Statement of Faith

Statement of Faith

The Scriptures

We believe in the verbal, plenary (every word) inspiration of the Bible (1 Cor. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; Rev. 22:18-19), the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament which, being inerrant (i.e. without error) in the original manuscripts (Matt. 5:18); 24:35; John 10:35; 17:17), is the final authority on all matters of faith and practice and any other subject on which it touches (Isaiah 8:20; Matt. 5:18; 24:35; John 10:35; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).


The Godhead

We believe there is only one true God (Duet. 6:4; Isa. 45:21-22; John 5:44), eternally existing in three uncreated Persons (Ex. 3:14; Jer. 10:10; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Jude 20-21), God the Father (John 4:21&23; Romans 15:6), God the Son (Matt. 3;17; Romans 1;3&4), and God the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:2; Matt. 1:18; 12:32). These three are of one and the same essence (being) though distinct in personality (2 Samuel 23:2-3; John 6:27; Hebrews 1:8), equal in every divine perfection and attribute (John 5:23; 16:15; Acts 5:3-4), and function in perfect harmony to accomplish the various works of God (Eph. 2:18; Hebrews 9:14).


God the Father

We believe in God the Father, the First person of the eternal Trinity (John 17:5; Romans 16:26), being the Father because of His personal relationship to the Son (Psalms 2:7; 2 John 3); whom He sent into the world (John 3:16-17; 1 John 4:10), and who, together with the Son, sent the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 15:26). While these three persons are identical in essence and equal in every divine perfection, there is a priority of function among them (John 14:28; 15:26; 1 Cor. 11:3). In this sense there are the First, Second, and Third Persons of the Triune God. The Father is the ultimate source of all things (1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 3:9), the sustainer of all things (Neh. 9:6, Psalms 104:19-22; John 5:17), and the controller of all things (Psalms 103:19; 148:8; Prov. 19:21; 1 Cor. 10:13). He enters into a Fatherhood relationship with men spiritually through the new birth (John, 1:12; Gal. 3:26; 4:5-6, indwells believers (John 14:23), forgives their sins (1 John 1:9), and answers their prayers (John 16:23).

 

Jesus Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God (Isaiah 9:6; Matt. 16:16; John 10:36; 17:5), that He is both God and man (John 1:1; Hebrews 1:8; Matt. 20-28; 1 Tim. 2:5), the two natures being inseparably united in one glorious Person through the incarnation (John 1:14; Romans 1:3-4; Hebrews 10:5). We believe in His virgin conception and birth (Isaiah 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25), His vicarious (substitutionary) atonement for the sins of mankind (Isaiah 53:1-12; John 1:29; 1 John 2:2), His bodily resurrection from the tomb (Matt. 28;5-7; Luke 24:1-7; 1 Cor. 15:3-4), and His ascension into heaven (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51; Acts 1:2, 9-11) as the believers High Priest and Advocate before the throne of God (1 Tim. 2:5; Hebrews 1:3, 4:14-16).

 

The Holy Spirit

We believe in the eternal deity and personality of the Holy Spirit (2 Samuel 23:2-3; John 16:7-8; 1 Cor. 3:16, Hebrews 9:14) whose ministry it is to convict of sin (John 16:8-11), bear witness to Jesus Christ (John 15:26; 16:14-15), and to place the repentant, believing sinner into the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). At the new birth the Spirit imparts spiritual life (regeneration – John 3:3-5; Titus 3:5), permanently indwells the believer (John 7:37-39; 14:16; Romans 8:9), and becomes the seal of divine ownership and earnest that guarantees the final salvation of the believer (2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30). We believe in the filling of the Holy Spirit – the controlling of the believer, by the Spirit, in proportion to his yieldedness and obedience to God and the Word (Acts 2:4; Romans 6:13; 12:1-2; Eph. 4:30) – that is evidenced by the fruit of the Spirit in the life (John 15:16; Gal. 5:22-23; Col. 1:10).


Creation

We believe in the original direct creation of the universe, a miraculous act of God whereby for His own glory and according to His eternal counsel, in six successive days of twenty-four hours each, He gave existence to all things in distinction from Himself. We oppose all forms of the evolutionary teaching of origins, whether theistic or atheistic (Gen 1-2; Ex. 20:11; Psalms 19:1-6; 33:6,9; 90:2; Isaiah 40:28; 1 Cor. 8:6; Hebrews 11:3; Rev 4:9-11).


The Fall of Man

We believe that man was create directly by God on Day Six of the creation week (Gen. 1:26-31; 2:7-25), in His image (Gen. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 11:7; James 3:9), and in a state of sinlessness or innocence, righteousness, and holiness (Ecc. 7:29; Eph 4:24; Col. 3:9-10). We believe that originally man freely chose to transgress the expressed will of God (Gen. 3:1-7; 1 Tim. 2:14) and thereby mankind incurred sin (Psalms 51:5; Romans 5:12-19), condemnation (Romans 5:16,18), and physical and spiritual death (Gen. 2:17; Romans 5:12-21; 6:23; Eph. 2:1), so that man is a sinner by nature and by choice (Gen. 8:21; 1 Kings 8:46; Isaiah 53:6; Jer. 17:9, Romans 3:10; 1 John 1:8-10), and is totally depraved, destitute of any moral good and utterly unable to merit God’s favor or contribute to his salvation (Isaiah 64:6; Matt. 19:25-26; Eph. 2:9; Titus 3:5).

 

Salvation

We believe in the salvation of sinners through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is the only Savior of men (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:5) by virtue of His shed blood (Romans 3:25; 5:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19) i.e., His substitutionary death for sinners (Isaiah 53:4-6; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13). We believe that salvation is completely dependent on the grace of God (John 6:65; Romans 4:16), is a free gift of God (Romans 6:23; Eph. 2:9) that man cannot earn or merit in any way (Eph. 2:9; Titus 3:5), is applied by the work of the Holy Spirit using the instrumentality of the Word of God (John 16:8-11; Eph. 5:26; 1 Peter 1:23), and is received by repentance (Matt 3:2,8; Acts 3:19; 20:21; Hebrews 6:1) and faith in the resurrected Son of God (Acts 16:31; Romans 4:5). We hold that in salvation the believer is called (Romans 8:28), regenerated (John 1:13), Spirit placed into union with Christ (1 Cor. 12:13), justified, including the forgiveness of sin and restoration to favor with God through the merit or righteousness of Christ (Romans 4:1-5; 5:1), adopted (Gal. 4:5), sanctified (1 Cor. 1:2,30; 6:11), and glorified (Romans 8:30). We believe that God secures and guarantees the final salvation of every true believer (John 10:27-30; Romans 8:35-39), and that the genuine believer must and will persevere finally in his faith and Christian life until he meets the Lord (John 8:31-32; Col. 1:23 Hebrews 3:14; 4:14).

 

Sanctification

We believe that the sanctification of the believer means to be separated from sin and set apart unto God, and has three aspects. First, there is positional sanctification by which the believer is given a perfect standing before God, i.e., the status of a saint (Acts 26:18; 1 Cor. 1:2; 6:11; Hebrews 10:10, 14). Second, there is practical sanctification by which the believer is cleansed of the daily defilement of sin and is progressively brought into conformity to the image of Christ (John 13:10; 2 Cor. 3:18; 1 Thess. 5:23). After the new birth the believer still has a sinful nature which is in constant and life-long conflict with the spiritual nature (Romans 7:22-23; Gal. 5:17). While the believer’s addiction to sin is gone, the presence of sin and its tendencies are not. Practical sanctification is the progressive elimination of sin in the believer’s life and a gradual conformity to Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit through the means of the Word of God and prayer (Mark 14:38; John 17:17; Jude 20-21), faith (Romans 6:11), obedience (Romans 6:12-14; 12:1-2; James 4:7-8), self-denial (Romans 8:13; Col. 3:5), and an active resistance against sin and Satan (1 Cor. 6:14-18; 1 John 3:3). Third, there is final sanctification when the believer will be fully conformed to the image of Christ and sin will be eliminated forever from his experience (Phil. 3:21; 1 Thess. 3:12-13; Hebrews 9:28).


Spiritual Gifts

We believe that a spiritual gift is an ability or a capacity to serve the Lord through an aspect of the local church. While God is sovereign in the bestowment of all His spiritual gifts (Romans 12:6; 1 Cor. 12:11), every believer has a function to serve in the church and has been gifted by God accordingly (1 Cor. 12:27; 1 Peter 4:10). Gifts were given for the common good of the church (1 Cor. 12:7), the edification of the church (1 Cor. 14:12), the service work or ministry of the church (Eph. 4:11-12), and the approval and authority of God’s messengers and their new revelation for the church age (2 Cor. 12:12; Hebrews 2:4). We believe that tongues and interpretation of tongues were foundational and transitional, having served the church in its infancy and immature stage, and as such shall not be practiced in this church.

 

Satan

We believe in the reality of Satan as a distinct personality (1 Chron. 21:1; Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7; 2 Cor. 12:7), who, though having been created in a state of perfection and enjoying a heavenly abode with God (Ezek. 28:12-15; Rev. 12:3-4), was prompted by pride to rebel against God and fell from his original exalted state (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezek. 28:17; 1 Tim 3:6), leading a multitude of other angels in his revolt, over whom he is king (Matt. 12:24; 25:4; Rev. 9:11). Satan is the acknowledged god of this world (John 12:31; 2 Cor. 4:3-4) and the archenemy of God and believers, whose purpose and work are to hinder the divine counsels (Gen. 3:4-5; Matt. 4:1-11; 2 Cor. 11:13-15), accuse and oppose believers (1 Peter 5:8; Rev. 12:10), incite persecution against believers (Rev. 2:10), sow counterfeits among the believers (Matt. 13:39), tempt believers to sin (1 Cor. 7:5), etc. Satan will be cast down to earth during the Tribulation Period (Rev. 12:7-9), bound in the abyss during the Millennium (Rev. 20:1-3), loosed after the Millennium for a little season to provoke the final rebellion of mankind against God (Rev. 20:7-9), and finally consigned forever to the lake of fire as the execution of his sentence of judgment at Calvary (John 16:11; Rev. 20:10).


The Church

We believe that the church as set forth in the New Testament has both a universal and a local aspect. The church as the Body of Christ, of which Christ is the Head (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18), is an organism composed of genuine believers in Jesus Christ, the total number of Spirit baptized believers of this church age regardless of location or circumstances (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 2:11-22). We believe that a local church is the visible expression of the body of Christ in a particular time and place (Acts 13:1; Rom. 16:1,5; 1 Thess. 1:1), being an organized body of immersed believers (Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:41,47), sharing a common faith or body of truth (Acts 2:42; Jude 3), observing the ordinances of baptism (Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:41; 1 Cor. 1:16) and communion (Matt. 26:26-30; Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 11:23-32), meeting at regular and stated times for worship (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2), preaching and teaching, fellowship, and prayer (Acts 2:42-47), carrying out the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8), and whose biblical offices are pastor (Acts 20:17-28; Eph. 4:11; 1 Tim. 3:1-7) and deacon (Acts 6:1-6; 1 Tim. 3:8-13). We believe that the local church is a self-governing body solely responsible to preserve its internal unity (Rom. 12:16; 1 Cor. 1:10; Phil. 4:2), maintain pure doctrine and practice (1 Tim. 3:15; Jude 3), elect its own officers and leaders (Acts 6:1-6; 1 Cor. 16:3; 2 Cor. 8:19), settle its own internal affairs (Matt. 18:15-17; 1 Cor. 5:4-5), and determine the extent of its cooperation with other churches (Acts 15:2-32; 2 Cor. 8:19; Col. 4:16). We believe that the institution of the local church is God’s ordained instrument for His work and witness in this church age (1 Tim. 3:15).

 

The Second Coming

We believe in the literal return of Jesus Christ that will take place in two stages. The first stage is the Rapture, or His personal (1 Thess. 4:16; 1 John 3:2), imminent (Romans 13:12; 1 Thess. 5:6; Titus 2:13), and pretribulational (1 Thess. 1:10, 5:9; Rev. 3:10) coming for all saints of the church age (John 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:16-17). The second stage is the Revelation or the Second Coming in Glory, which is His personal and public coming at the close of the Tribulation Period to establish the messianic, Millennial Kingdom on the earth (Daniel 7:9-14; Zech. 14:1-4; Matt. 24:29-30; Rev. 1:7) when Israel will be restored to covenant favor with God (Jer. 30:31-34; Romans 11:25-27) and to her land in faith (Gen. 13:14-17; Deut. 30:1-11; Zech. 10:9-10) and the church will reign with Christ for the thousand years (2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 20:1-6). After the Millennium there will be a new heaven and earth wherein God will dwell eternally with His people (2 Peter 3:13; Rev. 21:1-3).


The Resurrection

We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, though occurring at separate intervals (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; 1 Cor. 15:21-24). The souls of those who trust in Christ go immediately into His presence at death (Acts 7:59-60; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21-23) where they remain in a state of conscious bliss until the resurrection of the just, at which time they will receive their glorified bodies (Rom. 8:11,23; Phil. 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2), and thereafter spend eternity serving the Lord in unending fellowship and love (1 Cor. 13:13; 2 Peter 3:13; Rev. 22:1-5 & 14). The souls of unbelievers go immediately into a state of conscious torment and punishment at death (Duet. 32:22; Luke 16:23-25), where they remain until the resurrection of the unjust, when they will be cast into the lake of fire to endure eternal suffering as a just retribution for their sin (Matt. 8:12; 18:8; 25:41,46; Rev. 14:10-11; 20:14-15). The resurrection of the just begins at the Rapture of the Church and is completed at the conclusion of the Tribulation Period (Daniel 12:2; 1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Thess. 4:16; Rev. 20:4-5). The resurrection of the unjust is after the Millennium (Rev. 20:5, 11-15).


Separation

We believe in both personal and ecclesiastical (church) separation. The doctrine of separation is grounded in the character of God Himself. Holiness carries the basic idea of separation or apartness. God is holy in that He is separate or apart from all that is created and finite (Psalm 99:1-3; Isaiah 57:15) and from all that is sinful or morally unclean (Isaiah 6:3,5; Matt. 6:9-10; 1 Peter 1:15), and He demands that His people be holy or separated (Matt. 5:48; Rom. 12:1; 1 Peter 1:15-16). God constituted (appointed) the nation of Israel a holy or separated people who were to be separated from the customs and practices of the surrounding heathen (Ex. 19:5-6; Lev. 20:24-26; Deut. 7:1-6). God commands His people today to be personally separated from the world (Romans 12:2; Eph. 5:11; James 4:4), the transient system of evil led by Satan (John 12:31; 2 Cor. 4:4; 1 John 2:17), organized against God and His will (John7:7; 15:18, James 4:4), that has its own philosophies, goals, life styles, amusements, habits, and practices. Ecclesiastical separation is the refusal to collaborate with a church, ecclesiastical organization, or religious leader which does not hold to the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith (Romans 16:17-18; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; Gal. 1:18-19; 2 John 10-11; Rev 2:14), and a like refusal concerning those who maintain connections or are content to walk with those who do not hold to the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith (2 Thess. 3:6 & 14).