Doctrine

Doctrine

 

The Scriptures

We believe the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments to be the full record of God’s self-disclosure to mankind. Different men, while writing according to their own styles and personalities, were supernaturally moved along by the Holy Spirit to record God’s very words, inerrant in the original writings. Therefore, those applying themselves to study its literal, historical-grammatical context can accurately understand God’s Word. Scripture is fully trustworthy as our final and sufficient authority for all of life (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

 

The Triune God

We believe in the one living and true God (John 17:3), eternally existing in perfect unity as three equally and fully divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20;2 Corinthians 13:14). Each member of the Godhead, while executing distinct but complementary roles in redemptive history, has precisely the same nature, attributes, and being, and is equally worthy of the same glory and honor and obedience (John 1:1-4; Acts 5:3-4).

 

God the Father

We believe God the Father created all things in six literal days for His glory according to His own will (Genesis 1:1-31; Ephesians 3:9; Revelation 4:11), through His Son, Jesus Christ (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2). He exercises sovereign headship over all creation, providence, and redemption (Ps 103:19; Rom 11:36), and He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (Ephesians 1:11).

 

God the Son

We believe that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son, moved by love in accordance with the will of the Father, took on human flesh (John 1:1, 14, 18). Conceived through the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the virgin Mary ( Isaiah 7:14; Matt 1:23, 25). He, being fully God and fully man (John 14:8-9), lived a sinless life and sacrificially shed His blood and died on the cross in our place accomplishing redemption for all who place their faith in Him. He arose visibly and bodily from the dead three days later and ascended into heaven, where, at the Father’s right hand, He is now Head of His Body the Church, the only Savior and Mediator between God and man, and will return to earth in power and glory to consummate His redemptive mission (1 Timothy 3:16).

 

God the Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ during this age. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). He draws the unredeemed to repentance and faith, and at salvation imparts new spiritual life to the believer (Titus 3:5), bringing that person into union with Christ and the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:15). The Holy Spirit sanctifies (Romans 15:16), seals (Ephesians 1:13), fills (Ephesians 5:18), guides (Romans 8:9-17), instructs (John 16:13), comforts (Acts 9:31), equips (Ephesians 6:17-18), empowers (Acts 1:8), permanently indwells at salvation (John 14:17; 1 Corinthians 3:16), and bestows spiritual gifts to the believer for Christ-like living and service. (Romans 12:4-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 11-13, 19; Galatians 5:25).

 

Mankind

We believe that God created mankind—male and female—in His own image and likeness, free of sin, to glorify Himself and enjoy His fellowship (Genesis 2). Tempted by Satan, but in the sovereign plan of God, man freely chose to disobey God, bringing sin, death, and condemnation to all mankind. All human beings, therefore, are totally depraved by nature and by choice (Psalm 52:5; Ephesians 2:1-3). Alienated from God without defense or excuse, and subject to God’s righteous wrath, all of mankind is in desperate need of the Savior (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 3:10-19; Romans 1:18, 32).

 

Salvation

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as the substitutionary atonement in our place, and that salvation is found in none other than Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Acts 4:12). Before Creation, God chose those who would be saved and granted this unearned grace solely based on His sovereign good pleasure (Ephesians 1:4-11). Jesus Christ’s death on the cross was the sole and complete payment for sins, fully satisfying God’s righteous wrath, for each person that turns from sin in repentance and places their faith in Christ alone by grace alone (Hebrews 10:1-18). At salvation each person is made a new creation by the Holy Spirit, declared righteous before God, and secured as an adopted child of God forever (2 Corinthians 5:17;Romans 8:15). Genuine faith continues in obedience and love for Jesus Christ with a life eager to glorify God and persevere to the end (Romans 8:37-39; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Phillipians 1:6; John 10:27-30; 1 John 2:19).

 

The Church

We believe that upon placing one’s faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, the believer is made part of the Body of Christ, the one universal Church, of which Jesus Christ is the Head (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). The Scriptures command believers to gather locally in order to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, fellowship, the ordinances of baptism and communion, service to the local body through the development and use of talents and spiritual gifts, and outreach to the world to make disciples (Acts 2:42-46; 1 Corinthians 14:26; Matthew 28:18-20). Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the Church under the watchful care of a plurality of elders. A church’s members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ (Ephesians 4:16).

 

Baptism and Communion

Baptism and communion are the two ordinances required in the church. We believe that Christian baptism by immersion in water is a public identification with Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (Acts 2:41; 8:34-38). Although baptism is not required for salvation, it is commanded of all believers and is for believers only (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38, 41). Scripture shows that a person was baptized after personally receiving forgiveness of sin through accepting Jesus Christ. The waters of baptism are a symbol of our death, burial, and resurrection to newness of life that happens when we become new creations in Christ (Colossians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:1-4). Communion is the commemoration by believers of Christ's death, and a reminder—through the bread and the juice—of the Savior's broken body and shed blood. Communion is to be a time of confession of our sin and should be preceded by careful self- examination according to Acts 4:13; Romans 6:3-6; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29. 

Things to Come

We believe in and expectantly await the glorious, visible, personal, premillennial return of the Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 20:4). The blessed hope of His return has vital bearing on the personal life, service, and mission of the believer (Titus 2:12-14). We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The lost will be raised to judgment and experience eternal wrath in hell (John 5:28-29). The saved will be raised to eternal joy in the new heaven and new earth in the manifested presence of God (Revelation 21-22).