Statement of Faith

January, 2013

 

Article 1:            The Holy Scriptures

bibleWe believe in the verbal (every word) and plenary (complete) inspiration of the Old and New Testaments; they are the sufficient guide and final authority for faith and conduct, inerrant in the original writings, infallible and God-breathed, and the ultimate standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried.  God’s Word has been providentially preserved so that the Bibles we have today in English are essentially accurate representatives of the inspired originals.  Psalm 119:160; Matthew 5:18; Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Revelation 22:18-19

Article 2:            The Godhead

We believe in one triune God, the Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of all things, eternally existing in three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, each distinct persons, but without division of nature, essence, or being. Genesis 1:1; Matthew 28:19; John 1:3; Acts 14:15; 17:24; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Colossians 1:16-17

Article 3:            God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ

We believe in the deity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, perfect God and perfect man, the second Person of the Trinity: God the Son.  He is God manifested in the flesh, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary; He lived a sinless life on earth; He died on Calvary’s cross as our representative and substitute, shedding His blood as the only satisfactory sacrifice for sinners and payment for sin; His body was buried in and arose from the tomb; He ascended to Heaven and is now seated at the Father’s right hand in Heaven making intercession for us; and He is coming again to establish His Kingdom on earth. Matthew 1:18-25; Mark 16:19; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; 4:10-12; 1 Corinthians 15:12-20; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:6; Hebrews 4:15; 7:25-27

Article 4:            God the Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Holy Trinity and is co-equal with God the Father and God the Son; that He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment; that He is the supernatural agent in regeneration; that He indwells all believers from the moment of salvation and seals them unto the day of redemption; and that He empowers, teaches, and guides believers. John 3:5-8; 14:16-18, 26; 16:7-14; Romans 4:18; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; 12:1, 11-20; Ephesians 1:13-14

We believe that the special gifts the Holy Spirit gave the church during the apostolic age, which were terminated at the close of that age, were to bear witness of His presence through signs, wonders, and miracles, confirming His promises until God’s full revelation was given in His written Word.  Matthew 3:11; John 1:33; Romans 6:3-5; 8:9; 1 Corinthians 13:8; Ephesians 5:18

Article 5:            Creation

We believe the Genesis account of creation as being neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of the direct, immediate, creative acts of God, in six, consecutive twenty-four hour days, without any evolutionary process; that man, spirit, soul and body, was created by a direct work of God and not from previously existing forms of life; and that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race.  Genesis 1 and 2; Exodus 20:11; Isaiah 45:18; John 1:3; Acts 17:24-26; Romans 5:12-19; Colossians 1:16-17

Article 6:            Man

We believe that God created man in His own image, male and female, breathing into him the breath of life, and gave them dominion over the entirety of His creation. God formed Eve to be Adam’s helper, to complement his character, and to be his companion for life. God joined one man and one woman together in marriage, establishing the pattern of monogamous spiritual, emotional, and physical union for every generation of mankind. As the first institution ordained by God, marriage pictures the union of Christ and His Church. God specifically prohibits all sexual union between men and women outside the bond of marriage. God also forbids incest, bestiality, and same-sex relations between men or women.  Genesis 1:27-28; 2:18, 22-25; Leviticus 18:6-18, 22; 20:15-16; Romans 1:26-27; 7:2-5; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:9-10, 15-20; Ephesians 5:22-32; 1 Thessalonians 4:2-8

We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression Adam fell from his sinless and happy state, and all men sinned in him. Consequently all men are totally depraved, are partakers of Adam’s fallen nature, are sinners by nature and by conduct, and therefore are under just condemnation without defense or excuse.  Genesis 3:1-6, 14-19, 24; Romans 1:18-25, 32; 3:10-19; 5:12, 19

Article 7:            Salvation

We believe that a person is saved only when the sinner is regenerated or born again by the Holy Spirit through repentance of his sin and through faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord; that salvation is a gift of eternal life wholly by the grace of God apart from merit or works; and that all who believe on Him are justified (declared righteous) on the basis of His shed blood, and that there is no salvation apart from Christ.  We believe that all those redeemed by God endure in faith until the end, being kept by God’s power.  They are thus secure in Christ forever.   John 3:3, 5-8, 16-18; 10:27-29; Acts 16:31; Romans 6:23; 8:1-32; 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 1:6; 2 Timothy 1:12; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 1 John 2:19

Article 8:            Sanctification

We believe that sanctification is the divine setting apart of the believer unto God accomplished in a threefold manner.  First, it is an eternal act of God, based upon redemption in Christ, establishing the believer in a position of holiness at the moment he trusts the Savior.  Second, it is a continuing process in the saint through the intercessory work of Christ and the ministry of the Holy Spirit’s application of the Word of God to the believer’s life producing obedience by means of the believer’s submissive will.  Third, this process reaches ultimate fulfillment in the resurrection at the Lord’s return.  John 16:13-14; 17:17; Romans 8:19-30; 15:16; 1 Corinthians 1:29-31; 15:53-57; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 2:8-10; 5:25-27; Philippians 1:6; 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:23-24; Hebrews 10:10-14; 13:12; 1 John 2:1

Article 9:            The Church

We believe in the one true church, the body and bride of Christ, which is a spiritual union of all true believers from Pentecost to the Rapture into which believers are baptized by the Holy Spirit at regeneration.  Matthew 16:18; 1 Corinthians12:12-13; Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:26-27

We believe that the local New Testament church is to be composed of regenerated, immersed believers, voluntarily united together for the purpose of worship, edification, ordinances, fellowship, and service; that the officers of the local church are pastors and deacons whose qualifications and duties are defined in the Scriptures; that the mission of the church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all humanity, in the local community, and to the uttermost part of the earth; that the local church has the right to self-government, free from the interference of any individuals or organizations, religious or political; that the one and only Head is Christ, through the Holy Spirit; and that it is scriptural for churches of like faith and practice to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel, with each local church as the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation.  On all matters of administration and policy the will of the local church is final.  Matthew 18:15-17; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:41-42, 46-47; Acts 20:28- 31; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:23-24a; Colossians 1:2; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; 5:19-21; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5

We believe that the church and the state have definite and distinct spheres of responsibility assigned to them by God; therefore neither has the right to control the other.  Matthew 22:2; Romans 13:1-7

Article 10:            The Ordinances of the Church

Baptism:  We believe that the biblical ordinance of baptism is by immersion in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and is the symbol of the believer’s union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.  Every believer should be baptized because of the example and command of our Lord; therefore, it is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and participation in the Lord’s Supper.  While there is no saving power in water baptism, it is an act of obedience and public testimony of personal faith in Jesus Christ by those who have been born again of the Holy Spirit.  Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 8:36-39; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Peter 3:21

The Lord’s Supper:  We believe that the Lord’s Supper is an ordinance given to the church by the Lord Jesus Christ to remember and show forth the Lord’s death till He comes; that the Lord’s table should be open to all regenerated and baptized people living in fellowship with and in obedience to the Lord Jesus; and that the elements representing the body and blood of Christ are symbolic and render in themselves no means of grace.  Mark 14:22-25; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32

Article 11:            The Priesthood of All Believers

We believe that Christ is our Great High Priest.  Through Him every born again person has direct access into God’s presence without the agency of another priest, and every believer has the right and responsibility to personally study and interpret the Scriptures guided by the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:14; Hebrews 5:12-14; 10:19-25; 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Peter 1:19-21

Article 12:            Spirit Beings

Concerning Angels:  We believe that God created an innumerable host of immortal spiritual beings characterized by holiness, strength, and humility. They continually do the will of God and are primarily seen protecting and ministering to the needs of the saints of God on earth.  While they act as messengers of God, they are not mediators between God and man and are not to be worshiped. Genesis 28:12; Psalm 91:11; 148:2, 5; Acts 12:8-11; Colossians 1:16; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 1:13-14; 2:6-9; 12:22; Revelation 5:11; 14:10

Concerning Satan:  We believe that Satan is a supernatural being, a fallen angel, the author of sin, and was instrumental in humanity’s Fall; he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and his final destiny is eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire.  Job 1:6-9; Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11; John 8:44; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:7-12; 20:10

Concerning Demons:  We believe there is a great company of spiritual beings (fallen angels) who followed Satan and become the wicked beings referred to by various names in Scripture (demons, devils, unclean spirits).  Some of them are actively assisting Satan in his evil schemes, while others are confined awaiting judgment.  They are all destined to eternal punishment with Satan in the Lake of Fire.  Matthew 12:24-29; 25:41; Luke 8:30; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6

Article 13:            Hell

We believe in a literal place called Hell where the unbelieving dead experience present torment, and that the Lake of Fire shall be the final and eternal destiny for the unending punishment of Satan, fallen angels, and unbelieving mankind. Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:22-26; Revelation 20:12-15

Article 14:            Heaven

We believe in a literal place called Heaven where God’s immediate presence is manifested, and where the redeemed and angels dwell.  It is Heaven from which Christ descended and to which, after the completion of His earthly ministry, He ascended bodily and there makes intercession for the saints and from which He shall come to judge the living and the dead. John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 8:34; 2 Timothy 4:1; Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 21

Article 15:            The Eternal State

We believe in the bodily resurrection of all humanity: the saved to everlasting life and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment.  The souls of the unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious misery and torment until the second resurrection when with spirit, soul, and body they shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated but to suffer everlasting punishment.  The souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection when spirit, soul, and a new body are united to be forever glorified with the Lord in the New Heaven and New Earth.  John 5:28-29; 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20:5-6, 11-15; 21:10-22:5

Article 16:            The Second Coming of Christ

We believe in the glorious hope of the imminent, bodily, and premillennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in the air to catch away all believers unto Himself; and in the personal, visible, and glorious return of Christ to the earth, with believers, to judge the nations and to set up His millennial Kingdom on earth. Matthew 24:42-44; Luke 22:29-30; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:6; Titus 2:13; James 5:8; Jude 1:14-15; Revelation 11:15-17; 19:11-16; 20:1-6

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