WHAT WE BELIEVE
Article 1 – The Bible
We believe that the Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament, was given by Divine inspiration and is the authoritative, complete Word of God. (2 Tim 3:16,17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 1 Thess 2:13). We believe that it constitutes the only perfect rule and authority in all matters pertaining to Christian faith and practice (Acts 17:11; Isa 8:20).
Article 2 – The Godhead
We believe there is only one living and true God, perfect, infinite, and eternal (Matt 5:48; 1 Kings 8:27; Psalm 90:2). Who is unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, love and truth (Mal 3:6; 1 Tim 1:17; Gen 17:1; Isa 6:3; Psalm 19:9; Exo 34:6; John 3:16). Who is the Creator, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe (Gen 1:1; Heb 11:3; Neh 9:6; Heb 1:2,3; Psalm 103:19; Eph 1:11). Who exists eternally in three Persons, namely, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Who are equal in Their Divine perfection and harmonious in the execution of their distinct offices (Matt 28:19; John 5:17; John 14:16,17; John 15:27; Eph 2:18).
Article 3 – Man
A) His Creation – We believe that man was created by a special act of God; that he was created in the image and likeness of God, possessing personality and innocency; that he was endowed with power of rational and responsible choice in view of moral ends; and that the purpose of his creation was to glorify God. We believe that God created mankind as man and woman with God-ordained distinctives and roles. (Gen 1:27; Col 3:10; Acts 17:24-28).
B) His Fall – We believe man was subject to trial in the Garden of Eden, in order to test his loyalty to his Maker (Gen 2:15-17). Under trial, he lost his holy estate, was alienated from God, and became depraved physically, mentally, morally, and spiritually, by voluntarily transgressing His positive command and yielding to the enticement of Satan. In consequence of the fact of disobedience, the entire human race became involved in guilt and in corruption so that in every heart there is, by nature, that evil disposition which eventually leads to irresponsible acts of sin and to just condemnation. (Gen 3:1-6; Rom 5:12, 18; 3:10-12, 23; 1:19-31; Eph 4:18; 1 John 1:8-10).
Article 4 – The Son
We believe that, in the fullness of time, the eternally pre-existent Son humbled Himself and assumed man’s nature by being born of the Virgin Mary, thus uniting the Divine with the human natures in their completeness in the unique person of Jesus Christ. (Isa 9:6; Matt 1:18-25; John 1:14; 1 Tim 3:16; Heb 2:14 We believe that, in the fullness of time, the eternally pre-existent Son humbled Himself and assumed man’s nature by being born of the Virgin Mary, thus uniting the Divine with the human natures in their completeness in the unique person of Jesus Christ. (Isa 9:6; Matt 1:18-25; John 1:14; 1 Tim 3:16; Heb 2:14).
We believe that God has provided redemption for mankind through the mediatorial work of Christ, Who voluntarily offered Himself on the cross as a perfect sacrifice for sin, the just suffering for the unjust, bearing sin’s curse, and tasting death for every man. (Matt 20:28; Heb 9:11,12; 1 Pet 3:18; Gal 3:13; Heb 2:9; 1 Tim 2:5,6).
We believe that on the third day He rose from the dead in the body which had been laid in the tomb. He ascended to the right hand of the Father, where he performs the ministry of intercession. He shall come again, personally, and visibly, to complete His saving work and to consummate the eternal plan of God.
Article 5 – The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity. He proceeds from the Father and the Son (John 15:26); His ministry, since His advent at Pentecost, is to reprove or convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8-11). He is to instruct, comfort, and guide God’s children (John 14:16-18, 26; 16:13). He is to bear witness of the truth (Acts 5:30-32). He is to regenerate those who repent of their sins and exercise faith in Christ (John 3:3-8; Titus 3:5). He is to give gifts and empower for life and service (Rom 8:2; Acts 1:8; Eph 3:16;1 Cor 12; Rom 12; Eph 4). Every born again believer has the presence of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19; Rom 8:9).
We believe that the Holy Spirit purposes not only to gain entrance into the believer’s life, but also to move mightily upon him, filling him with His love and power. The Christian life is two dimensional, involving both position and experience. Positionally, in Jesus Christ we lack nothing. Nevertheless, there must be the day by day faith appropriation of all that Jesus is. The Holy Spirit seeks control of the believer’s life in order to reproduce the character and ministry of Jesus through the believer.
Article 6 – Salvation
We believe that the results of mankind’s sin is death, and that only the substitutionary death of Jesus as the perfect sacrifice can pay for, or atone, for the sins of man. (Rom 3:25). This salvation is only by grace, through faith (Eph 2:8-9; Titus 3:5), and not of works. This salvation is appropriated by faith, as an active surrender and decision to believe (John 1:12). In justification, the believer is absolved of his guilt and declared righteous in the sight of God (Rom 5:1, 9; 4:4, 5; Acts 13:39). In adoption he is constituted a member of God’s household (Rom 8). In regeneration the principle of a new life is implanted in his heart (John 3:3; Titus 2:14). In sanctification, the principle of the ongoing work of a new life is being strengthened and developed increasingly (Rom 6:8). In glorification, this work will come to its perfect culmination in an ultimate and complete renewal of human nature, though not on this earth (1 Cor 13:9; 1 John 3:2-3; Phil 3:12-14). Repentance and faith are essential attitudes to be found in any one person who rightly claims the blessing of salvation. They emphasize the fact that it is not through human merit of any kind, but the grace of God that redemption is achieved.
Article 7 – The Church
We believe that the church invisible and universal is an organism composed of the redeemed of all ages. We believe that the church is manifest locally and visibly through companies of believers in Christ, voluntarily joined together and meeting at stated times for worship and to observe the ordinances (Acts 2:46, 47; 20:7; 1 Cor 16:2; Acts 6:1-6; 14:23). The duty of the church is to give the Gospel as a witness to all men in word and deed (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 1 John 3:18). The church is to build itself up in the most holy faith (Jude 20, 21; Eph 4:11-12, 16; Acts 20:32). Ultimately, the church is to glorify God (1 Pet 4:11).
Article 8 – The Ordinances or Church Practices
A) Baptism – We believe that baptism by water is the public confession of Christ as Savior and Lord. It is a symbol of one’s union, by faith, with Christ in death, burial, and resurrection, and, therefore, is to be administered to those who have given evidence of faith in Christ as their person Savior (Matt 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38-41; Rom 6:3-5; Col 2:12; Acts 8:36-39). It serves as a symbol and does not impute salvation, but testifies to God’s redemptive work in a believer’s life.
B) The Lord’s Supper – We believe that the Lord’s Supper should be observed by all believers in obedience to the command: “Do this in remembrance of Me.” It consists in partaking of the emblems of bread and wine; and symbolizes the death of Christ for the remission of sins and our continual dependence upon Him for our sustenance. It witnesses that mystical union of the believer with Christ (John 15). The union of believers around the Lord’s table should be open to all who are in right relationship with each other, and the Lord. (Matt 26:26-30; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor 10:23-26).
Article 9 – The Last Things
We believe that at the end of this age, Christ will descend from Heaven, the dead shall be raised bodily, that they shall be judged by God, and that those redeemed will enter into full possession of eternal bliss in the presence of God, and the wicked shall be condemned to eternal death. (1 Pet 4:7; 1 Cor 7:29-32; Heb 1:10-12; Acts 1:11; 24:15; Matt 25:31-46).