And he said to them, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:37-39)
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
A. The Scriptures
We believe the Bible to be the verbally inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, and the supreme and final authority in doctrine and practice and is made up of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.(2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21; John 17:17; Matthew 5:18).
B. The Godhead
We believe in one personal and infinite God eternally existing in three equal persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit; who have the same nature and attributes but who are distinct in office and activity. (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
C. The Person and Work of God the Father
We believe God the Father, with the Son and Holy Spirit, is the Creator of all things. In His nature He is, among other things, completely holy, all-powerful, all-knowing, omnipresent, eternal, just and loving. He is totally sovereign in all that has or shall come to pass. As such, He is the author of election, through which He chooses a people for Himself. He was the begetter and sender of His only Son, Jesus Christ. As the Father of the elect, He is also their provider and disciplinarian.(Acts 17:29; Romans 11:25-29; 1 John 1:5; John 3:16; Matthew 3:17; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 1:3-6; Matthew 6:30-32; Psalm 139:1-18).
D. The Person and Work of Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary in order that He might reveal God to man and redeem sinful man. We believe that He accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice. We believe that our redemption and salvation is guaranteed by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. (John 1:1, 14, 18; Romans 3:24-26, 4:25; Luke 1:35).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is now in heaven, exalted at the right hand of God, where, as High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of intercession and advocacy for His people. (Hebrews 1:3, 3:1; 7:23-25; I John 2:1-2).
E. The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that God, the Holy Spirit, is the third person of the trinity, and as such, possesses intellect, emotion and will. He restrains evil in the world and convicts men of sin. He also regenerates those who receive Christ as Savior, baptizing them at the moment of salvation into the Church (the Body of Christ), indwells them permanently, seals them unto the day of redemption, bestows on them spiritual gifts, and empowers those yielded to Him. It is the Spirit’s ministry to lead, instruct, and fill (or control) believers as they are yielded to Him and are steadfast in the study of Scripture and in prayer. (John 16:7-11, 3:8, 14:16-17; I Corinthians 2:10-11; 12:4-11, 13; Ephesians 4:30, 5:18).
We believe that every man is lost in sin apart from Christ and in need of a Savior. We believe that salvation is a gift of God and is received by man only through personal faith in Jesus Christ. We believe that man is justified by grace through faith alone, apart from works. (Acts 13:38-39, Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8-10, Romans 3:23-24).
G. Angels and Satan
We believe that angels are spiritual beings who were created in a sinless state and that they occupied different orders and ranks. They presently exist in both fallen and unfallen states; the former includes Satan and his angels. (Hebrews 1:13-14, 2 Peter 2:4, Revelation 7:12).
We believe that Satan, by his own choice the enemy of God and of the people of God, is the originator of sin. We believe he led our first parents into sin and now rules as the god of this world. Satan was judged at the cross and ultimately he will be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity. (Isaiah 14:12-14, Genesis 3:1-19, Hebrews 2:14, Revelation 20:10).
H. Creation and the Fall
We believe that man was created innocent and in the image and likeness of God but that he sinned, bringing both physical and spiritual death to himself and to his posterity. We believe that man has inherited a sinful nature, is alienated from God, is incapable of redeeming himself, and is in need of salvation. (Genesis 1:27, 2:17, 3:19; Romans 3:10-12, 5:12, 17-19).
We believe that sanctification, which is a setting apart of an individual unto God, is positional, progressive, and ultimate:
Positionally, it is already complete, since the believer is in Christ and is set apart unto God as Christ is set apart unto God.
Since the believer retains his sinful nature, however, there is need for progressive sanctification (or spiritual growth) whereby the Christian matures in grace by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Ultimately that child of God will be sanctified when he is taken to be with Christ and becomes like Him. (John 17:17, 2 Corinthians 3:18, Ephesians 5:25-27, I Thessalonians 5:23, Hebrews 10:10, 14; 12:23; I John 3:2-3).
J. The Church
We believe that the universal church, the Body and Bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism, made up of all born-again persons of this age. We believe that the church began at Pentecost and that a believer is placed into the church by the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit. We believe that the church is distinct from Israel. (Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:25-27; I Corinthians 10:32, 12:12-13; Acts 2:1-4, 11:16-17).
We believe that the local church may be organized in various ways, but should reflect the principles of:
(1) Submission to Jesus Christ as the One head of the Church (2) Leadership by a group of mature and gifted Christians (3) Mutual ministry which involves every member equipped for Christian service and evangelism (4) The authority of God’s Word.
The local is church is an assembly of professed believers in Jesus Christ who are voluntarily joined together in one locality for the purpose of worship, study of the Word of God, observance of the ordinances, Christian fellowship, prayer and impacting the community and the world with the love of Christ and His glorious Gospel. (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:42-47; 20:17-28; Romans 12:3-11; Ephesians 1:21-22; 4:11-13; Titus 1:5; 1 Timothy 3:1-13, 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
K. The Ordinances
We believe that by water baptism a believer is publicly identified with his Savior in His death, burial and resurrection, and that immersion is the Scriptural mode. (Acts 8:36-38).
We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a memorial of Christ’s death by which He established the New Covenant, the elements being symbols of His body and blood. Every Christian has a right to partake of the elements of Lord’s Supper, but participation should be preceded by solemn self-examination. (I Corinthians 11:23-24, Luke 22:17-20).
L. Events of the End Times
The Blessed Hope: We believe in the personal, imminent coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in the air to receive to Himself all those, dead or alive, who belong to Him. This event, the rapture of the Church, is the blessed hope for which we should be constantly looking. (John 14:1-3, I Corinthians 15:51-52, I Thessalonians 4:13-18, Titus 2:11-14).
The Second Advent: After a time of tribulation, the Lord Jesus Christ will return to the earth to establish His Millennial Kingdom, during which He will reign, Satan will be bound, Israel will be restored, and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord.(Isaiah 11:9, Ezekiel 37:21-28, Matthew 24:15-25, 46; 2 Timothy 3:1-5, Revelation 20:1-3).
M. The Eternal State
We believe that the spirits of believers in Jesus Christ in this age pass immediately into His presence at death and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at His coming for the church. At that time the spirit and body shall be reunited and shall be associated with Him forever in glory. We believe that the spirits of unbelievers remain in conscious torment in Hades after death until the final judgement of the Great White Throne at the close of the Millennium. At that time spirit and body shall be reunited and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire to endure eternal destruction and everlasting separation from the presence of the Lord. (Luke 16:19-26; 20:9-19; 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:8, Philippians 1:23, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, Revelation 20:11-15).