the holy scriptures
we believe that the bible is an objective, propositional revelation (1 thessalonians 2:13; 1 corinthians 2:13), verbally inspired in every word (2 timothy 3:16), absolutely inerrant in the original documents, infallible, and god breathed.
we believe that there is one living and true god (deuteronomy 6:4; isaiah 45:5 7; 1 corinthians 8:4), an infinite, all knowing spirit (john 4:24), perfect in all his attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three persons—father, son, and holy spirit (matthew 28:19; 2 corinthians 13:14)—each equally deserving worship and obedience.
we believe that man was directly and immediately created by god in his image and likeness. man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self determination, and moral responsibility to god (genesis 2:7, 15 25; james 3:9).
we believe that in adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and word of god, man lost his innocence; incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death; became subject to the wrath of god; and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to god apart from divine grace. with no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, man is hopelessly lost. man’s salvation is thereby wholly of god’s grace through the redemptive work of our lord jesus christ (genesis 2:16 17; 3:1 19; john 3:36; romans 3:23; 6:23; 1 corinthians 2:14; ephesians 2:1 3; 1 timothy 2:13 14; 1 john 1:8).
we believe that because all men were in adam, a nature corrupted by adam’s sin has been transmitted to all men of all ages, jesus christ being the only exception. all men are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (psalm 14:1 3; jeremiah 17:9; romans 3:9 18, 23; 5:1012).
we believe that salvation is wholly of god by grace on the basis of the redemption of jesus christ, the merit of his shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works (john 1:12; ephesians 1:7; 2:8 10; 1 peter 1:18 19).
we believe that regeneration is a supernatural work of the holy spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (john 3:3 7; titus 3:5). it is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the holy spirit through the instrumentality of the word of god (john 5:24), when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the holy spirit, responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. good works will be its proper evidence and fruit (1 corinthians 6:19 20; ephesians 2:10), and will be experienced to the extent that the believer submits to the control of the holy spirit in his life through faithful obedience to the word of god (ephesians 5:17 21; philippians 2:12b; colossians 3:16; 2 peter 1:4 10).
we believe that election is the act of god by which, before the foundation of the world, he chose in christ those whom he graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies (romans 8:28 30; ephesians 1:4 11; 2 thessalonians 2:13; 2 timothy 2:10; 1 peter 1:1 2).
we believe that sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and trust christ as savior and lord (ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11; john 3:18 19, 36; 5:40; romans 9:22 23; 2 thessalonians 2:10 12; revelation 22:17). nevertheless, since sovereign grace includes the means of receiving the gift of salvation as well as the gift itself, sovereign election will result in what god determines. all whom the father calls to himself will come in faith and all who come in faith the father will receive (john 6:37 40, 44; acts 13:48; james 4:8).
we believe that the unmerited favor that god grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative of their own part nor to god’s anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of his sovereign grace and mercy (ephesians 1:4 7; titus 3:4 7; 1 peter 1:2).
we believe that justification before god is an act of god (romans 8:33) by which he declares righteous those who, through faith in christ, repent of their sins (luke 13:3; acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; romans 2:4; 2 corinthians 7:10; isaiah 55:6 7) and confess him as sovereign lord (romans 10:9 10; 1 corinthians 12:3; 2 corinthians 4:5; philippians 2:11). this righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (romans 3:20; 4:6) and involves the imputation of our sins to christ (colossians 2:14; 1 peter 2:24) and the imputation of christ’s righteousness to us (1 corinthians 1:30; 2 corinthians 5:21). by this means god is enabled to “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in jesus” (romans 3:26).
we believe that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto god by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and is therefore identified as a saint. this sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification. this sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing, not his present walk or condition (acts 20:32; 1 corinthians 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2 thessalonians 2:13; hebrews 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 peter 1:2).
we believe that there is also by the work of the holy spirit a progressive sanctification by which the state of the believer is brought closer to the standing the believer positionally enjoys through justification. through obedience to the word of god and the empowering of the holy spirit, the believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of god, becoming more and more like our lord jesus christ (john 17:17,19; romans 6:1 22; 2 corinthians 3:18; 1 thessalonians 4:3 4; 5:23).
we believe that all the redeemed once saved are kept by god’s power and are thus secure in christ forever (john 5:24; 6:37 40; 10:27 30; romans 5:9 10; 8:1, 31 39; 1 corinthians 1:4 8; ephesians 4:30; hebrews 7:25; 13:5; 1 peter 1:5; jude 24).
we believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of god’s word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living and carnality (romans 6:15 22; 13:13 14; galatians 5:13, 25 26; titus 2:11 14).
we believe that separation from sin is clearly called for throughout the old and new testaments, and that the scriptures clearly indicate that in the last days apostasy and worldliness shall increase (2 corinthians 6:14-7:1; 2 timothy 3:1 5).
we believe that out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of god granted to us and because our glorious god is so worthy of our total consecration, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to god and so as not to bring reproach upon our lord and savior. we also believe that separation from all religious apostasy and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of us by god (romans 12:1 2, 1 corinthians 5:9 13; 2 corinthians 6:14-7:1; 1 john 2:15 17; 2 john 9 11).
we believe that we should be separated unto our lord jesus christ (2 thessalonians 1:11 12; hebrews 12:1 2) and affirm that the christian life is a life of obedient righteousness that reflects the teaching of the beatitudes (matthew 5:2 12) and a continual pursuit of holiness (romans 12:12; 2 corinthians 7:1; hebrews 12:14; titus 2:11 14; 1 john 3:1 10).
we believe that all who place their faith in jesus christ are immediately placed by the holy spirit into one united spiritual body, the church (1 corinthians 12:12 13), the bride of christ (2 corinthians 11:2; ephesians 5:23 32; revelation 19:7 8), of which christ is the head (ephesians 1:22; 4:15; colossians 1:18).
we believe that the formation of the church, the body of christ, began on the day of pentecost (acts 2:1 21, 38 47) and will be completed at the coming of christ for his own at the rapture (1 corinthians 15:51 52; 1 thessalonians 4:13 18).
we believe that the church is thus a unique spiritual organism designed by christ, made up of all born again believers in this present age (ephesians 2:11 3:6). the church is distinct from israel (1 corinthians 10:32), a mystery not revealed until this age (ephesians 3:1 6; 5:32).
we believe that the establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the new testament scriptures (acts 14:23, 27; 20:17, 28; galatians 1:2; philippians 1:1; 1 thessalonians 1:1; 2 thessalonians 1:1) and that the members of the one spiritual body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (1 corinthians 11:18 20; hebrews 10:25).
we believe that the one supreme authority for the church is christ (1 corinthians 11:3; ephesians 1:22; colossians 1:18) and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through his sovereignty as found in the scriptures. the biblically designated officers serving under christ and over the assembly are elders (also called bishops, pastors, and pastor teachers; acts 20:28; ephesians 4:11) and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualifications (1 timothy 3:1 13; titus 1:5 9; 1 peter 5:1 5). we teach that these leaders lead or rule as servants of christ (1 timothy 5:17 22) and have his authority in directing the church. the congregation is to submit to their leadership (hebrews 13:7, 17).
we believe that there were two kinds of gifts given the early church: miraculous gifts of divine revelation and healing, given temporarily in the apostolic era for the purpose of confirming the authenticity of the apostles’ message (hebrews 2:3 4; 2 corinthians 12:12); and ministering gifts, given to equip believers for edifying one another. with the new testament revelation now complete, scripture becomes the sole test of the authenticity of a man’s message, and confirming gifts of a miraculous nature are no longer necessary to validate a man or his message (1 corinthians 13:8 12). miraculous gifts can even be counterfeited by satan so as to deceive even believers (1 corinthians 13:13-14:12; revelation 13:13 14). the only gifts in operation today are those non-revelatory equipping gifts given for edification (romans 12:6 8). we believe that no one possesses the gift of healing today but that god does hear and answer the prayer of faith and will answer in accordance with his own perfect will for the sick, suffering, and afflicted (luke 18:1 6; john 5:7 9; 2 corinthians 12:6 10; james 5:13 16; 1 john 5:14 15).
we believe that the lord’s supper is the commemoration and proclamation of his death until he comes, and should be always preceded by solemn self examination (1 corinthians 11:28 32). we also believe that whereas the elements of communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of christ, the lord’s supper is nevertheless an actual communion with the risen christ who is present in a unique way, fellowshipping with his people (1 corinthians 10:16).