(What we believe)
1. THE BIBLE: We believe that the Bible is the divinely inspired (“God-breathed”) Word of God. It is the ultimate and final authority, completely sufficient for Christian living, faith, practice and doctrine. It is infallible and inerrant in both the Old and New Testaments. It is complete, containing 66 books—39 Old Testament Books and 27 New Testament Books).
Proverbs 30:5-6; Psalm 12:6-7; 19:7-11; Psalm 119:89; 2 Peter 1:16-21; 2 Peter 2:3; 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
2. THE TRINITY: We believe that there is only One, true and living God; and within the unity of the Godhead, there are three eternally
existent Persons: God the Father; God the Son (Jesus Christ); and God the Holy Spirit. All three persons of the Godhead are
inexpressibly Holy, equal as deity; identical and co-equal in substance, nature, power, authority, and glory; each having identical
attributes and perfections. Galatians 3:20; Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 44:6; 45:22; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14;
Ephesians 4:4-6; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 9:14; 1 Peter 1:2;
3. GOD THE FATHER: We believe that God the Father is the first Person set forth in the Divine Trinity; that He is almighty, merciful,
completely just; that He is holy and absolutely righteous; that he is eternally existent, glorious in nature, possessing the attributes of
omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence; that He is the Divine Architect of the Godhead, planning all of His glorious acts.
He exercises providential watch care over all of his creation, and especially a fatherly care over the children of God. God the Father
planned for the salvation of fallen man by sending His Beloved Son (Jesus Christ) into the world to be the Savior of mankind, and that
He saves from sin, death and hell, all who come to Him through faith in Jesus Christ.
Matthew 28:19; Genesis 17:1; Matthew 19:26; Psalm 19:9; Isaiah 6:3; Psalm 100:5; Proverbs 15:3; Psalm 139:1-6, 13-14; Psalm 103:13, Matthew 6:25-30; Matthew 10:29-31; Matthew 7:11
4. JESUS CHRIST—GOD THE SON: We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, and second person of the Trinity. While God the Father is the “Architect” of the Godhead, Jesus Christ is the “Divine Builder,” executing the plans of the Father.
Creation: God the Father planned creation, while Jesus Christ executed the plans of God the Father, and was the actual creator (Hebrews 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-17).
Salvation: In relation to our salvation, God the Father planned salvation before the foundation of the earth (Ephesians 1:4-7), and Jesus Christ executed the plan of God the Father (Galatians 4:1-2).
Incarnation (Virgin Birth): Jesus Christ became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God; that He was the promised Messiah of Israel, the Savior of the World. Matthew 1:18, 25; Luke 1:35; Isaiah 7:14, 9:6. He is eternal God, manifest in the flesh; that in Him dwells all of the fulness of the Godhead bodily; while on this earth he was fully God, and yet fully man, who humbled Himself and was made in the likeness of man; that He was tempted in every way that we are, yet without sin; and that he became obedient to death, even the death of the Cross; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. His death on the Cross was a substitutionary sacrifice, wherein He died to redeem sinful man by paying man’s sin debt through the shedding of His own blood, the price of our redemption. Our redemption was made sure to us by His literal physical resurrection from the dead. John 1:1-2, 14; 20:28; Luke 1:35; Philippians 2:5-6; Romans 3:24-25; 4:25; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 Peter 1:3-5.
Bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ was physically (bodily) resurrected from the dead in a glorified body, three days after His vicarious, substitutionary, atoning death on the Cross. Luke 24:16, 36, 39; John 2:19-22; 11:25-26; 20:26-28; Acts 2:22-24; Romans 6:8-11; 1 Corinthians 15:4, 12-20; 1 Thessalonians 4:14;
The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ ensures the resurrection of the dead, both just, and the unjust. Acts 24:15; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44
5. GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT: Co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and God the Son, the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. As God the Father is the “Divine Architect” and Jesus Christ is the “Divine Builder” executing the plans of God the Father, the Holy Spirit is the “Divine Artist” (Genesis 1:2; Job 26:13). He possesses all of the attributes and characteristics of the Godhead; He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled; He bears witness to the truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony. The Holy Spirit is the agent of the New Birth: He convicts of sin; he convinces men of Truth of the Gospel; He baptizes new believers into the body of Christ and indwells believers at the moment of salvation; He seals believers until the completion of redemption (glorification); He bestows spiritual gifts for ministry within the Church, the Body of Christ; He fills the believer, empowering them for ministry. Acts 5:3-4; Romans 8:9; Hebrews 9:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8, 13; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; John 3:3; 14:16-17, 26; 16:7-15; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19-20; 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 1:20-22; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18.
6. MAN: We believe that man was created after God’s own image and in His likeness...upright, holy and innocent, capable of fellowshipping with, serving, and glorifying God; but Adam sinned voluntarily, fell, and consequently led his entire posterity (the entire human race) into sin. Adam’s sin is imputed to all of his offspring. Man is born with a corrupt sinful nature…is “dead in trespasses and in sins.” Alienated from God, man is totally unable to retrieve his original sinless condition based on his own merits or works. Man is, by nature, a child of wrath and disobedience, and is therefore, under the just condemnation of Holy God...which is death...not only physical death, but spiritual death, and ultimately, eternal death. The only deliverance from sin is through the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on man’s behalf. Genesis 1:26-27; Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:22-23; 5:12-21; Ephesians 2:1-3, 12; Romans 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22.
7. SALVATION: We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace, and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed for the forgiveness (remission) of sins. Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7.
Salvation is defined in the Bible by a number of key terms:
a) Redemption: Because man is hopelessly lost, and unable to save himself, God took the initiative to “redeem” (or purchase) man back from his slavery in sin. Biblical redemption centers on God. God, motivated by His love for man, is the ultimate redeemer, providing for the salvation of all who will come to Him in faith. Redemption is an act of God's grace, by which he rescues and restores his people. It is the common thread woven through every page of the Bible. John 3:16; Ephesians 1:7; Galatians 3:13; Titus 3:5-6; Hebrews 9:15; 1 Peter 1:18-19.
b) Justification: Justification means being declared righteous. It is a legal term used in the Bible to describe the act of God in which He declares that a person is not guilty. A person who is justified is therefore in a state of acceptance with God. Man can only be “justified” with God because of God’s grace (unmerited favor), and when appropriated only by faith in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Romans 3:21-28; Romans 5:1-2, 9; Titus 3:5-7.
c) Propitiation: Propitiation properly signifies the removal of wrath by the offering of a gift. When Jesus Christ freely and willingly shed His blood for the “redemption” of sinful man, dying for man’s sin, in man’s place, this act satisfied (propitiated) the just demands of Holy God. God is fully satisfied with the redemption price that Jesus paid, thus paving the way for man to be “justified by faith” (by believing in his heart that he is a sinner...that he cannot save himself...and that Christ paid the price by dying in his place). Roman 3:25; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:2; 4:10.
c) Reconciliation: Reconciliation is the restoration of friendly relations. In the Bible, reconciliation involves a change in the relationship between God and man. Because of sin, the relationship between God and man was broken...but because Jesus Christ came in the flesh to die and pay the price for man’s redemption, thus satisfying God’s holiness and wrath, therefore the enmity between God and man has been removed; when man “by faith” accepts what Jesus Christ has done on his behalf, he is justified (declared righteous), and thus reconciled with God. When man is justified by faith, his state of enmity and fragmentation with God is changed to one of harmony and fellowship.
Salvation results in the “Eternal Security” of every true believer who has been justified by faith:
ETERNAL SECURITY: We believe in the “eternal security” of all true believers...that is, those who have, by faith, trusted in Christ alone for salvation...have been justified by faith alone. Once a person has been “born again” into the family of God, and has become a “new creation” created in Christ Jesus, he/she can never lose that relationship in the family of God which is based on Christ’s imputed righteousness, and not his/her own righteousness…
resulting in eternal life, which if “could” be lost, would not be life eternal. At the moment of salvation, he/she is indwelt by the Holy Spirit (2nd Person of the Godhead), and has also been “sealed until the day of redemption” when he/she will be glorified.
Christ has not only saved us, but we are also “kept by the power of God” (1 Peter 1:3-5)…”whoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 10:27-30: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. I and My Father are one."
8. THE CHURCH—THE BODY OF CHRIST: We believe that the one true church is the Body of Christ, which consists of all those who have received Christ as Lord and Savior; that is not a particular denomination or building; that the church has one Head, which is Jesus Christ the Lord. We believe that all born-again believers...those who have been regenerated, and are baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit at the moment of their conversion; that the Holy Spirit indwells them, and they abide for ever.
NOTE: We believe that the “Baptism of the Spirit” happens only at salvation, and is not repeatable, nor that it is a subsequent act of faith evidenced by speaking in tongues...nor that it is a “second bless” or a “second work of grace” apart from salvation. We believe that the “filling of the Holy Spirit” has to do with the believers walk, in yielding to the Lord. The “filling of the Holy Spirit” is the means whereby the Holy Spirit empowers the Believer to live the Christian life and be a necessary witness for Christ. The “filling of the Holy Spirit” is repeatable throughout the Christian’s walk and life, and is obtained through confession of sins and yielding to the control of the Holy Spirit. When one is not “filled with the Holy Spirit,”…”walking under the control of the Holy Spirit”...bearing the “fruit of the Holy Spirit”, the Bible tells us that we both “grieve” and “quench” the Holy Spirit’s operation in our lives. Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:23, Colossians 1:18, 24; John 1:12-13; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; John 14:16-20; Galatians 5:16-25.
9. THE CHURCH AND ITS MISSION: We believe that the Body of Christ is manifested in the “local church,” independent assemblies of believers, void of hierarchy and control by other than Christ and His Holy Spirit. Each “local church” (local manifestation of the Body of Christ) is made up of only born-again believers in Christ, consisting of the universal priesthood of every believer, with one High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ; that the earthly leadership of the Church should be godly Pastors (interchangeably referenced in the Bible as Elders and Bishops) who are seasoned in the faith. Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 3:9, 17; 15:9; Ephesians 2:19-22, 4:11-12; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; 14-15; Titus 1:6-9; 1 Peter 2:9-10; Hebrews 4:14-16.
The Ordinances of the Church: Before the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, to the right hand of God the Father, He instituted two ordinances for the church to observe:
1) Believer’s Baptism—by Immersion following conversion...symbolizing the believer’s union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection (1 Peter 3:21; Romans 6:3-5); and
2) The Lord’s Supper—which is a memorial (to remember the broken body and shed blood of Jesus Christ) to be continued until He returns (1 Corinthians 10:16-17 ;11:23-29).
The Church’s Mission:
1) Evangelism: To proclaim the Gospel throughout the world and make disciples of all kinds of people. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19-20). "And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). Acts 1:8.
2) To serve as a community of worship and fellowship — to manifest the presence and love of Jesus. "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20). God originally made man for His own pleasure, to enjoy his fellowship and worship (Revelation 4:11, John 4:23). Thus, a part of the Lord's purpose of the church, besides bringing people to God, is to gather His people together and facilitate a corporate environment of worship, to express our love toward Him and one another.
3) Discipleship: To mature believers and prepare them to perform works of ministry. "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ..." (Eph. 4:11-12).
10. LAST THINGS (Eschatology)
A. The Second Coming of Christ—We believe in the pre-millennial, pre-tribulational, imminent and bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ; the return of Christ is describe in the Bible in two stages:
Stage 1: The Rapture of the Church: First, Christ will return in the air, to receive His Bride (the Church—Body of Christ). At the end of this age, and seven (7) years prior to literal, bodily return of Christ to this earth to establish His earthly Kingdom on David’s eternal throne. 1 Corinthians 15:51-56; 1 Thessalonians 4:
Stage 2: The Bodily Return of Jesus Christ back to this earth. Seven years after the rapture of the Church, and following the 7-year Tribulation period foretold by Daniel the prophet (described as Daniel’s 70th Week) in Daniel 9:24-27, 12:1, and Revelation chapters 4-18, the Lord Jesus Christ will return to this earth to restore the nation of Israel and establish his 1000-year earthly Kingdom (Millennium) on the eternal throne of David. 2 Samuel 7: 8-19; Mark 13-24-26; Acts 2:22-36; Jude 1:14-15; Revelation 19 and 20.
B. Bodily Resurrection—We believe in the resurrection from the dead, both of the just, and the unjust—John 5:22-29; that the just shall be raised incorruptible, when this mortal body shall put on immortality, and death will be swallowed up in victory—1 Corinthians 15:51-57;
1) Resurrection of the Just (also called the First Resurrection): The Rapture of the Church (Body of Christ) is the first resurrection, wherein the souls of the dead in Christ (who are in heaven—2 Corinthians 5:8), will be reunited with their resurrected bodies, into a new glorified body, along with those who are alive and remain until this first coming of the Lord Jesus in the air—1 Thessalonians 5:13-17. At this time the saved will stand before the Judgment (Bema) Seat of Christ to receive that which was done in the body, whether it be good or bad, which will be the basis for reward or loss thereof. 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 15:51-55.
2) Resurrection of the Unjust
11. HEAVEN AND HELL—We believe in Heaven, the place of eternal blessedness in the presence of God, the promise to every believer. Matthew 6:19-21; John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 3:1-7; Hebrews 11:16, 12:22-24; Revelation 21:4, 22-27; 22:1-5.
We believe in Hell, the place of eternal torment and suffering of the wicked...those whose names are not found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. These remain wicked and unjust in His sight, and under the curse whose end is everlasting conscious torment in the Lake of Fire. The Gospel of Jesus Christ offers the only hope to those outside of Jesus Christ, who know not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew 10:28, 13:50, 25:41, 46; Mark 9:43; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; 2 Peter 2:4; Revelation 20:13-15; 21:8.
12. DOCTRINE OF SATAN—We believe in the existence of Satan, who is a real being with personality, who can think, calculate actions, and strategically execute intentions. Satan was once an anointed Angel (see below for the Doctrine of Angels), named Lucifer, who because of his pride and desire to usurp God, was expelled from “Eden the Garden of God”...from “the holy mountain of God”...from the presence of God, at which time he became the open and declared enemy of God and man. It was through his deception that the entire human race was thrown into sin. It was by Christ’s death and resurrection that Satan was ultimately defeated, and will, following the Millennium, be cast into the eternal “lake of fire and brimstone.” Job 1:6-7; Matthew 4:2-11; Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Colossians 2:15; Revelation 20:7-10
13. DOCTRINE OF ANGELS—We believe that the angels are a distinct order of creation and have been given a heavenly position, or sphere, above the sphere of man (Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7; Revelation 5:11; 7:11). NOTE: Three heavens are mentioned in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 12:2), and in the Old Testament the word heaven is plural. When entering the human sphere, Christ was thereby, for a little time made lower than the angels (Hebrews 2:9); when returning to Heaven, Christ again passed through the angelic sphere (Hebrews 4:14; 9:24) and was seated far above principalities and powers (Ephesians 1:20, 21).
In the Bible, angels are classified into two subgroups: 1) Unfallen Angels; 2) Fallen Angels.
1) Unfallen Angels (Holy Angels):
a) Their nature. The unfallen angels are the "ministering spirits" (Hebrews 1:14) who kept their first estate and are therefore designated as the "holy angels" (Matthew 25:31). In the Scriptures, these are in view in almost every reference to the angels.
b) Their ministry. Of the ministry of the unfallen angels , the Bible declares:
(1) They were present at creation (Job. 38:7), at the giving of the law (Galatians 3:19; Acts 7:53; Hebrews 2:2; Revelation 22:16), at the birth of Christ (Luke 2:13), at the temptation (Matthew 4:11), in the garden (Luke 22:43), at the resurrection (Matthew 28:2), at the ascension (Acts 1:10), and they will yet appear at the second coming of Christ (Matthew 24:31; 25:31; 2 Thessalonians 1:7).
(2) The angels are ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation (Hebrews 1:14; Psalm 34:7; 91:11). Though we have been given no communication or fellowship with the angels, yet we should recognize the fact of their ministry which is constant and effective.
(3) The angels are spectators and witnesses of the things of earth (Psalm 103:20; Luke 12:8, 9; 15:10; 1 Corinthians 11:10; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 1:12; Revelation 14:10).
(4) Lazarus was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom (Luke 16:22).
2) Fallen Angels:
The fallen angels have been divided into two classes: (1) those that are free and (2) those that are bound. Of the fallen angels, Satan alone is given particular mention in the Scriptures.
We believe that when Satan fell (John 8:44) he drew after him a multitude of lesser beings. Of these, some are reserved in chains unto judgment (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6; 1 Corinthians 6:3); the remainder are free and are the demons, or devils, to whom reference is constantly made throughout the New Testament (Mark 5:9, 15; Luke 8:30; 1 Timothy 4:1). They are Satan's aids in all his undertakings and share his doom (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).