Table of Contents
1. The Bible
a. The Father
b. The Son
c. The Holy Spirit
3. The Sinfulness of Man
5. The Church
c. Autonomy (Independence)
6. Last Things
b. The Rapture of The Church
1. The Bible
We believe and teach that the Bible is the written revelation of God, verbally inspired in every word, absolutely without error in the original documents. We teach that the Bible alone constitutes infallible and final authority in faith and life. (Matthew 24:35; John 17:17; Galatians 1:11-12; I Thessalonians 2:13; II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20-21)
We believe that there is but one living and true God, who is all-knowing, ever-present, and all-powerful. He exists externally as one in essence, but in three separate persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalms 139:8; Isaiah 45:5-7; Matthew 28:19; Acts 17:24-29; Colossians 1:16-17; I John 5:7; Revelations 1:8)
A. God the Father: We teach God, the Father, the first person of the Trinity orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grade. He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass, and continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events. He saves from sin all who come to Him in repentance through Jesus Christ; and He relates Himself to His own as their Father. (I Chronicles 29:11, I Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 1:3-6)
B. God the Son: We teach Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity, is true God and true man having been conceived of the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary. As the God-man, He led a uniquely sinless life. We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His voluntary and substitutionary death on the cross of Calvary. We teach the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the grave, which guarantees our future resurrection unto eternal life. We teach that Jesus Christ is the divine prophet, priest, and king. As our prophet, He teaches that He is the way, the truth, and the life. As our high priest, He offered Himself as one sacrifice for sin forever, and intercedes for us with God, the Father on High. As our king, He will establish His eternal Kingdom for all the redeemed. We teach that Jesus Christ will return to receive the church, which is His body, unto Himself at the Rapture, and returning with His church in glory, will establish His Kingdom in its millennial reign. (Isaiah 7:14, 9:6; Micah 6; Matthew 1:18-25, 28:6; Luke 1:26-35, 24:36-43; John 1:14, 29, 5:28-29, 10:27, 30, 14:9; Acts 2:30-31: Romans 1:4, 3:25, 4:25, 5:8, 6:5-10; I Corinthians 15:20-23; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Hebrews 1:1-8. 4:14-16, 7:25-26, 9:24; I Peter 1:19, 2:22, 24; I John 5:20; Revelations 20:3)
C. God, the Holy Spirit: We teach that the Holy Spirit is a divine person and the He is co-equal with the Father and the Son. We teach that His divine ministry includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgement to regenerate the unbelieving, and to sanctify, comfort, teach, and empower believers by His indwelling fullness. Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with the Spirit. We teach the purpose of this is to glorify Christ and implement His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in the most holy faith. (John 7:38-39, 14:16-17, 16:7-9; Acts 1:5,8; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 12:12; II Corinthians 3:6; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 1:13, 2:22, 3:16, 5:18; Hebrews 10:15-17; I John 2:20, 27)
3. The Sinfulness of Man
We believe that man was directly and instantly created by God in His own image and likeness. Man was originally created free of sin with a nature consisting of intellect, emotion, and free will.
We believe that Adam's sin of disobedience in the Garden of Eden brought sin into the world. As representative of the entire human race, Adam's sin was transmitted (imputed) to all mankind. Therefore, all men are born sinners and are thus separated from God.
We teach that the only way to gain acceptance before our Holy God is salvation through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. (Genesis 2:15-25, 3:1-19; Jeremiah 17:9; John 3:36; Romans 3:9-18, 23, 5:10-12, 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3; I Timothy 2:13-14; I John 1:8)
We believe that salvation is purely grace (undeserved favor in the sight of God) through faith, not of works. All who repent (turn from sin to God) and receive faith by Jesus Christ, as personal Savior and Lord, are born again of the Holy Spirit. Thereby becoming children of God. (John 1:12, 3:16; Acts 20:20-21; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-10; I John 5:11-12)
A. Repentance: We teach that repentance involves both a change of mind about sin, and a change of heart attitude toward sin. It is a turning from sin to God. Repentance is always joined with faith. Where there is true faith, there will always be true repentance; and also, where there is not true repentance, there can never be true faith. Fruit of the Spirit is proper evidence of a repentant heart. Man becomes spiritually born again the moment he comes to God by faith with a repentant heart. (Matthew 3:1-2, 8, 11, 4:17; Luke 13:3, 5, 24:45-47; John 3:3-7, 5:24; Acts 2:38, 17:30; Romans 10:9; I Corinthians 12:13; I Peter 1:23)
B. Justification (being set free from the penalty of sin): We teach that justification before God is an act of God by which he declares righteous those who believe in Christ. This righteousness is set apart from any virtue or work of man, and not because they deserve it, but because of the righteousness of Christ. Justification is God's free gift for those who accept it. (Romans 3:20,26, 4:3-6, 5:1, 8:33; I Corinthians 1:30; II Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:8; Colossians 2:14; I Peter 3:18)
C. Sanctification (being set free from the power of sin): We teach that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every believer is therefore holy and is claimed as one of God's own. We teach that every saved person is involved in a conflict. The believer will struggle against the flesh. All claims of living a sinless life in the flesh are unscriptural. This was accomplished only in the person of Jesus Christ! Sanctification is the ongoing development of holiness in the life of the believer. The Holy Spirit dwells within believers, convicting them of sin and changing their character. As we recognize sin, we can call upon the power of God to help us overcome it. The Holy Spirit does provide victory over sin when the believer yields to His power. (John 17:17, 19; Acts 20:32; Romans 6:1-22, 8:5; I Corinthians 1:2; II Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 5:16-25; Hebrews 2:11, 3:1, 10:10, 14, 13:12; I Peter 1:2, 14-16; I John 3:5-9)
D. Security: We believe that Jesus Christ offered Himself as one sacrifice for sin forever, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for His redeemed as our High Priest. We teach that it is a privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God's word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living and carnality. (Luke 9:62; John 5:24, 6:37-50, 10:27-30; Romans 5:9-10, 6:15-22, 8:1, 8:31-39; I Corinthians 1:4-8; Galatians 4:8-11; Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30; I Timothy 1:5-6; II Timothy 4:4; Hebrews 7:25, 13:5; I Peter 1:5; II Peter 2:21; Jude 24)
We recognize that the doctrine of the believer's security in Jesus Christ has long been debated among God's redeemed. Our teaching is that salvation is a present possession of every born again believer. We do believe, however, that it is possible for one to turn away from the faith and separate one's self from God. Much more, however, we believe that if we "abide in Him", we can rest assured that we belong to God.
We believe furthermore that both the power and the promise of God, as revealed in the Holy Scripture, clearly support this view. This position rests upon the inerrant Word of God and His power, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the ongoing intercession of Jesus Christ with the Father on the believer's behalf, and the free will of the believer. While this is our teaching, we recognize that some Godly individuals conclude after studying the Bible, that it is not possible for one to lose their salvation after their acceptance. The critical point is to have salvation. Both views share this. To all who enjoy security in Jesus Christ, we say be busy winning souls for the kingdom so that others may know the gift of salvation. Stay close to God; choose life in Christ so that it won't be lost.
E. Separation: We teach that the doctrine of separation from sin is clearly evident throughout the Old and New Testaments. We teach that all saved should live in such a manner as not to bring shame upon our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. We teach that believers should be separated unto the Lord Jesus Christ. (Leviticus 19:2; Romans 12:1-2; I Corinthians 5:9-13; II Corinthians 6:14, 17; Galatians 5:16; I Thessalonians 2:11-12; II Thessalonians 3:1-5; Hebrews 12:1-2; I John 2:15-17; II John 9:11)
5. The Church
We believe that all who, by faith, receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, are immediately baptized by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body: the church. Jesus Christ is the head and all born again believers make up the body. As such, the church is not an organization; it is a spiritual organism. It is the espoused Bride of Jesus Christ. We teach that the church is distinct from Israel, a mystery not revealed until this present age. The church began on the day of Pentecost, and will end with the coming of Jesus Christ to receive His own in the Rapture. We teach that the establishment of local churches is clearly taught and directed in the New Testament scriptures. The members of this one spiritual body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies. (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:1-21, 38-47, 14:23, 27, 20:17, 28; I Corinthians 10:32, 12:12-13; II Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23, 2:11, 3:6, 4:11-16, 5:23-32; II Thessalonians 1:1; Hebrews 10:25)
A. Leadership: We believe that the one, supreme authority for the church is Jesus Christ. Order, discipline, and worship are appointed according to His sovereignty and through the instruction of His Holy Word. We believe that the Bible designates officers to serve under Christ and over the local church. The categories are elders (also called bishops, pastors, and pastor-teachers) and deacons. These offices are to be filled only by those who meet clear biblical qualifications. (Acts 20:28; I Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 1:22, 4:11; Colossians 1:18; I Timothy 3:1-13, 5:17-22; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 13:7, 17; I Peter 5:1-5)
B. Discipline: We teach the disciplining of sinning members of the congregation in accord with the standards of the Scripture. (Matthew 18:15-22; Acts 5:1-42; I Corinthians 5:1-13; II Thessalonians 3:6-15; I Timothy 1:19-20; Titus 1:10-16)
C. Autonomy (Independence): We believe it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other for the presentation and propagation of the faith Each local church through its Leadership and their prayerful interpretation of the Scriptures is the sole judge of the measure and method of cooperation. (Acts 15:19-31, 20:28; I Corinthians 5:4; Titus 1:5)
D. Purpose: We believe the purpose of the church is to glorify God by building itself up in the faith, by instruction of the Word, by fellowship, by keeping the ordinances, by advancing and communicating the Gospel to the entire world and by edifying the body to exercise the fruit of the Spirit in righteous and holy living. (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8, 2:38-42; Ephesians 3:21, 4:13-16; II Timothy 2:2, 15, 3:16-17; I John 1:3)
E. Sacraments: We believe that two sacraments have been committed to the local church:
Baptism: Christian Baptism (by immersion) is the testimony of a believer demonstrating forth his/her faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and his/her union with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life. It is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible body of Christ.
The Lord's Supper and Washing of the Saint's Feet: We believe that the Lord's Supper is in remembrance of His death and should always be preceded by solemn self-examination. We believe that while Christ's flesh and blood is not actually in the cup and bread, the Lord's Supper is an actual communion with the risen Christ, who is present in a unique way fellowshipping with His redeemed. In addition, we believe in completing the Lord's Supper by the ultimate display of humility and servanthood, the washing of the saint's feet. While not required, we believe it is an act of following the servant Savior's example and His instructions to "wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you." (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19-20; John 13:1-17; I Corinthians 10:16, 11:23-32)
6. Last Things
A. Death: We believe that upon physical death there is a separation of soul and body. The soul of the redeemed passes immediately into the presence of Christ. The souls of the unsaved at death descend immediately into Hades to await the Great White Throne Judgement. We teach the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life into Heaven, and the unsaved to everlasting punishment in Hell. (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:41-46; Luke 16:19-26; John 5:28-29; Romans 8:10-11; I Corinthians 4:14, 15:35-44; II Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 3:20-21; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 6:9-11, 20:6, 20:11-15)
B. Rapture of the Church: We believe in the personal, bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ to receive His redeemed from this earth immediately prior to the tribulation period (Daniel's 70th week). (John 14:1-3; I Corinthians 3:11-15, 15:51-53; II Corinthians 5:10, I Thessalonians 4:15-5:11; Titus 2:11-13)