Statement of Faith
The Holy Scriptures
We believe in the Scriptures, the Old and the New Testament, as the inspired Word of God, which are entirely trustworthy and without error in the original writings. They are the complete revelation of God’s will for the salvation of all persons, and the divine and final authority for all Christian’s faith and practice.
1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15-16; 2 Peter 1:21.
We believe in one God, Almighty, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect, holy, eternally existing, gracious, merciful, compassionate, and abounding in steadfast love. We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are one God, yet the Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not the Father. Each is truly Deity, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections. Each is worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience.
Deuteronomy 6:4; Nehemiah 9:17; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:18-19; Mark 12:29; John 1:14; Acts 2:33, Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 2:18, Ephesians 4:4-6; Hebrews 1:1-3, Hebrews 8; 1 Peter 1:15-16; Revelation 1:4-6.
The Lord Jesus Christ
We believe in the eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true man, who was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary in His incarnation. He was sinless and lived a sinless life, died on the cross as a perfect sacrifice for our sins, was buried, and rose bodily from the dead. He ascended into heaven, was exalted by the Father, and now intercedes as our High Priest and Advocate.
Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 24:39; John 1:1, John 14; John 2:19-21; Romans 1:4; Romans 8:34; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 1:13-19; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 4:14-16; Hebrews 7:24-25; Hebrews 9:24; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 2:1-2; 1 John 3:5.
The Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit, co-equal with the Father and the Son, who glorifies the Lord Jesus, convicts people of sin, regenerates the believing sinner, and permanently indwells all Christians. He guides, instructs, empowers, and gives gifts to believers for godly living and for service in building up the body of Christ. Spirit baptism occurs once at the time of faith in Christ, but the Spirit’s filling [i.e.: control of the believer by the Holy Spirit] may occur repeatedly after salvation. Some gifts of the Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and miraculous healings, had special significance during the New Testament apostolic period and are no longer in operation during the present economy.
John 14:16-17, John 26; John 16:7-15; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Corinthians 13:8, Ephesians 1:13-14; Ephesians 4:30; Ephesians 5:18; Titus 3:5-6; Hebrews 2:3-4.
The Nature of Man
We believe that man, who was created in the image and likeness of God, (on the sixth day of the six literal twenty four hour days of creation) has sinned and is guilty before a holy God, but he can receive salvation by being regenerated by the Holy Spirit.
Genesis 1:26-31; John 3:3-5; Romans 3:10, Romans 3:23; Romans 5:12; Titus 3:4-7; Hebrews 4:13.
We believe that the new birth of a believer comes only through faith in Christ and that repentance is a vital part of believing and inseparably linked to faith in Christ. It is in no way, in itself, a separate and independent condition of salvation. The sole condition for receiving eternal salvation from hell is faith (trust) in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died a substitutionary death on the cross for man’s sin and rose from the dead. No act of obedience, preceding or following faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, such as commitment to obey, sorrow for sin, turning from one’s sin, baptism, or submission to the Lordship of Christ, may be added to or considered as a part of faith as a condition for receiving eternal salvation. This saving transaction between God and the sinner is simply the giving and receiving of a free gift.
John 1:12; John 3:16, John 3:18, John 3:36; John 4:10; John 5:24; John 6:29, John 6:40; Acts 13:39; Acts 16:31; Romans 1:16-17; Romans 3:22, Romans 3:26; Romans 4:5; Romans 10:4; Galatians 2:16; Galatians 3:22; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5 Revelation 22:17.
We believe that the death of Christ was substitutionary and atoning for each and every human being for all time. The death and physical resurrection of Christ provides the only ground for a sinner’s justification and acceptance by God. All who receive the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior by faith alone are redeemed by His blood and born of the Holy Spirit, becoming children of God. Those who are born again are sealed by the Holy Spirit and have eternal life. They are kept by the power of God and shall never perish. The assurance of eternal salvation is based only on the promise God makes in His Word that everyone who trusts in Jesus Christ alone possesses eternal life. Good works, which can and should follow regeneration, are not necessary for a person to have assurance of eternal life even though they may have a secondary, confirmatory value.
John 3:16-18; John 3:36; John 5:24; John 10:27-29; Romans 3:20; Romans 4:25; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 3:15; Ephesians 1:7, Ephesians 13-14; Ephesians 2:8-10; Colossians 1:13-22; Titus 3:4-8; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 1 John 5:9-13.
The Eternal State
We believe that at death those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation pass immediately into His presence and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the glorified body. At that time, Christ will come for His own (at the rapture) whereupon the spirit, soul, and body reunited shall be associated with Him forever in glory. The unbelieving remain after death conscious of condemnation and in conscious misery until the final judgment of the Great White Throne at the close of the Millennium. Their spirit, soul and body reunited shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.
Matthew 25:41-46; Luke 16:19-26; Luke 23:42-43; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 1:6-7; Revelation 20:11-15.
Universal Body of Christ (Church)
We believe that the true Church is a living, spiritual Body of which Christ is the Head. It is composed of all those, whether living or dead, who are genuine Christians united together in that one Body of Christ through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18.
The Believer and the Local Expression of the Body of Christ
We believe that the Lord has called believers to fellowship together in local, autonomous congregations. These congregations, though autonomous in government, exist in vital union with all other believers. As Christians, we are to join in worshiping the living God, praying, building up one another in the most holy faith, and giving of our time and money as good stewards for the work of God. We are also to observe the Lord’s Supper, baptize converts, teach the Word of God, and proclaim the Gospel of Christ. The ultimate goal of the Holy Spirit’s work in the believer’s life is to produce spiritual maturity reflected in consistent Christ-like behavior and attitudes. Therefore, obedience to the Word of God, while not necessary for obtaining eternal salvation from hell, is the essential responsibility of each Christian. However, the Bible does not teach that this obedience will be manifested to all believers. If a believer does not yield to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in his experience, failure will result, evidenced by sinful acts or even prolonged disobedience.
Luke 14:25-35; Acts 2:42; Romans 6:12-23; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Corinthians 2:14-3:4; 1 Corinthians 10:1-13; Galatians 5:16-26; Colossians 1:23-29; Hebrews 5:13-14; Hebrews 10:24-25.
We believe that the assembly of Christians is to be guided and led by qualified men who are recognized as elders. They are responsible before God as shepherds of His flock. Scripturally qualified and recognized deacons assist the elders in the ministration of and to the saints.
Acts 6:1-8; Acts 14:23; Acts 20:17-38; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 5:1-3.
Roles in the Church
We believe that the teaching and pastoral ministry in the local congregation is not the duty or responsibility of any one individual within the congregation. Those with the gifts of pastoring, teaching and evangelism are to be welcomed and encouraged as they work in cooperation with the elders for the purpose of helping with the total ministry of the local expression of the body of Christ. Women share with men in various spiritual ministries, with the exceptions of audible prayer, leadership, and the teaching of the Scriptures before the whole congregation, which is an exercise of authority and leadership.
1 Corinthians 1:3-10; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 1 Corinthians 14:34-35; Ephesians 4:11-13; 1 Timothy 2:11-14.
God’s Established Order
We believe in God’s established order of government for the church and the home, with the men being in the capacity of leadership and the women in willing submission. Headship is first revealed in Genesis 3:16, further reiterated in Ephesians 5:23-24, and practiced in New Testament church order with the symbolic practices of the uncovered head of the man and the covered head of the woman during the meeting of the church.
1 Timothy 2:8-14; 1 Corinthians 11:2-16; 1 Corinthians 14:34-35; 1 Peter 3:1-7.
We believe that it is the responsibility of all Christians to love God and their neighbor, to worship God in spirit and in truth, to study the Scriptures, and to pray continually in order to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in daily living. We are to be filled with (which means being controlled by) the Spirit, share the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ, and encourage one another in the faith as we look expectantly for the coming of our Lord. It is inconsistent with the Gospel and with Scripture, however, to seek to gain or keep eternal salvation by godly living. The Scripture does present several motivations for obedience in the Christian life:
- A powerful motivation for living the Christian life is gratitude to God for saving us by His grace (Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; Galatians 2:20).
- Believers should also be motivated by the knowledge that their heavenly Father both blesses obedience and disciplines disobedience in His children (Hebrews 12:3-11; Leviticus 26:1-45).
- Finally, every Christian must stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, not to determine his destiny in heaven or hell, but to assess the quality of his Christian life on earth. Anticipating either reward or loss of reward at the Judgment Seat should also motivate believers to perseverance and to faithfulness to God’s revealed will (1 Corinthians 3:10-17; 9:24-27; James 5:8-9; 1 John 2:28-3:3).
- Matthew 28:18-20; John 4:23-24; 15:16-17; Acts 1:8; Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 5:22-26; Ephesians 2:10; 5:18-21; 2 Timothy 2:15; Titus 2:11-15.
We believe in Christian baptism as an expression of a believer’s identification with Christ and commitment to follow Him. Baptism is not a means of or an aid to salvation; however, it is expected of all believers in obedience to our Lord. We believe in the practice of baptism by immersion, symbolizing the believer’s death and burial with Christ and his being raised with Him to live a new life.
Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12, Acts 35-39; Acts 9:18; Acts 10:44-48; Acts 16:14-15; Acts 30-33; Acts 18:8; Acts 19:4-5; Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12.
The Lord’s Supper
We believe that the celebration of the Lord’s Supper is the privilege and responsibility of all believers. No person who gives a credible confession of faith is to be refused participation in the communion of our Lord, unless that person is willfully engaging in sin, persists in disseminating false doctrine or creating schism, or is being disciplined by another church for such practices. The observance of the Lord’s Supper does not require the presence or administration of a designated leader. Believers may exercise their common priesthood under the leadership of the Holy Spirit to remember and worship their Lord. Believing mean that are led by the Holy Spirit are to audibly lead the assembly of believers in worship and remembrance of our Lord. Believing women are to participate non-verbally, i.e. silently.
Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:15-20; Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 1 Corinthians 11:23-34; 1 Corinthians 14:34-35: 1 Timothy 2:11-12; 1 Peter 2:5; Revelation 1:6.
The Pretribulation, Premillennial Return of the Lord Jesus Christ
We believe in the imminent pretribulational return of the Lord Jesus, rapturing all believers to be with Himself forever, which precedes the time of the seven-year Tribulation. The Tribulation will be a time of unprecedented judgment, ending with the physical return of the Lord Jesus Christ on the literal throne of David in Jerusalem, starting the Millennial age. This Second Coming, which closes the Tribulation, will be followed by the restoration of Israel in the Millennial reign of Christ.
Isaiah 2:2-4; Isaiah 11:1-10; Matthew 24:4-44; Matthew 25:13; John 14:2-3; Romans 11:25; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; Titus 2:13; Revelation 19:11-16; Revelation 20:1-6.