Section 1: Bibliology
We believe in the inspiration of the Bible, that each of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments is God-breathed (2 Ti. 3:16) as a result of the Holy Spirit’s superintendence over the biblical authors (2 Pet. 1:20-21). This ensured the total accuracy, inerrancy and infallibility of every word, as well as the whole, of the original autographs.
Therefore, we believe that the Bible has the right to dictate to man everything that God requires concerning every matter (authority of Scripture). The Bible contains principles and explicit teachings that demonstrate that it is all that is needed for growth in godliness and to settle theological disputes (sufficiency of Scripture). It is our only rule for faith and practice (Matt. 5:18; John 10:35; Rev. 22:18-19).
Section 2: God
We believe that God is one in essence and He exists in three persons. The LORD is one God (Dt. 6:4; Ja. 2:19; see Ex. 3:13-15; 20:2-3; Jn. 17:3; 1 Co. 8:4, 6; 1 Ti. 2:5-6) and yet the Father (Mt. 6:26, 30-32; 19:23-26; 27:46; Mk. 12:17, 24-27), Son (Jn. 1:1, 18; 20:28; Ro. 9:5; Ti. 2:13; Heb. 1:8; 1 Jn. 5:20), and Holy Spirit (Ps. 139: 7-10; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Co. 3:16) are each clearly referred to as God. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are distinct from each other (Ps. 2:7; Mt. 27:46; Jn. 5:32, 37; Ga. 4:4; 2 Co. 13:14; 1 Pet. 1:2) yet they personally relate to each other. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are coeternal in being, coidentical in nature, and coequal in power and glory (Deut. 6:4; Ps. 90:2; Mat. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; 1 Cor. 8:6), immutable, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent.
- Creation: We believe that God created everything without preexisting materials by His word (Heb. 11:3) in six, 24-hour, uninterrupted, consecutive days (Gen. 1: 5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31; Ex. 20:11). Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all participated in creation (Gen. 1:1; Jn. 1:3; Ps. 104:30; Col. 1:16). All things are from Him, through Him, and are going back to Him for the spreading of His fame and praise (Ro. 11:36).
- Providence: We believe that God is actively preserving creation to direct it toward His desired goal. He sustains and preserves everything, including the angelic hosts (Neh. 9:6; Ps. 104:4; Col. 1:16-17), stars and planets (Neh. 9:6; Ps. 104:2; Isa. 40:22, 26; 48:13), the natural processes of the world (Ps. 65:9-13; 104:5-13; 147:8, 15-18; Jer. 5:24; Mt. 5:45; Acts 14:17), animal and plant life (Ps. 36:6; 104:14-30; Mt. 6:26; Lk. 12:6), and the life of every person (Ps. 36:6; 66:9; Mt. 10:30; Lk. 12:7).
Section 3: Christ
We believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Second Person of the Trinity and in one person, possessing both a truly and fully divine nature (consubstantial with God) and a truly and fully human nature (consubstantial with man) without mixture, fusion, or change. They remain distinct, yet mysteriously united in one unique person, the God-Man forever. As the Second Person of the Trinity, He has existed from all eternity with the Father and, in due time, was born of a virgin when He took on human flesh.
We believe that Jesus Christ died a sacrificial, substitutionary death in the place of sinners that effectively paid the penalty for human sin through the imputation of their sin to Him (penal substitution) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to them (imputation of Christ’s righteousness, 2 Co. 5:21).
We believe that Jesus Christ was physically and literally raised from the dead three days after being crucified (1 Co. 15:1-4).
We believe that Christ, having ascended to the Father’s right hand, presently sustains all of creation (Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3). Christ rules over every sphere of creation (Mt. 28:18; 1 Pet. 3:22), especially over the church (Eph. 1:22-23) and intercedes for believers (Heb. 7:25). Christ’s session will continue until all his enemies are vanquished, including death, at the resurrection of everyone (John 5:28-29). Then He will deliver over the kingdom to the Father (1 Co.15:24-28).
We believe that Jesus is coming again (John 14:3). During end time events, He will judge believers and unbelievers (John 5:22, 27; 2 Co.5:10; Rev. 20:11-15; 22:12), and rule over this present earth for a thousand years (Rev. 20:4-6).
Section 4: Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person and not an impersonal force. He is fully God, eternally proceeding from the Father as the Spirit. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He participated in creation and the inspiration of the Bible. He gives spiritual gifts and indwells each believer. We believe that the Bible leads to the conclusion that the sign gifts (miracles, tongues, etc.) have ceased (Eph. 2:20; 1 Co. 14:21-22; cf. Isa. 28:11-12; Acts 10-11; 15). God may or may not choose to reveal Himself through such sign gifts today. If He chooses to, we fully expect them to match their nature as revealed in the New Testament.
Section 5: Angels
Angels: We believe angels are immortal spiritual beings, persons, originally created holy, individually, and are temporarily superior to humans. Some are obedient and some disobedient to God. God created them individually (Ps. 148:2-5; Mt. 22:30; Col. 1:16). They do not reproduce and are innumerable (Gen 1:31; Dt. 33:2; Ps. 68:17; Mt. 26:53; Lk. 20:36; Heb. 1:14; 12:22; Rev. 5:11; 14:10).
Satan: We believe Satan is a supernatural spirit being, the chief of the fallen angels. He opposes God and His work by tempting humans, mainly through deception. As prophesied in Gen. 3:15, Christ’s death on the cross rendered Satan ultimately powerless (Heb. 2:14). Presently, he prowls around seeking whom to devour (1 Pet. 5:8).
Section 6: Man
We believe God created man directly from the dust of the ground (Gen. 1:27; 2:7; 5:1; Dt. 4:32) and woman from the rib of man (Ge. 2:21-22) in innocence and in the image of God. However, through Adam’s disobedience resulted sin, death, and the struggle with the created order. God’s image in mankind has been marred, but he continues to bear the image of God (Gen. 9:6). Sin and death have spread to all men because all sinned (Ro. 5:12, 17, 19, 21) and the whole creation groans and suffers because of man’s sin (Ro. 8:22).
Section 7: Sin
We believe that through Adam’s act of disobedience, each human is a sinner against God (Ro. 5:12, 19) and his sin affects the entirety of his being, including the body (Ro. 6:6 12; 7:24; 8:10, 13), mind (Ro. 1:21; 2 Co. 3:14–15; 4:4), emotions, (Ro. 1:26–27; Gal. 5:24; and 2 Tim. 3:2–4), and the will (Ro. 6:17; 2 Ti. 2:25–26). Every behavior, word, or deed of the unregenerate is tainted with some form of improper human motive or sin (Prov. 21:4; Is. 64:6) because they do not have love toward God in their hearts (Jn. 5:39-42). Every man is a sinner because of Adam’s sin (Ro. 5:12, 19) and he is incapable of redeeming himself (Ps. 14:3; 53:3; Ro. 3:12; Eph. 2:8). Man is unable to come to Christ for salvation (Mt. 7:18; Jn. 8:43-44; 14:17; Ro. 6:17, 20; 8:7-8; 1 Co. 2:14; 2 Co. 4:4; Eph. 4:18; 2 Ti. 2:26).
Section 8: Salvation
We believe that God, having planned from all eternity, effectively and irresistibly draws and works in elect individuals to enable them to willingly believe in Jesus Christ as Savior (special grace, Ro. 1:5-6; 1 Co. 1:24-26; Jn. 6:44; Ro. 9:11-13). In order to be saved, individuals must repent and believe that Jesus is Lord (Ro. 10:9-10) and that He was crucified for their sins, died and was buried, and was raised on the third day (1 Co. 15:3-4).
We believe that, because of God’s love (2 Thess. 2:13-14), He knew and had a plan for certain individuals (foreknowledge, Acts 2:23; Ro. 8:29) and therefore purposed their ultimate conformity to the image of Jesus (Ro. 8:29), adoption (final, Eph. 1:11), and ultimate inheritance (Eph. 1:11, predestination). Because these individuals are dead in their sins, unable to initiate and execute a saving response to God (Eph. 2:1), and are predestined, He, by a free, sovereign, and gracious act (Ro. 9:11; 11:5; 2 Ti. 1:9), chose them before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4) that they should willingly receive the benefits of His saving work. The two facts that man is responsible and yet God is the ultimate cause (Ro. 9:19-20) is a mystery.
Regeneration: We believe that the new birth or regeneration is the conception of spiritual life in a believer. Regeneration is solely a divine work (Jn. 1:13), through the Holy Spirit (Jn. 3:5-8; Tit. 3:5) and the Scripture (1 Pet. 1:23; Ja. 1:18). It is a spiritual birth (Jn. 3) and a spiritual resurrection (Eph. 2:5; Col. 2:13).
Justification: We believe that justification is a judicial act of God whereby He declares sinners righteous and in right standing with Him, relieved from all guilt and penalty of sin (Ro. 3-5; Ga. 2). Justification is God’s declaration that a sinner has credited to his account all the righteous demands of the law as having been met and satisfied. Justification is not based on personal righteousness but is a righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith in Christ and His work on the cross (Ro. 3:21-22, 24-25; 5:9; Phil. 3:9; 2 Co. 5:21).
Sanctification: We believe that sanctification is both positional (1 Co. 1:2, 6:11; Eph. 5:26) as well as practical, progressive, and final (Eph. 1:4; 1 Th. 4:3, 5:23; 1 Pet. 1:15-16). It denotes a process of a believer’s becoming actually holy, restoring the divine image in man. At the resurrection, believers will be entirely transformed into the likeness of Christ (ultimate sanctification, Ro. 8:29; Eph. 5:26-27; 1 Jn. 3:2-3). Even though each believer is given God’s Word (Jn. 17:17) and the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:16, 25) for sanctification, the flesh remains in each believer and he keeps sinning (1 Jn. 1:8). To the degree that the believer makes use of the spiritual benefits of dependence on God, God’s word, prayer, confession of sin, and Christian fellowship and worship, to that degree he is enabled to continue in the process of sanctification.
Perseverance: Perseverance in the faith by a believer is an evidence that he possesses eternal security, the assurance of which varies among believers. Genuine believers will continue in the faith (Jn. 8:31; Jude 21) and doctrine (Col. 1:22-23) until the end because they cannot truly fall away from the faith (Heb 3:14). All true believers are eternally secure. Their salvation is forever and cannot be lost. Eternal security is rooted in the relationship between the Father and the Son (John 6:39; 10:27-30) and is accomplished through God’s sovereign work of preservation (Ro. 11:29; 1 Co. 1:8-9; Eph. 4:30; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; Heb 7:23-25; 1 Pet 1:5).
Glorification: Glorification is the transformation of a believer, both body (Phil. 3:21) and spirit (1 Jn. 3:2-3), into the same glory of Jesus Christ (1 Co. 15:35-49). The glorified bodies of the saints will be similar to the glorified body of the Lord Jesus (Phil. 3:21; 1 Jn. 3:2).
Section 9: The Church
Organization: We believe the church is a called-out group of believers, both locally and universally. The universal church includes all believers since Pentecost (Mt. 16:18; Eph. 1:22-23; 3:10, 21; 4:4; 5:23).
We believe that the church and state are to remain separate (Mt. 22:21; 1 Co. 6:1-8) yet Christians have a responsibility to the state (Ro. 13:1–7; 1 Pet. 2:13–17; Tit. 3:1). However, if the state seeks to establish laws that contradict the law of God, we believe Christians are obligated to follow the law of God (Dan. 3; 6; Acts 5:29; see Acts 16:37).
We believe the local church is an assembly of those who have professed Christ’s lordship and headship, who fellowship according to God’s Word to know, exalt and worship the Lord Jesus Christ, edify believers through preaching and teaching, and for each member to participate in various scriptural ministries, including the evangelization of the lost through fulfilling the Great Commission. (Eph. 4:11-16; Col. 1:15-20; 1 Pet. 5:4)
Ordinances: We believe that Christ ordained two rites for the church to practice: baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
- Baptism: We believe that Christian baptism is the act of immersing a professing believer in water as a public declaration that symbolizes the believer’s union with Christ by Spirit baptism into Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (Ro. 6:3-5).
- Lord’s Supper: We believe that the Lord’s Supper (Mt. 26:27; 1 Co. 10:16; 21; 11:20, 24), the partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, is for the purpose of remembering Christ (1 Co. 11:24-25), proclaiming the Lord’s death (11:26), and spiritual examination (11:28). It is to be observed by His church as often as a local body wills and should not cease practicing it until He returns (11:26).
Christian Life: Out of a desire for true unity around apostolic doctrine (Jn. 17:20-23; Acts 2:42; Eph. 4:3) and because God is holy and separate from sin (2 Co. 6:14-7:1; 1 Pet. 1:15-16), we believe in practicing biblical separation from the world, false teachers, and persistently disobedient Christians. We are commanded not to love or be a friend of the world (Ja. 4:4; 1 Jn. 2:15-17). Believers should avoid desires that are primarily associated with and heavily exalted by the world system to maintain purity from the world (1 Co. 15:33; 1 Thess. 5:22) and to maintain a close walk with God (Ja. 4:4).
We believe in separating from false teachers (Ro. 16:17-18; Ga. 1:8-9; 1 Ti. 6:20-21; 2 Jn. 9-11). False teachers should be expelled from the church (2 Jn. 9-11).
We believe in separating from disobedient Christians, those who claim to have saving faith in Christ but who deliberately refuse to repent to conform to the clear teaching of Scripture. These are candidates for church discipline (Mt. 18:15-17; 1 Co. 5:1-13).
We believe that God has designed the marriage relationship to portray the profound mystery of Christ and His Church (Eph. 5:31-32). It is an inseparable union by a covenant until death parts between one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24; Mat. 19:3-9; 1 Cor. 7:10-11). It has as its purposes to have children (Gen. 1:28), to provide helpful companionship (Gen. 2:18), and to promote sexual purity and fulfillment (1 Cor. 7:2-5).
Section 10: Last Things
We believe in the personal, bodily return of Jesus Christ, His literal, physical reign on earth for a thousand years, the eternal punishment of unbelievers in hell and the Lake of Fire, and the eternal blessings for believers in heaven and the New Heaven and the New Earth (Mat. 25:1-13; 1 Thes. 4:14-18; 1 Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 19:11-20:15; 21-22).