L3 Ministries Statement of Faith
Article I—The Scriptures
We believe that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Tim. 3:16) by which we understand that men “were directed by the Holy Spirit” to write the very words of Scripture (2 Pet.1:21). We believe that this divine inspiration extends equally and fully to all parts of the writings—historical, poetical, doctrinal, and prophetical. We believe that the whole Bible in the original text is inspired and therefore without error, and that all Scriptures were designed for our practical instruction to equip us for every good work (2 Tim. 3:17). As the sure word of God, the Bible is our supreme and final authority in all matters of faith and life. (Ezra 7:10; Mark 12:26, 36; 13:11; Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Acts 1:16; 17:2–3; 18:28; 26:22–23; 28:23; Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 2:13; 10:11; 2 Tim 2:2; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 4:12; 2 Pet. 1:21)
Article II—The Godhead
We believe that God has existed eternally as one essence and three persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Within the Trinity there exists unity in nature, diversity in function, and community in purpose. We believe that Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, while retaining the fullness of His Divine nature took on human nature and human form in order to deliver man from the curse of sin – see Article III. (Matt. 28:18–19; Mark 12:29; John 1:1, 14; Acts 5:3–4; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 2 Cor. 13:14; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:13-17; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:1–3; 2 Pet. 1:1; Rev. 1:4–6)
Article III—Creation (Angels, Man, and the Physical World)
We believe that all things were created by God (Gen. 1:1) out of nothing (Rom. 4:17), and all things exist for Him and through Him (1 Cor. 8:6). Within His creation, God established two groups of personal beings, angels and humans, both of which in their initial states were innocent and sinless until their respective falls; mankind and the fallen angels, through their own free choice and disobedience, became separated from God. We believe that those angels who remained obedient continue their role in serving God and serving man. (Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:11-19; Luke 15:10; Eph. 1:21; 1 Tim. 3:6; Heb. 1:14; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6; Rev. 7:1-3, 11-12)
We believe that man—male and female—is the special creation of God, made in the image and after the likeness of God. Man fell through sin, and as a consequence of his sin, incurred spiritual and physical death, separating himself from the life and fellowship found only in God. Through man’s fall, the rest of creation was subjected to the curse of sin. (Gen. 1:26; 2:17; 6:5; Ps. 14:1–3; 51:5; Eccl. 7:29; Jer. 17:9; John 3:6; 5:40; 6:35; Rom. 3:10–19; 8:6–7; Eph. 2:1–3; 1 John 3:8)
Article IV—God’s Work in History
We believe that from the beginning and throughout history man’s relationship and fellowship with God has been through faith. In each stage of history God has given man opportunities to believe in Him resulting in life. God’s plan for faith has included the nation of Israel, the Church (known as the body of Christ), and all other peoples, nations, and groups, preserving the promises guaranteed to each of these. We believe that according to the “eternal purpose” of God salvation has been always “by grace through faith.” (Eph. 3:2; 3:9; 3:11; Col. 1:25; 1 Tim. 1:4, Heb. 11:1-2)
Salvation has been accomplished solely through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ who took on the likeness of sinful flesh (Rom. 8:3), existing as both fully God and fully man (the God-man) for the purpose of reconciling man to God. Salvation is freely offered to all men; those who receive the free gift of eternal life pass from death into life and stand righteous in Christ before God. This salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone; there are no other works or requirements that can be added to faith as a condition for receiving eternal life. (John 1:12; 3:14-18, 36; 5:24;6:29; 14:6; 17:13; 20:31; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; Gal. 3:22; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:4-7; 1 John 5:11-12)
Aspects of Salvation:
Justification means having been declared righteous by God. Justification occurs when one believes in Jesus Christ for eternal life. Having been declared righteous (through the work of Christ), the believer is free from the penalty of sin, has been eternally reconciled to God, and is guaranteed the privilege of spending eternity with God. (Rom. 3:21-26; 4:5; 5:1; 2 Cor. 5:21)
Sanctification is a progressive process whereby the believer seeks to grow in the grace and knowledge of their Lord Jesus Christ, and live free from the power of sin in this earthly life by yielding to the empowerment of the indwelling Holy Spirit. (Rom. 6:11-14; 8:12-13; 13:14; 2 Cor. 3:18; 7:1; Gal. 5:16, 24-25; Eph. 4:1, 22-24; Col. 2:6-7; 1 Pet. 1:14-16; 2 Pet. 3:17-18)
Glorification refers to the moment in which the believer is finally free from the presence of sin, having entered into the presence of God. An individual who is justified is guaranteed to be glorified. (Eph. 1:13-14, Rom. 8:17, 29-31)
Article VI—Eternal Security
Because of the nature of justification, salvation is a free gift based solely on the work of Jesus Christ; it can therefore neither be earned or lost through one’s works. There is nothing that anyone can do that can add to or subtract from the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Therefore, the one who believes in Jesus Christ for eternal life is guaranteed to spend eternity with God—everlasting life is life that lasts forever. (John 3:16; 5:24; 6:39-40; 10:27-30; 11:25-26; Rom. 8:29; 11:29; Phil.1:6; 1 Pet. 1:3-5; Jude 24).
Article VII—Final Resurrection and Judgments
We believe in the personal and imminent return of Jesus Christ, the bodily resurrection of all mankind, and the final judgments of both men and angels resulting in eternal life and eternal reward in the presence of God, or eternal separation and eternal punishment estranged from the presence of God. (Dan. 12:2; John 14:1–3; 1 Cor. 6:3, 15:51–52; Phil. 3:20; 1 Thess. 4:13–18; Titus 2:11–14; 2 Pet. 2:9; Jude 6; Rev. 20:11-15).
Article VIII—Eternal State
We believe that upon death the spirit of every believer enters into the presence of God, while the spirit of every unbeliever is separated from God forever. In the final state a believer’s spirit is reunited with his glorified, resurrected body in like fashion as the resurrected Christ. An unbeliever is reunited with his body to be cast away from the presence of God and from the glory of His power. (Dan. 12:2; Luke 16:19–26; 23:42; Acts 24:14-15; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 2 Thess. 1:7–9; Jude 6–7; Rev. 20:11–15).
Article IX—The Grace Distinction
We believe that gospel presentations must be biblically clear on the message of eternal life being a free gift of grace received solely upon believing in Jesus Christ. There are no works we must do to obtain God’s grace or to maintain God’s grace – it is freely given by God.
We believe that spiritual growth (sanctification) is distinct from justification. While continuous development toward spiritual maturity is God’s expectation for every believer, this growth is not necessarily manifested uniformly in every believer. We receive our justification through the gracious work of Christ and are encouraged to live graciously toward others in our sanctification. Disobedient believers, though they are eternally secure based on their justification in Christ, forfeit the grace of Christ in their earthly lives and face the potential loss of both earthly blessings and heavenly rewards. (John 3:14-18; Rom. 4:4-5, 13-14; 11:6; Gal. 2:16, 21; 3:3, 10-13, 21-22;5:4; Eph. 2:8-10; Titus 3:5).