Doctrinal Statement

 

1. We believe that the entire Old and New Testaments of the Bible are verbally inspired of God and are therefore, without error in the original writings. The Bible is the supreme and final authority in all matters about which it speaks. The Bible is to be interpreted in a normal literal way, and is understandable because of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

 

2. We believe in one God, Creator of all things, sovereign, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three distinct and equal persons Ė the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

 

3. We believe that God the Son became true man, without ceasing to be God, in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man.

 

4. We believe that Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption when He died on a cross in our place, as the substitutionary sacrifice for all the sins of all men, and that all who personally appropriate (take for themselves) His redeeming work on that cross by believing in (placing their trust in, relying on) Him for their redemption, are declared righteous before God, on the basis of Jesus Christís finished work.

 

5. We believe in the literal, physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, in His ascension into Heaven, and in His present life there for us. Jesus Christ is now exalted and, as our high priest, fulfills the ministries of Representative, Intercessor and Advocate, on our behalf, with the Father.

 

6. We believe in the imminent, pre-Tribulation return of Jesus Christ for the Church. At that time, the bodies of all the members of the Church, whether living or previously deceased, will be changed and caught up together, to be with the Lord forever.

 

7. We believe in the glorious physical return of Jesus Christ to the earth, with the Church, to set up a kingdom in which He will reign for one thousand years in righteousness and peace, in fulfillment of promises God has made to Israel.

 

8. We believe that God the Holy Spirit is the Author of Scripture. He is that person of the Trinity who restrains evil in the world, convicts man of sin, points man to Jesus Christ, and regenerates believers - baptizing them, at the moment of belief, into the Body of Christ. He indwells believers permanently, and seals them unto the day of redemption. In the lives of believers who offer themselves to God and continually yield to the Holy Spiritís control, He progressively makes those believers more like Jesus Christ, setting them apart from sin unto God, and preparing and empowering them for service.

 

9. We believe the Holy Spirit gives special abilities (i.e. spiritual gifts) to every believer for the building up of the Body of Christ and for reaching those who do not believe. Some spiritual gifts mentioned in the New Testament and given to believers in the early Church, such as prophecy (receiving and delivering inspired words from God), tongues (speaking in known human languages that had never been learned) and healing, were given temporarily, while the Church was being founded and the written Word of God was being completed. God does still work supernaturally today, as He wills. He does still heal today, in answer to prayer offered in faith, according to His will, but healing cannot be claimed on the same unconditional basis of faith as salvation is claimed.

 

10. We believe that man was created in the image of God and in perfect fellowship with God, and that when the first man, Adam, sinned, the entire human race fell. Consequently, humans experience, not only physical death, but also spiritual death (i.e. separation from God). All human beings are born with a sinful nature and, in the case of those who reach moral responsibility, become sinners in thought, word, and action. Man is depraved and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his sinful and lost condition.

 

11. We believe that, concerning manís salvation, God has revealed that He is sovereign, that He is therefore, in some way in control of everything that is or happens, that He is not willing that any should perish, and that in His sovereignty, He holds man responsible for what man wills, based on the light man has been given. The intellectual tension man feels between Godís sovereign control and manís freedom to choose (freedom of will) is due to manís finite vantage point, and to Godís limited revelation. There is no tension, in reality. God is absolutely sovereign, and in His sovereignty, He has devised and revealed a plan whereby salvation has been made available to all mankind; and this sovereign plan involves the will of man, for God has said that whoever will (Rev. 22:17) may come to Him, through Christ.

 

12. We believe that everyone who, through personal faith, receives Jesus Christ as his Savior is saved and, at that moment, becomes a child of God forever. This salvation is a gift, given because of love and by grace. It is given wholly apart from any human effort or merit, and is the only way of forgiveness, of victory over sin, and of escape from eternal judgment. Believers are kept eternally secure by the power of God and it is their privilege to enjoy the assurance of salvation through the testimony of Godís Word.

 

13. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men. The bodies of believers who have died will be resurrected, transformed, and reunited with the immaterial part of their being, which was already in Heaven enjoying eternal life with God. Those who die in unbelief will be resurrected to experience judgment and then eternal suffering, apart from God, in the Lake of Fire.

 

14. We believe that every believer, while now possessing a new nature, still possesses a sinful old nature, which cannot be eradicated in this life. God has made full provision through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, for believers to control this sinful nature and to live holy lives. All believers are to give attention to becoming spiritually mature and fruitful. They are not to use their liberty in Christ as an occasion to sin. Instead, they are to use it to love, build up and serve others, as led by the Holy Spirit.

 

15. We believe that Satan is real, a fallen angel, and the author of sin. He is the open and declared enemy of God and man. He was judged when Jesus Christ died on the cross, he is presently overcome when believers apply biblical truth, and he will someday be cast into the Lake of Fire.

 

16. We believe that the Church, in its invisible form, is universal, the true Body of Christ. All believers, from the Day of Pentecost (of Acts 2) until the Church is caught up in the air to be with the Lord, are members of the universal Church, regardless of organizational affiliation. Christ ordained, for the Church, the water Baptism of believers and the regular observance of the Lordís Supper (Communion) until He returns. Obedience to Christ in the practice of these ordinances is necessary in the Christian life Ė for spiritual health, growth and testimony Ė but it is not a means of gaining or retaining salvation.

 

17. We believe that the visible church is the local gathering of true believers. The purpose of the local church is to know God through Jesus Christ, and to love, enjoy, exalt and serve Him together, as a healthy body, through obedience to His Word in worshiping together, in building up believers, and in sharing the gospel with those who have not believed. All believers are vitally interdependent, like the various members of a physical body, and are mutually responsible for carrying out the purpose of the local church. Therefore, all believers are to make a prayerful and responsible commitment to a local church, to gather together regularly with that local church, to support it in every way as God directs, and through it, to use their spiritual gifts in ministry.

 

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