Confession of Faith

Article I – THE SCRIPTURES

We believe that the Bible, sixty-six books in the Old and New Testaments, is the inerrant Word of God, verbally inspired in all parts and therefore altogether sufficient as our only infallible and authoritative rule of faith and life. By “inspired” we mean that God superintended human authors so that using their own individual personalities they composed and recorded the original writings without error, His revelation to humanity in the very words of His choosing, II Tim. 3:16-17; II Pet. 1:19-21, Psa. 119:160; Prov. 30:5-6.

Article II – THE ONE TRUE GOD

We believe in the one true God Who is an intelligent, sovereign, spiritual, and personal Being; perfect, infinite, and eternal in His being, holiness, love, wisdom, and power. He is absolutely separate from and above the world as its Creator, yet everywhere present in the world as the Upholder of all things. He is revealed to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three distinct Persons but without division of nature, essence, or being, and each having a distinct ministry in God’s relation to His creation and people. It is the Triune God Whom we worship and serve. We exist for Him in Whom we have our being, Gen. 1:1; Ex. 15:11, Psa. 83:18; Matt. 28:19; John 10:30; 15:26.

A. God the Father

We believe that God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace. He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption. As Father, He is the begetter and sender of Jesus Christ, the Father of all creation, and the Father of believers in Christ, Psa. 145:8-9; I Cor. 8:6; John 3:16; Rom. 8:14-17.

B. God the Son

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the second Person of the Triune God, the eternal Word, and only begotten Son. Without any change in His divine Person, He became man by miracle of the virgin birth and continues forever as both true God and true man, one Person with two natures. As man He was tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. As the perfect Lamb of God, He gave Himself in death on the cross, bearing there the sin of the world and suffering its full penalty of divine wrath in our stead. He arose from the grave in a glorified body and as our great High Priest, He ascended into Heaven, there to appear before the face of God the Father as our Advocate and Intercessor, John 1:1-14; 3:16; Matt. 1:18-25; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:6-10; I Cor. 15:3-7; Heb. 4:14-16; I John 2:1-2.

C. God the Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity and that He is equal in essence, power, and eternality with God the Father and God the Son. He is the agent in revelation and redemption. It is the Holy Spirit Who regenerates, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, forming a union with Christ that cannot be broken. He indwells, sanctifies and seals believers unto the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit also instructs and fills believers who daily surrender to Him, empowering them for productive service in this age. The Holy Spirit is sovereign in the distribution of His gifts for the maturing of the saints. Speaking in tongues and the performing of sign miracles in the early years of the church were for the purpose of pointing to and authenticating the apostles as men through whom God was revealing divine truth. These sign gifts were never intended to be characteristic of the lives of believers, John 14:16-17, 26; 16:7-14; I Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:13-14; Rom. 8:26-30; I Cor. 12:4-11; 13:8-10.

Article III – CREATION AND GOD’S DESIGN

A. Creation

We believe that the Genesis account of creation is literal and accurate history. The physical universe, all spirit beings, mankind, and other forms of life were the special, immediate, and formative acts of God. God sustains all creation but exists in no necessary relationship to it, Gen. 1-2; Col. 1:15-18; John 1:3.

B. God’s Design in Marriage

We believe that the Bible defines marriage as one man and one woman joined together by God.  We further believe that sexual intimacy within marriage (as the Bible defines marriage) is a wonderful gift of God designed to be enjoyed. We believe any sexual intimacy outside of marriage is condemned in the Bible as a perversion of God’s created order. The perversion of God’s design for sexual intimacy includes, but may not be limited to, voluntary acts of adultery, polygamy, heterosexual sex for any unmarried person, homosexuality, lesbianism, bi-sexuality, incest, bestiality, pedophilia, and pornography. Gen. 1:26-27, 2:24, 19:5, 13; Lev. 18:1-30; Matt. 19:4-6; Eph. 5:31; Heb. 13:4; Rom. 1:26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:10

C. God’s Design in Ministry Roles

We believe that God created man and woman as equal image-bearers of God, and, thus both man and woman have equal access to salvation in Christ, spiritual enablement to live a godly life, and eternal reward in the future. We further believe that God has designed different roles for men and women in order to image the Godhead. In the home, wives are to submit to and help their husbands. Husbands are to love and lead their wives. In the church, both man and woman are to participate in ministry but the offices of pastor and deacon are reserved for men only. Therefore, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination. Gen. 1:26-27, 2:18, 24; Gal. 3:28; Eph. 4:12-13; Rom. 8:29-30; Eph. 5:21-28, 33; 1 Cor. 11:3; 1 Tim. 2:8-15, 3:1-13; 2 Peter 1:3-4

Article IV – SATAN

We believe that God created an innumerable company of sinless spirit beings. One of these, Satan, though created holy and perfect, through pride and wicked ambition rebelled against God, thus becoming utterly depraved in character, the great adversary of God and His people, leader of all other evil angels, the deceiver, and god of this present world. His powers are vast, but strictly limited by the permissive will of God Who overrules all his wicked devices for good. Satan was defeated and judged at the cross. His final doom, therefore, is certain. We are able to resist and overcome him only in the armor of God, by the blood of the Lamb, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, Col. 1:16; Gen. 3:1-7; II Cor. 4:3-4, 11:3; Eph. 2:1-4, 6:11-12; Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:11-19; Rev. 20:1-10.

Article V – CONDITION OF HUMANITY

We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin the race fell and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death, which is separation from God. Man is born with a sinful nature, and becomes a willful sinner with the first expression of personal choice, and is totally unable to regain his former position. Man is, therefore, under just condemnation to eternal ruin in a literal hell, without defense or excuse before God, Gen. 1:26; 3:1-24; Eccl. 7:20; John 3:18-19; Rom. 1:20; 3:10-23; 5:12; Eph. 2:1-6, 12.

Article VI – SALVATION

We believe that salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works in any way. Every aspect of God’s gift of salvation flows from His eternal plan and good pleasure. While man is responsible to repent and believe, it is God who graciously works to bring about our voluntary obedience to the gospel without coercion and in a manner beyond our comprehension, John 1:12; Acts 5:31: 11:18; 13:48; 16:20-33; Rom. 6:23; 2 Cor 5:17; Eph. 1:4-11; 2:8-10; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 2:24-25; I Pet. 1:1-2,18-19; Col. 2:13.

A. The Gospel

We believe that the Gospel needs to be proclaimed throughout the world. It involves the recognition that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of God, or God the Son. It also involves the acknowledgment that He died for one’s own sin and rose from the dead. It requires placing one’s trust in Christ (His Person) and His work (death and resurrection) for the forgiveness of sin and everlasting life. This is the Good News that is the remedy for the bad news of the fallen condition of each member of the human race, Matt. 28:18-20; Heb. 11:6; John 6:28-29; John 3:36; 8:24; 20:31, I Cor. 15:3-4; John 3:14-16.

B. Regeneration

We believe that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given through the Word of God to the believer who has responded in faith to the divine provision of salvation, John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5; John 5:24; Rom. 10:13-17.

C. Justification

We believe that justification is the judicial act of God in which He declares sinners to be righteous and acceptable before Him. This is done on the basis of Christ’s propitiatory death on the cross in the place of sinners, which is verified by His resurrection from the dead. This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of the sinner and involves the placing of our sins on Christ and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us as believers, Matt. 1:21; 20:28; Rom. 5:9-11; Col. 1:20-22; Heb. 9:11-14, 24-28; Isa. 53:4-12; II Cor. 5:21.

D. Sanctification

We believe that every believer is sanctified or set apart unto God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and is identified as a saint. This sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing before God, not his or her present walk or condition.We believe that there is also a progressive sanctification that is a work of the Holy Spirit. Through this process of sanctification, the state of the believer is brought closer to the standing he enjoys in justification. This sanctification progresses if the believer is yielded to the Holy Spirit’s control. It is carried on in the hearts of believers by the power of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God, watchfulness, and prayer. There is no complete victory over our fallen, sinful nature in this life, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin.We believe that complete sanctification will be the experience of every believer when finally in the presence of the Lord. With soul and spirit united in the resurrected body, the Christian will be free from every trace or effect of sin and rebellion, I Cor. 1:2, 30; 6:11; Acts 20:32, Heb. 3:1; 10:10, 14; I Pet. 1:2; John 17:17; Rom. 6:1-22; Gal. 5:16-25; Col. 3:9-10; I Pet. 1:14-16; I John 3:2; Eph. 4:30; 5:27; Jude 24-25.

E. Eternal Life

We believe that God promises eternal life to those who place their faith in Christ. The benefits for the believer of an unbreakable union with Christ and a standing as joint-heir with Him include being kept by God’s power and being secure in Christ forever. By the Spirit’s power, all who are truly born again will continue in their commitment to Christ, His gospel, and the essential truths of biblical Christianity. Christ’s death, resurrection, and endless life secure absolutely for the believer the resurrection of the physical body, an eternal home with Christ, and endless, unbroken fellowship with the Triune God, John 3:14-18; I John 2:3-6, 5:10-12,16-17; Matt. 28:20; John 10:28-30; Rom. 8; 6:3-11; John 6:37-40, 44, 47; I Thess. 5:23-24; Heb. 10:12-14; 1 Peter 1:5; John 14:1-3.

Article VII – THE CHURCH

A. The Body of Christ

We believe that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into the body and espoused bride of Christ, which is the Church. All members of this one spiritual body should assemble and identify themselves in local churches, I Cor. 12:12-13; Eph. 1:22-23; 3:21; 4:11-16; 5:25-27; II Cor. 11:2; Heb. 10:25.

B. The Local Church

We believe that a New Testament church is a local assembly of born-again, baptized believers united in organization to practice New Testament ordinances; to meet together for worship, prayer, fellowship, teaching and a united testimony; and to engage actively in carrying out the Great Commission, Acts 2:41-42; Matt. 28:19-20.

1. The Autonomy of the Local Church

We believe in the autonomy of the local church. It is to be free from any external hierarchy or control, with the right of self-government. It also should cooperate with other churches of like faith and practice in a manner commensurate with the unity of all true believers, Matt. 18:17; Acts 6:1-5; 13:1-3.

2. The Priesthood of All Believers

We believe that Christ is our Great High Priest and through Him every born-again person has direct access into God’s presence without the need of a human priest. The believer has the personal right and responsibility to study the Scriptures and interpret them as he is guided by the Holy Spirit, John 14:6; Heb. 4:12-16; II Tim. 2:15.

3. The Ordinances

We believe that both Christian baptism and the Lord’s Supper are memorial, symbolic, and prophetic. We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, to show forth, in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, picturing our death to sin and resurrection to a new life. Baptism is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership. In the Lord’s Supper, the members of the church commemorate the death of Christ by partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, preceded by a period of solemn self-examination. The Lord’s Supper is observed only by baptized believers who are members of our church or a local church of like faith and practice (“close” communion), Rom. 6:3-4; Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41; Matt. 26:26-30; I Cor. 11:23-30.

Article VIII – THINGS TO COME

A. Death

We believe that at death, the spirit and soul of the believer pass instantly into the presence of Christ and remain in conscious joy until the resurrection of the body, when Christ comes for His own at the rapture of the saints. After death, the souls of unbelievers remain in conscious misery in a literal hell until the second resurrection when, reunited with their body, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, Luke 23:43; II Cor. 5:6-8; Phil. 1:23; I Thess. 4:13-18; Luke 16:29-31.

B. The Rapture of the Saints and the Tribulation

We believe that the blessed hope of the believer is the imminent, personal, pre-tribulational, premillennial return of Christ to rapture the Church, His bride. God’s righteous judgments will then be poured out on an unbelieving world during the Tribulation, the last half of which is the Great Tribulation. The climax of this fearful era will be the physical return of Jesus Christ to the earth in great glory to effect the Davidic kingdom, Titus 2:13; I Thess. 4:13-18; Jude 14,15; Rev. 19:11-16.

C. The Second Coming and the Millennium

We believe that the return of Christ to earth to establish His reign for one thousand years (the Millennial Kingdom) is the concluding event of the Great Tribulation. Israel will be saved and restored as a nation. Satan will be bound, and the curse will be partially lifted from the physical creation. Christ’s reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace, righteousness, long life and bounty, Rev. 19:11-16; Isa. 65:17-25; Ezek. 37:21-28; Rev. 20:1-3; Ezek. 36:33-38.

D. The Judgment of Satan and the Lost

We believe that Satan will be released after the one thousand year reign of Christ, and that he will deceive the nations of the earth and lead them to a final rebellion against God and His people. This will lead to Satan’s final defeat and judgment, resulting in the casting of him and his forces into the lake of fire to be tormented forever. At the Great White Throne Judgment, the physical bodies and the souls of unbelievers will be reunited and they will be judged. The lost will be cast into the lake of fire to experience eternal, conscious punishment, Rev. 20:7-15; Matt. 25:41.

E. Eternal State of the Saved

We believe that after the final judgments, there will be a new heaven and new earth where only righteousness dwells. Saints will enjoy eternal, conscious, joyous fellowship with God and with one another. In all spheres the Triune God will reign forever and ever, John 17:3; Rev. 21,22; I Cor. 15:28.

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