What We Believe
The Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine revelation. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is God breathed, total true and completely trustworthy. The Bible contains both narrative and propositional truth. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of this present world, the true center of the church’s beliefs and instructions, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony of Christ, who is himself the focus of divine revelation. References: Exodus 24:4 Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 17-19 Joshua 8:34 Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140 Isaiah 34:16, 40:8 Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32 Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29 Luke 21:33; 24:44-46 John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17 Acts 2:16, 17:11 Romans 15:4; 16:25-26 2 Timothy 3:15-17 Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12 1 Peter 1:25 2 Peter 1:19-21
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local body of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. The church represents Christ on earth has his visible Body to the world as it operates in the power of the Holy Spirit. Each church operates under the Lordship of Christ. In such a church each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. The church is a living demonstration of Christ’s love for the world and demonstrates that love through loving, encouraging, caring, forgiving, exhorting, and praying for one another. The church’s mandate is to make disciples of all nations through missions outreach and fighting for the cause of the oppressed through justice and compassion. Its scriptural officers are elders and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of elder or pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture. The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation. References: Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3.
Man was given the cultural mandate to subdue the earth and have dominion over creation. The earth has been subject to the Fall due to man’s rebellion and is now in a fallen state. As Christians, we seek to restore beauty back to the earth. We do this through being culture makers who use our abilities and resources to honor God through the creative process. We see every occupation as a vital means to honor God. We believe that the gospel has a deep, vital, and healthy impact on the arts, business, government, media, and academy of any society. Therefore we are highly committed to support Christians’ engagement with culture, helping them work with excellence, distinctiveness, and accountability in their professions. All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth. References: Exodus 20:3-17; Leviticus 6:2-5; Deuteronomy 10:12; 27:17; Psalm 101:5; Micah 6:8; Zechariah 8:16; Matthew 5:13-16,43-48; 22:36-40; 25:35; Mark 1:29-34; 2:3; 10:21; Luke 4:18-21; 10:27-37; 20:25; John 15:12; 17:15; Romans 12–14; 1 Corinthians 5:9-10; 6:1-7; 7:20-24; 10:23-11:1; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:12-17; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Philemon; James 1:27; 2:8.
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race. The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents. References: Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.
There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being.
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. God is father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in his attitudes towards all men. References: Genesis 1:1; 2:7 Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3 Leviticus 22:2 Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6 1 Chronicles 29:10 Psalm 19:1-3 Isaiah 43:3, 15; 64:8 Jeremiah 10:10; 17:3 Matthew 6:9ff; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19 Mark 9:1-11 John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8 Acts 1:7 Romans 8:14-15 1 Corinthians 8:6 Galatians 4:6 Ephesians 4:6 Colossians 1:15 1 Timothy 1:17 Hebrews 11:6; 12:9 1 Peter 1:17 I John 5:7
Jesus Christ is the eternal son of God who is completely divine and completely human. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He is the center point of the Bible. Jesus perfectly revealed and fulfilled the will of God, taking upon himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. As both God and man Jesus died on a cross on behalf of sinful man. Though he was perfect, without sin, he suffered the divine wrath of God towards sin in our place. Christ fulfilled the Law with his life on our behalf and gave his life for our sin. Our sin was imputed on him and his righteousness was imputed to those who believe by faith. He became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God. After his suffering and death he was buried and three days later he bodily rose from the dead thus conquering both sin and death. Through his death he purchased our salvation and everything else that is a display of God’s mercy and goodness towards man. Therefore, there is no other name by which man can be saved. He ascended into heaven where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. As the risen Lord, he is the Head of the church and is due exaltation as Lord of all. Christ is coming again in power and glory to consummate His redemptive mission and to reign over His eternal kingdom and to restore and reconcile all of creation back to God. He now dwells on all believers as the living and present Lord. References: Genesis 3:15 Psalm 22 Isaiah 7:14; 53 Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 11:27;28:1-6 Mark 1:1; 3:11 John 1:1-5,14; 8:58, 10:30; 11:25-27; 12:44-50; 14:7-11; 16: 15-16; 17:21; 20:1-20 Acts 1:9; 2:22-24: 7:55-56; 9:4-5,20 Romans 5:6-8, 8:34, 14:9 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 55-56 Galatians 5:19-21 Ephesians 1:22; 4:7-10 Philippians 2:1-11 Colossians 1:15-23 1 Thessalonians 4:14-16 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16 Titus 2:13-14 Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 9:15; 10:4-5 1 Peter 2:21-25 1 John 1:7-9; 4:14-15 2 John 7:9 Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 22:7-17
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Savior, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which we serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service. The believer is commanded to be filled with and by the Holy Spirit on a continual basis. References: Genesis 1:2 Judges 14:6 Job 26:13 Psalm 51:11 Joel 2:28-32 Matthew 1:18: 3:16; 4:1; 12 :28-32; 28:19 Luke 1: 35; 41; 18-19; 11:13; 12:12 John 4:24; 14:16-17; 16:7-17 Acts 1:8; 2:1-4:28: 4:31, 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17,39 10:44; 13:2; 19:1-6 Romans 8:9-11, 14-16 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 12:3-11,14 Galatians 4:6 Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18 1 Thessalonians 5:19 1 Timothy 3:16; 4:1 2 Timothy 1:14; 3:16 Hebrews 9:8, 14 2 Peter 1:21 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7 Revelation 1:10; 22:17
What is the Gospel? The just and gracious God of the universe looked upon hopelessly sinful people and sent His one and only Son, Jesus, God in the flesh, to bear His wrath against sin on the cross and to show his power over sin and death in the resurrection so that all who have faith in Him shall be reconciled to God forever. A biblical presentation and a biblical response to the Gospel includes five key elements: The character of God Romans 1:18-20, 2:1-16, 3:22-24, Isaiah 6:1-8 Biblical Truth: God is the just and gracious Creator of all things. He is sovereign over his creation and the salvation of man. He is holy and good lacking nothing, wrapped in splendor, glorious and majestic, deserving of all glory and exaltation. Biblical Response: We must believe that we belong to Him, are accountable to Him, and are created to glorify Him. Sinfulness of Man: Romans 1:21-25, 3:9-20; 23, 6:23 Biblical Truth: We are created in the image of God, but we are all corrupted by sin. We are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are by nature sinners. Biblical Response: We must admit that we are sinful and helpless to save ourselves, admit areas of rebellion, be honest before God about our sin and turn from it. The sufficiency of Christ Romans 3:21-26; 4:24; 5:6-10, 5:18, 8:1-4, Col. 1:15-20 Biblical Truth: Jesus Christ alone is able to remove our sin and reconcile us to God through His death. He is the sinless Son of God who died as our substitute in order to make atonement for our sin and to bear the wrath of God on our behalf. Biblical Response: We must acknowledge with our entire being and lives that we are helpless to save ourselves and be made right with God apart from Jesus Christ. The necessity of faith Romans 1:17, 3:20-31, 4:22-25, 6:11-14, 8:10-11, 10:9-13 Biblical Truth: We are reconciled to God only through faith in Jesus. We are not saved by good works and religious activity. We can add nothing of our own merit to the cross. Biblical Response: Faith that leads to salvation involves turning from sin and self-sufficiency. We turn to Jesus, and we confess and trust Him as the Lord of our lives. The urgency of eternity John 3:14-16;36, 10:27-30, 17:3, 1 Timothy 1:16-17, Hebrews 9:12, 1 John 5:11-13 Biblical Truth: Our eternal destiny is dependent on our response to Jesus. Biblical Response: You must cry out to God to save you from your sins, put your faith in Jesus, confess Him as Lord and follow Him.
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world in its fallen condition to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever with the Lord. God will redeem and restore his creation back to its original design before the Fall where His Kingdom will be established for eternity and God will be with his people in all perfection for all eternity. References: Isaiah 2:4; 11:9; Matthew 16:27; 18:8-9; 19:28; 24:27,30,36,44; 25:31-46; 26:64; Mark 8:38; 9:43-48; Luke 12:40,48; 16:19-26; 17:22-37; 21:27-28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15:24-28,35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 1:5; 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 5:1ff.; 2 Thessalonians 1:7ff.; 2; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:27-28; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7ff.; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14; Revelation 1:18; 3:11; 20:1-22:13.
Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. In God’s original creation, man was innocent of sin and was endowed by God with freedom of choice to use to cultivate and create and to walk in perfect fellowship with God and one another. Man used his free choice to sin against God thus bringing sin into the human race. Sin in fallen man has distorted the image of God. Therefore, every human is born with a sin nature that inclines him towards rebellion against God. In his sin, man is spiritually dead, unable to overcome his nature within or save himself from his sinful condition. The grace of God applied can bring an person into relationship with God and create within him a new nature controlled by the Holy Spirit within. A redeemed person is a new creation in Christ. However, the redeemed person must wage war against the old nature in order to walk victoriously over the flesh. Positionally, the man or woman of God has been made perfect as was his original design. Practically, the man or woman of God must continue to strive to grow in Christ-like character applying spiritual means. One must work out their salvation with fear and trembling but must not attempt to work for their salvation. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that god created man in His own image, and that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love. References: Genesis 1:26-30, 2:5-7, 18-22; 3 Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5 Isaiah 6:5 Jeremiah 17:5 Matthew 16:26 Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-185; 7:14-26 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:21-22 2 Corinthians 5:17 Galatians 5; 6:15 Ephesians 2:1-22 Philippians 2:12 Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. Our passion is to create worshippers of our God through missions. The purpose of the church is found in its mission to the lost world and the glory of God. Our mission is both local and global. We seek to reach our community with the gospel and we extend that effort to the ends of the earth until there are no people groups who do not worship God through the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ. References: Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-6; Isaiah 6:1-8; Matthew 9:37-38; 10:5-15; 13:18-30, 37-43; 16:19; 22:9-10; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 10:1-18; 24:46-53; John 14:11-12; 15:7-8,16; 17:15; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2; 8:26-40; 10:42-48; 13:2-3; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 3:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; 2 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 2:1-3; 11:39-12:2; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Revelation 22:17.
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility. All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. References: Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-8; 1 Samuel 8:4-7,19-22; Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 31:31; Matthew 16:18-19; 21:28-45; 24:22,31; 25:34; Luke 1:68-79; 2:29-32; 19:41-44; 24:44-48; John 1:12-14; 3:16; 5:24; 6:44-45,65; 10:27-29; 15:16; 17:6,12,17-18; Acts 20:32; Romans 5:9-10; 8:28-39; 10:12-15; 11:5-7,26-36; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; 15:24-28; Ephesians 1:4-23; 2:1-10; 3:1-11; Colossians 1:12-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2:10,19; Hebrews 11:39–12:2; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:2-5,13; 2:4-10; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:19; 3:2.
Salvation Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. Regeneration Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the confession of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Savior. Repentance involves turning from our idols and finding our joy, purpose and satisfaction in Christ. Justification Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favor with God. Sanctification Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God’s purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person’s life. Glorification Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed in perfect harmony with God, humanity and himself in a return to Eden-like perfection. References: Genesis 3:15; Exodus 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26; 27:22-28:6; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14,29; 3:3-21,36; 5:24; 10:9,28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32; Romans 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3; 5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18,29-39; 10:9-10,13; 13:11-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18,30; 6:19-20; 15:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-22; 4:11-16; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 1:9-22; 3:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Timothy 1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8,14; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6-2:11; Revelation 3:20; 21:1-22:5