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What We Believe
TRUTH & THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
We believe the nature of truth flows from the nature of the only true God who is wholly trustworthy and faithful. Thus God’s Revelation to us, including the propositions of Scripture, is true. Moreover, truth is objective and knowable by rational beings, created in God’s image. While not omniscient, mankind is able to know truth, and human language is a sufficient vehicle to convey truth. Apart from the Light of God’s Truth, mankind cannot be set free from their darkened understanding and bondage to sin and death. As such, the proclamation and defense of God’s Truth is essential for effective Christian ministry.
We believe God has spoken in the sixty-six Books of the Protestant Canon of Scripture, the Old and New Testaments, through the words of human authors. As the verbally and fully inspired Word of God, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.
THE TRIUNE GOD
We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinite and perfect in knowledge, wisdom, power, and holiness, eternally existing as a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God incarnate, fully God and fully man, one Person in two natures. Jesus, Israel’s promised Messiah, was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, died for our sins according to the Scriptures, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and Advocate.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe the Holy Spirit is fully God, the Third Person of the Trinity, who eternally exists with the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of sin, regenerates sinners, and in Him we are baptized into union with Christ and adopted as heirs in the family of God. He also indwells, illuminates, guides, equips and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.
THE BAPTISM & GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that while there may be many fillings of the Holy Spirit, there is only one baptism, which occurs at the time of regeneration. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to believers according to the sovereign will of God for the purpose of edifying the Church. During the Apostolic Era, God commonly gave overtly supernatural and miraculous gifts, such as tongues, healings, and miracles, as “signs” that testified to the validity of those bearing new canonical revelation, but these miraculous sign gifts ceased to be normative in the church as the New Testament Scriptures were completed, their authority established, and the Apostolic era passed.
HUMAN BEINGS CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD
We believe God created human beings, male and female, in His image and likeness, for the purpose of enjoying holy and loving fellowship with their Creator and with each other. Before their fall into sin, Adam and Eve had peace with God.
SIN & THE HUMAN CONDITION
We believe that through the disobedience of Adam, the entire human race fell, receiving the due penalty of sin, spiritual and physical death. Since the Fall of Adam, all are sinners by nature and by choice, depraved in their hearts, darkened in their minds, turned against God. In this sinful state, all are guilty, alienated from the love of God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ, the Last Adam, can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed.
THE WORK OF JESUS CHRIST
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, lived a sinless life, and by His death on the cross, made a perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for sin, satisfying the wrath of God. On the third day, God raised Jesus bodily from the dead, after which He presented Himself alive to His Apostles and then to over five hundred brethren at one time. Our Lord’s atoning death and victorious resurrection constitute the only ground for salvation.
We believe salvation is the work of God alone, by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone. On the basis of Christ’s work, according to God’s sovereign will, we have been made new creations, declared righteous, and adopted as His children. Salvation is a sovereign and gracious act of God, totally apart from the works of man. Man cannot gain it by his acts, nor can he lose it by his actions. As a result of justification, we are set apart to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ; to walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. While we are saved by faith alone, saving faith is never alone, faith alone in Christ, which brings us into union with Christ will issue into a life of good works. While sin is present in the life of the believer, it need not reign, for Christ promises increasing holiness through the indwelling and infilling of the Holy Spirit in connection with obedience to the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, fellowship, discipline and prayer.
We believe the Church began at Pentecost and is comprised of all who have been justified by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone. Believers are united by the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the Body of Christ, of which He is the Head. The true Church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of genuine believers. The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the Church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer. There are two Scriptural offices in the local church today: Elder and Deacon.
THE SECOND ADVENT OF JESUS CHRIST
We believe in the imminent, pre-tribulational return of Jesus to rapture His church, both dead and living saints, and to reward each believer according to his works. We believe that at the end of the Tribulation, the Lord Jesus will fulfill the promises of the Old and New Testaments by returning physically and powerfully with His saints to reign together over the nations for a literal thousand years. After the millennial reign, the unbelieving dead will be raised and judged while the believer will enter into the eternal joys of a New Heaven and a New Earth. The expectation of the imminent return of Christ for His church, at a time known only to God, should motivate believers to godly living and sacrificial service.
We believe at death, the spirit of the believer enters Heaven to enjoy conscious, blessed fellowship with God and with the church triumphant, while the spirits of unbelievers depart into Hell to consciously suffer the due penalty of their sin. At the first Resurrection, the believer will be raised bodily to eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord in the New Heaven and the New Earth. All who die without trusting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will receive God’s justice for their own sins, being raised from the dead in the Second Resurrection, eternally existing in a state of conscious punishment, body and spirit, separated from God.
ANGELS, SATAN & DEMONS
We believe the holy and elect angels are created, personal spirits who faithfully serve God and render service to man at the direction of our Lord. Satan, our Adversary, the Devil, is the leader of the demons, the fallen angels. And while the Devil is a powerful, created, evil spirit, he and the demons are limited by the sovereign power of Almighty God and have been defeated by the Son of God. Ultimately Satan and his angels will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone to be tormented day and night forever and ever.
We believe God miraculously and directly created all things, bringing them into existence out of nothing, designing them according to His good pleasure and wisdom.The origin of the universe itself and all living and non-living things in it, from the least of creation to the greatest, namely mankind made in His image, cannot be explained adequately apart from reference to the intelligent exercise of His Almighty power. This miraculous work of creation was accomplished in six literal days, several millennia ago.
COMPLEMENTARIANISM & MALE HEADSHIP
We believe the Bible is clear in its teaching that, while both men and women are made in the image of God and equal in nature, God designated men to be the head of the nuclear family and the Church.
ABORTION & RELATED BIOETHICAL ISSUES
We believe the Bible is clear in its teaching on the sanctity of human life. From the moment of conception, a new human person exists, with all the inalienable rights and privileges of humanity. Therefore, we abhor the destruction of innocent human life through abortion-on demand, embryo research, cloning, and any other procedure that would harm or destroy innocent human life.
MARRIAGE & HUMAN SEXUALITY
We believe a marriage is the lifelong commitment and union of one biological man and one biological woman. Biblical marriage is the sole legitimate and acceptable context in which sexual relations are exercised. Hence, sexual activities, such as, but not limited to, adultery, fornication, incest, homosexuality, pedophilia and bestiality are inconsistent with the teachings of the Bible and the Church. Further, lascivious behaviors, such as the creation, distribution, or viewing of pornography or efforts to alter one’s gender, are incompatible with the biblical witness.