DECLARATION OF FAITH
I. OF THE SCRIPTURES
We believe that the Holy Bible as originally written was verbally and plenarily inspired, the product of Spirit-controlled men, and therefore is truth without any admixture of error for its matter. We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried. II Tim. 3:16-17; II Peter 1:19-21
II. OF THE TRUE GOD
We believe there is one, and only one, living and true God, as infinite, intelligent Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressively glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. Exodus 20:2-3; I Cor. 8:6; Rev. 4:11; I John 5:7
III. OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person; equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; that He bears witness to the Truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the new birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, and witnesses to believers, sanctifies and helps the believer.
We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry. Romans 12:3-8; I Cor. 12:4-11; Ephesians 4:7-12
We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary. We believe that speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit and that ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing. I Cor. 1:22; 13:8; 14:21-22; John 14:16-17; Matt. 28:19; Heb. 9:14; John 14:26; Luke 1:35; Gen. 1:1-3; John 16:8-11; Acts 5:30-32; John 3:5,6; Eph. 1:13-14; Mark 1:8; John 1:33; Acts 11:16; Luke 24:49; Rom. 8:14, 16, 26-27.
IV. OF THE DEVIL, SATAN
We believe in the personality of Satan, that he is the unholy god of this age, and the author of all the powers of darkness, and is destined to the judgment of eternal justice in the lake of fire. Matt. 4:1,3; II Cor. 4:4; Rev. 20:10
V. OF THE CREATION
We believe the Genesis account of creation and believe that man came by direct creation of God and not by evolution. Gen. 1 & 2; Col. 1:16-17; John 1:3
VI. OF THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not only by constraint, but of choice; and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse. In Adam’s sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; and, that man is totally depraved, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition. Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:17-19; Gen. 3:1-6, 24; Rom. 5:19; Rom. 5:10-18; Rom. 1:18,32
VII. OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH
We believe that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner, born of Mary, a virgin as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of woman, and that He is both the Son of God and God, the Son. Gen. 3:15; Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; John 1:14
VIII. OF THE ATONEMENT FOR SIN
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial office of the Son of God, who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the just dying for the unjust; Christ, the Lord, bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in Heaven, and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all-sufficient Saviour. Eph. 2:8; Acts 15:11; Rom. 3:24; John 3:16; Matt. 18:11; Phil. 2:7; Heb. 2:14; Isa. 53:4-7; I John 4:10; I Cor. 15:3; II Cor. 5:21
IX. OF GRACE IN THE NEW CREATION
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with the divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life. John 3:3; II Cor. 5:17; I John 3:6,7; Acts 16:30-33; Rom. 5:1; II Peter 1:4; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:1; II Cor. 5:19; Col. 2:13; John 3:8
X. OF JUSTIFICATION
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is justification:
a. That justification includes the pardon of sin and the gift of eternal life based on His righteousness.
b. That it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done. Solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood His righteousness is imputed to us. Acts 13:39; Is. 53:11; Rom. 8:1; Rom. 5:1, 9
XI. OF FAITH AND SALVATION
We believe that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation.
Acts 4:12; John 14:6; Acts 16:31
XII. OF THE LOCAL CHURCH
We believe that a local church is a congregation of immersed believers associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers are pastors and deacons, whose qualifications are clearly defined in the Scriptures; we believe the true mission of the church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men and the discipling of believers as we have opportunity.
We believe that God has given the church a Great Commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors for Christ, we must use all available means to go to all the world and not wait for them to come to us.
We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only superintendent is Christ, through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final. Acts 2:41-42; I Cor. 11:2; Eph. 4:11; Eph. 1:22-23; Acts 20:17-28; I Tim. 3:1-7; Col. 1:18; Eph. 5:23-24; Acts 15:13-18; Mark 16:15; II Timothy 2:2; Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8
XIII. OF BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, symbolizing our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is a pre-requisite to the privileges of a church relation. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of His death until he comes, and should be preceded always by solemn self-examination. Acts 8:36-39; John 3:23; Romans 6:3-5
XIV. OF THE SECURITY OF THE SAINTS
We believe that all who are once saved are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ and sealed by the Holy Spirit. Eph. 4:30; Phil. 1:6; John 10:28-29; Rom. 8:35-39; Jude 1
XV. OF THE SEPARATION OF THE BELIEVER
We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord. Rom. 12:1-2; 14:13; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11
XVI. OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND WICKED
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting joy of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost. Mal. 3:18; Gen. 18:23; Rom. 6:17-18; I John 5:19; Rom. 7:6; Rom 6:23; Rom. 14:32; Luke 6:25; Matt. 25:34-41; John 8:21
XVII. OF THE RESURRECTION, PERSONAL, VISIBLE, PRE-MILLENNIAL RETURN OF CHRIST; AND PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH, WHICH IS HIS BODY
a. We believe in the bodily resurrection, the ascension, and high priesthood of Christ.
b. We believe in that “blessed hope”, the personal, imminent return of Christ Who will rapture His church prior to the seven-year tribulation period. At the end of the Tribulation, at His second coming, Christ will personally and visibly return, with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom which was promised to the nation of Israel.
c. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment.
d. We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord.
e. We believe that the souls of the unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment. Rev. 20:1-6; Psalm 89:3-4; Dan. 2:31-34; Zech. 14:4-11; I Thes. 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:10; 19:11-16; Matt. 25:46; John 5:28-29; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:12-13; Luke 23:43; II Cor. 5:8; Phil 1:23; 3:21; Matt. 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; II Thes. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15
XVIII. OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home; 2) the church; and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God. Guidelines for conflict and resolution between these institutions are to be governed by the Holy Scriptures. Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; I Peter 2:13-14
XIX. OF MARRIAGE
For the purpose of interpretation, we believe the term “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the term “spouse” applies only to a member of such a union. Any union or relationship treated as a marriage by another that does not follow the aforementioned interpretation is not recognized. Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:4-6; I Cor. 7:1-6; Eph. 5:18-33.
XX. OF HUMAN SEXUALITY
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God created male and female and that any gender modification is a sinful perversion of God’s creation. Gen. 1:26-27; 2:24;19:5, 13; 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Psalm 139:13-14; Rom. 1:26-29; I Cor. 5:1; 6:9; I Thes. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4
XXI. OF ABORTION
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. We also believe that there is hope and healing available for all who have been involved in an abortion. Job 3:16; Psalm 51:5; 139:14-16; Is. 44:24; 49:1; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44; I John 1:7-9; Gal. 6:1-5; Romans 14:1-13
XXII. OF ARBITRATION
We believe that lawsuits between Christians are prohibited by Scripture; we believe that the purpose of arbitration must be to both resolve legal issues and develop agreements that are just and satisfactory to everyone involved; we believe that the higher purpose of arbitration is to reconcile people and create an atmosphere of unity in the body of Christ; and we believe that peacemaking involves a commitment to restoring damaged relationships. I Cor. 6:1-20; Gal. 6:1-5; Matt. 18:15
The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing Statement of Faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible and, therefore, is binding upon all members.