Church Beliefs

This is what we believe


About the Bible

The Bible alone is God’s written word to all people. It was written by human authors, who were guided by the Holy Spirit so that what they wrote was truth without error. The Bible is therefore the ultimate authority on all that it teaches. In the Bible God has revealed to mankind His plan of bringing us back into relationship with Him. 2 Timothy 3:16,17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Psalm 119:160, 19:7-11; John 17:17, 20:31 As originally given, every word and every part of the Bible’s sixty-six books are inspired by God (lit., God- breathed) as no other writings ever have been or ever will be (2 Tim. 3:16; 1 Cor. 2:13). This was accomplished through the work of the Holy Spirit in the original writers (2 Pet. 1:21; Acts 28:25) so that they wrote absolute truth without error (Mat. 5:18; 24:35; Jn. 10:35; 17:17; Tit. 1:2; Ps. 119:160). Therefore, the Bible does not merely contain the word of God, but is the very word of God. The words of the Bible are the very words of God. As God’s word, the Bible is the final authority on everything about which it speaks (Isa. 8:20; Mat. 5:18; 24:35; Jn. 10:35; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Tit. 1:2).

About God

There is only one God (Deut. 6:4; Isa. 45:21-22; Jn. 5:44), He is eternal (Ex. 3:14; Jer. 10:10), spirit (Jn. 4:24), sovereign (Ps. 135:6), holy (Is. 6:3; Rev. 4:8; 1 Jn. 1:5), and loving (1 Jn. 4:16). He alone is to be worshiped (Ex. 20:2-3). The triune God exists as three equal Persons, Father (Jn. 4:21, 23; Rom. 15:6), Son (Mat. 3:17; Rom. 1:3-4), and Holy Spirit (Gen 1:2; Mat. 1:18; 12:32), three persons yet one essence (Jn. 10:38; 17:11). All three are to be worshiped equally as God (Jn. 5:23; Acts 5:3-4). THE FATHER God the Father has priority of function as the first Person of the Trinity (Jn. 4:21, 23; 14:28; 15:26; Rom. 15:6). He is the Source and Sustainer of all things (1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 3:9; Neh 9:6; Ps. 104:19-22; Jn. 5:17). He is the Father of Jesus Christ (Ps. 2:7; Jn. 17:1, 5; 2 Jn. 3). He is the Father of only those who enter a relationship with Him through faith and regeneration (Jn. 1:12; Gal. 3:26; 4:5-6). JESUS CHRIST Jesus Christ, the man who was born in Bethlehem (Lk. 2:4-7) and raised in Nazareth (Lk. 2:39-40), is the eternal Son of God (Mt. 16:16; Jn. 10:36). He is fully God (Jn. 1:1; Rom. 9:5; Tit. 2:13; Heb. 1:8) and fully man (Mt. 20:28; Jn. 8:40: 1 Tim. 2:5). His Virgin Birth He was conceived and born of the virgin Mary through the work of the Holy Spirit (Is. 7:14; Mt. 1:18-15; Lk. 1:26-35). He therefore was without a sin nature, although He was, as man, tempted like other men, yet remained without sin (Heb. 4:15; Jn. 8:46). His Atonement for Sin He was crucified by both Jew and Gentile (Acts 3:14-15; 4:10; Mt. 27:22, 24, 31), died, rose bodily from the grave three days later (Mt. 28; 1, 7-9; Jn. 20:27) because of our justification (Rom. 4:25), and ascended into
heaven (Lk. 24:51; Acts 1:9) where He lives forever to make intercession for the saints (1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 1:3; 4:14; 7:25; 9:24; 1 Jn. 2:1). His death for the sins of all men (Jn. 1:19; 3:16; 1 Tim. 4:10; 1 Jn. 4:14) was the completely sufficient sacrifice (Heb. 7:27; 9:12, 26; 10:10) that satisfied the holy wrath of God towards men because of their sin (Rom. 1:18; 3:24-26; 5:8-9; Eph. 5:6; Col. 2:14; 3:6; 1 Th. 1:10; 1 Jn. 4:10). It was the suffering of the just for the unjust (1 Pet. 3:18). His death was substitutionary: the suffering and death that He endured are the suffering and death that we deserved because of our sin (Is. 53:4-7; Mt. 20:28; Rom. 6:23; Gal. 3:13; 1 Pet. 2:24). THE HOLY SPIRIT The Holy Spirit is equal as Deity and in personality with the Father and the Son (1 Sam. 23:2-3; Heb. 9:14). He was active in Creation along with the Father and the Son (Gen. 1:2; Ps. 104:30). His ministry consists of: testifying of Christ (Jn. 15:26-27; Acts 5:30-32); convicting of sin, righteousness, and judgment (Jn. 16:7-11); sanctifying the elect (1 Pet. 1:2; 2 Th. 2:13); regenerating believers (Jn. 3:5-6; Tit. 3:5); permanently indwelling believers (Jn. 7:37-39; 14:16-17; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 3:16); guaranteeing the believer’s ultimate salvation by sealing (2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30); and teaching them all truth (Jn. 14:26; 1 Jn. 2:27).

About Satan

Satan is a personal being (1 Chr. 21:1; Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7; Mat. 4:1-11; 2 Cor. 12:7), who was created perfect by God and lived with Him (Ezk. 28:12- 15). Yet he rebelled against God leading many angels astray with him (Is. 14:12-15; Ezk. 28:1-19; 1 Tim. 3:6; Mat. 12:24; 25:41; Rev. 9:11; 12:3-4; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6). Satan is the god of this world (Jn. 12:31; 2 Cor. 4:3-4; Eph. 2:2; Jn. 14:30), ruling over every unbeliever (Eph. 2:2; 6:12; Col. 1:13), yet defeated by Christ (Col. 2:15; 1 Jn. 3:8) and having no authority over the saints (Col. 1:13; 1 Jn. 5:18). He opposes the work of God (Gen. 3:4-5; Mat. 4:1-11; 2 Cor. 11:13-15) and His people (1 Pet. 5:8) by accusation (Rev. 12:10), persecution (Rev. 2:10), false teaching (Mat. 13:39; 2 Jn. 7), temptation (1 Cor. 7:5; 1 Th. 3:5), and is a deceiver (2 Th. 2:8-11; 1 Jn. 2:22; Rev. 13:13-14). He and all those who follow him will suffer eternal judgment in the lake of fire (Jn. 16:11; Rev. 20:10, 14, 15).

About Creation

The account given in Genesis chapters one and two is a literal and historical record of God’s creating the universe as a whole and planet earth in particular (Neh. 9:6; Ps. 19:1-6; Jer. 10:12; Col. 1:16-17; 2 Pet. 3:5; Rev. 10:6). It is not a religious myth. God therefore created all that now exists in six successive days, and rested on the seventh, each day being twenty-four hours in length (Gen. 1:1-2:3; Ex. 20:11; Acts 4:24). This creation was ex- nihilo, nothing existed before Genesis 1:1 except God (Jn. 1:3; Rom. 4:17; Heb. 11:3). Neither was their any gap of time intervening between Gen. 1:1 and 1:2. Genesis chapter two is a fuller account of the creation of Man, which occurred on the sixth day of creation (Gen. 1:26-28). Man alone was created as God’s image bearer to rule over creation and fill the earth (Gen. 1:26-28). Man is in no way the evolutionary descendent of lower forms of life. Neither
are animals and plants the result of evolution, but were created by God according to their kind and reproduce according to their kind (Gen. 1:11, 24). This being evidenced by scientific data in two basic areas: (1) the fossil record contains no transitional forms of plants, animals, or quasi-human creatures; (2) the contradiction between the laws of thermodynamics and evolution (the idea that life has naturally increased in complexity).

About Man

Man was created in God’s image (Gen. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 11:7; Jas. 3:9) on the sixth day of the creation week (Gen. 1:26-31; 2:7-25), in a state of purity and innocence, free of sin (Ecc. 7:29; Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:9-10). Being created with a free will, man voluntarily chose to disobey God’s express will and therefore fell from his state of innocence (Gen. 3:1-7; 1 Tim. 2:14). As a result, man lost his free will (Rom. 1:28, 6:17, 20), incurred death (spiritual and physical) (Gen. 2:17; 3:22, 23; Is. 59:2; Rom. 5:12, 17; 6:23; Eph. 2:1, 12), sin (Rom. 3:9; 5:12, 19), and condemnation (Jn. 3:19; Rom. 5:16, 18). Every person born subsequent to the fall has been born spiritually dead (Rom. 5:12, Eph. 2:1; Rom. 5:21; 1 Cor. 15:22; Eph. 4:18), a sinner by nature (Ps. 51:5; Rom. 5:19: Eph. 2:3), under the bondage and condemnation of sin (Jn. 3:19; Rom. 1:28; 5:16, 18; 6:17, 20; Tit. 3:3), unable and unwilling to escape that bondage (Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Is. 53:6; Rom. 1:23, 28; 3:10-19; Eph. 4:17-19; Col. 1:13, 21), and so is a sinner by nature and by choice (Gen. 8:21; 1 Kg. 8:46; Is. 53:6; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:10, 12, 23; 1 Jn. 1:8, 10). Furthermore, apart from God taking the initiative in all our lives, we are unable and unwilling to come to God for salvation or to contribute anything to his salvation (Mt. 11:27; Jn. 6:44; Rom. 3:10-19; 9:15, 16; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:5). THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED There is a radical difference between the righteous and the wicked in their nature, in God’s present disposition towards them, and in their ultimate destination after physical death. In nature, the believer has been made righteous and holy by faith, through the work of Christ (Eph. 4:24; 5:8; Col. 3:10; 2 Cor. 5:17; 2 Pet. 1:3-4), while the unbeliever remains wicked (Rom. 1:21; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:18-22; 5:8). God’s anger towards the righteous has been satisfied (Rom. 1:18; 3:25; 5:9; 2 Cor. 5:18-19; 1 The. 1:10), while His wrath presently abides on the wicked (Rom. 9:22; Eph. 2:3; 5:6; 2 Pet. 2:14; Ps. 1:6). The destination of the righteous is eternal joy in the presence of God (Mat. 7:14; 25:34; Lk. 16:25; Jn. 12:25; 2 Cor. 5:8; 1 Thes. 4:17), while that of the wicked is eternal separation from God in anguish and just punishment for their sinfulness and rejection of Christ (Jn. 3:18; 8:21; Mat. 7:13; 25:41; Lk. 16:25; 1 Cor. 6:9; Gal. 5:21).

About Salvation Grace in the New Creation

Salvation is a second birth (Jn. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:3, 23) or regeneration (Tit. 3:5), where the recipient is instantaneously brought from death to life by the will, mercy, and grace of God, apart from any merit of his own (Jn. 1:12-13; Rom. 9:15-16; Eph. 2:4-5, 8-10, Col. 2:13; Tit. 3:5). Regeneration involves the creating of a new person and the death of the old (Rom. 6:4-6; 2 Cor.
5:17; Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 3:9-10). It is brought about by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit and belief in the Truth (Rom. 10:17; Eph. 5:26; 2 Th. 2:13; Jas. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23). THE FREENESS OF SALVATION Salvation is a divine mystery which no theological system can adequately explain (Rom. 11:33- 36). Through the proclamation of the gospel, God calls everyone to repent, believe, and receive the free gift of salvation (Mat. 11:28; Jn. 1:12-13; 6:37; Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:23; 10:13; Rev. 22:17). It is therefore the duty of everyone to repent and believe in Christ (Mat. 11:28; Jn. 3:15-16; Acts 17:30), and nothing hinders man from so doing except his own voluntary sinfulness (Rom. 1:18; 3:10-20). JUSTIFICATION Justification is God’s official act of applying the righteousness of Christ to the one who repents and believes (Rom. 3:21-22; 10:9-11) in Jesus Christ and in His death, burial, and resurrection for his sins (Mk. 1:15; Lk. 24:47; Acts 3:19; 5:31; 20:21). Justification is by faith alone, apart from any works on the believer’s part (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; 3:28; 4:1-8; 5:1; Gal. 3:11; Tit. 3:5-7; Heb. 10:38; Jas. 2:18-26). It involves forgiveness of sins (Is. 53:11), freedom from the Law (Acts 13:39; Rom. 3:21-22; 10:4), and freedom from condemnation (Rom. 5:9, 16; 8:1). REPENTANCE AND FAITH Repentance and faith are inseparable, being both man’s responsibility (Mk. 1:15; Lk. 24:47; Acts 3:19; 20:21) and God’s gift (Acts 5:31; 11:18; Eph. 2:8; 2 Tim. 2:25). Repentance being both, the change of mind about who Christ is and what He has done (Mk. 1:15; Lk. 24:47), as well as the change of life in turning away from sin to Christ (2 Cor. 7:10; Mat. 3:8; Acts 8:22). Faith being that trust in Christ as one’s only Lord and Savior (Acts 2:36; Rom. 10:9-11; 2 Pet. 2:20).

About the Church

Ekklesia as used in the New Testament has both a local and general sense. The local Church is God’s ordained institution to carry out His work on earth (Eph. 3:9-12; 1 Tim. 3:15). It is a congregation of immersed believers (Mat. 28:19; Acts 2:41, 47) who share common faith and doctrine (Acts 2:42; 1 Tim. 3:15; Jude 6), not a building or location. The New Testament designates only two offices; pastor (i.e., bishop and elder) (Acts 20:17, 28; Eph. 4:11; Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim 3:1-7; Tit. 1:5; 1 Pet 5:1) and deacon (Acts 6:1-6; Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:8-13). As God’s ordained institution to carry out His work on earth (Eph. 3:9-12; 1 Tim. 3:15), the duties of the local church are: to observe the ordinances of baptism (Mat. 28:19; Acts 2:41; 10:47-48; 16:15, 33; 18:8; 19:5; 1 Cor. 1:16) and Communion or the Lord’s Supper (Mat. 26:26-30; Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Cor. 10:6-22; 11:23-32); to fulfill the Great
Commandments (Mat. 22:37-39; Rom. 13:8-10; Gal. 5:14; 1 Cor. 13) and the Great Commission (Mat. 28:19-20; Lk. 24:46-48; Acts 1:8; Eph. 3:9- 12), which involves teaching and discipleship as well as evangelism; and to defend the truth of the Gospel (1 Tim. 3:15; Jude 3). In its government the local church is autonomous, free of all external interference. It is responsible for its internal affairs and unity (Mat. 18:15-17; Rom. 12:16; 1 Cor. 1:10; 5:4-5, 12; 6:1-5; 2 Cor. 2:6; 13:11; Phil. 4:2; 2 Thes. 3:6), the appointing of its officers (Acts 6:1-6; 11:22; 13:2; 15:3, 4, 22; 1 Cor. 16:3; 2 Cor. 8:19), and determining the level of its cooperation with other churches (Acts 15:2-32; 2 Cor. 8:19; Col. 4:16). THE TWO ORDINANCES Baptism By definition water baptism is immersion in water. It is to be done in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Mat. 28:19). In the New Testament it was administered by elders (Acts 2:41; 10:48), deacons (Acts 6:5; 8:38), or missionaries (1 Cor. 1:14, 16), and we therefore take this as our example. It is the outward sign of the inward change that took place at salvation; our participation in death, burial, and resurrection with Christ (Rom. 6:3-5; Col. 2:13). Baptism carries no ability to forgive sins, it is only symbolic. It is therefore the act by which one outwardly identifies himself with Christ and His people. Thus it is a pre-requisite for identifying oneself with a local church (Acts 2:41). Communion or the Lord’s Supper Like baptism, Communion carries no ability to bestow grace on the participant; it is a memorial of Christ’s death until He returns (Lk. 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26). Communion should be preceded by serious self-examination and confession of sin so as to avoid God’s discipline (1 Cor. 11:27-32). Throughout the New Testament, Communion is seen in the context of the local church (Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 11:23-26). However, there is no prescriptive teaching that all participants must be members of the given church. Conversely, Paul broke bread on the first day of the week with the church at Troas (Acts 20:7; cf., 1 Cor. 10:16; Mat. 26:26; Lk. 22:19).

About Missions

The command to make followers of Christ is clear (Mat. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15; Lk. 24:47; Jn. 20:21; Acts 1:8). It is the responsibility of every Christian to take part in evangelism as a member of a local church, God’s ordained instrument to carry out the Great Commission (Eph. 3:9-10). In fulfilling the Great Commission, the responsibility of the church to teach is just as important as making converts and baptizing (Mat. 28:19-20).

About the Grace of Giving

The church and its work is to be financed by the gifts of its members given when they meet on Sunday (1 Cor. 9:9-11; 16:1-2; 1 Tim. 5:17-18). We are to give cheerfully and not because of compulsion (2 Cor. 9:7). The amount to be given by members of the church is a personal decision between the individual and God based on the giver’s financial situation (1 Cor. 16:2 ; 2 Cor. 8:3, 8, 12; 9:7), realizing that all they possess is God’s and His gift to them (Acts 4:32; Rom. 12:6-7; 1 Cor. 4:7). In giving we may expect God’s abundant blessing in return (2 Cor. 9:6-15). ? ABOUT CIVIL GOVERNMENT Government is ordained by God (Rom. 13:1-2,6; Jn. 19:11) for the punishing of evil and rewarding of good (Rom. 13:3-4; 1 Pet. 2:13-14). The duties of the Christian towards civil government are to pray for their governors (1 Tim. 2:2) and to submit to and honor them (Mat. 22:21; Rom. 13:1-2, 4, 7; Tit. 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:13, 17). Whenever the rule of civil government and obedience to God are in conflict, the Christian is always to follow God rather than men (Dan. 3:17-18; Acts 4:19-20; Mat. 10:28). One of the distinguishing marks of false teachers is that they despise God’s ordained authority (2 Pet. 2:10; Jude 8).