STATEMENT OF FAITH
The following is our complete Statement of Faith that each new member is asked to affirm.
(A) The Holy Scriptures. We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally and plenarily inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed and, therefore, are the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament are the complete and divine revelation of God to Man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning, and all issues of interpretation and meaning shall be determined by the pastor. (2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pet 1:20-21)
(B) Dispensationalism. We believe the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life which define man’s responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather are divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these dispensations - the law, the church, and the kingdom - are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture. (Gen 1:28; 1 Cor 9:17; 2 Cor 3:9-18; Gal 3:13-25; Eph 1:10; Col 1:24-25, 27; Rev 20:2-6)
(C) The Godhead. We believe in one triune God, eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections. (Deut 6:4; Matt 28:19; John 14:10, 26; 2 Cor 13:14)
(D) The Person and Work of Christ.
1. We believe the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men. (Isa 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Cor 5:19-21; Gal 4:4-5; Phil 2:5-8)
2. We believe the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice, and our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. (Acts 2:18-36; Rom 3:24-25; Eph 1:7; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Pet 1:3-5)
3. We believe the Lord 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; Rom 8:34; Heb 9:24; 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2)
(E) The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit.
1. We believe the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. (John 16:8-11; 1 Cor 12:12-14; 2 Cor 3:6; Eph 1:13-14)
2. We believe He is a divine teacher who assists believers in understanding and appropriating the Scriptures, and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit. (Eph 1:17-18; 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27)
3. We believe God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry. (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor 12:4-11, 28; Eph 4:7-12)
4. We believe the sign of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary. Speaking in tongues was never a common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit. Ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing. (1 Cor. 1:22; 13:8; 14:21-22)
Furthermore, the gift of tongues (languages) was a manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s power solely for the demonstration of God’s wisdom, purpose and power in establishment of the early church, and it was always in a language that was in use. (Acts 2:6; 1 Cor. 14:22)
(F) The Total Depravity of Man. We believe man was created in the image and likeness of God, but in Adam’s sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God. Man is totally depraved and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition. (Gen 1:26-27; Rom 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Eph 2:1-3; 4: 17- 19)
Although each member of the human race is fallen, sinful, and lost, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for the salvation of man. The moment a person receives Christ as his Savior, the Holy Spirit immediately indwells him, and he is sealed until the day of redemption. (Rom 2:23; John 3:7; 1 Cor 6:19; Eph 1:13-14; Luke 24:49; Titus 3:5)
God is absolutely sovereign and in His sovereignty gave man free will (volition) to accept or reject the salvation that He (God) has provided. It is God’s will that all would be saved and that none should perish. God foreknows but does not predetermine any man to be condemned. God permits man’s destiny to depend upon one’s choice. (1 Tim 2:4; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Pet 1:2; 2 Pet 3:9; John 6:64-65; Acts 10:34; 1 Cor 1: 21; Eph 1:5-14; Rom 8:29-30; Rom 9:30-32)
(G) Salvation. We believe salvation is the gift from God. It is brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. (John 1:12; Eph 1:7; 2: 8-10; 1 Pet 1:18-19; 1 John 1:9)
Therefore, humanity is saved by undeserved mercy through faith and nothing of humanity enters salvation. It is a free gift. One’s well-intended works before or after salvation have nothing to do with it. Salvation is by the finished work of Christ, and nothing can be added to His death, burial, and resurrection.(Eph 2:8-9; Gal 2:16; Rom 11:6; 1 Cor 15:1-4; Col 2:1; Titus 3:5; Rom 3:22-23; 6:23)
We believe the new birth of the believer only comes through faith in Christ and that repentance is a vital part of believing. It is in no way, in itself, a separate or an independent condition of salvation. Any other acts, such as confession, baptism, prayer, or faithful service, cannot be added to believing as a condition of salvation. (John 1:12; 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 6:29; Acts 13:39; 16:31; Rom 1:16-17; 3:22, 26; 4:5; 10:4; Gal. 3:22.)
(H) The Extent of Salvation. We believe when an unregenerate person exercises that faith in Christ which is illustrated and described as such in the New Testament, he passes immediately out of spiritual death into spiritual life and from the old creation into the new. He is being justified from all things, accepted before the Father according as Christ His Son is accepted, loved as Christ is loved, having his place and portion as linked to Him and with Him forever. Though the saved one may have occasion to grow in the realization of his blessings and to know a fuller measure of divine power through yielding of his life more fully to God, he is, as soon as he is saved, in possession of every spiritual blessing and absolutely complete in Christ. He is therefore in no way required by God to seek a so-called “second blessing” or a “second work of grace.” (John 5:24; 17:23; Acts 13:39; Rom 5:1; 1 Cor 3:21-23; Eph 1:3; Col 2:10; 1 John 4:17; 5:11-12.)
(I) Sanctification. We believe sanctification, which is a setting-apart unto God, is threefold. It is already complete for every saved person because his position toward God is the same as Christ’s position. Since the believer is in Christ, he is set apart unto God in the measure in which Christ is set apart unto God. We believe, however, that he retains his sin nature, which cannot be eradicated in his life. Therefore, while the standing of the Christian in Christ is perfect, his present state is no more perfect than his experience in daily life. There is, therefore, a progressive sanctification wherein the Christian is to “grow in grace” and “to be changed” by the unhindered power of the Spirit. We believe also that the child of God will yet be fully sanctified in his state as he is now sanctified in his standing in Christ when he shall see his LORD and shall be “like Him.” (John 17:17; 2 Cor 3:18; 7:1; Eph 4:24; 5:25-27; 1 Thess 5:23; Heb 10:10, 14; 12:10.)
(J) The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers.
1. We believe all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom 8:1; 38-39; 1 Cor 1:4-8; 1 Pet 1:4-5.)
2. We believe it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh. (Rom 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11-15.)
(K) The Church.
1. We believe the local church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is solely made up of born-again persons. (1 Cor 12:12-14; 2 Cor 11:2; Eph 1:22-23; 5:25-27.)
2. We believe the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures.(Acts 14:27; 20:17, 28-32; 1 Tim 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11.)
3. We believe in the autonomy of the local church, free of any external authority or control. (Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Rom 16:1, 4; 1 Cor 3:9, 16; 5:4-7, 13; 1 Pet 5:1-4.)
4. We recognize water baptism and the Lord’s Supper as the Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the church in this age. (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 2 41-42; 18:18; 1 Cor 11: 23-26.)
(L) Separation. We believe that all saved should live in such a manner as to not bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord. God commands His people to separate from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices, and associations, and to refrain from all immodest and immoderate appearances. (Lev 19:28; Rom 12:1-2; 14:13; 1 Cor 6:19-20; 2 Cor 6:14-7:1; 2 Tim 3:1-5; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11.)
(M) The Great Commission. We believe it is the explicit message of our Lord Jesus Christ, to those whom He has saved, that they are sent forth by Him into the world even as He was sent forth of His Father into the world. We believe after they are saved, they are divinely reckoned to be related to this world as strangers and pilgrims, ambassadors and witnesses, and that their primary purpose in life should be to make Christ known to the world through personal evangelism and discipleship. (Matt 28:18-19; Mark 16:15; John 17:18; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; 1 Pet 1:17; 2:11.)
(N) The Second Advent of Christ. We believe in that blessed hope, the personal, imminent return of Christ, Who will rapture His church prior to the seven-year tribulation period. At the end of the Tribulation, Christ will personally and visibly return with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom which was promised to the nation of Israel. (Ps. 89:3-4; Dan 2:31-45; Zech 14:4-11; 1 Thess 1:10, 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6.)
(O) The Eternal State.
1. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. (Matt 25:46; John 5:28, 29; 11:25-26; Rev 20:5-6, 12-13)
2. We believe the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the LORD, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor 5:8; Phil 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thess 4:16-17; Rev 20:4-6.)
3. We believe the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when the soul and body reunite. Then, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and they shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment. (Matt 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thess 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev 20:11-15.)
(P) The Personality of Satan. We believe Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of the Fall of Man. He is the open and declared enemy of God and man, and he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire. (Job 1:6-7; Isa 14:12-17; Matt 4:2-11; 25:41; Rev 20:10)
(Q) Creation. We believe God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject evolution and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin. (Gen 1-2; Ex 20:11)
(R) Civil Government. We believe God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home, 2) the church, and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe on the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God. (Rom 13:1-7; Eph 5:22-24; Heb 13:17; 1 Pet 2:13-14.)
(S) Human Sexuality.
1. We believe God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of marriage between one man and one woman. We believe any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance. (Gen 2:24; Gen 19:5,13; Gen 26:8-9; Lev 18:1-30; Rom 1: 26-29; 1 Cor 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess 4:1-8; Heb 13:4.)
2. We believe the only Scriptural marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. (Gen 2:24; Rom 7:2; 1 Cor 7:10; Eph 5:22-23.)
(T) Family Relationships.
1. We believe men and women are spiritually equal in position before God, but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be leaders of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church. (Gal 3:28; Col 3:18; 1 Tim 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12)
2. We believe God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The wife is to submit to the headship of Christ. Children are a heritage from the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline, including Scriptural corporal correction. (Gen 1:26-28; Ex 20:12; Deut 6:4-9; Ps 127:3-5; Prov 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; Mk 10:6-12; 1 Cor 7:1-16; Eph 5:21-23; 6:1-4; Col 3:18-21; Heb 13:4; 1 Pet 3:1-7)
(U) Abortion. We believe human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teachings that abortion of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the physical or mental well being of the mother are acceptable. (Job 3:16; Ps 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jer 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)
(V) Euthanasia. We believe the direct taking of an innocent human life is a moral evil, regardless of the intention. Life is a gift of God and must be respected from conception until natural death. Thus, we believe that an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder contrary to the will of God. Discontinuing medical procedures that are extraordinary or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be a legitimate refusal of over-zealous treatment. (Ex 20:13, 23:7; Matt 5:21; Acts 17:28)
(W) Love. We believe we should demonstrate love for others, not only toward fellow believers, but also toward those who are not believers, those who oppose us, and those who engage in sinful actions. We are to deal with those who oppose us graciously, gently, patiently, and humbly. God forbids the stirring up of strife, the taking of revenge, or the threat or the use of violence as a means of resolving personal conflict or obtaining personal justice. Although God commands us to abhor sinful actions, we are to love and pray for any person who engages in such sinful actions. (Lev 19:18; Matt 5:44-48; Luke 6:31; John 13:34-35; Rom 12:9-10; 17-21; 13:8-10; Phil 2:2-4; 2 Tim 2:24-26; Titus 3:2; 1 John 3:17-18)
(X) Lawsuits Between Believers. We believe Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is processed without malice or slander. (1 Cor 6:1-8; Eph 4:31-32)
(Y) Missions. We believe God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ, we must use all available means to go to foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us. (Matt 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24: 46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor 5:20)
(Z) Giving. We believe every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to financially support his local church. We believe God has established the tithe as a basis for giving, but every Christian should give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the local church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of his tithe or offering once the gift has been made. (Gen 14:20; Pro 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor 16:2; 2 Cor 9:6-7; Gal 6:6; Eph 4:28; 1 Tim 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17)
SECTION 2.02 - AUTHORITY OF 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 foregoing Statement of Faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible and, therefore, is binding upon all members. All literature used in the church shall be in complete agreement with the Statement of Faith.
SECTION 2.03 - COVENANT
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of our Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Ghost, we do now, in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to give it a sacred preeminence over all institutions of human origin; and to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.
We also engage to maintain family and private devotions including Bible study and prayer and to raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4); to seek the salvation of our kindred, acquaintance, and all others; to walk circumspectly in the present world; to be just in our dealings, faithful to our engagements, and exemplary, in our department; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to pray for the growth of our members in Biblical knowledge, spirituality, and fruitfulness; to continually support the church’s program of worship, discipleship, and outreach; and to observe its ordinances and affirm its doctrinal beliefs.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy of speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior, and to secure reconciliation without delay.
We moreover engage, that when removed from this place, we will as soon as possible unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.