Theological Statement of Azusa Review
Editor’s Note: The following is the theological statement of Azusa Review. What is historically defined as “cardinal doctrines” of the Pentecostal Movement is marked by bold type. At the end of the statement is some notes about them where Azusa Review differs with the historical view.
The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct.
The one true God has revealed Himself as the eternally self-existent “I AM,” the Creator of heaven and earth and the Redeemer of mankind. He has further revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. The Scriptures declare His virgin birth, sinless life, life of miracles, substitutionary work, bodily resurrection, and exaltation to Heaven. We hold that Jesus was fully God and fully man.
Fall of Mankind
Man was created good and upright; for God said, “Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness.” However, man by voluntary transgression fell and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God.
Man’s only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God.Salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God, according to the hope of eternal life.
Baptism in Water
The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded by the Scriptures. All who repent and believe on Christ as Saviour and Lord are to be baptized. Thus they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life.
Baptism in the Holy Spirit
All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience of all in the early Christian Church. With it comes the enduement of power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry.
Initial Evidence of the Baptism in Spirit
The baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance. The speaking in tongues in this instance is the same in essence as the gift of tongues, but is different in purpose and use.
Sanctification is part of salvation. When a person is born again, they are justified by the blood, they are glorified by the blood and they are sanctified by the same blood. We hold any attempt to be more sanctified is mere dead religious attempts and a misunderstanding of salvation.
Purpose of the Church
The Church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission. Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn, which are written in heaven.
Leadership of ministries*
A divinely ordained leadership ministry serves the community he lives in. A leader in ministry has a direct duty to serve the community and build the regional gathering of believers. The focus is on building up believers in faith, grace and compassion no matter where they worship.
Divine Healing is an integral part of the Gospel. It is the birthright of the redeemed believer in Christ. The same blood that saves you heals you. It is part of the atonement that Christ paid for on the cross at Calvary.
The rapture of the Saints
The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord is the imminent and blessed hope of the church.
Millennial Reign of Christ
The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of the saints, which is our blessed hope, followed by the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on earth for one thousand years.
The Final Judgment
There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to the everlasting punishment in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
New Heavens and the New Earth
We believe and look forward to the perfect New Heavens and New Earth that Christ is preparing for all people, of all time, who have accepted Him. We will live and dwell with Him there forever following His millennial reign on Earth. “And so shall we forever be with the Lord!”
Statement about Sanctification
The following is the commonly accepted view of Sanctification:
Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and of dedication unto God. The Scriptures teach a life of “holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.” By the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to obey the command: “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” Sanctification is realized in the believer by recognizing his identification with Christ in His death and resurrection, and by the faith reckoning daily upon the fact of that union, and by offering every faculty continually to the dominion of the Holy Spirit.
Where we disagree is when a believer is born again, they are saved and they can boldly go to the Father with confidence that He will hear our prayers. It is impossible to believe that our prayers are heard and believe we are not holy in the sight of God. If we believe that He hears us, we must also believe we are sanctified.
Azusa Review wholeheartly reject any belief that there is a second word of grace that makes us sanctified to prepare us for the infilling of the Spirit. We celebrate people of the Wesleyan tradition but we completely disagree on this issue.
We believe that the only thing you need in order to be saved is to be born of the Spirit which is the salvation experience where one is born again.
Statement of Leadership of Ministries
The following is the commonly accepted view of leadership in the Church:
A divinely called and scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for the fourfold purpose of leading the Church in evangelization of the world, worship of God, building up a body of saints, and meeting human needs with compassion.
Where the difference begins in the focus. We hold that the Church should be about regions, not a location on Main St or on 7th Street. Pastors should be ministering to the city, not just focused on a small group of a much larger gathering of saints. Paul wrote to churches in cities, not small gatherings of them.
Azusa Review believes it is important for believers to have a global view of the people of the faith. Jesus is returning for the Bride; not many of them. Our vision must be global as the viewpoint of God is global.
While many pastors believe in the local church (understandably), we want to hold the global concept of the people of faith. Having an international perspective of faith in critical to a healthy faith of the believer.