What We Believe
THE SCRIPTURES INSPIRED
The sole basis of our beliefs is the Bible, composed of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament. We believe that Scripture in its entirety originated with God, and that it was given through the instrumentality of chosen men. Scripture thus at one and the same time speaks with the authority of God and reflects the backgrounds, styles and vocabularies of the human authors. We hold that the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant in the original manuscripts. They are the unique, full and final authority on all matters of faith and practice and there are no other writings similarly inspired by God. (2 Tim. 3:15, 17; 1 Pet. 1:23-25; Heb. 4:12).
We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons, that they are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence, and redemption (Matthew 3:16-17; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
GOD – God, The Father
We believe that there is one true, holy God, eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - each of Whom possess equally all the attributes of deity and the characteristics of personality. In the beginning God created the world out of nothing and all the things therein, thus manifesting the glory of His power, wisdom and goodness. By His sovereign power He continues to sustain His creation. By His providence He is operating throughout history to fulfill His redemptive purpose. (Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3,15; 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10; 17:13; Matthew 6:9ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7).
JESUS CHRIST – The Son of God
Jesus Christ is the eternal second Person of the Trinity who was united forever with a true human nature by a miraculous conception and virgin birth. He lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father and voluntarily atoned for the sins of the all by dying on the cross as their substitute, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone. He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He lived and died. He ascended into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of the Father, where He, the only Mediator between God and man, continually makes intercession for His own. He shall come again to earth, personally and visibly, to consummate history and the eternal plan of God (Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 11:27; 14:33; 16:16,27; 17:5; 27; 28:1-6,19; Mark 1:1; 3:11; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; 24:46; John 1:1-18,29; 10:30,38; 11:25-27; 12:44-50; 14:7-11; 16:15-16,28; 17:1-5, 21-22; 20:1-20,28; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 7:55-56; 9:4-5,20; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-21; 8:1-3,34; 10:4; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8,24-28; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; 8:9; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-22; 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15,24-28; 12:2; 13:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:22; 1 John 1:7-9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16).
THE HOLY SPIRIT – The Spirit of God
The essential accompaniment of a genuine saving relationship with Jesus Christ is a life of holiness and obedience, attained by Christ followers as they submit to the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity. He was sent into the world by the Father and the Son to apply to mankind the saving work of Christ. He enlightens the minds of sinners, awakens in them recognition of their need of a Savior and regenerates them. At the point of salvation He permanently indwells every Christ follower to become the source of assurance, strength and wisdom, and uniquely endows each Christ follower with gifts for the building up of the body. The Holy Spirit guides Christ followers in understanding and applying the Scripture. His power and control are appropriated by faith, making it possible for the Christ follower to lead a life of Christ-like character and to bear fruit to the glory of the Father (Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 139:7ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10,12; Luke 1:35; 4:1,18-19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John 4:24; 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4,38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17,39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11,13; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; 1 Timothy 3:16; 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:8,14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10; 22:17).
MAN - HIS FALL AND REDEMPTION
Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God's creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love (Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12,19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18,29; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19,21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11).
THE SALVATION OF MAN
Conditions of Salvation
The central purpose of God's revelation in Scripture is to call all people into fellowship with Himself. Originally created to have fellowship with God, man defied God, choosing to go his independent way, and was thus alienated from God, and he suffered the corruption of his nature, rendering him unable to please God. The fall took place at the beginning of human history, and all individuals since have suffered these consequences and are thus in need of the saving grace of God. The salvation of mankind is, then, wholly a work of God's free grace, not the result, in whole or in part, of human works or goodness, and must be personally appropriated by repentance and faith. When God begins a saving work in the heart of any person, He gives assurance in His Word that He will continue performing it until the day of its full consummation (Titus 2:11; 3:5-7; Ro. 10:13-15; Luke 24:47).
Evidences of Salvation
The inward evidence to the Christ follower of his/her salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit (Romans 8:16). The outward evidence to all men is a life of holiness (1 Thess. 4:7, 2 Tim.1:9).
The corollary of union with Jesus Christ is that all Christ followers become members of His body, the church. There is one true church universal, comprised of all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The Scripture commands Christ followers to gather together to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, and the observance of baptism and communion. Christ followers are also to gather for fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world (Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3).
THE ORDINANCES – Baptism and The Lord’s Supper (Communion)
We believe that Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church: baptism and the Lord's Supper. We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a Christ follower in water into the name of the triune God. We believe that the Lord's Supper was instituted by Christ for commemoration of his death and that the Lord is spiritually present during the consumption of the elements to reward the Christ follower for his or her faithfulness. We believe the inappropriate consumption of the Lord's Supper is forbidden and warned against by the Apostle Paul. These two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; 20:7; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 10:16,21; 11:23-29; Colossians 2:12).
We believe that a Christ follower should live for the glory of God and the well-being of their fellow person; that their conduct should be blameless before the world; that they should be a faithful steward of their possessions; and that they should seek to realize for themselves the full stature of maturity in Christ. (Heb. 12:14; 1 Pet. 1:15,16; 1 Thess. 5:23,24; 1 John 2:6).
Divinely called and Scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for a two-fold purpose: (1) The evangelization of the world, and (2) The edification of the Body of Christ (Mark 15:16,20; Eph. 4:11-13).
We believe that every human being has direct relations with God, and is responsible to God alone in all matters of faith; that each church is independent and must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority; that therefore Church and State must be kept separate as they each have different functions, each fulfilling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other (Genesis 1:27; 2:7; Matthew 6:6-7,24; 16:26; 22:21; John 8:36; Acts 4:19-20; Romans 6:1-2; 13:1-7; Galatians 5:1,13; Philippians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; James 4:12; 1 Peter 2:12-17; 3:11-17; 4:12-19).
THE LAST THINGS
We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal joy of the righteous, and the endless suffering of the wicked. (1 Thess. 4:16; Ro. 6:23; Titus 2:13; 1 Cor. 15:51,52).