WHAT WE BELIEVE:
We believe this Statement of Faith to be an accurate summary of what Scripture teaches. These are our essential doctrines. Other issues that are non-essentials shall come together in Christian love and unity within this church community. We recognize the validity of various viewpoints on non-essentials. All members shall refrain from advocating doctrines that are not included in the Statement of Faith in such a way as to cause dissensions.
The central purpose of God’s revelation in Scripture is to call all people into fellowship with Himself. Originally created to have fellowship with God, humanity defied God, choosing to go an independent way. Humankind was thus alienated from God, and suffered the corruption of it’s nature, rendering us unable to please God. The fall took place at the beginning of human history, and all individuals since have suffered these consequences and are thus in need of the saving grace of God. The salvation of humankind is, then, wholly a work of God’s free grace, not the result, in whole or in part, of human works or goodness, and must be personally appropriated by repentance and faith. When God begins a saving work in the heart of any person, He gives assurance in His Word that He will continue performing it until the day of its full consummation.
The corollary of union with Jesus Christ is that all believers become members of His body, the church. There is one true church universal, comprised of all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, from the beginning of time. The Scripture commands believers to gather together to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, and the observance of baptism and communion. Believers are also to gather for fellowship, service to the body through the use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world. We who profess Christ make up the church, which is not a “physical structure.”
We believe that Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water into the name of the triune God. We believe that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ for commemoration of his death and that the Lord is spiritually present during the consumption of the elements to reward the believer for his or her faithfulness. We believe the inappropriate consumption of the Lord’s Supper is forbidden and warned against by the Apostle Paul. These two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe that believers should live for the glory of God and the well-being of their fellow persons; that their conduct should be blameless before the world; that they should be faithful stewards of their possessions; and that they should seek to realize for themselves the full stature of maturity in Christ.
Marriage and Sexuality
We believe that God has established marriage as a lifelong, exclusive relationship between one man and one woman and that all intimate sexual activity outside the marriage relationship, whether heterosexual, homosexual, or otherwise, is against God’s Word and standard. We believe that God created the human race male and female and that all conduct with the intent to adopt a gender other than one’s birth gender is against God’s Word and standard. (Gen. 1:27; 2:24-25; Matt. 19:4-6).
We believe that every human being has direct relations with God and is responsible to God alone in all matters of faith; that each church is independent and must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority; that, therefore, Church and State must be kept separate as they each have different functions, each fulfilling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other.
The sole basis of our beliefs is the Bible, composed of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe that Scripture in its entirety originated with God, and that it was given through the instrumentality of certain chosen people. Thus Scripture, at one and the same time, speaks with the authority of God and reflects the backgrounds, styles and vocabularies of the human authors. We hold that the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant in the original manuscripts. They are the unique, full, and final authority on all matters of faith and practice and there are no other writings similarly inspired by God.
We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons who are equal in every divine perfection and execute distinct, but harmonious, offices in the work of creation, providence, and redemption.
God the Father
We believe that there is one true, holy God, eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – each of Whom possess equally all the attributes of deity and the characteristics of personality. In the beginning God created the world out of nothing and all the things therein, thus manifesting the glory of His power, wisdom and goodness. By His sovereign power He continues to sustain His creation. By His providence He is operating throughout history to fulfill His redemptive purpose.
Jesus Christ is the eternal second Person of the Trinity who was united forever with a true human nature by a miraculous conception and virgin birth. He lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father and voluntarily atoned for the sins of all by dying on the cross as our substitute, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone. He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He lived and died. He ascended into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of the Father, where He, the only Mediator between God and man, continually makes intercession for His own. He shall come again to earth, personally and visibly, to consummate history and the eternal plan of God.
The Holy Spirit
The essential accompaniment of a genuine saving relationship with Jesus Christ is a life of holiness and obedience, attained by believers as they submit to the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity. He was sent into the world by the Father and the Son to apply to mankind the saving work of Christ. He enlightens the minds of sinners, awakens in them recognition of their need of a Savior and regenerates them. At the point of salvation He permanently indwells every believer to become the source of assurance, strength and wisdom, and uniquely endows each believer with gifts for the building up of the body. The Holy Spirit guides believers in understanding and applying the Scripture. His power and control are appropriated by faith, making it possible for the believer to lead a life of Christ-like character and to bear fruit to the glory of the Father.
The Last Things
We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal joy of the righteous, and the endless suffering of the wicked.