The Bible, being composed of the 66 books of the Old and New Testament, is God's inspired Word to all men and women, and is the sole basis of our belief. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. We hold that the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant in the original manuscripts. They are the unique, full, and final authority on all matters of belief and there are no other writings similarly inspired by God. Nothing may be taken from it and nothing may be added. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105, 160; 12:6; Proverbs 30:5; Hebrews 4:12; Revelations 22:18, 19.)
We believe that there is one true, Holy God, eternally existing in three persons, God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit, each of whom possesses equally all the attributes of deity and the characteristics of personality. In the beginning God (in three persons) created out of nothing the world and all things therein, thus manifesting the glory of His power, wisdom and goodness. By His sovereign power, He continues to sustain His creation. By His providence, He is operating through history to fulfill His redemptive purposes. (Genesis 1:1, 26, 27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; John 1:1.)
God the Father
We believe God the Father is an infinite, eternal, all powerful, all knowing Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth. (Gen. 1:1; Psalm 139:7-10; Isaiah 46:9; Romans 11:33; Ephesians 4:6; I Timothy 1:17; Revelation 19:6.)
God the Son - Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the eternal second Person of the Trinity who was united forever with a true human nature by a miraculous conception and virgin birth. He is co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as our substitute, the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all men, by dying on a cross. He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He lived and died. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father, where He, the only Mediator between God and man, continually makes intercession for his own. He shall come again to earth, personally, and visibly, to reign as King of Kings, Lord of lords. (Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14, 15; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 1:3, 4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14, 15; Titus 2:13.)
God The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit, the third person of the trinity, is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He was sent into the world by the Father and the Son to apply to mankind the saving work of Christ. He enlightens the minds of sinners, awakens in them recognition of their need of a Savior, regenerating them. At the point of salvation, He permanently indwells every believer to become the source of assurance, strength, and wisdom, and uniquely endows each believer with gifts for the up building of the body. His power and control are appropriated by faith, making it possible for the believer to lead a life of Christ-like character, to bear fruit to the glory of the Father, to understand and apply scripture. (2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13; 14:16, 17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:1.)
Satan and His Demons
We believe that angels were created by God to worship, serve and honor Him. But Lucifer, a high ranking angel, chose to rebel against God. With great pride he desired to be equal and even above Almighty God and was thrown from heaven with a great host of other angels. Lucifer is now referred to as Satan and the fallen angels are now referred to as demons.
We believe Satan, the god of this age and the prince of the power of the air, is currently the power of all darkness and evil. We hold him to be man’s great tempter, the enemy of God, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions and the chief power behind the present apostasy in our world. He is the lord of the antichrist and the author of all the followers of darkness who are destined for final defeat at the hand of God’s Son, and for the judgment of the eternal Lake of Fire, a place prepared for Satan and his angels. (Isa. 14:12-15; Psa. 34:7; Eph. 2:2; Heb. 2:14; I Peter 5:8; II Pet. 2:4; Matt. 4:1-11; II Cor. 4:4; Rev. 12:7-9; 19:16-20; 20:10; Zech. 3:1-2; Heb. 1:14.)
We believe that man was created by an immediate act of God. He was created in the image and likeness of God. He was without sin, enjoyed fellowship with God and was capable of full obedience to his will. We believe that man was confronted with a moral choice in the garden. By voluntarily disobeying God's command and yielding to the enticement of Satan, man lost his original condition, became physically, morally, intellectually and spiritually depraved (corrupt) and was alienated from God. In consequence of this act of disobedience, the entire human race became involved in sin, so that in every heart there is by nature that evil disposition which eventually leads to acts of sin which incur guilt and bring about the righteous judgment of God. Therefore, all men are sinners and guilty before God, are dead in their sins, and unable to save themselves. (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1, 2; Genesis 2:7; Ephesians 1:8; Genesis 2:15-17; Romans 5:12, 18; Romans 3:10-12.)
Salvation is a gift from God to man. Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting (repentance & faith) in Jesus Christ, who voluntarily offered Himself on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for sin, can man be saved from sin's penalty. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by grace through faith. We believe that every Christian can have a valid sense of assurance concerning their salvation, relationship with God and destiny. Through faith in Jesus Christ, knowledge of the Scriptures, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, such assurance becomes real and personal. (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8, 9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1; Isaiah 55:7; Luke 13:3; John 20:31; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16.)
We believe that man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence. (John 3:16; 2:25, 5:11-13, 5:28, 29; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:5, 6, 12, 13, 15; Matthew 1:8, 2:44, 46; Psalm 9:17; John 14:1-3; Luke 24:6a; 1 Thessalonians 4:16b-17a.)
We believe all people who have exercised personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are completely pardoned and justified (declared righteous) and in possession of eternal life, which is eternally secure. We believe that all who are truly born again are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ. The new birth is a one-time event just as physical birth is a one-time event. Eternal life is the result of being born into an eternal family. Eternal security is not based on how a person acts or feels towards God, but the doctrine of eternal security is founded on justification. When a person trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ to save him he is justified by the blood of Christ, and saved from the wrath of God through Christ (Romans 1:4; 4:25; 5:8-10). We are saved by God’s grace, not by our works; therefore we cannot possibly keep our salvation by our works. (II Cor. 5:17; Rom. 6:6; 8:35-39; Phil. 1:6; II Tim. 1:12; I Peter 1:5; Jude 24; Rom. 16:25; John 3:16, 36; 5:24; 6:40; 10:28-29; 11:25-26; 12:46; Titus 1:2; Eph. 1:7; Col 1:14, 21-23; I Peter 1:18-23; 2:24; II Peter 1:4; I John 5:11-13.)
There is one true Church, comprised of all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The Scripture commands believers to gather together to devote themselves to worship, prayer, the teaching of the Word, the observance of believer's baptism, and communion as the ordinances established by Jesus Christ, fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world. Wherever God's people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the church. Under the watch-care of the Elder Board and other branches of leadership, its members are to work together in love and unity, intent to the one ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ. (Romans 15:5, 6; Ephesians 1:11-14; 1 Peter 4:11; Romans 16:27; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Galatians 1:4, 5; Ephesians 3:24 21; Hebrews 10:25.)
Baptism and Communion
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water, done in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We hold that baptism is one of the two ordinances that Christ gave to the local church. Thus, it should be performed under the authority of the local church. Likewise, baptism should only be performed on a person who has given a clear testimony of faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior Jesus Christ. Therefore, we do not practice infant baptism. As Christ died, was buried and rose again, Christian baptism pictures the believer’s death, burial and resurrection to a new life in Christ.
We believe Communion is the second ordinance given to the church by the Lord Jesus Christ. Communion is the commemoration of Christ’s death and a celebration of His risen life. The bread represents His body that was broken for us, and the grape juice represents His blood that was shed for us. Believers, before partaking of these elements, are called upon to examine themselves, for he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
In summary, we believe the ordinances of Baptism and Communion were given by the Lord to the local church and are to be observed only under its authority. Therefore, only believers are permitted to take part in the ordinances of baptism and Communion. We are commanded to do these ordinances until our Lord returns. (Acts 8:36-39; John 3:23; Rom. 6:3-5; Matt. 3:16; 28:19-20; Col. 2:12; I Cor. 11:23-28.)
We believe God’s method of financing His earthly work, which includes the work of the local church, its ministries, pastors, and its mission, is by the offerings of His people. Thus we believe that every Christian, as a steward of God, is obligated to support his local church financially, as God has blessed them. We understand that God is pleased when His children rally together and joyfully give to His church, its ministers and its ministries, for God loves a cheerful giver. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of their offering once the gift has been made to the church. (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; II Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph.4:28; I John3:17; Acts 2:45; 11:27-30; I Cor. 16:2; II Cor. 8:1-9:7; I Tim. 5:17-18.)
We believe that the home was the first institution God provided for man; that marriage is a sacred relationship between one man and one woman for life. Scripture teaches that Christians should only marry Christians and sex before or outside of marriage is a destructive sin. We believe that God hates divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. (Gen. 2: 18-24; Deut. 23:17-18; Mark 10:9; Mal. 2:14-16; Rom. 1:18-27; 7:1-3; I Cor. 6:9-11; 7:2; Eph. 5:22-23; Jude 7; Matt. 19:1-9.)
We believe that God has commanded that no sexual activity occur outside of marriage between a man and woman. We also believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. (Gen. 2:24; 19:5,13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; I Cor. 5:1; 6:9; I Thess. 4:1-8; Heb.13:4.)
Sanctity of Human Life
We believe that all human life is sacred from fertilization throughout the entire natural human life; that human beings are created in God’s image and, as such are to be protected; that the weak, vulnerable, infirm, disabled, pre-born, and needy deserve our respect and our care. (Gen. 1:26; 9:6; Psalm 51:5; 82:3-4; 139:13-16; Jer. 1:5; Luke 1:41.)
In subscribing to the preceding articles of faith, we by no means set aside or undervalue any of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, but deem the knowledge, belief and acceptance of the truth as set forth in these articles of faith to be essential to sound Christian faith and fruitful practice.