OUR STATEMENT OF FAITH IS A LIST OF FOUNDATIONAL BELIEFS WHICH GUIDE OUR DAILY LIVING.
God is the one and only true God who is revealed to us as three eternal, co-equal persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The triune God is one in essence and being and also distinct in three persons. God, the creator of all things, is infinite, intelligent, personal, all-powerful, holy, righteous, merciful, patient, transcendent over time, and just in all his ways.
God the Father is the first person of the Godhead. He is our creator, redeemer, ruler over all the universe, and the giver of all good things we receive. He loves us deeply and demonstrates this love for us by sending His son Jesus that we too might become sons and daughters.
Jesus Christ is the eternal son of God and the second person of the Godhead. Jesus was with God in the beginning. He is God incarnate and the expressed image of the Father who, without ceasing to be God, became man in order that He might demonstrate who God is and provide the means of salvation for humanity. Jesus Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a perfect, sinless life, and all of His teachings are true. He died on the cross for all humanity as a substitutional sacrifice, taking on the punishment that we deserve. He then rose from the dead after three days, defeating death to provide eternal life for all who believe. Jesus ascended into heaven, where He is now seated at the right hand of the Father as our High Priest and Advocate, until His inevitable return to gather His people and judge the unrighteous.
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. He brings glory to the Father and the Son. He is the conduit of God’s power and provision to us as believers. He indwells all believers and empowers them to live holy lives. He distributes spiritual gifts to each believer according to His sovereign good pleasure for the purpose of building up the Church. The Spirit inspired the writing of scripture and He is the only means by which eyes can be opened to understand its truth. It is only by the Spirit of God that softens hard hearts to the truth of the gospel, enabling belief for salvation. He is the Comforter, our teacher, the seal of our salvation and the guarantor of our inheritance in Christ.
The Bible, comprised of the Old and New Testaments, was written by men, inspired by the Holy Spirit and is the infallible and authoritative Word of God. It is completely true and trustworthy as the final authority for faith and practice. Through it, God has revealed the truth about Himself, the fallen world, and His redemptive plan which is faithfully being worked out. The bible points to Jesus Christ from cover to cover and is the foundation by which Christians are united.
Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21
God created men and women unique and special from all else in creation. God made them in his own image, biologically male and female, not to be altered, as a part of his perfect design. They were to be co-rulers with God over all creation, to multiply godly offspring, subdue the earth and to glorify God. Adam and Even were created with free will and enjoyed a perfect, unbroken relationship with God. Through the temptation of Satan, they willfully disobeyed God, resulting in their becoming marred by sin and their relationship with God was broken. Subsequently, all have inherited this sin nature and are in need of God’s grace for freedom and forgiveness. This is offered through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
All men and women will exist eternally, either separated from God because of our sin or united with God through His salvation by grace. Salvation is a free gift from God through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Christ died in our place and bore our sins in His own body. He offers salvation to everyone by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. On the third day after his death, he rose from the grave thereby sealing his victory over both sin and death. Good works and obedience are results of salvation and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. They are not requirements for salvation. All who have received Christ as Savior are eternally secure in salvation. At the moment of salvation, each is given a new identity in Christ. God’s primary concern is his own glory and this is demonstrated in his power and presence as seen in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Based on our new identity in Christ, every believer is called to no longer conform to the patterns of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. This transformation takes place in the mind, the will, and the emotions. It manifests itself in outward attitudes and actions. The Bible presents the transformed life in Christ as demonstrated through our “bearing fruit in every good work [and] growing in the knowledge of God.”
Romans 12:2; Colossians 1:10
The Church is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers that assembles regularly to exalt God, encourage, and edify believers through the use of gifts given by the Holy Spirit. The church observes the two ordinances of Jesus Christ (baptism and communion) and is governed by God through the instruction of His Word. Each member of the Church is accountable to Christ as Lord and responsible to one another as brothers and sisters. This responsibility includes love and encouragement in the Lord through authentic relationships as we spur one another on toward holiness and the mission of God.
Spurring one another on toward holiness is also done by graciously confronting sinful behavior in each other’s lives. If church members continue in habitual sin and refuse to repent, there is a process by which they will be removed from membership. This process of church discipline is always done in love and compassion with the ultimate goal of restoration by the repentant brother or sister.
The congregation is led and cared for by the two biblical offices of Pastor/Elder and Deacon. Pastors/Elders are to care for the spiritual needs of the church through prayer, preaching, teaching, serving, and providing oversight to the overarching mission and vision. The Pastors/Elders must faithfully interpret and teach God’s Word and they have the responsibility to establish beliefs and practices for the church based on these teachings. As it is possible, each church should be led by a plurality of Pastors/Elders that meet biblical requirements. Though all men and women in the church are equally gifted and necessary for serving, the office of Pastor/Elder is reserved only for men that are biblically qualified, called by God, and affirmed by the Church based on the specific qualifications outlined in 1 Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9.
Deacons/Ministry Team Leads are men and women appointed to serve the church by meeting the needs of vital church ministries. They bless the church and empower Pastors/Elders to maintain focus on prayer, preaching, and overall spiritual care of the people.
Acts 6:1-7; 14:23; 20:28; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 13:7; 1 Peter 5:1-12
BAPTISM AND COMMUNION
Baptism is the willful act of a believer to be immersed in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus as a rite of belonging to the Church. As the first ordinance, baptism is a prerequisite for church membership and the communion table.
Communion, also known as Lord’s Supper, is a symbolic act of obedience whereby the church partakes of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorializing the death of Jesus and anticipate His second coming.
Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; 20:7; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 10:16,21; 11:23-29; Colossians 2:12
THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH
Every Christian has the responsibility to show the love of Jesus with their words, works, and wealth for the spread of the Gospel and the glory of God. Our lives are to reflect the gospel, our words are to share the gospel, and our wealth is to aid in the advancement of gospel works in our community and around the globe. It is our responsibility to be faithful in these areas but the mission of God is one that is ultimately dependent on the Holy Spirit. Every church should work to equip, empower, and resource its members to do the work of the ministry in the community. In addition, partnership and cooperation with other churches and kingdom-minded organizations are imperative to maximize gospel reach both locally and globally.
As representatives of Christ, Christians should work to improve society and live as productive, law-abiding citizens in submission to the authorities appointed over us, praying for them regularly. Working to bring the righteousness of Christ into society is important to the church. But lasting change only occurs when this righteousness comes from the gospel changing hearts. Christians must always stand against racism, greed, selfishness, dishonesty, abortion, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, fornication, homosexuality, pornography, and all other forms of unrighteousness that distort God’s original design. We resolve to accept all people regardless of their sin, struggle, or lifestyle while speaking God’s truth in love. We must seek to be courageous and boldness about these truths while setting the Christ-like example of meekness, humility, and loving those with whom we disagree. We must be willing to work with all people of goodwill to bring about a good change in the world. Ultimately, our hope is that our lives will reflect the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Exodus 20:3-17; Leviticus 6:2-5; Deuteronomy 10:12; 27:17; Psalm 101:5; Micah 6:8; Zechariah 8:16; Matthew 5:13-16,43-48; 22:36-40; 25:35; Mark 1:29-34; 2:3ff.; 10:21; Luke 4:18-21; 10:27-37; 20:25; John 15:12; 17:15; Romans 12–14; 1Corinthians 5:9-10; 6:1-7; 7:20-24; 10:23-11:1; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:12-17; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Philemon; James 1:27; 2:8
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
We believe that marriage is a sacred union between one man and one woman for life. Both the husband and wife are equal in their value and dignity. Both are created in the very image of God and are called to also submit to one another as they carry out different. Yet equally important, roles in reflection of God’s image. Marriage is meant to function as a picture of Christ’s relationship to His Church where the husband lovingly leads and serves his wife with compassion, understanding, and self-sacrifice. Likewise, a wife is called to submit graciously to the servant leadership of her own husband as the church submits willingly to Christ.
At the moment of conception, children are a gift from God and are a treasure to be cherished. It is a parent’s primary obligation to care for their children by demonstrating the gospel of Jesus Christ through actions, and words. Parents must model genuine faith and use scripture to teach their children in the instruction and admonition of the Lord. Children are called to submit to and obey their parents.
In the time known only to the Father and in the way that He deems best, the Son will return to the earth in glory both visibly and personally to the earth. The dead will be raised and Christ will judge both the righteous and unrighteous. For the unrighteous, He will banish to eternal punishment in hell. For the righteous that are found in Christ, He will give new glorified bodies and they will dwell with Him for all eternity in the new heavens and new earth.
Isaiah 2:4; 11:9; Matthew 16:27; 18:8-9; 19:28; 24:27,30,36,44; 25:31-46; 26:64; Mark 8:38; 9:43-48; Luke 12:40,48; 16:19-26; 17:22-37; 21:27-28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15:24-28,35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 1:5; 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 5:1ff.; 2 Thessalonians 1:7ff.; 2; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:27-28; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7ff.; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14; Revelation 1:18; 3:11; 20:1-22:13