Section 1. Of the Scriptures
We believe in the authority and sufficiency of the Word of God, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament, as originally written; that it was verbally and plenary inspired and is the product of Spirit-controlled men, and, therefore, is infallible and inerrant in all matters of which it speaks.
We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian unity and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creed, and opinions shall be tried. (2 Tim. 3:16,17; 2 Pet. 1:19-21)
Section 2. The True God
We believe there is one and only one living and true God, and infinite Spirit, the Maker and supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly 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. (Ex. 20:2-3; 1 Cor. 8:6; Rev. 4:11)
Section 3. The Virgin Birth of Christ
We believe that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner, born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can be born of a woman, and that He is both the Son of God and God, the Son. (Gen. 3: 15; Is. 7:14; Mt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; John 1:14)
Section 4. Salvation Through Christ
We believe that the salvation of sinners is divinely initiated and wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who, by the appointment of the Father, voluntarily took upon Himself our nature, yet without sin, and honored the divine law by His personal obedience, thus qualifying Himself to be our Savior; that by the shedding of his blood in His death He fully satisfied the just demands of a holy and righteous God regarding sin; that His sacrifice 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 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 Savior.
We believe that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation. Repentance is a change of mind and purpose toward God prompted by the Holy Spirit and is an inescapable result of saving faith. (Eph. 2:8; Acts 15:11; Rom. 3:24-25; John 3:16; Phil. 2:7-8; Heb. 2:14-17; Is. 53:4-7; 1 John 4:10; 1 Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:24)
Section 5. The Resurrection of Christ and Priesthood of Christ
We believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ and His ascension into Heaven where He now sits at the right hand of the Father as our High Priest, interceding for us. (Mt. 28:6-7; Luke 24:39; John 20:27; 1 Cor. 15:4; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:2-6, 51; Acts 1:9-11; Rev. 3: 21; Heb. 8:6; 12:2; 7:25; 1 Tim. 2:5; 1 John 2:1; Heb. 2:17; 5:9-10)
Section 6. 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, witnesses, sanctifies, and helps the believer. Every true believer receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the time of salvation. (1 Cor. 12:13; John 14:16-17; Mt. 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)
We believe that the Holy Spirit equips believers for service by bestowing upon them spiritual gifts. Some gifts listed in the New Testament, however, (such as tongues and healing) were temporary in nature, were intended for the infancy of the Church, and are no longer being received. (1 Cor. 12:4-11; Heb. 2:4).
Section 7. The Devil, or Satan
We believe in the reality and personality of Satan, the Devil; that he was created by God as an angel but through pride and rebellion became the enemy of his Creator; that he became the unholy god of this age, the ruler of a11 the powers of darkness, and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire. (Mt. 4:1-11; 2 Cor. 4:4; Rev. 20:10)
Section 8. Creation
We believe the Biblical account of the creation of the physical universe, angels and man; that this account is neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of the direct, immediate, creative acts of God without any evolutionary process; that man was created by a direct work of God and not from previously existing forms of life; and that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race. (Gen. 1:2; Col. 1:16-17; John 1:3)
Section 9. The Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in innocence (in the image and likeness of God) under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression Adam fell from his sinless and happy state, and all men sinned in him, in consequence of which all men are totally depraved, are partakers of Adam's fallen nature, and are sinners by nature and by conduct, and therefore are under just condemnation without defense or excuse. (Gen. 3:1-6; Rom. 3:10-19, 5:12,19; 1:18,32)
Section 10. Grace and the New Birth
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 by our sovereign God in a manner above our comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel, and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith, and newness of life (John 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17; 1 John 5:1; Acts 16:20-33; 2 Pet. 1:4; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:1,5; Col. 2:13; John 3:8)
Section 11. Justification
We believe that justification is that judicial act of God whereby He declares the believer righteous upon that basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness that we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's shed blood. (Rom. 3:24; 4:5; 5:1,9; Gal. 2:16; Phil. 3:9)
Section 12. Sanctification
We believe that sanctification is the divine setting apart of the believer unto God accomplished in a threefold manner: first, an eternal act of God, based upon redemption in Christ, establishing the believer in a position of holiness at the moment he trusts the Savior; second, a continuing process in the saint as the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to the life; third, the final accomplishment of this process at the Lord's return. (Heb. 10:10-14, 3:1; John 17:17; 2 Cor. 2:18; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 5:25-27; 1 Thes. 4:3,4; 5:23-24; 1 John 3:2; Jude 24-25)
Section 13. The Security of the Saints
We believe that all who are truly born again are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ. (Phil. 1:6; John 10:28-29; Rom. 8:35-39; Jude 1)
Section 14. The Church
We believe that a local church is an organized 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, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. We believe the true mission of the church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men according to the Spirit's leading. 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, and that on all matters of membership, of polity, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final. (1 Cor 11:2; Acts 20:17-28; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Acts 2:41-42)
We believe in the unity of all New Testament believers in the Church which is the body of Christ. (1 Cor. 12:12-13; Eph. 1:22-23; 3:1-6; 4:11; 5:23; Col. 1:18; Acts 15:13-18)
Section 15. Baptism and the Lord's Supper
We believe that Christian baptism is the single immersion of a believer in water to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our identification with the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, through whom we died to sin and rose to a new life; that baptism is to be performed under the authority of the local church; and that it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership.
We believe that the Lord's Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes, and should always be preceded by solemn self-examination. We believe that the biblical order of the ordinances is baptism first and then the Lord's Supper, and that participants in the Lord's Supper should be immersed believers. (Acts 8:36-39; John 3:23; Rom. 6:3-5; Mt. 3:16; Col. 2:12; 1 Cor. 11:23-28; Mt. 28:18-20; Acts 2:41-42)
Section 16. Separation
We believe in the biblical doctrine of separation which encompasses the following: (1) the separation of the local church from all affiliation, fellowship and cooperation with those who deny the true Christian faith, and (2) the separation of the individual believer from all worldly practices that would dishonor the Savior. We believe that the church should refuse to be drawn into compromising alliances, even with well-meaning evangelical people, whereby our testimony would be impaired and our position confused. Specifically, we reject the concept that our church should cooperate with unbelievers and apostate churches, even if by so doing beneficial results may seem to be produced. (2 Cor. 6:14; 2 Tim. 3:5; Eph. 5:11; 2 John 9-11)
Section 17. Separation of Church and State
We believe that the church and human government are two separate institutions, ordained by God, with separate and defined responsibilities. The clear separation of duties and responsibilities of these two institutions is embodied in the words of our Lord when He stated: "Render therefore unto Caesar that things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." We believe, therefore, that the church is to preside over things that are spiritual, while human government is to preside over things that are political.
We firmly believe that the power of the church lies in the proclamation of the truth found in Jesus Christ, and in the continual exultation of Jesus Christ as Savior of the world. (Mt. 22:21; Mark 12:17; Luke 20:25; Rom. 13; John 3:16,36)
Section 18. Civil Government
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except in those things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming Kings of Kings. (Rom. 13:1-7; Acts 23:5; Mt. 22:21; Acts 5:29; 4:19-20; Dan. 3:17-18)
Section 19. Israel
We believe in the sovereign selection of Israel as God's eternal covenant people, that she is now dispersed because of her disobedience and rejection of Christ, and that she will be regathered in the Holy Land, and, after the completion of the Church, will be saved as a nation at the second advent of Christ. (Gen. 13:17-18; Rom. 11:1-32; Ez. 37)
Section 20. Dispensations
The Word of God embodies a chronological, progressive, and connected order in God's dealings with mankind which we refer to as dispensations. A dispensation, therefore, is a period of time, often called an "age," with a definite beginning and a definite ending in which God reveals himself, or some specific revelation of His will, to man. Man is then tested with respect to how well he obeys God, and how well he executes his responsibilities regarding reveal truth.
We find that in every dispensation unregenerate man has failed God's test, that he continues to fail in this present dispensation, known as the "age of grace" or "church age," and that he will also fail in the future.
There are seven dispensations that are distinguished in Scripture:
- Innocence (Gen. 1:28)
- Conscience or Moral Responsibility (Gen. 3:7)
- Human Government (Gen. 8:15)
- Promise (Gen. 12:1)
- Law (Ex. 19:1)
- Church or Grace (Acts 2:1)
- Kingdom or Millennial Rule of Christ (Rev. 20:4)
Section 21. Rapture and Subsequent Events
We believe in the pretribulational return of Christ, an event which can occur at any moment, that at that moment the dead Christ shall be raised in glorified bodies, the living in Christ shall be given glorified bodies without tasting death, and all shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air before the seven years of the tribulation. (1 Thes. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:42-44, 51; Phil. 3:20-21)
We believe that the tribulation, which follows the Rapture of the Church, will be culminated by the revelation of Christ in power and great glory to sit upon the throne of David and to establish the millennial kingdom. (Dan. 9:26-27; Mt. 24:29-31; Luke 1:30-33; Is. 9:6-7; 11:1-9; Acts 2:29-30; Rev. 20:1-4, 6)
Section 22. The Righteous and the Wicked
We believe that there is radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only those who are justified by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and sanctified by the Spirit of our God are truly righteous in His esteem, while all who continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse, and that 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 in the lake of fire. (Mal. 3:18; Gen. 18:23; Rom. 6:17-18; 1 John 5:19; Rom. 6:32; Prov. 14:32; Luke 16:25; Mt. 25:34-41; John 8:21; Rev. 20:14-15)
Section 23. Sanctity of life
We believe that all human life begins in the womb, at the time of conception. We also believe that all human life, at any age, is sacred and that life is a gift from God.
We further believe that human life can only be taken, or terminated, as the result of capital punishment, and that capital punishment itself was established by God, as the means to deter the willful, premeditated crimes against other human beings, specifically, murder and other heinous crime of one's person. (Job 10:8; 31:15; Ps. 22:9-10; 71:6; 119:73; 139:15-16; Eccl. 11:5; Is. 44:2, 24; Jer. 1:5; Ex. 20:13; Gen. 9:5)
Section 24. Sanctity of Marriage
We believe that marriage, and the family unit which it creates, is a divine institution ordained by God.
In the beginning God created male and female, and by doing so, a clear distinction between both sexes was also created. It is this distinction of male and female that is to be brought together into a mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical union that we refer to as marriage.
We further believe that a marriage relationship between husband and wife is a permanent union until death parts one from another.
We recognize that divorce is a commonplace factor in our society today. We believe, however, that although divorce was permitted by God because of the hardness of the hearts of men, that from the beginning divorce was not part of God's divine plan.
We acknowledge that in the body of believers many who are divorced will greatly desire to serve their Lord. We believe, therefore, that all those who are divorced and desire to serve God, can do so to the best of their abilities. We find no precedent established within God's Word that would prohibit those who are divorced from serving the Lord.
We believe, however, that there are two areas within the church in which divorced persons should not serve. These include holding the offices of pastor (elder, bishop) or deacon. (Gen. 2:22-25; 3:20-21; 5:2; Mt. 19:6; Mark 10:9; Eph. 5:23-25, 28, 31, 33; 1 Tim 3: 2-5; Titus 1:6-7)
Section 25. Essence of Ministry
We believe that love, God's love, shed abroad from our hearts to others, is the most basic of all tenets in our service to God. We believe that it is truly by our love that both believers and sinners will know that we belong to Jesus Christ.
It is our conviction that Jesus was constrained by the love of God to minister to others, and to allow others to minister to Him, whether saved or lost.
The example of our Lord teaches us that we, too, must serve others out of a pure heart of love. We believe, therefore, that the spirit of love should also be extended to all those who are not vet members of our church but who are working towards membership within the church. We further believe that the spirit of love should also be extended toward those who are lost as we strive to win them to our Lord.