Concerning the Holy Scriptures

We believe that the Bible is the fully inspired Word of God in written form. Through the Holy Scriptures, God has made His will and ways known to us so that we can know Him and obey all that He asks us to do. We believe that both the Old and New Testaments are without error in the original writings, and that they serve as the Christian's final authority for faith and daily living. (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:19-21; 2 Pet. 3:2, 16)

Concerning God

We believe there is one, and only one, living true God: the infinite, intelligent Spirit, the maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth, inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all honor, confidence and love. In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the work of redemption. (Deut. 6:4; 1 Cor. 8:6; John 1:1; Acts 5:3-4)

Concerning the Person and Work of Christ

We believe the Lord Jesus Christ became man without ceasing to be God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died for our sins as a substitutionary sacrifice, arose bodily from the dead on the third day, and ascended into Heaven, where He intercedes for the believer. (Matt. 1:18-25; John 1:1-14; Acts 1:10-11; Rom. 3:24-25; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; Phil. 2:5-11; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 4:9-10)

Concerning the Person & Work of the Holy Spirit

We believe the Holy Spirit is God, equal with God the Father and God the Son and equal in power and glory. As a Person, He was active in creation, the incarnation and the writing of the Holy Scriptures. He was active in the Old Testament in calling and inspiring the prophets in their work and in equipping and empowering various individuals for special tasks.

We believe the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment, and that He is the agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ and that He seals, empowers, assures, guides, teaches, sanctifies and helps the believer. He indwells every believer from the moment of salvation. He enables the believer to grow in grace and become more like Christ.

We believe that, at Pentecost, a unique work of the Holy Spirit began – the building of the Body of Christ.

We believe the Holy Spirit bestows spiritual gifts to the Church glorifying neither Himself nor His gifts but glorifying Christ. The evidence of being filled with the Spirit is the fruit of the Spirit in the life of the believer and not any second spiritual baptism or any demonstration of spiritual gifts.

(John 3:3,7; 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; Rom. 12:3-8; 15:19; 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; 12:4-11; 13:8-10; 14:21-40; 2 Cor. 12:12; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30; Titus 3:5; Heb. 2:3-4)

Concerning Man, Sin and Satan

We believe all human beings are created in the image of God, and therefore each human life has great inherent value in God's sight. Unfortunately the first humans, Adam and Eve, sinned, and as a result incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death for all people. We believe spiritual death means separation from God, and that all human beings are born with a sinful nature, and are, by birth and disposition, sinners in thought, word and deed. We believe Satan is a created being and the great enemy of God and man. He is the author of sin. (Gen. 1:26-27; 2:15-17; 3:16; Ps. 51:5; Rom. 3:23; 5:12-21; Eph. 2:1-3; Is. 14:12-17; Ezk. 28:11-17)

Concerning Salvation

We believe that, unless a person is born again, one cannot enter the kingdom of God. We believe salvation is the gift of God brought to human beings by grace and not by consideration of any good works of righteousness, which a person has done. Salvation is received by repentance toward God and personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins. Evidence of this salvation is seen in newness of life as demonstrated by an increasing submission of one's will to God.

We believe all who are truly saved are kept by God's power and are thus secure in Christ forever. Therefore, believers have joy, assurance, and perseverance in their salvation and should seek to carry out the mission assigned to them by God. (John 3:3,7; Acts 2:21; Rom. 2:1-2; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:8-10; Titus 3:5; John 10:27-29; Rom. 8:1, 38-39; 1 Peter 1:5; 1 John 5:13)

Concerning the Christian's Walk with Christ

The purpose of our salvation is to glorify God by reflecting His character and offering ourselves as agents of God's kingdom when we are led into good works that He prepared beforehand for us to do. Jesus glorified God by completing the work the Father gave Him to do and He told His followers that He was sending them in like manner. Jesus commissioned His followers to be agents of grace and redemption, bringing help and hope to all, including the poor, the oppressed, and the diseased. Following Jesus means growing in holiness as we, by faith, become less responsive to the pull of the defeated old nature and increasingly live out the life of Christ within us. Following Jesus means growing in responsiveness to God as He leads us to be instruments of righteousness, Christ's ambassadors, and living sacrifices whose lives are devoted to the One who died for us.

Concerning the Church

We believe that the universal church, which began at the day of Pentecost, is composed of the elect (chosen) company of believers, baptized by the Holy Spirit in the Body of Christ. This company of believers has, of their own free will, accepted Christ as Savior and Lord. We believe that a local church is an organized congregation of believers associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship in Jesus Christ. The local church expresses its allegiance and loyalty to Christ by observing the ordinances of the Lord's Supper and water baptism. Its leaders are elders and deacons/deaconesses whose qualifications and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. Every local church has the right under Christ to decide and govern its own affairs.

The purposes of the local church are: (1) to gather together as a community in active worship of the Triune God, (2) to edify and equip the believers for the work of the ministry, and (3) to proclaim the Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ among all nations. (1 Cor. 12:12-13)

Concerning the Resurrection and the Eternal State of Believers and Unbelievers

We believe that all people continue to live after the death of their earthly bodies. Those who have trusted Christ for salvation are, at death, absent from the earthly body and present with the Lord, where in conscious joy they await a glorified body. Those who have not trusted Christ for salvation remain, after death, in conscious misery. We believe in the resurrection of the believer's body. A Christian, in his glorified body, will enjoy everlasting fellowship with God.

We believe in the resurrection of the unbeliever's body. Because God is just, the unbeliever will suffer everlasting torment in hell and be separated from God forever.

We believe that all people will give an account for the life they have lived in their earthly bodies. Each day has eternal consequences. Thus, Christians will want to be dedicated to following Jesus as He leads them into good works, which build His kingdom. (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:6-7; Phil. 1:23-24; Luke 16:19-31; 1 Cor. 15:42-44, 50-57; Phil. 3:20-21; 2 Thes. 1:8-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15)

Concerning the Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ

We believe that the Lord Jesus shall come again in His resurrection body just as He said He would. We understand that He will come to gather believers to Himself (the rapture), when on earth at this time there will be a tribulation period for those who remain. Following the tribulation, Jesus will come to establish His millennial kingdom. After that, the last battle with Satan will occur and he will be defeated once and for all. God's judgmental wrath on unbelievers and the nations will be poured out at the Great White Throne Judgment. Finally, Jesus will establish the New Heaven and New Earth where God will dwell with us forever. His imminent return is our blessed hope and motivates us to live godly lives. (Zech. 14:4-11; Acts 1:11; Rom. 5:9; 1 Thes. 1:10; 3:13; 4:13-17; 5:9; 2 Thes. 1:10; Titus 2:11-14)

The Lord's Supper

We believe that Christians should celebrate the Lord's Supper on a regular basis and in community with other Christians. The two elements of the Lord's Supper, the Bread and the Cup, remind us of the love of God in Christ Jesus. In His work of redemption, Christ's broken body and shed blood satisfied the righteous, holy demands of God in forgiving the believer of all sins. The Lord's Supper symbolizes this great work of salvation.

We also believe that the Lord's Supper is one of two ordinances to be observed by the local church in anticipation of the Lord's coming. (Baptism is the second New Testament ordinance directly commanded by the Lord Jesus.) Because of the reverent nature of this ordinance, believers should always engage in self-examination so as to partake of the elements in a worthy manner.

Baptism

We believe, in accordance with the Lord's command, that Christians should be baptized as part of a public declaration of a person's faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We also believe that water baptism by immersion is the best demonstration of our spiritual crucifixion, burial and resurrection with Christ. Through baptism, the Christian is proclaiming the spiritual reality of a person's death to sin and resurrection to new life in Christ.

We believe baptism is important and commanded by the Lord Jesus. However, we do not make it a requirement for church membership.

Concerning Marriage, Sexuality, and Gender

We believe that God designed marriage to be a union between one man and one woman. God designed sex to take place exclusively between one man and one woman in the context of marriage. Outside of this marriage bond God calls us to abstain from sex. We believe that God has created us in His image "male and female" according to His sovereign will, and that gender is not determined by the will of human beings. (Genesis 1:27; 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 18-20)

Concerning the Civil Government

We believe the civil government is of God's appointment for the interests and good order of human society and the laws of this government are to be obeyed except where they conflict with those of God. We believe in full religious liberty for all. (Matt. 17:24-27; Acts 5:29; Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17)