What We Believe

A Summary of Our Theology
Holy Scriptures

The Holy Bible, in the form of the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the inspired and ultimate Word of God; inerrant, infallible, and God‐breathed; and true, authoritative, and sufficient for all matters of faith, doctrine, and Christian living (2 Tim. 3:16‐17; 2 Pet. 1:20‐21; Matt. 5:18; John 16:12‐13).

God

There is one Triune God, eternally existing in three Persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—who are co‐eternal in being, co‐identical in nature, co‐equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections (Deut. 6:4; 2 Cor. 13:14).

Person and Work of Christ

Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, who was born of a virgin and is both fully God and fully human, died on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sins, rose bodily from the dead to ensure our justification, and physically ascended into heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father and is now our High Priest and Advocate to secure our sanctification (John 1:1‐2, 14; Luke 1:35; Rom. 3:24‐25; 1 Pet. 2:24; Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:3‐5; Acts 1:9‐10; Heb. 9:24; 7:25; Rom. 8:34; 1 John 2:1‐2).

Jesus Christ will return bodily, visibly, imminently, and gloriously, and the promise of His Second Coming inspires believers to live dynamically and zealously in service for Him while awaiting His return (John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thess. 4:16; Heb. 9:28; 1 John 3:2; Rev. 1:7).

Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; He is the supernatural agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8‐11; 2 Cor. 3:6; 1 Cor. 12:12‐14; Rom. 8:9; Eph. 1:13‐14).

The Holy Spirit is the Divine Teacher who guides believers into all truth, interpreting and confirming the voice of divine authority; it is the privilege and duty of all believers to be filled with the Spirit (John 16:13; 1 John 2:20, 27; Eph. 5:18).

Man

Man was created by God in His image and likeness, but fell with Adam’s sin, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God, morally corrupt and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Gen. 1:26‐ 27; Rom. 3:22‐23; 5:12; Eph. 2:1‐3, 12).

The deserved penalty for sin is death, both physical and spiritual (Gen. 2:15‐ 17; 3:19; Rom. 5:12; 6:23; James 1:14‐ 15).

There will be a future physical resurrection of the dead, with believers in Jesus Christ alone being raised to everlasting reward in heaven and those who have not believed in Jesus Christ suffering eternal punishment and separation from God (Matt. 25:31‐46; John 5:28‐29; Acts 24:15).

Gospel of Jesus Christ

The just and gracious God of the universe looked upon hopelessly sinful people and sent His Son, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, to bear His wrath against sin on the cross and to show His power over sin in the resurrection so that all who believe in Him will be reconciled to God forever.

The biblical presentation and a biblical response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ includes five key elements:

  1. The character of God ‐ The God of the Bible is the just and gracious creator of all things, and as such we must realize that we belong to Him, are accountable to Him, and were created to glorify Him (Rom. 1:18‐20; 2:1‐16; 3:22‐24; Isa. 43:6‐ 7).
  2. The sinfulness of man ‐ Although we were each created by God, we have been corrupted by sin. We must admit those areas of rebellion in our lives, admit that we lack the righteousness of God that He requires, be honest with God about the fact of our sinfulness, and purpose to repent of our sin (Rom. 1:21‐15; 3:9‐20; 3:23; 6:23).
  3. The sufficiency of Christ ‐ Jesus Christ alone is able to remove our sin from us and reconcile our relationship to God. Christ accomplished this through His death on the cross in our place. Christ’s death alone is what satisfies the wrath of God for our sins. We must recognize that we are helpless to be made right, reconciled to God, apart from the death of Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:21‐ 26; 4:25; 5:6‐10, 18; 8:1‐4).
  4. The necessity of faith ‐ We can be reconciled to God only through placing our faith in Jesus Christ. There is nothing on our own that we can do to be made right with God. We can never be “good enough.” Faith that leads to salvation involves repenting of our sin and drive for self‐sufficiency and, instead, trusting Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives and confessing Him as Lord and Savior (Rom. 1:17; 3:20‐21; 4:22‐25; 6:11‐14; 8:10‐ 11; 10:9‐13).
  5. The urgency of eternity ‐ Our eternal destiny is dependent and determined solely upon our response to Jesus Christ. We must cry out to God and ask Him to save us from our sins, place our faith in Jesus Christ, and confess Him as both Lord and Savior of our life (John 3:14‐16, 36; 10:27‐30; 17:3; 1 Tim. 1:16‐17; Heb. 9:12; 1 John 5:11‐13).

Salvation

Eternal salvation is the free gift of God, brought to man by grace and entirely apart from man’s works, and is possessed by any and all who, by faith, confess Jesus Christ as Lord and believe in their heart that God raised him from the dead (Eph. 2:8‐10; John 1:12; Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:18‐19).

Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers

It is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word. That Word, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an opportunity for the flesh (Rom. 13:13‐ 14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11‐15).

Church

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an independent local congregation of baptized believers. These believers are joined by shared agreement. These believers share in the same faith and fellowship of the gospel. This group of baptized believers observes the two ordinances of Christ. They are guided by His laws. They use the gifts, rights, and privileges given to them by His Word. They are trying to present the gospel to all people on the earth. Each congregation works under the Lordship of Christ by self‐governing methods. In this kind of congregation, each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. The church’s scriptural officers are pastors, elders, and deacons. Though we believe that both men and women are given gifts by the Holy Spirit for service in the church, these offices are limited to men that meet the qualifications found in Scripture. The New Testament describes the church as the Body of Christ. This church includes all of the believers from throughout history. These believers come from every people group. They come from every language group. They come from all people from every country (Matt. 16:15‐19; 18:15‐20; Acts 2:41‐42, 47; 5:11‐14; 6:3‐6; 13:1‐3; 14:23, 27; 15:1‐ 30; 16:5; 20:28; Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2; 3:16; 5:4‐5; 7:17; 9:13‐14; 12; Eph. 1:22‐23; 2:19‐22; 3:8‐11, 21; 5:22‐32; Phi. 1:1; Col. 1:18; 1 Tim. 2:9‐14; 3:1‐15; 4:14; Heb. 11:39‐40; 1 Pet. 5:1‐4; Revelation 2‐3; 21:2‐3).

The church, in its inclusive sense, is the fellowship of persons redeemed by Christ and made one in the family of God. The church, in its local sense, is a fellowship of baptized believers, voluntarily banded together for worship, nurture and service (Eph. 1:22‐23; 5:25‐27; 1 Cor. 12:12‐14; 2 Cor. 11:2).

The establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27; 20:17, 28‐32; 1 Tim. 3:1‐13; Titus 1:5‐11).

The church is an autonomous body, subject only to Christ, its head. Its democratic government properly reflects the equality and responsibility of believers under the Lordship of Christ.

Church and state are both ordained of God and are answerable to Him. They should remain separate, but they are under the obligation of mutual recognition and reinforcement as each seeks to fulfill its divine function.

The church is to be responsible in the world; its mission is to the world, but its character and ministry are not to be of the world.

The local church is autonomous and shall manage its own affairs and not be subject to any other religious body or governing organization (Acts 13:1‐4; 15:22‐23; 20:28; Rom. 16:1, 4; 1 Cor. 3:9, 16; 5:4‐7, 13; 1 Pet. 5:1‐4).

Membership

Membership in the church shall consist of regenerated persons (that is, persons who are old enough to understand their need for Jesus Christ and, of their own free will, have received Him through faith alone as their personal Lord and Savior, and been reborn through the regenerative works of the Holy Spirit) who voluntarily accept baptism and commit themselves to faithful discipleship in the body of Christ.

It is the obligation of all believers to witness by life and by word to the truths of the Holy Scriptures and to seek to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to all mankind through evangelism, education, and Christian service and missions.

Ordinances

Baptism by full immersion and the Lord’s Supper as a memorial to His suffering and death on the cross are ordinances to be observed by the church in its present age, but are not to be regarded as means for man’s salvation (Matt. 28:19‐20; Acts 2:41‐42; 18:8; 1 Cor. 11:23‐26).

Family

God has planned the family as the first institution of the world. It is made up of persons joined to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.

Biblically, marriage is the joining of one man and one woman with the promise of being faithful to one another for a lifetime. Though various cultures and customs have evolving definitions of marriage, it is God alone who has ultimate authority to prescribe and describe the marital relationship that is His special gift. Marriage shows the union between Christ and His church. Marriage gives the man and the woman the way for intimate friendship. Marriage is the only way of sexual expression according to the main beliefs in the Bible. Marriage is God’s design for the increase of the human race.

Sexual intimacy is only properly exercised and pursued within the confines of this marital relationship. Sexual immorality, defined as any sexual activity outside of the boundaries of the sacred marital relationship between one man and one woman and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography, or even lustful intent, is clearly and expressly prohibited by the Lord.

The husband and wife are of the same worth before God. Both are created in God’s likeness. The marriage relationship shows the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God‐given duty to provide for, to protect, and to guide his family. A wife is to submit herself with kindness to the servant leadership of her husband. A wife submits just as the church willingly submits to the leadership of Christ. She is made in the likeness of God. Her husband is also made in the likeness of God. This makes the wife and husband equals. She has the God‐given duty to respect her husband. She is to serve as his helper in running the household and supporting the next generation.

Children, from the moment of creation, are a blessing and inheritance from the Lord. Parents are to show to their children God’s example for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and right values. Parents are to guide their children to make choices based on truths in the Bible, by living a life faithful to God, and with loving discipline. Children are to respect and obey their parents.

The intent, desire, or act to surgically alter one’s biological sex to a different sex is sinful. Since the body is a creation of God, the Church holds sexual identity to be biologically determined, and associated gender norms are to be observed as appropriate to biblical standards. Disagreement with one’s biological sex only leads to spiritual confusion and emotional chaos (Gen. 1:27, Rom. 1:26‐32, 1 Cor. 6:9‐11).