At Antioch, we teach the Bible - all of it - because we believe every word is "God-breathed and useful for teaching..." (2 Timothy 3:16).
We affirm that there are non-negotiable truths in the Bible that make up the essentials of Christianity (see Our Beliefs). We also affirm that there are distinctive teachings in the Bible that, though they are not critical to salvation, they are important and edifying to the life of a believer. What We Teach at Antioch is reflective of what our leadership believe the Bible teaches. While it is not essential to personally affirm What We Teach at Antioch in order to be part of our body, it is important to maintain a spirit of unity with one another in Christ.
The Holy Scriptures
“All Scripture is breathed out by God” [given by divine inspiration] (2 Timothy 3:16). We believe this means holy men of God were “carried along by the Holy Spirit” to write the very words of God through their individual personalities and different writing styles (2 Peter 1:20-21; 1 Peter 1:11). This divine inspiration extends fully and equally across all 66 books so the Bible is perfect, pure, true and final. We believe it to be without error in the original manuscripts. (Psalms 12:6; 19:7; 119:89, 140, 142, 151, 161; Proverbs 30:5; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Revelation 21:5).
From beginning to end, the Bible’s primary subject is Jesus Christ and God’s glory is its purpose. It was given to believers for their good. (Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Isaiah 42:21; John 17:17)
All Scripture is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Scripture is sufficient, providing everything believers need to know God and walk faithfully with Him (2 Peter 1:3). Therefore, it is the responsibility of believers, enabled by the Holy Spirit and with careful, prayerful study, to diligently seek the one true interpretation of every passage of Scripture, recognizing that proper application is binding on all generations. The truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of it. (1 Corinthians 2:7-15; Romans 11:23-26; 15:4)
In regard to interpretation, the Bible should be understood plainly and literally unless there is reason in a given passage to believe that it was intended to be taken otherwise (e.g., figures of speech, prophetic language, etc.). Scripture is the best interpreter of Scripture, so difficult passages should be interpreted in light of clearer ones and the never-changing attributes of God. (Acts 17:10-11; 2 Peter 3:14-18)
There is one living, true and holy God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 6:2-3; 45:5-7; 1 Corinthians 8:4). He is an infinite, all knowing Spirit (John 4:24), perfect in all His attributes. God is One in essence, yet eternally existing in three Persons (Trinity)—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14)—each equally deserving of worship and obedience.
God the Father. He is the first Person of the Trinity, does all things according to His will and purpose, and for His glory (Psalm 145:8-9; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Isaiah 45:5-7; Ephesians 1:11).
He is the Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1-31; Ephesians 3:9). As the only all-powerful (omnipotent) Ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation. He governs all things to accomplish His will (providence), including His perfect plan for redemption (Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:36; Colossians 1:13; Ephesians 1:9-10).
His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. He is Creator to all men (Genesis 1:27), but He is Father to believers (Romans 8:14-15; 2 Corinthians 6:18).
In His sovereignty, He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events (1 Chronicles 29:11; Job 38:41; Isaiah 46:9-11). He is neither author nor approver of sin (Habakkuk 1:13; John 8:38-47), nor does He tempt anyone (James 1:13). He holds mankind accountable for their choices (1 Peter 1:17; Romans 14:10, 12).
He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would adopt as His own (Ephesians 1:4-6). He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ and, upon adoption, becomes their Father (John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:4-5; Hebrews 12:5-9).
God the Son. Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine attributes and in these He is coequal, consubstantial (same essence) and coeternal with the Father (John 10:30; 14:9).
God the Father created all things according to His own will, through His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things are sustained (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2).
In the incarnation (God becoming man) Christ accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God Man (Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9). We teach that Jesus Christ represents humanity and deity in indivisible oneness (fully man and fully God) (John 5:23; 14:9-10; Colossians 2:9; Phil 2:5-8)).
Jesus Christ was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23, 25; Luke 1:26-35); and His purpose was to reveal God, redeem men, and rule over God's kingdom (Isaiah 9:6; John 1:29; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 7:25-27; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross. His death was voluntary, substitutionary, propitiatory (appeased God’s wrath), and redemptive (John 10:15-18; Romans 3:24-25; 5:8; 1 Peter 2:24).
Man’s justification is made sure by Jesus’ literal, bodily resurrection from the dead. He has ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now mediates and intercedes as our Advocate and High Priest (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:38-39; Acts 2:30-31; Romans 4:25; 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1).
With Christ’s resurrection, God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that He has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Jesus' bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers (John 5:26-29; 14:19; Romans 1:4; 4:25; 6:5-10; 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23).
He is the Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5), the Head of His Body the church (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23; Colossians 1:18), and the coming universal King who will reign on the throne of David (Isaiah 9:6-7; Luke 1:31-33). As such, He is the one through whom God will judge all mankind (John 5:22-23). On the basis of the death of Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from the guilt, penalty, power and one day the very presence of sin. The believer is declared righteous, given eternal life and adopted into the family of God (Romans 3:25; 5:8 9; 2 Corinthians 5:14 15; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18).
God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, possesses all the attributes of personality and deity including intellect (1 Corinthians 2:10-13), emotions (Ephesians 4:30), will (1 Corinthians 12:11), eternality (Hebrews 9:14), omnipresence (everywhere at once, Psalm 139:7-10), omniscience (all knowing, Isaiah 40:13-14), omnipotence (all powerful, Job 42:2), and truthfulness (John 16:13). He is coequal, consubstantial (same essence) and coeternal with the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; and Hebrews 10:15-17).
It is the work of the Holy Spirit to execute God’s will with relation to all mankind. We recognize His sovereign activity in creation (Genesis 1:2), the incarnation (Matthew 1:18), the written revelation (the Bible, 2 Peter 1:20-21), and the work of salvation (John 3:5-7).
At Pentecost the Holy Spirit came from the Father, as promised by Christ (John 14:16-17; 15:26), to initiate and complete the building of the Body of Christ, which is the church (1 Corinthians 12:13). The broad scope of His divine activity includes convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment; glorifying Jesus Christ and transforming believers into the image of Christ (John 16:7-8; Acts 1:5; 2:4; Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 2:22).
The Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration (born again), baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals (guarantees) them unto the day of redemption (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13-14; Galatians 5:16-18; 22-26; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22).
The Holy Spirit is the divine Teacher, who guided the apostles and prophets into all truth as they committed to writing God's revelation, the Bible (2 Tim 3:16). Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation (justification), and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be controlled by the Spirit (filled with the Spirit for progressive sanctification ( John 16:13; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 1 John 2:27).
The Holy Spirit is sovereign in the ministry of all spiritual gifts to the church for the perfecting of the saints today. The Holy Spirit glorifies neither Himself nor His gifts by showy or brash displays, but He does glorify Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers (John 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians 3:18).
In the Beginning. Man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. Man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, will, self determination, and moral responsibility to God (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:15-25; James 3:9).
Man’s purpose is to glorify God, enjoy God's fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and by this accomplish God's purpose for man in the world (Isaiah 43:7; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11).
The Fall and Its Consequences. In Adam's sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, man lost his innocence. Man incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical (bodily) death; became subject to the wrath of God; and became inherently corrupt and unable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. With no power to save himself, man is hopelessly lost. Man's salvation is by God's grace alone through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-19; John 3:36; Romans 3:23-24; 6:23; 8:7-8 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1-5; 1 John 1:8).
Because all men descended from Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam's sin is inherited by all men of all ages, Jesus Christ being the only exception. Therefore, all men are sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (Psalm 14:1-3; 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18, 23; 5:10-12).
Distinct Roles of Men and Women. In His own image, God created men and women equal in dignity, value, essence and human nature but distinct in roles. Man was given the role and responsibility of authority over the woman and the woman was to be a help mate who complements the man in a submissive role (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:18-25; 3:16; 1 Corinthians 11:1-16; Galatians 3:28; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; 1 Peter 3:1-7).
The curse of Adam and Eve’s sin caused enmity in the relationship between man and woman. The woman’s desire is to seize the authority given to man. Man struggles with being in authority and abuses and/or neglects the responsibility (Genesis 3:16).
In Christ, the roles are restored such that the husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church, provide leadership and exercise authority at home and in the church. Wives are to submit to their husbands as the Church submits to Christ. Women are not to exercise authoritative roles (church leadership) of teaching men in the Church (Ephesians 5:22-25; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; Titus 2:3-5).
Salvation is by God’s grace alone on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works (John 1:12-13; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
God Chooses and Man’s Responsibility. God chose in Christ, before the foundation of the world, those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:4-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:1-2).
God’s choosing does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord. Man is commanded to believe to be saved (Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11; John 3:16-19, 36; 5:40; Romans 9:20-23; 10:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; Revelation 22:17).
Grace includes both the gift of salvation and the Holy Spirit enabled ability to receive it. All whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith and all who come in faith the Father will receive (John 6:37-40, 44; Acts 13:48; James 4:8; Ephesians 2:8-9).
The unmerited favor that God grants sinners is not related to any initiative of their own nor to God's anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely by His grace and mercy (Ephesians 1:4-7; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Peter 1:2; Romans 9:10-13).
In choosing God is truly sovereign. He exercises this sovereignty in harmony with His other attributes, especially His omniscience, justice, holiness, wisdom, grace, and love (Romans 9:11-16). This sovereignty will always exalt the will of God in a manner totally consistent with His character as revealed in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:25-28; 2 Timothy 1:8-9).
Born Again (Regeneration). This is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (John 3:3-8; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:3). It is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the means of the Word of God (Romans 10:17; John 5:24) when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to God’s provision of salvation. Genuine regeneration is manifested by repentance and demonstrated by righteous attitudes, conduct and good works (Ephesians 2:10; Gal 5:22-23).
Justification (Just as if I never sinned and always obeyed). Justification before God is an act of God (Romans 8:33) by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Isaiah 55:6-7) and confess Him as Lord (Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 12:3). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Romans 3:20; 4:6) and involves the imputation (charging to one’s account) of our sins to Christ (Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24) and the imputation of Christ's righteousness to us (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21). By this means, God is enabled to "be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus" (Romans 3:26; 8:1).
Sanctification (Set apart, made holy). When born again, every believer is sanctified which means to be pure from sin and set apart for His sacred purpose of glorifying Himself because it is written “you shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). We teach three aspects of sanctification:
First, positional sanctification - Upon salvation we as believers are set apart (seen as holy) unto God because we have been justified. God made us right based solely on what Christ did on the cross. God sees us as pure and holy because Christ gave us His righteousness. He took our past, present, and future sins to the cross along with all the punishment we deserve. He died to sin once for all (Rom6:10). Scripture teaches that we are indeed new creations in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). We didn’t simply add a new dimension to ourselves when we became Christians, we literally became something totally new. Our new position is based on the finished work of Christ and absolutely nothing else, e.g. works, circumstances or emotions.
Second, progressive sanctification - This aspect of sanctification is our act of obedience, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to what Scripture commands us to do out of love and gratitude for what Christ has done. We want to be obedient because we are saved and as new creations we hate our sin, love righteousness, and want to present ourselves as ‘living sacrifices’ (Rom 12:1). As we mature in our faith, we understand and see that God uses life in a progressive manner to make us more like Christ – in fact He says in Phil 1:6 “that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” This verse connects the second and third aspects of sanctification.
Third, glorification – This is the final aspect of sanctification when at Christ’s second coming we are with Jesus and like Him in that we are completely sinless and in our new redeemed bodies. (1 Cor. 15:35-54; Phil 1:6, 3:20-21; 1 John 3:1-3; Rom 8:29-30; and Jude 24-25). This is when we are physically dead as we know it but alive in Christ in our glorified (perfect) and new bodies that we’ll keep for eternity!
Security. All true believers are kept by God's power and are thus secure/sealed in Christ forever. Believers are given the Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of our inheritance (Matthew 7:21-23; John 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 5:9-10; 8:1, 31-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; Hebrews 13:5; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24).
Believers can rejoice in the assurance of their salvation, however, Scripture clearly forbids the use of this assurance as the license to sin (Romans 6:15-22; 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13, 25-26; Titus 2:11-14).
Separation. Believers should be separated unto Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12) and affirm that the Christian life is a life of obedient righteousness that reflects the teaching of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:2-12) and a continual pursuit of holiness (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14; Titus 2:11-14; 1 John 3:1-10).
Separation from all worldly (false) religious teaching and sinful practices is commanded of us by God throughout Scripture (Romans 12:1-2, 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11). In the last days Scripture also says that false teaching and worldliness will increase (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Purpose. The purpose of the church is to glorify God (Ephesians 3:21) by building itself up in the faith (Ephesians 4:11-16), by instruction of the Word (2 Timothy 2:2,15; 3:16,17), by fellowship (Acts 2:47; 1 John 1:3), by keeping baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:19-20; Acts 2:38-42) and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8).
The formation of the church, the Body of Christ, began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21, 38-47) and will be completed at the coming of Christ for His own (1 Corinthians 15:51,52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
Membership of the Body. All who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual Body, the church (1 Corinthians 12:12-13), the bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:23-32; Revelation 19:7-8), of which Christ is the Head (Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; Colossians 1:18).
The church is a unique spiritual organism designed by Christ, made up of all born again believers (Ephesians 2:11-3:6). The church is distinct from Israel (1 Corinthians 10:32), a mystery not revealed until the Church age (Ephesians 3:1-6; 5:32).
Important aspects of the church are discipleship (Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Timothy 2:2), mutual accountability of all believers to one another (Matthew 18:15-17), as well as the need to correct unrepentant sinning members of the congregation in accordance with Scripture (Matthew 18:15-22; Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; 1 Timothy 1:19,20; Titus 1:10-16).
Leadership. The one supreme authority for the church is Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18). Church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Scriptures. The biblically designated leaders serving under Christ and over the assembly are elders (men; also called pastors, overseers and shepherds; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11) and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5). The elders have Christ’s authority in directing the church. The congregation is to submit to their leadership (Hebrews 13:7,17).
The establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:23,27; 20:17,28; Galatians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1) and the members of the one spiritual Body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (1 Corinthians 11:18-20; Hebrews 10:25).
The autonomy of the local church, free from any external denominational authority or control, with the right of self government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations (Titus 1:5) is found in God’s Word. Like-minded churches cooperate with each other for the presentation and advancement of the Gospel. Each local church, through its elders and their interpretation and application of Scripture, should be the sole judge of the measure and method of cooperation. The elders should determine all other matters of membership, policy, discipline, charity, and government as well (Acts 15:19-31; 20:28; 1 Corinthians 5:4-7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
Gifts to minister. All saints are called to the work of service (1 Corinthians 15:58; Ephesians 4:12; Revelation 22:12).
The church is to cooperate with God as He accomplishes His purpose in the world. To that end, He gives the church spiritual gifts (Ephesians 4:7-16). First, He gives a gift of ‘called men’ consisting of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers whose purpose is to equip other saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11). Second, He gives to each member of the Body of Christ unique and special spiritual abilities to minister and serve (Romans 12:5-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-31; 1 Peter 4:10,11; Ephesians 2:10).
Scripture is now the sole test of the authenticity of a man’s messages as there is no new revelation (Hebrews 1:1, 2; 2:1-4; John 17:17-20; 2 Timothy 3:15-17). The only gifts known to be in operation today are the equipping gifts given for edifying (building up) the church (Romans 12:6-8). While God continues to perform miracles there is no evidence of Him giving an individual the on-going ability to heal or speak in tongues today.
Ordinances. Two ordinances (official decrees) have been committed to the local church: baptism and the Lord's Supper (Acts 2:38-42).
Christian baptism by immersion (Acts 8:36-39) is the solemn and beautiful testimony of a believer publicly proclaiming his faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and his union with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life (Romans 6:1-11). It is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible Body of Christ (Acts 2:41,42). (see more about Baptism)
The Lord's Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes, and should always be preceded by solemn self examination (1 Corinthians 11:23-32). The elements of communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ. The Lord's Supper is nevertheless an actual communion with the risen Christ who is present in a unique way, fellowshipping with His people (1 Corinthians 10:16). (See the ACC paper on “The Lord’s Supper” of Dec 2014 for more details)
Holy Angels. Angels are created beings and are therefore not to be worshiped. Although they are a higher order of creation than man, they are created to serve God, to worship Him, and to minister to believers (Luke 2:9-14; Hebrews 1:6-7, 14; 2:6-7; Revelation 5:11-14; 19:9-10; 22:8-9).
Fallen Angels. Satan is a created angel and the author of sin. He incurred the judgment of God by rebelling against his Creator (Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:14-18; Luke 10:18), by taking numerous angels with him in his fall (Matthew 25:41; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Revelation 12:1-14), and by introducing sin into the human race by his temptation of Eve (Genesis 3:1-15).
Satan is the open and declared enemy of God and man (Isaiah 14:13-14; Matthew 4:1-11; Revelation 12:9-10); the prince of this world, who has been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 16:20; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4); and he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire (Isaiah 14:15; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).
At death there is a separation of the soul and physical body (Philippians 1:21-24). People do not lose their consciousness at death (Revelation 6:9 11).
At death the souls of believers are immediately and forever in the presence of Christ (Luke 23:43; Philippians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:8). At the first resurrection the souls and resurrected spiritual bodies will be reunited to be glorified forever with our Lord and enjoy eternal life (Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:35-44, 50-54; John 6:39; Romans 8:10-11, 19-23; 2 Corinthians 4:14).
At death the souls of the unbelievers remain condemned until the second resurrection (Luke 16:19-26; Revelation 20:13-15), when the soul and the resurrected spiritual body will be united (John 5:28-29). They shall then appear at the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20:11-15) and shall be cast into hell, the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41-46), cut off from God forever (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:41-46; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9), and under judgment and everlasting punishment (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; Revelation 20:13-15).