What We Believe
We believe that the Bible, including both the Old and New Testaments as originally given by God, is verbally and plenarily inspired and free from error and is therefore the final and authoritative guide for faith and conduct. (II Tim. 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20-21; Matt. 5:18; John 16:12-13; I Tim. 5:17-18)
We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – and that these three are one God; having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections, and worthy of precisely the same reverence, confidence, and obedience.
(Matt. 28:18-19; Mark 12:29; John 1:1-14; Acts 5:3-4; II Cor. 13:14; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 1:4-6)
God is a spirit, infinite, eternal, unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth. God the Father has the specific role of Father to the nation Israel (Exodus 4:22), to the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 3:17), to all believers in Christ (Galatians 3:26), and, more generally, to all mankind (Acts17:29). He is the initiator of the plan for the salvation of mankind (John 3:16, Ephesians 1:3-8), as well as for the overall Messianic role of Christ (Psalm 2:7-9, Ephesians 1:9-10).
1. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men. (I John 1, 2, 4; Luke 1:35)
2. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice: and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. (Rom. 3:24-25; I Peter 2:24; Eph.1:7; I Peter 1:3-5)
3. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor and advocate. (Acts 1:9-10; Heb. 9:24; 7:25; Rom. 8:34; I John 2:1-2)
We believe that the Holy Spirit, though omnipresent from all eternity, took up His abode in the world in a special sense on the day of Pentecost. He dwells in every believer, and by His baptism unites all believers to Christ in one body. We believe that, in this age, certain well-defined ministries are committed to the Holy Spirit. These ministries are: The restraining of evil in the world; the conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgement; the re-generating of all believers; the indwelling and anointing of all who are saved, thereby sealing them unto the day of redemption; the baptizing into the one body of Christ all who are saved; and the continued filling of those among the saved who are yielded to Him and who are subject to His will. (John 14:16-17; 16:7-15; I Cor. 6:19; Eph. 2:22; II Thess. 2:7; John 3:6; Rom. 8:9; I Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:30, 5:18; John 20-27)
We believe that Satan is a real, created being, a fallen angel, the author of sin, and the cause of man's Fall, and further, he is the open and declared enemy of God and man, and shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire. We believe that when Satan fell, he retained all of his power, and he uses demons, fallen angels, the unsaved, and carnal Christians to implement his power. (Job 1:6-7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:12-19; Matt. 4:2-11, 25:41; Eph. 6:11-12; James 4:7; I Peter 5:8; Rev. 20:10)
We believe that mankind was created in the image and likeness of God as male and female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. We believe that marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (Genesis 1:26-27; I Cor. 6:9-10, 18; 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4). We believe that in Adam's sin all subsequent mankind became tainted with sin (Romans 5:12). The result is that all people are sinners by nature and by practice, eternally condemned apart from the salvation and grace of God. (Genesis 3:20-24; Romans 1:18-3:23, 5:12, 6:23)
We believe that man's salvation from his lost condition is God's gift of eternal life brought to man by grace. We believe that no one can enter the kingdom of God unless born again, whereby the Holy Spirit, by the Word of God, imparts a new life. Furthermore, man's salvation has been accomplished solely by the death and shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. This new birth of the believer comes only through faith in Christ and no other acts. (Lev. 17:11; Isaiah 64:6; Matt. 26:28; John 1:12; 3:5,16,18,36; 5:24; 6:29; Acts 13:39; 16:31; Rom. 1:16-17; 3:22,26; 4:5; 5:6-9; 10:4; II Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13, 22, 6:15; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-9; Phil. 3:4-9; Titus 3:5; James 1:18; I Peter 1:18,19,23)
1. We believe that all believers are kept by God's power and are thus secure in Christ forever. (John 6:37-40, 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1, 38, 39; I Cor. 1:4-8; I Peter 1:5)
2. We believe that the assurance of the believer's salvation rests upon the testimony of God in His written Word, rather than upon feelings.
(Luke 10:20-33; II Cor. 5:1, 6-8; II Tim. 1:12; Heb. 10:22-23; I John 5:13)
We believe that sanctification, which is a setting-apart unto God, is threefold:
(1) It is already complete for every saved person because his position toward God is the same as Christ's position. Since the believer is in Christ, he is set apart unto God in the measure in which Christ is set apart unto God. We believe, however, that he retains his sin nature, which cannot be eradicated in this life;
(2) Therefore, while the standing of the Christian in Christ is perfect, his present state is no more perfect than his experience in daily life. There is, therefore, a progressive sanctification wherein the Christian is to "grow" in grace, and to "be changed" by the unhindered power of the Spirit;
(3) We believe, also that the child of God will yet be fully sanctified in his state as he is now sanctified in his standing in Christ, when he shall see his Lord and shall be "like Him." (John 17:17; Rom. 12:2; II Cor. 3:18, 7:1; Eph. 4:24; I Thess. 5:23; Heb. 10:10,14, 12:10)
We believe that divine, enabling gifts for service are bestowed by the Spirit upon all who are saved. While there is a diversity of gifts, each believer is energized by the same Spirit, and each is called to his own divinely appointed service as the Spirit may will. (Rom. 12:6; I Cor. 12:4-11; Eph. 4:11; I Peter 4:9-11) Concerning the sign gifts, via (1) miracle working, (2) healings, (3) tongues, (4) interpretation of tongues, we believe the first two were the signs of the authority of the early disciples, arresting the attention of the populace, identifying with the work of Christ and attesting to their origin the power of God. These were the credentials the apostles presented to an unbelieving world. The last two were signs to Israel that God was removing the Jews from the privileged place and turning to the Gentiles. (I Cor. 14:21-22; Isaiah 28:11) All these have served God's purpose and have been set aside in the sovereign will of the Spirit of God. If the Spirit of God should choose to use them again, we would expect it to be in line with their "sign" character.
We believe that water baptism and the Lord's Supper are the only ordinances of the church and that they are a Scriptural means of testimony for the church in this age. (Matt. 28:19; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 10:47-48; 16:32-33; 18:7-8; I Cor. 11:26)
We believe that all who are united to the risen and ascended Son of God are members of the church which is the body and bride of Christ, which began at Pentecost and is completely distinct from Israel. Its members are constituted as such regardless of membership or non-membership in the organized local churches. (Matt. 16:16-18; Acts 2:42-47; Rom. 12:5; I Cor. 12:12-27; Eph. 1:20-23; 4:3-10; Col. 3:14-15) We believe, however, that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures. It is the responsibility of the local church to observe the ordinances, edify itself, and evangelize the world. (Acts 14:27; 20:17, 28-32; I Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11)
We believe that the imminent coming of Christ is to rapture the living members of the Church and to resurrect those dead in Christ (2 Thess. 2; I Thess. 4:13-18) will immediately precede the seven-year tribulation (Revelation 3:10). The physical return of Christ to the earth (2 Peter 3:3-10, Revelation 22:7) will end the tribulation period and will usher in His 1000 year reign over the earth (Revelation 20:1-6). His reign is followed by the final judgment of mankind, Satan, and the fallen angels (Revelation 20:7-25), the creation of a new heaven and new earth, and the ushering in of the eternal joys of heaven for all those who have ever trusted Christ for salvation. (Revelation 21:1-22:5)