Statement of Faith

From the time of the Apostles to today, Christians have laid out doctrine (beliefs) in brief, definitive statements. As those who know God, we believe it necessary to set forth in a concise fashion the cornerstone truths of our church as guided by Scripture. Our Statement of Faith summarizes essential Christian beliefs, shows unity in Christ, and guards the church from error.

1. God

We believe in the one (Deut. 6:4, Isa. 45:5-6) eternal (Deut. 33:27; Rom. 1:20), knowable (Jer. 9:24; 31:34), sovereign God (Dan. 4:34-35; Ps. 115:3). He knows all things (Psa. 139:1-4; Is. 46:9-10), and providentially oversees all things (Mt. 10:29-31; Prv. 19:21) according to his will and for the praise of his glory (Eph. 1:11). He is the infinite Creator (Is. 40:28) and supreme Ruler of heaven and earth (Ps. 103:19). He is merciful (Exod. 34:6; Deut. 4:31), and just (Deut. 32:4; Acts 17:31), loving (I Jn. 4:8), and holy (Lev. 11:45; Rev. 4:8), almighty in power (Ps. 147:5; Rev. 11:17) and good in purpose (Rom. 8:28). His glory is our chief concern (I Cor. 10:31; Rev. 4:11; Is. 43:7).

We believe in the one true and living God who exists in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Mt. 28:19; Is. 9:6; Acts 5:3-4). Each is uncreated (Jn. 1:1-2), fully God and equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption (Jn. 3:16-17; Heb. 9:14; 10:6-7; 1 Pet. 1:2).

2. Scripture

We believe that God has revealed himself in his creation (Ps. 19:1-6, Rom. 1:18-20), and has supremely revealed himself to fallen human beings in the person of his Son, the incarnate Word (Jn. 1:1-2; Heb. 1:1-2). Moreover, this God is a speaking God who by his Spirit has graciously disclosed himself in human words (Jn. 14:25-26, Deut. 6:6-7). The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are breathed out by God, holy, complete, and entirely without error in the original manuscripts (2 Tim. 3:16, Jn. 10:35, 2 Pet. 1:20-21). The Bible is our final authority in life, doctrine, and godliness (Mt. 4:4; 2 Pet. 1:3-4). Each book of the Bible is to be interpreted according to its context and purpose and in reverent obedience to the Lord who speaks through it in living power.

3. Creation

We believe God created the entire universe out of nothing (Gen. 1:1, Heb. 11:3). Man and woman were the crown of God’s good creation, being created in his own image, and thus possessing dignity and worth (Gen. 1:26-27). As image-bearers we were created to worship and glorify God, and to reflect him in true knowledge, righteousness, and holiness (Col. 1:16, 18b; 3:9-10; Rom. 11:36; Rev. 4:11; Isa. 43:7).

4. The Fall

We believe that Adam and Eve, our first parents, rebelled against God and plunged themselves and all their offspring into ruin (Gen. 3:1-19). Because of Adam’s sin, we are all guilty sinners (Rom. 5:12-21) and subject to God’s righteous wrath. We come into the world with corrupt natures through and through (Ps. 51:5). Therefore, the human race is unable to turn to God (1 Cor. 2:14; Rom 3:10-12, 7:18; Jn. 6:44) and is under just condemnation to eternal punishment (Mat. 25:46), without defense or excuse (Rom. 2:5). We are spiritually dead until God makes us alive in Christ (Eph. 2:1-5; Jn. 3:3). Man’s depravity is radical and pervasive, extending to his mind, will and affections (Eph. 4:17-19; Titus 1:15). Unregenerate man (man in his natural state) lives under the dominion of sin and Satan (Jn. 8:44; 1 Jn. 5:19). He is at enmity with God, hostile toward God and is a hater of God at heart (Eph. 2:3; Jam. 4:4; Rom. 1:30). Fallen, sinful people, whatever their character or attainments, are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ alone (Is. 64:6).

5. The Person and Work of Jesus Christ

We believe Jesus of Nazareth was and is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), the Son of the Living God (Mt. 16:16). He is fully man and fully God (Jn. 1:14; 1 Tim. 2:5, Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:8; Col. 2:9). He was born of the virgin Mary (Lk. 1:34-35), lived a perfect life (1 Jn. 3:5; 2 Cor. 5:21; Jn. 8:29), taught the way of God’s kingdom, worked miracles, suffered, died, and (bodily) rose again (1 Cor. 15:3-8; Lk. 24:39). He ascended to the Father, exalted above all (Phil. 2:9-11), where he ever lives to make intercession for us (Heb. 7:25). In His death He became our sacrificial substitute (1 Pet. 3:18a; Is. 53:5-6) and made full atonement for the sins of his people (Is. 53:11-12; 1 Pet. 2:24) through the shedding of his blood, securing an eternal redemption (Heb. 9:12; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). He defeated the devil (Col 2:15; Rev. 12:9), removed our guilt (Isa. 53:4-6), and became a curse for us (Gal. 3:13), bearing the weight of God’s wrath (Is. 53:10; Mat. 27:46; Rom. 5:8-9), that we might be counted righteous in him (2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:9). Through Christ we have been reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:18).

6. Salvation

We believe that the salvation of sinners is only by the sovereign grace of God, who lovingly chose (Eph. 1:4-5; 1 Thess. 1:4-5; 2 Thess. 2:13) a great multitude of guilty sinners from every tribe and language and people and nation to be saved, through the work of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the world. We are justified–declared righteous before God–through faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone (Rom. 5:1; Gal. 2:16). The only way (Jn. 14:6) to be adopted into God’s family is through union with his Son, Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:3-6). The gospel is the good news of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, and it is through this preached message that God’s Spirit rescues sinners (1 Cor. 1:18, 21; 15:3-4; Rom. 1:16). It is the immediate duty of all to respond to the gospel message in repentance and faith (Mk. 1:15; Acts 17:30-31; 20:21), brought about in our souls by the Holy Spirit’s work of regeneration (2 Tim. 2:25; Titus 3:5; Acts 11:18). This penitent faith is expressed in water baptism (Acts 2:38) and a life of following Christ in fellowship with the church (1 Pet. 3:21; Acts 2:38, 41-42; Lk. 9:23; Mat. 28:18-20; Heb. 10:24-25).

The believer will continue in the faith, enduring to the end by God’s gracious preservation and loving discipline (Jn. 10:29; Heb. 12:7-8; 1 Jn. 3:6; 5:18; Jude 24), and will be progressively sanctified to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29; Gal. 4:19). This salvation will be complete at the last day, when believers are glorified in the presence of God (Rom. 8:17, 30; Mat. 13:43; Rev. 21:3), for his glory and the eternal joy of his people (Ps. 16:11).

7. The Work of the Holy Spirit

We believe the Holy Spirit, working through the word of God, supernaturally converts (regenerates) the hearts of God’s people by making alive what was spiritually dead (Titus 3:5; I Pet. 1:23; Jn. 3:3; Eph. 2:5). The Spirit convicts us of sin (Jn. 16:8-11), leads us to repentance (Eze. 36:26-27), causes us to grow in the holy image of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18), seals us for the day of redemption that we might be assured of our salvation (Eph. 1:13-14; 2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5), empowers us for gospel witness (Acts 1:8), reminds us of the words of Christ (Jn. 14:26), helps us with prayer and intercession (Rom. 8:26; Jude 1:20), and equips us with spiritual gifts for the building up of the body (I Cor. 12:7-11; Rom. 12:6-8). Believers are indwelt with the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19-20), produce the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), and are to yield themselves to the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:14; Gal. 5:18), be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18; Acts 13:52), walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16; Rom. 8:4), and enjoy fellowship with the Spirit (2 Cor. 13:14).

8. The Church

We believe the church is the communion of God’s people drawn from every tribe, language, people, and nation (Eph. 2:11-22; Rev. 5:9-10). This invisible body, of which Christ Jesus is the head (Eph. 1:22-23), exists locally, and imperfectly, as the visible church (1 Cor. 1:2). Jesus Christ has given his church the two ordinances of Baptism, whereby the believer is immersed in water (Mt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41; 8:38-39a), and the Lord’s Supper, in which the church takes bread and the cup in remembrance of Christ’s death (I Cor. 11:23-26). Believers live out their faith together as the family of God, in the fellowship and community of the local church (Heb 10:24-25; Eph. 2:19; Acts 2:42; 1 Jn. 3:14, 16), under the leadership of a plurality of qualified men who serve as elders/pastors/overseers (Titus 1:5; 1 Tim. 3:1-7).

9. Mission

We believe the mission of the church is to make disciples by declaring the gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit to the glory of God the Father (Mt. 28:18-20). As salt and light (Mt. 5:13-16), we seek to save the lost (I Cor. 9:22-23), love others in word and deed (I John 4:11), work for righteousness and justice (Amos 5:24; Lk. 6:27-36), and care for the hurting and needy (1 Jn. 3:16-18). We believe God’s people should be marked by Christ-likeness (Eph. 5:1-2), prayerfulness (Rom. 12:12), joyful obedience (John 14:15), love of God and love of neighbor (Mt. 22:37-40).

10. Future Hope

We believe Jesus Christ will return to earth personally, visibly, and bodily as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Acts 1:11; 3:19-21; Rev. 1:7), for the restoration of all things and the consummation of the Kingdom of God (1 Cor. 15:24-26; Dan. 7:13-14). At his appearing the dead shall be raised (1 Thess. 4:16) and the living and the dead will be judged (Acts 10:42; 2 Cor. 5:10; 2 Tim. 4:1; 2 Thess. 1:5-10; Rev. 20:10-15). The wicked and unbelieving will be consigned to eternal punishment (Mk. 9:43; Mt. 25:46; 2 Thes. 1:9), while those who belong to Jesus will have eternal life in the new heavens and the new earth in glorious bodies (Rom. 8:18-23; Mat. 13:43; Phil. 3:20-21;1 Cor. 15:42-53), and will live in ever-increasing joy and fellowship with God, to his eternal glory and praise (Ps. 16:10-11; Mt. 25:21, 46b; 1 Thess. 4:17-18; Rev. 21:1-5).

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