitute one body (Romans 12:5, I Corinthians 12:14), which constitute and aggregate by means of any mutually fastened ties. Jesus Christ is the head of this body (Ephesians 1:22, 4:15-16). This spiritual relationship attracts the saints to union, and that is why Christians, who live in the same locality, join a local church (Acts 11:22, 13:1, I Corinthians 1:1).
Local churches constituting the united body of the Lord join between themselves in multi -various ties. The Lord perceived this for the participation in the needs of the saints (Acts 11:27-30, I John 3:17, Romans 15:25-27, II Corinthians 8:14-15, 9:12-14), for the combined solution of spiritual questions (Acts 15:1-2, 4-29).
Ties between churches become stronger, when church union servants take care about local communities of believers, who received grace from God for that work and the trust from the churches (II Corinthians 11:28, Colossians 4:7-8, Philippians 2:19-25). The goal of their service is the joint acting for faith, �once delivered to the saints� (Jude 3, Philippians 1:27-29), the building of local churches (I Timothy 3:14-15, 5:17-22, Titus 1:5) and spreading of the Good News about the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (Acts 16:1-3, 20:4, Romans 16:3-4).
From the day of Pentecost, there exists the universal (invisible) church, created by Jesus Christ, in which is included local churches (Acts 2:41-47, Ephesians 1:20-23.