In Essential Beliefs - We Have Unity
Our church's aim is not to discover how little we can believe but rather to embrace and teach "the whole counsel of God." Our aim is to encourage an enthusiastic loyalty to Biblical theology. We believe that Biblical doctrine stabilizes believers in Christ in a day when doctrinal confusion causes much havoc upon the church. Doctrinal stability also strengthens the church in her mission to meet the great systems of false religions.
"There is one body and one Spirit- just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call- one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." Ephesians 4:4-6 (ESV)
"I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them." Romans 16:17 (ESV)
"If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain." 1 Timothy 6:3-5 (ESV)
In Non-Essential Beliefs - We Have Liberty
We do not believe that all things in the following affirmation of faith are of equal weight as some beliefs are more essential than others. Neither must all of the following beliefs be believed in order for one to be saved.
"As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions....So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble." Romans 14:1; 19-21 (ESV)
In All Our Beliefs - We Show Charity
Lastly, we believe that the cause of church unity is best served, not by finding the lowest common denominator of doctrine around which we all can gather, but by elevating the value of truth, stating the doctrinal parameters of our church, seeking the unity that comes from truth, and then demonstrating to the world how Christians can love one another.
"And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:2 (ESV)
The Essentials We Believe:
1. About God
God is the Creator, Ruler, and Preserver of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (the Trinity). These Three are co-equal and each Person of the Trinity is fully God. Yet, God is one. He is infinite in holiness and is in total control of all things as He knows everything (past, present, and future) perfectly. God is altogether holy and glorious in all of His perfections. God is also loving and is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
Genesis 1:1, 26, 27; 2:7; 3:22; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 45:6-7; 90:2; 115:3; Daniel 4:25; 4:34-35; Matthew 28:19; John 1:1-3, 18; 5:18; 6:46; 20:17; Acts 1:7; 2:33; Romans 1:7; 3:30; 8:14-15; 15:6; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 1:11; 4:6; 1 Timothy 1:17; 2:5; Philemon 1:3; Hebrews 11:6; James 2:19; 1 Peter 1:2-3; 1:17.
2. About Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father and has existed from eternity. Jesus lived a sinless human life and was conceived of the Holy Spirit to be born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly lived His life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of people by dying on a cross. Jesus Christ is fully man and fully God as these two distinct natures are inseparably joined together in Him without confusion or mixture.
Jesus Christ endured the common problems that each person faces but preached and taught with truth and authority unparalleled in human history. He worked miracles, demonstrating His divine rights and power over all of creation: dispatching demons, healing the sick, raising the dead, stilling storms, walking on water, multiplying loaves and fish, and knowing what was going to happen before it happened including the betrayal by Judas (one of the twelve disciples) and the denial, restoration and eventual martyrdom of Peter (another of the twelve disciples).
Jesus Christ suffered voluntarily and was crucified under the rule of Pontius Pilate (governor over Judea). He actually died, was buried, and on the third day rose from the grave. Christ arose from the grave both to bring worship to God but also to demonstrate His compassion toward sinners. During the next forty days after His resurrection, Christ demonstrated His resurrection in a compelling manner to as many as 500 witnesses. He then ascended into heaven where He is now seated at the right hand of God the Father. Christ currently prays for His people and will one day place everything, including His enemies, under His feet.
Because of Christ's perfect obedience to God, His suffering and death secured forgiveness of sins and perfect righteousness for all who trust in God. This is true for those who lived both before and after the death of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ died in our place, the just for the unjust. His death absorbed the punishment we should have received and removed any blame we had in connection to God's law. Consequently, once we have trusted in Christ's death and resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins, God's wrath is no longer a concern for us. Christ's death is so wonderful that all people everywhere need to hear what God has done for sinners.
Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Matthew 1:18-23; 1:22-23; 3:17; 4:23; 8:29; 11:4-6, 27; 14:19-20, 25, 33; 16:16, 27; 17:5; 22:16; 26:2; 28:6; Mark 1:27; 4:39; Luke 1:34-35; Luke 22:31-34, 69; 24:25-26; John 1:1-5, 14, 29; 3:16-17; 6:37, 64; 7:46; 10:14-15, 18; 13:19, 21, 26-27; 14:10-30; 19:40-41; 21:18-19; Acts 1:3, 9-11; 2:23, 33; 4:27-28; 5:31; 13;38; 17:31; Romans 1:3,4; 3:24-26, 28; 4:3; 5:6, 9, 8:34; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8, 24-28; 2 Corinthians 5:14, 19-21; 8:9; Galatians 2:21; 3:13; 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:7, 20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Philippians 2:6-11; Colossians 1:13-22; 2:9; 3:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:14-18; 5:9; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; 6:14,15; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 1:1-3, 13; 2:14, 17; 4:14-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15, 24-28; 12:2; 13:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:18, 22; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:1; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16.
3. About the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He has always been at work in the world: sharing in the work of creation, performing signs and wonders, empowering the communication of God's spokesmen (prophets and apostles), and inspiring the writing of Scripture. He is currently present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ by pointing out their sin (conviction) and pointing them to Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for evangelism, understanding of spiritual truth, revealing the beauty of Jesus Christ in the Word of God, and guidance for doing what is right. The Spirit of God transforms the believer through a process of growth which is often called discipleship or sanctification. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they come to trust in Jesus Christ. As Christians, we seek to live under His control daily.
Without the work of the Holy Spirit no person would come to faith in Christ because each person is blinded to the reality of their own hearts and the beauty of Christ and His Word. The Holy Spirit aims to shine the spotlight of all He does on Jesus Christ.
Judges 3:10; 14:6; 1 Samuel 10:6; Jeremiah 31:33-34; 32:40; Matthew 22:43; Mark 4:19; Luke 24:49; John 3:8; 6:44; 7:39; 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; 2:33; 4:31; 13:2; 16:14; Romans 6:17; 8:7-9; 15:18-19; 1 Corinthians 12:7-10; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18; 4:4, 6; 6:16; Ephesians 2:4-6; 21; 2 Thessalonians 3:1; Hebrews 2:3-4; 2 Peter 1:21.
4. About the Bible
The Bible is God's perfect Word to us as it is verbally inspired and totally without error in the original manuscripts. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It contains a total of sixty-six books of both the Old and New Testaments. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living as it is the final authority in testing claims for what is true and right in all matters. We should undergo a careful and deliberate process in determining God's intentions in the Bible. Our limited abilities, traditional biases, personal sin, and cultural assumptions often obscure Biblical texts. We desperately need the work of the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the right understanding of the Bible. We must also pray for God's assistance to humbly apply God's word once we have understood God's intentions. All Scripture points to Jesus Christ, Who is the focus of divine revelation.
24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Numbers 23:19; Psalm 12:6;
19:7-10; 119:11-12, 89, 105, 140, 160; Proverbs 30:5; Isaiah 34:16; 40:18;
Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29, 43-44; 24:35; Luke 21:33;
24:44-46; John 5:39; 14:26; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 1 Corinthians 2:12-16; 14:37;
Ephesians 1:18; 2 Timothy 1:13; 3:15-17; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 6:18;
1 Peter 1:10-11, 25; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 3:16.
5. About Creation
God created the entire universe and everything in it. God created everything from nothing as He
simply spoke everything into existence.
God created all things not because He needed anything or anyone, as God
is completely self-sufficient. God was
pleased in His creation for everything exists to display the glory and the
power of Almighty God.
God created Adam from the dust of the ground and Eve was created from Adam's side. Adam and Eve were the historical parents of the entire human race. They further were created both male and female equally in the image of God Himself and were given complementary roles in marriage as a symbolic picture of Christ and His church.
Genesis 1:1, 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 27, 31; 2:7, 21-22; Exodus 3:14; Job 12:10; 41:11; Psalm 19:1-2; 24:1-2; 33:6, 9: 50:10-12; 148:3, 7-11, 13; Isaiah 43:7; John 1:1-3; 17:5; Acts 4:24; 17:24-25; Romans 4:17; 11:35-36; 1 Corinthians 10:31; 11-8-9; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:2-3, 11:3; Revelation 4:11.
6. About Man
Man is made in the spiritual image of God, to be like God in character. Mankind is the supreme object of God's creation as God created male and female.
Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called "sin." God created Adam and Eve morally upright and with responsibility of choice at the beginning of humanity's existence, but through the temptation of Satan, these first people disobeyed God and consequently fell from God's perfect environment. The Bible calls this sin, and it is humanity's open declaration of independence from God. This attitude separates people from God and causes infinite problems in life.
When Adam fell, the posterity of all of humanity fell along with him. Humanity's fall included the corruption, guilt, death and condemnation that accompany sin. Therefore, all people are corrupt by nature, enslaved to sin, and morally unable to find life's true purpose: the worship of God. Sin makes it impossible to overcome our self-importance as we prefer the fleeting pleasures of self-rule.
God has subjected all of His creation to futility. The entire human family is made justly liable to untold miseries of sickness, decay, calamity, and loss. All the adversity and suffering in our world is a witness of the exceedingly great evil of our human heart's moral corruption. Each new day is a God-given merciful reprieve from God's imminent judgment which points all of us to a moral turnaround (repentance).
Genesis 1:1, 27, 31; 2:7, 17-18, 21-22; 3:1, 6-8, 13; Exodus 3:13-14; Deuteronomy 29:4; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Psalm 8:3-6; 24:1-2; 50:9-15; Isaiah 43:7; 53:6a; 59:1, 2; John 1:1-3; Acts 17:25; Romans 2:4; 3:23; 5:12-19, 14; 6:16, 20; 8:7-8, 20, 23, 35-36; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 10:31; 15:21-22, 45; 2 Corinthians 4:16; 11:3; Ephesians 2:2-3; 5:22-33; Hebrews 1:2, 11:3.
7. About Salvation
We believe that by Jesus Christ's perfect obedience to God and by His suffering and death as the Son of God, Jesus Christ obtained forgiveness of sins and the gift of perfect righteousness for all who trusted in God. Through living a perfect life and dying in our place Christ absorbed our punishment, appeased the wrath of God against us, and vindicated the righteousness of God in our justification.
We believe that the atonement of Christ for sin warrants and impels a universal offering of the gospel to all persons, so that to every person it may be truly said, "God gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him might not perish but have eternal life."
We believe that in a free act of righteous grace God justifies the ungodly by faith alone apart from works, pardoning their sins, and reckoning them as righteous and acceptable in His presence. Faith is thus the sole instrument by which we, as sinners, are united to Christ, whose perfect righteousness and satisfaction for sins is alone the ground of our acceptance with God. This acceptance happens fully and permanently at the first instant of justification. Thus, the righteousness by which we come into right standing with God is not anything worked in us by God, neither imparted to us at baptism, nor over time, but rather is accomplished for us, outside ourselves, and is imputed to us.
We believe, nevertheless, that the faith, which alone receives the gift of justification, does not remain alone in the person so justified, but produces, by the Holy Spirit, the fruit of love and leads necessarily to sanctification. This necessary relation between justifying faith and the fruit of good works gives rise to some Biblical expressions which seem to make works the ground or means of justification, but in fact simply expresses the crucial truth that faith that does not yield the fruit of good works is dead, being no true faith.
Jeremiah 23:5-6; Matthew 28:19; Luke 22:20; John 1:12; 1:29; 3:16; 4:14; 10:14-15; 14:6; 15:13; Acts 1:8; 4:12; 13:38; 15:9; Romans 3:21-22; 3:23-26; 3:28; 4:3-8; 5:1; 5:9; 5:17-19; 6:23; 8:1,3; 8:32; 8:34; 14:9; 1 Corinthians 11:25; 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:14; 5:21; Ephesians 1:7; 2:3-6; 2:8, 9; 5:1; 5:6; 5:25; Galatians 2:16; 2:21; 3:13; 3:24; 3:26; 5:4; 5:22-23; Philippians 3:8-9; Colossians 1:14; 1:23; 2:13-14; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Titus 3:5-7; Hebrews 8:6; 9:15; 12:24; 13:20-21; James 2:17-20; 2:26; 1 Peter 2:14; 3:18; Revelation 5:9; 22:17.
8. About Eternal Security
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for all of eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot "lose" your salvation. All those who are truly born again will be kept by God's power and will persevere as believers in Christ until the end of the their lives. The Holy Spirit will bear witness with the believer's spirit and produce the type of character traits that were found in Jesus Christ Himself. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God Himself that gives the Christian this security. Only those believers who persevere until the end of their life have been truly born again. Each believer in Christ will demonstrate genuine, godly works demonstrating their salvation. Yet, even these works are by the grace of God.
7:16-20; 21-23; 10:22; 25:31-46; Mark 4:16-17; John 3:16-17, 36; 5:24; 6:4-7,
38-40; 8:31-32; 10:27-29; 15:4,7; Romans 8:1, 14-16; Galatians 5:22-23;
Ephesians 1:13-14; Philippians 1:16; Colossians 1:22-23; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews
3:14; 7:25, 10:10, 14; James 2:17-18; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 1 John 2:4-6, 10, 19,
23-24; 3:14, 17; 4:6-7; 5:13.
9. About Eternity
Man was created to exist forever. Mankind will either exist eternally separated from God because of our sin, or eternally with God through His forgiveness and salvation. Mankind is anticipating the fulfillment of Christ's promised return to the earth. At this time, the dead will be raised and Christ Himself will judge all men.
Once a believer has died, though his or her physical body remains buried on earth, at the moment of death the spirit of the believer goes immediately in the presence of God. Believers in Christ will be judged to evaluate and confer various degrees of reward. No true believer in Christ should fear condemnation to hell because of this judgment. Believers in Christ will spend eternity with God in heaven, a place where God most fully makes known His presence to bless believers in Christ. The believer's greatest joy in heaven is Jesus Christ Himself.
Once an unbeliever has died, his or her physical body also remains buried on the earth, at the moment of death the spirit of the unbeliever passes into a state of eternal punishment. On the day of final judgment their bodies will be raised and reunited with their spirits, and they will stand before God for final judgment. God will consign all unbelievers to hell. Hell is a place of eternal conscious punishment for the wicked.
Ecclesiastes 12:14; 2 Samuel 12:20; Job 1:20-21; Psalm 16:10-11; 17:15; 23:6; 115:17-18; 116:15; Daniel 12:2; Matthew 6:10, 20-21; 19:21; 25:31-46; Mark 9:43, 48; Luke 12:2-3, 47-48; 16:24-26; 19:17, 19; 23:43; John 3:16; 5:8; 11:12-13; 14:17; Acts 7:55-56; 24:15; Romans 2:16; 6:23; 8:1, 17-18; 9:1-3; 14:10, 12; 1 Corinthians 2:7-9; 3:12-15; 15:54-56; 2 Corinthians 5:8, 10; Philippians 1:21-23; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 6:10; 7:9-10; 11:18; 14:9-11, 13; 19:3; 20:10-15; 22:3-4.
10. About Baptism and The Lord's Supper
Believer's Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus.
The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.
Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; 20:7; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 10:16,21; 11:23-29; Colossians 2:12.