In order to proclaim with clarity the love of God and the truth about Jesus Christ, it's vital that we be clear about what we believe the Bible teaches, just as Christians have done throughout history. We also believe it is necessary to set forth the cornerstone truths of our church concisely, as guided by Scripture.
We believe the Bible is the only divinely inspired, inerrant, and infallible, Word of God, in the original languages (2 Tim. 3:16, 1 Pet. 1:10-11, 2 Pet. 1:21, Acts 1:18, Ex. 23:19, Heb. 6:17-18). All Scripture was spoken by God and written by men, using their individual personalities and styles, to infallibly record God’s Word as the Holy Spirit led them; therefore, it has supreme authority and is sufficient for salvation, faith, and obedience (2 Tim. 3:16, 1 Pet. 1:10-11, 2 Pet. 1:21, Acts 1:18, Ex. 23:19, Heb. 6:17-18; Matt. 5:18, 2 Pet. 1:3-4, Heb. 4:12, 2 Tim. 3:15-17, 2 Pet. 1:20-21).
We believe the Old Testament and the New Testament are made up of 66 books constituting the entire closed canon of Scripture (Rev. 22:18-19).
We believe God is living and true (Deut. 6:4; 1 Thess. 1:9), infinite (Job 11:7-9), eternal (Psa. 90:2, Isa. 57:15), self-existent (Ex. 3:14, Isa. 40:28), unchanging (Jam. 1:17, Mal. 3:6). He in himself is self-sustaining and in need of no creature he made, rather, he is the Creator (Gen. 1:1) and Sustainer (Psa. 36:6) of all creation who alone has sovereign dominion over all creation to do all that he pleases according to his purpose (Acts 17:24-25, Isa. 42:5). His knowledge is perfect in every way and nothing he does is contingent upon his creatures (Job 22:2-3, Dan. 4:25, 35; Rom. 11:33-34). He is most holy and most wise in all that he is, in all that he does, and all that he commands (Isa. 6:3, Rom. 7:12). To him is due all glory, all honor, and all power (Rev. 4:11).
He is single in essence, eternally existing in perfect unity as three equally and fully divine persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (Ex. 3:14, Deut. 6:4, Matt. 3:16-17, 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14, Acts 5:3-4). Each member of the Godhead, while executing distinct but complementary roles in redemptive history, has precisely the same nature, and is equally worthy of the same glory and honor, and obedience (Heb. 1:3, John 15:26).
GOD THE FATHER
We believe that God the Father is called our Creator (Gen. 1:1-31). By his power, he has brought all things that have ever existed or ever will exist, into existence for his glory (1 Cor. 8:6, Heb. 2:10). He orders and governs all things according to his purpose and grace (Eph. 1:11, Psa. 145:8-9). He is Father within the Triune Godhead (Matt 11:27) and in relationship to mankind; As Creator, he is Father to all men (Eph. 4:6), but he is the spiritual Father to only believers (Rom. 8:14); He has graciously chosen all whom he adopts from before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4-6), and no one can come to the Son for salvation except those he effectually draws to himself (John 6:44); and, everyone whom the Father gives to the Son will come to the Son (John 6:37).
GOD THE SON
Concerning His Person
We believe that Jesus Christ, the Word (John 1:1 & 14), is the only begotten Son of God (Mark 1:1, Acts 3:32-33), the second person of the Triune Godhead, not made nor created, but coessential (John 10:30) and coeternal with the Father (John 1:2, 17:5, Heb. 1:3). The Son is the Eternal Word of God (John 1:1) who existed before all things were created, and through him, all things were made (John 1:2-3). In his incarnation, Christ did not give up any attributes of God (Col. 2:9) but rather took on the addition of human nature becoming like man in every way except without sin (Phil. 2:7-8, 1 John 3:5). Being conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin (Isa. 7:14, Luke 1:27, 31 & 35), he was born of a woman (Gal. 4:4) so that he became acquainted with mankind in every way but without sin to be the source of salvation and be designated our high priest by God (Heb. 5:7-10). He is now two complete, perfect, and distinct natures inseparably joined in one person without mixing or confusing them together, therefore, being truly God and truly man, yet one Christ, is the only mediator between God and mankind (Rom. 9:5, 1 Tim. 2:5).
Concerning His Work
We believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the promised Messiah that would bruise the serpent’s head (Gen. 3:15). At just the right time the Son, willingly sent by the Father, took on flesh (John 1:14, Phil. 2:8). He lived a perfect, sinless life (Matt. 5:17-20), and he died as the only acceptable substitutionary atonement for all who would believe (Mark 10:45, Rom. 5:8). Through the shedding of his blood on the cross, Christ has taken the wrath of God upon himself taking away the penalty for sin (Rom. 3:25, 5:8-9) and reconciling sinners to God (Rom. 5:10). After Christ gave up his spirit (John 19:30) he was buried in a tomb (John 19:41) and was resurrected by God on the third day (Mark 16:6, Gal. 1:1, John 10:17-18, Rom. 8:11) guaranteeing the future resurrection life for all believers (Rom. 1:4 & 6:5-10, John 5:26-29). After he appeared to his disciples he ascended to the right hand of the Father where he continues as the High Priest always interceding on our behalf (Acts 1:3 & 9, Heb. 7:24-25) as head of his body, the church (Col. 1:18, Eph. 1:22-23), and as the eternally reigning King (Psa. 10:16, 1 Tim. 1:16-17, Rev. 4:8-10). At the end of the ages, Christ the King will return in power and glory to consummate his redemptive purpose (Matt. 13:38-43, 24:29-31, 25:31-34).
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity (John 14:26 & 15:26); he is coessential and coeternal with the Father and the Son (Acts 5:3-4, Psa. 139:7, Heb.9:14, Matt. 28:19, Rom. 15:13, 2 Cor. 13:14). Nothing was made that is made without the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:2, Psa. 104:30). It is by his divine that the world is convicted of sin, righteousness, and of judgment (Ezek. 36:26-31, John 16:7-9). He is the Spirit of truth, sent to glorify Christ (John 16:13-14); to regenerate and indwell the redeemed; to draw them to saving faith in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:13-17, Tit. 3:5-6, 1 Pet. 1:2); to conform them to the image of the Son (Rom. 8:29, 2 Cor. 3:18); to build up the body of Christ into a dwelling place for God (Eph. 2:22); to seal, strengthen, guide, instruct, dwell in hearts through faith and to keep all believers for an eternal inheritance in Christ (Eph. 1:13, 3:14-19, 1 Pet. 1:3-5).
God made man, from dust, innocent and without sin, in the image of God, holy and good (Gen. 1:27-31, 2:7 & 15-25); God created mankind to glorify him, to enjoy perfect communion with him, and to accomplish God’s purpose for man in the world (Psa. 86, Isa. 43:7 & 60:21, Rom. 11:36, Col. 1:16, Rev. 4:11); Adam and Eve, our first parents, sinned against God invoking the consequences which God had sworn beforehand (Gen. 2:4-3:24). Therefore, Adam’s sin was transmitted to all mankind throughout the ages, Jesus Christ being the only exception (Rom. 3:10-17, 23, Eph. 4:18, 1 John 3:5). Transgressing against the Holy God, mankind has been wholly corrupted unwilling, and incapable of pleasing or reconciling with God. Being separated from God, man is subjected to physical and spiritual death, the eternal wrath of God, except by the sovereign free gift of God’s grace and kindness (Rom. 7-8, John 3:36, Rom. 6:23, Eph. 2:4-10, Rom. 2:4).
Mankind was created male and female only (Gen. 1:27). We were created by God, equal in value and goodness, to complement one another in different roles and varying gifts (Ecc. 7:29, 1 Tim. 4:4, Gen. 2:18, Eph 5:22-33). The man was created first and the woman was created from the man’s side, therefore, God created the family along with its structure (Gen. 2:23, 1 Cor. 11:9) – man is the head of the wife, Christ is the head of man, and the head of Christ is God (1 Cor. 11:3).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as the substitutionary atonement in our place, and that salvation is found in none other than Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:3-4, Acts 4:12). Before Creation, God chose those who would be saved and granted this unearned grace solely based on His sovereign good pleasure (Eph. 1:4-11). Jesus Christ’s death on the cross was the sole and complete payment for sins, fully satisfying God’s righteous wrath, for each person that turns from sin in repentance and places their faith in Christ alone by grace alone (Heb. 10:1-18). At salvation, each person is made a new creation by the Holy Spirit, declared righteous before God, and secured as an adopted child of God forever (2 Cor. 5:17, Rom. 8:15). Genuine faith continues in obedience and love for Jesus Christ with a life eager to glorify God and persevere to the end (Rom. 8:37-39, 1 Pet. 1:3-5, Phil. 1:6, John 10:27-30, 1 John 2:19).
It is God's divine decision to save a person and it is God's kindness, forbearance, and patience that lead that person to repentance (Rom. 2:4). All glory for the salvation and security of every believer belongs to God alone (Rom. 3:21-31, Eph. 1:7-9, 2:8-9, Jude 24-25). We believe that everyone who is born again by the Spirit through Jesus Christ is eternally assured of salvation from the moment of conversion. This assurance relies on God's decisive grace rather than on the works of the Christian. Obedience, good works, and fruit-bearing do not earn or retain the believer's salvation but indicate the reality of the person's love of Christ and profession of faith (John 14:21, 15:8, 16, Jam. 2:17-18).
Eternal security in salvation relies on the Lord's guarantee of each believer's adoption as His son or daughter (Gal. 4:4-7), His seal of the believer by the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 1:21-22, Eph 1:13-14), and the conviction that God gives the Holy Spirit to each believer as a down payment toward future bliss in heaven (2 Cor. 1:21-22). A person who professes genuine faith in Christ immediately becomes His possession (Luke 23:42-43, Acts 2:40-41, 16:30-34), and nothing can snatch that person out of His hands (John 10:27-29). Having been bought with the price of Jesus Christ's crucifixion as complete payment for sin, Christians are not their own. They are Christ's possession (1 Cor. 6:19-20). This assurance is absolutely certain, reserved in heaven, protected by God's unlimited power (1 Pet. 1:4-5).
THE CHURCH AND CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
We believe the purpose of the church is to glorify God (Eph. 3:21), that the universal church is the bride and body of Christ made up of believers from many nations and tribes from all times (Eph. 3:6, Eph. 5:22-33, Rev. 19:7, Rev. 7:9), and that it finds its expression in local churches that routinely come together to hear the Word of God proclaimed, to engage in corporate worship, to practice the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, to serve one another, to fellowship and hold each other accountable in the obedience of faith, to build one another up in the manifold ministries of love, and to engage in local and world evangelization (1 Cor. 16:19, Rom. 16:3, Acts 2:41-47, Matt. 28:19).
God has given the church officers to equip the saints for the ongoing work of ministry, these officers of the church consist of pastors, elders, and deacons. Each member should seek to use their God-given gifts for the building up of the body of Christ (Eph. 4:11-12, 2 Tim. 4:1-2, 1 Cor. 12:4-7, Rom. 12:6-8). The church is the household of God with Christ as the foundation in which the Holy Spirit dwells and is being built up into a Holy Temple in which God will dwell in the midst of for all eternity (1 Cor. 3:9, 16, Col. 2:7, Eph. 2:19-22).
We believe that Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the only two sacraments ordained by Christ. Baptism is the external profession of repentance and of faith in Christ, and communion is the continuing remembrance of what Christ did for the believer, represented by the immersion in the waters of baptism and a reminder of our trust and obedience to Christ; therefore, as modeled in Holy Scripture, communion shall not precede baptism (Matt. 28:19, Luke 22:19, Mark 16:16, Rom. 6:3-4, Acts 2:41-47).
Baptism in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is a sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ not only for the recognition of one to be admitted into the visible church but also to be a sign and seal of their ingrafting into Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, of regeneration, of forgiveness of sins, and of their surrender to God through Christ to walk in newness of life (Matt. 28:18-20, Rom. 5:21-6:4, Col. 2:11-14, Gal. 3:26-27, John 3:5, Titus 3:5, Mark 1:4, Acts 22:16, Rom. 6:3-4). Though baptism is not required for salvation it is commanded by our Lord for believers only, and full immersion in water is the most representative mode of this sign affirming the union of the believer to Christ and his body (Matt 28:18-20, Matt. 3:16, John 3:23).
The Lord’s Supper is a sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ, of his body and blood, on the night he was betrayed and shall be observed by taking the bread and the cup as a remembrance of his sacrifice unto death (Matt 26:25-29, Luke 22:14-22), for the spiritual nourishment and growth of the true believer (1 Cor. 10:16-17). It is a time of self-examination and confession of sin, therefore, if one participates and is not a believer or is living in willful disobedience then the elements are being taken in an unworthy manner (1 Cor. 11:27,29, 1 Cor. 10:21).
THINGS TO COME
Immediately upon death the bodies of men return to dust (Gen 3:19), but the immortal soul neither dies nor sleeps but stands before God (Ecc. 12:7); those in Christ are made perfect in holiness in the presence of Christ (Luke 23:43), and those who rejected Christ are held in conscious torment (Luke 16:19-26, 2 Thess. 1:7-9); both await the resurrection of their bodies at the return of Christ; those whose names are written in the Book of Life are raised unto eternal joy in the new heaven and new earth in the real presence of God and the condemned will be raised to eternal judgment and wrath in hell (John 5:28-29, 6:39, 2 Cor. 4:14, Dan. 12:1-2, Rev. 20:13-15, 21:1-27.).