What We Believe
Below is a summary of what is outlined in our Missionary Handbook. For a complete understanding of what we believe, download the most recent version below.
ABWE is dedicated to sharing the story of hope, building communities of faith, and serving the world with love.
- We are committed to scriptural integrity and to doctrinal purity as expressed in the ABWE Statement of Faith.
- We are committed to obeying the Great Commission and assuming all the responsibilities connected with this command.
- We are committed to exercising the spirit of Christ in our dealings with churches, missionaries, donors, and critics.
- We are committed to the priority of the local New Testament church and its leadership, pastors and deacons.
- We are committed to providing faithful service for the local churches as they send out their missionaries.
- We are committed to the principle of accountability between the mission, missionaries, and supporting churches.
- We are committed in concert with our sending churches to maintaining high standards for all ABWE personnel.
- We are committed to the New Testament principle and practice of evangelism, discipling, and planting reproductive Baptist churches.
- We are committed to a program of church planting that has national leadership, ownership, and stewardship in view from the inception.
- We are committed to a fiscal responsibility in serving our supporting churches and missionaries.
- We pledge ourselves to do all we can to bring people to Christ throughout the world, maintaining a biblical perspective and balance regarding our involvement in church planting and ministries of compassion.
1. Concerning the Scriptures
We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as originally written were God-breathed, both verbally and in every part. We believe God communicated through Spirit-controlled men so that the Scriptures are without error, authoritative, and complete. We believe the Bible is the supreme revelation of God’s will for mankind and constitutes the only infallible guide for faith and life.
Psalm 119:128; Matthew 5:18; 2 Peter 1:19-21; John 17:17; Revelation 22:18, 19; John 10:34, 35; 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12
2. Concerning the True God
We believe in the one eternal God, the Creator of all things; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, identical in essence and equal in power and glory.
Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 46:9; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Exodus 20:2, 3; Matthew 3:16, 17; Deuteronomy 4:35, 6:4; John 1:1-3; Hebrews 1:8
3. Concerning God the Father
We believe that God the Father is holy and loving. Unlimited in time, space, knowledge, and power, the Father has planned for His glory all that comes to pass and purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself. In His sovereignty, He is neither author nor approver of sin, nor does He negate the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures. Although distinct from His creation, He is imminently at work in it, intervening as He chooses.
Psalm 103:19; Ephesians 1:4; James 1:13; Habakkuk 1:12, 13; John 8:38, 47; 1 Peter 1:17; Psalm 139: 1-16; 1 Corinthians 8:6; John 5:17
4. Concerning the Lord Jesus Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, He became “God manifest in the flesh.” As fully God and fully man He lived an absolutely sinless life. He voluntarily died to make a full and vicarious atonement for our sins. He arose from the dead on the third day and ascended bodily into heaven.
Isaiah 7:14; 1 Peter 2:22; 3:18; Matthew 1:18-25; 28:6; John 1:1
5. Concerning the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the promised Comforter sent by the Father and the Son, possessing full personality and deity. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He is the agent of the new birth, at which time He baptizes believers into the body of Christ, and His work among believers is that He seals, indwells, fills, guides, and teaches. The sign gifts of prophecy, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, miracles and healing, were powerful indicators in New Testament times whereby the authenticity of the gospel was established on earth but these gifts are not normative for today.
John 7:39; 14:16-17, 26; 16:7-11; 1 Corinthians 12:8-13, 28-31; 13:8-12; Hebrews 2:1-4, 9:14; Acts 1:4,5; Revelation 22:18-19; Romans 12:3-8; Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:7-11
6. Concerning Mankind
We believe the Scriptures teach that men and women are created in God’s image. Adam was created by a direct act of God as described in Genesis 1 and not from any previously existing form of life. By voluntary transgression he fell from his state of innocence, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners by nature and by choice, and therefore under just condemnation to everlasting, conscious punishment, separated from God.
Genesis 1:27; Romans 3:23, 5:12-19; Isaiah 53:6; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9
7. Concerning Salvation
We believe the Scriptures teach that the salvation of sinners is initiated by a loving God, wholly of grace, and accomplished only through the mediating work of the Son of God. It is upon the sole condition of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The sinner must be born again, being regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit thereby receiving a new nature. The believer who has exercised personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is justified and in possession of a salvation which is eternally secure. An evidence of salvation is a life of obedience to God producing good works.
John 3:3-6, 16; 10:28, 29; 2 Corinthians 7:9, 10; Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:8; Acts 13:39, Ephesians 2:8-10, 1 Peter 1:18-23, Romans 5:1,9; Romans 2:4 I Timothy 2:5, 6; 2 Peter 1:4
8. Concerning the Church
We believe the Scriptures teach that the Church of Jesus Christ, distinct from Israel in the Old Testament, was inaugurated at Pentecost and must be considered in two aspects: the local church and “the church which is His body.” This “body” is the entire company of believers in Christ. A local church is an organized assembly of baptized believers, associated by a commitment to the faith, fellowship, and proclamation of the gospel, and observing the ordinances of believer’s baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper. The Scripture identifies two offices in local churches. The terms overseer, elder, and pastor or shepherd all refer to the same office. The other is the office of deacon. The New Testament specifically assigns headship and authority in the local church to men.
Matthew 28:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Titus 1:5-9; Philippians 1:1; Acts 1:5; 2:1-4; 10:44, 45; 11:15, 16; Ephesians 1:22, 23; Hebrews 12:23; 1 Timothy 2:11-14; 3:1-13
9. Concerning Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe the Scriptures teach that baptism is the immersion of a believer in water, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, representing the believer’s death to sin and his resurrection to a new life. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of Christ’s death to be observed by believers until His return and should be preceded by honest self-examination.
Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 2:41-47; 8:36-39; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:23-28
10. Concerning Angels
We believe that God created sinless, spirit beings called angels to worship and serve Him. Satan and some of the angels became proud and rebelled and were judged by God. Satan now rules these fallen angels, also called demons. They seek continually to frustrate the purposes of God and to ensnare the sons of men. These were conquered by Christ on the cross and condemned to an everlasting punishment yet to be executed.
2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2 Revelation 12:9; Hebrews 1:14; 2:14; 12:22; Ezekiel 28:11-19; 2 Kings 6:16,17; Isaiah 14:12-17; Colossians 2:15
11. Concerning Future Events
We believe in the coming of Christ in the air to take His saints to be with Him. This imminent event will be followed by the seven-year tribulation which will conclude with His second coming to the earth to establish His millennial reign. Satan, after leading a final rebellion, will be cast into the lake of fire, along with death, hell, and the unrighteous dead.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Zechariah 14:4-11; Revelation 20:1-15; 21:1
12. Concerning the Eternal State
We believe the Scriptures teach the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust. The just, those who have been redeemed, will spend eternity in full enjoyment of God’s presence. The unjust, those who through impenitence and unbelief refuse to accept God’s offer of mercy, will spend eternity in everlasting, conscious punishment.
Psalm 16:11, Daniel 12:2, 3; 1 Corinthians 15:50-56; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10; John 5:28, 29; Revelation 20:14, 15; Matthew 25:46