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What We Believe

 

The Bible - We believe that the words of the Old and New Testaments are the complete and final Word of God, without error in the original manuscripts in any category of knowledge, and are of supreme authority in all matters to which They speak. We are committed to a literal interpretation of Scripture (i.e. one employing the historical, grammatical, contextual method).   (2 Tim. 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Matt. 5:18; 1 Cor. 2:10-13).

 

The Godhead - We believe in one God who is eternal and immutable, existing in three distinct Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, identical in essence, equal in power and glory, and having the same divine attributes and perfections, yet exercising them in varied offices (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; John 14:7-12; John 16:7; 2 Cor.13:14).

    We believe that Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the promised Messiah, the eternal Son of God in the flesh being totally without sin, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. (Matt. 1:18-20; John 1:1, 2, 14, 18; Luke 1:35).

    We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, equal with the Father and the Son and of the same substance and nature; that He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment; bears witness to the truth; is the agent of the new birth; that He seals, guides, teaches, witnesses to, sanctifies, and helps the believer; that He baptizes them into the Church, the Body of Christ, indwells them permanently, seals them unto the day of redemption, bestows spiritual gifts upon each one for the common good of the church, and fills for service those yielded to Him. (John 3:8; 14:16; 15:26-27; 16:7-15; Acts 5:1-4; 1 Cor. 2:10-11; Eph. 4:30; 5:18; 2 Thess. 2:13; Rom. 8:9).

 

The work of Christ - We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for the sins of all mankind as a substitutionary sacrifice and that all who receive Him by faith are declared righteous on the basis of His shed blood (Mark 10:45; Rom. 3:24-26; 5:8-9; 1 Peter 3:18; 2 Cor. 5:14, 21).

     We believe in the bodily resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and in His bodily ascension into heaven where He now serves as High Priest,

      Intercessor, and Advocate on our behalf (Rom. 1:4; John 20:25-27; 1 John 2:1; Heb. 7:25; Mark 16:9; Acts 1:9-11).

      We believe in the imminent and personal appearing of Jesus Christ for His Church and in His subsequent return to earth in the glory of His Father to establish His millenial kingdom over the entire earth. (Acts 1:11; Matt. 24:30; Isa. 9:6-7; Zech. 14:4-11; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51, 52; Titus 2:13;Rev. 19:11-16; 20:4-6).

 

Man - We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam's sin the race fell and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death, which is separation from God; that all mankind have inherited a sinful nature, become willful sinners with the first expression of personal choice, and are totally unable of themselves to regain their former position, and are without excuse before God (Gen. 1:26; 3:1-24; Rom. 1:20; 3:23; 5:12; Eph. 2:1-6, 12).

 

Salvation - We believe that salvation is brought to men by the grace of God and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, apart from any works whatsoever. All those who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are regenerated and become sons of God (Eph. 1:7; 2:8-9; John 1:12; 3:5-7; 1 John 2:1).

        We believe the Scriptures teach that regeneration, or the new birth, is that change in the soul, wrought by the Holy Spirit, through which a new nature and spiritual life, not before possessed, are imparted and the person becomes a new creation in Christ Jesus. (John 3:3-6; 2 Cor. 5:17; 1 Peter 1:23; Titus 3:5).

         We believe that justification is the judicial and non-experiential work of God whereby He pronounces the new believer to be righteous on the basis of Christ’s merits. At the same moment, the believer is eternally set apart as belonging to Him by redemption, thereby being placed in the family of God as a child of God and a joint-heir with Christ. (Rom. 3:26, 8:14-17, 30; 1 John 3:1; 1 Cor. 1:2; Heb. 10:10-14).

     We believe that sanctification is the process by which, according to God's will, believers are made partakers of His holiness; that it is begun in regeneration and progresses as the believer yields to the Holy Spirit's control, and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God, self-examination, watchfulness and prayer (1 Thess. 4:3; 5:23; Prov. 4:18; 1 John 2:29; Phil. 2:12-13; Eph. 6:18; John 17:17).

       We believe that glorification will be the portion of every believer when finally in the presence of the Lord, complete and entire, with soul and spirit united in the resurrected body, free from every trace or effect of sin (1 John 3:2; 1 Cor. 15:52-54; Eph. 4:30; 5:27; Phil. 3:20-21).

         We believe that the salvation of every believer is secure for all eternity from the moment of regeneration. This security is guaranteed to each believer by the fact that the life received is eternal life, by the keeping power of God, by the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit, and by the interceding ministry of Christ (John 5:24; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1, 29-30, 38-39; Eph. 4:30; Heb. 7:25).

 

The eternal state - We believe that the souls of believers, upon death, do immediately pass into the Lord's presence and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at His coming when soul and body reunited shall be associated with Him forever in glory; but, that the souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery unto the final judgment of the Great White Throne at the close of the millennium, when soul and body reunited shall be cast into the lake of fire from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (Luke 16:19-26; 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21-24; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Rev. 20:11-15; Rev. 14:9-13; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).

 

The church - We believe that the Church is a living, spiritual body of which Christ is the Head (Matt. 16:16-18; 1 Cor. 12:12-13; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27). We believe that each local church is a visible expression of the Body of Christ and is a unified assembly of believers in Jesus Christ upon a credible confession of faith, observance of the ordinances, and fellowship. (Acts 2:41-47; 14:27; 20:17; 1 Tim. 3:1-16; Titus 1:5-11; 1 Cor. 3:10-17; 5:1-5; 11:2).

         We believe that the Lord Jesus instituted two ordinances during His earthly ministry: baptism and the Lord's Supper, to be observed by all believers until His return. We believe that baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to show forth by solemn and beautiful symbolism the believer's identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. We believe that the communion of the Lord’s table is a somber celebration, whereby the partaking of the bread and the cup, each believer soberly remembers the death of Christ and rejoices in His coming again (Matt. 28:19; Acts 8:36; Rom. 6:3-5; 1 Peter 3:21; Acts 2:38-41; Matt. 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 11:23-32).

      We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has commissioned the Church to take the Gospel to the world, and that making disciples at home and abroad should be the primary mission of the local church (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8).