October 2017  
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Our Beliefs

 

DOCTRINAL STATEMENT

 

Section A. We believe in the HOLY SCRIPTURES: We accept fully the writings of the Old and New Testaments as the Word of God, verbally inspired in each and every part, and therefore wholly without error as given by God in the original manuscripts, and altogether sufficient in themselves spiritually to guide us in our lives. The Holy Scriptures are binding on us as our only infallible and authoritative rule of faith, character and conduct (Matt. 5:18; John 10:35; 17:17; II Tim. 3:16, 17; II Pet. 2:21) and we commit ourselves to learn them, obey them, and conform to them in our feelings, character and behavior. 

 

 

Section B. We believe in the ONE TRIUNE GOD: the one and only true God Who is manifest in three Persons, to Whom we commit ourselves to worship and serve (Matt. 28:19, 20): God is personal (Mark 12:29), spirit (John 4:24), and sovereign (Psalm 135:6); perfect (Psalm 18:30), infinite and eternal in His being (Deut. 33:27), holy (Is. 6:3), loving (I John 4:8), all wise (Psalm 104:24), all knowing (Psalm 147:5, I John 3:20), and all powerful (Psalm 65:6, Job 42:2, Gen. 18:14). God is absolutely separate and above the material universe as its creator (Psalm 104), yet everywhere present in the world (Psalm 139:7, 8) as the sustainer of all things (Col. 1:16, 17). God is self-existent (Psalm 90:2, Ex. 3:14), and self-revealing as three distinct Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:22), each having a distinct ministry in God's relation to His creation and people (II Cor. 13:14; Is. 48:16). 

 

 

Section C. We believe in GOD THE FATHER: the first personal manifestation of the Triune God (Matt. 28:19), Who is the creator of the human incarnation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only begotten of the Father (John 1:14; 3:16). God also becomes our Father through faith in Jesus Christ as our personal Savior (John 1:12; Gal. 3:26; Eph. 2:19; 3:15; 5:1) whereby He imparts to each of those who believe His divine nature and keeps them secure in His power (Titus 3:4-6; I Pet.1:3-5; Rom. 8:16, 17). 

 

 

Section D. We believe in GOD THE SON, the LORD JESUS CHRIST: He is the second personal manifestation of the Triune God (John 8:19-28), the eternal Word (John 1:1-3, 14), and is the only begotten Son (John 3:16). Without any change in His divine Person (Phil. 2:5-8), He was born as man (Phil 2:7; John 1:14) by the miracle of the Virgin Birth (Luke 1:26- :20), thus to continue forever as both true God and true man (John 1:1-3; Heb. 2:16; 13:8), one Person with two natures bonded inseparably in one unique person, Jesus Christ. As man He was tempted in all points as we are (Heb. 2;18; 4:15), yet without sin (II Cor. 5:21). As the perfect Lamb of God He gave Himself in death upon the cross (John 3:16, Heb. 10:4-14), taking upon Himself the sin of the world (I Pet. 2:24), and suffering its full penalty of divine wrath in our place (Is. 53:3-6). He arose bodily from the grave and was glorified (I Cor. 15:20). As our great High Priest (Heb. 2:17) He ascended into heaven (Heb. 4:14), there to defend us as our Advocate and Intercessor (I John 2:1, 2; Heb. 7:25).  

 

 

Section E. We believe in GOD the HOLY SPIRIT: the third personal manifestation of the one Triune God (Matt. 28:19) The Holy Spirit is the divine agent in nature (Ps. 104:30), revelation (II  Pet. 1:21), and inspiration (II Tim. 1:7). The Holy Spirit secures us as believers in Christ through His ministries of baptizing each true believer into the body of Christ (I Cor. 12:13), regenerating the spirit of each believer (Titus 3:5), sealing us as a guarantee of our inheritance in Christ (Eph. 1:14, 15; 4:30) and indwelling us from the moment of saving faith in Christ for all eternity, guaranteeing our security in Christ (John 14:16, 17). If a person does not have the indwelling Holy Spirit that person is not one of His (Rom. 8:9). The Holy Spirit guides (Rom. 8:14), sanctifies (I Cor. 6:11; Heb. 10:10, 14), teaches (John 14:26), and fills or controls (Eph. 5:18) believers who daily are surrendered to Him. 

 

 

Section F. We believe in the SINFULNESS OF MANKIND: All humans are, by nature and choice sinful and lost (Rom 3:10-23; Is. 53:6). Man was a direct creation of God, made in His image and likeness (Gen 1:26-28; 2:7), but by personal disobedience to the revealed will of God, the first man became a sinful creature (Gen. 3) and the father of a fallen race (Rom. 5:14-19) which is universally sinful in both nature and practice (Eph. 2:1-3, Rom. 3:10-23). In his natural state, therefore, man is alienated from the life and family of God (Eph. 4:18, 19), and is under the righteous judgment and anger of God (John 3:18, 36). Man has no possible means of salvation within himself through good works (Eph. 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5; Gal. 2:16).  

 

 

Section G. We believe that SALVATION COMES ONLY BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH: Salvation is the free gift of God, neither deserved, earned, nor secured in part or in whole by any virtue or work of man (Rom. 3:28). Salvation is received only by personal faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (Gal. 2:16), through His death on the cross for our sins (I Pet. 2:24) and made effective through His resurrection from the dead (Rom. 4:24, 25; 10:9, 10). All true believers have the gift of eternal life through faith in Christ as a present, permanent possession (John 3:36; Eph. 1:4-14; Psalm 37:28, John 10:27-29, Rom. 8:35-39), a perfect righteousness (Rom. 4:21-5:1), sonship in the family of God (Eph. 1:5; Gal. 3:26), a deliverance and security from all condemnation (Rom. 8:1), every spiritual resource needed for life and godliness (II Pet. 1:3), and the divine guarantee that they shall never perish (John 3:36; 10;27-29; Psalm 37:28, Rom. 8:37-39). We also believe that this salvation effects the whole individual (II Pet. 1:4-8). There is no possibility for salvation apart from Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). We dedicate ourselves to the responsibility to carry the good news concerning Christ to a lost world in accordance with the great commission (Matt. 28:19, 20).  

 

 

Section H. We believe in RIGHTEOUS LIVING (Eph. 4:1-6) and GODLY WORKS (Eph. 2:10; Titus 2:14): A righteous life does not purchase salvation in any sense (Eph 2:8, 9), but is the proper evidence of the believer's relationship with Christ as personal Savior (I John 2:3, 4; 3:9). Therefore, as Christians, we commit ourselves to immediately and completely obey the Word of God (James 1:22), seek the things which are above (Col. 3:1), walk as He walked (I John 2:6), and we accept the duty and privileges of bearing the Gospel to a lost world as our solemn responsibility (Matt. 28:19, 20). Realizing that a victorious and fruitful Christian life is possible only for those who, in gratitude for the infinite and undeserved mercies of God, have committed themselves wholly to Christ for His service (Rom. 12:1, 2), we, therefore, dedicate ourselves to His purpose.  

 

 

Section I. We believe in the existence of SATAN: Satan was originally created as a holy and perfect being (Eze. 28:13-17), but through pride and wicked ambition rebelled against God (Is. 14:13, 14), thus becoming utterly depraved in character (Eze. 28:15, 16). Satan is the great adversary of God and His people (Rev. 12:9, 10), leader of all other evil angels and spirits (Rev. 12:3-9), the deceiver and god of this present world (II Cor. 4:4). His powers are vast, but strictly limited by the will of God Who overrules all Satan's wicked devices for good (Job 1:1-22; I John 3:8). Satan was defeated and judged at the cross (Heb. 2:14; Col. 2:14, 15), and, therefore, his final doom is certain (Is. 14:15; Rev. 20:10). We commit ourselves to resist (James 4:7) and overcome Satan and his evil only in the armor of God (Eph. 6:10-18), by the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 12:11), and through the power of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 6:10-18; Gal. 5:16-23; I John 4:4).  

 

 

Section J. We believe in the SECOND COMING OF CHRIST (Titus 2:13): His return from heaven will be personal, visible, and glorious (Acts 1:11; I Thes. 4:16; Rev. 1:7), the blessed hope (assurance) for which we will constantly watch and pray (Titus 2:11-13), the time of which remains unrevealed but always imminent (Mark 13:33-37). When Christ comes He will first, by the resurrection of the dead believers and by the translation of the living saints, remove His waiting Church from the earth (I Thes. 4:13-18; I Cor. 15:51-58; Rev. 7:9-8:1); then He will pour out the righteous judgments of God upon the unbelieving world (Rev. 8 through 18). Afterwards Christ will descend with His saints (Jude 14, 15) and establish His earthly kingdom on the earth (Rev. 20:1-6). The unsaved will be retained in hell until the Great White Throne of Judgment, where they will be condemned to eternal punishment according to their works (Rev. 20:7-15). Those who have trusted Christ as Savior, on the other hand, will be rewarded according to their works (II Cor. 5:10; 3:1-15), Christ having born the penalty for their sins on the cross (I Pet. 2:24). This doctrine is not to divide the church, the body of Christ through argument, but should unite the church through the study of the Bible and the expectation of the return of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).  

 

 

Section K. We believe in the PRIESTHOOD OF ALL BELIEVERS (I Pet. 2:9): that Christ is our Great High Priest (Heb. 4:14) and through Him every born-again believer has direct access into God's presence (Heb. 10:21, 22) without the need of a human priest to mediate between God and man (I Tim. 2:5); that each believer in Christ has the right and the responsibility to personally study and correctly interpret the Scripture guided by the Holy Spirit (II Tim. 2:15-17). We commit ourselves to be faithful in the study of and obedience to the Word of God and to be constantly before God's presence through prayer for ourselves and each other (I Thes. 5:17).   

 

 

Section L. We believe in the LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST (Rom. 10:9, 10): that He is God manifest in the flesh (Rom. 9:5; I Tim. 3:16, Titus 2:13). He alone is the head of the church, the Body of Christ (Eph. 1:22; 4:15; Col. 1:18), into which all true believers are immediately baptized by the Holy Spirit upon their placing faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior (I Cor. 12:12, 13); that all members of this one spiritual body should assemble and identify themselves in local churches (Heb. 10:25) and govern their lives in accordance to the Scriptures (James 1:22). Any member of this Church who is not living in obedience to the Scriptures will be lovingly yet firmly disciplined in accordance to the teachings of Scripture (Gal.6:1; Rom. 16:17; see the Article on Biblical Church Discipline). We as members of this Church assume this obligation as a Biblical responsibility (Heb. 10:25), and submit to Biblical discipline should Biblical correction become necessary in our lives.  

 

Section M. We believe in the UNIVERSAL CHURCH: The church, the Body of Christ consists of all those who have trusted Christ as Savior and have called on His name in faith throughout all time and in all the world (I Cor. 1:2). The universal church is not an "invisible church" but is manifested physically in each generation wherever and whenever true believers in Christ meet together for worship and service (Heb. 10:25).  

 

 

Section N. We believe in the IMPORTANCE OF THE LOCAL CHURCH: that this Church, as a New Testament church, is a local assembly of individuals who have trusted Jesus Christ as personal Savior, who are placed into the true church, the Body of Christ, by the baptism of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:12, 13, 27, 28), who are united in this local organization to represent Christ to a lost world (II Cor. 5:19-21), and to practice New Testament ordinances (I Cor. 11:23-34). We commit ourselves to meet together for teaching, for fellowship, for breaking of bread, for prayer, for meeting each other's needs (Acts 2:41-47), for praising God, for a united testimony (I Cor. 1:10; Phil. 1:27-2:16), and for actively engaging in carrying our the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19, 20). We, as members of this Church, pledge ourselves to be faithful in assembling together (Heb. 10:25) and to serve Christ in all that we say and do (Col. 3:17, 23, 24). 

 

 

 

Section O. PARA-CHURCH MINISTRIES : We believe that Biblical responsibility rests with the local church (Acts 20:17-35) and that all "para-church" ministry should be the outreach of faithful members of local churches cooperating for the accomplishing of a ministry unachievable by individual churches or individual believers. Each New Testament church is responsible to govern itself without ecclesiastical interference from organized denominations, should maintain separation in practice, fellowship, and cooperation with apostate groups (II Cor. 6:14-18; II John 9-11), but should cooperate with other Biblically sound, local churches and ministries (Acts 20:28) and Biblically sound individuals as the Holy Spirit leads (III John). This church is responsible to follow the pattern of the New Testament church and is directly accountable to God and its membership for its conduct and service (I Tim. 3:1-15). 

 

 

 

Section P. THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE: We also believe in the separation of church and state, with each having definite and distinct spheres of responsibility (Matt. 22:17-22), working together in harmony (Rom. 13:1-7), with the commands of God taking precedent over areas of conflict with the laws of men (Acts 5:25-29). The government of man cannot impose unbiblical requirements on the followers of Christ nor can government regulate and restrict the obedience of believers in expressing their faith (Acts 4:19, 20; The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States).  

 

 

Section Q. We believe that the ORDINANCES given to the local church are two: BAPTISMand the LORD' SUPPER. NEW TESTAMENT BAPTISM, as practiced by our church is by immersion of believers (Acts 8:37-39; 10:47, 48; Matt. 28:19, 20; see also Mark 7:4 in the Greek texts of the New Testament), thus portraying the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through partaking of Biblical baptism, the believer is identified by the world with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, being raised to newness of life (Rom. 6:3-12). The LORD'S SUPPER is the partaking of the bread and cup by those who have trusted Christ as Savior as a continuing memorial and reminder of the broken body and shed blood of Jesus Christ (I Cor. 11:17-34). These ordinances do not bring salvation to those who participate in them but are taken by those who believe as a testimony of the saving grace of God that they have already experienced through faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior (Titus 3:5; Gal. 2:16; I Cor. 11:26).  

 

 

 

Section R. We believe that every believer is given SPIRITUAL GIFTS for the ministry to the church, the body of Christ (I Cor. 12:2-28): These gifts are for the growth and ministry to the body and are not to be a source of friction and separation among believers in Christ (I Cor. 12:7-14). These spiritual gifts are not personal possessions but are given as needed and as circumstances demand for the building of the body of Christ and the reaching of the lost to communicate the gospel of Christ (Acts 2:4-12). Spiritually gifted people are then God's gift to the church, the body of Christ.   

 

     1. The spiritual gifts listed in Scripture (Rom. 12:6-8; I Cor. 12:4-11, 28; Eph. 4:11-12) are apostleship (specially gifted people sent for a mission), prophecy (the preaching of the Word of God), evangelism, teaching, knowledge, governments, words of wisdom, discerning of spirits, faith, exhortation, giving, mercy, helps, healing, miracles, discerning of spirits, tongues (spoken dialects), and interpretation of tongues (hearing the tongues in your own mother tongue as in Acts 2:8). The Biblical ranking of these gifts according to importance is apostleship, prophets (including evangelism and the preaching of the Word of God), pastor-teachers (including administration and training), and then the rest of the spiritual gifts.  

 

     2. Tongues and the interpretation of tongues were for the witnessing to unbelievers, not to be used in the church (I Cor. 14:22) and were never to be used when interrupting the clear preaching of the Word of God or evangelism in the proclaiming the good news concerning salvation through trusting Christ as Savior because of His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead (I Cor. 14:23-33). Although God can still use the gift of tongues today if He wills, the gift of tongues have ceased or become extremely rare (pausontai in I Cor. 13:8). The speaking in tongues is not an evidence for salvation manifested in all believers (I Cor. 12:30) as some teach, nor is the speaking in tongues to those of other nationalities to be forbidden if they understand the gospel preached in their own language (Acts 2:4-12; I Cor. 14:39) as others teach. This church will preach the gospel and the Word of God uninterrupted by the practice of "speaking in tongues".   

 

     3. The spiritual gifts of healing and working of miracles were manifested in the healing of diseases, deformities, weaknesses, and the intervention in problems of nature (Acts 3:2-8; 28:1-10) and was a sign that the gospel of Christ is authentic and could be believed. Although God can still use healings and the working of miracles today if He wills to do so, the manifestation of these gifts have become rare and the authority of God now rests with the completed written Scriptures, the Word of God. These gifts are never to be used as a substitute for the preaching of the Gospel of Christ and the clear declaration and teaching of the Word of God. This church will clearly preach the gospel and the Word of God and we, as a congregation and as individuals, commit ourselves to obey the Word of God, the Bible, without argument or contention.