Essential Beliefs

The mission statement of Insight for Living Ministries, the Bible-teaching ministry of Chuck Swindoll, states that we are committed to excellence in communicating the truths of Scripture and the person of Jesus Christ. And while a grace-based ministry such as ours allows for freedom of interpretation and expression in many areas of Christian practice, we believe that the following essential beliefs are absolute and non-negotiable. We invite you to read through this page and take time to look up the related Scriptures for each section.

The Bible

We affirm our confidence in God’s inerrant Word. We treasure its truths, and we respect its reproofs.

The 66 books of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and written centuries ago by chosen men of God. The Bible is without error in its original manuscripts, is completely reliable as the final authority in all matters of doctrine and practice, and is centered on the person and work of Jesus Christ. See 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15–17; and 2 Peter 1:20–21.

God the Father

We acknowledge the Creator-God as our heavenly Father, infinitely perfect and intimately acquainted with all our ways.

As the first person of the Trinity, the Father is the source and ruler of all things and is fatherly in His relationship with creation in general and believers in particular. And although there is one eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, holy, just, loving, true, and unchangeable God, in the unity of the one God there are three divine persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—equal in power but distinct in roles. See Psalm 103:19; Matthew 28:19; and 1 Peter 1:2.

The Lord Jesus Christ

We claim Jesus Christ as our Lord—the very God who came in human flesh—the object of our worship and the subject of our praise.

As the second person of the Trinity, the Son reveals the Father. According to the Father’s plan, the eternal Son humbled Himself and became incarnate, inseparably uniting undiminished deity with true humanity. As fully God and fully man, Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, died to pay in full the penalty for our sin, rose bodily and miraculously from the dead, ascended into heaven, and will come again in glory. See John 1:1–3, 14; Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 1:1–3; and 1 John 5:11–12.

The Holy Spirit

We recognize the Holy Spirit as the third member of the Godhead who is incessantly at work convicting, convincing, and comforting.

As the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is the personal agent of the Father and Son for revelation and regeneration. Though pervasively present and active in creation, the Holy Spirit specially dwells among God’s people and uniquely indwells individual believers, giving them new life and empowering them for lives of personal holiness. See John 14:26; Acts 1:5, 8; 1 Corinthians 6:19–20; and Ephesians 1:13–14.

The Depravity of Humanity

We confess that Adam’s fall into sin left humanity without the hope of heaven apart from a new birth made possible by the Savior’s substitutionary death and miraculous, bodily resurrection.

As a result of Adam’s rebellion, all people have fallen under the curse of death. Unable and unwilling to please God, all humans are undeserving of His blessings, blinded to His truth, and dead in their sins—spiritually and, ultimately, physically. This state of judgment before the just and holy God is a condition that permeates every facet of human life and cannot be cured apart from the grace of God through Christ. See Genesis 3; Jeremiah 17:9; and Romans 3:10–18, 23; 5:12.

Salvation

We believe the offer of salvation is God’s love-gift to all. Those who accept it by faith, apart from works, become new creatures in Christ.

Because fallen humans are unable to save themselves, God, according to His own sovereign mercy, acts to save those who come to Him by grace through faith. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer the penalty of death in place of condemned humanity. Simply through believing the good news that Christ died for his or her sins and then rose from the dead, a person can be forgiven of all sin, declared righteous by God, reborn into new life, and guaranteed eternal life with God. See John 3:16; Romans 10:9–10; 1 Corinthians 15:1–5; and Ephesians 1:4–12; 2:8–9.

The Return of Christ

We anticipate our Lord’s promised return, which could occur at any moment.

According to the Father’s plan, Jesus Christ will one day return in power to bring completion of salvation and rewards to believers and judgment and wrath to unbelievers. The Bible teaches that the years leading up to the judgment will be marked by increasing evil, but the actual time of the end is unknown. It could begin at any moment. Though the details of Christ’s return are sometimes unclear, its reality is certain, and all believers are called to live holy lives in anticipation of His coming. See 1 Thessalonians 4:13–5:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12; Hebrews 9:28; and Revelation 19:11–16.

Resurrection of Humanity

We are convinced that all who have died will be brought back from beyond—believers to everlasting communion with God and unbelievers to everlasting separation from God.

Though a believer’s spirit is ushered into the Lord’s presence immediately upon physical death, the fullness of salvation awaits Christ’s return, when He will resurrect believers in glorified bodies like His own immortal body which can never die. While all believers throughout history will enjoy eternal life in perfect paradise, unbelievers will be resurrected to suffer eternal conscious punishment for their sins. See John 11:23–27; 1 Corinthians 15:51–57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18; and Revelation 20:4–21:5.

The Body of Christ

We know the Lord is continuing to enlarge His family, the universal body of Christ, over which He rules as Head.

The body of Christ is the ever-enlarging universal church consisting of true believers in heaven and on earth over whom Jesus Christ reigns as Lord. Regardless of denomination, all true believers are spiritually baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ’s body and are therefore spiritually united with Him and with one another. See Romans 12:4–5; 1 Corinthians 12:12–14; Ephesians 4:11–16; and 1 Peter 2:9–10.

The Family of God

We are grateful to be a part of the local church, which exists to proclaim God’s truth, to administer the ordinances, to stimulate growth toward maturity, and to bring glory to God.

Believers are called to faithful membership in a visible, local congregation for the purpose of mutual encouragement and spiritual growth. As the family of God, a healthy local church is marked by God-glorifying worship, Scripture-centered teaching, intimate fellowship, and vivid expressions of the church’s faith, hope, and love through evangelism, disciple-making, financial support, and service. See Acts 2:41–47; Philippians 2:1–4; and Hebrews 10:24–25.