Beliefs

The Lord Jesus Christ:  Jesus is the Christ. He is the Son of God and the Son of Man, and was born of the Virgin Mary. He came into the world to save men from the guilt and condemnation of sin, offering His blood as atonement for sin and making it available to all who put faith in Him.  He Himself lived a sinless life, and although innocent, was crucified, died and was buried.  On the third day Jesus Christ rose from the grave and in doing so proved from all that exists, all that can be seen, His life, His words, His teaching, His ministry, and His attributes.  Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for us, His redeemed.  We acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord over all things in Heaven, and in Earth, and under the Earth, and as the Savior of our lives and souls.  He will return to the Earth in His heavenly glory to gather His redeemed to Himself and to reign with His saints for a thousand years and for the final judgment. (See Mt. 16:13-20; 26:64; 1:18-23; Rom. 3:21-26; Heb. 4:15; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Cor. 15:1-7; Mk. 16:19; Heb. 7:25; Phil. 2:9-11; 1 Jn. 4:14; Mt. 16:27; 25:31; 24:29-31; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 5:9-10; 20:1-15)

The Holy Scriptures: The Holy Scriptures of the Bible, in the original manuscripts, are the inspired and infallible Word of God in all its parts and in the whole. The Bible is the all-sufficient, infallible and authoritative rule for faith and conduct. Both the Old and New Testaments were written by holy men as they were inspired and carried along by the Holy Spirit. As God’s revealed Word to man, the Holy Scriptures are the guide to salvation and to all Christian worship and service.  The Holy Scriptures are the supreme revelation from God and about God. They are superior to all conscious reason, though not contrary to them.  All the Holy Scriptures are fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ. (See Mt. 5:18; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Jn. 17:17; 10:35; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; Jn. 5:39)

The One True God: The Bible teaches us that there is but one true and living God. He is all-powerful and all-knowing, and His love is from everlasting to everlasting. God is the eternal “I AM,” the creator and ruler of heaven and earth, and the redeemer of mankind. God has chosen to reveal Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one and the same though distinct in personality. The three are one God, having the same nature, attributes, and perfection and are worthy of the same worship and obedience. God is the fountain of all perfection and happiness. He is glorified by the whole of creation and is worthy to be loved and served by all men.  God is the only proper object of worship. (See Deut. 6:4; 1 Tim. 2:5; Rev. 4:8; 19:6; Ps. 90:2; Ps. 139:1-24; Ex. 3:14; Mt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Ex. 20:3)

The Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is as much God as the Father and the Son. He therefore is equal in perfection, wisdom and power and in feelings and emotions.  He loves, comforts, draws to salvation, guides, empowers, leads, teaches, gives revelation, commands, forbids, sends, reproves, distributes spiritual gifts, and He can be sinned against and grieved.  The works of God ascribed to the Holy Spirit include creation, inspiration, giving of life, washing of rebirth and renewal, and sanctification. (See Jn. 14:26; 15:26; 16:7-15; Acts 1:4-5,8; 1 Cor. 2:9-13; 12:7-11; Eph. 4:30; Tit. 3:5; 2 Thess. 2:13)

The Salvation of Man: For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Thus, man’s only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the only Son of God. Salvation is by grace through faith, is a free gift, and wholly without human works. Salvation is received through repentance of sin, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing away of sin only by the blood of Jesus Christ and by rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, a man is born again and has eternal life. The inward evidence to the believer of his salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit and a good conscience toward God. And the outward evidence to all men is a life of love, righteousness, and holiness under the Lordship of Christ. The new life of a believer is demonstrated by the fruit of the Spirit and obedience to Christ. In the life of a saved believer, upon physical death in this life, the spirit of that believer immediately goes to be with the Lord awaiting the resurrection of the body at the time of Christ’s return. The final result of salvation is for the believer to enjoy everlasting life forever united with Christ in a glorified, immortal, and incorruptible body. (See Rom. 3:20-26; Eph. 2:8-9; Mk. 1:14-15; Acts 20:21; Heb. 6:1; Rev. 1:5; Titus 3:5; Jn. 3:1-8; Rom. 8:16; 1 Pet. 3:21; Jn. 13:34-35; 1 Jn. 3:7-10; Gal. 5:22-23; Lk. 6:46; 2 Cor. 5:8; 1 Cor. 15:35-58; Phil. 3:20-21)

Baptism: We believe water baptism by total immersion is commanded of every believer in the Scriptures. All who have repented and truly believed in their heart on Christ as Lord and Savior are to be baptized. Thus they declare to the world that they have died with Jesus and that they have also been raised with Him to walk in newness of life in Him as Lord and Savior of their lives. (See Mt. 28:19; Mk. 16:15-16; 1 Pet. 3:21; Rom. 6:3-4)

Holy Communion: The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements – bread and the fruit of the vine – symbolizes our Passover, our perfect redemption, the new covenant in His precious blood, and our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ. It serves as a continual memorial of His suffering and death and as a prophecy of His second coming. It was commanded by Jesus Christ of His disciples in remembrance of Him and is enjoined on all believers until He comes. (See Mt. 26:26-29; Lk. 22:14-20; Jn. 6:48-58; 1 Cor. 11:23-32)

Sanctification: Sanctification is the miracle by which a true believer is separated from evil and dedicated to God. The Scriptures command us to live a life of holiness, “without which no man shall see the Lord.” By the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to obey the command, “Be Holy, for I am Holy.” Sanctification is realized in the believer by recognizing his identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, and by faithfully meditating daily upon that oneness with Christ. The sanctified believer offers every aspect of his/her life, including thoughts and acts, feelings, and intentions, to the power and dominion of the Holy Spirit. Thus, sanctification is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit as they submit to and obey the Word of God, and engage in self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer. (See Jn. 17:17; 1 Pet. 1:2; Heb. 12:14; 1 Pet. 1:14-16; Rom. 6:1-23; 1 Thess. 4:1-7; Rom. 8:14; Jn. 14:21,23)

The Church and Its Mission: The Church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission and purpose. All who are saved and united by a new birth in Jesus Christ are part of Christ’s church universal, which is His body and the local congregation of Christian believers is God’s chosen instrument for: (a) corporate worship; (b) world evangelism and the furtherance of God’s work here on Earth, and (c) the nurturing of Christians to build a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son. As such, the Bible reveals that we are in partnership with one another and the basis of our partnership is mutual fellowship with Christ. We therefore believe in the spiritual unity of all believers and in working together with others who believe in salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ for the causes of evangelism, missions and benevolence. We adopt the church model as revealed in the New Testament by teaching and encouraging believers to be sealed with the Holy Spirit which (a) enables them to evangelize in the power of the Spirit; (b) adds a necessary dimension to their worshipful relationship with God and to their spiritual armory; and (c) enables the full expression of the workings of the Holy Spirit through the fruit, the gifts and the ministries of the Spirit. (Eph. 1:20-23; 2:21-22; Mt. 28:18-20; 1 Cor. 12:12-13; Eph. 4:4-16; 1:13-14; Acts 1:8; Eph. 6:10-18; Gal. 5:22-23; 1 Cor. 12:7-11; Rom. 12:4-8)

Pastoral Ministry: The church is to be taught and led by the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the purpose of every disciple seeing and exercising their priestly and kingly ministry. By the authority granted in the Holy Scriptures, the church leadership must teach and train its people to do the work of the ministry with maturity and in unity. Working with these ministries will be pastors, ministers, deacons, and the gifted men and women of the church. The Bible also teaches that the church’s ministry leaders are to be paid from the tithes and offerings that the church receives. (Eph. 4:11-13; 1 Pet. 2:5-10; Rev.1:6; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; 1 Cor. 9:7-14)

The Millennial Reign of Christ: The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of the saints, followed by the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on the earth for one thousand years. This millennial reign will bring the salvation of Israel and the establishment of universal peace. (See 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 19:11 – 20:6; Rom. 11:25-27; Isa. 9:6-7; Jer. 23:5-6)

The New Heaven and the New Earth: We look for and expect a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. (See Isa. 65:17; 66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1-4)

Sanctity of Marriage:  We believe that because God our Creator established marriage as a sacred institution between one man and one woman, the idea that marriage is a covenant only between one man and one woman has been the traditional definition of marriage for all human history (“Traditional Definition of Marriage”). We believe in the essential importance of the Traditional Definition of Marriage to humans and their relationships and communities, and, most importantly, the fact that God has ordained that marriage be between one man and one woman, as clearly conveyed in God’s inerrant Scriptures, including for example in Matthew 19:4-6 where in speaking about marriage Jesus referred to the fact that “He which made them at the beginning made them male and female.” (See Gen. 2:20-25; Mt. 19:3-9; Eph. 5:22-33)