We believe in the only true God (John 17:3), the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20). He created all things (Revelation 4:11) and upholds all things by the Word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). He is a God of truth and without iniquity. He is just and right (Deuteronomy 32:4), and He will judge the world (Psalm 9:8).
We believe the Godhead eternally exists in three distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three—distinct but not divided—are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes and perfections, and are worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience (Mark 12:29; John 1:1-4; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 4:3-4).
We believe in both the total deity and complete humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe He is the manifestation of God in the flesh. I believe He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin, Mary. We believe Him to be true God and true man. We believe it is through Christ’s agency that God will judge the world (John 1:1, 1:14, 1:18; John 14:8-9; Acts 17:31; and 1 Timothy 3:16).
We believe that the Holy Spirit’s ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:14). The Holy Spirit regenerates the sinner resulting in his/her belief in Christ and integration into one body over which Jesus Christ is the head. The Holy Spirit indwells, guides, instructs, fills, comforts, and empowers every believer for godly living (Mark 13:11; John 14:26; John 16:13; Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 3:16).
The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, God’s righteousness, and coming judgment (John 16:8-11). While we believe that the Scriptures do not teach that certain gifts have ceased, they indicate that use of the gifts vary according to the need that each gift meets. We believe the Scriptures are complete and that the current gift of prophecy does not entail new, direct, extrabiblical revelation from God to His people. We do not encourage the use of “sign gifts” as part of corporate worship, but do not hinder those expressions inasmuch as they are in keeping with scriptural guidelines. We believe new, revelatory prophecy, healing, and miracles were exclusively apostolic giftings designed to establish apostolic authority and to establish the Church. Instead of manifesting sign gifts in regular worship, we emphasize the more excellent way of love as well as the more edifying gifts which facilitate service (ministry and missions) and discipleship. We want nothing to distract us from worshiping Christ. (John 16:8; 13:15; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 1:22; 4:11-12; Romans 8:9-17; 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 12:4-5, 12:11-13, 12:19; Galatians 5:25; Hebrews 4:1-4; 2 Corinthians 12:12).
We believe the Scriptures of the Old Testament and New Testament are inspired by God and are inerrant, infallible, and sufficient for life and righteousness. We believe the 66 books of the Old Testament and the New Testament are God’s complete revelation and carry God’s authority for the total well-being of mankind all matters pertaining to His Church (Psalm 119:97-104; Psalm 119:160; Matthew 5:18; John 5:46-47; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:15-16).
Sufficiency of Scripture
We believe in the absolute inspiration of the Scriptures and that they contain all the words of God we need in order to completely trust and obey Him. The Scriptures are inerrant (Psalm 119:97-104; Psalm 119:160; Matthew 5:18; John 5:46-47; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:15-16), infallible in their instruction (Proverbs 6:32; 2 Peter 1:19), eternal in duration (Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:23-25); the final authority and the standard for faith and practice (Matthew 4:4; Psalm 119); and sufficient for counsel in every issue of life (Psalm 19:7-14; 2 Timothy 3:16). We believe the words of Scripture in the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic are inspired by God. Therefore, we prefer Bible versions which translate God’s Word most literally into modern English.
We believe man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker but, by voluntarily transgression, fell from his sinless and happy state. Consequently, all mankind is sinful. All people are sinners not only by inheritance, but also by their own choice and therefore are under just condemnation without defense or excuse. We believe every man and every woman is totally depraved (separated from a healthy relationship with God through sin) and needs a Savior (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 3:10-19; Romans 1:18, Romans 1:32).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice. We believe that each person, who by faith truly repents and trusts Him as personal Lord and Savior, is justified on the basis of Jesus Christ’s shed blood on the cross. Each person who receives Christ as personal Savior is born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby becomes eternally secure as a child of God. We believe the Holy Spirit baptizes each believing person into the body of Christ at the moment of salvation and that there is no second baptism of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:37-39; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
Eternal Security of the Believer
It is God’s divine decision to save a person and it is God’s kindness, forbearance, and patience that lead that person to repentance (Romans 2:4). All glory for the salvation and security of every believer belongs to God alone (Romans 3:21-31; Ephesians 1:7-9; Ephesians 2:8-9, Jude 1:24-25). We believe that everyone who is born again by the Spirit through Jesus Christ is eternally assured of salvation from the moment of conversion. This assurance relies on God’s decisive grace rather than on the works of the Christian. Obedience, good works, and fruit-bearing do not earn or retain the believer’s salvation but indicate the reality of the person’s love of Christ and profession of faith (Luke 6:46; John 14:21; James 2:17-18).
Eternal security in salvation relies on the Lord’s guarantee to adopt each believer as His son or daughter (Galatians 4:4-7), His sealing of the believer by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14), and the conviction that God gives the Holy Spirit to each believer as a guarantee of future bliss in heaven (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). A person who professes genuine faith in Christ immediately becomes His possession (Luke 23:42-43; Acts 2:40-41; Acts 16: 30-34), and nothing can snatch that person out of His hands (John 10:27-29). Having been bought with the price of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion as complete payment for sin, Christians are not their own. They are Christ’s possession (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Genuine salvation through faith in Christ is absolutely certain, irrevocable, reserved in heaven, and protected by God’s unlimited power (1 Peter 1:4-5).
We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord Jesus Christ, His ascension into heaven, and His present life for us as High Priest and Advocate. We believe every Christ-follower will experience a bodily resurrection when Christ returns in glory to gather His people (Acts 1:3; Acts 1:9; Hebrews 7:25-26).
Heaven, Hell, and the Christ’s Return
We believe in the blessed hope and the personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe there will be a literal thousand-year reign of Christ on Earth prior to Judgment Day. Christ’s return has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The saved are raised to eternal, conscious bliss in heaven (Matthew 25:34; John 14:2; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Revelation 2:7). The lost are raised to eternal torment in hell in conscious separation from God (Matthew 8:12; Matthew 10:28; Matthew 13:49-50; Mark 9:47-48; Luke 12:5; Revelation 21:8).
Satan and other rebellious members of the heavenly host viciously oppose the work God performs in and through His people (1 Peter 5:8; Genesis 3:1-7; Ephesians 6:12). God, who by His nature is infinitely more powerful than Satan, in due time will have complete and total victory over Satan (1 John 4:4; Revelation 20:1-10).
Although it is appropriate to pray in Jesus’ name for protection against demonic activity, the Scriptures do not instruct the Christian to “bind Satan in Jesus’ name.” Rather, the Scriptures instruct the Christian to combat Satan by:
- Humbly drawing near to God, knowing that He will give grace, mercy, and strength (2 Corinthians 12:7-9; Hebrews 4:15-16; James 4:8; 1 Peter 5:6-10).
- Resisting Satan’s temptations when we must stand (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9).
- Fleeing temptation whenever we can (1 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22)
- Pursuing Righteousness (Matthew 6:33; Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 6:11)
- Rightly applying the truth of the Scriptures (Matthew 4:1-11; John 8:44; Ephesians 4:24-27).
- Forgiving offenses (2 Corinthians 2:10-11).
- Putting on the armor of God’s truth, righteousness, readiness to share the Gospel, faith, salvation, and prayer (Ephesians 6:11-20).
- Demonstrating faithfulness to the Lord by enduring trials (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 2:13; Revelation 3:9-10).
Upon accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, a believer becomes part of His body, which is the Church. There is one church universal, composed of all those throughout the world who trust and follow Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The Scriptures command believers to gather in order to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observance of the ordinances (baptism and communion), fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world in fulfillment of the command of Christ to disciple all believers (Ephesians 5:23; Romans 12:1; Acts 2:42-46; 1 Corinthians 14:26; Matthew 28:18-20).
Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the church—under the oversight of elders and other supportive leadership. The church’s members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ (Ephesians 4:16).
The chief purpose of mankind is to glorify God by loving Him with the entire heart, soul, mind, and might (Deuteronomy 6:5; Isaiah 43:7; Matthew 22:37). All believing men, women, and children are to glorify God and thus fulfill the purpose of their existence. Worship glorifies God through adoration (Psalm 95:6), praise (Psalm 99:5), prayer (Daniel 6:10-11), thanksgiving (Nehemiah 12:46), and a complete yielding to Him (Romans 12:1). Worship declares His worth, pays Him homage, and celebrates Him in a life of devotion. We seek to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth (Exodus 15:1-21; 2 Samuel 6:14-16; Psalm 5:7; John 4:23-24; Revelation 4:11; 5:12).
We hold a non-charismatic, conservative, evangelical view of fellowship and corporate worship. We believe the Christian life is supernatural and the Lord continues to perform miracles. We also believe current, so-called “manifestations” of the Spirit in corporate worship such as speaking in tongues without an interpreter, “healings,” being “slain in the Spirit,” “foretelling the future,” and other charismatic demonstrations distract from the main task of the local church, which is to glorify God through the fulfillment of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).
Specifically, unbiblical exhibitions of the gift of tongues:
- Give unwarranted prominence to the gift, which is described in the New Testament as being only one of many spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12).
- Emphasize speaking in tongues as the primary manifestation of the Spirit’s work in a person’s life, while minimizing the Spirit’s work in producing a holy life (2 Corinthians 3:17-18; 2 Timothy 1:9) and a life that displays the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).
- Often suggest that speaking in tongues is a required proof of being Spirit-filled or of possessing salvation in Christ, even though the Scriptures do not teach this.
Baptism and Communion
Baptism and communion are the two ordinances required in the church. We believe that Christian baptism by immersion in water is a public identification with Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Although baptism is not required for salvation, it is ordained for all believers and is for believers only (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38, 41; Acts 18:8). Scripture shows that a person is baptized only after personally receiving forgiveness of sin by accepting by faith Jesus Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice. The waters of baptism are a symbol of our death, burial, and resurrection to newness of life that happens when we become new creations in Christ (Colossians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:1-4).
Communion is the commemoration by believers of Christ’s death, and a reminder—through the bread and the juice—of the Savior’s broken body and shed blood. Communion is a celebration of fellowship and also a time of confession of our sin and careful self-examination according to Acts 4:13; Romans 6:3-6; 1 Corinthians 11:20-29.
Process of Sanctification and Maturity
Mature disciples glorify God the Father, abide in God the Son, and walk in God the Holy Spirit. A person in a committed relationship with Christ focuses on a personal lifestyle of walking with Him, worshiping Him alone, and working for Him. That person will experience significant growth in personal sanctification and, therefore, will experience a closer personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and will become “complete in Christ” (Philippians 1:6, Colossians 1:28). We believe disciples of Jesus Christ should minister to one another in the local church; rather than one, or a small number of professional pastors, bearing total responsibility to care for the entire congregation. God has given spiritual gifts to all of His people to provide mutual care and ministry in the context of the healthy and strong local church (Ephesians 4:11-12). We believe the church best facilitates this mutual care and continued sanctification through the proclamation of the Word and small-group interaction.
Marriage and Family
We do not condone or acknowledge same-sex marriage or homosexual civil unions. I will not perform any such ceremony as they violate the clear command of God. The Scriptures clearly dictate that practicing homosexuality is sinful and we will treat participation in the homosexual lifestyle in the same manner appropriate for dealing with any blatant act of sinful disobedience within the church. We believe in the sanctity of marriage and that the bible clearly defines marriage as a covenant relationship between one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:24; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Ephesians 5:31; Hebrews 13:4)
Creation, Evolution, and God’s Sovereignty
God chose to create the universe and all that is in it to reveal His glory, divine nature, eternal power, infinite wisdom, and supreme authority (Isaiah 43:7; Psalm 19:1-2; Jeremiah 10:12; Romans 1:20; Revelation 4:11).
We deny the theory of evolution, which states that nonliving substances gave rise to the first living material, which then reproduced and diversified to produce all living creatures through random, unguided processes. We believe that all people are descendants of Adam and Eve, whom God created personally and individually and as complete human beings (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:7; Genesis 2:21-22; 1 Corinthians 11:8-9). The fall of Adam and Eve infected all people with sin and death, but the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ gives the opportunity to receive God’s gift of eternal life (Romans 5:18-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22).
God rules over His creation and both cares about and is involved in the lives of individual people (Job 12:10; Acts 17:25; Acts 25:28; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:13; Ephesians 4:6).