Faith, Hope and Love
We believe that the Old and New Testaments are the revelation of God and thus constitute the Word of God.
Men, chosen by God, wrote the Bible under the superintendence and enabling of the Holy Spirit. Thus, every word of the original autographs was God-breathed and without error. Consequently the whole of Scripture is authoritative for the faith of every believer. We also believe that the Scriptures are sufficient, entirely adequate, in conjunction with the Holy Spirit and the body of Christ for every emotional or spiritual problem and in no need of any supplement from secular psychology. We also believe that the Scripture is the fresh and present voice of Christ by which He communicates through the Holy Spirit to His people. Therefore, no current prophetic word is necessary for Christ to communicate His present voice and will to His people. (II Timothy 3: 16,17; II Peter 1: 3,4,20,21; Psalms 19:7-14; Hebrews 4:12,13; 3:7; Matthew 4:4)
We believe that God is infinite, self-existent Spirit,
unchangeable in His nature, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, holy, righteous, good, love and truth. That God existed eternally as three distinct, yet inseparable persons known as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These three are one as to their nature, essence and attributes. The Godhead is the absolute and sole creator of the universe and their creation was by divine fiat, not through evolutionary process. Each of these divine members is equally worthy of worship, trust and obedience. And each has a distinct function in the execution of the everlasting purpose of the Godhead. (Genesis 1:1; Exodus 3:14; John 4:24; Hebrews 1:8-10; James 1:16; John 1:1; John 10:30; Matthew 28:18; Matthew 14:6-9; Ephesians 2:4; I John 4:8)
Jesus Christ and the Atonement
We believe that the second person of the Triune God is the Son whose name is the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the incarnation, He became a man through the miracle of His divine conception and virgin birth without change in His deity. While on earth He lived a sinless life, died a substitutionary and propitiatory death for sinners bearing the penalty of God’s wrath that they deserved. He was buried, arose bodily and ascended into heaven, and is presently fulfilling His intercessory and mediatory ministry. (Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 1:21; Luke 1:35; II Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 7:25, 26; Matthew 20:45; I Peter 2:24; Romans 8:34) We believe that His death was substitutionary and efficacious for the elect alone. (Luke 24:47,48; I Timothy 4:10; II Peter 2:1; John 10:15; Ephesians 5:25-27; Revelation 5:9) We also believe that Christ’s death demonstrated love for all men, is to be offered to all and is able to save all.
Man’s Creation, Fall, and Depravity
We believe that Adam was created in the image and likeness of God immediately and apart from any process of evolution.
Adam, by personal disobedience to the will of God, became a sinner depraved in nature and subject to Satan’s power. Sin and depravity has been transmitted to the entire human race so that man is a sinner by nature, choice, and practice and guilty before God, a just object of God’s wrath. (John 8:44; Genesis 1:26; 2:7; 3:1-6; Romans 5:12-14; Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 3:9-23) We believe that man’s depravity extends to his will: that while man is a free agent choosing as he pleases, his will is in bondage to his sinful nature; therefore, he always chooses darkness, being unable and unwilling to choose Christ. (Romans 8:7,8; John 3:19,20)
Salvation and Election
We believe that salvation is by the grace of God, which is neither merited nor secured, in part or in whole, by any virtue or work of man.
We believe in justification by grace alone through faith alone. Justification is instantaneous and final, and based entirely on the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, so that the believer’s eternal standing and righteousness is not his own nor his faith, but comes from God, outside of him. It is based solely on Christ’s atoning righteousness, accomplished by His obedience when He made propitiation for sin on the cross. (Romans 3:24-28; Romans 5:1; Romans 5:18,19; Philippians 3:9; Ephesians 2: 8-10; II Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 2:16) We believe that man, by his fall into a state of sin, has wholly lost all ability of will to do any spiritual good or to seek salvation; so as a natural man, being altogether averse to spiritual good and dead in sin, is not able by his own strength to convert himself or to prepare himself for salvation. (Romans 3:10,11; 8: 7,8; Ephesians 2:1-3; John 3:19-20)
We also believe that God, under no obligation whatsoever to provide salvation for anyone, before the foundation of the world unconditionally elected certain individuals for salvation. His election was not based on any foreseen act or response on the part of those chosen, but was based solely on His own good pleasures and sovereign will. We do not believe that God elected others to hell but passed by them, leaving them to their preference, which is self-glorification, sin and a Christless life. We also believe that by effectual calling the elect are convicted and regenerated thus enabling them to exercise saving faith, receiving Christ as Lord, and Savior from their sins. (Matthew 1:21; Ephesians 1:4; Acts 13:48; Romans 9:11-17,22,23; II Corinthians 4:4,5; Acts 16:31; John 1:12,13; 6:44; 3:3; 16:7-11) Those who are given the gift of repentant faith are united with Christ, justified and forgiven of all sins, adopted, made eternally secure and blessed with every spiritual blessing. (II Peter 1:1; Ephesians:8; Acts 11:18; Romans 6:3-6; Romans 5:1; Colossians 2:13; Ephesians 1:5; Romans 8:34-39; Ephesians 1:3) We also believe that believers, because of the radical nature of regeneration, which involves both the giving of life and a pervasive change of disposition, (Ezekiel 36:26-28; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 4:24; Hebrews 8:10), and also because of the sanctifying work of the Father through the Holy Spirit, will give evidence of their salvation in good works and their ultimate and final perseverance. (I Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:21; Colossians 1:23; Hebrews 12:5-12, 14; I John 2:3, 4; 3:8-10)
We believe that sanctification and growth in Christlikeness inevitably follow for all believers since they are regenerated and have received a new heart.
We believe that the dominion of sin is broken so that the believers nature is now dominantly (though not perfectly) renewed so that righteousness is the dominant tendency of the Christian. We also believe a remnant of sin remains so that there is a continual battle with remaining indwelling sin. We believe that carnality and fleshly living is true of believers in areas of their life and in varying degrees but never the habitual life characteristic of a regenerated person. There is no category of a “carnal believer” who does not grow or mature in Christlikeness in some observable degree. We believe that there is no second work of grace universally required of all believers but ongoing works of the Spirit, of varying degrees, in the life of the believer. We believe that sanctification occurs through the Word of God and the continual empowering of the Spirit as the believer lives by faith in God’s promises, and puts to death (mortifies) the deeds of the body. (Romans 6:14; I John 2:3,4, 3:4-10; Ezekiel 36:26-28; Ephesians 4:24; I Corinthians 6:9-11; I Corinthians 3:1-4; Romans 7:15-25; Ephesians 5:5,6; Romans 8:13; Romans 12:1; Ephesians 3:16-19; John 17:17)
The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead, co-eternal and co-equal with the Father and the Son.
He became resident in the world on the Day of Pentecost as a result of being sent by the Father and the Son. (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; John 15:26; Acts 1:5, 8; 2:4; II Corinthians 13:14) We believe that the Holy Spirit fills and empowers believers as the Word of Christ dwells in them and they yield obedience to Christ. This filling produces Christlikeness, which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:16-23; Colossians 3:16) We also believe that the Spirit fills and empowers believers for ministry, witnessing and the preaching of the Word of God. This power of the Spirit, which comes upon believers, was promised by Christ for the advance of the gospel and must normally be sought in prayer. (Acts 4:31; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 2:3-5) We believe that the Holy Spirit in effectual calling, convicts, draws and regenerates the elect, enabling them to exercise saving faith and to receive Christ, in all His offices, as both Lord, and Savior from their sins. We also believe that He indwells and seals all believers from the moment of salvation. (John 1:12,13; 14:16, 17; 16:7-11; 6:44; Romans 5:5; Titus 3:5) The Holy Spirit also teaches guides and transforms into Christlikeness all believers until the day of redemption. (II Corinthians 3:18; Romans 8:14; I John 2:27; Ephesians 1:13)
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Spiritual Gifts
We believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the “pouring forth” of the Holy Spirit that comes upon every believer at conversion.
We believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the “immersion” of the believer into the realm of the Holy Spirit and includes the uniting of believers to Christ making them members of the body of Christ. We believe the baptism is a comprehensive term including His other works such as indwelling and sealing. We believe the Holy Spirit, at the point of salvation, imparts a spiritual gift to every believer. The Lord Jesus Christ assigns ministry for which that gift is to be utilized, and God the Father promises to produce supernatural effects as the believer fulfills that ministry. Each gift is to be used for the edification of the church. Some of the gifts were given to authenticate the Apostles and their ministry as agents of God’s universally binding revelation and as legislators of God’s mind and will for the Church. These gifts, therefore, were related to the foundation of the Church, the institution of the New Covenant, and the completion of the New Testament, and are thus no longer given. These gifts would be apostle prophecy, discerning of spirits, miracles, healings and tongues. The other gifts mentioned in the New Testament however should be operative in the local church today. We believe that elders are to pray for and expect supernatural healing as a part of their ministry but do not consider the gift of healing necessary for this ministry. (Acts 2:33; I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13; I Corinthians 12:4-6,11,18; Ephesians 2:20; 3:4; James 5:13-16; Hebrews 2:3,4; II Corinthians 12:12)
We believe that the Church is a spiritual body begun on the Day of Pentecost into which the Holy Spirit baptizes all true believers of this dispensation.
The exalted Christ is the only head of the Church. The local expression of the Church is a company of baptized believers, independent in character and autonomous in function, which has fellowship with other churches of like faith and order. To these churches are committed the ordinances of baptism by immersion and the Lord’s supper. We believe that the church is to be governed by servant leaders called elders who are its overseers and shepherds. The church is responsible for edification, teaching and preaching of the gospel, and Scripturally prescribed worship. We believe that worship is regulated and governed by scriptural revelation and must remain within the confines prescribed by Scripture and there is no authority in the church to institute any practice not prescribed by Christ in Scripture. We believe that true worship is done in spirit and truth, engaging the whole person in heartfelt expression, both in preaching and in singing songs of worship and praise. We believe that worship is fully realized with the sensible presence of Christ in and amongst His people through the Word of God and the Christ-glorifying ministry of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:5; 11:16; I Corinthian 12: 12,13; Ephesians 1:20-23; Colossians 1:18; Matthew 28: 19-20; I Corinthians 11:23-26; Ephesians 4:11-13; II Timothy 4:2; Acts 20:17,28; I Timothy 5:17; 3:14; John 4:24; 16:14; I Corinthians 14:25; I Thessalonians 1:5; 2:13)
Satan and Spiritual Beings
We believe that prior to the creation of the material universe, the Triune God created a great host of varied spirit beings.
Lucifer (Satan) fell by sinning against God and took with him a large number of angels. Satan is the author of sin and the one who was the instigator in the fall of Adam and Eve. Satan is the enemy of God, the accuser of God’s people, and is constantly active in opposing the works and people of God. Satan was judged at the cross, and his ultimate destiny is the lake of fire. We also believe that the believer is removed from Satan’s authority and dominion and that a true believer, while being an object of severe oppression and attacks, cannot be indwelt bodily by a demon. (Ezekiel 28:11-18; Genesis 3:1-6; John 12:31; Colossians 2:15; Matthew 25:41; Colossians 1:13; Colossians 1:16,17; I John 4:4) We believe that the believer’s warfare is waged by the “full armor of God”; and therefore, doesn’t involve binding or commanding Satan directly, but defeats him through the armor of the Word of God, earnest prayer, repentance from sin, and a holy life. (Ephesians 6:10-19; James 4:8-11; I Peter 5:6-10; II Corinthians 10:3-6)
The Kingdom of God and the Final State
We believe that at death the spirit and soul of the believer pass instantly into the presence of Christ and remain in conscious joy until the resurrection of the body when Christ comes for His own.
We believe that the Promised Messianic Kingdom of the Old Testament comes to the world in two aspects. It already has come when Christ instituted its spiritual aspect in the church at His first coming. (Acts 2:30-36; Hebrews 1:2) The final aspect yet to come will be fulfilled in a physical, political earthly kingdom over the entire earth through a restored Israel at His Second Coming. (Romans 11:12-26; Ezekiel 34:20-31; Zechariah 14:1-16) The blessed hope of the believer is the imminent, personal, pre tribulation appearance of Christ to rapture the Church. After this will follow a time of judgment on the whole earth known as the tribulation. This period will be climaxed by the return of Christ to the earth to reign for 1,000 years. Following the Millennium the Great White Throne Judgment will occur at which time the bodies and souls of the wicked shall be reunited and cast into the lake of fire. Then will come the new heaven and a new earth with the ushering in of the final eternal state. (Philippians 1:23; II Corinthians 5:6-8; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 3:10; Daniel 12:1-9; Revelation 19:11-21; 20:1-6; 11-14; 21: 1-27)