The following is our attempt to articulate, as best as we can, what we believe to be the core teachings of the Bible. We will teach, preach and counsel in accordance with these theological convictions.
THE SCRIPTURES –
We believe only the 66 books of the Bible are the inspired, and therefore inerrant, Word of God. These books were written by divinely inspired men and are God’s revelation of Himself to man. Inspiration extends to the very words of Scripture, not just its teachings, and to everything in the Bible, not just the portions that pertain to matters of faith and practice. The Scriptures are inerrant in the sense that the Scriptures in the original manuscripts are true in all that they say, therefore without error. They are necessary and clear for knowing the gospel, maintaining spiritual growth and knowing God’s will. They are sufficient for all that God requires us to believe and do and are the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried (Matthew 5:18; John 10:35, 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
THE TRIUNE GOD –
We believe in one God who exists eternally in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All three are co-eternal, co-existent, and co-equal. The Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Holy Spirit, yet each is truly God. One God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is the foundation of the Christian faith and life (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; Revelation 22:13).
GOD THE FATHER –
We believe God the Father is the creator of heaven and earth. By His word He freely and supernaturally created the world out of nothing. Through the same word He daily sustains all His creatures. He rules over all His creation along with the flow of human history according to His good pleasure and sovereign will. His plans and purposes cannot be thwarted. In His unfathomable grace and love He gave His Son Jesus Christ for mankind’s redemption. His ultimate purpose in all things is His own praise and glory (Genesis 1:1, 2:7; Exodus 3:14, 6:2-3; Deuteronomy 6:4, 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Isaiah 43:3,15; Jeremiah 10:10, 17:13; Matthew 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24, 5:26, 14:6-13; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:6).
JESUS CHRIST –
We believe Jesus is the eternal Son of God, fully God and fully Man. In His incarnation Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Although He took on human flesh He never ceased to be fully God, lived a perfectly sinless life, and offered Himself as a penal substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He was raised from the dead three days later in a literal physical body demonstrating His power over sin and death. He then ascended into heaven forty days later and was seated at the Father’s right hand where He now intercedes for His people and rules as Lord over all. He will someday return in bodily form to judge the world and reign as King in a new heaven and a new earth for all eternity (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:34-35; John 1:1-18; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-28; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:6-11; Colossians 1:15-23; Hebrews 1:1-6, 4:15-16, 7:23-25; 1 Peter 2.21-25; 1 John 1:1, 2:2, 3:5).
THE HOLY SPIRIT –
We believe the Holy Spirit, through the proclamation of the gospel, supernaturally convicts men of sin and regenerates the hearts of God’s people by making alive what was spiritually dead. At the point of conversion the Holy Spirit unites the believer into the body of Christ, indwells them, and seals them unto the day of redemption. The Spirit then fills the believer, causes him to grow in holiness, and equips him with spiritual gifts for the building up of the body of Christ (John 3:5-6, 14:26, 16:8; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:9-11, 12:3-8; Ephesians 1:13; 1 Peter 4:10-11; 1 John 2:27, 4:13).
We believe man and woman were the crown of God’s good creation, being created in His own image, originally righteous and without sin. However, because of Adam’s disobedience the human race has fallen resulting in all of mankind being born into this world absolutely depraved, corrupted with sin, and alienated from God. Mankind therefore is subject both to imputed and inherent sin and is therefore by nature and choice deserving of God’s just wrath. Humans are unable to save themselves or contribute in any way to their acceptance before God and are in desperate need of a Savior (Genesis 1-3; Psalm 51.5; Romans 3.9-18, 5.1-12; Ephesians 2.1-3).
THE WAY OF SALVATION (THE GOSPEL) –
We believe that Christ’s life, death, and resurrection is the good news of the gospel and provides the way of salvation for sinful man. Christ’s death is a substitutionary and propitiatory sacrifice to God for our sins. On the cross Jesus vicariously bore the exact punishment for sins in the place of sinners thereby satisfying the demands of God’s holy justice and appeasing His holy wrath – and gloriously demonstrating His mysterious love and amazing grace. Christ and His work on the cross alone is the basis for our salvation (John 3:16; Acts 16:30-31; Romans 3:4, 8:1-17, 10:8-13; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:3-7; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 1:8-2:2).
MAN’S RESPONSE TO THE GOSPEL (FAITH AND REPENTANCE) –
We believe the proper response to the gospel is faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ – a faith that must naturally be accompanied by repentance from sin. Biblical repentance is characterized by a changed life and saving faith is evidenced by a life of kingdom service and good works. God alone because of His mercy and sovereign election through the power of the Holy Spirit can awaken this response of faith and repentance. While neither repentance nor works save, they are the evidence that one’s heart has truly been regenerated (John 1:12-13; Romans 1:16-17, 3:20-31, 4:22-25; Ephesians 2:8-10; James 2:14-17).
MAN’S INHERITANCE THROUGH THE GOSPEL –
We believe salvation is provided by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. Anyone turning from sin in repentance and relying solely upon Christ and His substitutionary death, looking to Christ alone for their righteousness, receives the gift of eternal life and is declared righteous by God – having the righteousness of Christ imputed to him. He is justified and fully accepted by God. Through Christ’s atonement for sin he is completely forgiven the debt of his sin, reconciled to God as Father, and adopted as His beloved child. Once salvation is obtained it cannot be lost. Those who are truly redeemed are kept by God’s power and therefore secure in Christ forever (Romans 3:23-25; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 2:16, 3:13; Philippians 3:9).
We believe sanctification is a progressive work of God and man through the presence and enabling power of the Holy Spirit that makes us more and more free from sin and like Christ in our actual lives. Although the process is continuous in this life it is never completed (Acts 20:32; Romans 6:11-14; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30, 6:11; 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 1:2, 15; 1 John 1:8).
THE CHURCH –
We believe the Church universal is made up of those from all the nations, both living and dead, who have genuinely repented of their sins and trusted in Christ alone for their salvation. A local church is an autonomous group of baptized believers who have covenanted together as the church under identifiable church leadership. Local churches gather together regularly to celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is accomplished through the observance of the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s supper, the worship of God through Jesus Christ, the preaching and teaching of the Word of God, and the exercise of spiritual gifts and service leading to the edification of the body of Christ. Local churches then scatter into the world for the purpose of making disciples of all nations (Acts 2:42-47; Romans 12:9-13; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:11-16; Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Peter 2:9-10).
THE ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH –
Water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the two ordinances given to the church to be observed until Christ returns. Water baptism involves a believer being completely immersed under water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This ordinance has no saving power yet symbolizes the believer’s union with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection. It signifies that one’s former way of life has been put to death, that one is released from the mastery of sin, and that one has entered into a new life of obedience and faith (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:38-41, 8:36-39; Romans 6:1-4; Ephesians 4:4-6; Colossians 2:9-16).
The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby believers, by partaking of the bread and the cup, remember the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, anticipate His second coming, and signify our unity with other members in the body of Christ. The bread is symbolic of Christ’s body and the cup represents His blood (Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 10:17, 11:17-34).
LAST THINGS –
Jesus Christ will return to earth personally, visibly, and bodily as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. At his appearing the dead shall be raised in bodily form and the living and the dead will be judged. The wicked and unbelieving will be consigned to hell, a place of eternal conscious punishment. Those belonging to Jesus will have eternal life in the new heavens and the new earth and live in ever-increasing joy to the glory of God (Matthew 25:21; Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 15; Revelation 20:10-15, 21-22).