The Bible

The Bible is God’s Word to all people. Although human authors wrote the words of each of the 66 books, they were under the careful and supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. Since God inspired the very words of Scripture, we believe that the Bible is truth without any error and is the final authority for faith and practice. According to Paul’s writing to Timothy, Scripture teaches us doctrine (what is right), reproof (what is wrong), correction (how to make things right), and instruction in righteousness (how to keep things right) (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).


The Person and Work of God

God is the Supreme Being, the Creator and Sustainer of all that exists. God is infinite (1 Timothy 1:17), incomparable (2 Samuel 7:22), and unchanging (Malachi 3:6). God Edited Wednesday, October 11, 2012 3 exists everywhere (Psalm 139:7-12), knows everything (Psalm 147:5; Isaiah 40:28), and possesses all power and authority (Ephesians 1; Revelation 19:6). Scripture teaches that He created everything we can see and everything we can’t see, out of nothing (Genesis 1), even though it might be difficult for the human mind to understand how this is possible. The Bible also teaches that God is a spirit (John 4:24) who is One, yet eternally exists as three distinct and equal persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (referred to as the Trinity). Although each person of the Trinity possesses unique functions, each possesses equal power and authority (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 14:10, 26).


The Person and Work of Christ

Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, became man (the incarnation) when He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, so that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; Galatians 4:4-5; Philippians 2:5-8). Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice; and our justification (being declared righteous) was accomplished by His resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:18-36; Romans 3:24-25; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5). Following His resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Hebrews 9:24; 7:25; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2).


The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8-11; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13- 14). He is the divine Teacher who indwells and enables believers to understand the Bible (Ephesians 1:17-18; 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27). The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to every believer so that they can do the work of the ministry (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 28; Ephesians 4:7-12).


Man

We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God but that in Adam’s sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became separated from God. Man is totally sinful and unable to remedy his lost condition through his own efforts or works. Without divine intervention on his behalf, man would die and be eternally separated from God (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3; Ephesians 4:17-19).


Salvation

Salvation or being “saved” is the act of being delivered from the power and penalty of sin. We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received through personal faith in Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. We believe that all sins are forgivable, except the sin of failing to believe in Jesus Christ for salvation (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Matthew 12:31-32; 1 John 1:9).


The Eternal Security of the Believer

When a person expresses faith in Jesus Christ’s death for sin and His resurrection, he is kept by God’s power and secure in Christ forever. A person with genuine, life-changing faith cannot lose his salvation if he sins or disobeys God’s revealed commandments. Although a believer is capable of committing the same sins as an unbeliever, his sins are forgiven based on Christ’s payment on the cross. Nothing can separate a believer from the love of God (John 6:37-40; John 10:27-30; Romans 8:1; 38-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; 1 Peter 1:4-5).


The Church

The local church, which is the body of Christ, is made up of baptized believers (1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23; Ephesians 5:25-27). The establishment of local churches is defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27; Acts 20:17; Acts 28-32; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11). The church practices two ordinances: water baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; Acts 18:18; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). Since there is no set pattern of observing the Lord’s Supper, this ordinance will be conducted on a regular basis as determined by the lead pastor. The mission of the church is to be witnesses or ambassadors by calling others to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ and then to walk in His ways (2 Corinthians 5:20; Matthew 28:19-20).


Jesus Christ’s Return to Earth

We believe in the return of Jesus Christ (John 14:1-4), who will rapture His church prior to the seven-year tribulation period. At the end of the Tribulation, Christ will personally and visibly return to the earth with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom (Psalm 89:3-4; Daniel 2:31-45; Zechariah 14:4-11; I Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Revelation 3:10; Revelation 19:11-16; Revelation 20:1-6).


Heaven and Hell

We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men - the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment in hell (Matthew 25:46; John 5:28, 29; John 11:25-26; Revelation 20:5-6, 12-13). The souls of those who believe are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where they await the first resurrection, when soul and body will be reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; Philippians 3:21; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 20:4-6). The souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Matthew 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Revelation 20:11-15).


Authority of the Statement of Faith

The statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the statement of faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible and, therefore, is binding upon all members.


Edited Wednesday, October 11, 2012