We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit–and that these three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections. Although their eternal relationship is inscrutable, there is no priority or superiority between the three persons. Each person of the Godhead is equally worthy of the same homage, confidence, and obedience. (Matt. 3:16-17, 28:18-20, Mark 12:29; John 1:14; Acts 5:3-4; II Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 1:4-6)
We believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, death on the cross to provide for our redemption, bodily resurrection and ascension into heaven, present ministry of intercession for us, and His return to earth in power and glory. (John 1:1,14; Philippians 2:6-7; Matthew 1:20-21; Luke 1:34-35; Isaiah 7:14; Luke 4:18-19; I Peter 3:18; I Timothy 2:4;-6; I Corinthians 15:1-5,12-20; Hebrews 7:25; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Acts 1:10-11; Matthew 26:64; Revelation 19:11-16).
We believe in the divine, plenary and verbal inspiration of the Scriptures. The whole Bible is inspired in the sense that holy men of God were moved by the Holy Spirit to write the very words of Scripture. This divine inspiration extends equally and fully to all parts of the writings as appeared in the original manuscripts. Therefore, the whole Bible, in the originals, is without error. As the revelation of God, we believe the Bible to be the sole authority and sufficiency with regard to Christian faith and practice.
The Scriptures center upon the Lord Jesus Christ in His person and work in His first and second coming, and hence no portion is properly read, or understood, until it leads to Him. The Christian’s responsibility and duty is to handle accurately the Word of Truth. The reading and interpretation of the Scriptures is to be under the guidance and illumination of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Acts 17:2-3; Romans 15:4; I Corinthians 2:12-16; II Timothy 2:15, 3:16; II Peter 1:21)
MAN, CREATED AND FALLEN
We believe that man was originally created in the image and after the likeness of God. Adam fell through sin, and as a consequence of his sin, lost his spiritual life. Becoming dead in trespasses and sins, he became subject to the power of the devil. This spiritual death, or total depravity of human nature, has been transmitted to the entire human race of man, the Man Christ Jesus alone being excepted. Thus every child of Adam is born into the world with a nature which not only possesses no spark of divine life, but is essentially and unchangeably sinful apart from divine grace.(Genesis 1:26, 2:17, 6:5; Psalm 14:1-3, 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; John 3:6, 5:40, 6:35; Romans 3:10-19, 8:6-7; Ephesians 2:1-3; I Timothy 5:6; I John 3:8).
SALVATION ONLY THROUGH CHRIST
We believe that, due to universal death through sin, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless born again. No degree of reformation, no attainments in morality, no baptism or other ordinance or other good works can help the sinner to take even one step toward heaven. Our redemption has been accomplished solely by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was made to be sin and was made a curse for us by dying in our place. (Leviticus 17:11; Isaiah 64:6; Matthew 26:28; John 3:7-18; Romans 5:6-9; II Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13, 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; Philippians 3:4-9; Titus 3:5; James 1:18; I Peter 1:18-19, 23).
We believe that the new birth of the believer comes only through faith in Christ and that repentance is a vital part of believing. Repentance is not in itself a separate and independent condition of salvation. Nor are any other acts, such as confession, baptism, prayer, faithful service, or manifestation of certain spiritual gifts, to be added to believing as a condition of salvation. (John 1:12, 3:16,18,36, 5:24, 6:29, 14:6, Acts 13:39, 16:31; Romans 1:16-17, 3:22,26, 4:5, 10:4; Galatians 3:22).
We believe it is the privilege, not only of some, but of all who are born again by the Spirit through faith in Christ as revealed in the Scriptures, to be assured of their salvation from the very day they take Him to be their Savior. This assurance is not founded upon any discovery of their own worthiness or fitness, but wholly upon the testimony of God in His written word. Such assurance will motivate in God’s children love, gratitude, and obedience to His commands (Luke 10:20; John 6:37; 10:28-30; II Corinthians 5:1, 6-8; Ephesians 1:13-14; II Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 10:22; I Peter 1:3-5; I John 5:13).
We believe that all those who have been redeemed by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ form the Body of Christ, the church. We also believe in the local church as the body of believers in a geographic locale who meet together to worship and serve God, observe the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and work together in a united effort to further the gospel of Christ. (I Corinthians 12:12-31; Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:11-16; Colossians 1:18).
THE GREAT COMMISSION
We believe the explicit message and mandate of our Lord Jesus Christ is to make disciples of all the nations. During His post-resurrection ministry Christ gave two particular commands. First in Matthew 28, Jesus commands us to “Go and Make Disciples of All the Nations”. Secondly, just before His Ascension, in Acts 1:8 we are called to be witnesses to “the remotest parts of the earth”. The greatest responsibility and privilege of the church is to serve as ambassadors and witnesses for Christ (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; John 17:18; Acts 1:8; II Corinthians 5:18-20; I Peter 1:17, 2:11).
MARRIAGE AND HUMAN SEXUALITY
We believe that all matters of faith and conduct must be evaluated on the basis of Holy Scripture, which is our infallible guide. (2 Timothy 3:16–17) Since the Holy Bible does speak to the nature of human beings and their sexuality, it is imperative that we correctly understand and articulate what the Bible teaches on these matters.
We are committed to the home and family as set forth in Holy Scripture. We believe God has ordained and created marriage to exist between one man and one woman, with absolute marital fidelity. The Bible sets forth specific home and family values, which include the distinct roles of husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, and children. It is our firm conviction that we uphold the dignity of each individual as we embrace the unchanging and longstanding principles of scriptural truth.
Based on Holy Scripture and the constant moral teaching of the universal Church, we believe:
Marriage — e3 Partners Ministry defines marriage as the permanent, exclusive, comprehensive, and conjugal “one flesh” union of one man and one woman, intrinsically ordered to procreation and biological family, and in furtherance of the moral, spiritual, and public good of binding father, mother, and child. (Genesis 1:27-28, Genesis 2:18-24, Matthew 19:4-9, Mark 10:5-9, Ephesians 5:31-33)
Sexual Immorality — e3 Partners Ministry believes that sexual acts outside marriage are prohibited as sinful. Consequently, e3 Partners Ministry staff, board members and volunteers must resist and refrain from any and all sexual acts outside marriage — including but not limited to adultery, fornication, incest, zoophilia, pornography, prostitution, masturbation, voyeurism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, sodomy, polygamy, polyamory, sologamy, or same-sex sexual acts. (Exodus 20:14, Leviticus 18:7-23, Leviticus 20:10-21, Deuteronomy 5:18, Matthew 15:19, Matthew 5:27-28, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-13, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, Hebrews 13:4, Galatians 5:19, Ephesians 4:17-19, Colossians 3:5)
Gender Identity — e3 Partners Ministry believes that God created mankind in His image: male (man) and female (woman), sexually different but with equal personal dignity. Consequently, e3 Partners Ministry staff, board members and volunteers must affirm their biological sex and refrain from any and all attempts to physically change, alter, or disagree with their predominant biological sex — including but not limited to elective sex-reassignment, transvestite, transgender, or non-binary “genderqueer” acts or conduct. (Genesis 1:26-28, Romans 1:26-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
Sexual Orientation — e3 Partners Ministry believes that God created and ordered human sexuality to the permanent, exclusive, comprehensive, and conjugal “one flesh” union of man and woman, intrinsically ordered to procreation and biological family, and in furtherance of the moral, spiritual, and public good of binding father, mother, and child. Consequently, e3 Partners Ministry staff, board members and volunteers must affirm the sexual complementarity of man and woman and resist any and all same-sex sexual attractions and refrain from any and all same-sex sexual acts or conduct, which are intrinsically disordered. (Genesis 1:27, Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4-6, Mark 10:5-9, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Ephesians 5:25-27, Revelation 19:7-9, Revelation 21:2)
Sexual Redemption — e3 Partners Ministry believes that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and should seek redemption through confession, repentance, baptism, and faith in Jesus Christ. Consequently, e3 Partners Ministry staff, board members and volunteers must welcome and treat with respect, compassion, and sensitivity all who experience same-sex attractions or confess sexually immoral acts but are committed to resisting sexual temptation, refraining from sexual immorality, and conforming their behavior to e3 Partners Ministry‘s Statement of Faith. (Matthew 11:28-30, Romans 3:23, Ephesians 2:1-10, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Hebrews 2:17-18, Hebrews 4:14-16)
Celibacy — e3 Partners Ministry believes that Holy Scripture grants two life-enhancing options for human sexual behavior: (1) the conjugal “one flesh” marital union of one man and one woman, and (2) celibacy. Either is a gift from God, given as He wills for His glory and the good of those who receive and rejoice in His gift to them. Celibacy and faithful singleness is to be celebrated and affirmed within e3 Partners Ministry. (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:18, 21-24; Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:5-8; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 7:1-8; Matthew 19:12; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Romans 12:10; 1 Timothy 5:1-2)
Marriage and Human Sexuality: Genesis 1:26-28; Genesis 2:18-24; Genesis 19:5-10; Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 18:7-23; Leviticus 20:10-21; Deuteronomy 5:18; Judges 19:22-24; Matthew 5:27-28; Matthew 15:19; Matthew 19:4-9; Mark 10:5-9; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-13; 1 Corinthians 5:11; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 4:17-19; Ephesians 5:25-27; Ephesians 5:31; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Timothy 1:8-10; Jude 1:7; Revelation 19:7-9; Revelation 21:2;
Pastoral Care: Matthew 11:28-30; Romans 3:23; Ephesians 2:1-10; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Hebrews 2:17-18; Hebrews 4:14-16
All of our staff, board members and volunteers must affirm and adhere to this Doctrinal and Religious Absolute statement on marriage and human sexuality to qualify for involvement with the ministry. This is necessary to accomplish our religious mission, goals and purpose. Behavior or counter-witnessing that does otherwise will impede and burden our integrity and religious mission. We believe that God’s grace can wipe the slate of guilt and sin, though the consequences are still incurred.
The Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God, acting as the source of authority over morality, our beliefs, Christian lifestyle and conduct. e3’s Doctrines Committee appointed by e3’s CEO is charged with the ministerial responsibility of Biblical interpretation and promulgating religious policy. The Doctrines Committee will determine life application as well as final matters relating to church theology, philosophy, Christian practice, faith, divine truth, morality, and theological and doctrinal resolutions.
SANCTITY OF LIFE
We believe that all matters of faith and conduct must be evaluated on the basis of Holy Scripture, which is our inspired, infallible, and inerrant guide. (2 Timothy 3:16–17) Because Holy Scripture speaks to creation and human life, it is imperative that we correctly understand, articulate, and abide by what Holy Scripture teaches on this matter.
We believe that God has created mankind in His image (Imago Dei) and that human life begins at fertilization. God, in his infinite sovereignty, uniquely formed human beings and gave them a special dignity, personal freedom, and individual accountability among all the works of creation. Human beings have been made for relationship with God and to be good and faithful stewards of creation. God created each person’s inmost being, knitting each person together in his mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13) As God’s individualized and personal creation, each person is fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14) God has ordained all the days of each person’s life before he came to be. (Psalm 139:16)
Based on Holy Scripture and the constant moral teaching of the universal Church, we believe:
From the moment of fertilization until natural death, every human life is sacred because every human life has been created by God, in His image and likeness.
From the moment of fertilization, every human life must be recognized, respected, and protected as having the rights of a person and the inviolable right to life.
The right to life and physical integrity of every unborn human life is inviolable—it is not a concession made by society or the state, but is instead inherent to the unborn human life by virtue of its creation in the image of God.
Because human life begins at the moment of fertilization, it is against our religious and moral conviction to formally or materially cooperate in the termination of unborn human life.
We are strongly committed to the preservation and defense of unborn human life, which compels our religious, moral, and ethical duty to defend unborn human life from destruction, whether by surgical abortion or use of drugs, devices, or services that have the intent, design, effect, or risk of terminating unborn human life or preventing its implantation and growth post-fertilization.
The Church and all her ministers and ministries should publicly witness to society and to the state regarding the intrinsic, inherent, and inviolable dignity of all human life, from fertilization to natural death.
In standing against abortion, this organization incorporates by reference the following Holy Scriptures, which are cited in the statements, resolutions, commentaries, or doctrines of Christian denominations that are expressly and vocally opposed to abortion: Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Presbyterian Church in America, Roman Catholic Church, and Southern Baptist Convention. Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 25:21-22; Exodus 20:13; Psalm 22:9-10; Psalm 139:13-16; Isaiah 44:1-2; Isaiah 49:5; Job 10:8-12; Jeremiah 1:4-5; Luke 1:39-45
Early Church Fathers’ Statements on Sanctity of Human Life
“Thus, you read the word of God, spoken to Jeremiah: ‘Before I formed thee in the womb, I knew thee.’ If God forms us in the womb, He also breathes on us as He did in the beginning: ‘And God formed man and breathed into him the breath of life.’ Nor could God have known man in the womb unless he were a whole man. ‘And before thou camest forth from the womb, I sanctified thee.’ Was it, then, a dead body at that stage? Surely it was not, for “God is the God of the living and not the dead.” —Tertullian, De Anima
“It is not permissible for us to destroy the seed by means of illicit manslaughter once it has been conceived in the womb, so long as blood remains in the person.” —Tertullian, Apologia
“Why sow where the ground makes it its care to destroy the fruit? Where there are many efforts at abortion? Where there is murder before the birth…. Why then dost thou abuse the gift of God, and fight with His laws, and follow after what is a curse as if a blessing, and make the chamber of procreation a chamber for murder, and arm the woman that was given for childbearing unto slaughter?” —John Chrysostom, Homily 24
“[T]his lustful cruelty, or if you please, cruel lust, resorts to such extravagant methods as to use poisonous drugs to secure barrenness; or else, if unsuccessful in this, to destroy the conceived seed by some means previous to birth, preferring that its offspring should rather perish than receive vitality; or if it was advancing to life within the womb, should be slain before it was born.” —Augustine, De Nube et Concupiscentia
“Therefore brothers, you see how perverse they are and hastening wickedness, who are immature, they seek abortion of the conception before the birth; they are those who tell us, ‘I do not see that which you say must be believed.’” —Augustine, Sermon 126
“Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born.” —Barnabas, Letter