Beliefs

Beliefs

Doctrinal Statement

I.             The Bible

We believe that the Bible is God’s Word; that it was written by men divinely inspired, and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith, conduct, and instruction. The Scriptures are God’s revelation of Himself to man and it has God as its author, salvation for its means, and truth, without any measure of error, for its body. Because of this, we believe that all Scripture is entirely true and trustworthy. Within its contents, it reveals the principles in which God judges His people and how they can experience reconciliation. Every piece of Scripture speaks of Jesus Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine relation.

Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.

II.          God

a.    The Trinity

We believe there is only one God, revealing Himself in three persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe each have distinct personal attributes but are not divisive in nature, essence, or being.

Genesis 1:1-2, 26; 3:22; 11:7; 19:24; Numbers 27:18; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 2:7; 12; 51:10-12; Proverbs 30:2-4; Isaiah 6:8; 48:16; 61:1; Hosea 1:4; Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; John 14:16-17; 1 Corinthians 8:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Galatians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:5.

b.    The Father

We believe in God the Father, perfect in holiness, infinite in wisdom, and measureless in power. We rejoice that He concerns Himself mercifully in the lives of men. He hears, answers prayer, and saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. God the Father reigns with providential care over His creation and the flow of human history has occurred according to His purposes. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, all wise, and present in all places at all times.

Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3,15; 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10; 17:13; Matthew 6:9ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 3:16; 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; 4:12; Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7.

c.     The Son

We believe Christ to be God’s only begotten Son, miraculous in His birth (being incarnated as Jesus Christ after being conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin), sinless in His life (perfectly revealing the will of the Father), and having made atonement for the sins of the world by His death (taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself entirely with humankind without sin). We believe in His bodily resurrection, His ascension into Heaven, His perpetual intercession for His people, and His personal, visible return to the world according to His promise. We believe Jesus Christ to be fully God, fully man, and to be the reconciliation for mankind.

Genesis 18:1ff.; Psalms 2:7ff.; 110:1ff.; Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 53:1-12; Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 11:27; 14:33; 16:16,27; 17:5; 24; 27; 28:1-6,19; Mark 1:1; 3:11; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; 24:34-46; John 1:1-18,29; 10:30,38; 11:25-27; 12:44-50; 14:7-11; 16:15-16,28; 17:1-5, 21-22; 20:1-20,28; Acts 1:9-11; 2:22-24; 7:55-56; 9:4-5,20; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-21; 8:1-3,34; 10:4; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8,24-28; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; 8:9; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-22; 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:13-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15,24-28; 12:2; 13:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:22; 1 John 1:7-9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16.

d.    The Holy Spirit

We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from God to convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify, bestow spiritual gifts, comfort and empower for service, those who believe in Jesus Christ. At the moment of regeneration, He baptizes every believer into the Body of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and is fully divine in His nature. It was through the Spirit of God that men were inspired to write the Scriptures and it is through His illumination that He enables those to understand its truth. The Spirit of God gives believers the ability to worship, evangelize, and serve.

Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 139:7ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10,12; Luke 1:35; 4:1,18-19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John 4:24; 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4,38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17,39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-27; 12; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11,13; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; 1 Timothy 3:16; 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:8,14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10; 22:17.

III.      Man & Salvation

We believe that mankind is God’s special creation, being made in His image. He created humankind male and female and gave them separate roles in their gift of gender. We believe that in the beginning, all men were created innocent of sin and were given the freedom of choice. We believe through the temptation of Satan that humankind fell from the graces of God and His original innocence whereby now all men by nature and by choice are sinners. We believe that even through the distortion of sin, God’s image exists in mankind today and can be seen in our human personality and morality. 

Although man is sinful in natural and at heart, we believe that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” We believe, therefore, that all those who accept Jesus Christ as Savior will rejoice in God’s presence forever, and those who refuse to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord will forever experience God’s wrath, in a place the Bible refers to as the lake of fire. In its entirety we believe salvation and redemption to include regeneration (a new birth where believers become a new creation in Christ Jesus), justification (God’s gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all who repent and believe in Jesus), sanctification (an experience, starting at regeneration, where believers are set apart and enabled to grow toward moral and spiritual maturity through the power of the Holy Spirit at work within them throughout the course of one’s earthly life), and glorification (the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed). There is no way to experience salvation apart from believing and turning to Jesus Christ. Apart from just believing in Jesus as Lord and Savior, we believe salvation is experienced also by repenting or turning from one’s sin and turning to Jesus.

Salvation is therefore given freely to mankind by simply believing and repenting. It is experienced through God’s purpose of election and through the freewill of mankind coming together in what Paul would consider a mystery. We believe that all believers will endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Jesus Christ, and sanctified through the Holy Spirit, will never fall away from the grace God has bestowed to them. All believers will persevere to the end. Believers may slip into sin through temptation but will grieve the Spirit that dwells within them and it will bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they will be kept by the power and promises of God through faith.

Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; 12:1-3; Exodus 4:14-17; 6:2-8; 19:5-8; 1 Samuel 8:4-7, 19-22; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 5:1-7; 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; 31:31; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:18-26; 21:28-45; 24:22, 31; 25:34; 27;22-28:6; Luke 1:68-79; 2:28-32; 19:41-44; John 1:11-14, 29; 3:3-21, 36; 5:24; 6:44-45, 65; 10:9, 27-29; 15:1-16; 17:6, 12, 17-18; Acts 2: 21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:26-31; 20:32; Romans 1:16-32; 2:4; 3:10-18,23; 5:6-12; 6:1-23; 7:14-25; 8:1-39; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2, 18-31; 6:19-20; 15:19,21-22; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; 2:1-22; 4:11-16 Colossians 1:9-22; 3:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2:10, 19; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8, 14; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6-2:11; Revelation 3:20; 20:14-15; 21:1-22:5.

IV.       The Family

God structured the family as the foundation of human society. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in a covenant commitment for the entirety of life. It is a gift from God that reveals the union between Jesus and His church. The marriage relationship displays the way God relates to His people. With Jesus Christ as the cornerstone, marriage is the framework for intimate companionship, the avenue of sexual expression, and a means for procreation.

We believe the husband and wife to be of equal worth before God, both being created in the image of God, but given different roles within the marriage and family structure. A husband is to love his wife as Jesus loved the church. His God-given role is to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself to the leadership of her husband just as the church willingly submits to Jesus Christ. She is to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the family unit and nurturing their children. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to model to their children God’s design for marriage. Fathers and mothers are to teach their children spiritual and moral values outlined in Scripture and to lead them, through a Christian based lifestyle that displays loving discipline and care. We believe it is the children’s responsibility to honor and obey their parents.

Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.

V.          The Church

We believe in the Church to be a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head, and of which all regenerated and baptized people are members. A visible church body of believers in Jesus Christ, who on an affirmation of their faith, gather for worship, serve, and are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel. To these churches are committed, for perpetual observance, the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. God has laid upon these churches the task of persuading a lost world to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We believe it is the duty and privilege of every believer and of every church to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The inevitable by-products of these churches sharing the Gospel will be salvation, human betterment, and social improvement. The church accomplishes this mission by members coming together in unity and exercising the spiritual gifts bestowed on them.

We believe that each church is independent and autonomous and must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority. The state must never interfere with the function of the church. The church must always pray for and be involved in the moral good of our government. Each congregation includes members that each are responsible and accountable to Jesus Christ and is governed through a democratic process. The biblical officers of the church are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.

Matthew 5:13-16; 16:15-19; 18:15-20; 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Acts 2:42-47; Romans 1:7; 13; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1 Peter 2:13-18; 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3.

VI.       Baptism & the Lord’s Supper

We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is a symbolic act of obedience allowing the believer to display their faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior. Baptism is a symbol of the believer’s death to sin, a burial of their old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life through Jesus Christ. Baptism is a testimony to the believer’s faith in the final resurrection of the dead. We believe it is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership.

We believe the Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience where members of the body, through the partaking of bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of Jesus Christ and anticipate His second coming.

Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; 20:7; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 10:16,21; 11:23-29; Colossians 2:12.

 

Church Covenant

This church has also adopted the following covenant as a means by which its members may express their intent to accept the Lordship of Jesus Christ in the life of the Church and in the affairs of the their daily life:

Having been led as we believe by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior; and on the confession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.

Therefore, we promise, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love, to strive for the advancement of this church through scriptural knowledge, Christ likeness, and compassion; to promote its prosperity, spirituality, worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor and the spread of the Gospel to all peoples.

We also commit ourselves to maintain as far as possible family and secret devotions, to teach our children the Christian truths, to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances, to walk circumspectly in the world, to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.

We further commit to watch over one another in brotherly love, to remember each other in prayer, to aid each other in sickness and distress, to cultivate Christian compassion and courtesy both in action and speech, and to be slow to take offense but always quick to seek reconciliation.

We pledge that when we leave this fellowship, we will as soon as possible unite with another church where we can carry out the spirit of the covenant and principles of God’s Word.