Statement of Faith

Statement of Faith

The following is a statement of “those things most surely believed among us” (Luke 1:1). While membership does not demand total adherence to this statement, it does require that no member shall promote teachings out of harmony with those beliefs. Those who disrupt our unity by doing so will be dealt with according to the principles of Matthew 18:15-17.

The Scriptures

We believe that the Bible, composed of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments as originally written, was verbally inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16) through Spirit controlled men (2 Peter 1:19-21) and preserved for us (Matthew 5:18). Therefore, it is truth without error (John 17:17). We believe that it is the true center of Christian union and the only authoritative rule for all faith and practice.

The True God

We believe that there is only one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4). He is a personal (Exodus 20:2-3) spirit being (John 4:24), infinite and perfect in every way (Matthew 5:48). In the unity of the Godhead there are three personal distinctions: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 26:19). They are one in substance and equal in every divine perfection.

  • God the Son
    We believe that Jesus Christ is fully God in every way (John 1:1; Colossians 2:9). We believe that he took upon himself a human body and nature and experienced a complete and full humanity (Philippians 2:6-8). He avoided the sinful human nature through the miraculous virgin birth (Matthew 1:18-23). Through His sinless life and the offering of himself as a sacrifice for man's sin by His death, burial, and resurrection, He is the Savior of the world (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
  • God the Holy Spirit
    We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, fully equal with the Father and the Son (Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 3:17). He is the direct agent of the Godhead in applying divine works to God's creation (Psalm 104:30). His works in the world in general include creation and its maintenance (John 26:13; Psalm 104:30), inspiration of Scripture (1 Peter 1:21), restraining and convicting of sin (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8; John 16:8-11), and His ministry of glorifying Christ (John 16:14).

To the believer specifically, He has an active role in regeneration (Titus 3:5-6); He immediately baptizes the saved into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13); He permanently seals and indwells (Ephesians 1:13; 1 Corinthians 6:19); He gives assurance of salvation (Romans 8:1); He fills those who meet the biblical conditions (Ephesians 5:18); He intercedes (Romans 8:26-27); He guides (Romans 8:14); and He equips for spiritual service (1 Corinthians 12:11).

In equipping for service, the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts. Some of these were for confirming and authentication the message of the early New Testament church and were therefore temporary (speaking in tongues, interpreting of tongues, healing, and miracles) (Mark 16:17; Hebrews 2:3-4; 1 Corinthians 13:8-13). The remainder of the gifts are for the edifying of the church and are therefore permanent.

The Devil, or Satan

We believe in the reality and personality of Satan (Matthew 4:1-3). He was created by God as a perfect angel (Ezekiel 28:15), but through pride and rebellion became the enemy of his creator (Isaiah 14:12-14). He as become the unholy “god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4). He is the author of all powers of darkness and sin by which he seeks to blind unbelievers to the truth of the gospel and cause believers to stumble (1 Peter 5:8). He is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).

The Creation

We believe that God, by direct act, created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them (Exodus 20:11; Genesis 1 and 2). We believe that He continues to maintain and preserve His creation (Colossians 1:17) until that future time in which this present heaven and earth will be destroyed and a new heaven and earth created (2 Peter 3:10-13).

Man

We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27). Through Adam's voluntary act of sin (Genesis 3), the sin nature is passed to all mankind at conception (Romans 5:12-19). As a result, man is spiritually dead and separated from God and faces God's judgment (Romans 6:23). Man's only hope of escaping eternal judgment is the new birth (John 3:3), whereby he is made a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) and restored to fellowship with God.

The Atonement

We believe that God Himself atoned for the sins of mankind by becoming a man in the person of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:6-8), living a perfect and sinless life, and becoming a sacrifice for our sins (Isaiah 53:4-6). Through His substitutionary death upon the cross, the penalty for sin has been paid and divine justice is satisfied (2 Corinthians 5:21). Man is thus provided with the opportunity for forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation (1 Peter 2:24).

Salvation

We believe that salvation is “of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). He alone accomplished the work to make it possible for man to be justified in His sight (2 Corinthians 5:21) and He sovereignly draws men to Himself to be saved (John 12:32).

We believe that faith (complete trust) in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross is the only condition for salvation from sin and that this salvation is wholly by grace, not merited in any way (Ephesians 2:8-9).

We believe that those who receive Christ as their Savior are “born again” (1 Peter 1:23), have become new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) and have been saved in order to bring glory to God through their resulting good works (Ephesians 2:10). These good works are produced by God in the believer and in no way make salvation more secure. The security of salvation is in the promise of God who says that “all who believe will never perish” (John 3:16) and that “we are kept by the power of god unto salvation” (1 Peter 1:5).

The Saved and the Unsaved

We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the saved and the unsaved. Only those who through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and sanctified by the Spirit of God, are truly righteous in God's sight (2 Corinthians 5:21). All who refuse to repent and thereby continue in unbelief remain lost in God's sight and stand condemned before Him (John 3:18). This distinction continues after death in the everlasting conscious joy of the saved in heaven (John 14:1-3) and in the everlasting conscious suffering of the unsaved in a literal hell (Luke 16:22-24).

The Church

We believe that the church is the body of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23). It began on the day of Pentecost and continues until the coming of Christ for the church. It is composed only of those who have received Jesus Christ as Savior.

The Church has two aspects: the universal, composed of all true “Christian” believers baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13), and the local, composed of all professing believers in a given locality united together upon confession of faith and baptism (Galatians 1:2).

We believe that the local church has been commissioned by God to preach the gospel to every person, baptize those who believe, and teach the words of the scripture (Matthew 28:19-20). The church is to meet together for the purposes of worship, prayer, teaching, fellowship, mutual helpfulness, and the observance of the ordinances (baptism and the Lord's Supper) (Acts 2:42-47).

We believe that each local church is to be independent from coercion and rule by others being responsible only to the head of the church, Jesus Christ. The government of the local church is to be congregational in form (Acts 6:1-6; Matthew 18:15-20). We believe that the church has two offices whose qualifications and duties are scripturally outlined: pastor and deacon (1Timothy 3:1-13).

The Ordinances

Baptism

We believe that baptism (from the Greek word “baptize” meaning to dip or immerse) is the immersion of a believer in water (Acts 8:36-38). It is done in obedience to the command of the Lord, because of salvation and not in order to achieve it (Matthew 28:19). Dipping under the water and raising up out of it sets forth in a visual way the believer's identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Romans 6:2-4). Baptism is a prerequisite for local church membership (Acts 2:41).

Communion

We believe that communion is a remembrance of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 11:24-26). The bread figuratively represents His broken body and the cup represents His shed blood (Luke 22:19-20). Communion is an act of obedience and bestows no special grace upon the partaker. It is to be observed by those who are saved, baptized and in proper fellowship with the Lord (1 Corinthians 10:16) through careful examination of life and confession of sin (1 Corinthians 11:27-32). Communion is offered to all believers who meet the above requirements (1 Corinthians 10:16-17).

The Return of Christ

We believe in the bodily, personal return of Jesus Christ to this world (Acts 1:11). His coming for the church, in which He will cause believers to be “caught up” to meet Him in the air, could be at any moment (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. This event will result in the beginning of a seven-year tribulation period on the earth (Daniel 9:25-27). At the close of the tribulation He will come with His church to judge the living nations and set up His thousand year kingdom on Earth (Revelation 19-21).

The Resurrection and Judgments

We believe in the resurrection of the bodies of the dead (John 5:21-30). Believers who have died in Jesus will be raised at the coming of Christ for His church and caught up with the transformed living saints to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). They will then stand at the Judgment seat of Christ to give an account of themselves and to receive their rewards (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; Romans 14:10). The wicked dead will be raised at the close of the Millennial Kingdom and stand in their bodies at the Great White Throne Judgment to receive their final doom (Revelation 20:11-15).

Human Sexuality and Marriage

We believe that God, in His infinite wisdom and love, created mankind as the crown of His creation (Genesis 1:26). As such, He created them uniquely: male and female as complementary sexes (Genesis 1:27-28 Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6). Furthermore, we believe that each individual is created confirmed in their sexual gender by a sovereign and omniscient God so as to remove any doubt concerning gender or sexual orientation (Psalm 139:13-16a; Romans 1:26).

We believe that God created mankind as complementary sexes for the purposes of procreation, the preservation of righteousness and for mutual pleasure (Genesis 1:28; Deuteronomy 6:7; Proverbs 5:19; Ephesians 6:4). He has done so through the sacred union of heterosexual, monogamous marriage (Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:7-8). We believe that any perversion of God's institution of marriage is sin (Hebrews 13:4): involving but not limited to premarital sex, pornography, homosexuality, adultery, or any other form of immorality (Galatians 5:19-21).

We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (1 John 1:9).

We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behaviors or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be rejected as unbecoming of those who embrace the Scriptures and the Gospel of Christ (Romans 12:16; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11); Ephesians 4:1; Philippians 4:5; Colossians 1:10).