Much of our beliefs can be summed up, with minor exceptions, in statements of faith written and affirmed by many throughout the years. We will not attempt to reinvent such sound doctrinal confessions.
For reference, we largely affirm:
Below are some of these core beliefs, stated more simply and succinctly so you can easily know where we may stand on certain key doctrines.
We believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, Holy Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16). While there is no error in the original manuscripts, given the limitations of mankind, modern translators may at times fall short, but the Holy Spirit has ensured a faithful and sufficient representation is available to us today through most modern English translations.
The Bible is comprised of the 66 books of both the Old and New Testament scriptures, with God himself as the authority over all scripture. This scripture is sufficient to equip all believers for every good work and to reveal the will and nature of God to believers and non-believers alike.
The Bible is the ultimate authority. No king, no pope, no government, no denomination, or any other can assert an authority equal to scripture. All of our beliefs are based on the Bible because it is the Word of God.
There is only one true and living God, infinite, all-knowing, all-present through time and space. There is nothing outside of His will or His knowledge.
God has made Himself known in the three persons of the trinity: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Equally divine, equally perfect, working in harmony with distinct roles in creation, redemption, and inspiration. Each are distinct persons, yet divinely, together, comprise God. (Matt. 28:19, 1 Pet. 1:2)
We believe God created the heavens and the earth, by divine means, by His word and intent. The earth did not come about naturally due to cosmic gasses or a large explosion; the planet, full of magnificent creatures great and small, with unique abilities and attributes, did not evolve over millions of years to the remarkable masterpiece we see today.
God created mankind, in His own image, to have dominion over His creation. He created them man and woman, male and female, unique in their attributes and DNA. Man was made sinless, and yet, first Eve, then Adam, were tempted by Satan into sinning against God, thereby introducing sin into this world, and condemning mankind to his sinful nature as well as the natural consequences of sin, such as pain, sorrow, turmoil, and death.
Through this sin of our great-grandfather Adam, we are all born into the bondage of slavery to sin. We are born of sinful nature and desires, not desiring God or the things of God in any way.
Mankind, being dead in sin, is separated from God, as God does not abide with sin. Yet God, in His good nature, before the foundation of the world, determined before the foundation of the world to send His Son Jesus Christ to be born on earth to a virgin named Mary, thereby not having the sinful nature of an earthly father, to live a perfect life, tempted in every way yet without sin. Jesus taught the few and the many through parables, plain language, the working of miracles, and the example of His perfect life. He was crucified on a cross, slain as a spotless lamb to make payment for the sins of those who would believe in Him. After three days, He rose from the dead, made perfect in glory, presented Himself to many, and ascended into Heaven. This miracle of the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Son of God, has made a way for all who believe to become children of God, with a hope and promise of eternity with God.
We are dead in our sin (Eph 2:1), deserving of hell and damnation. Yet God, being rich in mercy, sent His only begotten Son to make payment for our sins. God uses ordinary and extraordinary means to proclaim this gospel message throughout the world, particularly through the evangelistic work of Christians and churches sharing this good news.
God draws people to Himself, not by lofty speech and worldly wisdom, but by the working of the Holy Spirit. Salvation comes as men and women hear the gospel message and believe it, not with their lips only, but with their entire being.
There is no other path to salvation and righteousness with God except through Jesus Christ. All roads do not lead to heaven. Broad is the path of destruction, and narrow is the path to eternal life (Matt. 7:13). No one comes to the Father, except through the Son (John 14:6).
Even after the work of salvation, we still fight our sinful nature, which will be a part of us until we join God in His glory (Rom. 7:14-24). The process of living our lives, day by day, month after month, year after year, attempting to live as more holy and righteous imitators of Christ is called “sanctification”, and it is a lifelong process.
The church is the bride of Christ; we are His people, and he is our Lord. He loves us, protects us, and covers us. We are set apart for Him; we live in this world, but our hope is not in this world. We are called to be a light to the dark and fallen world so that others may see Christ.
As the local church, the local body of believers who have committed themselves to God and to each other, we strive to live in community with one another. We bear one another’s burdens, we pray for one another, we serve one another, and we love one another. We hold fast to each other, locking arms, so that none are left alone, to stray or fall behind (Eph. 4:1-6).
The local church is led by Godly men of good reputation, called to give of themselves and serve the church, through acts of service (deacons) and through the preaching and teaching of His word (pastors/elders). God ordains the leaders of His church through ordinary means; through an internal call on a man’s life, and through the external recognition of that call by the local church and believers who can attest to that man’s qualifications.
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19). Though baptism is not required for salvation, every professing Christian is called to be baptized to symbolize to all that they are dead to their old selves, washed of their sins by the blood of Jesus Christ, and are resurrected as a new creation in Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:3-4). It is the outward display of the inward change that takes place in the work of salvation.
Communion is a beautiful and solemn act that is done often in remembrance of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross (1 Cor. 11:23-26). He was the perfect, spotless lamb, slain for our iniquities, bringing believers into everlasting relationship with God eternal. As such, communion is only for Christian believers and should not be taken lightly or in any manner unworthy of such an honorable act (1 Cor. 11:27-29).
We hold firm to the hope and knowledge that one day our King will return, in full glory and splendor (Matt. 24: 30). The pain and suffering of this sinless life will cease. We will be made anew in Christ, with incorruptible bodies and sinless natures (1 Cor. 15: 42-43). On that day, every knee will bow, every tongue will confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:9-11).
Until that day, we are to watch and be ready. No one knows the day or the hour He will return (Matt. 25:13). It is not our job to try to predict the day that he tells us we cannot know; rather it is for us to share the gospel with the lost in the hopes that they, too, will be ready on that day.