A. The Word of God We believe that only the sixty-six books of the Bible, in their original languages, are the inspired and, therefore, inerrant Word of God. The Bible is the final authority for all we believe and how we are to live. (Mt. 5:18; Jn. 10:35; 17:17; 2 Tim. 3:16–17; 2 Pet. 1:20–21)
B. God We believe that the one true God exists eternally in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—and that these, being one God, are equal in deity, power, and glory. God is infinite in love, perfect in judgments, and unchanging in righteousness and mercy. We believe that God not only created the world, but also now upholds, sustains, governs, and providentially directs all that exists, and that He will bring all things to their proper consummation in Christ Jesus, to the glory of His name. (Ps. 104:1–35; 139:1–24; Mt. 10:29–31; 28:19; Acts 17:24–28; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 1:9–12; 4:4–6; Col. 1:16–17; Heb. 1:1–3; Rev. 1:4–6)
1. God the Father
We believe God the Father is eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. We believe the heavenly Father is the source of all that exists, whether of matter or spirit. With the Son and the Holy Spirit, He made man, male and female, in His image. By intention He relates to people as Father, thereby forever declaring His goodwill toward them. In love He both seeks and receives penitent sinners. (Ps. 68:5; Isa. 64:8; Mt. 5:45; 7:11; Jn. 3:17; Rom. 8:15; 1 Pet. 1:17)
2. God the Son
We believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ (Messiah), the Son of God; that He is God incarnate, fully God and fully man; that He was eternally preexistent with the Father and the Holy Spirit; and that He was conceived and born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, and offered Himself as a penal, substitutionary sacrifice for sinners. By His blood shed at the cross, He obtained for us eternal redemption, the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting. He was raised bodily on the third day and ascended to the right hand of the Father, there to make intercession for the saints forever. He will return to earth again to reign in righteousness. (Mt. 1:18–25; Jn. 1:1–18; Rom. 8:34; 1 Cor. 15:1– 28; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:10–14; Eph. 1:7; Phil. 2:6–11; Col. 1:15–23; Heb. 7:25; 9:13– 15; 10:19; 1 Pet. 2:21–25; 1 Jn. 2:1–2)
3. God the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ baptizes believers in the Holy Spirit, in whom we are also sealed for the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit regenerates, forever indwells, and graciously equips the Christian for godly living and service. Subsequent to conversion, the Spirit desires fills, empowers, and anoints believers for ministry and witness. We also believe that signs and wonders, as well as all the gifts of the Spirit described in the New Testament, are operative today and are designed to testify to the presence of the kingdom and to empower and edify the Church to fulfill its calling and mission. (Mt. 3:11; Jn. 1:12–13;
3:1–15; Acts 4:29–30; Rom. 8:9; 12:3–8; 1 Cor. 12:12– 13; 2 Cor. 1:21–22; Gal. 3:1–5; Eph. 1:13–14; 5:18)
We believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. No ordinance, ritual, work or any other activity on the part of man is required or accepted for his salvation. This saving grace of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, also sanctifies us by enabling us to do what is pleasing in God’s sight, that we might be progressively conformed to the image of Christ. (Jn. 1:12–13; 6:37–44; 10:25–30; Acts 16:30–31; Rom. 3:1–4:23; 8:1–17, 31–39; 10:8–10; Eph. 2:8–10; Phil. 2:12–13; Titus 3:3–7; 1 Jn. 1:7, 9)
We believe that Satan, originally a great and good angel, rebelled against God, taking a
multitude of angels with him. He was cast out of God’s presence and is at work with his demonic hosts to establish his counter-kingdom of darkness, evil, and unrest on earth. Satan was judged and defeated at the cross of Christ and will be cast forever into the lake of fire which has been prepared for him and his angels. (Isa. 14:10–17; Ezek. 28:11–19; Mt. 12:25–29; 25:41; Jn. 12:31; 16:11; Eph. 6:10–20; Col. 2:15; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6; Rev. 12:7–9; 20:10)
We believe that humanity, male and female, was originally created in the image of God, righteous and without sin. As a consequence of disobedience, all persons are sinners by both nature and choice, and are, therefore, spiritually dead and justly condemned as children of wrath in the sight of God, wholly unable to save themselves. (Gen. 1:1–3:22; Ps. 51:5; Isa. 53:5; Rom. 3:9–18; 5:12–21; Eph. 2:1–3)
F. The Church
The church is a community of redeemed people worldwide under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Messiah who meet regularly to worship, be discipled, partake of the sacraments, fellowship, and carry out the great commission together.
1. Jesus established the local church to function with ordained leaders and a form of governance that protects, guides and releases people in their gifts to minister. The church functions under the theocratic rule of God with clearly defined elders.
2. We believe that the church is God’s primary instrument, through which He is fulfilling His redemptive purposes in the earth. To equip the saints for the work of ministry, God has given the church apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.
3. We also affirm the priesthood of all believers and the importance of every Christian being joined with and actively involved in a local community of the saints. (Mt. 16:17–19; Acts 2:17–18, 42; Eph. 3:14–21; 4:11–16; 1 Tim. 2:11–15; Heb. 10:23–25; 1 Pet. 2:4–5, 9–10
We believe that water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the two ordinances of the Church, to be observed until the time of Christ’s return. We also believe in the active engagement and participation of foot washing.
1. We believe that the baptism of believers with water is a pledge of their covenant with God. It identifies them with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. It is a sign of their cleansing and freedom from sin, and their commitment to walk in the way of Jesus
Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Immersion is our primary mode of baptism. Rom. 6:1-6, Matt. 28:19, Acts 2:22-24, 36-41, 8:26-39, Gal. 3:26-29, Col. 2:10-15 2.
We believe that through the Lord’s Supper the church renews its covenant with God and with each other, and participates in the life and death of Jesus Christ until he comes. 1 Cor. 11:23-32, 10:16-17, Lk. 22:15-30, Jer. 31: 31-34
H. Missions and Service
We believe that God has called the Church to work together in unity and honor in preaching the gospel to all nations, in making disciples according to the teachings of Jesus Christ and His apostles, and in remembering the poor and ministering to their needs through sacrificial giving and practical service. (Isa. 58:6–12; 61:1; Mt. 5:1–7:28; 28:18–20; Lk. 4:18; 21:1–4; Gal. 2:10; 1 Tim. 6:8)
I. Human Sexuality
We believe a sexual relationship is only appropriate in a monogamous, heterosexual marriage covenant, and therefore should only be practiced in such a covenant. We believe that any sexual practice outside of the previously described marriage covenant is sin.
We believe that God created humankind in His image, intentionally male and female with each bringing unique qualities to sexuality and relationships. Sexuality is a wonderful gift from God to be expressed in marriage for procreation, union, and mutual delight or in celibacy in devotion to God. We believe that marriage is the union of one man (husband) and one woman (wife) through a sacred covenant designed by God to be a lifelong relationship and commitment between a husband and a wife.
We will teach and uphold God’s marriage design as found in the Scriptures, but we also seek to minister to those who suffer the consequences of its brokenness. We also affirm that we are called to minister to all who fall short of God’s standards with love and compassion. (Genesis 1:27, Hebrews 13:4, I Corinthians 7:35, Matthew 19:4-6)
J. Last Things
We believe in the rapture, tribulation, literal second coming of Christ at the end of this age, when He will return to earth personally and visibly to reign over the nations in His millennial kingdom. No one can know with certainty the timing of the Lord’s return. 1 Thessalonians 4:17, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8, Revelation 3:10, Matthew 24:29-31, 1 Corinthians 15:52, Revelation 20: 4 -10
We also believe in, evangelizing and are praying for a great end-time harvest of souls and the emergence of a victorious Church that will experience unprecedented unity, purity, and power in the Holy Spirit. (Ps. 2:7–9, 22:27–28; Mt. 24:36; Jn. 14:12; 17:20–26; Rom. 11:25–32; 1 Cor. 15:20–28, 50–58; Eph. 4:11–16; Phil. 3:20–21; 1 Thes. 4:13–5:11; 2 Thes. 1:3–12; Rev. 7:9–14)
K. Eternal Reward and Punishment
We believe that when Christians die, they pass immediately into the blessed presence of Christ, there to enjoy conscious fellowship with the Savior until the day of the resurrection and the glorious transformation of their bodies. The saved will receive eternal rewards and forever dwell in blissful fellowship with their great triune God.
We also believe that when unbelievers die, they are consigned to hell, there to await the Day of Judgment when they shall be punished in the lake of fire with eternal, conscious, and tormented separation from the presence of God. (Dan. 12:2; Mt. 25:46; Lk. 16:19–31; Jn. 5:25–29; 1 Cor. 15:35–58; 2 Cor. 5:1–10; Phil. 1:19–26, 3:20–21; 2 Thes. 1:5–10; Rev. 20:11–15; 21:1–22:15)