I - The Scriptures
The Scriptures– We believe the Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments only, to be the plenarily and verbally inspired Word of God, inerrant in the original writings. We believe the scriptures, therefore, are infallible in all they teach and in all matters they touch, and constitute our only authority for faith and practice (II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:19-21).
- Inspiration. By inspiration we mean “God-breathed”. It is the activity of the Holy Spirit by which He superintended (but did not dictate) the transmission, the reception, and the writing of God’s divine message to human authors, using their own individual backgrounds, personalities, intellects, memories, and abilities so that the words they wrote were the exact words that God intended. We believe the Bible is complete and the process of inspiration has ceased. Apart from the authors of the sixty-six books of the Bible, no person has ever been or is now being inspired by God to write scripture.
- Translation. We believe the original manuscripts of scripture no longer exist, but that God has providentially preserved His Word in the volume of extant manuscripts. Careful study, comparison, and preservation of these manuscripts through history has retained trustworthy copies of the original language so that we can be confident in the Bible and use and believe it as the Word of God. We believe that any translation of scripture partakes of inspiration and derives its authority only to the extent that it faithfully reflects the original text (Matthew 5:18, 24:35; Psalm 12:7).
II - The Godhead
The Godhead– We believe in the existence of the one and only one, true, living, personal, triune God, as revealed in the Bible, eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – who are eternal in being, identical in essence, equal in power and glory, and having the same divine attributes and perfections, though exercising them in their distinct offices (Matthew 28:19, 3:16,17; Acts 5:3,4).
III - Jesus Christ
- Person. We believe 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 the virgin Mary, and is very God and true man, one person with two natures; divine and human (John 1:1,3,4; Colossians 1:16-18; Philippians 2:7,8; Hebrews 2:17, 4:15).
- Atonement. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, as a substitutionary sacrifice, and that all who receive Him are justified on the grounds of his shed blood (I Corinthians 15:3-4; II Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:21-26).
- Present Ministry. We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord Jesus Christ; in his bodily ascension into heaven; and in His present life there for us as High Priest and Intercessor (Matthew 28:5,6; Acts 1:9; Hebrews 7:25, 26 I John 2:1).
- We believe in the “blessed hope”, the personal, visible, pretribulational, premillennial, and imminent return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (I John 3:2,3; I Thessalonians 4:14-17; II Thessalonians 2:3 [apostasia meaning departure]; I Corinthians 15:51-53; Titus 2:13).
IV - Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit– We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person possessing all the attributes of personality and of deity. He is equal with the Father and the Son and is of the same nature. We believe that the Holy Spirit is true God and that He convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment; bears endues guides, teaches, witnesses to, sanctifies, and helps the believer. We believe that at the time of regeneration, He baptizes believers into the Body of Christ, indwells them permanently, seals them unto the day of redemption and bestows spiritual gifts upon each one; that He fills the believer for service upon each experience of cleansing, surrender, and dedication.
- Spiritual Gifts. We believe that certain spiritual gifts were temporary and ceased to be given to the church upon the passing of the last apostle and the completion of scripture. We believe the gift of apostleship, along with all revelatory and sign gifts; prophecy, tongues, interpretation of tongues, healing, and miracle working were for a specific purpose in the infancy of the church and are not bestowed upon believers today. All supposed manifestations of those gifts today we believe must be interpreted in the light of scripture (Ephesians 2:20-22; I Corinthians 12:4-11; I Corinthians 13:8-10; Hebrews 2:4 II Corinthians 12:12).
- Leading. We believe that the Holy Spirit testifies concerning Jesus Christ, seeking to direct our thoughts toward and to occupy ourselves with Him, and not ourselves. We believe that the Holy Spirit never leads any person at any time contrary to the teaching of the Bible (John 14:16-17; 15:26-17; 16:7-15; Acts1:8; Romans 8:9, 14, 16, 26-27; Ephesians 4:30, 5:18).
V - Creation
Creation– We believe in the Genesis account of Creation and that it is to be accepted literally and not figuratively; that the six days of creation in Genesis chapter one were solar, that is twenty-four hour days; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly and that God’s established law is that they bring forth only “after their kind”; that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness and did not evolve from any lower form of life (Genesis 1; Hebrews 11:3; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17; Exodus 20:11, 31:17; Psalm 33:6-9).
VI - Man
Man– We believe that man was created without sin, but after the temptation of Satan he voluntarily transgressed and fell from his sinless state; in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners; not by constraint, but by choice; being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by God, positively inclined to evil, and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin; without defense or excuse (Genesis 1:27, 2:16-17, 3:6-24; Romans 5:12, 15-19, 3:9-18; Ephesians 2:13; Romans 1:32, 2:1-16; Ezekial 18:19-20; Psalm 51:5).
VII - Salvation
- Gift of God. We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to men by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of sins. Salvation is solely through faith in His shed blood and is not earned by any good works whatsoever. All those who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are regenerated and become sons of God (Ephesians 2:8,9; John 1:12; John 3:5-7).
- New Birth. We believe that no one can enter into the kingdom of God unless born again; and that no degree of reformation, however great, no attainment in morality, however high, no culture, however attractive, no humanitarian or philanthropic endeavors, however useful, no baptism or other ordinance, however manifested, can help the sinner take even one step toward heaven. We further believe that no feelings, no resolutions, no sincere efforts, and no submission to the rules and regulations of any church, can add in the very least to the value of the precious blood of Christ, or to the merit of His finished work on the cross. We believe the new birth happens instantaneously (not a process) the moment a person receives Jesus Christ through faith and faith alone.
- Eternal Security. We believe that the salvation of every believer is secure for all eternity from the moment of regeneration. This security is guaranteed to each believer by the fact that the life received is eternal life, by the keeping power of God, by the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit and by the interceding ministry of Christ. We believe that God will cause all genuine believers to persevere unto the end, and this persevering attachment to Christ is a mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors of faith (I Peter 1:5; John 5:24, 10:27-30; Romans 8:1, 29, 30, 38, 39; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 7:25; Jude 21-24; I john 2:19; Matthew 13:20-21; John 6:66-69).
VIII - Sanctification
Sanctification– To sanctify means to make holy, separate, or to set apart. We believe that sanctification is presented in three phases in the scripture: that believers are sanctified at the time of regeneration, having been made partakers of Christ’s holiness; that they are being progressively sanctified by the Holy Spirit; and that they will be completely sanctified when they go to be with Christ. We believe that every believer has two natures, an old and new, and that there is no complete eradication of the old nature in progressive sanctification (Hebrews 10:10; John 17:17; Ephesians 5:25-27; Philippians 3:12-16; Romans 7:18-25).
IX - The Church
The Church– We believe the scriptures teach the church of Jesus Christ began at Pentecost and will be completed at the rapture. It must be considered in two aspects: the local church and the “church which is his body”.
- Body Church. We believe that the “church which is His Body” is the entire company of believers in Christ, whether Jew or Gentile, regardless of denominational affiliation and present position in heaven or on earth (I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22, 23; Hebrews 12:23).
- Local Church. We believe that the local church is the visible expression of the Body of Christ, and is a congregation of believers, immersed upon confession of faith, and associated together by covenant for worship, evangelism, edification, observance of the ordinances, and fellowship. Its scriptural offices are pastor – sometimes called bishops or elders, and deacons; whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in scripture (Acts 2:41-47; Acts 14:27, 20:17; I Timothy 3:1-16; Titus 1:5-11; Ephesians 4:11-15).
- Mission. We believe that the true mission of the church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men as we have the opportunity, and that the local church is the center of God’s program for this age, and that every Christian is bound by scripture to give his unhindered cooperation and commitment to the program of his local church.
- Government. We hold that the local church is autonomous, and has the absolute right of self-government, free from the domination of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations, and that the one and only superintendent is Christ, through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the gospel; that each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation (Ephesians 5:23,24; Colossians 1:18; Acts 15:4, 22, 25; Matthew 18:15-17; Jude 3; I Corinthians 5:4, 5, 13).
X - The Ordinances
The Ordinances– We believe the Lord Jesus instituted two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, to be observed by all believers until His return.
- Baptism. We believe that baptism is the immersion of a believer in Christ, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to show forth by solemn and beautiful symbolism, the believer’s identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, and that it is a scriptural prerequisite to church membership (Matthew 28:19; Acts 8:36; Romans 6:3-5; I Peter 3:21; Acts 2:38-41).
- Lord’s Supper. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is partaking of bread and the fruit of the vine, as symbols of Christ’s body and blood, commemorating His death until He comes, and signifying the continual fellowship of baptized believers with Him and each other. Participation shall be limited to those who have united to the local church by baptism and testimony, or to those who are baptized members of churches of like faith and practice, and that participation should be preceded by careful self-examination (I Corinthians 11:23-32; Acts 2:41-42).
- Administration. We believe that the obligation for proper scriptural administration of the ordinances is the responsibility of the church and that authority and prerogative of administration does not rest in the pastor as an expiatory priest.
XI - The Great Commission
The Great Commission– We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has commissioned the church to take the gospel to the whole world, and that evangelism at home and abroad should be primary in the program of the local church (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).
XII - Separation
Separation– We believe in the biblical doctrine of separation encompassing three areas:
- Personal Separation. We believe the scriptures teach that every believer should be separated unto God from the world, and by the aid of the Holy Spirit should walk in Christian love and holiness exhibiting qualities of honesty, integrity, forgiveness, and lovingkindness. We also believe the scriptures admonish every believer not to love the world or the things in the world, but rather to flee evil desires, avoid every kind of evil, and refrain from questionable practices which destroy one’s testimony, offend one’s brother, and fail to glorify God (Proverbs 15:33; Romans 14:19-21; I Corinthians 6:18-20, 8:9-13, 10:23, 33; Philippians 4:8; I Thessalonians 4:7; I Peter 5:5,6).
- Ecclesiastical Separation. We believe in total and complete separation as taught in the Word of God from all forms of heresy and ecclesiastical apostasy. We believe the scriptures teach that we are to try them, mark them, rebuke them, have no fellowship with them, receive them not, have no company with them, reject them, and separate ourselves from them (I John 4:1; Romans 16:17; Titus 1:13; Ephesians 5:11; II Thessalonians 3:6; II John 1:11; II Thessalonians 3:14; Titus 3:10; II Corinthians 6:17).
- Separation of Church and State. We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good of human society, and that civil authorities are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except in the things opposed to the Word of God. We believe the church and the state are to be separate, the state owing the church protection and full freedom, no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be preferred above another by the state. The state should not impose taxes for the support of any form of religion (Romans 13:1-7; Matthew 22:21; I Peter 2:13,14; I Timothy 2:1-3; Acts 5:29; James 4:12).
XIII - Last Things
- The Body. We believe that the souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation do at death immediately pass into His presence and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at His coming when soul and body reunited shall be associated with Him forever in glory; however, the souls of unbelievers are cast into Hell at the time of death, where they remain in conscious misery unto the final judgment of the Great White Throne at the close of the millennium, when soul and body reunited shall be cast into the lake of fire from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His Power (Luke 16:19-26; 23:43; II Corinthians 5:8; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Philippians 1:23; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:11-15).
- Events. We believe in the imminent return of Christ to raise the bodies of departed saints and to translate His Church, followed by a seven year period of tribulation upon all the earth. At the end of this time of tribulation, Jesus Christ shall come back to earth in power and glory with His church to establish the promised Davidic Kingdom. He shall reign for a thousand years, peace and righteousness will cover the earth, Satan shall be bound, and Israel shall be established in her own land; following which, Satan shall lead a rebellion against Christ, only to be forever banished to the lake of fire. The wicked dead shall be raised for the Great White Throne Judgment, and condemned to everlasting conscious punishment in the lake of fire. The righteous shall enjoy eternal conscious blessedness with the Lord (John 14:3; Matthew 24:21; Revelation19:11-16; Revelation 20: 1-15; Ezekial 39:25-29; I Thessalonians 4:17).