What We Believe
We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Since the Scriptures are God-breathed in the original autographs, inspiration extends to the very words of the Bible so that the entire Bible, and only the Bible, is the Word of God. As such, the Bible is infallible, inerrant, and our only rule of faith and practice (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21; Mat. 5:18; John 10:35; Rev. 22:18-19).
We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing as one in His essence yet three in His persons. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, and co-equal in power and glory (Deut. 6:4; Ps. 90:2; Mat. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; 1 Cor. 8:6).
- God the Father. He is eternal, immutable, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He is the sovereign God of the universe, the Creator and Preserver of all things. He is perfect in holiness, righteousness, justice and love. Having extended His grace and mercy to people by sending His Son to die in their place, He desires to have fellowship with them (Ps. 65:2; 139:1-24; 1 Chr. 29:11; John 1:12; 3:16; Eph. 1:3- 9; Rom. 11:36).
- Jesus Christ. He is the Son of God. He is one Person, with both a divine nature (He is truly God) and a human nature (He is truly man). He existed from everlasting with the Father, was born of a virgin when He took on human flesh, lived a sinless life, and gave Himself willingly on the cross for the sins of people. He arose from the tomb on the third day, ascended to the Father, and will return to earth one day as Judge and King (John 1:1-3, 18; 5:22-23; 20:28; Rom. 9:5; Heb. 1:3, 6, 8; 9:24; Phil. 2:6-11; Col. 1:15-20; 2 Cor. 5:21; Mat. 25:31; Rev. 19:11- 20:6; 1 John 2:2).
- Holy Spirit. He is a divine Person and not an impersonal force. He is fully God, proceeding from the Father and the Son. The work of the Holy Spirit included creation and the inspiration of the Scriptures. He calls people to salvation through Christ and dwells in the hearts of believers (Mat. 28:19; John 16:7-14; Tit. 3:5; Eph. 1:13; 5:18; Rom. 8:9-16, 26).
We believe the Genesis account of the creation of the world is a historical record of the direct acts of God in six literal days, without the involvement of any evolutionary process (Gen. 1-2; John 1:3-10; Col. 1:16; Heb. 11:3).
We believe that man was created in innocence and in the image of God. However, in Adam’s disobedience, sin entered the world and passed to all mankind destroying their relationship with God and resulting in death. Thus, all are sinners by nature and by choice, and therefore are under just condemnation without defense or excuse, and deserving eternal punishment in hell (Gen. 1-3; Rom. 3:10-12, 23; 5:12; 8:7-8; Eph. 2:1-3; John 6:44; 1 John 4:19; Is. 64:6; Jer. 17:9).
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly by grace through faith alone in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and that all who repent and believe, receiving Him as Savior, are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and become children of God (Eph. 2:8-9; John 1:29; 1 John 2:2; Is. 53:4-12).
- Regeneration. When an individual responds in faith to the gospel, repents of his sin and turns to Christ for salvation, the Holy Spirit causes a spiritual change in which he is freed from the guilt of his inherently sinful nature, receives the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, and thus is born again into God’s family. Regeneration involves an illumination of the mind, a change in the will and a new nature (John 3:3-7, 16; 1:12; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 3:22-28; 1 Pet. 1:23; Tit. 3:5; Acts 2:38; 17:30).
- Justification. This is the act of God whereby He declares the sinner to be righteous in His sight. On the basis of the substitutionary work of Christ, God does not impute sin to the individual, imputing instead the righteousness of Christ (Rom. 3:22-28; 4:1-8; 5:1-2; Gal. 2:16).
- Sanctification. Whereas regeneration is a one-time event in the life of the believer, sanctification is a continuing process by which God gradually transforms him into the image of Christ. With God’s help, the believer also actively participates in this process by responding in obedience to God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. This process will be completed when believers join Christ in heaven, perfected in holiness (John 17:17; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 5:26; Phil. 1:6; Phil. 2:12-13; 1 John 3:2; Acts 20:32).
- Preservation. Since salvation is based solely upon the grace of God and not on the merit of the individual, everyone who truly accepts Christ as Savior is eternally secure in his salvation and is kept by God’s power. Scripture, however, gives a solemn warning to those who profess salvation but whose lives give no evidence of change because of the willful, continual practice of sin (John 6:37, 39; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:38-39; 1 Pet. 1:5; 2 Pet. 1:10; 1 John 3:7-10; James 2:14-26).
We believe that the church, composed of all who have trusted Christ as Savior since Pentecost, is the body of Christ. Christ Himself is the Head of the church. This spiritual organism is the universal aspect of the church (Mat. 16:18; Eph. 1:23)
- Organization. The local church is an organized assembly of baptized believers voluntarily associated together in the faith in order to exalt the Lord in worship, evangelize the lost through witness, and edify the saints through teaching, fellowship, and service. The local church has the absolute right of self-government and should be free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations, religious or governmental. Jesus Christ is the Head and Chief Shepherd (Eph. 4:11-16; Col. 1:15-20; 1 Pet. 5:4).
Christ instructed the church to observe two ordinances, both of which are symbolical rather than sacramental or efficacious.
- Baptism. All who profess faith in Jesus Christ should be baptized by immersion in water as a symbol of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord (Mat. 28:19; Rom. 6:3-4).
- The Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper is a memorial service in which the bread and juice represent the body and blood of Christ (Mat. 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 10:16; 11:23-34).
We believe that Scripture commands God’s people to be holy, set apart to Him and from all polluting influences, including sin, disobedient brethren and false teachers.
- Personal. Individual believers are the temple of the Holy Spirit and so must be pure from sin. They are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers nor found to be friends of the world (2 Cor. 6:14- 7:1; 1 John 2:15-17; James 4:4).
- Ecclesiastical. The church as a whole must separate from those who teach false doctrine and attempt to subvert the saints (Rom. 16:17; 2 Thes. 3:6-15; 2 John 9-11; 2 Cor. 6:14-18).
We believe in the personal, bodily return of Jesus Christ; His literal, physical reign on earth for a thousand years, the eternal punishment of unbelievers in the lake of fire; and the eternal blessings for believers in God’s presence on the new earth (Mat. 25:1-13; 1 Thes. 4:14-18; 1 Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 19:11-20:15; 21-22).
Marriage, Family, and Sexuality
- Marriage. We believe that Scripture defines marriage as a life-long, exclusive covenant between one man and one woman for the purpose of glorifying God and reflecting Christ’s love. God actively establishes the marriage covenant by spiritually joining the couple and empowering them for service together (Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23).
- Human Sexuality. We believe that God has reserved all sexual activity to the marriage covenant as defined above. Scripture teaches that all forms of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s plan for sexual intimacy. God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance (Gen. 2:24; 19:5, 13; 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4).
Family Roles and Relationships
We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for the men and women in the home and in the church.
- In the home. God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to be the spiritual leader of the home. He is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church. The wife is to submit herself to the scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values through consistent lifestyle example, biblical instruction and appropriate discipline, including biblical application of corporal correction (Gen. 1:26-28; Ex. 20:12; Deut. 6:4-9; Ps. 127:3-5; Prov. 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; Mk. 10:6- 12; 1 Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Col. 3:18-21; Heb. 13:4; 1 Pet. 3:1-7).
- In the church. Positions of biblical leadership and oversight in the church (pastors and deacons) are limited to men who meet the scriptural qualifications (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12).
- Divorce and Remarriage. We believe that God designed marriage to be a permanent union, extending until the death of a spouse. God disapproves of divorce. Although divorced persons may serve in the church and be greatly used of God, they are not eligible for the offices of pastor or deacon (Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3; 1 Tim. 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6).