Statement of Faith
A. THE HOLY SCRIPTURES:
We believe the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, to be the verbally inspired Word of God, written by men in God’s control, without error and infallible in the original manuscripts, and the final authority in faith and life (II Timothy 3:15-17; II Peter 1:20-21; Psalm 19:7-9).
B. THE GODHEAD:
We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — these three being identical in essence, and possessing precisely the same attributes and perfections (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14).
C. THE CONDITION OF MAN:
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God in innocence and without sin, but that in Adam’s sin humanity fell, inherited a sinful nature, became spiritually dead and alienated from God. Man of himself is incapable of remedying his lost and depraved condition (Gen. 1:26, 2:1-24; Romans 3:10-18, 5:12; Eph. 2:1-3).
D. THE PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST:
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit, and born of a virgin, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man. This redemption He accomplished by voluntarily giving Himself as a sinless substitutionary sacrifice on the cross, thereby satisfying God’s righteous judgments against sin. After confirming that redemption by His bodily resurrection from the grave, He ascended to the right hand of His Father where He intercedes on behalf of those who trust Him (John 1:1,2,14,18; Luke 1:34-35; Romans 3:24-26, 8:34).
E. THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the divine Person who convicts the world of sin, that He brings new life to those who are spiritually dead, that all believers are baptized with the Holy Spirit and thus placed into the one true Church, which is the Body of Christ, that He indwells them permanently, seals them unto the day of redemption, bestows spiritual gifts upon them, and empowers them for service (John 16:7-11, 3:5-8; I Cor. 12:7-11,13; John 14:16-17; Eph. 4:30, 5:18; Acts 1:8).
We believe that salvation from the penalty of sin is the gift of God’s grace. It cannot be gained by meritorious works, but is freely bestowed upon all who put their faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ at Calvary. All who so trust the Savior are forgiven of their sins — past, present, and future — and born into the family of God by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:8-9; 1:7; John 1:12).
G. SECURITY, ASSURANCE, AND RESPONSIBILITY:
We believe that all saved (those whom God has redeemed) are kept by His power and are thus secure in Christ forever. It is their privilege to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation. However, this assurance must not be the occasion for sin, for God in Holiness cannot tolerate persistent sin in His children, and in infinite love He corrects them. True faith in Christ is expressed by a fruitful, God-pleasing life (John 10:27-29; Romans 8:28-29; I John 5;13; Heb. 12:6; Matt. 7:20; James 2:20).
H. THE CHURCH:
We believe that the true Church, called in Scripture the Body of Christ, is a spiritual organism into which every person who has trusted Jesus Christ for salvation in this present age has been baptized with the Holy Spirit. The Scripture also teaches the establishment and continuance of local churches, groups of redeemed individuals joined together for worship, instruction, fellowship and service (Eph. 1:22-23; I Cor. 12:13; Acts 2:42, 13:1-2).
I. THE ORDINANCES:
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ instituted two ordinances to be observed by all believers until His return, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Their observance by each new believer is urged (Matt. 28:19; I Cor. 11:23-26).
J. THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST:
We believe in the personal, imminent coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His Church (I Thess. 4:13-18; Zech. 14:4-11; Rev. 19:11-16, 20:1-6).
K. THE ETERNAL STATE:
We believe that at death the souls of those who have trusted Christ for salvation pass immediately into His presence and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at His coming for the Church, when soul and body reunited shall be associated with Him forever in glory. We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery until the final judgment of the great white throne, when soul and body reunited shall be cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to be separated from God forever in conscious punishment (Luke 16:19-26; II Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; II Thess. 1:7-9; Rev. 20:11-15).
STATEMENT OF FAITH: Scripture Footnotes
- Inspired–II Timothy 3:15-17: You have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
I Cor. 2:13: We speak . . . in words tonight by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
- Word of God–I Peter 1:23,25: For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring work of God . . . the word of the Lord stands forever and this is the word that was preached to you.
- Written by men–II Peter 1:20-21:You must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
- Without error–John 10:35: The Scripture cannot be broken.
Luke 16:17: It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the law.
- Infallible–Isaiah 55:10-11: So is the word of God that goes forth out of my mouth; it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
- Final authority–I Thess. 2:13: When you received the Word of God which you received from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the Word of God, which is at work in you who believe.
- Faith and life–Romans 15:4: For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
- One God–Deut. 6:4: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.
- Three Persons–Matt. 28:19: Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, . . . Son, . . . Holy Spirit.
- Identical in essence–John 10:30: “Jesus . . . ‘I and the Father are one.'”
John 14:9: If you have seen me you have seen the Father.
- Same attributes–John 4:24: God is a Spirit and His worshippers must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.
II Cor. 13:14: May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
THE CONDITION OF MAN
- Image and likeness of God–Gen. 1:26-27: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness . . .” so God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them.
- Humanity fell–Romans 5:12: Just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, in this way death came to all men, because all sinned. (I Cor. 15:22)
- Sinful nature–Romans 7:14-15: I am unspiritual sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do: what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do, it is sin living in me.
- Spiritually dead–Eph. 2:1-2: You were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and the ruler of . . . the disobedient.
John 8:34: Everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
- Alienated from God–Eph. 2:12: Remember you were separate from Christ . . . without hope and without God in the world. (Romans 5:18)
- Incapable, lost, and depraved–Romans 3:10-12,23: There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away and together have become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one . . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 5:6,8,10, 6:23)
THE PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST
- Lord Jesus Christ–Romans 10:9: If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
- Eternal Son of God–John 1:1-2,14,18: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning and the Word became flesh and lived for awhile among us. No one has ever seen God, but God the Only Son who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.
- Man without ceasing to be God–Phil. 2:6-7: Christ Jesus, Who being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, and being made in human likeness.
- Of the Holy Spirit and virgin–Luke 1:34-35: Mary asked, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will over shadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.”
- Reveal God and redeem man–John 3:16: For God so loved the world He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
- Sinless substitutionary sacrifice–II Cor. 5:21: God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
- Judgments about sin–Romans 3:24-26: We are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in His blood so as to be just and the one who justifies the man who has faith in Jesus. (Col. 2:13-14)
- Bodily resurrection–Romans 1:3-4: God’s Son, Who as to His human nature, was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Ascended and intercedes–Romans 8:34: Christ Jesus Who died, more than that, Who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
- Divine Person–II Cor. 3:17-18: Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. And we are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
- Convicts the world–John 16:8-9: The Spirit will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin, rightness, and judgment; in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me.
- Brings new life–Romans 8:2: Through Jesus Christ the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
- Baptized into Church–I Cor. 12:13: For we were baptized by one Spirit into one body . . . and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
- The Body of Christ–I Cor. 12:27: Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
- Indwells–Romans 8:9-11: You are controlled, not by the sinful nature, but by the Spirit of God living in you, though your body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive because of righteousness . . .
- Seals–Eph. 1:13-14: You were included in Christ . . . you were marked in him with a seal of the promised Holy Spirit Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance.
- Bestows spiritual gifts–I Cor. 12:7,11: Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. All these are the work of the one and same Spirit, and gives gifts to each man, just as he determines.
- Empowers–Eph. 5:17-18: Understand what the will of the Lord is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
- Salvation as a gift–Romans 6:23: The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.(John 8:24)
- Not by works–Eph. 2:8-10: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves; it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.
- Work of Christ–Col. 2:12-14: Through your faith in the power of God, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins having cancelled the written code . . . he nailed it to the cross. (Romans 3:28-29)
- Forgiven sins–Hebrews 10:17,22: ‘Their sins and their lawless acts I will remember no more.’ And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin . . . let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience. (I John 2:1-2)
- Family of God–John 1:12: For all who received Christ, to those who believed in His name, he gave the right to become children of God.
Romans 8:15-16: You received the spirit of adoption, and by him we cry ‘Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
SECURITY, ASSURANCE, AND RESPONSIBILITY
- Kept by His power–John 10:27-29: (Jesus): My sheep hear my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.
- Secure . . . forever–Romans 8:29f: God foreknew . . . predestined us to be conformed to the likeness of His Son. If God is for us, who can be against us? Who will bring any charge? Who condemns? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? For I am convinced that not anything in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Assurance of salvation–I John 5:11-13: God has given us eternal life and this life is in His son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
- Not occasion for sin–Romans 6:12: Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? God forbid! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
- Cannot tolerate persistent sin–Hebrews 12:5-6: My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son.
- He corrects them–Hebrews 12:10-11: God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produced a harvest of righteousness, a peace for those who have been trained by it.
- God-pleasing life–Gal. 5:6: For in Christ Jesus . . . the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
James 2:22: Faith and actions work together, and faith is made complete by what one does.(Gal. 5:22-23)
- True Church–Matt. 16:18: You are Peter (Rock) and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it.
- Body of Christ–Eph. 1:22-23: God appointed Christ to be head over everything for the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.
- Spiritual organism–I Cor. 12:12,27: The body is a unit though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. Now you are the Body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
- Christ for salvation–Acts 2:47: The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
- Baptized by the Holy Spirit–I Cor. 12:13: For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one Body . . . and were all given the one Spirit to drink.
- Local Churches–I Tim. 3:15: God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
- Joined together–Acts 2:42-43: They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe.
- Baptism–Matt. 28:19: Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:37-38: The people said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the Holy Spirit.’ (I Peter 3:21)
- The Lord’s Supper–I Cor. 11:23-26: For I received from the Lord what I passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘This is my body which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper, he took the cup, saying, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
- Imminent coming–I Thess. 5:2-6: The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. Let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.
Rev. 22:20: He who testifies to these things says ‘Yes, I am coming soon!’ Amen, come, Lord Jesus. (Matt. 24:29-30)
- Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ–I Thess. 4;16: For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. (Zech. 14:4-11)
- For His Church–Matt. 24:30-31: They will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds.
- Immediately into His presence–II Cor. 5:8: We would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
Phil. 1:21, 23-24: To me, to live is Christ, to die is gain . . . I am torn between the two: I desire to depart to be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.
- Until the resurrection of the body–I Thess. 4:14, 17: We believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him. So we will be with the Lord forever.
- With Him forever in glory–Rev. 20:4,6: I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. (I Cor. 15:51-54)<
- Unbeliever’s death in conscious misery–Luke 16:19-26: . . . So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ . . . And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
- Resurrected into the lake of fire–Rev. 20:11-15: The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
- Separated forever in conscious punishment–II Thess. 1:7-12: The Lord Jesus will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and the majesty of His power . . .