Doctrine matters. Since our actions and attitudes are a reflection of what we think and believe, we want to know and believe the truth. The sovereign God of the universe has spoken and what He said is of utmost importance. Our desire as Christians and our purpose as a church can be summarized quite simply: we want to know and do what God has said so that we can please Him and sense His pleasure. Everything we teach, the way we relate to one another and the decisions we make are all guided by our commitment to Scripture. Our doctrinal statement is a summary of the major themes and truths of God’s Word and it allows us to serve side by side in unity and love. Everything we teach lines up with the doctrine presented below.
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SECTION 1 – THE SCRIPTURES
We believe that all the words and all the parts of the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament are the only inspired Word of God. The Bible is the product of men controlled by the Holy Spirit, and in the original
SECTION 2 – GOD
We believe that there is one and only one living and true God, the Creator and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth. God is inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love. In the unity of the
God the Father – We believe that God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, orders and accomplishes all things according to His own purpose and grace (Psalm 145:8–9; 1 Corinthians 8:6). 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
God the Son – We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. He was not
God the Holy Spirit – We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature. He was active in the creation. He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled. He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. He bears witness to the truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony, and He is the agent in the new birth. He seals, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies, and helps the believer (Genesis 1:1–3; Matthew 28:19; John 14:16–17, 26; 16:8–11; Hebrews 9:14). The Holy Spirit gives gifts to the Church through which the members serve one another and the world. Some of those gifts were temporary and are no longer given today. Some revelatory gifts such as word of knowledge, tongues, and interpretation were critical when the Church was without the written New Testament. Other foundational gifts, such as healing and raising from the dead, were used to confirm and validate the ministry of the apostles as the authentic founders of the Church (Hebrews 2:1–4; Acts 2:22; Mark 16:14–18; Matthew 10:8; 1 Corinthians 13:8).
SECTION 3 – CREATION
We believe that the creation of the universe from nothing is neither allegory nor myth but a literal, historical event. The existence of all things is the result of the direct, immediate, creative acts of the triune God over six literal days (Genesis 1). Humanity—body
SECTION 4 – SPIRIT BEINGS
Angels – We believe that God created an innumerable company of sinless spirit beings. Although they are a higher order of creation than humanity, they were 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)
Fallen Angels and Satan – We believe that Satan is a created angel and the author of sin. He incurred the judgment of God by rebelling against his Creator, by taking numerous angels with him in his fall, and by introducing sin into the human race by his temptation of Eve. He is the open and declared enemy of God and mankind. He is the prince of this world, who was defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and he will be eternally punished in the lake of fire. (Genesis 3:1–15; Isaiah 14:12–17; Ezekiel 28:11–19; Matthew 4:1–11; 25:41; 2 Corinthians 4:3–4; Revelation 12:1–14; 20:10)
SECTION 5 – MANKIND
We believe that Adam and Eve were created in innocence under the laws of their Maker, but by voluntary transgression, Adam fell from his sinless and happy estate. Adam represented all humanity and all humanity sinned in Adam. As a result, all men and women are totally depraved, are partakers of Adam’s fallen nature, and are sinners by nature and by conduct and, therefore, are under just condemnation without defense or excuse. (Genesis 3:1–6, 24; Romans 1:18–32; 3:10–19; 5:12, 19)
SECTION 6 – SALVATION
We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be born again. The new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus. Salvation is instantaneous and not a process. In the new birth, someone who is dead in trespasses and sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life. Salvation is the free gift of God’s grace, based entirely on the merit of Christ’s shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works. Faith alone in Jesus Christ alone is the only condition for salvation. (John 1:12; 3:3–7; Acts 16:30–33; Romans 6:23; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 1:7; 2:1, 5, 8–10; 1 Peter 1:18–19; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 5:1)
Regeneration – We believe that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given to men and women. It is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. (John 3:3–7; 5:24; Titus 3:5)
Election – We believe that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies (Romans 8:28–30; Ephesians 1:4–11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:10; Titus 3:4–7; 1 Peter 1:1–2). Sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of men and women 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; 10:9–13; 2 Thessalonians 2:10–12; Revelation 22:17).
Justification – We believe that justification is the legal act of God as He declares us to be righteous through faith in Christ Jesus. Justification includes the pardon of sin and the imputation of God’s righteousness. It is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer. (Isaiah 53:11; Zechariah 13:1; Acts 13:39; Romans 5:1, 9; 8:1; 2 Corinthians 5:18–21) Thus, the righteousness of Christ that believers enjoy is given to us, not earned by us (Titus 3:5). Repentance – We believe that repentance is a change of mind and purpose toward God prompted by the Holy Spirit. True repentance is inseparably related to
Adoption – We believe that adoption is the gracious act whereby the Father, for the sake of Christ, places new believers into the honored position of heirs. This is in contrast with regeneration whereby the believer receives the nature of God and becomes a child of God. The full benefit of the position of adoption awaits the glorification of the believers at the coming of the Lord. (Galatians 4:1–7; Ephesians 1:5, 13, 14; 1 John 3:1–2)
Sanctification – We believe that sanctification is the unfolding work of God: first, an eternal act of God, based upon redemption in Christ, establishing the believer in a position of holiness at the moment he or she trusts the Savior; second, a continuing process in the saint as the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to his or her life; third, the final accomplishment of this process at the Lord’s return. (John 17:17; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 5:25–26; 1 Thessalonians 4:3–4; Hebrews 3:1)
Eternal Security – We believe that all who are truly born again are kept secure by God the Father for Jesus (Philippians 1:6) and will persevere to the end in faith and obedience by the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:10; Ephesians 2:10; 1 John 2:19).
SECTION 7 – THE CHURCH
We believe in the unity of all true believers in the universal Church, which is the body of Christ and was formed on the Day of Pentecost. All believers, from Pentecost to the Rapture, both Jews and Gentiles, are added to this Church when they believe the Gospel and are spiritually immersed into Christ’s body (Acts 2:41–42; 1Corinthians 11:2; 12:12–13; Ephesians 3:1–6). The universal Church is revealed through local congregations of redeemed, baptized believers who commit to one another in their covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel. The Church observes the ordinances of Christ, is governed by His
Ordinances – We believe that biblical baptism is the immersion of a believer in water. That is the only form of baptism revealed and commanded in the Scriptures. Baptism has no saving
Separation – We believe that believers are to separate entirely from worldliness and ecclesiastical apostasy unto God (2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1).
Civil Government – We believe that civil government is ordained by God for the interests and good order of human society. Believers are to pray for and conscientiously honor and obey their civil authorities except when ordered to disobey Scripture and the will of God. (Exodus 18:21, 22; 2 Samuel 23:3; Acts 23:5; Romans 13:17)
Israel – We believe that God sovereignly selected Israel as His eternal covenant people. Israel is now dispersed because of disobedience and rejection of their Messiah, Jesus Christ, but will be regathered in Israel during the Tribulation. According to God’s grace and His eternal covenant with the Jewish nation, God will prepare their hearts in repentance for the second coming of Christ. (Genesis 13:14–17; Ezekiel 37; Romans 11:1–32)
SECTION 8 – LAST THINGS
The Rapture and Tribulation – We believe in the imminent,
The Millennial Kingdom and Subsequent Events – We believe at the end of the tribulation Christ will return physically to earth to render judgment and inaugurate the one thousand
The Saved and the Lost – We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between those who are saved and those who are lost. Only those who are justified by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and sanctified by the Spirit of our God are saved in God’s sight. All who continue in unrepentant sin and unbelief are lost in God’s sight and under His abiding curse. This distinction will remain eternally: in the everlasting joy in heaven for the saved and in the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost in the lake of fire. (Genesis 18:23; Malachi 3:18; Matthew 25:46; John 8:21; Romans 6:17–18, 23; 7:6; 1 John 5:19)
SECTION 9 – MORAL ISSUES
Abortion – We believe that human life begins at fertilization and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn God-given human life. God is the author of life and death. Therefore, abortion is murder. (Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5; 139:14–16; Isaiah 49:1, 5; Jeremiah 1:5; 20:15–18; Luke 1:44) Euthanasia – We believe that God is the author of life and death. The direct taking of
Human Sexuality – We believe that sexual activity outside of a marriage between one man and one woman is
Gender Relationships – We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is the head of his household, serving as a shepherd/leader in the home. Likewise, men are to hold the offices of authority in the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church and qualified to exercise their authority by leading mixed adult worship services and adult Christian education classes. (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:8–15; 3:4–5, 12)
Family Relationships – We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church. The wife is to submit
Divorce and Remarriage – We believe that God disapproves of and forbids divorce and intends marriage to last until the death of a spouse. Divorce and remarriage
SECTION 10 – CHRISTIAN INTERACTIONS
Christian Love – We believe that we should demonstrate love for others, not only
Lawsuits between Believers – We believe that scripture prohibits members from bringing civil lawsuits against other members of our assembly or the church to resolve personal disputes. (1 Corinthians 6:1–8; Ephesians 4:31–32)
SECTION 11– AUTHORITY OF STATEMENT OF FAITH
This statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our belief. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing statement of faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible and, therefore, is binding upon all members. For purposes of church doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, the elders are the church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application. All teaching conducted as part of our ministry and all curriculums used in our education ministries must be approved by appropriate church leadership.