Statement of Faith

 
 

The Bible

We believe that the Holy Bible, both Old and New Testament Scriptures, are the inspired Word of God, written by man, and are completely free from error in their original form. It is the perfect treasure of heavenly instruction and complete revelation of His will for the salvation of mankind. It is, and will be, the supreme standard and final authority for all Christian faith and life. (Isa. 40:8; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; Prov. 30:5-6; 1 John 4:1; Matt. 5:18; Rev 22:18-19, 17:17)  

The Triune God

We believe that there is one living and true God. He exists eternally as three distinct persons-- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each is fully God and equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. God is the eternal, infinite Creator and supreme Ruler of heaven and earth. He is merciful, just, and loving and governs all things according to His sovereign will for His glory. He is inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and is worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love. (Matt. 28:19; Ps. 83:18; Rom. 1:20; Rev. 1:4-5, 4:11; Mark 1:9-11, 12:30; Ex. 15:11, 34:5-7; John 10:30; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 2:18; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:1-3)

The State of Humanity

We believe that all the human race is created in the image of God and that through the voluntary sin of our first parents Adam and Eve, we are now all born in sin. As a result, all mankind are now sinners by nature and choice, being utterly void of the holiness required by God and completely inclined to evil. Therefore, all humans are by nature unable to turn to God, incapable of contributing to their own salvation, and are under just condemnation to eternal punishment, without defense or excuse. (Gen. 1:27; Gen. 3:6-24; Ps. 51:5; Rom. 1:20; 3:19; 5:12,19; Eph. 2:1-3)

The Gospel

We believe that the gospel is the good news of what God has accomplished for sinners separated from God by sin, through His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus is fully God and fully man, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin and lived a sinless life in obedience to the Father. He taught the way of God’s kingdom, worked miracles, suffered, died and rose from the dead. In His death He made full atonement for our sins and became our sacrificial substitute, absorbing the wrath of God and purchasing forgiveness of our sins. Through His death we are united with Him and adopted into the family of God. This good news is the foundation for the life of the Church and our only hope for salvation and sanctification. (Eph. 2:5; John 3:16; Phil. 2:6-7; 2 Cor. 5:21; Is. 53:4-5; Gal. 4:4-7; Mark 1:1; Rom. 1:16-18; Gal. 1:6-9)

The Gift of Salvation

We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel, and there is nothing one can do apart from this free gift of God to obtain merit, favor or standing before God. It is the duty of all to accept the free gift upon hearing the gospel, and nothing prevents salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel. Acceptance of the gift is initiated and empowered by the Holy Spirit through regeneration, or being born again, by which we are made alive in Christ with a new and holy disposition enabling repentance, faith and obedience. Those accepting the gift of salvation receive the blessing of justification, by which sinners are pardoned from their sin and declared righteous solely on the basis of Christ’s righteousness. This perfect righteousness brings them into peace and favor with God. They are brought in God’s family as sons along with Christ, securing for them every eternal blessing. (Rev. 22:17; Eph. 1:13-14, 2:4-8, 4:20-24; Tit. 3:5; John 3:3-7, 12:48; Rom. 5:9, 15; 2 Cor. 5:21)   

The Response of Faith

We believe that repentance and faith are sacred duties, brought about in our souls by the Holy Spirit in regeneration, whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with sincere remorse, confession and supplication for mercy. At the same time we heartily receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest and King, and rely on Him alone as the only and all-sufficient Savior. (Acts 11:18; Eph. 2:8; Acts 2:37-38; Ps. 51; Rom. 10:12-13; Heb. 4:14)

The Sovereign Grace

We believe that God chose in Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world the elect, those who would be made regenerate by the Holy Spirit and respond to the gospel in faith. This choice was made fully on His own gracious initiative and was not on the account of any foreseen merit in those who would receive His great mercy. This is perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, and is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy and unchangeable. It utterly excludes boasting by man and promotes humility, love, prayer and trust in God. This sovereign choice is the foundation of Christian assurance. (2 Tim. 1:8-9; Acts 13:48; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; Eph. 1:4-5, 2:8-9; John 6:37-44, 10:25-30; Rom. 8:28-30)  

The Christian Life

We believe that those saved by the Holy Spirit are being conformed to the image of Christ through the process of sanctification. It is a progressive work of the Holy Spirit that will continue until death or the glorious return of our Lord. It requires our participation by the denial of self and turning from fleshly desire to renew our minds with God’s Word and prayer. It is marked by ongoing confession and repentance, joyful obedience to all of Scripture’s commands, active love for God’s people and identification and fellowship with them, and a growing hope in God’s promises. It is not marked by sinlessness, but by a diligent fight against sin and growth in the fruits of the Spirit. Those who have authentically experienced the saving grace of God and are being kept by God will persevere in Him until the end. This distinguishes them from superficial professors. (Rom. 8:28-30; Phil 2:12-13; Matt. 7:21-23; 16:24-25; 1 Thess. 4:3; Eph. 4:22-24; Gal. 5:16-25; 1 John 1:8-9; 4:17; John 15:10-11)

The Church

We believe that the Church is the Bride of Christ and is comprised of all true believers from every tribe, language, people, and nation throughout all the ages. It is made manifest in local churches, which are marked by the right preaching of God’s Word and right administration of the ordinances. Christ is its head and the Word of God is its authority. It is God’s primary instrument by which He is fulfilling His redemptive purposes and displaying His glory to the nations through the preaching of the gospel and the making of disciples. God has bestowed spiritual gifts upon all who are in the church for the unity and edification of the church. (Matt. 16:17-19, 28:18-20; Rev. 7:9; Eph. 3:10, 4:11-12; 1 Cor. 11:24-26; 12:4-6; Col. 1:18) 

The Ordinances: Baptism and The Lord’s Supper

We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; to show forth the believer’s faith in our crucified, buried, and risen Savior. It is a solemn and beautiful symbol of our union with Christ in His death and resurrection, by which we have died to sin and been resurrected to a new life, and is done in response to the command of Christ. The Lord’s Supper is practiced by believers eating the bread and drinking the cup to commemorate together the dying love of Christ, celebrate their unity in Him, and look forward to joining with Him again when He returns. The Lord’s Supper is also observed in obedience to Christ’s command. Neither baptism nor the Lord’s Supper offer salvation, yet they are a gift of God’s sustaining grace to those who believe. They shall be reserved for those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord. (Matt. 28:19; Acts 8:12; Rom. 6:4; 1 Cor. 11:23-26; Luke. 22:14-20; 1 Pet. 3:21)

The Dignity of Man and Woman

We believe that both men and women are together created in the divine image and are therefore equal before God as persons, possessing the same moral dignity and value. Both men and women are recipients of spiritual gifts designed to equip and empower them for ministry in the local church and beyond. We also believe that God in His perfect wisdom has ordained the principle of male headship in the home and in the local church, and that certain governing and teaching roles, namely eldership, are restricted to men. (Gen. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 11:2-16; Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:18-19; I Tim. 2:11-15)

The Judgment and the World to Come

We believe that Jesus Christ will return again in all glory and power at the final consummation of His kingdom bringing about the ultimate defeat of Satan and death. On that day, the dead will be raised from the grave and all persons from all of time will face the final judgment. The wicked, who are apart from Christ, will be judged and sentenced to suffering and eternal separation from God in hell. The righteous, who belong to Jesus, will be granted eternal life in the new heavens and new earth, living to the glory of God in ever-increasing joy without death, pain, or mourning of any kind; being in the very presence of God and worshipping Him forever. (Rev. 1:7, 20:7-15, 21:1-4; 22:12; Matt. 25:31-41; Acts 1:11; John 5:25-29; 2 Thess. 1:5-10; Phil 3:20-21)