Tenets of our Statement of Faith provide selected biblical references for support, which are not intended to be all inclusive of relevant passages that deal with these topics. A more complete list of passages is available for study.
1. Holy Bible: We believe the Holy Bible (Scripture) was written by men inspired by God, and is God's revelation of Himself to man. All Scripture is totally true and trustworthy, providing the basis and standard for our lives as followers of Jesus. (Romans 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21)
2. God: We believe there is one living and true God (Deut 6:4) who is infinite and perfect in holiness and all other attributes. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father (Isaiah 64:8), Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
The Father: God the Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become His children through faith in Jesus Christ, and He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men. (John 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14-15; Hebrews 12:9-11; 1 Peter 1:17)
The Son: Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His death on the cross, in our place, He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God and fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. (Psalm 2:7-12; Matthew 1:18-23; John 1:1-18; 17:1-5, 20:1-20,28; Romans 1:3-4; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 1:1-3; 1 John 3:2; 4:14-15; Revelation 19:16)
The Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is fully God who inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination the Holy Spirit enables people to understand truth. The work of the Holy Spirit includes exalting Christ, convicting people of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, calling people to the Savior, effecting regeneration of new believers, and enlightening and empowering the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service. The Holy Spirit baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ at the moment of regeneration, and begins cultivating Christian character, comforting believers, and bestowing the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. The Holy Spirit seals the believer unto the day of final judgment. It is the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian that is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. (Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; John 14:16-17, 26; 16:7-14; Acts 2:1-4; Romans 8:9-11; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13)
3. Humanity: We believe man is the special creation of God, made in His own image (Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7, 18-22). In the beginning man was innocent of sin, but chose to sin against God (Genesis 3) which brought sin into the human race (Romans 3:10-18, 23; 5:12). Only the grace of God can remove the just penalty for that sin (Psalm 32:1-5; Ephesians 2:1-22), restore an authentic relationship with God (Colossians 1:21-22), and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God (Romans 8:28-30)
4. Salvation: We believe salvation involves the eternal redemption of people, offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. In its broadest sense salvation includes justification, sanctification, and glorification. (John 3:14-18, 36; 5:24; Acts 4:12; Romans 4:3-8.; Colossians 1:9-22)
Justification is God's gracious and instantaneous imputation of righteousness to sinful people when they place their faith in Jesus. It is based upon Jesus’ full satisfaction of the divine and holy demand for justice necessitated by the rebellion of sin. Justification brings the believer into a relationship of peace and favor with God, characterized by a regenerated life as a new creature in Christ, permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 3:23-25; Ephesians 2:8-10)
Sanctification is the life experience, beginning at the point of justification, by which the believer is set apart to God's purposes, and is enabled to grow toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 6:1-23, 8:1-18, 13:11-14; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Galatians 5:22-25; Philippians 2:12-13)
Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the eternal state of each believer when they are given eternal bodies, fitted for God’s presence, that are completely devoid of the sin nature currently present in all people. (1 Corinthians 15:50-57; 1 Peter 1:3-5)
God's Purpose of Grace: We believe that Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He gives salvation to sinners, and excludes boasting while promoting humility. Election is infinitely wise, holy, unchangeable, and consistent with the free will of man. We recognize the tension evident in Scripture between the sovereign election of God, and free will of man, and believe that both are true and in harmony with God’s purpose of grace in this world.
Those whom God has elected in Christ will never fall away from the state of grace. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. (Jeremiah 31:31-34; John 5:24; 6:44-45, 65; 10:27-29; Romans 3:21-28; 8:28-39; Hebrews 11:39 - 12:2; 1 John 1:7-9)
5. The Church: We believe that a New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the good news of salvation; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the good news of salvation to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ.
The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation. (Matthew 16:15-19; Acts 2:41- 42,47; 6:3-6; 14:23; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Timothy 3:1-15; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2 – 3)
Baptism and the Lord's Supper – Ordinances of the Church: We believe that Jesus commanded the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper be observed by His church until He returns.
Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to the believer’s faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of active church fellowship and to taking the Lord's Supper. Scriptural baptism need only occur once in the lifetime of a believer. (Matthew 3:13-17, 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; Acts 2:41-42; Romans 6:3-5)
The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming in glory and power. (Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29)
6. Last Things: We believe that God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return to the earth, and all will be judged in His righteousness. All who have placed their faith in Jesus will be declared righteous, will be given glorified, eternal bodies, will receive their reward and will dwell forever with Jesus. All who have not believed in Jesus will be declared unrighteous and will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment and separation from God. (Isaiah 2:4; Matthew 25:31-46; Luke 17:22-37; John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 35-58; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; Revelation 20:1 – 22:13)
7. Evangelism and Missions: We believe that it is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ to make disciples of all nations. Missionary effort, in the preaching of the good news of salvation to all nations, is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Christ. It is the duty of every believer to constantly seek to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the good news of salvation of Christ. (Isaiah 6:1-8; Matthew 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-53; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:13-15; 1 Peter 2:4-10)
8. Spiritual Maturity: We believe that Christian spiritual maturity is promoted through biblical understanding and application of that understanding in the life of believers. In Jesus Christ abide all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Therefore, all sound learning is a part of our heritage as followers of Jesus Christ. The new birth of a regenerate life in Jesus opens all human faculties and creates a thirst for knowledge. An adequate and ongoing system of Christian training and study is necessary to fulfill Christ’s commission to make disciples that are growing in their faith and spiritual maturity. (Deuteronomy 6:1-10; Proverbs 3:13-26; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Ephesians 4:11-16; Colossians 2:3, 2 Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 5:12 – 6:3)
9. Stewardship: We believe that God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Therefore all believers are under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, believers should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of Jesus’ cause on earth. (Genesis 14:20; Malachi 3:8-12; Acts 2:44-47; 2 Corinthians 8 – 9)
10. Cooperation: We believe that Christ's people should, as occasion requires, organize such associations as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches. They are voluntary and advisory bodies designed to elicit, combine, and direct the energies of our people in the most effective manner. Members of New Testament churches should cooperate with one another in carrying forward the missionary, educational, and benevolent ministries that promote growth in the Body of Christ. Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by various groups of Christ's people. Cooperation is desirable between various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word. (Exodus 17:12; 18:17-23; Matthew 10:5-15; Mark 2:3; Acts 4:31-37; 1 Corinthians 3:5-15; )