General. The Bible teaches that God has revealed Himself generally through creation, which He spoke into existence in six literal days (Genesis 1:1-2:3) so that humans would know Him, honor Him and give Him thanks (Romans 1:20, 21). Because of sin, man is incapable of having a right relationship with God based on the knowledge revealed in Creation alone (Romans 10:17).
Special. God through the Holy Spirit reveals Himself specifically through the Holy Bible for the purpose of knowing Him personally. The Bible teaches that it is God’s written revelation to man. The 66 books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit constitute the complete and final Word of God (2 Peter 1:20-21; Proverbs 30:6; Revelation 22:18, 19).
Being God-breathed, the Bible is verbally inspired in every word, infallible, and without error in the original documents (Isaiah 55:10, 11; Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16). We employ a normal, literal, and grammatical-historical interpretation of Scripture. The Bible is fully sufficient for all life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). God spoke in His written Word by a process of dual authorship. The Holy Spirit so directed the human authors that, through their individual personalities and different styles of writing, they composed, recorded, and conveyed the very words of God to man (2 Peter 1:20-21).
The Bible teaches there is but one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; 1 Corinthians 8:4). He is an infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent Spirit (Job 38:1-42:2; Psalm 139; John 4:24). He does not change (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8). He is perfect and equal in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14)—each equally deserving worship and obedience.
God the Father. God the Father orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (Psalm 145:8-9; 1 Corinthians 8:6). He is the Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1-31; Ephesians 3:9). As the only absolute and omnipotent ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:36). He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (Job 42:2; Psalm 139:16; Proverbs 16:33; Ephesians 1:11). He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events (1 Chronicles 29:11). In His sovereignty He is neither the author nor approver of sin (Habakkuk 1:13; John 8:38-47), nor does He abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (1 Peter 1:17).
God the Son. Jesus Christ possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, and coeternal with the Father (John 10:30; 14:9). He is eternally righteous and completely without sin (Hebrews 4:14-16, 7:26; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5)
The Father created all things through the agency of the Son, by whom all things continue in existence and in operation (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2, 3).
Jesus Christ, the Son of God became a man and when He did so, He willingly surrendered the use of His divine attributes but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind. When He became a man, He accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God-Man (Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9). Jesus Christ represents humanity and deity in indivisible oneness (Micah 5:2; John 5:23; 14:9-10; Colossians 2:9), being then the only Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5).
Jesus Christ was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23, 25; Luke 1:26-35), God in human flesh (John 1:1, 14), so that He could reveal God, redeem men, and rule over God’s kingdom (Psalm 2:7-9; Isaiah 9:6, 7; John 1:29; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 7:25-26; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
Jesus Christ alone accomplished redemption through His sacrificial death on the cross. His death was voluntary, substitutionary, and redemptive, appeasing God’s wrath, (John 10:15; Romans 3:24-25; 5:8; 1 Peter 2:24). His death is efficient for all who have repented and place their faith and trust in Him alone for their salvation.
In the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that God has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Jesus’ bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection of life for all believers (John 5:26-29; 14:19; Romans 1:4; 4:25; 6:5-10; 10:9, 10; 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23).
He is the Head of His Body the church (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23; Colossians 1:18), and the coming universal King, who will reign on the throne of David (Isaiah 9:6; Luke 1:31-33). The Lord Jesus Christ is the divine judge of all mankind (John 5:22-23; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 20:11-15; Hebrews 9:27).
God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a divine Person, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity, including intellect (Psalm 139:7-10; Isaiah 40:13-14; John 16:13; Acts 13:1; Romans 15:13; 1 Corinthians 2:10-13, 12:11; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 9:14). In all the divine attributes He is coequal and coeternal with the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 28:25-26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Jeremiah 31:31-34 with Hebrews 10:15-17).
The Holy Spirit was active in creation (Genesis 1:2), the incarnation (Matthew 1:18), and written revelation (2 Peter 1:20-21), and currently takes an active role in the work of salvation (John 3:5-7; Titus 3:5).
The work of the Holy Spirit in the Church began at Pentecost, when He came from the Father as promised by Christ (John 14:16-17; 15:26) to initiate and complete the building of the Body of Christ, which is His church (1 Corinthians 12:13). He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. (John 16:7-9) He glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ and comforts believers transforming them into the image of Christ (Acts 1:5; 2:4; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 2:22).
The Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration of all believers, indwelling them, baptizing them into the Body of Christ, and sealing them unto the day of redemption (1 Corinthians 12:13; Titus 3:5, 6). The Holy Spirit also sanctifies, instructs, and empowers them for service (Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13).
The Holy Spirit equips the saints for works of service to which they have been called for evangelizing the lost and building up believers in the most holy faith (John 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Ephesians 4:1-16).
God can and does work as He desires and may use any means to bring people to Himself, however miraculous (or sign) gifts are not normative for today. (Psalm 115:3; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 13:8-10; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12; Hebrews 2:1-4).
The Bible teaches that man was created by God in His image and likeness. Man was originally created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination (an ability to sin), and moral responsibility to God (Genesis 2:7, 15-25).
God’s intention in the creation of man was that man should know and glorify God, enjoy God’s fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and by this accomplish God’s purpose for man in the world (Isaiah 43:7; Ezekiel 20:44; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11).
In Adam’s sin of disobedience, man lost his innocence, incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death, and became inherently corrupt, utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. With no inherent ability to save himself, man is hopelessly lost and deserving of the eternal punishment of Hell. Man’s salvation is wholly of God’s grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-19; John 3:36; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 Timothy 2:13-14; 1 John 1:8).
Mankind inherited a sinful nature as descendants from Adam (Jesus Christ being the only exception). All men are sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (Psalm 14:1-3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18, 23; 5:10-12).
The Bible teaches that salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19). Salvation is accomplished when men turn from their sins and trust fully in Christ’s work on the cross to save them from divine judgment (Romans 10:9, 10).
Election. Election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:4-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Peter 1:1-2).
Sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord (Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11; John 3:18-19, 36; 5:40; Romans 9:22-23; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; Revelation 22:17). Sovereign election will result in what God determines, thus sovereign grace includes the gift of salvation as well as the means of receiving the gift. All whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith, and all who come in faith the Father will receive (John 6:37-40, 44; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:29-30; James 4:8).
Regeneration. Regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and new life are given (John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5). It is instantaneous and accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God (John 5:24) when the sinner, is enabled by the Holy Spirit to respond in faith and repentance to the divine provision of salvation.
We believe that the unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative of their own part or to God’s anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of His sovereign grace and mercy (Ephesians 1:4-7; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Peter 1:2).
Justification. Justification before God is a legal act of God (Romans 8:33) by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Isaiah 55:6-7) and confess Him as sovereign Lord (Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 12:3; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Philippians 2:11). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Romans 3:20; 4:6) and involves the imputation of our sins to Christ (Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21). By this means God is able to “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).
Our justification is made sure by the blood of Christ and His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. He ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now mediates as our Advocate and High Priest (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:38-39; Acts 2:30-31; Romans 4:25; 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1).
The believing sinner is freed from the punishment, the penalty, the power, and will one day be free from the very presence of sin; and that he is declared righteous, given eternal life, and adopted into the family of God (Romans 3:25; 5:8-9, 8:14-25;2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18).
Positional The Bible teaches that, at salvation, every believer is sanctified or set apart unto God and is identified as a saint. This sanctification being positional and instantaneous, has to do with the believer’s standing. This sanctification does not refer to his present walk. It isn’t enhanced nor diminished by the believer’s present state of obedience. (Acts 20:32; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Peter 1:2).
Progressive The Bible teaches that there is also, by the work of the Holy Spirit, a progressive sanctification by which the believer is brought into closer intimacy with the Lord. Through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God (John 17:17, 19; Romans 6:1-22; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:23). Good works are the proper evidence and fruit of genuine salvation (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 2:10), and will be experienced to the extent that the believer submits to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life through faithful obedience to the Word of God (Ephesians 5:17-21; Philippians 2:12b; Colossians 3:16; 2 Peter 1:4-10). This obedience causes the believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). Such conformity is ultimately achieved in the believer’s glorification when he sees Christ face to face (Romans 8:17; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:2-3).
All the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 8:1, 31-39; Ephesians 1:13, 14; 2 Timothy 2:12, 13).
The Universal Church
All who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual Body, the Church (1 Corinthians 12:12-13), the Bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:23-32; Revelation 19:7-8), of which Christ is the Head (Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; Colossians 1:18).
The Local Church
The establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:23, 27; 20:28; Philippians 1:1). Members of the one spiritual Body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (Hebrews 10:25).
The Bible also teaches that the one supreme authority for the local church is Christ (Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18). Elders are given to each church to lead the congregation in spiritual matters even as they generally oversee all aspects of the church, since the mission of the church is primarily spiritual in nature. At the same time, the church experiences physical and administrative needs. For this reason, God has graciously called some to be deacons (Acts 6:1-6, 20:28; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5). We believe that church leaders shepherd, rule, oversee, or lead as servants of Christ (1 Timothy 5:17-22) by and under His authority in leading the local church. The congregation is called to imitate the faith of their leaders and submit to their leadership as they serve Christ in the local church (1 Corinthians 12:7; Ephesians 4:11-16; Hebrews 13:7, 17).
The purpose of the church is to glorify God (Ephesians 3:21) by building itself up in the faith (Ephesians 4:13-16), by instruction of the Word (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16-17), by fellowship (Acts 2:42; 1 John 1:3), by keeping the ordinances (Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38-42) and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8). All saints are called to works of service which aid in the discipleship of others and edify the body as a whole (1 Corinthians 15:58; Ephesians 4:12; Revelation 22:12). The church cooperates with God as He accomplishes His purpose in the world (Philippians 2:12, 13).
We believe that two ordinances have been entrusted to the local church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:38-42).
Christian baptism by immersion (Acts 8:36-39) is the solemn testimony of a believer showing his faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and his union with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life (Romans 6:1-11). It is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible Body of Christ (Acts 2:41-42).
The Lord’s Supper
The Bible teaches that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes, and should always be preceded by solemn self-examination (1 Corinthians 11:28-32). Whereas the elements of Communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ, participation in the Lord’s Supper is nevertheless an actual communion with the risen Christ, who indwells every believer, and so is present, fellowshipping with His people (1 Corinthians 10:16).
Holy Angels. Angels are created to serve God and to worship Him. As created beings, they are not to be worshipped. Angels are at times messengers and helpers for the sake of those who inherit salvation. (Hebrews 1:6-7, 14; 2:6-7; Revelation 5:11-14; 19:10).
Fallen Angels. Satan is a created angel, who along with other created angels, incurred the judgment of God by rebelling against his Creator. (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:1-14). He is the author of sin and introduced sin into the human race by his temptation of Eve (Genesis 3:1-15).
Satan and his fallen angels (demons), though created to serve God, became the open and declared enemy of God and man (Isaiah 14:13-14; Matthew 4:1-11; Revelation 12:9-10). Satan is the prince of this world, though he remains subject to God’s sovereign will and purposes (Job 1, 2; Matthew 16:18). He has been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 16:20); and he shall, along with all fallen angels, be eternally punished in the lake of fire (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).
The Bible teaches that the end times will culminate with the second coming of Jesus Christ. The second coming of Christ is the bodily return of the Lord Jesus in power and great glory to establish His kingdom (Acts 1:10-11; 2 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 19-22).
The Millennial Kingdom
We believe in a future Kingdom during which the Lord Jesus Christ will physically rule over the Earth from Jerusalem for one thousand years until the great and final battle whereby Satan and his followers are finally and completely vanquished (Isaiah 2:3; Revelation 20:1-10).
The Eternal State
The Bible teaches that at the end of the age, Jesus Christ will judge all men. Those who have trusted in Christ for their salvation will dwell with the Lord on the New Earth. Those who remained unbelievers will spend eternity separated from God and all of His goodness in Hell. (Philippians 1:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:11-15; Luke 16:19-26)
Eternity. The Bible teaches that after the millennium, the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God, after which the elements of this earth are to be destroyed and replaced with a new earth, wherein only righteousness dwells (Ephesians 5:5; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 20:7-15; 21:1-27; 22:1-21). Our Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will then deliver up the final kingdom to God the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24-28), that in all spheres the triune God may reign forever and ever (1 Corinthians 15:28).