What We Believe
We believe the Bible to be the verbally inspired (God-breathed) Word of God, without error in the original writings, and the supreme and final authority in all things. We accept the Bible, the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, as the written Word of God. The Bible is the only essential and infallible record of God’s self-disclosure or revelation. It leads us to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Being given by God the Scriptures are both fully and verbally inspired by God, or God-breathed. Therefore, as originally given, the Bible is free of error in all it teaches. Each book is to be interpreted according to its context and purpose and in reverent obedience to the Lord who speaks through it in living power. All believers are exhorted to study the Scriptures and diligently apply them to their lives. The Scriptures are the authoritative and normative rule and guide of all Christian life, practice, and doctrine. They are totally sufficient and must not be added to, superseded, or changed by later tradition, extra-biblical revelation, or worldly wisdom. Every doctrinal formulation, whether of creed, confession, or theology must be put to the test of the full counsel of God in Holy Scripture.
(2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:21; John 17:17).
There is one God: infinite, eternal, almighty, and perfect in holiness, truth, and love. In the unity of this one God there are three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, co-existent, co-equal in nature and essence, and co-eternal. The Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Spirit, yet each is truly Deity. One God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - is the foundation of Christian faith and life. (Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14).
God the Father
God the Father is the Creator of heaven and earth. By His word and for His glory, He freely and supernaturally created the universe. Through the same Word He daily sustains all His creatures. He rules over all and is the Sovereign of the universe. His plans and purposes cannot be thwarted. He is faithful to every promise, works all things together for good to those who love Him, and in His unfathomable grace gave His Son Jesus Christ for mankind’s salvation. He made man for fellowship with Himself, and intended that all creation should live to the praise of His glory (Gen. 1; Ps. 90:2; Isa. 40-41; John 1:18; Acts 2:33; Rom. 8; 15:6; 1 Cor. 8:6; 1 Pet. 1:3).
The Person and Work of Jesus Christ
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God in any respect. The “kenosis” was not a diminishing of deity but the taking on of flesh (Phil. 2). He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and save sinful humanity. He is fully God and fully man. Through Him all things came into being and were created. He was before all things and in Him all things hold together by the word of his power. He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation and in Him dwells the fullness of deity bodily. He is the only Savior for the sins of the world, having shed his blood and died a substitutionary death on the cross. By His death in our place, He revealed the divine love and upheld divine justice, removing our guilt and reconciling us to God. Having redeemed us from sin, the third day he rose bodily from the grave, victorious over sin, death and the powers of darkness and for a period of forty days appeared to over five hundred witnesses, performing many convincing proofs of His resurrection. We believe He accomplished our salvation through His death on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice. We believe our redemption and salvation are guaranteed by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (John 1:1, 14, 18; Luke 1:35; Rom. 3:24-26; 4:25). We believe the Lord Jesus Christ is now in heaven, exalted to the right hand of God where, as High Priest to His people, He fulfills the ministry of intercession and advocacy. (Heb. 1:3; 3:1; 7:23-25; 1 John 2:1-2).
The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. Through the proclamation of the Gospel, He persuades men to repent of their sins, believe in or fully trust in Christ and His finished work on the Cross, and confess Jesus as Lord. By the same Spirit a person is led to trust in divine mercy. The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth, and dwells within the regenerate. The Spirit baptizes them into the Body of Christ, indwells them permanently, seals them unto the day of redemption, bestows spiritual gifts on each one, and fills those yielded to Him. The Holy Spirit has come to glorify the Son who in turn came to glorify the Father. He will lead the Church into a right understanding and rich application of the truth of God’s Word. He is to be respected, honored, and worshipped as God, the Third Person of the Trinity.
(John 16:7-11; John 3:8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11,13; John 14:16-17; Eph. 4:30, 5:18).
We believe God created all things in heaven and earth and that they exist by His power (Gen. 1:1; Col. 1:16-17). We believe man and woman were created innocent and in the image and likeness of God but that they sinned, bringing both physical and spiritual death to themselves and their posterity. We believe humanity has inherited a sinful nature, is alienated from God and is in need of salvation. God made man - male and female - in His own image, as the crown of creation, that man might have fellowship with Him, enjoy Him, and glorify Him forever as His image-bearers. Marriage is defined by God as the union of one man and one woman (Gen. 2:21-25; Matt. 19:4-6). Tempted by Satan, Adam and Eve disobeyed and rebelled against God. Being estranged from their Maker, yet responsible to Him, they became subject to divine wrath, inwardly depraved and sinful and, apart from God’s grace, utterly incapable of returning to God. This depravity is radical and pervasive. It extends to his mind, will and affections. Unregenerate man lives under the dominion of sin and Satan. He is at enmity with God, hostile toward God, and hateful of God. Fallen, sinful people, whatever their character or attainments, are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ.
(Gen. 1:27; 2:17; 3:19; Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 8).
We believe salvation is a gift of God and is received by man through personal faith in the resurrected Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death for our sins. We believe man is justified, that is seen as blameless in God’s eyes, by grace through faith apart from works. We teach that justification before God is an act of God (Romans 8:33) by which He declares man righteous. This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Romans 3:20; 4:6) and involves the imputation of our sins to Christ (Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21). By this means God is enabled to “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).
(Acts 13:38-39; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 1:4-5 & 2:8-10).
We believe sanctification, which is a setting apart unto God, is positional, progressive and ultimate. Positionally, it is already complete since the believer is in Christ and is set apart unto God as Christ is set apart unto God. Since the Christian retains his sinful nature, however, there is need for progressive sanctification whereby he grows in grace by the power of the Spirit and the Word (John 14-17). Ultimately, the child of God will be set apart from sin in his practice (as he is now in his position in Christ) when he is taken to be with Christ and shall be like Him, given a resurrected, glorified, and sinless body. The Holy Spirit is the active agent in our sanctification and seeks to produce His fruit in us as our minds are renewed and we are conformed to the image of Christ. Though sin remains a reality in our lives, as we are led by the Spirit, we grow in the knowledge of the Lord, freely keeping His commandments and endeavoring to so live in the world that all people may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven. When we receive our new, resurrected and glorified bodies, we will finally be free from all sin. Positionally we are declared righteous, progressively we should be becoming more holy, and one day, our position will be made reality when we are fully redeemed and glorified. All believers are exhorted to persevere in the faith knowing they will have to give an account to God for their every thought, word and deed. The spiritual disciplines, especially Bible study, prayer, worship, community, personal confession of sin to the Lord (or to those we’ve offended or accountability partners), and the ordinances of the Lord (the Lord’s Supper and Baptism) are vital means of grace in this regard. Nevertheless, the believer’s ultimate confidence to persevere is based in the sure promise of God to preserve his people until the end which is most certain. (Rom. 12; 2 Cor. 3:18; Gal. 5-6; Eph. 4-5; Phil. 1-3; 1 Thess. 4-5; 1 John 3; Heb. 10:10, 14).
We believe the Church, the Body and Bride of Christ, is made up of all born-again persons of this present age. We believe the local Church is an assembly of professed believers in Jesus Christ who are voluntarily joined together in one locality for the purposes of worship, study of the Word of God, observance of the ordinances, Christian fellowship, equipping for Christian service and fulfilling the Great Commission
(Acts 2:42-47; 1 Cor. 1:1-2; Eph. 4:11-13; Matt. 16:18; 28:19-20).
The Ordinances of Baptism and The Lord’s Supper
We believe Jesus Christ instituted the ordinances of water baptism and the Lord’s Supper, both of which are to be observed by believers until He returns (Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26). We believe by water baptism a believer is publicly identified with his Savior and the Church and that infants of believing parents may be dedicated to the Lord but not baptized. We believe the Lord’s Supper is a memorial of Christ’s death and resurrection, the elements being symbols of His body and blood. We believe every Christian has a right to partake of the elements of the Lord’s Supper but that participation must always be preceded by solemn self-examination.
The Second Coming of Jesus Christ
We believe in the personal, imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ for the Church.
(Titus 2:13; 1 Thess. 5:13; Phil. 3:20; Matt. 24:15-31; 2 Tim. 4; Zech. 14:4-11; Rev. 20:1-6).
Jesus Christ is the gospel. The good news is revealed in His birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension. Christ’s crucifixion is the heart of the gospel, His resurrection is the power of the gospel, and his ascension is the glory of the gospel. Christ’s death is a substitutionary and propitiatory sacrifice to God for our sins. It satisfies the demands of God’s holy justice and appeases His holy wrath. It also demonstrates His infinite love and reveals His amazing grace. Jesus Christ is the only mediator (intermediary may be a better term) between God and man. There is no other name by which men must be saved (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). At the heart of all sound doctrine is the cross of Jesus Christ and the infinite privilege that redeemed sinners have of glorifying God because of what He has accomplished. Therefore, we want all that takes place in our hearts, churches and ministries to proceed from and be related to the cross (Mark 1; Rom. 3; 2 1 Tim. 6; Gal. 6).
Because God gives people eternal life through Jesus Christ, those who believe in and trust Christ are secure in their salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives this security. (John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10, 14; 1 Peter1:3-5).