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Statement of Faith

God

We believe that there is one God, self-existent and eternal, the creator, sustainer, and ruler of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Their glory is equal, their majesty co-eternal.  (Deut. 6:4; Exod. 3:14; Ps. 90:2; Exod. 20:11; Heb. 1:3; 1 Tim. 6:15; Deut. 32:4; Matt. 3:16; Acts 5:3-4; Tit. 2:13; John 5:23; 1 Pet. 4:14)

Holy Scripture

We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God written, inspired by the Holy Spirit and inerrant in the original manuscripts.  They contain all that is necessary to our salvation and are of supreme authority for faith and practice.  (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:19-21; 3:1-2, 16; John 10:35)

Jesus Christ

We believe that Our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal and only begotten Son of God, became man without ever ceasing to be God; that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and lived a sinless life.  He died on the cross, making a full and satisfactory atonement for the sins of the whole human race, then rose bodily the third day from the grave and ascended into Heaven, where He is enthroned at God's right hand as our intercessor.  (John 1:1, 14, 18; Phil. 2:5-8; Mat. 1:20; Luke 1:34; Heb. 4:15; Rom. 3:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:14; 1 Cor. 15:3-6; Eph. 1:20-22; Rom. 8:34)

Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Godhead, is Lord and Giver of life, who continually glorifies Our Lord Jesus Christ, convicts men and women of sin, and regenerates all who repent and trust in Christ for salvation.  It is by the Holy Spirit that believers are sanctified, indwelt, and guided into all truth; and it is also by Him that Christ lives in the church, the gospel is proclaimed, and the Kingdom of God is advanced in the world.  (2 Cor. 3:17; Rom. 8:2; John 16:8, 14; Tit. 3:5; John 3:5; 1 Pet. 1:2; Rom. 8:11; John 16:13; Rom. 8:9; Acts 1:8)

Human Nature

We believe that man was created in the image of God; but as the result of Adam's sin, the entire human race was alienated from God and plunged into sin.  By nature we are thus corrupt and fallen, hostile to God and His Law, and utterly unable of ourselves to remedy our lost condition.  By His prevenient grace, God restores moral sensibility to all mankind, enabling each of us to respond to His offer of salvation.  (Gen. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 11:7; Rom. 15:12-18; Rom. 3:10-18; Ps. 53:1; Rom. 8:7; Tit. 2:11)

Salvation

We believe that Salvation is the provision of God's grace alone, but it is a gift which we must freely accept.  Thus God graciously justifies and regenerates all who repent of their sins and believe on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  As the children of God, they are restored to fellowship with Him, delivered from the penalty of sin, as well as from its willful practice, and are initially sanctified by the Holy Spirit who dwells in them.  (Eph. 2:8-9; Acts 3:19; Rom. 5:1; Tit. 3:5; Rom. 10:9; John 1:12; 1 John 1:7; Isa. 53:4-6; 1 Cor. 1:2; 1 Pet. 1:2)

Christlikeness—Perfect Love

We believe God desires all believers to be ‘sanctified wholly.’ God’s ‘perfect love’ ‘poured out in a faithful believer’s heart by the Holy Spirit given to him,’ can cleanse him, and keep him clean, ‘from all the filthiness of the flesh and spirit,’ and enable him to ‘fulfill the law of Christ.’ Perfect love, the pure love of God and man, the ‘loving God with all the heart and soul, and our neighbor as ourself’ is the heart of Christlikeness. This life of God in the soul of man, abiding in the believer can enable him to ‘walk as Christ also walked.’ (1 Thess 5:23-24; Rom. 5:5; 2 Cor. 7:1; Gal. 5:14; 6:2; Rom. 8:4; 13:8-10, Jas 2:8; Matt 22:37-39; Mark 12:29-34; Lk 10:27-28; 1 John 4:16-19; 1 John 2:5-6)

We believe ‘love issuing from a pure heart’, governing the heart and life, running through all the believers attitudes, words, and actions is the believers high calling. God not only calls every believer to ‘earnestly love from a pure heart,’ he can faithfully empower him to do it! The fruit of this love that sanctifies completely is ‘rejoicing evermore, praying without ceasing, and in all circumstances giving thanks. This is the will of God in Christ Jesus for every believer.’ (1 Tim 1:5 Matt 5:8; Matt 5:43-48; Rom. 12:9-21; 1 Cor. 13; 1 Pet 1:22; 1 Thess 3:12-13; 5:16-18)

Assurance

We believe that believers are assured of personal salvation by the infallible promises of God's Word, confirmed by the inward testimony of the Holy Spirit, and attested by a good conscience and the presence of the fruit of the Spirit in their lives.  (Rom. 10:9; Rom. 8:14, 16; 1 John 5:9-11; 1 John 2:3-4; 1 John 3:18-21; Gal. 5:22-23; Eph. 5:8-10)

Security of Believers

We believe that all believers are fully secure in Christ, conditioned only by their continuous obedient faith.  Those who backslide may be immediately restored to God's favor by returning to Him in repentance and faith in Christ.  (Phil. 1:6-7; John 10:27-28; 2 Tim. 1:12; Heb. 6:4-6; Rom. 11:18-23; 1 John 1:9; 2:1)

The Christian Life

We believe that it is the joy and duty of all Christians through the power of the Holy Spirit to live righteously, victoriously, and sacrificially, obedient to God's law, faithful in the use of the means of grace, continually sharing the hope that is in them, and ministering compassionately to human need.  (Rom. 8:13; Gal. 5:16, 24-25; Tit. 2:11-12; 1 John 2:3-6; Acts 2:46; 1 Pet. 3:15, Gal. 6:10; 1 John 3:16-18)

The Church

We believe that the true church of Jesus Christ is composed of all who are united to Him in saving faith and who are thus members of the body of which He is the head.  Locally the church is a group of believers of any size, committed to obey Jesus’ commands. To equip the saints for the work of ministry, God has given the church apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. We also affirm the priesthood of all believers and the importance of every follower of Jesus being joined with and actively involved in a local community of Jesus followers, who unite in their worship of the Triune God, who support the great task of world evangelism, and who love one another with pure and fervent hearts.  (Eph. 1:22-23; 4:11-16; 5:23, 30; Matt. 18:20; Rom. 12:3-5; 1 Cor. 6:15; 12:12-27; Col. 2:18-19; Heb. 10:25; Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Pet. 1:22)

Baptism

We believe that Christian baptism, commanded by our Lord, is a sacrament signifying acceptance of the benefits of the atonement of Jesus Christ. Baptism is to be administered to believers and is a declaration of their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior, and a testimony of their full purpose to obey Christ all the days of their life. (Matthew 3:1-7; 28:16-20; Acts 2:37-41; 8:35-39; 10:44-48; 16:29-34; 19:1-6; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:26-28; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:18-22)

The Lord’s Supper

We believe that the Lord’s Supper represents our redemption through Christ’s death, the love Christians ought to have one for another, and is a means through which God communicates grace to the heart when received in faith. This ordinance shall be reverently and frequently observed. (Exodus 12:1-14; Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20; John 6:28-58; 1 Corinthians 10:14-21; 11:23-32)

Christ's Return

We believe that Our Lord Jesus Christ will personally return in glory at the end of the age, as He has promised, and that He will consummate His kingdom and judge the world in righteousness.  His coming, as we confess, is the "blessed hope" which is set before us and for which we must live in constant joyful readiness.  (Acts 1:11; 1 Thess. 1:10; 4:15-17; Matt. 24:29-31; 25:31-45; Acts 17:31; Tit. 2:13)

Heaven and Hell

We believe that those who die in Christ are immediately present with Him, while those who die in sin suffer the torments of hell awaiting the final judgment.  All shall be raised from the dead, those who have died in Christ to eternal blessedness, and those who have rejected Him to conscious and everlasting punishment in the lake of fire.  (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21, 23; Luke 16:19-26; 1 Thess. 4:15-17; Rev. 6:4-6; 20:12-15)

Human Sexuality

We believe that God has given to us the gift of sexuality which must be exercised only within the boundaries of covenanted, lifelong, and heterosexual marriage.  Intimate sexual relationships outside of marriage and sexual relationships between persons of the same sex are immoral and sinful.  Specifically we condemn homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, pornography, and other forms of licentiousness as sinful perversions of the divine gift of sexuality.  (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5, 13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23)

Family Relationships

We believe that God has instituted the family as the foundational unit of human society and it begins with the legitimate marriage of one man and one woman.  Within its structure, as He has ordained, parents are responsible to instruct their children in Christian faith and conduct, to set before them godly and consistent examples of the same, and in every way to “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”  In the ordering of family life, Scripture requires:  “Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord . . . husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it . . . children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.”  (Eph. 6:4; 5:22, 25; 6:1; Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12; Gen. 1:26-28; Exod. 20:12; Deut. 6:4-9; Ps. 127:3-5; Prov. 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; Mark 10:6-12; 1 Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33; 6:1-4, Col. 3:18-21; Heb. 13:4; 1 Pet. 3:1-7)

Human Life

The sanctity and dignity of human life demands respect for all human life, especially in its most vulnerable stages and conditions.  We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being.  Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life.  Abortion is murder.  We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the physical or mental well being of the mother are acceptable.  We further believe that the killing of the weak, the physically challenged, the mentally ill, or the aged, whether by a deliberate act or by coercing or assisting a person to commit suicide is immoral.  (Job 3:16; Ps. 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)

Civil Lawsuits

We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or Christian organizations to resolve personal disputes.  We believe the Christian community possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between parties.  We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander.  (1 Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32)

Authority

We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions:  1) the home, 2) the church, and 3) the state.  Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word.  God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other.  The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God.  (Eph. 5:22-24; 6:1-3; Heb. 13:17; Rom. 13:1-7; Tit. 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:13-14)

Creation

We believe that for His own glory and by His own decree the Triune God created heaven and earth and all things visible and invisible, animate and inanimate.  Thus we reject all unscriptural theories of origin.  (Rom. 11:36; Rev. 4:11; Col. 1:16-17; Gen. 1-2; Ex. 20:11)

Substance Abuse

We believe that the production, sale, purchase, and use of alcoholic beverages, tobacco, narcotics, and other harmful drugs, unless for mechanical, chemical, or medicinal purposes, is contrary to God’s requirement that we regard our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit.  (I Cor. 6:19-20; 1 Tim. 5:23)

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