WHAT WE BELIEVE
Our Statements of Faith are based around the New Hampshire Confession of 1853. In some instances, they are word for word. In others they have been modified for the purpose of clearer understanding or to reflect our understanding of the order of salvation. Some, however, have been necessarily added or amended for clarification due to changes in our cultural beliefs and behaviors over time. All are rooted in God’s Word, the Bible.
We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men who were supernaturally inspired; that it is inerrant and infallible in its original form. That it is and shall remain to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.
By the Holy Bible we mean that collection of sixty-six books, from Genesis to Revelation, which not only contains and conveys the Word of God but IS the very word of God. By inspiration we mean that the books of the Bible were written by men, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit and free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be.
Our modern translations are excluded from the claims of infallibility, inerrancy and inspiration but are faithful translations from the original text and trustworthy for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. (2 Peter 1:21, 2 Timothy 3:15-17)
The True God:
We believe that 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 Ghost, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. (Genesis 1:26, John 17:11b, Colossians 2:9)
The Person Of Christ:
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, equal with God the Father and God the Spirit and of the same nature. In His incarnation He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of the Father, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of all mankind from sin. He was literally and physically raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the Person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is exalted at the right hand of God the Father where He is our Advocate and High Priest, the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world which he created, complete His mission, and assume His rightful throne. He now is present with all believers as the living and ever-present Lord. (Matthew 1:23; John. 1:1-4, 5:18, 8:58; Colossians 1:16-17)
The Holy Spirit:
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person; equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the Evil One until Gods purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of judgment and of righteousness; that He bears witness to the Truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the New Birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies, and helps the believer through His act of dwelling within them. (Acts 13:2, 4; Ephesians 1:12–14)
The Devil, Or Satan:
We believe that Satan was once a created holy angelic being and enjoyed heavenly honors; but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty fell and drew after him a host of angels; that he is now the malignant prince of the power of the air, and the unholy god of this world. We hold him to be man’s great tempter, the enemy of God and His Christ, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the lord of the antichrist, and the author of all the powers of darkness. He is destined, however, to final defeat at the hands of God’s own Son, and to the judgment of an eternal justice in hell, a place prepared for him and his angels. (Isaiah 14:12, Luke 10:18, Revelation 12:9)
We believe in the Genesis account of creation, and that it is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness; that man’s creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly by God and God’s established law was that they should bring forth only after their kind. (Genesis 1)
The Fall Of Man:
We believe that man was created perfect and innocent according to the law of God, but through willing rebellion fell from his sinless state and the communion he enjoyed with his Creator was damaged due to his new sin nature. Because of this all mankind is depraved by nature from birth and under just condemnation without defense or excuse. (Genesis 3, Romans 5:12-19)
The Virgin Birth:
We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Ghost, in a miraculous manner; born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of woman, and that He is the Son of God, and God, the Son. (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25)
The Atonement For Sin:
We believe that the salvation of sinners is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus the Christ alone. Who sent by the Father came to earth in flesh taking on our human nature yet was without sin. By voluntarily shedding His blood, He made a complete atonement of the sins of all mankind past, present and future. He substituted Himself in our place, taking on the wrath and punishment we rightly deserved, the just dying for the unjust.
Grace And The New Creation:
Salvation can only be received though the act of spiritual rebirth. Sinners must be born again of the spirit; that the new birth is the sinner becoming a new creation in Christ Jesus; that the conversion it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and sins in made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, not by culture, not by character, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with the hearing of and responding to the Gospel message, which leads to a voluntary obedience to the gospel, a hunger for The Word and a desire for God’s will. This new birth will have visible evidence of grace that appear in repentance, sanctification and the fruits of the Spirit. (John 3:3-7, Romans 3:10-20)
The Freeness of Salvation:
We believe that the gift of salvation is made free to all through the message of the Gospel; that it is the urgent duty of all people to accept this gift (salvation) and respond to the grace that is being offered; and nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of this offer; which will leave him eternally condemned for his rebellion and rejection. (John 3:16-18)
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to those who believe in Him is justification; that justification is the legal the pardon of our sin which leads to right standing with the Father; this gift is solely due to Jesus’ righteousness and is not given by any works of righteousness which we have done; that solely through faith alone in Jesus alone can we receive His imputed righteousness. (Romans 5:9, Ephesians 1:7)
Repentance And Faith:
We believe that repentance and faith are solemn obligations, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the Spirit of God; thereby, being deeply convicted of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with genuine remorse, confession and appeal for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ and openly confessing Him as our only and all sufficient Savior. (Luke 24:47; Acts 20:21; Acts 3:19)
We believe that a Biblical church is a congregation of baptized believers connected by a covenant of faith and true Christian fellowship, said church being understood to be a fortress and spreader of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; exercising the gifts, rights and privileges entrusted to them by His Word; that its leaders are elders whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined by the scriptures. We believe the true mission of the church is found in the Great Commission: To go and proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth for the purpose of making faithful disciples.
We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true Biblically faithful churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the spread of the gospel; that every church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final. (I Timothy 3:15, Matthew 28:19-20)
Baptism And The Lord’s Supper:
We believe that Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the two ordinances given by Christ to be observed by every local church. We believe baptism is the immersion in water of a believer; in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, with the authority of the local church, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful proclamation our faith and identity in the crucified, buried and risen Savior and that it is prerequisite to inclusion into the local body and the Lords Supper is a symbolic act whereby believers, by the sacred use of bread and the fruit of the vine are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination so as not to drink judgement upon oneself. (Romans 6:4; I Corinthians 11:23-29)
The Perseverance Of The Saints:
God the father, through Jesus the son, executed by the Holy Spirit blesses true believers with a special providence that watches over them spurring them forward in their sanctification and keeping them eternally secure by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
The Righteous And The Wicked:
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that through faith the righteous are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, and truly righteous in His regard; while the others who continue in rebellion and unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse of death and subject to the full wrath of a holy just and righteous God.
The righteous are raised to everlasting joy and eternal communion with God while the wicked are raised to everlasting conscious torment and eternal separation from God in hell. (Luke 16:24-31, John 3:36, Romans 2:3-6, Revelation 20:11-15)
We believe that a civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; except in matters that directly oppose the Word of God. (Acts 5:29, Romans 13:1-7)
The Resurrection, Return Of Christ And Related Events:
We believe in and accept the Word of God in reference to these subjects and hold to them at their face and full value. Of the Resurrection, we believe that Christ rose bodily the third day according to the Scriptures; that He alone is our merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God; that “this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven” – bodily, personally and visibly; that the dead in Christ shall rise first, that the living saints shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; that the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His Father David; and that Christ shall reign a thousand years in righteousness until He has put all enemies under His feet. (Acts 1:11; I Corinthians 15:1-4, 25; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 20:2-6)
The Grace Of Giving:
Sacrificial giving is one of the fundamentals of our faith. God instructs us to bring our tithes and offerings into the storehouse (common treasury of the church) upon the first day of the week and, in turn, assures us of His blessings and provision. (Malachi 3:10-11, 2 Corinthians 8:1-12, Philippians 4:14-19)
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.
Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.
The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.
Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents. (Genesis 1:26-28, 2:15-25, 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5, 78:1-8, 127, 128, 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8, 5:15-20, 6:20-22, 12:4, 13:24, 14:1, 17:6, 18:22, 22:6, 22:15, 23:13-14, 24:3, 29:15, 29:17, 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32, 18:2-5, 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7)
We believe that God has ordained that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage, that the Bible clearly defines marriage as the joining of one man and one woman, and that all other forms of sexual behavior are corruptions of God’s wonderful gift of sex. Because God is the Creator, we also believe that He purposely creates male and female and, therefore, does not favor the intentional alteration of one’s gender by surgery or appearance. (Genesis 2:24, 19:5, 19:13, 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29, 7:2; 1 Corinthians 5:1, 6:9, 7:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Ephesians 5:22-23, Hebrews 13:4)