We believe the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are the Word of God; verbally inspired, God–breathed in every word (2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Corinthians 2:7-14; 2 Peter 1:20,21). They are, therefore, inerrant in the original writings, infallible, and the final authority for all Christian faith and conduct (John 16:12-13; Matthew 4:4; 5:18; Psalm 119)
We believe there is only one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; 1 Corinthians 8:4), spirit by nature (John 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14), who are co-eternal in nature, being, power and glory; identical in attributes and perfections; equally deserving of worship and obedience.
THE FATHER We believe God the Father, the 1st Person of the Trinity, is the Creator and sovereign ruler over all things (Genesis 1:1-31; Ephesians 3:9; Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:36). He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (Ephesians 1:11-12). He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events (1 Chronicles 29:11). We believe that as Creator, He is Father to all men (Ephesians 4:6), but He is spiritual Father only to believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, whom He saves from sin and adopts as His children forever (John 1:12; Romans 8:14-15; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Galatians 4:5).
THE SON We believe Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father in every aspect of the divine nature (John 1:1-4; 10:30; 14:9-11; Hebrews 1:3). We believe God the Father created all things through His Son, Jesus Christ, who holds all things in existence and operation by His infinite power (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2-3).
We believe that in His incarnation, the eternally existing Son of God became a man (John 1:14; 1 Timothy 2:5b). Born of a virgin, after miraculously being conceived by the Holy Spirit in her womb (Luke 1:26-35), the Eternal Son of God took on the very nature of humanity without ceasing to be God, surrendering only His prerogatives of deity, but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind. Representing humanity and deity in perfect, indivisible oneness, He became the one and only God-man (Micah 5:2; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9), revealed God’s nature (John 1:14, 17; Hebrews 1:3), and redeemed sinful men, (John 1:29; Hebrews 7:25-26; 1 Peter 1:18- 19).
We believe Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth (Isaiah 53:9; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22), at the end of which He purchased our freedom from sin by voluntarily receiving God’s judgment for our sins through His sacrificial death on the cross (Isaiah 53:5-6; 1 Peter 2:21-25). Bearing our sins in His body, the sinless Christ became our substitutionary sacrifice and thereby redeemed us from sin’s condemning power. After dying for our sins, Jesus Christ rose literally and physically from the dead (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:38-39). Our justification before God and new spiritual life in Him are made sure by Christ’s redeeming death and resurrection from the dead (Rom 3:24; 4:25; 6:1-11; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Colossians 2:9-15; I Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; I Peter 1:3-5). On the basis of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from the ownership, condemnation, power, and one day the very presence of sin. He or she is declared righteous, adopted into the family of God, and given eternal life (John 3:16; Romans 3:25; 5:8-9; 8:14-17; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18).
THE HOLY SPIRIT We believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. Proceeding from the Father and the Son (Romans 8:9), the Holy Spirit possesses all the attributes of deity and personality. In all the divine attributes, He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 28:25-26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Jeremiah 31:31-34 with Hebrews 10:15-17). He is eternal (Hebrews 9:14), omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-10), omniscient (Isaiah 40:13-14), omnipotent (Romans 15:13), and the source of truth (John 16:13). As to personality, the Holy Spirit possesses intellect (1 Corinthians 2:10-13), emotions (Ephesians 4:30), and will (1 Corinthians 12:11). In addition to His sovereign activity in creation (Genesis 1:2), the incarnation of Christ (Matthew 1:18), and scriptural revelation (2 Peter 1:20-21), the work of the Holy Spirit is central in our salvation (John 3:5-7). The Holy spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, regenerates sinners by uniting them to Christ through faith, indwells every believer, baptizes every believer into the body of Christ, and infuses them with spiritual gifts. He empowers and transforms every believer to bear spiritual fruit, and seals all believers, keeping them secure until the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; II Corinthians 3:6; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 12:12-14; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30).
We believe salvation is wholly a gift of God’s mercy and grace, based solely upon the merits of Christ’s redemptive work in His death and resurrection on our behalf (Ephesians 1:7; Titus 3:5-7; I Peter 1:18-19). We receive this gift through faith alone, apart from works, as God draws us to Himself, captures our hearts, and grants us saving faith in Christ, through which we are united to Him (John 1:12; 6:44, 65; Romans 6:1-11; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Ephesians 2:1-10).
We believe the Holy Spirit supernaturally and unconditionally imparts new life to God’s elect as He unites them to Christ through faith, enabling and compelling them to obey God and grow in Christ-likeness (John 1:12-13; 3:3-7; 6:37-44; 15:8; Acts 26:20; Romans 6:1-23; Titus 2:11-14;1 Peter 1:1-8; James 2:14-26; 1 John 2:3; 3:4-10). JUSTIFICATION We believe when the repentant sinner comes to saving faith in Christ, God declares him or her righteous in His sight, completely uncondemned and uncondemnable before Him (Isaiah 55:6-7; Romans 3:20-28; 8:1-4, 33). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Romans 3:20; 4:6; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-9) 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), making God the “just justifier” of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).
SANCTIFICATION AND GLORIFICATION
We believe, in addition to being set apart (sanctified) positionally and instantaneously through Justification (Acts 20:32; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30; Hebrews 2:11), at the moment of saving faith, the regenerate believer enters a process of sanctification, in which the Holy Spirit progressively transforms his or her character and actions to increasingly reflect the positional righteousness he or she enjoys through justification (2 Corinthians 3:18; John 17:17, 19; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4). Believers partner with God in their progressive sanctification by walking in the power of God’s Spirit to live in surrendered obedience Him. As the regenerate believer, now a new creation in Christ, battles the sinful flesh and obeys God by faith (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 2:20; Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:22-24; Galatians 5:16-25), he or she is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, and the moral image of Jesus Christ (John 15:1-5; Romans 6:1-23; Ephesians 5:18; Philippians 2:5-10; 1 Peter 1:14-16). Christian maturity is a life-long process, and perfection in this life is not possible (1 John 1:7-10; Philippians 3:12-14). Even so, the Spirit-led believer will be progressively transformed by God, experience increasing victory over the flesh, bear increasing spiritual fruit, and live in an increasingly Christ-like manner. We believe that the believer’s conformity to Christ’s holy character will reach its perfect climax when the believer is gloried with Christ at His coming (Romans 8:17, 29; 1 John 3:2-3).
SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER
We believe all who become God’s children through faith in Jesus Christ are forever His. We will never be lost because God chooses us in His sovereign grace, grants us faith, and keeps us by His power for eternity. God guarantees that He initiates, protects and completes our salvation for His glory (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 5:9-10; 8:29-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; Ephesians 4:30; Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 7:25; 13:5; 1 Peter 1:3-5).
THE BELIEVER’S ASSURANCE
We believe it is the privilege of born-again believers to enjoy assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word (1 John 5:11-13), God’s Holy Spirit within them (Romans 8:14-17), and their changing life (1 John 2:3). The Scriptures clearly forbid the use of Christian liberty as an excuse to indulge the sinful flesh (Romans 6:1-23; 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15).
We believe the Church of Jesus Christ is a spiritual organism that was born at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit took up permanent residence in His covenant people (Acts 2; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19). We believe that the Church is made up of all and only born-again believers, since all and only those who place saving faith in Christ are instantaneously baptized into the Church, also called the Body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:25-27; I Corinthians 12:12-14).
We believe that the Church exists to glorify God (Ephesians 3:21) through inward maturity, by the building up of itself up in love (Ephesians 4:13-16), and outward influence, by communicating the gospel in word and deed to the entire world (Matthew 5:16; 28:19; Acts 1:8). The Church is at the center of God’s Kingdom work in this age, and His sovereignly chosen vehicle to accomplish individual and cultural transformation (Acts 2:42-47; 17:6). Though a spiritual battle rages against God and His people (Genesis 3:14-15; Ephesians 2:1-3; 6:10-18), neither the world, nor demonic powers of darkness will prevail against the Church or God’s sovereign, redemptive purposes for Her (Matthew 16:17-18; Revelation 19:6-9).
We believe the Church of Jesus Christ expresses Herself on earth through local, self-governing bodies (Acts 14:27, 18:22, 20:17, I Tim 3:1-3 & Titus 1:5-11), made up of Spirit-led Christ followers, each of whom plays a divinely ordained role in fulfilling God’s purposes in and through His Church (1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Ephesians 4:11-16).
PRIESTHOOD OF ALL BELIEVERS
While God calls some in His Church to spiritual leadership (1 Peter 5:1-4; Titus 1:5-9), Jesus Christ is the only Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4; Hebrews 13:20). We believe that every born-again believer has equal access to God, the responsibility to live for Him, and the privilege to serve Him (1 Peter 2:9; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Ephesians 4:11-16). God sovereignly bestows gifts for service upon every member in the Body of Christ (Romans 12:4-6; I Corinthians 12; I Peter 4:10-11). It is the privilege and responsibility of every member of the Body to serve in the Church and in the world to advance God’s Kingdom, according to, though not exclusively through these gifts (1 Corinthians 13; Philippians 2:1-11).
We believe two ordinances have been committed to the local church and are central to Christian fellowship and proclamation: water baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:38-42; Matthew 28:19,20; Acts 2:41-42; Acts 18:8; I Corinthians 11:23-26).
We believe water baptism by immersion (Acts 8:36-39) is a beautiful picture and testimony of a born again believer’s faith in the redemptive work of Christ. Baptism symbolizes the believer’s spiritual union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, and the believer’s corresponding death to sin and resurrection to a new life in Christ (Romans 6:1-11; Colossians 2:11-12). Baptism also symbolizes the believer’s mystical union with the corporate Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13).
THE LORD’S SUPPER
We believe the Lord’s Supper commemorates and proclaims the sacrificial death of Christ for us (Luke 22:19-20). Born again believers should celebrate this meal regularly and with great reverence, examining their hearts toward God, and especially toward one another before partaking of the elements (Acts 2:41-42; 1 Corinthians 11:28-32). While the elements of this communion celebration merely represent the body and blood of Christ, rightly participating in the Lord’s Supper provides the believer a profound opportunity to commune with the crucified, risen Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16).
We believe angels are spiritual beings, created by God to serve and worship Him. Although they are a higher order of creation than man, they are not to be worshiped. (Luke 2:9-14; Hebrews 1:6-7, 14; 2:6-7; Revelation 5:11-14; 19:10; 22:9).
We believe God originally created Satan as a holy angel. Indeed, he was the highest of all angelic beings. But Satan rebelled against God and became the author of sin. He incurred God’s judgment by rebelling against his Creator (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19), taking numerous angels with him in his fall (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:3-4), and by introducing sin into the human race through his temptation of Eve (Genesis 3:1-15). Satan is the open and declared enemy of God, man, and the Church of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 14:13-14; Matthew 4:1-11; 1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:10-12; Revelation 12:9-10). He is the prince of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2), who has been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 16:20; Colossians 2:11-15). He will be eternally punished in the lake of fire (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).
DEATH and LAST THINGS
We believe physical death involves no loss of our immaterial being or consciousness (Revelation 6:9-11), as the soul merely separates from the body at that time (Philippians 1:21-24). The souls of the redeemed immediately enter the presence of God and enjoy fellowship with Him forever (Luke 23:43; Philippians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:8). The souls of those outside of Christ are forever separated from the presence of God and the joy of fellowship with Him (Luke 16:19-31; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10). The souls of the redeemed remain separated from their bodies until the end of the age, when our souls will be clothed with gloried bodies in which we shall live forever with our Lord (Romans 8:23-25; 1 Corinthians 15:35-54; Philippians 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life (John 6:39; Romans 8:10-11, 19-23; 2 Corinthians 4:14), and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; Revelation 20:13-15). The souls of the unsaved at death are kept under punishment until the second resurrection (Luke 16:19-26; Revelation 20:13-15), when the soul and resurrection body will be united (John 5:28-29). The unsaved shall then appear at the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15) and shall be cast into hell, the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41-46), cut off from the life of God forever (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:41-46; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). While the redeemed escape the white throne judgment through their union with Jesus Christ (John 5:24, 29, the children of God will stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account for the deeds done in the body (1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10)
We believe that at the end of the present age, Jesus Christ will return in glory and power to judge the living and the dead, destroy the works of the devil, and make all things new (Matt. 24; Rev. 19-20). At that time, God will destroy the elements of the earth and physical universe with fire, and replace them with a new heavens and a new earth, wherein only righteousness dwells (Ephesians 5:5; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 20:15; 21:1-27; 22:1-21). Following this, the people of God, having been gathered and protected by God in His presence, will descend to the new earth as a heavenly city (Revelation 21:2), and be with God and one another forever (John 17:3; Revelation 21-22). Our Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will deliver up the kingdom to God the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24-28), that in all spheres the triune God may reign in glory forever and ever (1 Corinthians 15:28).