What We Believe

 

Revelation and the Bible

We believe that the original manuscripts of the Holy Scriptures (both the thirty-nine Old Testament books and the twenty-seven New Testament books) are the verbally-inspired Word of God, complete and without error. We believe the Bible is the sole, supreme, and authoritative guide for faith and practice, and it is the complete and authoritative testimony concerning the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Ps. 119:105; John 5:39, 8:31-32; Acts 20:32; 2 Tim. 2:15, 3:16-17; Heb. 1:1-2; 2 Pet. 1:3, 21).

God

We believe in one God, eternally existing in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—who are coequal in essence, power, and glory. God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, and character. God has an eternal, sovereign, foreordained purpose that declares that all things work together to the praise of His glory. Out of nothing God created all things by the word of His power. He did this in six days and called His creation good. God continues to be active with regards to His creation, sustaining and governing all things by His providence (Gen. 2:1-2; Deut. 6:4; Ps. 90:2; 103:19; Isa. 45:5; Matt. 28:19; John 4:24; Heb. 11:3; Rev. 4:11).

Christ

We believe that Jesus of Nazareth was and is the Christ, the Messiah, and the Anointed One. We believe He is also the Son of the living God. He is both fully man and fully God. He was born of the Virgin Mary, lived a perfect life, taught the way of God’s kingdom, worked miracles, suffered, died, and bodily rose again. We believe Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and died a shameful death that we might be counted as righteous and forgiven of our sins before God. He was our sacrificial substitute who redeemed us from the penalty of sin, removed our guilt, and absorbed the wrath of God (Matt. 16:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-8; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Tim. 2:5; Titus 2:13; 1 Pet. 3:18; 1 John 1:8-2:2).

Holy Spirit

We believe the Holy Spirit is eternally and unchangeably the third Person of the Trinity. He illumines the hearts and minds of unbelievers and brings about the regeneration of the individual by granting the gifts of repentance and faith and by enabling those gifts to be exercised. We believe the Holy Spirit permanently indwells believers and continually ministers to believers, teaching them by revealing Christ in the Scriptures and interceding on their behalf. His empowerment is essential to the sanctification of believers. He enables believers with spiritual gifts for the building up of the Church (Ps. 139:7; John 3:5-6, 14:17, 26, 15:26, 16:7-11; Rom. 8:26; 1 Cor. 2:4-5, 10-13, 12:4-13; 2 Cor. 3:6, 18; Gal. 5:16-25; Eph. 1:13-14; Titus 3:5; 1 Pet. 1:23).

Man and Sin

We believe that men and women are created in the image of God.  In Adam (man’s representative), the entire human race has fallen under sin, separation from God, judgment, and death. Thus, the image of God in man has been severely marred by sin and no sinner—even by his best actions—is capable of pleasing God (Gen.1:26-27; Rom. 2:5-8, 3:10-12, 23; 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:21-22, 42-53; Eph. 2:1-2).

Salvation

We believe that we are justified—declared righteous before God—through faith alone, in Christ alone, and by grace alone. The only way to be adopted into God’s family is through union and communion with His Son, Jesus Christ which requires repentance and faith. All those who have been genuinely saved (justified) are being saved (sanctified) and will be saved in the end (glorified)(Isa. 53:5-6; John 1:12; Rom. 3:24-26, 8:29-30, 2:16; Eph. 1:5, 2:1-10; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 1:5, 5:9).

The Church

We believe that Christ is the head of the church, His body. The church is a universal, spiritual organism made up of all regenerate persons. In this age, the church body is responsible for carrying out God’s purposes in the world through worship, evangelism, discipleship, fellowship, mercy, and the administration of baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-47; 1 Cor. 12:12-27; Eph. 1:22-23, 5:25-27; Col. 1:18).

Future Things

We believe the Lord Jesus Christ will return to earth at an hour known only to God. Christ will defeat every enemy and gather believers to be forever with the Lord (Matt. 24:4-31; John 14:3; 1 Thess. 4:13-17, 5:1-10; 2 Thess. 2:1-10; Titus 2:13; Rev. 19:11-20:6).

We believe that every person will be bodily resurrected; the saved are resurrected to eternal life with God and the unsaved to eternal punishment apart from God. All believers who die before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ are immediately present with the Lord. After the resurrection, the eternal state of every believer is life in the presence of the Father, Son, and Spirit in heaven, also called the New Jerusalem. All unbelievers are immediately subject to conscious judgment at death. After the resurrection, all unbelievers will face the Great White Throne Judgment and will be cast into the lake of fire, where their eternal state is conscious judgment (Luke 16:19-31, 23:43; John 5:28-29, 11:25-26; Rev. 20:11-15, 21:1-22:5).

Responsibilities of Believers

We believe God’s people should be marked by Christ-likeness, prayerfulness, joyful obedience, love for God, and love for others. We believe the mission of the church is one of word and deed. As salt and light, we seek to evangelize the lost, make disciples, uphold righteousness and justice, and care for the hurting and needy (Matt. 5:13-16, 22:37-40, 28:19-20; John 14:15; Rom. 12:12; 1 Cor. 9:19-23; Eph. 5:1-2; 1 Peter 4:11; 1 John 3:16-18).