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Church of the Nazarene

ARTICLES OF FAITH


I. The Triune God
1. We believe in one eternally existent, infinite God, Sovereign
Creator and Sustainer of the universe; that He only
is God, [creative and administrative,] holy in nature, attributes,
and purpose[;]. The God who is holy love and light
[that He, as God,] is Triune in essential being, revealed as
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
(Genesis 1; Leviticus 19:2; Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Isaiah 5:16; 6:1-7; 40:18-
31; Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19-20; John 14:6-27; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2
Corinthians 13:14; Galatians 4:4-6; Ephesians 2:13-18; 1 John 1:5; 4:8)

 

II. Jesus Christ
2. We believe in Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the
Triune Godhead; that He was eternally one with the Father;
that He became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and was born
of the Virgin Mary, so that two whole and perfect natures,
that is to say the Godhead and manhood, are thus united in
one Person very God and very man, the God-man.
We believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins, and that
He truly arose from the dead and took again His body, together
with all things appertaining to the perfection of
man’s nature, wherewith He ascended into heaven and is
there engaged in intercession for us.
(Matthew 1:20-25; 16:15-16; Luke 1:26-35; John 1:1-18; Acts 2:22-36; Romans
8:3, 32-34; Galatians 4:4-5; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:12-22; 1
Timothy 6:14-16; Hebrews 1:1-5; 7:22-28; 9:24-28; 1 John 1:1-3; 4:2-3, 15)

 

III. The Holy Spirit
3. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the
Triune Godhead, that He is ever present and efficiently active
in and with the Church of Christ, convincing the world
of sin, regenerating those who repent and believe, sanctifying
believers, and guiding into all truth as it is in Jesus.
(John 7:39; 14:15-18, 26; 16:7-15; Acts 2:33; 15:8-9; Romans 8:1-27; Galatians
3:1-14; 4:6; Ephesians 3:14-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8; 2 Thessalonians
2:13; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 John 3:24; 4:13)


IV. The Holy Scriptures
4. We believe in the plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures,
by which we understand the 66 books of the Old and
New Testaments, given by divine inspiration, inerrantly revealing
the will of God concerning us in all things necessary
to our salvation, so that whatever is not contained therein is
not to be enjoined as an article of faith.
(Luke 24:44-47; John 10:35; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1
Peter 1:10-12; 2 Peter 1:20-21)


V. Sin, Original and Personal
5. We believe that sin came into the world through the
disobedience of our first parents, and death by sin. We believe
that sin is of two kinds: original sin or depravity, and
actual or personal sin.
5.1. We believe that original sin, or depravity, is that corruption
of the nature of all the offspring of Adam by reason
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30 CHURCH CONSTITUTION
3. Constitutional changes adopted by the 2009 General Assembly are in
the process of ratification by the district assemblies at the time of printing.
Where changes are being made, words in italic are new words and words in
brackets [ ] are words being deleted.
of which everyone is very far gone from original righteousness
or the pure state of our first parents at the time of
their creation, is averse to God, is without spiritual life, and
inclined to evil, and that continually. We further believe that
original sin continues to exist with the new life of the regenerate,
until the heart is fully cleansed by the baptism with
the Holy Spirit.
5.2. We believe that original sin differs from actual sin in
that it constitutes an inherited propensity to actual sin for
which no one is accountable until its divinely provided remedy
is neglected or rejected.
5.3. We believe that actual or personal sin is a voluntary
violation of a known law of God by a morally responsible
person. It is therefore not to be confused with involuntary
and inescapable shortcomings, infirmities, faults, mistakes,
failures, or other deviations from a standard of perfect conduct
that are the residual effects of the Fall. However, such
innocent effects do not include attitudes or responses contrary
to the spirit of Christ, which may properly be called
sins of the spirit. We believe that personal sin is primarily
and essentially a violation of the law of love; and that in relation
to Christ sin may be defined as unbelief.
(Original sin: Genesis 3; 6:5; Job 15:14; Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9-10;
Mark 7:21-23; Romans 1:18-25; 5:12-14; 7:1-8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:1-4;
Galatians 5:16-25; 1 John 1:7-8
Personal sin: Matthew 22:36-40 {with 1 John 3:4}; John 8:34-36; 16:8-9;
Romans 3:23; 6:15-23; 8:18-24; 14:23; 1 John 1:9-2:4; 3:7-10)


VI. Atonement
6. We believe that Jesus Christ, by His sufferings, by the
shedding of His own blood, and by His death on the Cross,
made a full atonement for all human sin, and that this
Atonement is the only ground of salvation, and that it is suf-
ficient for every individual of Adam’s race. The Atonement is
graciously efficacious for the salvation of [the irresponsible]
those incapable of moral responsibility and for the children
in innocency but is efficacious for the salvation of those who
reach the age of responsibility only when they repent and
believe.
(Isaiah 53:5-6, 11; Mark 10:45; Luke 24:46-48; John 1:29; 3:14-17; Acts
4:10-12; Romans 3:21-26; 4:17-25; 5:6-21; 1 Corinthians 6:20; 2 Corinthians
5:14-21; Galatians 1:3-4; 3:13-14; Colossians 1:19-23; 1 Timothy 2:3-
6; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:9; 9:11-14; 13:12; 1 Peter 1:18-21; 2:19-25; 1
John 2:1-2)


VII. Prevenient Grace
7. We believe that the human race’s creation in Godlikeness
included ability to choose between right and wrong,
and that thus human beings were made morally responsible;
that through the fall of Adam they became depraved so
that they cannot now turn and prepare themselves by their
own natural strength and works to faith and calling upon
God. But we also believe that the grace of God through Jesus
Christ is freely bestowed upon all people, enabling all
who will to turn from sin to righteousness, believe on Jesus
Christ for pardon and cleansing from sin, and follow good
works pleasing and acceptable in His sight.
We believe that all persons, though in the possession of
the experience of regeneration and entire sanctification,
may fall from grace and apostatize and, unless they repent
of their sins, be hopelessly and eternally lost.
(Godlikeness and moral responsibility: Genesis 1:26-27; 2:16-17;
Deuteronomy 28:1-2; 30:19; Joshua 24:15; Psalm 8:3-5; Isaiah 1:8-10;
Jeremiah 31:29-30; Ezekiel 18:1-4; Micah 6:8; Romans 1:19-20; 2:1-16;
14:7-12; Galatians 6:7-8
Natural inability: Job 14:4; 15:14; Psalms 14:1-4; 51:5; John 3:6a; Romans
3:10-12; 5:12-14, 20a; 7:14-25
Free grace and works of faith: Ezekiel 18:25-26; John 1:12-13; 3:6b; Acts
5:31; Romans 5:6-8, 18; 6:15-16, 23; 10:6-8; 11:22; 1 Corinthians 2:9-14;
10:1-12; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Galatians 5:6; Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians
2:12-13; Colossians 1:21-23; 2 Timothy 4:10a; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews
2:1-3; 3:12-15; 6:4-6; 10:26-31; James 2:18-22; 2 Peter 1:10-11;
2:20-22)
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VIII. Repentance
8. We believe that repentance, which is a sincere and thorough
change of the mind in regard to sin, involving a sense
of personal guilt and a voluntary turning away from sin, is
demanded of all who have by act or purpose become sinners
against God. The Spirit of God gives to all who will repent
the gracious help of penitence of heart and hope of mercy,
that they may believe unto pardon and spiritual life.
(2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalms 32:5-6; 51:1-17; Isaiah 55:6-7; Jeremiah 3:12-
14; Ezekiel 18:30-32; 33:14-16; Mark 1:14-15; Luke 3:1-14; 13:1-5; 18:9-
14; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 17:30-31; 26:16-18; Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians
7:8-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 2 Peter 3:9)


IX. Justification, Regeneration, and Adoption
9. We believe that justification is the gracious and judicial
act of God by which He grants full pardon of all guilt and
complete release from the penalty of sins committed, and acceptance
as righteous, to all who believe on Jesus Christ and
receive Him as Lord and Savior.
10. We believe that regeneration, or the new birth, is that
gracious work of God whereby the moral nature of the repentant
believer is spiritually quickened and given a distinctively
spiritual life, capable of faith, love, and obedience.
11. We believe that adoption is that gracious act of God by
which the justified and regenerated believer is constituted a
son of God.
12. We believe that justification, regeneration, and adoption
are simultaneous in the experience of seekers after God
and are obtained upon the condition of faith, preceded by repentance;
and that to this work and state of grace the Holy
Spirit bears witness.
(Luke 18:14; John 1:12-13; 3:3-8; 5:24; Acts 13:39; Romans 1:17; 3:21-26,
28; 4:5-9, 17-25; 5:1, 16-19; 6:4; 7:6; 8:1, 15-17; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 6:11; 2
Corinthians 5:17-21; Galatians 2:16-21; 3:1-14, 26; 4:4-7; Ephesians 1:6-
7; 2:1, 4-5; Philippians 3:3-9; Colossians 2:13; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Peter 1:23; 1
John 1:9; 3:1-2, 9; 4:7; 5:1, 9-13, 18)
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4. Constitutional changes adopted by the 2009 General Assembly are in
the process of ratification by the district assemblies at the time of printing.
Where changes are being made, words in italics are new words and words in
brackets [ ] are words being deleted.


X. Christian Holiness and Entire Sanctification
13. We believe that [entire] sanctification is [that] the
[act] work of God[, subsequent to regeneration, by] which
transforms believers into the likeness of Christ. It is wrought
by God’s grace through the Holy Spirit in initial sanctification,
or regeneration (simultaneous with justification), entire
sanctification, and the continued perfecting work of the Holy
Spirit culminating in glorification. In glorification we are
fully conformed to the image of the Son.
We believe that entire sanctification is that act of God, subsequent
to regeneration, by which believers are made free
from original sin, or depravity, and brought into a state of
entire devotement to God, and the holy obedience of love
made perfect.
It is wrought by the baptism with or infilling of the Holy
Spirit, and comprehends in one experience the cleansing of
the heart from sin and the abiding, indwelling presence of
the Holy Spirit, empowering the believer for life and service.
Entire sanctification is provided by the blood of Jesus, is
wrought instantaneously by grace through faith, preceded
by entire consecration; and to this work and state of grace
the Holy Spirit bears witness.
This experience is also known by various terms representing
its different phases, such as “Christian perfection,” “perfect
love,” “heart purity,” “the baptism with or infilling of the Holy
Spirit,” “the fullness of the blessing,” and “Christian holiness.”
14. We believe that there is a marked distinction between
a pure heart and a mature character. The former is obtained
in an instant, the result of entire sanctification; the latter is
the result of growth in grace.
We believe that the grace of entire sanctification includes
the divine impulse to grow in grace as a Christlike disciple.
However, this impulse must be consciously nurtured, and
34 CHURCH CONSTITUTION
5. Constitutional changes adopted by the 2009 General Assembly are in
the process of ratification by the district assemblies at the time of printing.
Where changes are being made, words in italics are new words and words in
brackets [ ] are words being deleted.
careful attention given to the requisites and processes of
spiritual development and improvement in Christlikeness of
character and personality. Without such purposeful endeavor,
one’s witness may be impaired and the grace itself frustrated
and ultimately lost.
Participating in the means of grace, especially the fellowship,
disciplines, and sacraments of the Church, believers
grow in grace and in wholehearted love to God and neighbor.
(Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:25-27; Malachi 3:2-3; Matthew 3:11-12;
Luke 3:16-17; John 7:37-39; 14:15-23; 17:6-20; Acts 1:5; 2:1-4; 15:8-9; Romans
6:11-13, 19; 8:1-4, 8-14; 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; Galatians
2:20; 5:16-25; Ephesians 3:14-21; 5:17-18, 25-27; Philippians 3:10-15;
Colossians 3:1-17; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; Hebrews 4:9-11; 10:10-17;
12:1-2; 13:12; 1 John 1:7, 9)
(“Christian perfection,” “perfect love”: Deuteronomy 30:6; Matthew 5:43-
48; 22:37-40; Romans 12:9-21; 13:8-10; 1 Corinthians 13; Philippians
3:10-15; Hebrews 6:1; 1 John 4:17-18
“Heart purity”: Matthew 5:8; Acts 15:8-9; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:3
“Baptism with or infilling of the Holy Spirit”: Jeremiah 31:31-34;
Ezekiel 36:25-27; Malachi 3:2-3; Matthew 3:11-12; Luke 3:16-17; Acts
1:5; 2:1-4; 15:8-9
“Fullness of the blessing”: Romans 15:29
“Christian holiness”: Matthew 5:1-7:29; John 15:1-11; Romans 12:1-15:3;
2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 4:17-5:20; Philippians 1:9-11; 3:12-15;
Colossians 2:20-3:17; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 4:7-8; 5:23; 2 Timothy 2:19-
22; Hebrews 10:19-25; 12:14; 13:20-21; 1 Peter 1:15-16; 2 Peter 1:1-11;
3:18; Jude 20-21)


XI. The Church
15. We believe in the Church, the community that confesses
Jesus Christ as Lord, the covenant people of God made
new in Christ, the Body of Christ called together by the
Holy Spirit through the Word.
God calls the Church to express its life in the unity and
fellowship of the Spirit; in worship through the preaching of
the Word, observance of the sacraments, and ministry in His
name; by obedience to Christ, holy living, and mutual accountability.
The mission of the Church in the world is to [continue]
share in the redemptive and reconciling ministry [work] of
Christ in the power of the Spirit [through holy living, evangelism,
discipleship, and service]. The Church fulfills its
mission by making disciples through evangelism, education,
showing compassion, working for justice, and bearing witness
to the kingdom of God.
The Church is a historical reality, which organizes itself in
culturally conditioned forms; exists both as local congregations
and as a universal body; sets apart persons called of
God for specific ministries. God calls the Church to live under
His rule in anticipation of the consummation at the coming
of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Exodus 19:3; Jeremiah 31:33; Matthew 8:11; 10:7; 16:13-19, 24; 18:15-
20; 28:19-20; John 17:14-26; 20:21-23; Acts 1:7-8; 2:32-47; 6:1-2; 13:1;
14:23; Romans 2:28-29; 4:16; 10:9-15; 11:13-32; 12:1-8; 15:1-3; 1
Corinthians 3:5-9; 7:17; 11:1, 17-33; 12:3, 12-31; 14:26-40; 2 Corinthians
5:11-6:1; Galatians 5:6, 13-14; 6:1-5, 15; Ephesians 4:1-17; 5:25-27;
Philippians 2:1-16; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12; 1 Timothy 4:13; Hebrews
10:19-25; 1 Peter 1:1-2, 13; 2:4-12, 21; 4:1-2, 10-11; 1 John 4:17; Jude 24;
Revelation 5:9-10)


XII. Baptism
16. We believe that Christian baptism, commanded by our
Lord, is a sacrament signifying acceptance of the benefits of
the atonement of Jesus Christ, to be administered to believers
and declarative of their faith in Jesus Christ as their
Savior, and full purpose of obedience in holiness and righteousness.
Baptism being a symbol of the new covenant, young children
may be baptized, upon request of parents or guardians
who shall give assurance for them of necessary Christian
training.
Baptism may be administered by sprinkling, pouring, or
immersion, according to the choice of the applicant.
(Matthew 3:1-7; 28:16-20; Acts 2:37-41; 8:35-39; 10:44-48; 16:29-34; 19:1-
6; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:26-28; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:18-22)
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XIII. The Lord’s Supper
17. We believe that the Memorial and Communion Supper
instituted by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is essentially
a New Testament sacrament, declarative of His sacrificial
death, through the merits of which believers have life and
salvation and promise of all spiritual blessings in Christ. It
is distinctively for those who are prepared for reverent appreciation
of its significance, and by it they show forth the
Lord’s death till He come again. It being the Communion
feast, only those who have faith in Christ and love for the
saints should be called to participate therein.
(Exodus 12:1-14; Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20;
John 6:28-58; 1 Corinthians 10:14-21; 11:23-32)


XIV. Divine Healing
18. We believe in the Bible doctrine of divine healing and
urge our people to seek to offer the prayer of faith for the
healing of the sick. We also believe God heals through the
means of medical science.
(2 Kings 5:1-19; Psalm 103:1-5; Matthew 4:23-24; 9:18-35; John 4:46-54;
Acts 5:12-16; 9:32-42; 14:8-15; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians
12:7-10; James 5:13-16)


XV. Second Coming of Christ
19. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will come again;
that we who are alive at His coming shall not precede them
that are asleep in Christ Jesus; but that, if we are abiding in
Him, we shall be caught up with the risen saints to meet the
Lord in the air, so that we shall ever be with the Lord.
(Matthew 25:31-46; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; Philippians 3:20-21; 1
Thessalonians 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 9:26-28; 2 Peter 3:3-15;
Revelation 1:7-8; 22:7-20)


XVI. Resurrection, Judgment, and Destiny
20. We believe in the resurrection of the dead, that the
bodies both of the just and of the unjust shall be raised to
life and united with their spirits—“they that have done
good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done
evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”