STATEMENT OF FAITH
The Word of God
We affirm a high view of the Bible. It is the only divinely inspired Word of God. His breath is in every word of the Scriptures. That is why the Bible is without error in all that it affirms. The Bible was given by inspiration, by which the Holy Spirit guided the words of the prophets and writers. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are infallible, above any popes, organizations, confessions, traditions, and experiences. We believe the Bible is addressed to all men and women and that it contains the plan of salvation to all people. We believe the canon is closed, and it is unchangeable. We believe in fresh insight into the Scriptures from the Holy Spirit, but reject any new additions, testaments, or revelations outside of the 66 books of the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:16, Matthew 24:35, Hebrews 4:12-14, Psalm 19:7-11).
God the Father
We believe in one God: creator of the universe, of life on earth, and of humanity. He is triune in nature. God the Father is immanent and personally involved in sustaining all things and beings. We believe God the Father has personality and that he is knowable on a personal level. He is unchanging and keeps his promises. He is loving, good, merciful, patient, and gracious. God the Father is spirit, not made of material and not subject to the laws of nature. He is eternal both going backward and forward in time. He governs according to his purpose and will. He knows everything that can be known, even a person's thoughts. We reject deistic and naturalistic philosophies of modern and postmodern culture which deny these aspects of God's character. (Psalm 139:13-14, Isaiah 40:28, Acts 17:27-28).
We believe in one savior, God the Son: Jesus Christ, and one gospel, that only Jesus can save us. The Son existed with the Father and Holy Spirit for eternity before creation, and He was involved in the creation. We believe in the virgin birth, affirming that Jesus' incarnate nature and conception are miraculous. Being fully God, in His incarnation He also became fully man. We believe Jesus' miracles actually happened as described in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Jesus died on a cross, literally rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven. Jesus will return to earth in bodily form at a time which nobody knows or will successfully predict. Upon His return, He will judge the living and the dead, eradicate sin, and make all things new. We reject the syncretism which implies that Jesus speaks through all religions and ideologies. We believe Jesus was explicit when He stated that He and God are one and that the narrow road to salvation goes through Him. (John 14:6, John 10:9, 1 Cor 15:3-8, Gal 1:6-9).
The Holy Spirit existed with the Father and Son before creation, and He was involved in creation. The Holy Spirit is a person, not strictly a force. He instructs and guides us into all truth, and He seals us for the day of redemption. He convicts us of sin and draws us to Jesus. He indwells our bodies, gives new life to us, empowers us, and imparts gifts to us for service. Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 contain examples of Holy Spirit gifts, although He may grant spiritual gifts that are not specified in such lists. The Holy Spirit may grant and accentuate different gifts to different Christians at different times, but no Christian simultaneously has all of the gifts of the Spirit. We do not believe in a second Holy Spirit baptism because the Scriptures affirm that the Spirit is already at work before conversion and is received by the Christian upon conversion.
Mankind (which includes women) is the culmination and crown of God's creation. Other living organisms were created "after their kind," indicating them as lower forms of creatures. On the other hand, man was made in the "image" and "likeness" of God indicating man's distinctiveness and God's workmanship. Man is made with body and soul, being given material and spiritual attributes. Although the material body perishes at the end of this life, the soul of man is eternal. Man is given an exalted position of dominion over creation. He is responsible for caring for what God has made. Everyone sins against his creator, and thus needs salvation, but God loves everyone regardless. (Ephesians 2:10; Genesis 1:26; Genesis 1:28; Genesis 2:7; Romans 3:23; John 3:16).
Mankind is thoroughly sinful, and our sins separate us from God. Our sin nature was inherited from birth, and although our proclivity to sin is inherited, we still participate in the rebellion, we break covenant with God, and so our personal guilt remains. Humanity's sin nature is such a stronghold that nobody can choose what is good on their own. Nobody can achieve reconciliation with God by their own works. We are utterly helpless slaves to sin apart from God. (Romans 3:23, Ecclesiastes 7:20, James 4:17, 1 John 1:8).
Sin cannot be removed by good deeds. It can only be removed by Jesus Christ, which means we need Him to save us. We all need rescue from the punishment, power, and presence of sin. Jesus rescued us by dying in our place, as a substitution for us, freeing us from the punishment of sin. This was an act of grace which humanity did not deserve or earn. We believe that all who repent and trust Jesus Christ as Savior are made alive (born again) by the Holy Spirit, cleansed of their sins, delivered from
condemnation, and granted the righteousness of Christ and life abundant. (Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, Romans 10:9).
Jesus Christ is the head of the church and loves the church as his bride. He inaugurated the church with his twelve disciples and gave them the directives to love God, love people, and make disciples. The universal church, consisting of all believers, continued that mission through history and must do likewise today. Evil will not prevail against the universal church according to the Word of Jesus. This universal church is meant to be visible. It is visible as the local church, an assembly of believers (and their children) which meets regularly. The local, visible church has further objectives which include biblical teaching (2 Timothy 4:2), worship (Romans 12:1), fellowship (Hebrews 10:25), equipping (Ephesians 4:12), and service (1 Corinthians 12). God has appointed apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers to equip Christians and build up the church.
One day Jesus will return to earth in a visible, personal, and bodily manner to judge the living and the dead. He will do so at a time that is known only by God, not by any man. Believers will be brought to eternal paradise with God, and non-believers will be eternally separated from Him. After judgment, Christ will bring an end to all sin. Only Jesus, not humans, can eradicate sin. Christians today must practice fervent preparation and expectation of Jesus' return, as the early Christians did, by consecrating themselves, not making predictions. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Hebrews 9:28, Revelation 1:7, 2 Peter 3:10).
Marriage and Sexuality
We believe that the term marriage has only one meaning and that is marriage sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. God directs His people who marry to wed only fellow Christian believers who trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who repent and seek forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
This statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself, as the inspired Word of God that speaks final authority concerning truth, morality, and proper conduct, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of church doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Trustees and Lead Pastor are the church's final interpretive authority on the Bible's meaning and application.