God the Father
We believe in the one and only true God who is Spirit. He is self-existent, infinite, personal, immutable, unchangeable, and eternal in His being. He is perfect in holiness, righteousness, love, justice, goodness, wisdom, and truth. He is omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all- knowing), and omnipresent (everywhere present). He is the Creator and sustainer of all things both visible and invisible. He is both immanent in (intimately involved with) and transcendent (above and independent) to His creation. He exists and reveals himself as three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is Co-Equal and Co-Eternal.
We believe in God as our Father. In His nature and in His relationships, we understand Him best as Father. While a human father imperfectly loves and cares, the heavenly Father perfectly loves and cares. He is good in all He does and in everything He gives, including His discipline (2 Corinthians 1:3; Ephesians 4:6-7; Matthew 7:11; Hebrews 12:7-11).
God the Son
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, made in the likeness of men. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, thus blending, organically (biologically) and permanently, His divine nature with human nature in one unique person without a third nature being formed. He was God in the flesh. He was one hundred percent God and one hundred percent man. The purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God and to redeem man. This redemption was accomplished by Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection. He ascended into heaven and is now at the right hand of God interceding for us. He is the head of the Church which is His body. He forever holds an exalted position. Ultimately every knee shall bow to Him and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord (John 1:14; Philippians 2:7c-8a; Matthew 1:18-25; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:14a; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 2:24; 3:18; 1 John 2:2; Luke 24:51; Hebrews 8:1; Romans 8:34; Colossians 3:1; 1 John 1:1; 1 Peter 3:22; Colossians 1:18; Philippians 2:9-11).
God the Holy Spirit
We believe the original texts of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, which the Church historically accepted as the Holy Scriptures are God-breathed, therefore Divinely inspired. These Scriptures are truth, written by holy men who were chosen and equipped by God for this special task. The scriptures are inerrant, infallible, and authoritative (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
We believe the primary content of the revelation of God’s word is truth about God himself, about His acts in history, about man in his sinful condition, and about the relationship that can be established and maintained between God and man through the person and work of Jesus Christ who completed God’s plan of salvation (Psalms 119:105; 2 Timothy 3:15; John 14:6).
We believe the Scriptures to be error-less in the original documents (manuscripts), divine in authority in all matters which they address. Their truthfulness is not negated by the occurrences of such things as apparent contradictions, irregularities of grammar or spelling, intended and conventional generalizations or approximations, various literary devices, observational descriptions of nature, or reports of false statements made by evil persons. Since God the Holy Spirit is the source of the message as well as the mover and supervisor of those who recorded it, the Bible is reliable in what it communicates and is the supreme authority for faith and practice. Nothing may be taken from it and nothing may be added to it (Revelation 22: 18-19).
We believe that man was created by an immediate act of God. He was created in the image and likeness of God. He was created without sin, enjoyed fellowship with God, and was capable of full obedience to His will. He was created in order that he might glorify God and praise Him forever. In so doing, mankind finds its greatest measure of blessedness and true enjoyment (Genesis 2:7; 1:27; Ephesians 1:5-6).
We believe that man was confronted with a moral choice in the garden. By voluntarily transgressing and rebelling against God’s command and yielding to the enticement of Satan, man lost his original condition, became physically, morally, intellectually, and spiritually dead and alienated from God. In consequence of this act of disobedience, the entire human race became involved in sin, so that in every heart there is by nature that evil disposition which eventually leads to acts of sin, which incur guilt and bring about the righteous judgment of God. Therefore, all people are sinners and guilty before God, are spiritually dead in their sins, and unable to save themselves (Genesis 2:15-17; Romans 5:12,18; 3:10-12; 3:23).
We believe that there are two eternal, conscious destinies for mankind, heaven for the righteous and hell for the unrighteous. After the great White Throne Judgment, and after all the enemies of God are consigned to their place of eternal punishment, the present order of things will be dissolved and the new heaven and the new earth, wherein dwells righteousness, shall be revealed as the eternal abiding place in which the righteous shall dwell (John 5:28-29: Isaiah 65:17: 2 Peter 3:13).
We believe that for salvation, there must be the shedding of Christ’s blood. This was accomplished by the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. He died, was buried, and rose on the third day according to the scriptures (I Corinthians 15:3,4; Hebrews 9:22b).
We believe that the Scriptures teach that true repentance precedes regeneration. It is produced in people by the Holy Spirts conviction. Genuine repentance is a necessary attitude of mankind as a condition for a holy and just God to forgive an individual’s sins. It involves godly sorrow for sin and a proper reverence for God’s holiness. It results in confessing and forsaking sin (Isaiah 55:7; Mark 1:15; Luke 13:3; Romans 2:4; Proverbs 28:13).
We believe that repentance and faith is essential for salvation. It is the means by which the Word of God is received as true. Faith is both the gift of God and the response of individuals. Faith is confidence based upon unseen evidence. It is an assurance born of complete trust in God as revealed through Christ. By faith, one trusts in Christ as the only way to salvation (Ephesians 2:8; Hebrews 11:6; John 20:31; 14:6).
We believe that justification is a judicial act of God in which He declares the sinner free from guilt, condemnation and punishment and restores that individual to divine favor and privilege. It takes place when the sinner repents and trusts Christ for salvation (Romans 3:24-26; 5:1).
We believe that salvation is wholly of grace and free to all but is conditioned only upon repentance and faith toward God and the acceptance of the reality of who Christ is, that is God in the flesh. When the sinner has met these conditions, God justifies and regenerates them. Regeneration is the granting of divine life. By the operation of the Holy Spirit through the Word, the believer is given a disposition to love and obey God. What was destroyed in Adam is made new in Christ. Other terms used in Scripture to describe regeneration are “born again,” “renewed” and “converted.” Some evidences of regeneration are the witness of the Holy Spirit, a personal knowledge of the forgiveness of sin, peace with God, love for God’s Word, the enjoyment of fellowship, newness of life, a hatred for sin, wantonness to be separated from all ungodliness and reconciliation with any against whom sin has been committed (Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:17, 6:11-18; Romans 8:16).
We believe God has always required that His people should be holy because He is holy. Sanctification is that action whereby God sets apart His people from sin. It has its source in what Christ has done through His blood, making believers a people of His own possession, and calling them holy ones (set apart / saints). This holy position is granted when the Christian first believes in Christ. It is neither earned nor achieved by good works but is followed by good works. Sanctification is also a lifelong process in the Christian life and involves the ministry of the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God, setting one apart from a sinful walk and producing a Christ-like character. Sanctification is experienced through faith and obedience, which includes consciously yielding the whole life to God and continually letting the Holy Spirit be in control. The results include a manifestation of spiritual fruit and progress in Christian growth, which are the will of God for every Christian. The process of sanctification will be completed upon entering the presence of Christ when the Christian will enjoy a perfectly holy state (Leviticus 11:44; 1 Peter 1:16; Hebrews 10:14; 13:12; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).
Assurance of Salvation
We believe that every Christian can have a valid sense of assurance concerning one’s salvation, relationship with God, and destiny. Through faith in Jesus Christ, a knowledge of the Scriptures, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, such assurance becomes real and personal. However, the Scriptures have ample warning for anyone who might be inclined to presume upon the love of God by careless or sinful living. Therefore, it is necessary to examine ourselves to see whether our faith is genuine, a faith that is expressed in attitude and actions by obedient works. Without that kind of faith, there is no Scriptural assurance (I John 5:13; Romans 8:16,37-39; I John 3:24; Hebrews 3:12-13; 10:26-31; 2 Corinthians 13:5).
The Church (Purpose, Mission and Ordinances)
We believe the mission of the Church is to make disciples for Jesus Christ. Central to this mission is the proclamation of the Word of God for the equipping of each believer to become an effective witness so that the Church will grow to the glory of God. We seek to accomplish this mission by gathering together to participate in worship, instruction, fellowship, and service, so that each believer will grow in the full measure of the stature of Christ and, in obedience to Him, will reach out in witness to unbelievers. As the Church makes disciples, she becomes a force for restraining evil and producing righteousness in the world (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 2:42-47).
We believe that an ordinance is an outward ceremony symbolic of a spiritual truth or experience which was instituted by Christ for perpetual use by the Church. It is not a means of salvation but becomes a source of spiritual inspiration and strength as one is obedient to the Lord’s command. I believe that the Christian ordinances are baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
We believe water baptism symbolizes the experience of regeneration and union with Jesus Christ. It is a public confession of the believer’s identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Baptism is to be administered by believers to believers only, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. The believer undergoing baptism is by immersion. Water baptism does not save or cleanse from sin. It is the response of a good conscience toward God. Because of the scriptural instruction to baptize those who believe, because of the scriptural example that those who believed were baptized, and because of the clear meaning of baptism as indicated above, we recognize only baptism administered after a person has confessed faith in Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19; Colossians 2:12; Acts 8:36-38; 16:30-34; 1 Peter 3:21).
We believe the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ on the night of His betrayal and is to be observed by His Church until He returns. It is a memorial of Christ’s death, an expression of fellowship with God and with other believers, a testimony to saving faith, a visible seal of Christ’s redemptive covenant, and the assurance of His promised return. The Lord’s Supper consists of partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, which symbolize the body and shed blood of Christ for the remission of our sins and reaffirms our continuing dependence upon Him. Its observance is to be preceded by honest self-examination. The communion table shall be open to all believers who know themselves to be in right relationship to God, thoroughly examining themselves taken as often as the Body comes together (1 Corinthians 11:27-29; Matthew 26:26-30; 1 Corinthians 11:26).
We believe in the personal visible and pre-millennial, Pre-Tribulational return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This means that Christ’s return for His Bride (the Church) is imminent and therefore can happen at any moment (1 Cor. 1:7; Phil. 3:20, 4:5; 1 Th. 1:10, 4:13–17; 5:6; Tit. 2:13; Heb. 9:28). I believe that, following the Rapture of the Church; the seven-year Tribulation Period (Daniel’s 70th week, or the Time of Jacob’s Trouble) will take place (Dan. 9:24–27; Jer. 30:7; 2 Th. 2:3–4). I believe that following the Tribulation, the Millennium will begin. It will be brought about by the literal, physical, visible, bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth to rule with His saints and to reign for one thousand years (Is. 63:1; Zech. 14:1–4; Rev. 19:20)
This return will be accomplished in two phases.
First, Christ will descend from heaven to claim His waiting bride, the living Church, and departed believers. This event is commonly known as the rapture or the gathering together unto Him. This glorious event and gathering of the saints will then be followed by the Great Tribulation period (7 years). Jesus Christ will then descend with His saints to establish the long-promised kingdom and reign upon the earth for one thousand years (Acts 1:11b; John 14:2b-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 20:4-6; Acts 3:20, 21; 1 Corinthians 15:23, 50-58; Romans 8:17).
We believe the believer’s works will be judged for rewards at the judgment seat of Christ at the time of His coming, our sins having been judged in Christ upon the cross. After the millennial reign of Christ, the unbeliever will appear before God for judgment at the Great White judgement. That individual will then be consigned to the lake of fire, there to suffer torment forever and ever with the devil and his angels (Ps. 139:7-8; John 5:24; Romans 14:10c, 12; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Hebrews 9:27).
Israel Current and Future
We believe that Israel is God’s chosen national people (Gen. 28:13). In God’s sovereign will, Israel serves as a channel of His blessing to the entire world (Gen. 12:3) for His glory (Isa. 43:7), and His witness to the nations (Isa. 43:10). God’s election of Israel for this unique relationship is irrevocable (Rom. 11:28-29). I believe Israel is distinct from the church and central to God’s plan, past, present, and future. The unfulfilled prophecies given to Israel in the Old Testament will find their literal fulfilment in Israel at a future time (Ps. 105:6-10).
We believe marriage is a sacred institution ordained of God as a permanent and totally intimate relationship between one *naturally born man and one *naturally born woman. It is intended to endure until it is broken by the death of one of the partners. The Scriptures do not give liberty for a believer to marry a non-believer (Ephesians 5:22-23; Matthew 19:5-6; 1 Corinthians 7:39b; 2 Corinthians 6:14).
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between one naturally born man, and one naturally born woman.
We believe that any form of homosexuality, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, masturbation and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex.
We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance. (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:1-13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-32; I Cor. 5:1; 6:9; I Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4
A person’s sex is either male or female and is determined before birth. Participation in any program or activity that is limited to individuals of one sex is exclusively limited to individuals who are natural born persons of that sex. Individuals should not present their physical features or dress to be that of the opposite sex.
We believe the Scriptures teach that children are of great value and God has a special concern for their well-being. Indeed, Jesus indicated their significance by tenderly taking them into His arms. The Scriptures relate instances where children were publicly dedicated. Therefore, we encourage Christian parents to dedicate or bless their children to the Lord publicly (1 Samuel 1:24-28; Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:16; Luke 2:21-24).
We believe divorce is a violation of God’s original intention for marriage. Reconciliation is central and basic to all Christian relationships. Divorce is not encouraged in Scripture. The Scriptures, however, do recognize the seriousness of certain violations of the relationship. Love requires the offering of time, prayer, and forgiveness on behalf of the offending one with a view toward effecting repentance, confession, and reconciliation. Remarriage, in the case of a partner’s death, is a freedom supported by Scriptures (Romans 7:1-4; Deuteronomy 24:1-4; Romans 14:14, 20-21; Matthew 19:3-9; Matthew 5:32: 1 Corinthians 7:15)