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Doctrine

  1. The Scriptures

    We believe that the Holy Bible as originally written was verbally inspired and the product of Spirit-controlled men, and therefore has truth without any error. We believe that the Bible is the true center of Christian unity and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions, should be tested (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:19-21).
  2. The True God

    We believe there is one, and only one living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in His perfect plan (Ex. 20:2-3; John 10:30; 1 Cor. 8:6; 2 Cor. 13:14; 1 John 5:7; Rev. 4:11).

    a. The Father – We believe that God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, is the infinite, holy, loving, and merciful Spirit who desires our worship (Luke 6:36; John 3:16; 4:23-24; 1 John 3:1). He is the Creator of all things (Gen. 1:1-31; Eph. 3:9), who orders and accomplishes all things according to His own sovereign purposes (Dan. 4:34-35; Acts 1:7; 1 Cor. 8:4-6) for His glory and our good (2 Cor. 4:14-15; Rom. 8:28). As the absolute and all-powerful Ruler of the universe, He is sovereign over creation, redemption, and the future (Psalm 103:19; John 6:37; Rom. 11:33-36; Eph. 1:3-14; 4:6).

    b. The Son – We believe that Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, is God (John 1:1), coequal with the Father (John 10:30-33), and that He created and currently sustains everything (Col. 1:16-17). We believe that Jesus willingly humbled Himself by becoming a man (John 1:14; Phil. 2:5-7), was miraculously born of a virgin (Gen. 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Matt. 1:20-23; Luke 1:35), but at no point ceased to be God (Phil. 2:8). We believe that Jesus was sinless and died on the cross for our sins (2 Cor. 5:21), and that He came back to life (Matt. 28:5-7), ascended to heaven (Acts 1:9), is now seated at the Father’s right hand interceding for us (Rom. 8:34), that He will return for us (1 Thess. 4:13-18), and will later establish His millennial kingdom on earth (Luke 1:32-33).

    c. The Holy Spirit – We believe that the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, is God (Acts 5:3-4) and is co-equal with God the Father and God the Son (Matt. 28:19); that He was active in the creation (Gen. 1:1-3); that He currently restrains lawlessness (2 Thess. 2:7); that He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-13); that He testifies about Jesus (John 15:26-27; Acts 5:30-32); that He is involved in the New Birth (John 3:5-6); that He seals (Eph. 1:13-14), baptizes (1 Cor. 12:13), indwells (John 14:16-17), guides (Rom. 8:14), teaches (John 16:13), sanctifies (1 Pet. 1:2), intercedes for (Rom. 8:26-27), and equips believers (1 Cor. 12:4–11).
  3. Angels and Demons

    We believe in the reality and personality of angels. We believe that God created the angels to be His servants and messengers (Neh. 9:6; Psalm 148:2; Heb. 1:14). We believe in the existence and personality of Satan and demons. Satan is a fallen angel who led a group of angels in rebellion against God (Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:12-15). He is the great enemy of God and man, and the demons are his servants in evil (Acts 26:18; 2 Cor. 2:11). Satan is a murderer, liar (John 8:44), deceiver (Rev. 12:9), tempter (1 Cor. 7:5), and unloving (1 John 3:10), yet we can resist him with God’s help (Eph. 6:11; 1 Pet. 5:8-9). He and his demons will be eternally punished in the lake of fire (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10).
  4. The Creation, Fall, and Flood

    We believe that God created everything in six, literal, 24-hour days (Gen. 1:1-2:7), and that He created man and woman in His image (Gen. 1:26-27), to control the earth (Gen. 1:28), and to complement each other (Gen. 2:18-25). When they willfully disobeyed God (Gen. 2:16-17; 3:1-6), He cursed mankind with pain, hard work, and eventual death (Gen. 3:16-19). When mankind became very wicked (Gen. 6:5-7), God destroyed them with a worldwide flood (Gen. 7:1-8:19), saving only Noah, his family, and a selection of animals, creeping things, and birds (Gen. 8:16-19) to repopulate the earth.
  5. Mankind

    We believe that mankind (both male and female) was created in the image of God, made both physical and spiritual, innocent and capable of obeying God’s will. In Adam’s deliberate violation of God’s expressed will, mankind fell from his sinless, blessed state, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:22b-23; 5:12). Mankind is thus predisposed to sin (to violate the expressed will of God in nature, thought, word, and action) and is utterly unable to remedy his alienated condition without God’s intervention (Eph. 2:1-3).

    We believe that men and women are created as spiritual equals (Gal. 3:28) yet are designed in a complementarian way to assume God-given roles in the home and the church (Eph. 5:21-33; 1 Tim. 2:11-15). God has designed the marriage relationship to portray the profound mystery of Christ and His Church (Eph. 5:31-32), to produce godly offspring (Gen. 1:28), to provide helpful companionship (Gen. 2:18), and to promote sexual purity and fulfillment (1 Cor. 7:2-5). Marriage is designed by God to join one man and one woman in a lifetime covenant of joyful love (Prov. 5:18; Matt. 19:3-9; 1 Cor. 7:10-11). God gives some individuals the gift of singleness in order that they may serve Him without the cares of a spouse or family (Matt. 19:11-12; 1 Cor. 7:8).

    We believe that God forbids sexual activity outside of marriage. Any form of adultery, fornication, incest, polygamy, homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, and pornography is a sinful perversion of God’s gift of sex (Gen. 2:24; Lev. 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; 1 Cor. 6:9; Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Thess. 4:3-8; Heb. 13:4). We believe that attempts to alter one’s sex by surgery or appearance reflect a heart that does not submit to God’s good and sovereign right to determine our sex and thus are disapproved of and forbidden by God (Gen. 1:27; Deut. 22:5; Jer. 1:5; Mt. 19:4; Rom. 1:24-29; 1 Cor. 11:13-14).
  6. Salvation

    a. God’s Solution – We believe that God is holy (1 Pet. 1:16) and humans are inherently sinful (Rom. 3:10-12, 23). Because of that, we are enemies of God and are unable to have a right relationship with God on our own (Isa. 59:2). We believe that God is just (Deut. 32:4) and will punish our sin against Him with death and eventually the eternal lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-15). We believe that God is love (1 John 4:16b) and has provided a way for sinful people to be forgiven (Eph. 1:7) and reconciled to Himself (Rom. 5:10). He accomplished this by sending His Son, Jesus, to die in our place (Isa. 53:5; 2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus became a man, lived a perfect life, willingly died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day (1 Cor. 15:3-5). We believe that all who repent of their sins and place their faith in Jesus (Acts 20:21) will be forgiven by God (Col. 1:14), saved from God’s judgment (John 3:16), and be given a new spiritual life in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).

    b. The New BirthWe believe (1) that in order to be saved a sinner must be born again (John 1:12-13; 3:3-8), (2) that a believer becomes a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17; 2 Pet. 1:4), (3) that this is instantaneous and not a process (Acts 16:31), (4) that in the new birth the one dead in sin is made spiritually alive (Eph. 2:1-5; Col. 2:13), (5) that the new birth is not the result of someone’s ancestry, will, or good works (John 1:13; Eph. 2:8-10), but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5) in connection with divine truth (Rom. 10:17), and (6) that the evidence of the new birth is seen in a believer’s repentance (Acts 3:19), faith (1 John 5:1), and new life (Gal. 5:22-23).

    c. JustificationWe believe that, because Jesus bore the punishment for our sins (Isa. 53:10-11), everyone who believes in Him is justified (legally declared to be righteous) by God (Rom. 8:33). This justification is secured by faith (Rom. 4:1-5) and not by obeying the Law (Acts 13:39). The results of justification include having peace with God (Rom. 5:1), being saved from God’s wrath (Rom. 5:9), and receiving the sure hope of eternal life (Titus 3:7).

    d. The Security of the BelieverWe believe that every believer is securely kept by the power of God (1 Pet. 1:5), will never perish (John 10:27-30), and is sealed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13-14). We believe that every believer may rejoice in the assurance of salvation (Rom. 8:38-39; 1 John 5:13). However, no believer should use this assurance as an excuse for ungodly behavior (Rom. 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13).
  7. The Church

    We believe that Jesus is the ultimate Head of the Church (Col. 1:12) and that the local church is to be led by qualified pastors/elders/overseers (1 Tim. 3:1-7; 1 Pet. 5:1-4) and cared for by qualified deacons (Acts 6:1-7; 1 Tim. 3:8-13). We also believe that the local church should be self-governed (Matt. 18:15-17; Acts 6:5; 15:22) and free from the interference of any external hierarchy or organization. We believe that it can be good for local churches to cooperate with each other (Acts 15; Rom. 15:26) but that every church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation. On all matters of membership, policy, government, discipline, or benevolence, the will of the local church is final.
  8. The Ordinances

    a. BaptismWe believe immersion in water to be the New Testament mode of baptism (Acts 8:36-39) to be administered only to believers upon their public confession of faith in Christ (Acts 2:41; 8:12). We believe that Jesus Himself commanded the ordinance (Matt. 28:19) to symbolize the believer’s death to the old life of sin and his spiritual resurrection to the new life in Christ (Rom. 6:1-4).

    b. The Lord’s SupperWe believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of Christ’s death until He comes and that the elements are symbolic of the broken body and the shed blood of the Lord Jesus. The elements are simply a reminder and do not provide any other benefit to the partaker. Only believers should partake, and this should always be preceded by a solemn self-examination (1 Cor. 11:23-34).
  9. Unity and Separation

    We believe that God desires unity within the Church (John 17:20-23; Eph. 4:1-6). We should strive for this unity because all believers are a part of the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). However, because of differences of opinion, interpretation, and practice, unity is best accomplished by believers who share the same beliefs, convictions, and practices (Acts 15:36-41). We also believe that there are situations where unity is not possible or appropriate, and where God commands us to separate ourselves.

    a. Personal separationWe believe that all Christians should live in a way that reflects the change God has made in them (2 Cor. 5:17; Titus 2:11-14), that is holy and acceptable to God (Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 6:19-20), and that evidences a love for God instead of worldly desires and attitudes (1 John 2:15-17). This necessarily requires Christians to keep themselves from certain thoughts, conversations, and actions but it should not result in complete isolation from unbelievers (John 17:15; 1 Cor. 5:9-10).

    b. Separation from a disobedient brotherWe believe that a Christian should lovingly confront another Christian who has sinned against him with a desire for his repentance, forgiveness, and restoration. If the sinning Christian does not repent, the next step is to involve other believers and, if necessary, to bring the matter before the local church  (Matt. 18:15-17). If the sinning believer refuses to repent, he must be withdrawn from to show him the seriousness of his sin (2 Thess. 3:14-15) and to guard against his bad influence (1 Cor. 5:6-7). There may be situations when a believer’s sin is so egregious (1 Cor. 5:1, 11; 2 Thess. 3:6) that immediate separation is necessary.

    c. Ecclesiastical separation.We believe that a relationship with other churches, organizations, or believers outside of the local church can be beneficial (Col. 4:12-15; Rom. 15:26). However, these relationships should be carefully examined before fellowship is offered (1 John 1:5-7). The local church should not cooperate in a spiritual endeavor with unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1), false teachers (Rom. 16:17-18; 2 John 9-11), or believers who are worldly (1 John 2:15-17) or disobedient (2 Thess. 3:6). Such cooperation sends a mixed message about true faith (2 Cor. 6:14) and fellowship (1 Cor. 5:11-13).
  10. The Righteous and the Wicked

    We believe that there is a clear difference between the righteous and the wicked (Gen. 18:23; Mal. 3:16-18; 1 John 5:19). God considers those who are in Christ to be righteous (2 Cor. 5:17-21) and those who continue in sin and unbelief to be wicked (Col. 1:21; John 8:23-24). This distinction becomes permanent after death when the righteous will receive eternal life while the wicked will receive eternal torment (Matt. 7:13-14; 25:34-46). Until then, the wicked can find God’s mercy by turning from their sin and trusting in Jesus (Isa. 55:7; Matt. 9:13; John 3:16).
  11. Civil Government

    We believe that God has ordained civil government for the good order of society and the punishment of evil (Gen. 9:6; Rom. 13:1-7). We should honor, obey, and pray for government officials (Acts 23:5; Titus 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:13-14, 17) and pay taxes when required (Matt. 22:15-22; Rom. 13:7). However, we must respectfully disobey laws and commands from civil government that contradict the clear teaching of Scripture (Ex. 1:15-21; Dan. 3:13-18; Acts 4:19-20; 5:29). Because not all government officials are just or God-fearing (2 Sam. 23:3), we should use discernment so as not to be unnecessarily taken advantage of (Acts 16:35-39; 25:9-11).
  12. The End Times

    We believe that the End Times will begin with the Rapture of the Church when Jesus will return to take us to be with Him (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 5:9). Following this, all believers will appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ to be rewarded according to their works (Rom. 14:10-12; 2 Cor. 5:8-10). The next event on earth is the Tribulation, a period of seven years where God will pour out His wrath on the earth (Matt. 24:15-22; 1 Thess. 5:2-3; Rev. 6-16). After this, Jesus will physically return to conquer the earth (Rev. 19:11-21) and to begin the Millennium, a period of 1000 years during which He will reign on the throne of David (Rev. 20:1-6). At the end of the 1000 years, Satan and his armies will rebel but will be completely defeated (Rev. 20:7-10). All unbelievers will then be resurrected to be judged by God at the Great White Throne Judgment and sentenced to eternity in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-15). After this, God will wipe away all tears and create a new heaven and earth free from pain, sorrow, and death (Rev. 21:1-4) where we will be with the Lord forever (1 Thess. 4:17-18).