WHAT WE BELIEVE
We believe in the authority and sufficiency of the Holy Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old Testament and New Testament, as originally written; that it was verbally and plenary inspired and is the product of Spirit-controlled men, and therefore is infallible and inerrant in all matters of which it speaks. We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian unity and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creed and opinions shall be tried (II Tim. 3:16,17; II Peter 1:19-21).
The True God
We believe there is one and only one living and true God and infinite Spirit, the Maker and supreme Ruler of Heaven and earth, inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption (Exodus 20:2,3; I Cor. 8:6; Rev. 4:11).
The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world that He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment; that He bears witness to the truth of the gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the Agent in the new birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer (Genesis 1:1-3; Matt. 28:10; Mark 1:8; Luke 1:35; 24:49; John 1:33; 3:5,6;14:16,17; 14:25; 16:8-11; Acts 5:30-32; 11:16 Rom. 8:14, 16, 26, 27: Eph. 1:13-14; Heb. 9:14).
The Devil or Satan
We believe in the reality and personality of Satan, the Devil; that he was created by God as an angel but through pride and rebellion became the enemy of his Creator; that he became the unholy god of this age and the ruler of all the power of darkness and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire (Matt. 4:1-11; II Cor. 4:4; Rev. 20:10).
We believe the biblical account of the creation of the physical universe, angels and man; that this account is neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of the direct, immediate creative acts of God without any evolutionary process; that man was created by a direct work of God and not from previously existing forms of life; and that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race (Gen. 1:2; John 1:3; Col. 1:16-17).
The Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in innocence (in the image and likeness of God) under the Law of his Maker; but by voluntary transgression Adam fell from his sinless and happy state, and all men sinned in him; in consequence of which, all men are totally depraved, are partakers of Adam’s fallen nature and are sinners by nature and by conduct and therefore are under just condemnation without defense or excuse (Gen. 3:1-6; Rom. 1:18, 32; 3:10-19; 5:12, 19).
The Virgin Birth
We believe that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner, born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can be born of woman, and that He is both the Son of God and God, the Son (Gen. 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; John 1:4).
We believe that the salvation of sinners is divinely initiated and wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who, by the appointment of the Father, voluntarily took upon Himself our nature yet without sin, and honored the divine law by His personal obedience, thus qualifying Himself to be our Savior; that by shedding of His blood in His death He fully satisfied the just demands of a holy and righteous God regarding sin; that His sacrifice consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust. Christ the Lord bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in Heaven and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection. He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all sufficient Savior. We believe that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation. Repentance is a change of mind and purpose toward God prompted by the Holy Spirit and is an integral part of saving faith (Jonah 2:9; Isaiah 53:4-7; Matthew 18:11; John 3:16; Acts 15:11; Rom. 3:24, 25; I Cor. 15:3; II Cor. 5:21; Eph. 2:8; Phil. 2:7,8; Heb. 2:14-17; I Peter 2:24; I John 4:10).
Resurrection and Priesthood of Christ
We believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ and in His ascension into Heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of the Father as our High Priest interceding for us (Matt. 28:6,7; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:2-6; 39, 51; John 20:27; Acts 1:9-11; I Cor. 15:4; I Tim. 2:5; Heb. 2:17; 5:9-10; 7:25; 8:6; 12:2; I John 2:1; Rev. 3:21).
Grace and the New Birth
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about by our sovereign God in a manner above our comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith and newness of life (John 3:3, 8; Acts 16:20, 33; II Cor. 5:17; I John 5:1).
We believe that justification is that judicial act of God whereby He declares the believer righteous upon the basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ; that it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s shed blood (Rom. 3:24; 4:5; 5:1, 9; Gal. 2:16; Phil. 3:9).
We believe that sanctification is the divine setting apart of the believer unto God accomplished in a threefold manner. First, sanctification is an eternal act of God based upon redemption in Christ, establishing the believer in a position of holiness at the moment he trusts the Savior, second, sanctification is a continuing process in the saints as the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to the life; third, sanctification is the final accomplishment of this process at the Lord’s return (John 17:17; I Cor. 1:30; II Cor. 3:18; Eph. 5:25-27; I Thess. 4:3,4; 5:23,24; Heb. 3:1; 10:10-14; I John 3:2; Jude 24,25; Rev. 22:11).
The Security of the Saints
We believe that all who are truly born again are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ (John 10:28, 29; Rom. 8:35-39; Phil. 1:6; Jude 1).
We believe that a local church is an organized congregation of immersed believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the ordinance of Christ, governed by His laws and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers are pastors and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. We believe the true mission of the church is faithful witnessing of Christ to all men as we have opportunity. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations and that the one and only Superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is Scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for furtherance of the gospel; that each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; that on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the church is final (Acts 2:41, 42; 20:17-28; I Cor. 11:2; I Tim. 3:1- 13). We believe in the unity of all New Testament believers in the Church, which is the Body of Christ (Acts 15:13-18; I Cor. 12:12, 13; Eph, 1:22, 23; 3:1-6; 4:11; 5:23; Col. 1:18).
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that Christian baptism is the single immersion of a believer in water to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our identification with the crucified, buried and risen Savior, through whom we died to sin and rose to a new life; that baptism is to be performed under the authority of the local church; and that it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes and should be preceded always by solemn self-examination. We believe that the Biblical order of the ordinances is baptism first and then the Lord’s Supper and that participants in the Lord’s Supper should be immersed believers (Matt. 3:16; 28:18-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:36, 38,39; Rom. 6:2-5; I Cor. 11:23-28; Col. 2:12).
We believe in obedience to the Biblical commands to separate ourselves unto god from worldliness and ecclesiastical apostasy (Rom. 16:17; II Cor. 6;14-17:1; I Thess. 1:9, 10; I Tim. 6:3-5; II John 9-11).
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed except in those things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the only Lord of the conscience and the coming King of kings (Ex. 18:21,22; II Sam. 23:3; Daniel 3:17, 18; Matt. 22:21; Acts 4:19, 20; 5:29; 23:5; Rom. 13:1-7).
We believe in the sovereign selection of Israel as God’s eternal covenant people; that she is now dispersed because of her disobedience and rejection of Christ; that she will be regathered in the Holy Land and, after the completion of the Church, will be saved as a nation at the second advent of Christ (Gen. 13:14-17; Ezekiel 37; Rom. 11:10-32).
Rapture and Subsequent Events
We believe in the premillennial return of Christ, an event which can occur at any moment; and that at that moment the dead in Christ shall be raised in glorified bodies, and the living in Christ shall be given glorified bodies without tasting death, and all shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air before the seven years of Tribulation (I Cor. 15:42-54; Phil. 3:20, 21; I Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 3:10). We believe that the Tribulation, which follows the Rapture of the Church, will be culminated by the revelation of Christ in power and great glory to sit upon the throne of David and to establish the millennial kingdom (Isa. 9:6, 7; 11:1-9; Daniel 9:25-27; Matt. 24:29-31;Luke 1:30-33; Acts 2:29, 30; Rev. 20:1-4,6).
The Righteous and the Wicked
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only those who are justified by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and sanctified by the Spirit of our God are truly righteous in His esteem; that while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse. This distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting felicity of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost in the lake of fire (Gen.18:23; Prov. 14:32; Malachi 3:18; Matt. 25:34-41; Luke 16:25; John 8:21; Rom. 6:17, 18,23; 7:6; I John 5:19; Rev. 20:14-15).
Tongues, Sign Gifts and Healing
Tongues and Sign Gifts
We believe that the Scriptures teach that in the opening days of the Church Age the Holy Spirit gave specific sign gifts to individual believers which He does not bestow on them today. These gifts are the gift of tongues, interpretation of tongues, miracles, healing, prophecy and apostleship. The exercise of these gifts was never to prove that the one exercising them was saved but to demonstrate the authority of the Word of God. Tongues and other sign gifts of the Holy Spirit were given to confirm the spoken word until the canon of the Scripture was complete, i.e., all sixty-six books had been written. With the completion of the Bible, the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, which were partial and temporary, were no longer exercised. We have God’s complete and final revelation in the Holy Scriptures and need no other manifestation (Acts 2:4-13; I Cor. 12:4-11; 13:8-10; Heb. 2:3,4).
We believe that sickness, together with every other disorder and evil in human life and the world, are the effect of sin. The New Testament clearly teaches that Christ “died for our sins” and that “He was made sin for us.” Divine healing is not in the atonement made by Christ in the sense that salvation and forgiveness of sins are in His atonement. The suffering and death of Christ was substitutionary, penal and vicarious. It is nowhere taught in Scripture that Christ died for the effects of sin but for sin. The effects of sin did not need a satisfactory penalty meted out, but sin did because it is an infringement of His Law and Will and an offense against God’s holiness. Christ, therefore, bore the penalty of sin in his suffering and death. We further believe that when Matthew 8:17 quotes Isaiah, “Himself took our infirmities and bare out sicknesses” it was not that He took them in the sense that He died for them and put them away as He did the sins of the believer, but as the context clearly reveals by “bearing” them in the sense of sympathetically bearing them so that He took them away by healing the sick.
The passage clearly refers to what took place during our Lord’s public ministry and not what took place in His death. In His vicarious death Christ bore the penalty of sin and accomplished a redemption which covers every possible effect of sin and will therefore, when He brings in full and eternal redemption, put an end to all sin and sickness as well as to every other disorder in the world because of sin. We further believe that the present dispensation of grace is distinctly and preeminently the time for spiritual salvation and of spiritual blessing in the heavenlies. During this dispensation the Lord heals the body in answer to believing prayer but only according to His own sovereign Will and for His glory and not because He is bound to do so because of what He has accomplished on the cross. The Word of God does not make a promise of specific bodily healing to the Christian in the Age of Grace, but the child of God can bring his physical needs to God in prayer just as he brings all of his other burdens. Furthermore, the Word of God does not authorize public healing meetings for the Church age (Rom. 4:25; I Cor. 15:3; II Cor. 5:31; Phil. 4:6,7; James 5:14; I Peter 2:24; 3:18).
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.
The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people.
Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Ex. 20:12; Deut. 6:4-9; Josh. 24:15; 1 Sam. 1:26-28; Ps. 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Prov. 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6-15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Eccl. 4:9-12; 9:9; Mal. 2:14-16; Matt. 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mk. 10:6-12; Rom. 1:18-32; 1 Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Col. 3:18-21; 1 Tim. 5:8,14; 2 Tim. 1:3-5; Ti. 2:3-5; Heb. 13:4; 1 Pt. 3:1-7).