What We Believe

Statement of Faith

 

1.1 The Trinity.
It is the testimony of both Testaments and of the Christian Church that God is both One and Triune. The Biblical revelation testifies that there is only one God, and that He is eternally existent in Three Persons:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

A. God the Father.
God the Father is the Creator of heaven and earth. By His Word and for His glory, He freely and supernaturally created the world out of nothing. Through the same word, He daily sustains all creation. He rules over all and, together with the Son and the Spirit, is the only Sovereign. His plans and purposes work all things together for good to those who love Him, and, in His unfathomable grace, He 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.

B. The Son.
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the eternal Word made Flesh, was supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary. He is fully God and fully man. 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 perfect in nature, teaching, and obedience and is the only Savior for the sins of the world, having shed His blood and died a vicarious death on the cross. By His death in our place, He revealed divine love and upheld divine justice, removing our guilt and reconciling us to God. Redeeming us from sin, He rose bodily from the grave on the third day, victorious over death and the powers of darkness, and performed many convincing proofs of His resurrection. He ascended into heaven where, at God’s right hand, He intercedes for His people and rules as Lord over all awaiting His return. He is the Head of His body, the Church, and should be adored, loved, served, and obeyed by all.

C. The Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Through the proclamation of the gospel, He persuades men to repent of their sins and confess Jesus as Lord. By the same Spirit, a person is led to trust in divine mercy. The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth, and dwells within the redeemed. The Holy Spirit has come to glorify the Son who, in turn, came to glorify the Father. The Holy Spirit will lead the Church into a right understanding and rich application of the truth of God’s Word. He is to be respected, honored, and worshiped as God, the Third Person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit empowers believers for Christian witness and service. The promise of the Father is freely available to all who believe in Jesus Christ, enabling them to exercise the gifts Jesus Christ sovereignly bestows for ministry and mission. The Holy Spirit desires to continually fill each believer with power to bear witness to the gospel and imparts His gifts for the edification of the body and the work of ministry in the world. All the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the first-century church are available today and are to be earnestly desired and practiced in an orderly manner. This includes those gifts that are considered miraculous, as well as those which might be seen as more mundane, as both are works of the Spirit. The healthy exercising of diverse gifts within a unified body is essential to the mission of the Church in the world today.

1.2 The Scripture.
We affirm that the Bible containing the Old and New Testaments is alone the only infallible inspired Word of God, and that its authority is ultimate and final and eternal.  It cannot be added to, subtracted from, or superseded in any regard.  The Bible is the source of all doctrine, instruction, correction, and reproof.  It contains all that is needed for guidance in godliness and practical Christian conduct.

1.3 The Atonement.
Christ’s vicarious death on the cross paid the penalty for the sins of the whole world, but its benefits are only applicable to those who receive Jesus as their personal Savior. All of God’s provisions, including healing of the body, soul and spirit are made available in the atonement, but these must be appropriated.

1.4 Salvation.
The Word of God declares clearly that salvation is a free gift of God, based on the merits of the death of His Son, and is appropriated by faith.  Salvation is affected by personal repentance, belief on the Lord Jesus (justification), and personal acceptance of Him into one’s life as Lord and Savior (regeneration). The new life in Christ includes the privileges of adoption and inheritance in the Kingdom of God’s beloved Son. Salvation is an act of free will in response to God’s personal love for mankind. It is predestined only in the sense that God, through His omniscience, foreknew those who would choose Him. It is secure in the eternal unchanging commitment of God who does not lie and is forever the same. Salvation should produce an active lifestyle of loving obedience and service to Jesus Christ our Savior.

1.5 The Christian Life.
We believe that the Scriptures portray the life of the saint in this world to be one of balance between what is imputed to us as Christians and what is imparted to us according to our faith and maturity. Hence, God’s provision for His children is total, and the promises are final and forever. The shortcomings of the individual and of the Church are because of the still progressing sanctification of the saints. The Christian life is filled with trials, tests, and warfare against a spiritual enemy. For those abiding in Christ until their death or His return, the promises of eternal blessing in the presence of God are assured. To remain faithful through all circumstances of life requires dependence upon the Holy Spirit and a willingness to die to personal desires and passions. We believe in the priesthood of the believer. By the shedding of His blood, Jesus has become the believer’s High Priest and has made it possible for each Christian to have free access to the presence of the Father. In His presence, each one can come to know God and come to receive from Him. Each Christian, likewise, is responsible to come to the Father in confidence and faith as a priest unto Him under the new covenant.

1.6 The Church.

A. The goal of the Church is to make disciples of all nations and to present the saints complete in Christ.

B. The Church is governed by the Elders with delegated authority to other positions listed in scripture.

C. Church policy is a balance between congregation participation and Eldership authority.

D. It is essential to the life of the Church that scriptural patterns of discipline be practiced and that oversight for Church discipline, individual and corporate, be exercised by the leadership of the Church.

E. We believe that the atmosphere of the church should be mercy, forgiveness, acceptance, and love. No other climate will allow God’s people to be free to grow. Furthermore, we believe that God’s church is a family that should foster care, mutual edification, and constant forgiveness without sacrificing righteousness as our base.

F. We believe that the atmosphere of the church should be mercy, forgiveness, acceptance, and love. No other climate will allow God’s people to be free to grow. Furthermore, we believe that God’s church is a family that should foster care, mutual edification, and constant forgiveness without sacrificing righteousness as our base.

1.7 Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Water baptism is only intended for the individual who has received the saving benefits of Christ’s atoning work and become His disciple. In obedience to Christ’s command and as a testimony to God, the Church, oneself, and the world, a believer should be immersed in water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Water baptism is a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person’s union with Christ in the likeness of His death and resurrection. It signifies that a former way of life has been put to death and vividly depicts a person’s release from the mastery of sin. As with water baptism, the Lord’s Supper is to be observed only by those who have become genuine followers of Christ. This ordinance symbolizes the breaking of Christ’s body and the shedding of His blood on our behalf and is to be observed repeatedly throughout the Christian life as a sign of continued participation in the atoning benefits of Christ’s death. As we come to the table 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.

1.8 Eschatology

The consummation of all things includes the future, physical, visible, personal, and glorious return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead, and the transformation of those alive in Christ, the judgment of the just and the unjust, and the fulfillment of Christ’s kingdom in the new heavens and the new earth. In the consummation, Satan, with his hosts and all those outside Christ, is finally separated from the benevolent presence of God, enduring eternal punishment, but the righteous, in glorious bodies, will live and reign with Him forever, serving Him and giving Him unending praise and glory. Then the eager expectation of creation will be fulfilled, and the whole earth shall proclaim the glory of God who makes all things new.