STATEMENT OF FAITH
Statement of Biblical Authority:
The statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with the final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For the purpose of the church’s faith, doctrine, practice, polity, and discipline, our leadership team is the final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.
1. The Word of God
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
(Mark 13:31; John 8:31-32, 20:31; Acts 20:32; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons; that these are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence, and redemption. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
(Genesis 1:1, 26; Matthew 28:19; John 1:1-3, 4:24, 28:19; Romans 1:19-20; Ephesians 4:5-6)
A. God the Father
We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit; perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. We believe that His perfect knowledge and sovereignty extends to all things past, present, and future; that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
(Matthew 23:9; Luke 10:21-22; John 3:16, 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:1-2, 2:5-6; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 1:6)
B. Jesus Christ
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit, fully God, fully man. We believe in his virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings. We believe in his substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for his people, and personal, visible return to earth.
(Matthew 1:18-25, 20:28; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1, 20:28, 30-31; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6-8, 6:9-10, 9:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:21-23; Ephesians 1:4; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 9:28)
C. The Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment – and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that he is an abiding helper, teacher, and guide.
John 14:16-17, 26, 16:9-14; Romans 8:4-6, 9; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19; Galatians 5:22-26)
We believe that all men were created by God in His own image; that he sinned and thereby incurred physical, spiritual, and eternal death, which is separation from God; that as a consequence, all human beings are born with a sinful nature and are sinners by choice, and therefore under condemnation. (Genesis 1:26, 2:17, 5:2-3; Psalm 51:7; Proverbs 28:13; Ecclesiastes 2:11; Jeremiah 17:9; John 1:13, 3:14-16, 5:24, 30, 7:13, 8:12, 10:26; Romans 3:19, 5:19, 8:1, 9:22; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 1:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; James 1:14; Revelation 19:3, 20, 14:15; 21:18)
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by his own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense, salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.
Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment to the entire person of him as Lord and Savior. (John 3:14-19, 36, 5:24; Romans 2:4, 5:8-10)
Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein He pardons all our sins and accepts us as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us and received by faith alone. All those who are justified, God grants the grace of adoption, to enjoy the liberties and privileges as children of God. (John 10:28-29; Romans 3:23-26)
Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God’s purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person’s life. (John 17:15, 17; Galatians 5:22-25)
Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed. The benefits of salvation are: assurance of God’s love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Spirit, increase of grace, and perseverance to the end. (Romans 6:22-23, 8:28-30)
5. The Church
We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons – past, present, and future – are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ associated for worship, work, and fellowship. We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world. (Acts 1:8, 2:42; Ephesians 2:19-22, 5:19-21; Hebrews 10:23-25)
6. Christian Conduct
We believe that a Christian should live for the glory of God and the well-being of his fellow men; that his conduct should be blameless before the world; that he should be a faithful steward of his possessions; and that he should seek to realize for himself and others the full stature of maturity in Christ. (John 14:15, 23-24; Romans 12:1-3; 1 Corinthians 4:2, 10:31; 2 Corinthians 9:6-9; Hebrews 12:1-2; Colossians 1:9-10; 1 John 2:3-6)
7. The Ordinances
We believe that the Lord 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 the believer in water into the name of the triune God, administered only to those who give a believable profession of faith in Jesus Christ. (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 8:36-39, 16:29-33)
B. The Lord’s Supper
We believe that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ for commemoration of his death for all those who have been saved by his grace. (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-33; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
8. Religious Liberty
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 having different functions, each fulfilling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other. (Romans 14:7-9, 12; 1 Timothy 2:5)
9. The Last Things
We believe that God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth, in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal felicity of the righteous, and the endless suffering of the wicked. (Matthew 16:27; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; 2 Timothy 4:1; Titus 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 20:4-6, 11-15)