WHAT WE BELIEVE
This Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all we believe. We do believe, however, that this Statement of Faith accurately represents the teachings of the Scriptures.
STATEMENTS OF FAITH
1. Doctrine of the Scriptures
We believe the Holy Scriptures, consisting of the Old and New Testament only, to be the plenary, verbally inspired Word of God; inerrant in the original manuscripts, authoritative, infallible and God-breathed: and that they are authority for faith and practice (II Timothy 3:16-17;
Matthew 5:18; II Peter 1:20-21; I Corinthians 2:10-13).
Plenary Meaning: full; complete; as plenary authority
Verbal Meaning: word for word; as a translation
Inerrant Meaning: without error
Infallible Meaning: incapable of failing; unerring, not capable of making a mistake; absolutely trustworthy
2. Doctrine of God
We believe in one triune God, existing in three persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, eternal in being, identical in essence, equal in power and glory, and having the same divine attributes and perfections; yet exercising them in various offices (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; John 14:7-12, 16:7; and II Corinthians 13:14)
Essence Meaning: that which is the real character of a thing.
3. Doctrine of the Son
We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, whose humiliation in the days of His flesh did not include laying aside His deity (Matthew 1:18-19; John 1:1-14).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a substitutionary sacrifice, and that all who receive Him are justified on the grounds of His shed blood (I Corinthians 15:3-4; II Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:21-26).
We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His bodily ascension into heaven, in His present life there for us as High Priest and intercessor (Matthew 28:5-6; Acts 1:9; Hebrews 7:25-26).
We believe in “that blessed hope” the personal, visible, pretribulational, premillennial, and imminent return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (I John 3:2-3; I Thessalonians 4:14-17; I Corinthians 15:51-53).
4. Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is eternally one of the God head; equal with God the Father and God the Son, and has the same nature; that he was active in creation (Psalm 104:30); that in His relation to the unbelieving world, He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled (II Thessalonians 2:7), that He convicts of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come (John 16:8-11); that He bears witness of the truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony (Acts 5:30, 32); that He indwells the believer (I Corinthians 6:19); that He baptizes into the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:13); that He seals the believer “until the redemption of the purchased possession” (Ephesians 1:13-14) that He confers gifts and graces upon the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:7-11); that He empowers for service (Acts 1:8); that He bears witness to the believer’s son ship (Romans 8:16-27).
We believe that some gifts of the Holy Spirit were temporary. We believe that speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the fulfilling or baptism of the Spirit. We believe that God, in accord with His own will, does hear and answer prayer for the sick and the afflicted (I Corinthians 12:1; II Corinthians 12:11, 30; James 5:14-16).
5. Doctrine of Man
We believe that man was created by an immediate act of God in His own image, as given in the Genesis account, and not by process of evolution; that through disobedience to God, lost his first estate and thereby became a sinner in need of a Savior; and that since that time all men are born sinners, spiritually dead, alienated from God, and stand in need of personal redemption that is in the Lord Jesus Christ alone (Genesis 1:26, 27; 3:1-14; Romans 5:12; 3:23-24; Psalms 51:5; Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 1:21; Hebrews 9:11; Colossians 1:14).
MARRIAGE:We believe marriage is ordained by God as one naturally born male and one naturally born female becoming one flesh. We believe it is God’s design that a man and woman enter the marriage union for life. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Divorce and remarriage is regarded as adultery except on the grounds of fornication. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the offices of pastor or deacon. (Genesis 2:18-25; Mal. 2:14-17; Matthew 19:3-12; Romans 7:1-3; Ephesians 5:22-32; 1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6)
FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS:We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. Men and women are spiritually equal in position before God, but God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church. (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 2:8-15, 3:4-5, 12)
HUMAN SEXUALITY:We believe God has provided for intimate sexual relations between man and woman within the covenant of marriage. Sexual relations outside the bonds of marriage, including homosexuality, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, adultery, fornication, pedophilia, among others alluded to in God’s Word, are a sin. We believe acts that defile God’s human creation, such as gender modification, through medical procedures or by appearance, and participation in the sexual degradation of others through pornography, are attacks against the family unit, are against the will of God, and are sins. (Genesis 2:24; 19:5, Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:18-32; I Corinthians 6:6-10; 7:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; Ephesians 5:3-5; I Thessalonians 4:3-8)
SEPARATION:We believe that believers should maintain a godly testimony and live in such a way that their lives do not bring reproach upon their savior. God commands His people to separate from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices, and associations; and to refrain from all immodest and immoderate appearances. We stand against any and all worldly philosophies that seek to destroy or undermine the truth of Biblical Christianity. (Lev. 19:28; Rom. 12:1-2, 14:13; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 6:14, 7:1; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11)
SANCTITY OF LIFE:We believe in the sanctity of human life. We believe human life begins at conception, and from conception through the elderly adult years should be respected as a creation of God. We believe abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, suicide, assisted suicide, and other similar acts are murder and therefore against the will of God. We reject any teaching that abortions due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, population control, or the physical or mental well-being of the mother are acceptable. We also believe that an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes murder contrary to the will of God. Discontinuing medical procedures that are extraordinary or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be a legitimate refusal of over-zealous treatment. (Genesis 1:27; Exodus 20:13, 23:7; Leviticus 19:32; Job 3:16, 12:12; Psalms 51:5, 139:13-16; Isaiah 44:2, 24; Jeremiah 1:5; Matt. 5:21; Luke 1:44; Acts 17:28; Romans 9:20-22; I Timothy 5:1-2.)
LAWSUITS BETWEEN BELIEVERS:We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the Church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the Church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander. (1 Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32; Matt. 18:15-17)
6. Doctrine of Salvation
We believe that in order to be saved, all men, being sinners, must be born again. We believe that all who receive, by faith, the Lord Jesus Christ are born again by the Holy Spirit. We believe that this new birth is instantaneous, not a process; and that it is brought about in a manner above comprehension; solely by the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. We believe that in the new birth God justifies the believer and that the Holy Spirit indwells the believer with power for holy service. We further believe that every believer stands as a priest before God (Romans 3:10; John 1:12 and 13; Revelation 3:20; I Corinthians 6:19-20; II Corinthians 5:17; Acts 16:30-34; John 16:7-8; I Peter 2:5; and Revelation 1:6).
ETERNAL SECURITY: We believe that the salvation of every believer is secure for all eternity from the moment of regeneration. This security is guaranteed to each believer by the fact that the life received is eternal life, by the keeping power of God, and by the sealing work of the Holy Spirit (John 5:24; 10:27-30; Romans 8:1,29-30,38-39; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 7:25).
JUSTIFICATION: We believe that justification is a judicial act of God by which He imparts to the born-again believer complete pardon of sins, the gift of eternal life, and imputes to the believer His own righteousness. We believe that justification is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which the believer has done, but solely because of his faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:6-8; Acts 13:38-39; John 5:24, 6:40; and Romans 3:25, 5:9).
Judicial Meaning: fair, unbiased
SANCTIFICATION: We believe that immediate positional sanctification is that act of God whereby believers are, at the time of regeneration, eternally set apart as belonging to Him by redemption, thereby being placed in the family of God as children, joint heirs with Jesus Christ (I John 3:1; Romans 8:14-17; I Corinthians 1:2; Hebrews 10:10-14).
We believe that progressive sanctification is the process by which according to God’s will, we are made partakers of His holiness; that it is progressive; that it is begun in regeneration; that it progresses if the believer is yielded to the Holy Spirit’s control; that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God, self-examination, watchfulness, and prayer (I Thessalonians 4:3, 5:23; Proverbs 4:18; I John 2:29; Philippians 2:12-13; Ephesians 6:18; John 17:17).
We believe that ultimate sanctification will be the portion of every believer when finally, in the presence of the Lord, complete and entire with soul and spirit united in the resurrection body free from every trace or effect of sin and rebellion (I John 3:2; I Corinthians 15:52-54; and Ephesians 5:27).
THE ETERNAL STATE:We believe that the souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation do at death immediately pass into His presence and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at His coming when soul and body reunited shall be associated with Him forever in glory; but that the souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious torments (Luke 16:23) until the final judgment of the Great White Throne at the close of the millennium, when soul and body reunited shall be cast into the lake of fire from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (Luke 16:26, 23:43; II Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:11-15; I Thessalonians 4:13-18).
7. Doctrine of the Local Church
We believe that a local church is a congregation of immersed believers (Acts 2:41-42) who are associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship in the gospel and that the church has been committed two ordinances; baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 28:19; I Corinthians 11:2, 23-26). We believe the true mission of the church is two-fold; being a faithful witness of Christ to all men as we have opportunity and to edify the body of believers (Acts 1:3; Ephesians 4:11-12). We further believe the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from all the mandates of any hierarchy, or individuals or organizations (Act 20:28-32); that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and the furtherance of the Gospel; that each church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; that in all matters of membership, or polity, of government, of discipline, and of benevolence, the will of the local church is final (I Corinthians 5:1-5; Matthew 18:17).
We believe that the local church is the center of God’s program for this age and that every Christian is bound by Scripture to give his unhindered cooperation to the program of his local church (Acts 2:41-47, 14:27; I Timothy 3:1-16; Titus 1:5-11; I Corinthians 3:10-17, 5:1-5, 11:2).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has commissioned the church to take the gospel to the world and that evangelism at home and abroad should be primary in the program of the local church (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8).
MISSIONS:We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ, we must use all available means to spread the Gospel to the foreign nations and our communities. (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:20)
GIVING:We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to financially support the local church. We believe that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving, but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all right to direct the use of his tithe or offering once the gift has been made. In the case of designated giving, those gifts will be directed accordingly towards the previously established designated fund, but in other cases, designations are to be considered as advisory only. (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17)
8. Ordinances of the Church
We believe that there are two church ordinances: baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water and is the only mode of baptism revealed and commanded in the scriptures and is properly called “believer’s baptism”. This baptism sets forth, in a beautiful and solemn way our faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior. The believer’s immersion in water symbolizes death, burial, and resurrection to a new life in Christ (Romans 6:3-5; II Corinthians 5:17), and is the visible credential for membership in the local church which corresponds to Holy Spirit baptism, the credential to membership in Christ’s body. Believer’s baptism is a scriptural pre-requisite to church membership (Acts 2:38-41; Acts 8:36-39).
The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance in commemoration of the Lord’s death until He comes and signifies the continual fellowship of baptized believers with Him and each other in Him. Each believer should exercise careful self-examination before participation in this ordinance (I Corinthians 11:23-32). We believe that obligation for proper and scriptural administration of the ordinances is the responsibility of the church, and that authority and prerogative of administration does not rest in the minister as an expiatory priest.
Expiate meaning: to make amends or reparation for.
9. Attitude toward Civil Government
We believe in the separation of church and state (Matthew 22:21). We believe that civil government is ordained of God for the punishment of evil doers and for the protection of the good (Romans 13: 1-7). We therefore consider it our duty to pray for rulers and magistrates and to obey them, except in things opposed to the will of God (Titus 3:1; I Peter 2:13-14; Acts 4:19; Matthew 23:10).
10. Doctrine of Creation
We believe in the Genesis account of creation, and that it is to be accepted literally and not figuratively: that all animal and vegetable life was made directly and that God’s established law is that they bring forth only “after their kind”, that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness and did not evolve from any lower form of life; and that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race (Genesis 1:1-2, 25; Hebrews 11:3; Colossians 1:16-17; Psalms 33:6-9).
11. Doctrine of Last Things
We believe in the imminent return of Christ to raise the bodies of departed saints and to translate His church, followed by a seven-year period of tribulation upon all the earth, after which He shall again return with His saints to establish the promised Davidic Kingdom. He shall reign for a thousand years; peace and righteousness shall cover the earth; Satan shall be bound and Israel shall be established in her own land; following which, Satan shall be loosed to again deceive the nation against Christ, only to be forever banished to the lake of fire. The wicked dead shall be raised for the Great White Throne judgment and condemned to everlasting conscious punishment in hell. The righteous shall enjoy conscious blessedness with the Lord (John 14:3; Matthew 24:21; Revelation 19:11-21, 20:1-15; Ezekiel 39:25-29; I Thessalonians 4:15)
Banished meaning: to drive out; condemn; to exile; to expel.
Revelation 20:10 “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.”