Statement of Faith

See also: Our Covenant, and Declarations of Positions and Practices

Introduction

In order to state clearly what we believe in an age of apostasy, apathy toward biblical doctrine, and ecumenical confusion, our church has adopted a doctrinal statement or Statement of Faith. This Statement represents our beliefs on particular biblical teachings which distinguish and identify us. The Statement does not reflect all the Scriptures teach or all that we believe.

The Statement of Faith serves as an introduction to the doctrine our church holds, and may be used as a teaching tool for those who desire church membership. We do not expect anyone joining our church to be prepared to personally adopt every detail that the Statement teaches prior to membership. We recognize that spiritual growth will be necessary for the understanding and assimilation of the truths of God's Word and we do not expect that every new member will have a thoroughly formulated understanding and acceptance of every aspect of the Statement of Faith. However:

  • If there is a definite disagreement with a stated belief prior to reception as a member, we will put the membership request on hold until the matter can be resolved.
  • We will ask those becoming members for a willingness to be taught the truths mentioned in the Statement and an agreement to address differences in accordance with the statement below.

In our Church Covenant members agree to sustain the church's doctrine. If a time comes when a member, through careful study, cannot agree to a part of the Statement of Faith,

  • They should come to the pastor of the church for counsel about their differing beliefs. If a matter in the Statement of Faith is found to be in error when compared to the Word of God, a correction can be made with proper congregational involvement. If a unity in doctrine cannot be attained, the individual will be asked to remove his membership.
  • Public statements or the sowing of discord among other church members over an individual's disagreement with the Statement of Faith will be considered a violation of our Church Covenant and a matter for church discipline.

The Pastor, Deacons, and all those involved in a teaching or leadership ministry in the church must be in agreement with and guided by the Statement of Faith. Knowingly teaching doctrine contrary to the Statement of Faith or expressing differences outside the guidelines mentioned above, will be considered a matter for church discipline and removal from teaching or leadership responsibilities until the matter is resolved.

All guests involved in any teaching ministry (speakers, singers, teachers…) and our supported missionaries should be in agreement with to our Statement of Faith.

(At present we do not have an official procedure in place to help us with this matter. Discerning the doctrinalagreement of our guests rests primarily with the pastor and his knowledge of those invited to serve in a teachingcapacity. One way to practice this discernment is to only use church members in these teaching ministries, who by virtue of membership have already identified with our doctrines. It should also be noted that agreement with our doctrines is not the only consideration made in inviting a nonmember to participate in a teaching capacity.)

Section 1 The Holy Scriptures

We believe the Bible to be inerrant in the original writings and that it was verbally inspired and produced by the Holy Spirit through holy men of old. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are the only complete and divine revelation of God's will to the church and the only rule of faithful practice. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their literal, grammatical-historical, and dispensational contexts (2 Tim. 3:14-17; 2 Pet. 1:19-21).

Section 2 The Godhead

We believe in the one Triune God, who is infinite Spirit, the Maker and supreme Ruler of heaven and earth, inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that He is eternally existing in three persons --the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, each equal in every divine perfection, nature, power, and glory, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption (Ex. 20:2, 3; Deut. 6:4; 1 Cor. 8:6; Rev. 4:11; 1 John 5:7).

Section 3 The Person and Work of Jesus Christ

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God, having been miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary in order that He might reveal God to man and redeem sinful man. We believe that He was tempted, yet without sin in His life, that He died a substitutionary death on the Cross for our sin, that He literally arose from the dead bodily. We further believe that He ascended to the right hand of the Majesty on high, uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathy with Divine perfection, thus He is in every way qualified to be a suitable and compassionate High Priest, Intercessor, and Advocate (Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14-18; 1 Cor. 15:3-8; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8; Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25; Eph. 1:7; Heb. 1:1-3; 1 Pet. 1:3-5; 2:24).

Section 4 The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He exalts Christ; that He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; that He bears witness to the Truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the New Birth; that He seals, indues, guides, teaches, witnesses to, sanctifies and helps the believer (John 14:16, 17; Matt. 28:19; Heb. 9:14; John 14:26; Luke 1:35; Gen. 1:1-3; John 16:14; John 16:8-11; Acts 5:30-32; John 3:5, 6; Eph. 1:13, 14; Mark 1:8; John 1:33; Acts 11:16; Luke 24:29; Rom. 8:14, 16, 26, 27).

We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary. We believe that speaking in tongues (which tongues were, in Bible times, actual dialects native to people in the audience) never has been a common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit and that ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God may choose to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing (Acts 2:1-12; 1 Cor. 1:22; 13:8; 14:21-22; Eph. 2:20; Heb. 2:2-4).

Section 5 The Creation, The Creation and Fall of Man

We believe in the direct creation by God of the physical universe, of all spirit beings, of man, and of all other forms of life, without the process of evolution, accomplished in six literal, twenty-four hour days. We believe that the early chapters of Genesis are literal and accurate history, including the worldwide flood in the days of Noah. We believe that God sustains all of creation but exists in the perfection of His own being apart from creation (Gen. 1,2, 6; Exod. 20:11; John 1:1-3; Col. 1:15-17).

We believe that man was created directly by God on the sixth day of creation and was made in God’s own image and after His own likeness. We believe that God created Adam in pristine holiness; however, by a voluntary transgression, Adam fell from his sinless and happy state, thus incurring not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God. Each individual is accountable for original sin (Adam’s) as well as his own personal sin and therefore is under just condemnation to eternal ruin without defense or excuse. Man in his natural state is in a condition of total depravity, that is, sin touches every aspect of his being and will, and he is utterly incapable of receiving the things of the Spirit of God apart from the quickening grace of the Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:26-27; 2:17; 3:1-6; Ps 58:3; John 1:13; Rom 1:18-20, 28; 3:10-19, 23; 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 2:1-3).

Section 6 Salvation

We believe salvation to be by grace through faith, wholly apart from human works and merit, and that each individual must exercise personal faith in the redeeming work of Christ in order to be saved. He must be born again. We believe the new birth is instantaneously wrought by the Holy Spirit and is not a process and that by the new birth an individual becomes a new creation in Christ Jesus. We believe that all who are truly born again are eternally kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ. We believe in the priesthood of every believer, who upon salvation has direct access to God without any human intermediary (Eph. 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5; Acts 16:31; Rom. 6:23; 10:9; John 3:3, 5, 7; 2 Cor. 5:17; Phil. 1:6; John 10:28, 29; Rom. 8:35-39; 1 Pet. 1:5; 1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Heb. 4:14-16; Rev. 1:6).

We believe in God’s electing grace, which is not conditioned upon man’s works, man’s response, nor man’s free will (John 1:10-13; Rom. 9:11, 16; Eph. 1:4; 2:1-9; Phil. 2:12-13; Titus 3:5-6). The blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel. It is the immediate duty of all mankind to accept these blessings by a cordial, repentant, and obedient faith, which faith itself is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8-9; Phil. 1:29). Nothing prevents the salvation of even the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the Savior as revealed in the gospel (Isa. 55:1, 6-7; Matt. 11:28; John 3:15-18, 36; 6:37; Acts 13:39; Eph. 1:4; 1 Thes. 1:4; 1 Tim. 1:15; Rev. 22:17).

We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word with the ministry of the Holy Spirit. We further hold that this is not intended to excuse liberty as an occasion to the flesh (Rom. 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11-15).

Section 7 Satan

We believe in the reality and personality of Satan; that through pride he fell from his exalted place as “the anointed cherub that covereth”; that he is the unholy god of this age, the author of sin, and the prince of all the powers of darkness. We further believe that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man, and that he is destined to eternal punishment in the lake of fire (Ezek. 28:12-19; Isa. 14:12-15; Matt. 25:41; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2; 6:12; Rev. 12:7-12; 20:10).

Section 8 Resurrection, Heaven and Hell

We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28-29; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13).

We believe that the souls of believers in Christ do at death immediately pass into His presence, and there remain until the resurrection of the body at the rapture when the soul and body reunited shall stand before Christ to be judged of their Christian works for the giving of rewards, and that they shall then be associated with Him forever in glory (1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:10; 1Thes. 4:13-18).

We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery until the final resurrection at the end of the millennium for judgment; the result of this judgment will be that all will be cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting separation from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thes. 1:6-9; Rev. 20:11-15).

Section 9 The Church

We believe in the church universal, which is made up of those Jews and Gentiles who have received Jesus Christ as Savior. This is the body of Christ with Christ as its head, also called the bride of Christ. This church is formed by the work of the Holy Spirit, and is a Holy Temple, an invisible, spiritual organism, and consists of all who are saved, from Pentecost until the Rapture (Acts 2; 1 Cor. 12:12-13; Eph. 1:22-23; 2:14-16, 19-22; Col 1:18).

We believe that a local church is an organized congregation of believers, immersed upon an acceptable confession of faith, equal in rank and privilege, subject to the Word of God, and independent of any external, ecclesiastical control whatsoever. They are bonded together unto the glory of God through worship and work, for the fellowship in the Gospel, for the observance of the ordinances, and for the furtherance of the Gospel to all the world. We believe that its officers are pastor and deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures, which positions are to be held by men only. We further believe that the work of God in the present age is intended to be accomplished primarily in and through the local church, which is a visible manifestation of the universal church. We believe that every born-again believer should be a member of a local New Testament church and should be actively serving the Lord in the church (Acts 2:41,42; 20:17-28; 1Cor. 11:2; Eph. 4:11; Acts 15:13-18; Heb. 10:23-25).

We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local church financially. We believe that God established the tithe as a pattern for proportionate giving, and that every believer should give offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of his local church ministries for the spread of the gospel, the relief of those in need, and such related work as decided by the church body (Gen. 14:20; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9).

Church Ordinances:

We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water to show forth our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior. This solemn and beautiful emblem is a public identification following a profession of faith, is a picture of our death to sin and our resurrection to newness of life, should precede participation in the Lord’s table, and is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership (Acts 8:36-39; Rom. 6:3-5; Matt. 3:16; Col. 2:12; 1Pet. 3:20, 21).

We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a partaking of unleavened bread and grape juice as symbols of Christ’s body and blood. We believe that it is the commemoration of His death until He comes, should be observed only by those who have been saved through faith in His atoning blood and are walking in obedient fellowship with Him, should always be preceded by solemn self-examination, and that it has no sacramental value. Anyone known to be under Biblical discipline of this or any other church should be excluded from participation (1 Cor. 11:23-33; 1 Cor. 5:9-13).

Section 10 Last Things

We believe that the personal return of our Lord Jesus Christ to catch up His people (the church) to meet Him in the air is imminent, i.e. that this rapture of the church could occur at any moment and will precede the 70th week of Daniel, commonly referred to as the Tribulation. We believe in the personal and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ with His church to judge the living nations and to set up His Kingdom upon earth (the millennium), and that this will take place following the seventieth week of Daniel. After the thousand years, Satan and His angels will be cast into the Lake of Fire, to be joined subsequently by the unsaved dead of all the ages after their appearing at the Great White Throne judgment. The saved will live forever in the new heaven and the new earth (Acts 1:11; 1Thes. 4:13-18; Dan. 9:20-27; Matt. 25:31-46; Rev. 19:11-21; 20:1-15; 21:1-8).

Section 11 The Family, The Church, and Civil Government

We believe that civil government is of Divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed, except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the only Lord of the conscience and is the coming Prince of the kings of the earth. We believe in the separation of the authorities of the Family, the Church, and the State; that each is equal before God in its area of divinely appointed work, and that each is sovereign in its own realm of Biblical duties. No one of these three divine institutions has the right to infringe upon the others, but has the responsibility to support the Biblical role of the others. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and are to be governed by His Word (Ex. 18:18-22; Ex. 20:12; 1 Sam. 26:8-11; 2 Sam. 23:3; Dan. 3:17-18; Matt. 16:18-19; 22:21; Acts 4:15-21; 5:27-39; 23:5; Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-6:4; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13-15).