What We Believe
The following articles of faith have been presented for the purpose of creating theological unity and clarity within our congregation so that our stated mission and purpose may be accomplished.
1. The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Scriptures, which are comprised of the Old and New Testaments (66 books in all), are inspired by God and authoritative for personal application and doctrinal matters, cf. 2 Tim. 3:16. Scripture is an inerrant work of God written by men who were “moved by the Holy Spirit,” and it contains an array of literary genres and styles which reflect each individual author’s culture, education, and personality, cf. 2 Pet. 1:21 and 2 Pet. 3:15-16. We also believe that the canon is closed; therefore, there are no new books being added to the Bible.
2. The Trinity
We believe that God exists in three distinct transcendent persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, cf. Deut. 6:4 and Mt. 28:19. The members of the Trinity are of one essence and nature, immortal, and eternal, cf. Jas. 2:19, John 5:19, and 1 Pet. 1:16. The Trinity is void of division, yet each member possesses distinct attributes, duties, and offices that exist and function in complete harmony, cf. 1 Cor. 8:6, Jn. 5:21-23, and Mt. 12:31.
3. The Father
We believe the Father is holy in thought, word, and deed, and void of iniquity; hence He is infallible and the ultimate source of all truth, cf. 1 Pet. 1:16. God the Father is spirit, being omniscient and unchanging in character; He is immutable and eternal, cf. John 5:37, Mt. 6:8, and Mal. 3:6. The Father is the all powerful, all loving director and head of the Trinity and serves as the orchestrator of all events within time and space, cf. John 5:10 and Isa. 45:7.
4. The Son
We believe Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God who became fully human yet retained all of His Deity when He was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, cf. Lk. 1:34-35, Jn. 1:1-2, and Phil. 2:5-8. Jesus was and is sinless, yet He died a vicarious death for the sins of all people, cf. Heb. 4:15 and Ac. 2:23-24. Jesus’ life, death and resurrection were accomplished in fulfillment of the Scriptures, cf. Mt. 1:22-23, 4:12-16, 12:15-21, 21:4-5, and 28:6. Three days after His death, Jesus physically rose from the grave and later ascended to heaven where He currently intercedes for the saints, cf. John 20:1-9, Acts 1:9, 1 Tim. 2:5. Jesus is the head over both the church and the totality of creation. He will physically return to earth, rule throughout the millennium, and reign for all eternity, cf. Mt. 24:29-30, Eph. 4:15, Phil. 2:9-11, Acts 1:11, 1 Chr. 17:14 and Rev. 20: 4-5.
5. The Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit continues Christ’s work by testifying about Jesus. He convicts people of sin, regenerates the repentant, baptizes the redeemed at the moment of conversion, and seals all who accept the gospel, cf. Jn 5:21, 15:26, 16:8, and Eph. 1:13. He permanently sustains and indwells all who have entered into a covenant relationship with the Trinity, continues the sanctification process in the redeemed, imparts spiritual gifts, and fills those who faithfully obey God’s commandments, cf. Jer. 33:31-34, Eph. 1:14, 5:18, John 16:12, 1 Cor. 11:23-26, and 1 Cor. 12:4-11. We believe that the Bible teaches no other baptism than that of the Holy Spirit and that no singular spiritual gift is necessary for proof of salvation.
We believe angels, who were originally created as sinless spiritual beings for the purpose of worshipping God and service, currently exist either in an unfallen or fallen state, cf. Mk. 8:38, 1 Tim. 5:21, and 2 Pet. 2:4. Those who are unfallen continue to minister to God and His people, but are not to be worshipped, cf. Heb. 1:7-14 and Rev. 19:10. Fallen angels who rebelled against God have been doomed to eternal damnation and are led by Satan, a fallen angel, who is limited in power, yet stands as an adversary to God and the church, cf. Jude 6-7, Isa. 14:12-14, and 1 Pet. 5:8.
7. Man and Sin
We believe man was created in God’s image for the purpose of bringing Him glory and ruling over His creation, cf. Gen. 1:26 and Rom. 15:6. By voluntary transgression, man fell from his original sinless state, cf. Gen. 3:1-6. Consequently, all have inherited a sinful nature, will act upon that propensity to sin, and shall incur spiritual and physical death, cf. Rom. 5:12-14. Sinful man stands justly condemned without defense or excuse, cf. Rom. 1:20, 2:1, and 3:9. There is nothing a human being can do on his/her own to absolve sin and earn a right standing with God. Neither acts of contrition or meritorious works can serve as a propitiation for sin. Because humanity is depraved, all are in need of Christ’s salvation, the only means of redemption from sin, cf. Rom. 3:10-12 and Titus 3:3.
We believe salvation has been offered to humanity as a free gift through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who died as the only acceptable atonement for sin, cf. Rom. 3:22-26. Man can only be justified before God through a profession of faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ, cf. Rom. 10:10-11 and Eph. 2:8-9. The Holy Spirit indwells all believers at the moment of conversion and enables them to lead fruitful lives, progressively conforming them to God’s holy standard as they yield to His Lordship, cf. Eph. 1:13 and Gal. 5:16-26.
9. Eternal Security
We believe that upon conversion, the Holy Spirit secures all who have placed their faith in the person and work of Christ for eternity. A believer cannot lose his salvation even if he commits a heinous sin. Salvation is imputed; it is an act of grace which cannot be earned nor rejected once it has been received because it is a gift from God, cf. John 10:28 and Eph. 2:8-9.
We believe that God created the heavens and the earth in six literal days (24 hour periods) and that man has been crafted by God (not by evolution, accident, or chance) in His image to rule with Him and to glorify Him, cf. Gen. 1:1–2:25 and Ex. 20:11.
11. The Church
We believe the church universal, commonly referred to as the body of Christ, consists exclusively of people (Jews and Gentiles) who have placed their faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, cf. 1 Cor. 12:12-13 and Col. 1:18. The body of Christ is one covenant community over which Jesus presides as Lord. The church was inaugurated at Christ’s first advent and will exist through the end of the age. All believers are called to proclaim the truths of Scripture in word and deed, cf. Mt. 28:19-20. The church is obligated to walk in the Spirit, live in the world, yet separate itself from worldly, sinful practices, cf. Gal. 5:16-26 and Eph. 4:1-32.
We believe the local church consists of believers who are called to holy living, worship, service, and local and global evangelism. They are privileged to participate in the ordinances of baptism and communion and are obligated to love, edify, equip, and encourage one another, cf. Acts 2:28-47, Eph. 4:11-16, and 1 Pet. 1:16.
12. The Ordinances of the Church
We believe the ordinances of believers’ baptism and communion have been instituted by Christ as a commemorative testimony in this present age, cf. Lk. 22:19-20 and Mt. 28:19. Following conversion, all believers are obligated to be baptized, by immersion if possible, as a sign of their redemption, death to sin, and new life in Christ, cf. Mt. 28:19 and Rom. 6:1-5. Believers are to partake of communion on a regular basis as a memorial celebration of the Lord’s death until He returns to earth, cf. 1 Cor. 11:23-26.
13. The Escaton (End Times)
We believe that at an undisclosed moment in time living believers will be raptured (physically removed from the earth), experience judgment, and enter into union with the Lord, cf. 1 Thess. 4:17 and 2 Cor. 5:6-10. Following the rapture, the world will experience seven years of tribulation, cf. Dan. 9:27. At the end of the tribulation, Christ will return to earth to judge the living Jews and Gentiles and inaugurate His reign for a millennium, cf. Zech. 14:4-21 and Mt. 25:1-46. At the end of Christ’s millennial reign, Satan will be released from the abyss, gather a consortium of followers, wage war against Christ, and be cast into the lake of fire for all eternity, cf. Rev. 20:7-10. Christ will judge all of the unsaved dead at the Great White Throne of Judgment, cf. Rev. 20:11-15. We also believe that in the New Testament, Israel and the church are separate entities and by God’s design have unique programs, cf. Rom. 10:1, 11:1-32, and 1 Cor. 10:32.
14. The Eternal State
We believe that upon death, all of the redeemed will be separated from their earthly bodies and their souls will be ushered into the presence of the Lord, cf. 2 Cor. 5:8. Those who have rejected the gospel will not be permitted to enter heaven, but shall await their final judgment in hell, cf. Mt. 10:28, Mt. 23:33, and Lk. 16:23. Later, both believers and unbelievers will experience a bodily resurrection, cf. 1 Thess. 4:16-17 and Mt. 10:28. The unsaved will receive their final judgment at the “Great White Throne” and be cast into the lake of fire for all eternity, cf. 2 Thess. 1:7-9 and Rev. 20:11-15. The saved will be rewarded as redeemed people and will experience eternity in the blissful presence and service of God on a new earth, cf. 2 Cor. 5:10 and Rev. 21 and 22.
15. Religious Liberty and Social Responsibility
We believe that all people have direct access to God and will be held personally responsible for all words, thoughts, and deeds, cf. 1 Tim. 2:5, 2 Cor. 5:10, and Heb. 9:27. The church and state have distinct social and religious functions; hence, the two entities should separately execute their duties free from dictation or patronage of the other, cf. 1 Cor. 6:1-6 and 2 Cor. 6:14-18. Because governments have been instituted by God, believers have a responsibility to submit to authorities (even those which are secular), remain active within the community, and should exercise civil disobedience only when the government mandates or forces disobedience to the Scriptures, cf. Luke 20:25, Rom. 13:1-7, 1 Pet. 2:17, and Acts 4:1-20. The local church ought to remain autonomous, free from any ecclesiastical powers, cf. Heb. 13:17.