We believe . . .
Scripture, the Word of God Written
We believe the Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is the infallible Word of God, verbally inspired by God, and without inaccuracy in the original manuscripts. It was written by men under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. The meaning of biblical texts is a fixed historical reality, rooted in the historical, unalterable intentions of its divine and human authors. However, while meaning does not change, the application of that meaning may change in various situations. Because it was inspired by God, the Bible is truth without any mixture of error and is completely relevant to our daily lives. Scripture is totally sufficient and must not be added to, superseded or changed by later tradition, extra-biblical revelation or worldly wisdom. Every doctrinal formulation, whether of creed, confession or theology, must be put to the test of the full truth as given in the Holy Scripture.
We believe there is one God: infinite, eternal, sovereign, all-glorious and perfect in holiness, truth and love. God exists as the Godhead, made of three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, co-existent, co-equal and co-eternal. God is one, while the Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not the Father. Although each member of the Trinity serves different functions, they each possess equal power, authority, and Deity. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are equally worthy of the same glory and honor and obedience.
God the Father
We believe God the Father created all things in six literal days for His glory according to His own will, through His Son, Jesus Christ. He upholds everything through the word of His power and grace, exercising supreme rule and headship over all creation, providence, and redemption. Through the same word, He daily sustains all His creatures. He reigns over all and, along with the Son and the Spirit, is the only Sovereign. His plans and purposes cannot be thwarted. He is faithful to every promise, works all things together for good to those who love Him and, in His unfathomable grace, gave His Son, Jesus Christ, for mankind’s redemption. He made all things for the praise of His glory and intends for man, in particular, to live in fellowship with Himself.
We believe Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the eternal Word made flesh, supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. He is perfect in every way. He is fully God and fully man. He was always with God and is God. Through Him all things came into being and were created. He was before all things, and in Him all things hold together by the word of His power. He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born over all creation, and in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Jesus, being fully God and fully man, lived a sinless life and sacrificially shed His blood and died on the cross in our place. This accomplished redemption for all who place their faith in Him. He arose visibly and bodily from the dead three days later and ascended into heaven, where, at the Father’s right hand, He is now Head of His Body the Church, the only Savior and Mediator between God and man, and will return to earth in power and glory to complete His redemptive mission.
The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, has come to glorify the Son who, in turn, came to glorify the Father. He does this by giving the disciples of Jesus greater power to preach the gospel of the glory of Christ, by opening the hearts of hearers that they might see Christ and believe, and by revealing the beauty of Christ in His word and transforming His people into new creations. The Holy Spirit sanctifies, seals, fills, guides, instructs, comforts, equips, empowers, permanently indwells at salvation, and bestows spiritual gifts to the believer for Christ-like living and service. The Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus by calling people from all the nations into the gospel of Christ, and, in all of this, fulfilling the New Covenant promise to create and preserve a purified people for God. He is to be respected, honored and worshipped as God, the Third Person of the Trinity.
We believe that God created mankind—male and female—in His own image and likeness, free of sin, to glorify Himself and enjoy His fellowship. However, man fell to the temptation of Satan and sinned against God, bringing sin, death and condemnation to all mankind. All human beings, therefore, are totally depraved by nature and by choice. Unregenerate man lives under the dominion of sin and Satan. Whatever their character or attainments, all people are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ alone.
We believe Jesus Christ is the gospel. The good news is revealed in His birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension. Christ’s crucifixion is the heart of the Gospel; His resurrection is the power of the Gospel and His ascension is the glory of the Gospel. Christ’s death is a substitutionary and propitiatory sacrifice to God for our sins. It satisfies the demands of God’s holy justice and holy wrath. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. There is no other name by which men must be saved. At the heart of all sound doctrine is the cross of Jesus Christ. The Gospel alone gives us the infinite privilege that redeemed sinners have of glorifying God because of what Jesus has accomplished. People are saved through faith in Jesus by grace for God’s glory. Genuine faith continues and is evidenced, though imperfectly in this age, in obedience and love for Jesus Christ with a life eager to glorify God and persevere to the end.
We believe that once a person places his or her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, the believer is made part of the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ is the one universal Church, of which Jesus Christ is the Head. The Church is not a religious institution or denomination. Rather, the Church is made up of those who have become genuine followers of Jesus Christ through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible commands believers to gather locally to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, fellowship, baptism and communion, service to the local body through the development and use of talents and spiritual gifts, and outreach to the world to specifically fulfill the Great Commission. Wherever God’s people meet regularly under the watchful care of a plurality of elders, the preaching of God’s word, and the administration of the sacraments, there is the local expression of the Church. A church’s members are to work towards unity and love, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ.
We believe the only two biblical sacraments are baptism and communion. We believe baptism is a public expression of an inward change that is produced by salvation in Jesus Christ, not by water baptism. When believers are baptized they are publicly identifying themselves with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection symbolized by immersion in water. This is done in obedience to a direct command in Scripture. The Lord’s Supper is the united commemoration by believers of Christ’s death until He comes and should be preceded by a careful self-examination. The Lord’s Supper does not lead to salvation or forgiveness. It is done, as he commanded it to be done, to remember and honor the work of Chris. As we partake of the Lord’s Supper with an attitude of faith and self-examination, we remember and proclaim the death of Christ, receive spiritual nourishment for our souls, and signify our unity with other members of Christ’s body. Both baptism and communion should only be practiced by those who have received the saving benefits of Christ’s atoning work and become His disciple.
We believe in the glorious, visible, and personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The lost will be raised to judgment and experience eternal wrath in hell along with Satan and all his demons. The saved will be raised to eternal joy in the new heaven and new earth in the manifested presence of God. This will fully satisfy the eager expectation of creation, and the whole earth shall proclaim the glory of God when he makes all things new.