We believe the Bible, solely consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, to be the complete and inspired word of God; that this inspiration extends equally and fully to every word of the original manuscripts, God having superintended the human authors as they composed and recorded without error His revelation to humanity. Through time God has faithfully preserved the integrity of His word, the supreme and final authority for all claims regarding truth and righteousness and in all matters of faith and conduct.
We believe in the one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, who equally possess the same undiluted essence, attributes and perfections and who are equally worthy of the same homage, confidence and obedience, while executing distinct but harmonious roles in the work of creation, providence, and redemption.
We believe in God the Father, Creator and Sustainer of the universe, who has sovereignly decreed all things seen and unseen for His glory. He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of all human beings as their Creator, and the spiritual Father of all believers, whom He adopts as His own.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the eternally and only begotten Son of the Father, who by His incarnation willingly took on a fully human nature while retaining His fully divine nature, so that two whole, perfect and distinct natures were inseparably joined together in one person, without confusion or mixture. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin named Mary, who was chosen by God. He lived a sinless life, humbly submitting to the will of the Father in order to reveal God and to redeem sinful human beings. He willingly suffered and died on a cross, giving His life as the perfect substitutionary sacrifice for the penalty of sin, was buried and on the third day rose bodily from the dead. During the forty days that followed, He offered many compelling evidences of His resurrection before ascending bodily into heaven and taking His seat at the right hand of the Father where He continually intercedes for all believers. One day He will come again to judge the living and the dead and establish His eternal kingdom over which He will rule and reign in righteousness.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe in the Holy Spirit, eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son. While eternally present and active from all eternity, on the day of Pentecost He took up His abode in the world in a special sense according to the divine promise. He convicts the unbelieving world of sin, righteousness and judgment, and permanently indwells every believer, sealing them to the day of redemption, and baptizing or placing them into one body, the body of Christ. This singular and unique baptism occurs at the moment of salvation for each and every believer. He gives each believer spiritual gifts, abilities and ministries sovereignly bestowed by God, to serve the body of Christ and distributes them to the body of Christ as a whole. The Holy Spirit fills believers as they yield themselves to His sanctifying work in their lives. By this work He conforms believers to the image of the Son, teaching them truth, guiding them in righteousness, assuring them of salvation and interceding for them.
Neither the baptism nor the filling of the Spirit require the laying on of hands as a prerequisite or the speaking in tongues as a common or necessary sign. Particular spiritual gifts are neither essential to prove the presence of the Holy Spirit, nor an indication of deep spiritual experience.
ANGELS AND SATAN
We believe that angels, an innumerable company of sinless, spiritual beings, were created by God; that one, “Lucifer, son of the morning” rebelled against God through pride, thereby becoming Satan; that a great number of the angels followed him in his moral fall, becoming demons, some of whom are active as his agents and associates, while others are confined unto future judgment. Satan, the originator of sin, under the permission of God and through subtlety, led Adam and Eve into transgression, which accomplished their moral fall and subjected them and their posterity to his own power. As the enemy of God and God’s people, he appears as an angel of light and counterfeits the works of God. Although Satan remains active in the world today, Christ triumphed over him at the cross. Satan will one day be stripped of all authority and power and will be cast into the lake of fire where he will be tormented for all eternity. A great number of angels remained faithful to God and are before the throne of God; from there they are sent to minister to believers.
We believe that man was created in the image of God for the purpose of His glory; that this creation was direct, special and immediate; that God’s image encompasses soul and body, both male and female as two distinct, yet complimentary sexes, and sanctifies human life from conception. As a result of the fall, the image of God in man was defaced, and he incurred physical and spiritual death. Consequently all human beings other than Jesus Christ have inherited a sinful nature and share in the guilt of Adam’s sin, rendering them incapable of seeking or obtaining a right relationship with God apart from divine grace.
We believe that God, by His grace, provides the only remedy for the fall and its necessary consequences through the shed blood and death of Jesus Christ, which was the perfect substitutionary sacrifice for the penalty of sin, the means of liberation from slavery to sin, the basis for reconciliation to God, and the means of turning away God’s righteous wrath. Accordingly, all who turn from their sin and call upon Jesus Christ as Savior in believing faith, by the regenerative work of the Spirit, are declared righteous and adopted into the family of God. Once saved the believer is eternally secure, incapable of losing his position in Christ.
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
We believe that the Christian life is one of privilege and responsibility, lived in the hope of the promises of God. Believers experience true peace and joy as God the Father conforms them to the likeness of His Son through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. This ongoing process will be completed only when each believer appears before his Savior. Until then believers are called to a life of perseverance in the faith, loving obedience to God’s commands, service to Christ and His body, and active witness and discipleship. In this life believers continue to struggle against the world, the flesh and the devil, but the Holy Spirit provides daily grace to achieve victory over sin, and to repent of and confess sins that are committed. Upon confession, believers find God faithful and righteous in communicating the forgiveness already purchased on the cross and in reestablishing spiritual fellowship with Him.
We believe in one holy and universal church, inaugurated on Pentecost, a living and spiritual body of which Jesus Christ is the head and all believers are equal members. The universal church finds its expression in local churches in which believers agree together to serve God through worship, believers through nurture, and the world through evangelism and mercy. The local church is called to minister to both spiritual and physical needs: spiritual needs through evangelism, discipleship and discipline; and physical needs by supporting the helpless and praying for the sick and afflicted. God hears and answers the prayer of faith, according to His will. Elders are to guide the local church, providing general oversight, instruction in sound doctrine, and defense against false teaching, with certain responsibilities delegated to deacons. Christ Himself commanded two ordinances for the local church, believers’ baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Through these ordinances believers identify with and remember Christ’s completed work on the cross. Baptism is the initiatory ordinance, observed only once by each believer as a public confession to his union with Christ through faith; going under the water indicating death with Christ to sin and coming out of the water indicating resurrection with Christ to newness of life. The Lord’s Supper is the perpetual ordinance, observed repeatedly by each believer as a testimony to his ongoing relationship with and dependence upon Christ. The church is to continue in these acts of worship and obedience until He comes. Weddings and funerals, though not ordinances, are services of worship. Marriage, symbolizing the relationship of Christ and the church, unites one man and one woman in a single, exclusive covenant relationship, and provides the only moral context for sexual intimacy. Death, for the believer, marks the entrance of the soul into the Lord's presence, while the body awaits resurrection.
We believe that the greatest pleasures of this present life cannot compare with the joy of the believer’s life to come. Physical death marks the end of physical life through the separation of soul and body. The souls of those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior pass immediately into His presence and conscious bliss, enjoying freedom from all fear, pain, and sorrow. In contrast, the souls of unbelievers pass immediately into Hades and conscious misery. The bodies of both believers and unbelievers will one day be resurrected, bodies and souls being eternally reunited.
Christ’s imminent return will end this present age. Christ will come in the air to receive His church into heaven. The bodies of believers who have died during the Church era and of those who remain alive at Christ’s return will be glorified, made perfect like Christ’s own resurrected body. The extent of each believer’s faithfulness in the stewardship given by Christ will be judged to determine reward or lack of reward. The remaining people of the world will enter a time of real tribulation, which Christ will end with His personal, physical and visible return to the earth. At this time Christ will establish His millennial reign upon the earth, binding Satan and resurrecting the believing dead of the Old Testament and Tribulation eras. At the end of the millennium Satan will be released and instigate one final, unsuccessful rebellion. The triumphant Christ will then resurrect the unbelieving dead of all ages to face judgment. Unbelievers, having rejected Jesus Christ, will be judged guilty before God and unworthy of eternal life. They, along with Satan and the fallen angels, will eternally and consciously suffer in the lake of fire, forsaken by God and without hope. Believers, along with the unfallen angels, will enjoy God’s presence for all eternity.