What We Believe
1. Inspiration, Authority, and Inerrancy of Scripture
We believe that the sixty-six books of the Bible, both Old and New Testament, are verbally inspired by God and are completely trustworthy and without error in everything they teach and affirm to be true. As such, scripture constitutes our highest authority, under God, for everything we believe, teach, and practice as a church.
2.02 The Trinity
We believe in one God, a single being or essence who eternally exists in three distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are coequal and coeternal yet are distinguishable in their actions, functions, and personhood. While the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are really, truly, and eternally distinct and are not to be confused, we do not believe in three gods but in one God who is to be worshiped in both Trinity and unity.
2.03 The Deity and Humanity of Christ
We believe that God the Son became incarnate as Jesus Christ. As such, we believe that Jesus is both fully God and fully human, existing in two natures without mixture, confusion, division, or separation yet united as one person. With respect to his divine nature, he is uncreated and is coequal, coeternal, and of one essence with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. For our sake and for our salvation, he came down from heaven and was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, taking on a real human body and a real human soul. With respect to his humanity, he was made like us in every way except for sin. He suffered, was crucified, and died for our salvation. He was buried and on the third day rose bodily from the dead. With both his divine and human natures still united, he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father, where he serves as both king and high priest and from where he will come to judge the living and the dead.
2.04 The Personality and Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is coequal, coeternal, and of one essence with God the Father and God the Son. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit is a distinct person, proceeding from both the Father and the Son. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit was active in creation, spoke through the prophets, inspired scripture, and empowered people for service. In the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of unbelievers to the truth of the Gospel, makes them conscious of their sin, and draws them into a saving relationship with Christ. The Holy Spirit also brings about the new birth, seals believers until the day of redemption, moves them to obey God’s laws, equips them for service, and, ultimately, causes them to persevere in their faith.
2.05 The Fall of Man
We believe that man, originally created in the image of and after the likeness of God, fell from his high and holy estate through disobedience, by eating the forbidden fruit, and in consequence the threatened penalty of death was inflicted, so that he totally lost all spiritual life, becoming dead in trespass with sins, and subject to the power of the devil.
2.06 The Total Depravity of Man
We believe that this spiritual death, or total corruption of human nature, has been transmitted to the entire race of man, the man Christ Jesus alone excepted, and hence that every child is born into the world with a sinful nature.
2.07 Salvation by Grace through Faith
We believe that sinners are saved by grace through faith alone; and that not of themselves, it is the gift of God; not of works. We further believe that every saved person is justified from all things from which he could not be justified by the laws of Moses.
2.08 The Atonement by the Blood of Christ
We believe that our redemption has been accomplished solely by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was made to be sin, and made a curse for us, dying in our place, a sacrifice acceptable to God, and effective for every sinner who receives Him.
2.09 Regeneration by the Holy Spirit
We believe that, owing to the universal depravity and death in sin, one cannot see or enter into the kingdom of God unless born of the Spirit whereby he becomes a new creation, sealed unto the day of redemption.
2.10 The Believer’s Security and Assurance
We believe in the eternal security of all who are actually born again by the Spirit of God through faith in Christ as revealed in the Scriptures. This is accomplished through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, who guarantees that everyone who is genuinely born again will ultimately persevere in their faith. It is the privilege of every believer who continues in faith, repentance, and their commitment to follow Jesus to have inward assurance of their present salvation and eternal security.
We believe that the members of the body of Christ are sanctified ones; are perfected as to their standing forever by the one offering of the blood of Christ, and are one with Christ in sanctification. As to their state, they may be sanctified with the constant washing of water by the Word, by the blood of Christ, and by the inworking presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
2.12 The Baptism with the Holy Spirit
We believe that when the Holy Spirit came upon the whole company of believers on the Day of Pentecost as promised by Christ, they were collectively baptized into one body, which was the formation of the Church, the body of Christ.
We believe that the work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost when He came from the Father, as promised by Christ, to initiate and complete the building of the body of Christ, which is his Church.
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the sovereign agent in the baptizing of all believers into the body of Christ. Since that time, this baptism occurs individually at the moment of salvation, at which time the believer is also indwelt by the Spirit (*2).
We believe that the New Testament distinguishes between the indwelling and filling of the Spirit, which is the believer’s privilege and duty producing power in Christian witness. There is one baptism with the Spirit, but there are many fillings. Pentecost is an historical event and is not repeated.
2.13 The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the Church to glorify Christ in the building of His body.
We believe that God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of His gifts for the perfecting of the saints for the work of their ministry (*1), and that it is not God’s will that any one gift should be given to all believers, although all believers have at least one gift (*2).
We further believe that whenever spiritual gifts are exercised, they will always be within the limits expressly given in the Scriptures.
We believe that the speaking in tongues (*1), and the working of miracles were sign gifts (*2) demonstrated in the early church to authenticate God’s revelation through the apostles (*3), and to authenticate the baptism of the Holy Spirit (*4), but no such signs give evidence of the baptism today or do they appear as a mark of spiritual maturity or of the filling of the Spirit.
We believe that special Divine revelation for authoritative Scripture ceased with the Apostolic Age.
2.14 The Unity of the True Church in the Mystical Body of Christ
We believe that the Church is composed of all who are united by the Holy Spirit to the risen and ascended Son of God, and that by the same Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, thus being members one of another and knit together in love.
2.15 The Pre-millennial Coming of Christ
We believe this present age will end with the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, first to receive His Church unto Himself, and then to establish the throne of David upon the earth and to reign in righteousness over it for a thousand years.
2.16 The Resurrection of the Body
We believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, according to the Scriptures, in bodily form, and thus became “the first-fruits of those who are asleep”; that upon His return, He will raise out from among the dead those who have died in Christ, this being the first resurrection; and that, after the thousand years, He will raise them that have died in unbelief from their graves to receive their sentence.
2.17 The Eternal Blessedness of the Saved, and the Eternal Punishment of the Lost
We believe that the attitude either of reconciliation or hostility toward God is fixed eternally at death and that the believers of all history will be forever with the Lord and will become joint heirs with Him as their Redeemer in His inheritance. We further believe that there is an appointed day for the judgement of the wicked when they will be cast into the lake of fire, there to remain forever and ever, in varying degrees of torment according to their works.
2.18 The Personality of Satan
We believe that Satan is a person, the father of lies, a murderer from the beginning, and the great deceiver of all nations; that he will be overcome by the Lord Jesus Christ as the seed of the woman and cast into the bottomless pit for a thousand years, and finally, committed to the lake of fire with all his angels to be tormented forever.
2.19 Divine Healing of the Body
We believe that divine healing of the body is not in the atonement in the sense that salvation and the forgiveness of sins are in the atonement. The suffering and death of Christ according to the New Testament, was substitutionary and sufficient. It is nowhere taught in Scripture that Christ died for the effects of sin, but for sin. Sickness is not always the direct effect of personal sin, but it may be the continuing effect of original sin.
2.20 The Ordinances
We believe that the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are to be duly observed by the Church.
Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is the outward means by which a person indicates that they have repented of their sins, put their faith in Jesus, and have committed their lives to serving him. The immersion of the believer in water symbolizes that they have been cleansed from sin through faith in Christ and that they have been united with him in his death, burial, and resurrection.
The Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ on the night he was betrayed to commemorate his death and to proclaim it until he returns. The bread symbolizes the physical body of Christ that was given for believers when he died on the cross as well as the spiritual unity of all who partake of the Lord’s Supper. The cup symbolizes the blood of Christ that was shed for the forgiveness of sins as well as the New Covenant that was inaugurated through his blood. Participation in the Lord’s Supper is both the privilege and the duty of believers: it unites them together with other believers and gives them assurance that the benefits of the death of Christ belong to them through faith in him.