Statement of Faith
We believe God's Word is our final authority in the origin, formulation, and practice of our Christian faith.
We believe the 66 Books of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are the verbal, plenary inspired Word of God (II Peter 1:20-21). These 66 Books are infallible and inerrant, and they are “our only rule of faith and practice” (John 10:35 and II Timothy 3:16-17). God has preserved His Word, so we may be confident that the Bible we have today is indeed God’s Word.
There is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4 and Isaiah 44:6) existing co-equally and co-eternally in three distinct Persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19, II Corinthians 13:14). God is holy, eternal, immutable, infinite, and transcendent in His essence (I Peter 1:15, Psalm 90:2, Malachi 3:6, Psalm 147:5, and Isaiah 57:15). He is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, righteous, true, and faithful in His attributes (Psalm 139:1-13, Jeremiah 32:17, Psalm 11:7, Numbers 23:19, and Titus 1:2).
Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Godhead (John 1:1, Isaiah 44:6, Titus 2:13, and Hebrews 1:8), and possesses all the attributes of the Father (Colossians 2:9). Yet He is distinct from the Father (John 17:5). He is impeccable – without any sin (I Peter 2:22). Not only is He fully God, but He is also fully man (John 1:14, Hebrews 2:14). He was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), died a substitutionary death for all sin (I John 2:2), rose from the dead the third day (I Corinthians 15:3-4), ascended bodily (Acts 1:9), and sits at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:33-34). He will physically return to the earth (Acts 1:11 and II Thessalonians 1:7) and will judge all men (John 5:22 and Acts 10:42). He is the perfect Prophet, Priest, and King (John 14:9, I Timothy 2:5, and Matthew 28:18).
The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Godhead (Acts 5:3-4), and possesses all the attributes of the Father (Isaiah 11:2, Psalm 139:7-10, Hebrews 9:14, and Romans 1:4). He was involved in creation (Job 33:4), the virgin birth (Luke 1:35), the resurrection (Romans 8:11), and inspiration (II Peter 1:20-21). He currently restrains sin (II Thessalonians 2:7), convicts of sin (John 16:8), regenerates (Titus 3:5), seals (Ephesians 4:30), indwells (Romans 8:9), sanctifies (II Thess. 2:13), intercedes (Romans 8:26), guides (Acts 16:6-7), and glorifies the Son (John 16:14).
God created all things out of nothing through the mere word of His mouth (Genesis 1:3). He created everything in six literal, 24-hour days and rested the seventh day (Exodus 20:11). At present, the creation is under the curse of sin until Christ returns and redeems it (Acts 3:19-21 and Isaiah 35). God is active and sovereign in ruling over His creation (Colossians 1:16-17).
Man was created by the direct act of God – in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). Man has both material and immaterial aspects (Genesis 2:7 and I Thessalonians 5:23). Man was totally corrupted by the Fall – totally depraved in his intellect, emotions, and will (I Corinthians 2:14, Romans 1:32 and 3:11). Sin has affected every human (Romans 3:23) except Jesus Christ. Sin is any transgression of or lack of conformity to the law or character of God (I John 3:4 and James 4:17), and thus separates us from God (Matthew 27:46). Man is both born in sin and also freely chooses to sin (Psalm 51:5, Romans 1:21, and Genesis 6:5). Sin will be punished by both the first and second deaths (Romans 6:23, Hebrews 9:27, and Revelation 21:8).
Jesus Christ died on the cross to save man from his sin (John 3:16). His sacrifice (the shedding of His blood – Hebrews 9:22) has purchased our redemption (Ephesians 1:7 and Colossians 1:14) and appeased the Father’s wrath (I John 2:2 and Romans 3:25). In order to be saved, man must repent of his sin and put his faith (Acts 16:31 and Romans 10:9-10) in the finished work (once for all – Hebrews 10:10) of Jesus Christ. Man is then regenerated (the imparting of spiritual life – II Corinthians 5:17), justified (the act of declaring someone to be righteous – Galatians 2:16, Romans 3:25 and 5:1), and reconciled to God (II Corinthians 5:19 and Ephesians 2:13). The believer then strives to maintain good works (Titus 3:8 and Acts 26:20) as evidence of his salvation (not a stipulation for salvation – Ephesians 2:8-9). The believer also strives to be sanctified (partially his own doing and partially God’s doing – Matthew 5:48, I Peter 1:15-16, I Thessalonians 4:4 and 5:23) which means we are to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29-30). Scripture refers to us as joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17) – so our adoption is in progress (John 1:12 and Romans 8:14), but will not be completed until our glorification (Romans 8:23). Finally, the believer is eternally secure and will never lose his salvation (I John 5:11-13).
The Church is the bride/body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23 and 5:25-27). Scripture speaks of both the Universal Church (Matthew 16:18 and Ephesians 5:25-27) and the local church (Romans 16:3-5, Colossians 4:15, and Philemon 2). The Church (spiritual) in the New Testament is distinct from Israel (national) in the Old Testament. The Church came into existence on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). Since then, Christ has continued to build His Church through local congregations (Acts 20:28). Scripture speaks of only two church offices (still in existence today) – pastor/elder/bishop and deacon (Philippians 1:1 and I Timothy 3:1-13). There are two ordinances to be observed by the Church today – baptism (Matthew 3:13-17, Acts 2:41 and 10:46-48) and the Lord’s Supper (I Corinthians 11:23-34). Both ordinances point us to Christ and His atoning work (Romans 6:3-4 and I Corinthians 11:24-25). Therefore, we believe the proper mode of baptism ought to be immersion – which symbolizes Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-4). Baptism is a definitive step of obedience after salvation. After a convert is baptized, he should associate himself with (i.e. join) a local assembly for the purpose of continuing in doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer (Acts 2:42).
The Bible teaches that Christians should separate themselves from the world (I John 2:15-16, Ephesians 5:11, and James 4:4), false teachers (Galatians 1:8-9, II John 9-11, and Romans 16:17-18), and disobedient brethren (I Corinthians 5:1-13, Matthew 18:15-20, II Thessalonians 3:6 and 14-15). Separation is applied both personally and ecclesiastically.
Angels are holy (spiritual) beings created by God to minister to Him (Revelation 8:3-4) and to the saints (Hebrews 1:14). They have different ranks (Isaiah 6:2, Colossians 1:16, and Jude 9) and functions (Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 16:1, and Luke 1:11-20 and 26-38). All angels are under Christ’s authority (I Peter 3:22). Satan was possibly one of the cherubim (Ezekiel 28:12-19) before he fell (sinned). Other angels fell (sinned) with Satan (Revelation 12:4 and Job 4:18) and remain in opposition to God (Ephesians 6:12 and Daniel 10:13). Some demons (fallen angels) have been imprisoned already – waiting their final judgment (Jude 6). Their sin was pride (Isaiah 14:12-15 and Jude 6). Satan is powerful, but his power is limited (Luke 4:6). He deceives the world and opposes/accuses believers before God (Zechariah 3:1 and Revelation 12:9-10). Satan and his angels (demons) are destined for the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10 and Matthew 25:41).
We believe in a pretribulational rapture of believers (cf. I Thessalonians 5:9 and Revelation 6:16-17) and a premillennial Second Coming of Christ. We believe in two separate resurrections (Revelation 20:6) – one for believers (the rapture) followed by the Judgment Seat of Christ (II Corinthians 5:8-11) and one for unbelievers followed by the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15). We believe in a literal 7-year Tribulation (Daniel’s 70th Week) which will take place sometime after the rapture and before the Second Coming of Christ. We believe in a literal 1,000-year kingdom (Revelation 20:1-6) in which Christ will sit on a literal (Davidic) throne and rule here on the earth. We also believe in eternal punishment (hell/lake of fire for unbelievers – Revelation 20:11-15) and reward (heaven for believers – John 14:1-3).