In this doctrinal statement we underline the essential elements only. These elements are shared by all the members of the I.B.E.I. association, by the staff and by the teachers. We believe
In the Bible as the Word of God, divinely inspired, infallible and authoritative;
In one God eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
In the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was born of a virgin, lived without sin, performed miracles, died on the cross to perform an expiatory and vicarious sacrifice through the shedding of His blood, was raised in the body and ascended into heaven, where He is now seated at the right hand of God and from where He will come back in power and glory;
In the absolute need of regeneration of human beings, who are lost and sinners, through the Holy Sprit;
In the Holy Spirit, Who dwells in the believer and performs in him the work of sanctification;
In the resurrection of the saved and the lost: the former to eternal life, the latter to eternal damnation;
In the spiritual unity of all believers in Christ.
Some doctrinal remarks
I.B.E.I. requires its teachers to teach in harmony not only with the doctrinal statement, but also with the hermeneutical and doctrinal affirmations described below.
In the study of some subjects, the analysis of theological, hermeneutical and philosophical ideas that diverge from the doctrinal statement of the Institute is not done to create unproductive controversy, but, with regards to the doctrinal statement, to equip the students to defend the truth of the Gospel from any human rationalistic and philosophical contamination; with regards to secondary points, like those addressed below, to help the student to mature personal convictions and to defend these convictions biblically (1 Pt. 3:15; Ti. 1:9). The goal of the theological teaching at IBEI is indeed not to indoctrinate students on secondary points, but to put him or her in the condition of understanding biblical truths and exegetical difficulties, and formulate his or her personal theological position.
To this matter, the words of New Testament scholar and teacher Darrell Bock are particularly appropriate: "It is my contention that all of us, whatever our traditional roots, need to hold to our tradition with a sense that it possesses a small-letter dimension in recognition of the fact that many points we discuss with one another are points of debate between Biblically committed evangelicals. As we face much of the world that does not know Jesus, what we have in common is far more important than our differences." [Bock, Darrell L., Why I am a dispensationalist with a small "d", JETS, 41/3 (09/ 1998), p. 384]
We adopt the "historical-grammatical" method and teach the students how to use it. This method follows the principles of grammatical analysis and gives to the words their literal meaning while keeping in mind the historical and literary context and valuing both the divine and the human origin of the text (2 Pt. 1:21)
Soteriology and Missiology
We teach that salvation is by grace, through faith in the Person and the vicarious work of Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, whom we confess as Lord, true God and true man. His expiatory sacrifice is of unique and infinite value, not limited, and therefore unrepeatable. It allows salvation to be offered freely to all human beings, who are then responsible to accept it or not. Indeed, in His great love, God "wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth". He send His Son "who gave himself as a ransom for all men" (1 Tim. 2:4-5; 1 Jn. 3:8-10). Therefore, other "ways to salvation" cannot be considered valid (Jn. 14:6, Acts, 4:12, Romans 10:3-13). The appropriation of salvation depends upon the communication of the Gospel, which leads to faith in Christ (Rom. 10:14-17), and the regeneration work of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 3:5-21; Tit. 3:5). This salvation, once obtained, remains eternally secure since it is entirely the fruit of God's grace. The one that ignores Gods goodness, refusing to believe in Christ to be saved, "will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him" (Jn. 3:36). The reality of salvation manifests itself in a life consistent with the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. This attitude of obedience and perseverance is the fruit of salvation, and not the means to salvation (Heb. 3:14, 1 Th. 5:23-24). The goal of the two advents of Christ is the reconciliation of all things with God, under Christ (Eph. 1:9-10; Col. 1:19-20; 2 Cor. 3). Every true Christian has the privilege and the duty to participate in this ministry of reconciliation as "Christ's ambassadors" (2 Cor. 5:11-21).
We believe that the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, proceeds from the Father through the Son. He baptizes with the Spirit every person that confesses Him as Savior and Lord, placing this person in the "Body" of Christ, that is, the Church. Such baptism occurs at the same time of conversion (Rom. 8:9, 1 Cor. 12:12-13). The Holy Spirit dwells in Christ's disciples and spurs them to follow a path of sanctification to the glory of God (Rom. 6-8); nevertheless, it is still the responsibility of the disciples to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to manifest the new life, obtained by grace, in the practical aspects of life (Eph. 5:18-18; Rom. 6:11-19). The spirituality of a believer must be evaluated on the basis of the manifestation of the "fruit of the Spirit" in the various relationships of life and not on the basis of the workings of the Spirit that are not part of the common experience of every believer (Gal. 5:16-26). Both the fullness of the Spirit and the various gifts imparted by the Spirit (from the Greek, charismata) serve primarily for witnessing and for the edification of the Body of Christ (Acts 4:8, 31; 1 Pt. 4:10-11).
We teach that the Church, prophesized by Christ in Mt. 16:18, came into being the day of Pentecost with the descent of the Holy Spirit (Mk. 1:8, Jn. 16:7-11; Acts 2:1-42, 11:15). Its history encompasses two periods: the apostolic period, in which the special revelation was completed (Jn. 16:12-13; cfr. Jude 3), and the current period which extends "to the very end of the age" (Mt. 28:20). Regarding the first period, one must recognize the unique role of the apostles who, together with the prophets, are defined as the "foundation" of the building of which Christ is the "cornerstone" (Eph. 2:20-22). Consequently, some of the gifts and workings of the Spirit that characterized the apostolic days must be considered as a "sign" and not normative (2 Cor. 12:12; Rom. 15:16-19; Heb. 2:3-4).We believe that the fellowship of Christ's disciples takes place primarily in the sphere of the local church (Acts 9:31; 11:22; 15:3-4; 16:4-5; 18:27; 1 Cor. 1:2). Consequently, every disciple must live the beauty of Christian fellowship in a local church, and to submit to the discipline of such church, expressing his or her spiritual gifts with diligence for the common edification (1 Cor. 12:7-27; Eph. 4:7-16). Differently from today's ecumenical tendency to consider "brothers" all who adhere to some form of religion, we believe that the "fellowship of the saints" extends only to "those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ – their Lord and ours" and persevere in His Word (1 Cor. 1:2; cfr. Jn. 8:31-32; 17:17-21). As far as the government of the church, we believe the teaching of the apostles regarding the role of a council of pastor/elders to be normative. These pastor/elders exercise the gifts of leadership, teacher and pastor. Moreover, they ensure, with a spirit of service and sacrifice, not lording it over those entrusted to them, that each member of the church will serve according to the gift or gifts imparted by Christ (1 Pt. 5:1-3; Acts 14:21-23; 20:17, 28; Eph. 4:7-16; Phil. 1:1; 1 Th. 5:12-13; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; 1 Pt. 4:10-11).
Priesthood and Christian ministry
Because of the enduring confusion in the secular world on the issue of priesthood and Christian ministry, we would like to make the following remarks: the church, as its ordinances (the Lord's Supper and water baptism), is lay by nature; all the disciples of Christ have the same right to turn to God in prayer (Heb. 10:18-23; 1 Pt. 2:1-10); it is necessary to distinguish between the types of ministries allotted to men and women, and not between the priesthood of men and women, since Christian ministry is not characterized as priestly mediation, comparable with the levitical ministry, but as proclamation (1 Cor. 14:34; 1 Tim. 2:11-12; 2 Cor. 3:5-6, 17-21).
We affirm the second coming of the Messiah for the Church, and to perform the judgments on the earth and reign for one thousand years, before the last rebellion of Satan. We affirm the final defeat of Satan, the resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous and the eternal separation of these from God (Acts 3:19-21; 1 Th. 4:13-17; 1 Cor. 15:23-28; Rev. 19:11 – 22:5).