This Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself (Genesis to Revelation) is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the following Statement of Faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible and, therefore, is binding upon all members. All prospective members must agree with this statement before membership may be conferred. Any member who no longer agrees with this Statement of Faith must notify the elders as soon as possible.
CONCERNING THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, THE BIBLE
We believe that the Bible, consisting of a total of sixty-six books in the Old and New Testaments, is without error in the original manuscripts.1 The author of the Bible was God the Holy Spirit2 who guided the human authors without distorting their person or character3 so that the writings they produced were verbally (every word) and plenarily (completely) inspired.4 We believe that the Bible is the sole authority for faith and practice.
Some places where taught: 1Numbers 23:19; Proverbs 30:5-6; John 17:17. 2Hebrews 1:1-2; 2 Peter 1:19-21. 32 Samuel 23:2 with Acts 1:16; 2 Thessalonians 3:17. 4Numbers 12:6; Deuteronomy 29:29; Matthew 5:18; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:16.
CONCERNING THE TRUE GOD AS TRINITY
We believe in one holy God1 who is a personal Being and the Creator and Upholder of the universe.2 He manifests Himself in three eternally existent and co-equal Persons -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit3 -- one in nature, attributes, power, and glory.4 Each is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.5
Some Places Where Taught: 1Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Jeremiah 10:10. 2Genesis 1:1-27; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:10. 3Matthew 3:16-17; 18:19; 28:10; John 1:18; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 13:14. 4John 10:30; 14:10; 17:5; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Philippians 2:5-6. 5Habakkuk 1:12; Psalm 139; 147:5; Proverbs 30:4; John 1:1-14; Hebrews 1:11.
(A)GOD THE FATHER
We believe that God the Father serves as both head and father in His relationship within the Trinity1 and His relationship with those who receive Jesus Christ as Savior;2 that He orders all things after the counsel of His own will3 and in so doing concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men.4
Some Places Where Taught: 1John 14:6. 2Matthew 5:45; 6:24-34. 3Ephesians 1:11. 4Psalm 103.
(B)GOD THE SON
We believe that the Son of God1 revealed Himself to us by becoming Jesus of Nazareth, who was the predicted Messiah of the Old Testament, the Christ. We believe in His virgin birth,2 absolute deity, absolute humanity,3 sinless perfection, voluntary humiliation, death, burial, resurrection and ascension into Heaven.4,5 He presently serves as high priest and advocate for God’s people.6 We believe that Christ is preeminent in all things and will return bodily to this earth to receive His Kingdom and reign forever as King in a new heaven and new earth.7 Jesus Christ is the expression of the nature and glory of God.8
Some places where taught: 1Psalm 2; Hebrews 1:1-4. 2Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:26-38. 3John 1:1-2; 8:58; 10:30; Philippians 2:5-8. 4Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-14; Luke 24:1-26; John 2:19-21; 20:1-29; Acts 2:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3-25; 1 Peter 1:3-4. 5Luke 24:1-6; 1 Corinthians 15:1-7, 23-26; 1 Peter 2:21-24. 6Ephesians 1:20-22; Colossians 3:1-3; Hebrews 1:3; 4:14; 7:25-27; 9:11-12; 1 John 2:1-2. 7Matthew 24-25; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. 8Hebrews 1:1-4.
(C)GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Comforter who was promised by the Son1 and prophesied in the new covenant. His role is that of the application of God’s plan in history and redemption. Toward that end, the Holy Spirit is instrumental in restraining evil;2 convicting of sin, judgment and of righteousness;3 bearing witness to the truth of the Gospel; and regenerating,4 indwelling,5 sealing,6 baptizing,7 guiding, teaching,8 sanctifying, and gifting believers according to His will for the work of the ministry.9
Some places where taught: 1John 14:16-17. 22 Thessalonians 2:7. 3John 16:8-11; Ephesians 4:30. 4John 3:5. 51 Corinthians 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 13:8; Galatians 5:15-17; Ephesians 5:18. 6Ephesians 1:13, 4:30. 71 Corinthians 12:13. 8John 14:26; Ephesians 1:17. 9Romans 8:14; Ephesians 2:22.
CONCERNING MAN AND HIS FALL INTO SIN
We believe that Adam and Eve were originally and directly created by God in His image and likeness as innocent, sinless beings,1 under the law of their maker. In the likeness of Satan's rebellion and through his temptation, they voluntarily rebelled against God and fell from their sinless state, and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death, which is separation from God.2 As a result, all mankind are now sinners by nature (being born as such) and by conduct,3 and are justly under divine condemnation,4 without defense or excuse.5 Sin is any transgression of the law of God,6 from which there is no rescue apart from the saving blood of Jesus Christ. 7
Some places where taught: 1Genesis 1:27, 31; 2:7-9, 16-17; Ecclesiastes 7:29. 2Genesis 3:1-19; Romans 5:12, 19; 1 Corinthians 2:14. 3Psalm 51:5; Isaiah 53:6; 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 1:18-32; 3:9-18, 23; 5:15-19; 7:15-24; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 2:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9; James 2:10. 4John 3:36; Romans 1:20. 5Romans 1:20; Galatians 3:22. 61 John 3:4. 7Romans 3:10-26.
CONCERNING THE SALVATION OF MANKIND
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of God’s grace, apart from any human works. 1 This grace was expressed through His Son, Jesus Christ,2 Who lived a sinless life and voluntarily atoned for the sins of men by dying on the cross as their substitute, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who would repent of their sins and trust in Him alone, for salvation from the penalty of sin.3
We believe that repentance and faith are solemn obligations, wrought in our souls through eternal grace by the quickening Spirit of God. Thereby, being deeply convicted of our guilt and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ and openly confessing Him as our only and all-sufficient Savior. 4
We believe that every person, immediately upon placing their faith in Christ as personal Savior and Lord, is forgiven of all their sins, is made spiritually alive, is declared righteous in God's sight, is granted eternal life, is made at once a child of God,5 and sealed eternally through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.6
Some places where taught: 1Ephesians 2:8-9. 2Romans 3:24; 1 Timothy 2:4; 4:10. 3John 3:16; Acts 4:12; Acts 16:31; Romans 6:23. 4Isaiah 55:6-7; Psalm 51:1-7; Mark 1:15; Luke 12:8; 18:13; Acts 2:37-38; 20:21; Romans 10:9-13. 5Romans 5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:21 Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:23.6 1 Corinthians 12:13; Philippians 1:6.
CONCERNING THE SANCTIFICATION OF MAN
We believe that biblical sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, the believer is set apart from sin, unto Christ, and has three aspects. First, the believer has been justified before God by the imputation of Christ's righteousness the moment he believes. Second, the believer is being set apart progressively in his walk, day by day, as he actively and obediently seeks to grow in grace toward the likeness of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, through yielding to Him, and by the continual use of the appointed means, especially the study of the Word of God, self-examination, prayer, and the fellowship of believers. Third, the believer will be set apart from the very presence of sin when his sanctification is completed at the coming of Christ for the Church.
Some places where taught: John 15:5; Romans 5:1-2, 8-11; 6:1-2, 11-14, 8:1-5, 12-13; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 15:50-54; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 4:22-24; 5:18-20; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:1-17; 2 Timothy 2:3-4, 22; Titus 1:1; 2:11-15; James 4:4-10; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 John 2:15-17; 3:5-9.
(A)SEPARATE UNTO CHRIST
We believe that God mandates us, through the Scriptures, to separate ourselves unto Christ. We are to separate from any participation in sin or association with evil.1 We must separate from fellow believers who willfully live in disobedience to God’s word, refusing to repent. Believers are not to enter into marriage with unbelievers, which would create an unequal yoke.2 We must live in this world serving as forces of purification and striving to be holy, as He is holy.3
Some Places Where Taught: 1Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; 1 John 2:15-16. 2Romans 16:17-18; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 2 Thessalonians 3:11-15; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 2 John 9-11. 31 Peter 1:15-16.
We believe that the Word of God predicts widespread departure from the revealed Word of God as the time of Christ's coming draws nearer,1 and that obedient believers and local churches are to practice separation from those who apostatize from the faith. The Scriptures teach that we are not to seek to win them back to the faith by fellowshipping with them, but rather we are to identify them, lovingly rebuke them, and withdraw ourselves from any spiritual communion with them2 as long as they continue in error or are without repentance.
We also believe that we are to refuse ecclesiastical fellowship and organizational cooperation with those who espouse doctrines that are contrary to Scripture or are engaged in practices that are not consistent with the Word of God.3
Some places where taught: 1I Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 1 John 4:1. 2Psalm 1:1; Romans 16:17; 2 Corinthians 6:17; Titus 1:13. 3Galatians 2:11-21; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12.
CONCERNING MARRIAGE, SEXUALITY, AND GENDER
We believe that the marriage bond is holy and that there is only one definition of marriage sanctioned by God; this is the joining of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union.1 There should be no sexual relationships between persons who are not married to one another as husband and wife.2 We believe that any sexual relationship outside the bounds of a biblical marriage, including any form of homosexuality,3 lesbianism, pedophilia, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography,4 are sinful and contrary to the explicit teachings of Scripture and are to be condemned.5
We believe that God disapproves of and forbids divorce and intends marriage to last until one spouse dies. Divorce and remarriage is regarded as adultery except on the grounds of fornication or abandonment by an unbelieving spouse.6
We believe that God intentionally and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. Rejection of one's biological gender (transgender) is a rejection of the image of God within that person. We therefore believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by medication, surgery or appearance, except in the case of hermaphroditic infants.7
Some Places Where Taught: 1Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 5:22-23. 2Exodus 20:14; Proverbs 5:1-21; 1 Corinthians 6:15, 18-20; Hebrews 13:4. 3Genesis 19:5, 13. 4Leviticus 18:1-30. 5Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:26-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8. 6Malachi 2:14-17; Matthew 19:3-12; Romans 7:1-3. 7Deuteronomy 22:5; 1 Corinthians 6:18-20; 7:15.
CONCERNING LIFE AND DEATH
We believe that as Creator of all things, God alone has the sovereign right to both give and take human life, in accordance with His character, pleasure and will. Thus, human life, created in the image of God, is a divine privilege.
(A)THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified taking of human life, and thus, is rightly classified as murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies for reasons of rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental wellbeing of the mother are acceptable. Life is a gift of God and must be respected from conception until natural death.
Some Places Where Taught: Job 3:16; Psalm 51:5; 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24; 49:1-5; Jeremiah 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44.
(B)SUICIDE AND EUTHANASIA
We believe that the intentional ending of one’s life, or the assisting of another person in doing so, is in direct opposition to God's intentional will for each human life. Therefore, suicide and euthanasia are considered morally evil. Life is a gift of God and must be respected from conception until natural death. Thus, we believe that an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder contrary to the will of God. However, discontinuing medical procedures that are extraordinary or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be a legitimate refusal of over-zealous treatment.
In the case that the patient is irreversibly terminal, and death is imminent regardless of the treatment provided, it is acceptable for the patient or, if the patient is unconscious, a legally authorized third party (e.g., a spouse or family member) to choose to withhold any of the following forms of treatment: life-sustaining medication; life-sustaining, medically-administered nourishment; life-sustaining support systems.
Some places where taught: Exodus 20:13, 23:7; Matthew 5:21; Acts 17.
CONCERNING THE CHURCH
(A)ORDINANCE OF BAPTISM
We believe that the Church universal is the Body of Christ, Who established it and is its Head. It is composed of every truly born-again believer, each of whom is placed into that Body by the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit.1 We also believe that the Church universal is manifested through the local church, which is an organized congregation of water- baptized believers. We recognize only one form of water baptism, immersion, as an act not of salvation but of obedience to God that follows salvation, for the purpose of publicly proclaiming one's conversion.2
Some Places Where Taught: 1Matthew 16:18; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22-23. 2Acts 2:41-42; Romans 6:3-9.
(B)MISSION OF THE CHURCH
Believers are associated together by a common faith and fellowship in the Gospel, and are to edify and exhort one another through regular attendance at local church gatherings.1 We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures. Such a church is to be governed by the Word of God,2 and to observe the ordinances of baptism (the immersion of true believers only) and the Lord's Table.3 Its officers are referred to in Scripture as elders and deacons, whose qualifications are defined in the epistles to Timothy and Titus.4 The mission of the Church consists of going into all the world to proclaim the Gospel to all people and make disciples of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.5
Some Places Where Taught: 1Ephesians 3:3-6; Hebrews 10:25. 2Acts 14:27; 20:17, 28-32. 3Matthew 26:26-30; 28:19; Acts 8:36-39; 1 Corinthians 11:26-28. 41 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11. 5Matthew 28:19-20.
(C)LOVING ONE ANOTHER
We believe that we should demonstrate love for others, not only toward fellow believers, but also toward those who are not believers, those who oppose us, and those who engage in sinful actions. We are to deal with those who oppose us graciously, gently, patiently, and humbly. God forbids the stirring up of strife, the taking of revenge, or the threat or the use of violence as a means of resolving personal conflict or obtaining personal justice. Although God commands us to abhor sinful actions, we are to love and pray for any person who engages in such sinful actions.
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated, and are not in accord with Scripture, nor the doctrines of the church.
Some places where taught: Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 5:44-48; Luke 6:31; John 13:34-35; Romans 12:9-10; 17-21; 13:8-10; Philippians 2:2-4; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Titus 3:2; 1 John 3:17-18.
(D)LAWSUITS BETWEEN BELIEVERS
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or against the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe that the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander.
Some Places Where Taught:1 Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:31-32.
CONCERNING CIVIL GOVERNMENT AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home, 2) the Church, and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and should be governed by His Word.
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment and is for the maintenance of good order in human society.1 Believers are to pray for, honor, and obey civil authorities2 except where to do so would be to violate plain commands and principles of the Word of God.3 The Church and the state have separate spheres of authority and the state has no valid jurisdiction over the ministry of the Church.4
Some places where taught: 1Romans 13:1-7; Ephesians 5:22-24; Hebrews 13:17. 2Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-14; 1 Timothy 2:1-3. 3Acts 4:18-20; 5:29. 4Matthew 22:21.
CONCERNING FUTURE EVENTS
We believe that Jesus Christ will return bodily to this earth to receive His saints, including the resurrection of the righteous dead, whereby they will all receive an eternal body designed for eternal dwelling in the presence of God, where Christ will reign forever as King in a new heaven and new earth.
We also believe in the judgment seat of Christ for believers, where they will either receive or suffer loss of rewards. We believe in the Great White Throne Judgment of the unsaved, whose end will be the conscious, everlasting punishment in the Lake of Fire.
Some places where taught: Isaiah 35:1-7; Daniel 12:2; Malachi 3:18; Matthew 6:9; 18:8-9; 24:31, 36; 25:31-46; Mark 9:43-49; Luke 16:19-31; 23:43; John 3:16-18; 5:24-29; 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; Romans 11:26-27; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 15:51-58; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 3:20-21; 4:5; 1 Thessalonians 1:6-9; 4:13-19, 5:1-10; 1 Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:11-13; Hebrews 9:24; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 1:7; 3:10-11; 6:17; 14:11; 19:11-20:15; 21:1-3; 22:20.
CONCERNING INTERPRETATION OF THE SCRIPTURES
As stated in Section 2.02, we believe that the Bible is the sole authority for faith and practice.1
The role of the elders is to shepherd the church body through teaching and application of the Scriptures and doctrine.2 Wisdom would also remind the elders to seek additional counselors and input regarding any debatable point of doctrine or interpretation. The elders, in loving submission to one another, seeking to please God and to edify the body, are to be the authoritative and final interpreter of Scripture in any matter concerning church doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline.
Some places where taught: 12 Timothy 3:16. 21Timothy 5:17; 1 Peter 5:2; Acts 20:28-30.