I. The Doctrine of Scripture.
The 66 books of the Bible in the Old and New Testaments make up the complete Word of God. God the Holy Spirit moved the human authors of Scripture in such a way that they wrote the exact words that he wanted written down. The words in Scripture written by human authors are God’s very word. The Bible, inspired by God is completely without error. It is inerrant, infallible, and is the final rule and authority for life and faith and is sufficient to speak into all of life’s circumstances.
Acts 1:16; 2 Timothy 3:1-17; 2 Peter 1:3-21; 2 Peter 3:15-16
II. The Doctrine of God.
God is eternal, infinite and perfect in all that He does. One eternal God exists in three distinct fully divine persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is creator of all creation and all that exists. He made heaven and earth out of nothing. He perfectly exerts a complete and comprehensive sovereignty over all creation. He possesses exhaustive and perfect knowledge of all events past, present, and future. He is present everywhere at all times. He is infinitely good with no sin in any part of his being.
Genesis 1-3; Psalm 139:1-16; Isaiah 46:8-11; Acts 5:1-4; Romans 9:5 Ephesians 1:11
III. The Doctrine of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, the second member of the Trinity. He exists as one person with two distinct natures, fully divine, and fully human. He was born of a virgin. He lived his entire life on earth without sin or breaking the law of God, which allowed him to earn righteousness for his people. He suffered a violent brutal death on the cross to pay for the sins of his people. He miraculously rose from the grave on the third day as Lord of the church and Savior of his people. In his death he demonstrated victory over sin, death, and the devil. He ascended into heaven where he now reigns over all creation, and actively upholds and intercedes for his people as his bride, the church, awaits his glorious return.
Matthew 1:18-25; John 17:6; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Ephesians 1:21-23; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-15; Hebrews 4:14-15; 7:25
IV. The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the eternal third member of the Trinity. He is the person who convicts of sin and who indwells the Christian. He does the wrok of regenerating believers and empowers, teaches, trains, leads, them to live the Christian life, to understand the Scriptures, and to worship Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is essential to the change sought in a person being transformed. He also equips believers with gifts of service to do ministry in the church.
John 16:4-15; Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 12:12-30; Ephesians 1:13-18
V. The Doctrine of Divine Grace.
Salvation is thoroughly a work of divine grace from beginning to end. Before the foundation of the world the Father elected to save a people who would compose the church. Jesus Christ purchased the salvation of his people through his life, death, and resurrection. The Holy Spirit applies the work of Christ to all who believe, creating the gift of faith in their hearts, and he keeps them in that faith forever, allowing them to have an assurance of faith.
Romans 3:21-23; Ephesians 1:3-14; Ephesians 2:1-10; Philippians 1:6
VI. The Doctrine of Man.
God created man out of dust and breathed life into him so that he became a living person. Human beings are made in the image of God and were created by God to be the culminating point of creation. God made humans in two complementary genders of male and female and are equal in dignity and worth. God created the human person with a physical body and an immaterial soul, each possessing equal honor and essential to the thriving of humanity. The Bible says that the soul motivates the physical body to action. Only at death does the body separate from the physical body. Christians greatest hope is the restoration of body and soul in a glorified existence in the new heavens and new earth. Human creation is designed by God to be a dependent creature who is in need of divine counsel to serve God and to be conformed into the image of Christ.
Genesis 1:26-27; 2:7; Proverbs 4:23; Roman 8:29; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; Ephesians 5:22-33; 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:10
VII. The Doctrine of Sin.
God created mankind in a state of sinless perfection, but human creation fell from this perfect reality when Adam willfully chose to rebel against God and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Since human creation fell every human being has been born in sin and separated from God. Every characteristic and aspect of human nature is inherently corrupted by sin so that human creation stands in desperate need of the grace of God to be cleansed and redeemed from sin by the Holy Spirit through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Because of sin counseling is a ministry necessary for people seeking help to resolve problems caused by their own sin, the sin of others, and the consequences of sin in the world.
Genesis 3:1-7; Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:1-21; 5:12-21
VIII. The Doctrine of the Church.
The church is the bride of Christ. The church’s duty is to proclaim the Word of God, administer baptism and the Lord’s supper, and exercise church discipline. The church is the means through which God accomplishes his mission in the world. The church is the main agent for all ministry of the Word, including the ministry of counseling and discipleship.
Matthew 16:18-20; Matthew 18:15-20; Romans 15:14; 1 Peter 2:1-12; Revelation 19:6-10
IX. The Doctrine of Regeneration. Regeneration is the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit where he transforms the hardened heart of a sinner into the soft heart of a believer, who loves God and obeys his Word. It is what makes the new life in Christ possible. Regeneration, along with the God-given gifts of repentance and faith, is granted solely by grace, resulting in all the attendant evidences of our great salvation in Christ.
Ezekiel 36:25-27; Acts 20:21 John 3:1-9; Titus 3:4-6; James 1:18
X. The Doctrine of Justification.
Justification is the sovereign declaration of God that the righteousness of Jesus Christ has been imputed to those who have trusted in his sinless obedience and his work on the cross for their salvation. When God justifies a person, he no longer treats that person as a sinner but allows that person to possess the righteousness that Jesus Christ. The declaration of justification does not come through any past, present, or future merit in the sinner. Justification is based solely and exclusively on the grace of God, the merits of Christ and is received through faith alone.
Luke 18:9-14; Romans 4:1-12; Philippians 3:1-11
XI. The Doctrine of Sanctification.
Sanctification is a joint work between God and man. God supplies grace for Christians to grow in obedience to Christ. Christians are made holy in a definitive sense at conversion, but there still remains the necessary growth of holiness in every believer’s life by which the grace of God is supplied to every believer for that growth. This work of grace requires believers to utilize, by faith, the normal means of grace such as Bible reading, prayer, renewing the mind (cognitive changes), and fellowship in the context of the local church. Sanctification is progressive where Christians experience real progress in growing more like Christ, yet Christians will never find culmination of this work in this life. Counseling is the work and ministry of helping Christians to grow in the grace of sanctification.
Acts 26:17-18; Romans 6:1-14; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 3:1-17
XII. The Doctrine of Revelation. God discloses himself to humanity in two ways, special revelation and general revelation. Special revelation is God disclosing and revealing himself to his covenant community through the pages of Scripture. General revelation is God’s disclosure of himself to the entirety of all creation. General revelation and special revelation both come from God, equivalent in authority, though they different in content. Special revelation discloses detailed information about the character of God and the exclusive path to salvation and is found in God’s Word alone. General revelation discloses the beauty and power of God, which leads to
judgment. The subject matter of general revelation is the character of God, and not simply facts about God’s created order.
Psalm 19:1-6; Romans 1:18-23
XIII. The Doctrine of Common Grace.
God extends his goodness to all people by making provision for their physical needs and gives all people various gifts. This goodness, also known as common grace, is what grants unbelievers the ability to learn and understand facts in various disciplines (medicine, science, education) and is why believers can affirm that the information that unbelievers come to understand can be trustworthy and good for humanity. The chief manifestation of God’s grace is salvation of sinners through Christ’s life, death and resurrection to all who believe. Common grace cannot overcome the destructive effects of sin upon human thinking without this special, saving grace of Jesus. This reality guarantees that, though unbelievers can know many facts, they will misunderstand information that is most central to human life, which includes information about God, the human problem, and its solution in Christ.
Matthew 5:44-45; John 1:9; Romans 1:18-23; Colossians 1:21
XIV. The Doctrine of The Great Commission.
Jesus Christ commissioned his church to go into the world with the two-fold task of evangelism and discipleship. In giving this commission, Jesus requires his people to use their conversations to draw people to Christ in evangelism, and to build people up in Christ in discipleship. The Great Commission necessitates that all faithful counseling conversations must have Jesus Christ as their ultimate goal.
Matthew 28:16-20; Romans 10:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:11-21; Colossians 1:24-29
XV. The Doctrine of Last Things.
Jesus Christ will return for his church at a moment known only to God. At Jesus ‘coming, he will sit in judgment on the entirety of the human race. At the conclusion of this judgment, he will usher all humanity into the eternal state. All those who have spent their lives persisting in unbelief will go away into everlasting torment. The righteous in Christ will go away into everlasting joy in the presence of Jesus Christ. Christians can therefore have hope that all wrongs will be punished, that all righteous acts will be rewarded, and that God’s people will ultimately abide with him forever. The hope of the new creation is the foundation of all counseling.
Matthew 25:31-46; Romans 2:6-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 21