"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” ~ John 3:16-18 NASB
Authority of Scripture
The Scriptures and the Scriptures alone are the authority for what we believe. We believe the Bible as transmitted in its original Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek texts, is the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16). We believe that the Holy Spirit superintended all writings of Scripture (2 Pet. 1:20), using the human author's own literary styles and personalities to convey God's Word in their own unique way. We affirm the miracles of the Bible and believe, "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:16,17)." We believe the Scriptures are able to make us wise for salvation through faith in Christ (2 Tim. 3:15). The Bible should be understood through the literal, contextual, grammatical, and historical method of interpretation, and applied to our everyday lives under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Doctrine of God
" Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." (Deut. 6:4,5 NASB). We believe God is the sovereign creator of heaven and earth (Gen. 1:1), One in essence, three in persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe that each person of the Godhead is distinct, demonstrating the attributes of a unique personality (Luke 3:22; John 11:35; Eph. 4:30), yet in a mysterious way the three remain One God. The three persons of the Trinity are co-eternal (Ps. 90:2), co-equal as to their deity (Col. 2:9), power and glory, but different in role (2 Cor. 13:14). God is perfect in all His attributes with each attribute being interchangeable with all the others. Everything He does is in accordance with His good and perfect will (Rom. 12:2).
We believe that God the Father is one in essence (being) with the Son and the Holy Spirit (Deut. 6:4), yet different in role (John 10:29; 1 Thess 4:8). The Father is the sovereign ruler (Ps. 71:16) of the universe, creator (Gen. 1:1), sustainer of all things by means of His Son Jesus Christ (Col. 1:17) and by the power of His Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:2). We believe that God the Father concerns Himself perfectly in the affairs of humanity (2 Cor. 1:3,4), demonstrating His fatherly affection for His children Israel (2 Cor. 6:18) and for those adopted in Christ (Eph. 1:5). The Father is gracious and extends His common grace to both the righteous and unrighteous (Matt. 5:45).
We believe that Jesus Christ is fully God (John 1:1) and fully man (Phil. 2:6-8). We believe that He is one in essence with the Father and the Holy Spirit (Deut. 6:4), but different in role. We believe in the virgin birth of Christ (Luke 1:34-37), His sinless life (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 1 Pet. 2:22; 1 John 3:5), His substitutional death on the cross for our sins (Eph. 2:16), His burial and resurrection on the third day(Matt. 28:5,6). We believe that Christ ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9-11) and sits at the right hand of God the Father (Acts 2:32,33) in the position of power and authority, from where He shall come again to judge the living and the dead. We believe Christ's death on the cross atoned for our sin (Rom. 3:25) and satisfied the demands of a righteous and holy God. Jesus is the sacrificial Lamb of God (John 1:29), the Lion of Judah (Rev. 5:5), the Messiah of Israel (Is. 53; Ps. 2) the Mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5). He is the Prophet (Acts 3:22), Priest (Heb. 4:14-16), and King (John 1:49); the Head of the church (Col. 1:18), the Savior (2 Tim. 1:10) and Redeemer of His people (Titus 2:14). He is our Reconciler with God (Col. 1:19-20) the Heir of all things (Heb. 1:1,2), the Judge of all the world (2 Tim. 4:1); and the exact representation of God the Father (Col. 2:9). We believe that Jesus Christ will come again to set up His kingdom (Rev. 22:20). All the Bible points to Christ and our need for Him. History is "His story." Acts 4:12 says: "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6 NASB)
We believe the Holy Spirit is one in essence with the Father and Son (Deut. 6:4), yet different in role. We believe the Holy Spirit was sent by the Father and the Son (John 14:26;16:7) to convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment (John 16:8-11). He is called the Spirit of Christ (Rom.8:9; 1 Pet. 1:11) and also the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit has been active in creation (Gen. 1:2), revelation (Is. 61:1-3) empowerment (Ex. 31:2-6), and inward renewal (Ps. 51:10-12). The Spirit regenerates (John 3:5-8), baptizes (1 Cor. 12:13), enlightens (Eph. 1:17,18), teaches (John 14:26), sanctifies (Gal. 5:16-18), seals (Eph. 1:13,14), counsels (John 16:7), and transforms the lives of believers into Christ-likeness (Gal. 5:22,23). The work of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Jesus by showing His disciples who He is (John 16:7-15). We believe the Holy Spirit empowers each believer for ministry (Acts 1:7,8) and is the giver of spiritual gifts (Rom. 12:6-8;1 Cor. 12:7-11; 1 Pet. 4:10,11). The Holy Spirit is the Comforter (John 14:16 NASB) who helps us in our weaknesses by interceding for us when we are too weak and discouraged to pray (Rom. 8:26,27).
Doctrine of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26,27), but Adam's willful sin in the Garden of Eden involved the representation (Rom. 5:14; 1 Cor. 15:22) and fall of all humanity. As a result of the fall, the human race lost its position of innocence and was expelled from the Garden. From that time, each person has been born with a sin nature (Ps. 51:5) manifesting itself in habitual acts of sinful thoughts, words and deeds. Only Jesus (through the virgin birth) bypassed the sin nature. Spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1-4), mankind is inclined to sin, alienated from God, subject to aging, disease and death. Being sinners by nature (Rom. 8:5-8) and by choice, humanity is utterly lost and in desperate need of salvation (Rom. 3:23). Mankind's only answer is to have faith in the Last Adam -Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:22,45) who brought salvation to all who trust in Him (Acts 16:31).
We believe that Satan is a real and personal being, a fallen cherub (Ezek. 28:14-17) who led a third of the angels in rebellion against God (Rev. 12:4). We believe that Satan is a created being (Ezek. 28:13) and does not possess the divine attributes of omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence. He is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). Satan is angry, on borrowed time, and trying to inflict as much damage as he can in the little time that he has (1 Pet. 5:8). Although Satan can harass and torment believers in Christ, he can not possess born again Christians (1 John 4:4). Satan's end will be the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10).
We believe that salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone (Eph. 2:8-9). Salvation is a gift of God (Rom. 6:23), purchased by the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28) as He died on the cross for our sins (Rom. 5:9; 1 Cor. 15:3). Salvation is received by faith apart from any works of the Law, human merit, or ritual (Tit. 3:5-7). We believe those who receive Christ as Lord and Savior are regenerated [born again] (John 1:12,13; Acts 16:31), justified in God's sight (Rom. 3:23,24), sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30), forgiven of their sins (1 Pet. 3:18; 1 John 2:2), delivered from their guilt (Psa. 103:11,12), reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:18), saved from God's wrath (Rom. 5:9), adopted into God's family (Eph. 1:5), given access to God (Eph. 2:18), and have peace with God (Rom 5:1).
We believe there are three aspects of our salvation:
Justification [past] ~ The moment a person has saving faith in Christ, God declares the guilty sinner "not guilty" and the person is born again. (Rom. 8:29,30).
Sanctification [present] ~ The lifelong process of being set apart for God and becoming more like Christ (Phil.2:12).
Glorification [future] ~ The consummation of our salvation when sin will be absent and we will be in the presence of the Lord for all eternity (1 John 3:2).
NOTE: The Sovereignty of God does not eliminate or minimize human responsibility (Acts 2:38).
We believe the New Testament church (Greek - ekklesia ~ "the assembly" or "the called out ones") to be made up of believers in Jesus Christ, called out of the world and bought by the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28). We believe the church is the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27), a living organism with Christ Himself as the Head (Eph. 5:23). The church is also called: the bride of Christ (Rev. 21:9), the family of God (1 Pet. 4:17), the elect (2 Tim. 2:10), the company of the redeemed (Gal. 3:14) and the people of God (1 Pet. 2:10). Though fragmented by denominations, the believer in Christ is united by "one Spirit into one body" (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:4-6). We believe that the local church is autonomous and retains authority for it's own affairs. We believe in the priesthood of all believers (1 Pet. 2:9), meaning that each believer has equal access to God through Christ (1 Pet. 2:5). We believe the church body is to encourage one another (Heb. 10:25), help the poor (Gal. 2:10), build one another up (Eph. 4:11-13), assemble regularly in worship, hold each other accountable in the biblical faith (1 Cor. 16:13; 1 Pet. 5:8,9), and to engage in local (Acts 1:8) and world evangelism (Mark 16:15; Matt. 28:18-20). We believe Christ commanded His church to practice the two ordinances of believer's baptism and the Lord's Supper.
Second Coming of Christ
We believe the next great event in the fulfillment of prophecy will be the personal and visible coming of the Lord Jesus in the air to receive to Himself the dead in Christ and all believers who are alive at His coming (1 Thess. 4:13-18). We believe in a literal millennium (Ezek. 40-48) that follows the time of Jacob's trouble - the Great Tribulation (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 7:4).
We believe when a person experiences regeneration by the Holy Spirit (John 3:5,6) and is saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:8,9), he or she is saved for all eternity (John 3:16,36;10:27-30). That salvation and the ensuing security of the believer is based upon the finished work of Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:18-21). Eternal security does not mean there won't be ups and downs in a Christian's spiritual life (Rom. 7:18-25), but "that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Phil. 1:6 NKJV). Eternal security applies only to "truly born again believers" in Jesus Christ.
We believe that when a Christian dies he/she passes immediately into the blessed presence of Christ, there to enjoy conscious fellowship with the Savior until the day of the resurrection and glorious transformation of the body. The saved will then foever dwell in blissful fellowship with their Triune God. We also believe that when the unbeliever dies he/she is consigned to hell, there to await the Day of Judgment when he/she shall be punished with eternal separation from the presence of God. Matthew 25:46; Luke 16:19-31; John 5:25-29; 1 Corinthians 15:35-58; 2 Corinthains 5; 1-10; Philippians 1:19-26; 3:20-21; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:1-22:15.
We believe God has called every Christian to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit in their life, " But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law" (Gal. 5:22,23 NASB). We believe the life of every Christian should be marked by love (Matt. 22:37-40; 1 John 4:7), holiness (1 Pet. 1:16), and compassion (Phil. 2:1-4), yet realize there will be times that even Christians stumble and fall (Rom. 7:18-25). When we do fall into sin, 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (NASB)." We believe that each Christian is in the process of sanctification, the lifelong journey of being set apart for God and becoming more like Christ. Perfection will come not in this life (1 John 1:8), but only after we are glorified in the presence of the Lord. We believe that each believer is given at least one spiritual gift at the moment of salvation (1 Cor. 12:7-11; Rom. 12:6-8) and those gifts are to be used for the building up of the body of Christ, the church. (Eph. 4:11-13; 1 Pet. 4:10,11). As Christians, we are to "glorify God and enjoy Him forever."