What We Believe

The Bible.
We believe and teach that the Bible is the inspired Word of God (Hebrews 1:1-2; 1 Corinthians 2:7-14; 2 Peter 1:19-21), inerrant, infallible, and totally free from error in the original manuscripts. The Word of God is our only authority, and constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice (Matthew 5:18, 24:35; John 10:35, 16:12-13, 17:17; 1 Corinthians 2:13; Hebrews 4:12) and it is absolutely sufficient for all matters of life and living (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

The Godhead.
We believe and teach that there is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; 1 Corinthians 8:4), the living and true God, existing eternally in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – each having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections (Genesis 1:26; Matthew 28:18-19; Mark 1:10-11; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 1:3).

God the Father.
We believe and teach that God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (Psalm 145:8-9; 1 Corinthians 8:6) and is the Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1-31; Ephesians 3:9).

We believe and teach that God the Father, as the only absolute and omnipotent Ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:36). His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. As Creator He is Father to all men (Ephesians 4:6), but He is spiritual Father only to believers (Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 6:18).

We believe and teach that God the Father has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (Ephesians 1:11). He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events (1 Chronicles 29:11). In His sovereignty He is neither the author nor approver of sin (Habakkuk 1:13; John 8:38-47).

We believe and teach that God the Father saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ; He adopts as His own all those who come to Him; and He becomes, upon adoption, Father to His own (John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Hebrews 12:5-9).

We believe and teach that God the Father is infinite in power and knowledge, wisdom, love and goodness; perfect in holiness, and demonstrates His character through His gracious plan to redeem man from sin (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 53:1-10; John 3:16, 14:6-9). The nature of God the Father is completely and perfectly revealed in the Son (Colossians 1:15, 19; Hebrews 1:3).

God the Son.
We believe and teach that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God and continues to be the God-Man forever (John 10:30, 14:9; Colossians 2:9; Philippians 2:5-8).

We believe and teach that Jesus is the second person of the Holy Trinity, being of the one and same essence, both co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.

We believe and teach that He was born of the virgin Mary, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit, entered into human flesh in order that He might reveal God, in obedience to the Father by shedding His precious blood to redeem His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21; Philippians 2:5-8).

We believe and teach that He Himself, through His substitutionary death on the cross, is the propitiation for our sins, and along with His bodily resurrection from the dead, guarantees redemption and salvation for all those who repent and believe (John 3:16).

We believe and teach that He later ascended into heaven, is exalted at the right hand of God, where He is our High Priest and Advocate. (John 1:1, 14, 18; Luke 1:35; Romans 3:24-26; 4:25; Ephesians 1:7, 20-21; Hebrews 4:14; Colossians 1:17-19; Hebrews 1:3, 3:1, 7:23-25, 9:24, 12:2; 1 John 2:1-2)

God the Spirit.
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine personal being who regenerates (John 6:63) and indwells (Romans 8:9, 11) every believer and seals the believer as God’s eternal possession (Ephesians 1:13, 4:30).

We believe and teach that Christ has baptized every believer into one Spirit, and this baptism forms one body of all believers – The Church (1 Corinthians 12:13-14). Every believer is gifted by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:11), and should seek to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5: 18 -19).

We believe and teach that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to the church for the common good of all believers. Since each gift is given according to God’s sovereign will and discretion, the possession of any gift is by grace and does not constitute spiritual maturity. The proper use of the gifts are for the edification of the body; to promote united worship of God in the congregation, to give preeminence and glory to Jesus Christ, and continually to facilitate the growth of each member of the body into maturity in Christ (Isaiah 28:11; John 16:14; Acts 4:8, 31, Romans 8:23, 12:1-21; 1 Corinthians 12:11-13, 13:8, 14:21; Ephesians 1:13, 4:7-16). The Holy Spirit glorifies neither Himself nor His gifts by uncontrolled, flamboyant displays, but He does glorify Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in the most holy faith (John 16:13,14; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; 2 Cor. 3:18).

We believe and teach that the miraculous and revelatory gifts of the Spirit were temporary gifts, given to the early church for three purposes: (1) As a sign by which God authenticated His messengers during a time of transition from Israel to the church (Matthew 10:1,7; Acts 2:22; 43; 8:6, 13; 14:3; Romans 15:18-19; 2 Corinthians 12:2; 14:21-22; Hebrews 2:3-4). That purpose was no longer necessary once the transition was complete and the church was firmly established. (2) As a means by which to give additional revelation to the church (2 Peter 1:20-21; Hebrews 1:1-2); which was promised by Jesus Himself (John 14:23-26; 16:12-15). That purpose ceased to be necessary once the canon was completed. (3) As a means by which to edify others in the church (1 Corinthians 12:7; 14:3-5, 12, 17, 26; Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Peter 4:10-11). This is still a purpose of spiritual gifts, but it does not necessitate the continuation of the foundational gifts (e.g. the miraculous sign gifts and revelatory gifts).

Man.
We believe and teach that man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. Man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination, and moral responsibility to God (Genesis 2:7, 15-25; James 3:9).

We believe and teach that God’s intention in the creation of man was that man should glorify God, enjoy God’s fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and by this accomplish God’s purpose for man in the world (Isaiah 43:7; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11).

We believe and teach that in Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, man lost his innocence, incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death, became subject to the wrath of God, and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. With no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, man is hopelessly lost. Man’s salvation is thereby wholly of God’s grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-19; John 3:36; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 Timothy 2:13-14; 1 John 1:8).

We believe and teach that, because all men were in Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam’s sin has been transmitted to all men of all ages, Jesus Christ being the only exception. All men are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (Psalm 14:1-3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18, 23; 5:10-12).

Salvation.
We believe and teach that salvation is the free gift of God to unworthy sinners based on the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ as presented in the Holy Scriptures. Salvation is granted on the basis of God’s grace alone, not man’s good works, through regeneration by the Holy Spirit, through faith in Christ alone (John 1:12, 3:16-18, 36, 6:35-40; Acts 20:20-21, Romans 3:21-28, 4:1-5, 10:9-13; Ephesians 2:8-9) and repentance from sin (Matthew 3:2, 4:17; Mark 1:15, 6:12; Luke 5:32, 13:1-5, 24:44-47; Acts 2:37-39, 3:17-26, 17:30-31, 20:20-21, 26:17-20; 2 Corinthians 7:10, 12:21; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Hebrews 6:1).

We believe and teach that at salvation, the believer immediately passes out of spiritual death into spiritual life, and from the old creation into the new; being justified, accepted before the Father as Christ, His Son, is accepted; loved as Christ is loved, having his place and portion as linked to Him, and one with Him forever (John 5:24, 17:23; Acts 13:39; Romans 5:1; 1 Corinthians 3:21-23; Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 2:10; 2 Peter 3:18; 1 John 4:17, 5:11-13). Salvation is given by the grace of God’s sovereign will (Matthew 11:27; John 6:44; Ephesians 2:8-9) and is received in belief and faith (Matthew 11:28; John 6:47).

We believe and teach that God’s sovereignty in salvation does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord (Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11; John 3:18-19, 36; 5:40; Romans 9:22-23; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; Revelation 22:17). All whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith, and all who come in faith the Father will receive (John 6:37-40, 44; Acts 13:48; James 4:8).

We believe and teach that the unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative of their own part or to God’s anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of His sovereign grace and mercy (Ephesians 1:4-7; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Peter 1:2).

The Church.
We believe and teach that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body, the church (1 Corinthians 12:12-13), the bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:23-32; Revelation 19:7-8), of which Christ is the Head (Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; Colossians 1:18).

We believe and teach that the church is thus a unique spiritual organism designed by Christ, made up of all born-again believers in this present age (Ephesians 2:11-3:6). The church is distinct from Israel (1 Corinthians 10:32), a mystery not revealed until this age (Ephesians 3:1-6; 5:32).

We believe and teach that the establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:23, 27; 20:17, 28; Galatians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1) and that the members of the one spiritual body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (1 Corinthians 11:18-20; Hebrews 10:25).

We believe and teach that the one supreme authority for the church is Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18) and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Scriptures. The biblically designated officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are elders (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11) and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5).

We believe and teach that these leaders lead or rule as servants of Christ (1 Timothy 5:17-22) and have His authority in directing the church. The congregation is to submit to their leadership (Hebrews 13:7, 17).

We believe and teach the importance of discipleship (Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Timothy 2:2), mutual accountability of all believers to each other (Matthew 18:5-14), as well as the need for discipline of sinning members of the congregation in accord with the standards of Scripture (Matthew 18:15-22; Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; 1 Timothy 1:19-20; Titus 1:10-16).

We believe and teach the autonomy of the local church, free from any external authority or control, with the right of self-government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations (Titus 1:5). We teach that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other for the presentation and propagation of the faith. Each local church, however, through its elders and their interpretation and application of Scripture, should be the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation. The elders should determine all other matters of membership, policy, discipline, benevolence, and government as well (Acts 15:19-31; 20:28; 1 Corinthians 5:4-7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1-4).

We believe and teach that the purpose of the church is to glorify God (Ephesians 3:21) by building itself up in the faith (Ephesians 4:13-16), by instruction of the Word (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16-17), by fellowship (Acts 2:47; 1 John 1:3), by keeping the ordinances (Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38-42) and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8; 2:42).

We believe and teach the calling of all saints to the work of service (1 Corinthians 15:58; Ephesians 4:12; Revelation 22:12).

We believe and teach that two ordinances have been committed to the local church: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:38-42). Christian baptism by immersion (Acts 8:36-39) is the solemn and beautiful testimony of a believer showing forth his faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and his union with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life (Romans 6:1-11). It is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible Body of Christ (Acts 2:41-42).

We believe and teach that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes, and should be always preceded by solemn self-examination (1 Corinthians 11:28-32). We also teach that, whereas the elements of Communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ, participation in the Lord’s Supper is nevertheless an actual communion with the risen Christ, who indwells every believer, and so is present, fellowshipping with His people (1 Corinthians 10:16).

Angels.
We believe and teach that angels are created beings and are therefore not to be worshiped. Although they are a higher order of creation than man, they are created to serve God and to worship Him (Luke 2:9-14; Hebrews 1:6-7, 14; 2:6-7; Revelation 5:11-14; 19:10; 22:9).

We believe and teach that Satan is a created angel and the author of sin. He incurred the judgment of God by rebelling against his Creator (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19), by taking numerous angels with him in his fall (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:1-14), and by introducing sin into the human race by his temptation of Eve (Genesis 3:1-15).

We believe and teach that Satan is the open and declared enemy of God and man (Isaiah 14:13-14; Matthew 4:1-11; Revelation 12:9-10); that he is the prince of this world, who has been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 16:20); and that he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).

Eternal Destinies.
We believe and teach in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the unsaved (Matthew 16:27, 25:31-46); the unsaved to the resurrection of judgment and eternal punishment (Matthew 10:28; Revelation 20:15) and the saved to the resurrection of life and eternal glory (Revelation 21-22).

The Return of Christ.
We believe and teach that the Lord Jesus Christ will personally return to receive His bride, the Church and will subsequently rule in righteousness, establishing His earthly Kingdom and exercising dominion over the whole world (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Timothy 6:14-16).