What We Believe
Statement of Faith
(Article IV of the Church's Constitution)
1. The Scriptures. We believe that the Bible is the complete and final revelation of God to mankind, and as such is verbally and plenarily inspired. As given by the Holy Spirit in the original manuscripts, the Scriptures are without error in any detail, and are the sole sufficient authority for the faith and practice of the believer. The canonical Scriptures are comprised of the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven generally recognized books of the New Testament. Psalm 19:7-11; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21.
2. The Triune God. We believe that there is one God, eternally existing as three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This God is creator, preserver, and ruler of all things. He is perfect in holiness and love, infinite in wisdom, measureless in power, and He alone is worthy of human adoration and obedience. Exodus 15:11; Deuteronomy 6:4; Nehemiah 9:6; 1 Chronicles 29:11-12; Matthew 28:19; 1 John 4:8b.
3. Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus Christ is the unique Son of God, existing with the Father from eternity past, uncreated and without beginning. Born of a virgin, He is fully God and fully man, possessing two distinct, yet inseparable and indivisible natures. We further affirm that Jesus Christ died, rose bodily and visibly from the grave, and has ascended to the right hand of the Father where He ever lives to make intercession for His saints. As such, He is the sole sufficient Mediator between God and mankind, and according to His promise, He will someday return for His church and will reign personally upon the earth. Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 1 Timothy 2:5; Revelation 1:5.
4. The Holy Spirit. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, coequal with the Father and the Son, whose ministry is to convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; to regenerate the unbelieving; to sanctify, teach, and comfort those who believe in Jesus Christ; and to equip them for service. We affirm that at conversion, the Holy Spirit indwells, seals, and baptizes the believer into the body of Christ. John 3:3-7; 14:26; 15:26; 16:8-11; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:9-17;1 Corinthians 2:6-16; 12:13; Ephesians 1:13; 1 John 3:24.
5. Creation. We believe that God created all things from nothing in six literal, twenty-four hour days according to His sovereign good pleasure and the power of His word. Genesis 1-2; John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16-17.
6. Mankind. We believe that mankind was created directly by God in His own image, perfect and without sin, but by an act of voluntary disobedience, he sinned, and thereby incurred both physical and spiritual death. We therefore believe that every human being is a partaker of Adam's guilt, and as such, is by nature and by choice a sinner. We also hold that, apart from Christ, every human being is condemned to eternal separation from God. Genesis 1:26-30; 2:7, 16-25; 3:1-7; John 3:18-21; Romans 3:10-12, 23; 5:14-17; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; 1 John 5:12; Revelation 20:15.
7. Satan and Hell. We believe in the reality of Satan, the accuser of men and destroyer of their souls, and of the demons who, as Satan's fallen angels, execute his design upon the present world. We believe that Satan seeks to destroy those who believe in Christ, but that he can be resisted. We likewise believe in a literal hell, a place of conscious eternal torment, prepared for the devil and his angels, but also the destiny of all who reject the free offer of grace in the Lord Jesus Christ. Genesis 3:1; Matthew 4:1-11; 25:41; Mark 9:43-48; Ephesians 6:12; 1 Thessalonians 3:5; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8; Jude 6; Revelation 19:20; 20:2,10, 14-15.
8. Salvation. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of everyone who believes in Him, enduring the righteous wrath of God in their behalf. Consequently, we believe that salvation is by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His work of redemption in behalf of sinners. We believe that from before creation, God sovereignly chose those who would believe, and that men are reconciled to God through the forgiveness of sins. Moreover, we believe that this gift of grace is freely offered and must be freely received. Although we deny that any person can contribute anything to his or her salvation by means of good works, and that salvation is wholly of the Lord, we strongly affirm the responsibility of all men to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, and of the Church to vigorously proclaim the Gospel to all men. Psalm 3:8; Isaiah 53:1-12; Jonah 2:9; Matthew 28:18-19; Mark 16:15; John 3:14-17, 36; 5:24; 20:31; Acts 16:31; 17:30; Romans 3:24-26; 5:1-8; Ephesians 1:3-12; 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:5.
9. Sanctification. We believe that everyone who by faith receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is a new creation. We believe furthermore that those whom God saves, He sanctifies, bringing them to maturity through His providence and the discipline appropriate to each. We believe that it is the responsibility of all Christians to walk worthy of their callings, bearing the fruit of the Spirit in godly character and holiness of life. John 15:1-8; Galatians 5:19-25; Ephesians 2:10; 4:1; Philippians 1:6; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 19-20; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 6:14-7:1; Hebrews 12:5-11; 1 Peter 1:13-16; 2 Peter 1:1-11.
10. Perseverance. We believe in the final perseverance of the saints, whereby all who are in Christ Jesus shall endure to the end in accordance with God's promise that He who has begun a good work in them will perfect that work. We therefore believe that it is not possible that any genuine believer can either renounce or lose his or her salvation. John 6:37; 10:27-29; Philippians 1:6; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 1.
11. The Priesthood of the Believer. We believe in the individual priesthood of the believer, who is privileged under grace to enjoy the right of private judgment in things pertaining to God without the intervention of a human mediator. Through the blood of their great High Priest, Jesus Christ, Christians may come boldly to the throne of grace; and through the instrumentality of the Holy Spirit, they may exercise the right individually to interpret the Scriptures. Hebrews 2:17; 3:1; 4:14-16; 5:9-10; 7:17-25; 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6; 5:9-10.
12. The Church. We believe in the importance of the church, the body of Christ, which in Scripture is described as invisible on the one hand, and visible or local on the other. We deny that there is any visible, universal body of Christ on earth, but that God's work in this age is carried out through individual congregations of believers, voluntarily associated together for the purpose of edification (preaching, teaching, fellowship, and discipline), worship (including the observance of the ordinances), and service (including evangelism, missions, and various ministries of compassion). We believe that these congregations function independently of any external ecclesiastical control, relying upon their Head, the Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:42-47; Ephesians 4:1-12.
13. The Ordinances. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ instituted two ordinances by which His church is to remember Him: believer's baptism by immersion for all who receive Him as Lord and Savior, and the Lord's Table, to be observed by the church until He returns. We believe that baptism is the visible association of the believer with the Lord Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection as a testimony of his or her new life in Christ; and that the Lord's Table is the memorial of the death of the Lord Jesus and an anticipation of His return, and that it should be preceded by faithful self-examination. We believe that these ordinances are symbolic in nature, without saving merit, and therefore are not sacraments, but are for those only who have been saved through faith in Christ. Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-29; 28:19; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 2:38, 41-42; 8:36-38: 10:47-48; 16:30-33; Romans 6:1-5; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30.
14. Civil Authority. We believe that, as an independent and autonomous body, the local church is to remain free from civil control. However, we also believe that all civil authority is ordained by God, and that Christians are bound by Scripture to render all due respect and obedience to those in positions of public trust, except when they may require direct disobedience to God. Matthew 17:24-27; 22:15-22; Acts 4:18-20; 5:29; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17.
15. Resurrection. We believe in the literal, bodily resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked from the dead. Job 19:25-27; Psalm 17:15; Daniel 12:2; John 5:25, 28-29; 1 Corinthians 15:20-24, 51-55; 2 Corinthians 5:1-5; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; Revelation 20:1-15.
16. The Second Coming of Christ and the Judgments. We believe in the literal, bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ, first for His saints in the rapture of the church prior to the Tribulation, and then with His saints to reign for one thousand years over the entire earth. Furthermore, we believe that there awaits a judgment for all believers (the Bema Seat of Christ), as well as a final judgment of all the wicked before the Great White Throne. We believe that the judge in each case is the Lord Jesus Christ. John 5:26-27; 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Romans 14:12; 1 Corinthians 15:51-55; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Ephesians 6:8; Colossians 3:23-25; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 1 John 3:2; Jude 14-15; Revelation 1:7; 20:11-15.
17. Heaven and Hell. We believe in the everlasting conscious blessedness of the saved in heaven, and the everlasting conscious punishment of the lost in hell. Matthew 10:28; Luke 16:22-31; Revelation 20:1-3, 10, 14-15; 21:1-22:5.