STATEMENT OF FAITH

 

THE SCRIPTURES

We accept the Bible, including the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, as the written word of God.  The Bible is an essential and infallible record of God’s self-disclosure to mankind.  It leads us to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.  Being given by God, the Scriptures are both fully and verbally inspired by God.  Therefore, as originally given, the Bible is infallible in all it teaches.  Each book is to be interpreted according to its context and purpose and in reverent obedience to the Lord who speaks through it in living power.  All believers are exhorted to diligently study and apply the Scriptures to their lives.  The Scriptures are the authoritative and normative rule and guide of all Christian life, practice, and doctrine.  They are not to be added to, superseded, or changed by later tradition or extra-biblical revelation.  Every doctrinal formulation, whether of creed, confession, or theology must be put to the test of the full counsel of God in Holy Scripture.

 

THE TRINITY

God is Triune.  There is one God: infinite, eternal, almighty, and perfect in holiness, truth, and love.  In the unity of the godhead there are three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, coexistent, co-equal, co-eternal.  The Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Holy Spirit, yet each is truly Deity.  One God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - is the foundation of Christian faith and life.

 

GOD THE FATHER

God the Father is the Creator of heaven and earth.  By His word and for His glory, He freely created the world from nothing.  Through the same Word, He daily sustains all His creatures.  He is faithful to every promise, works all things together for good to those who love Him, and in His unfathomable grace, He gave His Son Jesus Christ for mankind’s redemption.  He made man for fellowship with Himself, and intended that all creation should live to the praise of His glory.

 

JESUS CHRIST

Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was the eternal Word made flesh, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.  He was perfect in nature, teaching and obedience.  He is fully God and fully man.  He was always with God and is God.  Through Him all things came into being and were created.  He was before all things and in Him all things hold together by the word of His power.    He is the image of the invisible God; the first-born of all creation and in Him dwells the fullness of the godhead bodily.  He is the only Savior for the sins of the world, having died a vicarious death on Calvary’s cross for all mankind.  By His death in our place, He revealed the divine love and upheld divine justice, removing our guilt and reconciling us to God.  Having redeemed us from sin, the third day He rose bodily from the grave, victorious over death and the powers of darkness and for a period of forty days appeared to over five hundred witnesses performing many convincing proofs of His resurrection.  He ascended into heaven where, at God’s right hand, He intercedes for His people and rules as Lord over all.  He is the Head of His body the Church and should be adored, loved, served, and obeyed by all.

 

THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment.  Through the proclamation of the gospel He persuades us to repent of our sins and confess Jesus as Lord.  By the same Spirit a person is led to trust in divine mercy.  The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth, and dwells within the regenerate.  The Holy Spirit has come to glorify the Son who in turn came to glorify the Father.  He will lead the Church into all truth.  He is to be respected, honored, and worshiped as God the Third Person of the Trinity.

 

MAN

God made man - male and female - in His own image, as the crown of creation, that man might have fellowship with Him.  Tempted by Satan, man rebelled against God.  Being estranged from his Maker, yet responsible to Him, he became subject to divine wrath, inwardly depraved and apart from grace, incapable of returning to God.  Fallen, sinful people, whatever their character attainments, are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ.

 

THE GOSPEL

Jesus Christ is the gospel.  The good news is revealed in His birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension.  Christ’s crucifixion is the heart of the gospel, His resurrection is the power of the gospel and His ascension is the glory of the gospel.

 

MAN‘S RESPONSE TO THE GOSPEL

The gospel is to be preached to all people but is only effectual to those who genuinely repent of their sins and by God’s grace, put saving faith in Christ.  Biblical repentance is characterized by a changed life, and kingdom service or works evidences saving faith.  While neither repentance nor works save, unless a person is willing to deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Christ, he cannot become His disciple.

 

MAN‘S INHERITANCE THROUGH THE GOSPEL

Salvation, the free gift of God, is provided solely by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  Anyone turning from sin in repentance and liking to Christ and His substitutionary death is born anew into eternal life by the Holy Spirit and declared to be righteous.  Through Christ’s wonderful act of redemption, an individual is reconciled to God as Father and becomes His child.  The believer is forgiven the debt of his sin and liberated from the law of sin and death into the freedom of God’s Spirit.  This great inheritance that all Christians share can only be appreciated by recognizing the depth of our sins, and the abundance of His grace.

 

SANCTIFICATION

The Holy Spirit is the active agent in our sanctification and seeks to produce His fruit in us as our minds are renewed and we are conformed to the image of Christ.  This process of sanctification is a progressive work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and more like Christ in our lives.  As we are led by the Spirit, we grow in the knowledge of the Lord, freely keeping his commandments and endeavoring to so live in the world that all people may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven.

 

THE CHURCH UNIVERSAL

God by His Word and Spirit created the Church, calling sinful men out of the whole human race into the fellowship of Christ’s Body.  By the same Word and Spirit, He guides and preserves that new redeemed humanity.  The Church is not a religious institution or denomination.  Rather, the Church universal is made up of those who have become genuine followers of Christ and have personally appropriated the gospel in their lives.  The Church exists to worship and glorify God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  It also exists to serve Him by faithfully doing His will in the earth.  This involves a commitment to see the gospel preached in all the world for a testimony.  The ultimate mission of the Church is the redemption of souls.  When God transforms human nature, this then becomes the chief means of society’s transformation.

 

THE LOCAL CHURCH

All members of the Church universal are to be a vital and committed part of a local church.  In this context they are called to walk out the New Covenant as the people of God and demonstrate the reality of the kingdom of God.  The ascended Christ has given gift ministries to the church (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) for the equipping of Christ’s body that it might mature and grow.  Through the gift ministries, all members of the Church are to be nurtured and equipped for the work of ministry.  In the context of the local church, God’s people receive pastoral care and leadership  and the opportunity to employ their God-given gifts in His service in relation to one another and to the world.

 

BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit empowers believers for Christian witness.  Being indwelt by the Holy Spirit and being baptized in the Holy spirit are distinct experiences, though the latter may occur in close proximity to the former.  The promise of the Father is freely available to all who believe in Jesus Christ.  While the Holy Spirit baptizes the believer into Christ’s body, Jesus baptizes the believer in the Holy Spirit thereby enabling him to exercise the powers of the age to come in ministry and mission.  The Holy Spirit desires to fill each believer with power to witness, and imparts His supernatural gifts for the edification of the Body and the work of ministry in the world.  Speaking in tongues is an evidence that the baptism of the Holy Spirit has been received.  All the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the church of the first-century are available today and are earnestly to be desired an expected.  They are essential in the mission of the Church in the world today.  

 

THE CONSUMMATION

The Consummation of all things includes the visible, personal and glorious return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead and the translation of those alive in Christ, the judgment of the just and the unjust, and the fulfillment of Christ’s kingdom in the new heavens and the new earth.  In the Consummation, Satan with his hosts and all those outside Christ are finally separated from the presence of God, enduring eternal punishment, but the righteous, in glorious bodies, shall live and reign with Him forever.  Married to Christ as His Bride, the Church will be in the presence of God forever, serving Him and giving Him unending praise and glory.  Then shall the eager expectation of creation be fulfilled and the whole earth shall proclaim the glory of God who makes all things new.