What We Believe
The following outlines the position of TIF on biblical doctrines. We welcome all to worship with us while recognizing that some might not agree on all points of our doctrine or how we practice certain aspects of our faith.
We hold to this principle, “In essentials unity, in non-essentials diversity, in all things, charity (or love).” We must agree on the essentials in order to have unity, and we allow for diversity in non-essentials. This document holds those things which TIF believes are essential to the Christian faith.
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21; Mark 13:31; John 8:31,32; John 20:31; Acts 20:32)
The Trinity (God the Father, God the Son & God the Holy Spirit
We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three person; that these are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption. (Genesis 1:1,26; John 1:1,3; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; Romans 1:19,20; Ephesians 4:5,6)
- God the Father
We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He infallibly foreknows all that shall come to pass, that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. (Luke 10:21,22; Matthew 23:9; John 3:16; 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:1,2 & 2:5,6; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 1:6)
- God the Son, Jesus Christ
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal visible return to earth. (Matthew 1:18–25; Luke 1:26–38; John 1:1, 20:28; Romans 9:5, 8:32; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:21–23; John 20:30, 31; Matthew 20:28; Ephesians 1:4; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6–8 & 6:9,10; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:28; I Timothy 3:16)
- God the Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that He is an abiding helper, teacher and guide. (John 14:16,17,26 & 15:26,27; John 16:9–14; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19; Galatians 5:22–26)
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that through Adam’s sin, the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God. Man has a radical propensity to sin, and of himself is utterly unable to remedy his lost condition. We also believe that humanity is created in the image of God (imago dei), and thus has intrinsic value. This is seen in the reality of Jesus Christ’s incarnation, becoming a man, and his willingness to die for humanity. (Gen. 1:26, 27; Rom. 3:22, 23, 5:12; Eph. 2:1-3, 12).
We believe that man was created by God in His own image; that man sinned and thereby incurred physical, spiritual and eternal death, which is separation from God; that as a consequence, all human beings are born with a sinful nature and are sinners by choice and therefore under condemnation. We believe that those who repent and forsake sin and trust Jesus Christ as Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and become new creatures, delivered from condemnation and receive eternal life.(Genesis 1:26, 5:2; Genesis 3; Genesis 2:17, 3:19; Ecclesiastes 2:11; John 3:14, 5:24; John 5:30, 7:13, 8:12, 10:26; Romans 9:22; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 19:3,20, 20:10,14 & 15, 21:18; Psalm 51:7; Jeremiah 17:9; James 1:14; Romans 3:19, 5:19; Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9; John 3:16, John 1:13; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:1)
We believe that salvation is that gracious act of God, where, through the atoning blood (death) of Christ He redeems and reconciles certain individuals to himself. It is a process by which God elects, calls, regenerates, and imputes to sinners the righteousness of Christ. (Eph. 1:4-11, II Thessalonians 2:13, John 6:37-39, John 1:13, Romans 10:17, I John 2:29, 1 Peter 3:18, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Colossians 2:14, Romans 4:6)
Salvation is not on the basis of merit or works, rather it is given to sinners through the gracious gift of faith in the life, death, resurrection, and lordship of Jesus. Upon expressing faith in Jesus Christ, believers repent from their sin and submit their lives entirely to God. (John 1:12, 3:3; Rom. 3:24; Rom. 8:15, 23; Gal. 4:4-7; 2:8-10; Col. 1:14; Heb. 9:15; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 2 Peter 1:4, Romans 10:9-10, Hebrews 11:6, I Corinthians 15:3-5, Acts 2:36-38, Acts 20:21, John 3:36, I Thessalonians 1:9)
We believe that in choosing to save people, especially people from all nations, God glorifies Himself in the greatest way possible. (Romans 9:22-24; Ephesians 1:11-14, 2:7)
Sanctification, Eternal Security, and Assurance of Believers
We believe that as God’s desire is to transform believers so that they come to bear the likeness of Christ. This happens to small degree before in this life, and then is completed when a believer is reunited with Christ. (Ephesians 4:30; Philippians 1:6, Acts 20:32; 2 Corinthians 3:18, I John 3:2)
- Security and Assurance
We believe that all the redeemed are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37-40, 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1, 38, 39; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; 1 Pet. 1:5). We believe it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s word, which clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh (Rom. 13:13, 14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11-15). We believe that the saved person is in the process of being conformed to the image of Christ, and will bear fruit in their life before they die.
The Ministry and Spiritual Gifts
We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowing of spiritual gifts. It is, however, the believer’s responsibility to attempt to develop their sovereignly given spiritual gift(s). The baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs at conversion and is the placing of the believer into the Body of Christ. We also believe that particular spiritual gift(s) are neither essential (proving the presence of the Holy Spirit), nor an indication of a deep spiritual experience (1 Cor. 12:7, 11, 13; Eph. 4:7-8). We believe that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith, in accordance with His own will, for the sick and afflicted (John 15:7; 1 John 5:14, 15). We believe it is the privilege and responsibility of every believer to minister according to the gift(s) and grace of God given to him (Rom. 12:1-8; 2 Cor. 13; 1 Pet. 4:10-11).
We believe that the church, which is the body and espoused bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all born-again persons of this present age (Eph. 1:22, 23, 5:25-27; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor 11:2). We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament scriptures (Acts 14:27, 18:22, 20:17, 1 Tim. 3:1-3; Titus 1:5-11). We believe in the autonomy of the local churches, that they are to be free of any external authority and control (Acts 13:1-4, 15:19-31, 20:28; Rom. 16:1, 4; 1 Cor. 3:9, 16, 5:4-7, 13; 1 Pet. 5:1-4). We recognize believers’ baptisms and the Lord’s Supper as scriptural means of testimony for the church in this age (Matt. 28:19, 20; Acts 2:41, 42, 18:8; 2 Cor. 11:23-26). We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world. (Ephesians 2:19–22; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 5:19–21; Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:23–25)
The Second Return of Christ
We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgement, the eternal delight of the righteous and the endless suffering of the wicked. (Matthew 16:27; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; 2 Timothy 4:1; Titus 2:13; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Thessalonians 1:7–10; Revelation 20:4–6,11–15)
We believe that a Christian should live for the glory of God and the well-being of his fellow men; that his conduct should be blameless before the world; that he should be a faithful steward of his possessions; and that he should seek to realize for himself and others the full stature of maturity in Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:31; Romans 12:1–3; Hebrews 12:1–2; John 14:15,23-24; 1 John 2:3-6; 2 Corinthians 9:6–9; 1 Corinthians 4:2; Colossians 1:9–10)
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of the believer in water into the name of the triune God. We believe that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ for commemoration of His death. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Matthew 28:18–20; Romans 6:3–5; 1 Corinthians 11:23–26)
Marriage, Family, and Singleness
- The family
We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society; that it is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.
- Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in an exclusive, lifetime, covenant commitment that reflects the relationship between Christ and His Church. God has ordained marriage to be the only Biblical and righteous means of sexual expression; that marriage is God’s ordained context for procreation; and that marriage and its sexual expression are temporary gifts pointing to the fuller joy of our eternal union with Christ and the Church. (Genesis 2:19-24, Ephesians 5:30-32, Hebrews 13:4, Ephesians 5:22-33)
Likewise, singleness is also a gift, which offers spiritual and societal good, and remains godly through chastity. Therefore, singleness unto Christ is to be commended and praised during the present age.
(Matthew 19:12; I Cor 7:1, 7-8, 32-35)
We believe that children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and inheritance from the Lord. Parents are to patiently lead their children in the ways of Christ by intentional instruction, gracious discipline, and consistent example based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents for the glory of God and their ultimate good. (Gen. 1:26-27; 2:15-25; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Psalm 139:13-16; 1 Cor. 11:2-16; Eph. 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Col. 3:18-19; I Tim. 2:11-15)