and in practice we are conservative evangelicals of Arminian-Wesleyan persuasion.
The following paragraphs summarize the major points of our doctrinal position.
There is but one living and true God (Deut. 4:35; I Cor. 8:4; II Sam.
7:22; I Kings 8:23, 60; Isa. 43:10, 11; Mark 12:32; John 17:3; Eph. 4:6; I Tim.
2:5); everlasting (Gen. 21:33; Rom. 16:26;) without body parts (John 4:24); of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness (Gen.
17:1; Matt. 19:26 Psa. 147:5; 34:8); the maker and preserver of all things visible
and invisible (Psa. 19:1; John 1:3; Cot 1:16). In this Godhead there are three
persons of one substance power and eternity - the Father, the Son and the Holy
Ghost (I John 5:7; I Tim. 1:17; 3:16; Matt. 3:16; 17; 28:19).
The Son Who is the Word of the Father (John 1:1-3), is the
very eternal God, of one substance with the Father, who took man's nature (John
1:14; 3:31; Heb. 2:14), in the womb of the Virgin, so that two whole and perfect
natures, that is to say, the Godhead and manhood, were joined together in one
person never to be divided, whereof is One Christ, very God and very man. He truly
suffered, was crucified, died, and was buried. (I Cor. 15:3-6), to reconcile His
Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for
the actual sins of man (Heb.13:12; 2:9; II Cor. 5:18) Christ did truly rise again
from the dead and took again his body (Matt. 28.6, 7; Acts 1:3 Luke 24:39-43),
with all things pertaining to the perfection of man's nature (Eph. 4:11-13; I
John 3:2. 3), wherewith He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9; Eph. 1:20; 4:8; I Tim.
2.4 THE HOLY
The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son (John 15:26
Acts 2:33; John 16:7), is of one substance, majesty and glory with the Father
and the Son, very and eternal God (I John 5:7; Matt. 3:16; Acts 5:3, 4)
2.5 SUFFICIENCY AND INERRANCY OF SCRIPTURE
The Holy Scripture (that
is, the 66 books of the Protestant Canon of the Bible) are the only written word
of God. Every part of the Bible, as originally written, was inspired by God and
was and is without error. The Bible contains all things necessary to salvation
and is the only totally authoritative and infallible rule of faith and conduct
(John 15:3 20: 31; II Tim. 3:15-17). Therefore, whatever is not written therein
nor may be proved thereby is not to be accepted as article of faith nor be thought
as essential to salvation (Eph. 5:6, I Tim. 6:3, 4).
The original sin of Adam caused his alienation toward
God. The deprivation of the Spirit brought about an attendant depravation. This
resulted in the depravity of all his offspring (Romans 5:12). This depravity is
total extensively, and man is said to be "dead in sins" (Eph. 2:1),
without righteousness (Romans 6:20), without hope (Eph. 2:12). It is not total
Intensively, as wicked men and seducers shall wax worse and worse (II Tim. 3:13).
This is sometimes referred to as Original Sin, Birth Sin, or Native Depravity.
FREE MORAL AGENCY
The condition of men since the fall of Adam is such
that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength and works
to faith and calling upon God (Gen. 6:5; Luke 16:15; Heb. 11:16). For this reason
he has no power to do good works (Isa. 64:6) pleasant and acceptable to God (Titus
3:5) without the grace of God by Christ, assisting him (I Tim. 2.5; John 15:15).
That this grace is freely given to all men (I Tim. 4:10) making it possible for
every man to turn and be saved is clearly taught in both Testaments (Joshua 24:15
Deut. 30:19; John 7:17; Rev. 22:17; I Kings 20:40).
Redemption implies someone doing for another, what that person
cannot do for himself. Scripturally, it includes both man and the universe in
which he dwells or of which he is a part. It will not be- completed until there
is "a new heaven and a new earth" (II Peter 3:13; Rev. 21:l). As it
pertains to man, it is accomplished by grace through faith, (Eph 2:8). God provides
the atonement by setting forth His own Son to be a propitiation, (ROM 3:25), that
man might be redeemed by faith in His blood. (ROM 3:25; Eph. 1:7; CoI. 1:14; I
Pet. 1:18,19). It is a covenant redemption set forth by a sovereign God and is
to be accepted and subscribed to or rejected by man, (Deut.7:9; Heb. 8:8-10; Luke
1:68-79; Gal. 3:17; Heb.12:24, 25). This atonement is the only grounds of salvation.
(John 14:6; Acts 4:12); and it as sufficient for every individual (John 3:16;
Heb. 2:9). The atonement is graciously efficacious to the salvation of the irresponsible
from birth or the righteous who have become irresponsible, and to the children
in innocency, but is efficacious to the salvation of those who reach the age of
responsibility only when they repent and believe. (Luke 24:46, 47; Acts 17:30;
ROM 5:18, 19; I Cor. 15:22). Redemption includes justification, which changes
man's legal standing; regeneration, which changes a man's nature; and adoption,
which changes man's relationship to God.
Justification. As a sovereign, God is judge and must justify or condemn. To avoid
the necessity of condemning, He "set forth" His own Son "to be
a propitiation" (ROM 3:25), "that he might be just and the justifier
of him that believeth in Jesus" (ROM 3:26). We are accounted righteous before
God only by the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (ROM 3:24-26; 4:25),
by faith (Gen. 15:6; ROM 3:28 4:5 5:1), and not for our own works or deserving
(ROM 4:6; 5:11, 16; Acts 13:39). Wherefore, that we are justified by faith only
is a most wholesome doctrine and very full of comfort (ROM 1:16, 17; 5:1).
2.8.2 Regeneration. Concomitant with justification is the impartation of life
"in His Son" (I John 5:11; ROM 8:32; Eph. 2:1). This New Birth is the
result of receiving Christ (John 1:12), manifesting itself in a changed deportment
(II Cor. 5:17); without which man cannot see or enter into the Kingdom of God
(John 3:3, 5; I Cor. 2:14).
2.8.3 Adoption. Also concomitant with justification
and regeneration is adoption by which man's relationship to God Is changed (ROM
8:15; Gal. 4:4, 5). From being "children
of wrath" (Eph. 2:3); "children of the wicked one" (Mat. 13:38),
"children of this world" (Luke 16:8); man becomes a child of God (ROM
8:15-17; Gal. 3:26; II Cor. 6:17, 18)
As all justified believers are sanctified in Christ
(I Cor. 1:2; 1:30), so all may be sanctified by Christ (Eph 5:25, 26; Heb. 13:12).
Entire sanctification follows regeneration as circumcision follows birth. It is
to enable us to "Love the Lord thy God with all thine heart" (Deut.
30:6). By this circumcision " made without hands", the "body of
the sins of the flesh" is put off (Col. 2:11). Love is made perfect (I John
4:17); Holiness is perfected (II Cor. 7:1).
Relationship to Regeneration. Entire sanctification is subsequent to regeneration
(John 17:9 -17) and is effected by the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:16.
17: I Pet. 1:2; ROM 15:16). It is for all believers (John 17:20; I Thess. 4:2,
7; 5:23, 24), and is an instantaneous experience, received by faith (Acts 2:1-4;
15:8, 9). It cleanses the heart of the recipient from all sin (I John 1:7, 9;
Acts 15:8, 9), sets him apart and endows him with power for the accomplishment
of all to which he is called (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8).
Evidence of the Experience. Those who teach that some special phenomena such as
speaking with unknown tongues constitutes a witness to the Baptism with the Spirit
expose themselves and their hearers to peril of dangerous fanaticism. Perhaps
no wiser counsel has been given on this matter then that of John Wesley who wrote
long before the modern "tongues" movement appeared: "The grounds
of a thousand mistakes is the not considering, deeply that love is the highest
gift of God - humble, gentle, patient love - that all visions, revelation, manifestations
whatsoever are little things compared to love. It were well you should be thoroughly
sensible of this. The heaven of heavens is love. There is nothing higher in religion;
there is in effect, nothing else. If you look for anything but more love you are
looking wide of the mark, you are getting out of the royal way. And when you are
asking others, "Have you received this or that blessing," if you mean
anything but more love you, you mean wrong; you are leading them out of the way,
and putting them upon a false scent. Settle it then in your heart, that from the
moment God has saved you from all sin, you are to aim at nothing but more of that
love described in the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians. You can go no higher
than this till you are carried into Abraham's bosom."
SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER
Ours is a covenant keeping God: "There hath
not failed one word of all his good promises" (I
He has made
"a better covenant" by Christ than the Moses (Heb. 8:6). It is an "everlasting
covenant" (Heb. 13:20). The blood of the "everlasting covenant"
is incorruptible (I Peter 1:18, 19). Both the covenant and the blood by which
it was sealed are as enduring as our need.
The incorruptible blood propitiates
God and His law (ROM, 3:25-26), enabling the sovereign God to enter into covenant
with man, to pardon (Eph.1:6), to fellowship (I John 1:3), and to keep these who
covenant with Him.
security is adequate and sure, but there are conditions. "If we walk in the
light" there is cleansing (I John 1;7); "If we hold the beginning of
our confidence steadfast to the end" (Heb. 3:14). "If any man draw back
my soul shall have no pleasure in him" (Heb. 10:38). "If a man abide
not in me he is cast forth as a branch" (John 15:6).
are also warnings. II Peter 2:20, 21 warns that if after having "escaped
the pollutions of the world" any of us "are again entangled therein,
and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning" until
"it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness."
keeping ourselves "in the love of God" (Jude 21) we will be "kept
by the power of God" (I Pet. 1:5).
SIN AFTER JUSTIFICATION
Not every sin willfully committed after justification
is the sin against the Holy Spirit and unpardonable (Mat. 12:31,32). Wherefore,
the grant of repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after justification.
After we have received the Holy Ghost we may depart from grace given and fall
into sin and by the grace of God rise again and amend our lives. Therefore, they
are to be condemned who say they can no more sin as long as they live here or
deny the place of forgiveness to such as truly repent (Mal. 3:7; Matt. 18:21;
I John 1:9; 2:1)
The ecclesia, the church, is composed of the called-out people
who have separated themselves from the world and have a living faith in Christ
as their personal Saviour (II Cor. 6:17 18, ROM 12:2; Jas. 4:4; I John 5:19; Heb.
11:6; ROM 10:10). Her mission is the proclamation of the full gospel (Acts 1:8).
salvation from all sin (Heb. 7:25), divine healing (Jas. 5:14-16; Acts 4:10; Luke
9:2; 10:9), and the premillennial coming of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:9-11; Matt. 25:6;
I Thess. 4:16-18; Rev. 19:7; 20:5, 6). Her field is the world (Mark 16:15).
Sacraments ordained of Christ are not only badges or tokens
of Christian profession, but rather they are certain signs of grace and God's
good will toward us by which He works invisibly in us, and not only quickens,
but also strengthens and confirms our faith in Him. The sacraments were not ordained
of Christ to be gazed upon, or to be carried about, but to be duly used by us.
2.13.1 Baptism. This is an outward sign of an inward work wrought by the Holy
Ghost in the soul. As to the mode let everyone be fully persuaded in his own mind,
and no preacher or layman shall insist on any certain mode (Matt. 28:19; Acts
2:28; Col. 2:12; Acts 8:36-38; 16:33; I Pet. 3:21).
2.13.3 The Lord's Supper. This is an ordinance whereby the body and blood of Christ
are given, taken, and, eaten, only after a heavenly and spiritual manner, and
their benefits accrue only to those who, with a clear conscience, partake in faith
of the material elements - wine and bread. But they that receive them unworthily
purchase unto themselves condemnation, as St. Paul says (I Cor. 11:29). This sacrament
represents our redemption through Christ's blood, our spiritual nourishment through
His body (I Cor. 11:24-29), and the expectancy of our faith in His return (Titus
2:13; I Cor. 11:26).
the scriptural doctrine of healing for the body, and believe that it is the privilege
of every child of God, to be healed in answer to the prayer of faith according
to Jas. 5:14, 15; yet we are not to sever our fellowship from or pass judgment
upon those who use other providential means for the restoration of health (Jas.
5:16; Acts 4:10; Matt. 10:8; Luke 9:2; 10:9; I Cor. 12:9, 28; Acts 4:14; John
We believe that the coming of our Lord is be personal and premillennial;
also that it is imminent (Acts 1:9-11; I Thess. 4:14-17; Matt. 24:27; 25:13; 26:29;
Rev. 22.12) We must distinguish between the Rapture - His coming in the air to
receive His saints, which may occur at any moment and the Revelation - His coming
down to earth with His saints (I Thess. 4:14-17; Matt. 24:27; 25:l3; 26:29; Rev.
20:4), which latter will not occur until after the gathering of Israel (Exec.
36:24; 37:21), the manifestation of antichrist, and other prophesied events (II
Thess. 2:2-10; Rev. 19:20).
RESURRECTION AND JUDGMENT?
According to the scriptures, Christ truly did
rise again from the dead (Matt. 28; Mark 16; Luke 24) and took again His body
(John 20:27), wherewith He ascended into heaven, where He intercedes for the truly
penitent and the blood-washed until He returns again to judge His saints for reward
and to take His kingdom (Heb. 7:25).
Resurrection. The Scriptures also teach that there is a resurrection of the dead,
both of the just and the unjust (Acts 24:15; John 5:28, 29), and that God has
appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by Jesus Christ
Whom He has ordained (Acts 17:31).
Judgment and Rewards. Furthermore, the Word of God indicates that the just shall
be raised in their glorified bodies at Christ's second coming (Luke 20:36; I Cor.
15:35), to receive their rewards and to reign with Christ on the earth a thousand
years (Rev. 20:4, 6), and to be forever in the presence of the Lord. The unjust
are to be raised at the end of the millennium (Rev. 20:5), to be judged and go
into everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46), banished from the presence of God.
Penance. Finally, because of the teaching of the Bible, we do not believe in doing
penance for sin (Acts 13:38, 39; Eph. 2:8, 9; ROM 1:16, 17), nor in a purgatory
for cleansing from sin (I John 1:7), nor in a chance after death, but in a punitive
judgment for the resurrected unjust (Heb. 9:27).
We are all destined to spend eternity in one of two places, heaven
or hell, according to our relationship to God when He calls us to give account
Everyone who has a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord, on departing from
this life goes to be in felicity with Him, and will share the eternal glories
of His everlasting kingdom, the fuller rewards and the greater glories being reserved
until the final judgment (Phil. 1:23, 24; II Cor. 5:6, 8,10; John 14:2, 3; Matt.
While the saint goes from the judgment to enjoy eternal bliss, the impenitent
sinner is turned away into everlasting condemnation, punishment, and misery. As
heaven is described in the Bible as a place of everlasting happiness, so hell
is described as a place of endless torment "where their worm dieth not, and
the fire is not quenched" (Matt. 25:41, 46; Luke 13:3; John 8;21, 23; Mark
Second Edition - 1975
Third Edition -1990
Pilgrim Holiness Church of New York, Inc.
32 Cadillac Avenue Albany, New