DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH
SECTION 1. THE BIBLE
We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired by God the Holy Spirit (II Peter 1:19-21) and is without any error because it has been breathed out by God, Himself (II Timothy 3:16-17) who cannot lie (Numbers 23:19 & Hebrews 6:18). We believe that God’s every word, alone, is pure (Proverbs 30:5-6 & Romans 3:4). Since God is the author of Scripture, we trust what He has revealed, as it has been recorded in Scripture, regarding the salvation of sinners (Romans 1:16; II Timothy 3:15; & I Peter 1:10-12). We believe the Bible reveals the standard of judgment God will administer to both saint (I Corinthians 3:9-15 and II Corinthians 5:9-11) and sinner (John 12:47-48 & Romans 2:12). We believe the Bible is the standard for doctrine and lifestyle (I Timothy 4:16) and that all opinions and views should be tested in light of the Bible that was inspired by God the Holy Spirit (I John 4:1).
SECTION 2. THE TRIUNE GODHEAD
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God. We believe He is an infinite, intelligent Spirit (John 4:24) that is one in essence and has eternally existed simultaneously as three co-equal and distinct persons revealed in Scripture as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; Matthew 3:16-17; John 1:1; and I Corinthians 8:4). God, alone, is deserving of glory because He, alone, is completely holy, without sin, and separated from sin (Leviticus 11:44 & Isaiah 6:1-5). Within the Godhead exists a unity that makes all three persons equally deserving of worship, reverence, and obedience (Matthew 28:19 & II Corinthians 3:14). Everything God does is by His own doing as it pleases Him (Ephesians 1:11) and is done for His glory and the good of His children (Romans 8:28-30).
SECTION 3. GOD THE FATHER
We believe that God the Father orders and orchestrates all things according to His own purpose and for His own pleasure (Psalm 145:8-9; Ephesians 1:11; & I Corinthians 8:6). We believe that God the Father is the creator of humanity, and made humanity in His image (Genesis 1:27) by sharing attributes with humanity on a limited scale; such as, but not limited to: personality, rationality, spirituality, morality, love, and compassion; that He chose to withhold from all other forms of creation. We believe that God the Father is the Spiritual Father only to those who have put their faith and trust in Him to save them from their due penalty for sin (Romans 8:14-15 & II Corinthians 6:18).
SECTION 4. GOD THE SON
We believe that Jesus Christ always has been and always will be God (John 1:1) and that before His incarnation, He demonstrated His deity by creating everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17; & Hebrews 1:3). We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who took upon Himself human flesh through the miraculous conception by God the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary (Isaiah 7:14, fulfilled Matthew 1:23). We believe that Jesus lived a sinless and perfect life (Hebrews 7:26 & I Peter 2:22), performed many miracles (Acts 2:22 & 10:38), was crucified on a Roman cross in the place of sinners as their final atoning sacrifice (I Corinthians 15:3 & II Corinthians 5:21), literally rose in physical form from the dead (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:39; & I Corinthians 15:4), ascended into Heaven, and is exalted at the Right Hand of the Father (Acts 1:9-11; 2:33; Philippians 2:9-11; & Hebrews 1:3) where He currently serves as our: High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16); sole Mediator (I Timothy 2:5); and Head of His Body, the Church (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23; & Colossians 1:18). We anticipate His return to the earth as the conquering King of Kings and Lord of Lords, which will be physically and visibly seen before He sets up His Millennial Kingdom (Revelation 20:1-6).
SECTION 5. GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that God the Holy Spirit is a person; We believe that God the Holy Spirit is the agent of regeneration (John 3:3-8), baptizes believers into the Body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:13), indwells all believers (Romans 8:9-13), and seals all believers until the day of redemption. (Ephesians 1:13-14). We believe God the Holy Spirit is eternal (Hebrews 9:14), is co-equally God with the Father and Son (Acts 5:3-4 & II Corinthians 13:14), distributes gifts to the Body of Christ as He determines (I Corinthians 12:11), and empowers believers to put to death the misdeeds of their flesh (Romans 8:9-13).
SECTION 6. THE SINFULNESS OF MAN
We believe that man was created without sin and in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). This does not mean that man was created equal with God, but rather that man is set apart from the rest of God’s creation and was given the responsibility to represent God by ruling over creation (Genesis 1:28). We believe that Adam, who represented all of humanity (Romans 5:12, 18), willfully disobeyed God’s command and sinned against God in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-7). Adam’s disobedience introduced sin and death into this world (Romans 5:12); spiritually contaminated humanity by placing us under God’s judgment (Romans 5:18); and therefore separated Adam, Eve, and all of their offspring from God (Genesis 3:23-24; Psalm 51:5, 58:3; & Romans 3:23). We believe that sin exists and that the mind, will, and emotions of every human being are equally enslaved to sin because every human being has sinned. (John 8:34). We believe that sin is universal that every human being is equally in need of salvation by the grace of God, alone (John 1:12-13).
SECTION 7. THE SALVATION OF MAN
We believe that the salvation of sinners is given by God — by His extension of grace through faith (Ephesians 2:1-10) and not by the efforts or man’s attempts at religious obedience or his good works. We believe salvation was secured through the person and work of the God-man, Jesus Christ, who voluntarily submitted Himself to the will of God the Father by becoming the ransom payment for sin (Mark 10:45). Jesus Christ lovingly offered Himself upon a cross in the place of sinners as their substitution, while they were still sinners (Romans 5:8) to bear their sins (I Peter 2:24). Jesus Christ died so that sinners may be freed from sin (Romans 6:1-14), become reconciled to God (II Corinthians 5:20), know God, and live in right standing with God for all of eternity (John 17:3). We believe that everything that was needed to save sinners was accomplished through the perfect life (Hebrews 7:26), death (Matthew 27:35-50; Mark 15:32-37; Luke 23:33-46; & John 19:18-30), burial (Matthew 27:57-65; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-55; & John 19:38-42), and resurrection (Matthew 28; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-11; & John 20) of Jesus Christ. We believe there is no salvation outside of the person and work of the God-man, Jesus Christ (John 14:6 & Romans 10:9).
SECTION 8. JUSTIFICATION
We believe that God legally declares unrighteous sinners to be righteous (Romans 8:30,33) at conversion, as they have placed their trust in the finished work Christ has done on their behalf, repented of their sins (Acts 2:38; 11:18; & II Corinthians 7:9-11), and confessed Jesus Christ to be their Lord (Romans 10:9-10; I Corinthians 12:3; and Philippians 2:11). We believe this legal declaration of righteousness is known as justification. Justification is not earned or deserved by man, but has been given to those who have embraced the person and work of the God-man Jesus Christ. In order to accomplish the justification of sinners, God, in His goodness, placed our sins on Christ (Colossians 2:14 & I Peter 2:24), so that when we embraced Christ as our Savior, God in His justice accredited the perfect life of Jesus Christ to us us (II Corinthians 5:21; & Philippians 3:9).
SECTION 9. THE FREENESS OF SALVATION
We believe that the offer of salvation has been extended by God to sinners from every culture, ethnicity, gender, race, or socio-economic status (Romans 1:16-17 & Galatians 3:28); that the gospel message declares the God-man Jesus Christ to be the sole means of salvation (John 1:11; 3:19; & 5:40); and that outside of a sinner’s willful rejection of the gospel message, nothing prevents a sinner from receiving salvation. The penalty for rejecting the gospel is an eternal, conscious enduring of God’s wrath (II Thessalonians 1:8 & Revelation 20:9-15), of which all sinners deserve. (Romans 6:23).
SECTION 10. GRACE IN REGENERATION
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, (spiritually born again), by God the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-8 & Titus 3:5). We believe that regeneration brings about a newness in the way we think and live due to our redeemed new nature and indwelling of God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9-13 & II Corinthians 5:17). We believe that our newness of life will be demonstrated by our living Spirit-Filled lives–lives lived under the influence of God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) as we do the following things: allow God’s Word to live in our hearts (Colossians 3:16), enjoy our fellowship with God (John 15:1-11) and other believers (John 15:12-17; Ephesians 5:20; and I John 4:7-8), and bear fruit that resembles the actions of Christ (Galatians 5:22-26; Ephesians 5:1-3; & II Peter 1:5-11).
SECTION 11. REPENTANCE AND FAITH
We believe that Repentance and Faith, together, are a part of God’s plan for salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10). Repentance takes place when the gospel is preached and sinners recognize they are in need of a savior and are unable to save themselves (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; & 26:20). We believe that because every sinner’s mind, will, and emotions are bound and enslaved to sin, every sinner is dependent on God to grant them the ability to repent (Acts 11:18; Romans 2:4; & II Timothy 2:25). We believe that genuine repentance that has been offered to the sinner by the grace of God will bear evidence of a changed lifestyle (II Corinthians 7:9-11) with the believer receiving assistance by the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9-13). We believe that Faith is a gift that comes from God, meaning we do not work to earn faith and neither do we deserve it (Ephesians 2:8-9). We believe that once we have received the gift of Faith from God, we will diligently seek after God so that we may please Him (Hebrews 11:6). The evidence of our faith in God is seen by our demonstration of joy and gratitude towards our Lord for saving us (I Peter 1:8-9).
SECTION 12. SANCTIFICATION
We believe Sanctification begins at conversion; when new believers are Justified, they are also instantaneously declared to be holy, as their position before God is now one of a “set apart one” or “saint” (I Corinthians 1:2; 30; & Hebrews 2:11; 10:10). We believe that Sanctification is the process where God, according to His will, continuously labors and extends patience to His children, drawing them closer to holiness (II Corinthians 7:1 & I Thessalonians 4:3; 5:23). We believe the evidence of progressive sanctification is seen through each saint individually by a demonstration of fruit bearing in their life according to the Scriptures (Galatians 5:22-26; Ephesians 5:1-3; & II Peter 1:5-11).
SECTION 13. ETERNAL SECURITY
We believe that God the Holy Spirit indwells every saint (Romans 8:9-13 & Ephesians 1:13-14), and therefore seals and eternally secures every believer (Romans 8:18; II Corinthians 4:17; & I John 3:2). We believe that God foreknew every saint in eternity past (Romans 8:29; Ephesians 1:3-6 & Revelation 13:8; 17:8) and also chose to call each saint, individually, out of darkness into His marvelous light (I Peter 2:9-10). We believe that every saint is justified and will never be declared by God to be ‘unjustified’, therefore guaranteeing each saint’s Glorification (Romans 8:30).
SECTION 14. THE HARMONY OF THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL
We believe that the Law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of His moral government (Matthew 5:17 & Romans 3:20); and served in a previous dispensation as a tutor that pointed out humanity’s imperfections when compared to God’s perfection (Leviticus 11:44) until the appointed time of the incarnation of the God-man Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:24) whose finished work produced, for His church, the glorious gospel message that we proclaim (Romans 1:16-17). We believe the dispensation we are in is one of grace (John 1:17) that brings about a harmony of God’s moral law which exposes man’s sinfulness and the Gospel message which exposes man to God’s only means of salvation: by grace through faith solely because of the finished work of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:1-10).
SECTION 15. A GOSPEL-CENTERED CHURCH
We believe that the Church is a new and unique work of God that is a separate from His work with Israel (I Corinthians 10:32) as the Church was a mystery that remained concealed through every previous dispensation and was not revealed until this current dispensation of grace (Ephesians 3:1-6). We believe the Head of the Church is the God-man Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23 & Colossians 1:18). We believe the Church began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and that it was prophesied (Matthew 16:18) to be a future work that would be accomplished by the God-man Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:18-20). We believe the Church is a living, spiritual organism that is made up of every person saved between the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38-47) and the date of completion of Jesus’ work with His Church (I Thessalonians 4:13-18).
SECTION 16. CHURCH ORDINANCES
We believe in the observance of the ordinances of Christ: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism of the believer is through the biblical mode of immersion (Acts 2:38-42 & 8:36-39) in the name of the God the Father, and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:28). We believe baptism serves as an outward symbol of one’s inward conversion. We believe the Lord’s Supper is a remembrance of our Lord’s finished work on the behalf of His Church that is regularly observed until His coming and preceded by a time of self-examination (I Corinthians 11:23-32).
SECTION 17. THE SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE
We believe that God created marriage as the covenant union of one man and one woman in exclusive, permanent, lifetime partnership for the purposes of procreation, mutual edification, and joy, to the glory of God (Genesis 1:27, 28; 3:18, 22, 24; Proverbs 31:10-12; Mark 10:6-9; Ephesians 5:22-33). It is God’s express will that all sexual fulfillment is to be found only in this marriage relationship (Exodus 20:14, 17; Leviticus18; Proverbs 5:18, 19; Romans 1:26-27; I Corinthians 6:9-10; 7:2-5, 9; I Thessalonians 4:3-5; 1Timothy 8-10).
SECTION 18. CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that all persons serving in civil government have been placed in such positions by God to assist with the interests and common good of our society (Romans 13:1-7). Our local, state, and national authorities are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed (Matthew 22:14; I Timothy 2:1-8; & Titus 3:1-4) with the exception of all things opposed to the will and Word of our Lord Jesus Christ (Daniel 3:15-18; Acts 4:18-20; & 5:26-29).
SECTION 19. ETERNITY
We believe that it is appointed for every person to die physically (Hebrews 9:27 & James 2:26) and receive judgment by Jesus Christ who is judge of all people (John 5:22), both over the saints (II Corinthians 5:9-11) and the sinners (Revelation 20:11-15). Those who receive the latter will consciously endure what is known as the ‘second death’ through all of eternity. We believe that the redeemed will dwell in righteousness and peace with God for all of eternity (Revelation 20:15, 21-22) in a state where fellowship with God and His people will never become interrupted by sin or its effects.
SECTION 20. THE COMING EVENTS
We believe in the “Blessed Hope,” which is the personal, imminent, and glorious pre- millennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His Church (I Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13- 18; & Revelation 3:10); and we believe in His subsequent return to earth, known as His “Second Coming” (Revelation 19:11-16), with