What we Believe
The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Scriptures–both the Old and New Testaments–to be the verbally inspired Word of God, written by men in God’s control, inerrant and infallible in the original manuscripts and the final authority in faith and life. We accept the grammatical-historical system of interpretation of the Scriptures, and accept the historical record of the Bible as accurate and adequate. (2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Pet 1:20, 21; Ps. 19:7-9).
We believe in One God, the eternal, infinite and all-knowing Spirit in Whom all things have their source, support, and end (Deuteronomy 6:4; John 4:24; Genesis 1:1). Within this One God three distinct persons exist–Father, Son and Holy Spirit–united, equal and perfect in all attributes (Matthew 28:19; Acts 7:55; Acts 10:38; 2 Corinthians 13:14). The Godhead is One in essence, but within this perfect unity and equality exists order in function–first the Father, then the Son, and then the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 11:3; John 17:3-4; John 15:26; John 16:7).
The Person and Work of the Father
We believe God the Father to be the first person of the Trinity. As part of the Trinity, God the Father is distinct both in His relationship to the other members of the Godhead and in His works as part of the Trinity. Within the Godhead, the Father is distinct in that He begets the Son and the Holy Spirit proceeds from Him (John 1:14; 15:26). In function, though all works of God are the acts of a Triune God, some acts are especially ascribed to the Father such as creation (Ephesians 3:9; Hebrews 12:9), election (1 Peter 1:2; Ephesians 1:4), redemption (John 6:37; 17:4-7), and the predetermining of all things (Ephesians 1:5; John 5:30). God the Father is also distinct in that He is seen as the Father of the second member of the Trinity (John 1:18; 14:13) and the spiritual Father of all who believe in Him (Matthew 5:45;1 John 3:1).
The Person and Work of Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God; that He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, in order that He might redeem sinful man. He accomplished this redemption by voluntarily giving Himself as a sinless substitutionary sacrifice on the cross, thereby satisfying God’s righteous judgment against sin. He gave proof that He accomplished that redemption by His bodily resurrection from the grave. He then ascended to the right hand of His Father where He intercedes on behalf of those who trust Him (John 1:1, 2, 14, 18; Luke 1:34, 35; Rom. 3:24-26; 8:34).
The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Divine Person who convicts the world of sin; that He alone brings new life to those who are spiritually dead; that He baptizes (or places) all believers into the one true Church, which is the Body of Christ; that He indwells them permanently, seals them unto the day of redemption, bestows spiritual gifts upon them, fills (controls) those who are yielding to Him (John 3:3-8; 16:7-11; 1 Cor. 12:13; John 14:16,17; Eph. 4:30; 1 Cor. 12:7-11; Eph. 5:18).
The Condition of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, in innocence and without sin. But in Adam’s sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, became spiritually dead and alienated from God so that man is a sinner by both nature and imputation and man, of himself, is incapable of remedying his lost and depraved condition (Gen. 1:26; 3:1-24; Rom. 3:10-18; 5:12; Eph. 2:1-3).
We believe that salvation is the gift of God’s grace given to all who God has elected to salvation. It includes all that God does in saving the elect from the penalty, power, and presence of sin and in restoring them to a right relationship with God. As such, it is solely the work of God from initiation to completion. It cannot be gained by good works, but is a free gift for all who put their trust in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. All who so trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are forgiven and saved from their sins and made righteous before God and are born into the family of God by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. God’s purpose for saving His elect is so that they bring glory to Him by their lives (Eph. 1:7; 2:8, 9; John 1:12; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 1:6; Tit. 2:11-14).
Security, Assurance and Responsibility
We believe that all the saved–those in whom God has accomplished His transforming work of grace–are kept by His power and thus, are secure in Christ forever. This assurance, however, is not the occasion for sin, for God in holiness cannot tolerate persistent sin in His children, and in infinite love, He corrects them. True faith in Christ is expressed by a fruitful, God-pleasing life (John 10:27-29; Rom. 8:29-39; 1 John 5:13; Heb. 12:6; Matt. 7:20; James 2:20).
We believe that God, in the Scriptures, has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness. This includes the salvation from the penalty of sin and just as surely the provision of sanctification (separation) from sin. Sanctification from sin affects both the positional and practical aspects. Positional sanctification as a work of the Holy Spirit is complete and is without further growth; however, practical sanctification, a result of the work of the Spirit in regeneration using the Word of God, provides the nourishment for growth in maturity in Christ. While practical sanctification is assured by the Word and the Spirit, it is yet imperfect in this life. There is some element of corruption in every part of the fallen nature, which is the source for the war between the flesh and the Spirit. The maturing to obedience is possible for believers as they feed on the Word, submit to the Spirit of God and are in fellowship with other believers for service and accountability (John 17:17; 1 Cor. 1:30; Rom. 6:19,22; Heb. 10:25; 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 1:3).
Angels Elect and Fallen
We believe angels are spirit beings created directly by God during the first week of creation (Psalm 148:2-5; Job 38:4-7). As created beings, angels we are made to serve God and are not to be worshiped (Hebrews 1:14; Revelation 19:10; 22:8-9). We believe Satan is a created angel, originally made perfect by God, who incurred the judgment of God when he introduced sin into the universe by rebelling against his Creator (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19). As a result of his rebellion, Satan and the angels who followed him (whom We now call demons), were removed from their exalted position in heaven (Ezekiel 28:16). During this age, Satan and his demons actively oppose the plans of God and seek to deceive men from obeying God and His truth (1 Peter 5:8; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4). Though Satan and his demons are presently active in the world today, they will, at Christ’s return, be sent to the lake of fire for eternity (Revelation 20:1-3, 7-10).
Though We believe that demon possession of unbelievers is possible, we do not hold that true Christians can be demon possessed or demonized (Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 4:4). The Bible also nowhere encourages believers to engage Satan and demons directly, whether by speaking to them, binding them, or casting them out.
We believe that the true Church, called in Scripture the Body of Christ, is a spiritual organism. Every person who has trusted Jesus Christ for salvation in this present age has been baptized (placed) into this organism by the Holy Spirit. The local church, as established in Scripture, is made up of redeemed individuals who have joined together for worship, instruction, fellowship and service (Eph. 1:22; 1 Cor. 12:13; Acts 2:42; 13:1, 2).
We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ instituted two ordinances to be observed by all believers until His return–baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Matt. 28:19; 1 Cor. 11:23-26).
The Second Coming of Christ
We believe in the literal and personal coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth to establish His kingdom (1 Thess. 4:13-18; Zech. 14:4-11; Rev. 19:11-16; 20:1-6).
The Eternal State
We believe that at death the souls of those who have trusted Christ for salvation pass immediately into His presence and remain there in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at Christ’s coming for the Church, when soul and body will be reunited. We then shall be with Him forever in glory. We also believe that at death the souls of unbelievers remain in conscious misery until the final judgment of the Great White Throne at the close of the Millennium. Then the soul and body will be reunited and cast into the lake of fire–not to be annihilated, but to be separated from God forever in conscious punishment (Luke 16:19-26; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Rev. 20:11-15).