Statement of Faith
We believe that there is room for a diversity of ideas among the body of Christ, and therefore we do not expect that every person will think exactly the same on every issue. However, on these essentials of the faith we are all agreed:
I. THE SCRIPTURES
The Holy Bible was written by people divinely inspired and is the record of God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. God is its author, and therefore it is without error in its original manuscript form. It reveals the depths of God’s love and the principles by which God judges us. Therefore it is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. It is sufficient as our only infallible rule of faith and practice.
1 Corinthians 2:6-16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Matthew 5:18, 24:35; Hebrews 4:12; Psalm 119:89
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. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; 1 Corinthians 8:4; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Timothy 2:3-4
God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and all of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all-powerful, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become His children through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all people.
Psalm 145:8-9; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Genesis 1:1-31; Ephesians 4:6; John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Hebrews 12:5-9
God the Son
The Eternal Son of God is God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, hence the God-Man. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself the demands and necessities of human nature and identifying Himself completely with mankind, yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead and appeared to His disciples and many others as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, partaking of the nature of God and of man, and in whom the reconciliation between God and man exists. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to complete His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord through the Holy Spirit.
John 10:30, 14:9; 1 John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 Corinthians 8:6
God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is God. He inspired people to write the Bible. Through illumination He enables everyone to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls all people to the Savior and effects transformation. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He keeps safe the believer until the end of days. His presence in the Christian is the assurance of God to bring the believer into the fullness of Christ-like character. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
1 Corinthians 2:10-13; 1 Corinthians 12:1-6; Ephesians 4:30; Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4, 28:25-26;; Hebrews 10:14-17; John 16:7-15
Mankind was created by the special act of God, in His own image, and is the crowning work of His creation. In the beginning, mankind was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice, mankind sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan, mankind broke the command of God, and fell from his original innocence, whereby all people inherited a sin nature and an environment inclined toward sin. As soon as people are capable of moral action they become sinful and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring a person into His family and enable everyone to fulfill the creative purpose of God. God created mankind in His own image and therefore Christ died for all. Which allows all of mankind to possess dignity and be worthy of respect and Christian love.
Genesis 2:7,15-25; James 3:9; John 3:36; Romans 3:23, 6:23; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 John 1:8
Salvation involves redemption, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense, salvation includes regeneration, repentance and faith, sanctification, and glorification.
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 brought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
John 3:3-8; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8-9
Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and surrender of one’s entire person to Him as Lord and Savior. Justification is the act of God by which, on the basis of Christ’s death, He pronounces every believer to be righteous, that is, to have fulfilled all of the requirements of the law. Justification brings the believer into a personal relationship of peace and favor with God.
Acts 20:20-21; Romans 5:1
Sanctification is the experience, beginning at the new birth, by which the believer is set apart to God’s purposes, and is enabled to progress toward Christ-likeness through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit indwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the believer’s life.
Acts 20:32; 1 Corinthians 1:2,30, 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 2:11; 1 Peter 1:2
Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.
Romans 8:16-17; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:2-3
There will be a final resurrection for all mankind, the just and unjust. Those who surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ during this life will be raised to everlasting life in Heaven.
Acts 24:15; Hebrews 9:27; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20:15, 21:8
VI. THE CHURCH
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local body of believers who are associated by commitment to the faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing baptism and communion, committed to His teachings, exercising gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by the Bible, and seeking to extend this message of the gospel to the whole earth.
The church is an autonomous body with each member equally responsible. It operates under the Lordship of Christ following Scriptural teachings. Two offices serve the church. It is led and overseen by those called into the service of Pastoral work and a Board of Directors composed of lay men and women.
The New Testament speaks also of the church body as the body of Christ, which includes all who have found salvation in Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22, 4:15, 5:23-32; Revelation 19:7-8; Colossians 1:18
VII. BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
Christian 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 Jesus, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of their old life, and their commitment to live a new life in Christ Jesus. It is a public testimony to their faith in the final resurrection of the dead.
The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby followers of Christ, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, remember the death of Jesus Christ and anticipate His second coming.
Acts 2:38-42, 8:36-39; Romans 6:1-11; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 11:23-34