The following statements summarize the doctrines to which we adhere and believe essential to the practice of our faith and fulfillment of our purpose.
In essential beliefs - we have unity:
"There is one Body and one Spirit...there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of us all..." Ephesians 4:4-6
“Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” Philippians 2:2-3
In nonessential beliefs - we have liberty
“Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things...Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls… So then each of us shall give account of himself to God… Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God.” Romans 14:1,4,12,22
In all our beliefs - we show charity/love
“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:2
THE ESSENTIALS WE BELIEVE:
1. The Scriptures:
The Bible, consisting of both Old and New Testaments, is the complete written Word of God, and the supreme and sole authority of Christian Faith and practice. The Scriptures were originally given through the Holy Spirit by plenary, verbal inspiration, infallibly and contextually true and free of error. We believe the Bible to be the all-sufficient authority in all matters of faith, doctrine, and Christian living. No other traditions of any kind are inspired in this sense.
(II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20, 21; II Timothy 1:13; Psalm 12:6, 119:105, 160; Proverbs 30:5)
2. The Nature of God:
The only true and living God is a Triune God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, the Creator and Ruler of all things. He has been revealed to man only through the Son, the Word made flesh. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God, equally divine and eternal with the Father, and is also the Son of Man, truly human but without sin. The Holy Spirit is a person, coequal and one with the Father and Son, whose work is to glorify God in Christ through convicting men of sin and regenerating those who believe in Christ and accept Him as their personal Lord and Savior.
(Genesis 1:1, 26, 27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; I Peter 1:2; II Corinthians 13:14)
3. The Creation and Nature of Man:
All things were created and are sustained by God; man in particular was created for the purpose of mutual love and fellowship between him and his Creator. The Genesis account of creation is a true and historical record, revealing that man came by direct creation of God, not through a process of evolution. Though created in the image of God, man willfully sinned against God, bringing sin and death into the world. Through Adam, all men have inherited a sin nature; upon reaching an age or accountability, this nature evidences itself in willful acts of sin. Therefore, all men are guilty sinners, under the condemnation of a just and Holy God.
(Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1, 2)
4. The Work of Christ:
The eternal Son became flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, who was born of the virgin Mary by miraculous conception and virgin birth. He lived a sinless human life, perfectly fulfilling the divine law, then offered Himself as a sacrifice for sin. He died on the Cross, shedding His precious blood, in full substitution and atonement for the sins of all people. He was buried, and on the third day He rose bodily from the dead, alive forevermore. He later ascended into heaven where, at the right hand of the Father, He now continually intercedes for those who put their trust in Him.
(Matthew 1:22,23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; I Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3, 4; Acts1:9-11; I Timothy 6:14, 15; Titus 2:13)
Mankind is utterly unable to save himself from the power of sin. Each person must be saved wholly on the basis of the work Christ has done in dying for our sins and rising for our justification. This salvation is a free gift and received and appropriated by simple faith in Jesus Christ as Son of God and personal Savior. Faith in Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation. A true Christian is one who has been "saved" or "born again," regenerated by the Holy Spirit when they truly believed in Christ. The reality of this experience, as well as one's personal assurance of salvation, will be evidenced by a genuine love for Christ and His Word and by a life characterized by Christ-like motives and standards. Salvation thus includes deliverance form the penalty of sin, from the power of sin in one's life, and ultimately from the presence of sin in heaven with Christ.
(Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8, 9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5)
6. The Church:
In the ultimate sense, the Church of Christ is composed of all who have been saved and will be with Him in heaven. Local churches, therefore, should likewise be composed only of members who are genuinely saved, trusting only in the Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning death for their salvation. Each local church should be organized for the purpose of effective witness to the unsaved; for baptizing, teaching, exhorting and edifying those who are saved for Christian fellowship among the brethren, and for united praise and worship of God through song, testimony, prayer and observance of the Lord's Supper, as ordained by Christ.
(Acts 2:42-47; Hebrews 10:24-25; Ephesians 5:23-33)
7. Spiritual Gifts and The Ministry:
For the purpose of winning the lost and strengthening believers, the Holy Spirit bestows His spiritual gifts on members of the body according to His own will. With the completion of the written Word of God in the New Testament Scriptures, these miraculous gifts were no longer necessary and were gradually replaced by permanently needed gifts such as those of pastor, teacher, evangelist, helps among others. The church must be careful and show wisdom when it concerns seeking after such signs or other sensory experiences in the services or ministries of the church that can lead to confusion and divisions.
(I Corinthians 12:4-11; 28-30; Mark 16:20; Hebrews 2:4; I Corinthians 13:8-10; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11,12)
8. The Promised Return of Christ:
When the present age is consummated, the Lord Jesus will return to the earth to establish His millennial kingdom. It is not possible to know the date of his coming; nevertheless, every Christian should live in earnest expectation of His coming at any time. When He comes in the air, both dead and living believers will be caught up to meet Him, receiving their resurrection bodies. They will appear before the judgment seat of Christ to be judged, not for salvation, but for rewards. The coming of Christ will also be associated with a period of judgment and great tribulation on the earth, in which the wrath of God will be poured out on unsaved man because of their rejection of God and His Christ. Then, Christ will come to the earth in power and glory to reign for a thousand years.
(I Corinthians 15: 35-58; I Thessalonians 4:13-18)
9. The Last Things:
Following the millennium, the unsaved dead will be raised, judged according to their works, and separated forever from God in the lake of fire. Satan, who is a real personality and the source of all evil in the universe, will also be consigned forever to the lake of fire. Those who are saved will live forever in the presence of Christ, enjoying the fellowship for which they were created and which was secured for them through the reconciling work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Revelation 20; Romans 14:11-12)
10. Marriage and Sexuality:
The term “marriage” has only one meaning and that is marriage sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other. God has commanded that intimate sexual activity is to occur only within a marriage between a man and a woman. Any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography, or any attempt to change one’s sex, or disagreement with one’s biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God. In order to preserve the function and integrity of the church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, should abide by and agree to this Statement on Marriage and sexuality and conduct themselves accordingly. God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of the church.
(Gen. 2:24-25; Matt. 19:3-6; I Cor. 5:1-7:5; Rom. 1:24-32; Lev. 18:6-30; Ps. 139:13-16)
11. Other Teachings of Scripture:
With respect to doctrines and practices not specifically referred to in the foregoing, the individual is at liberty to believe and practice in accordance with his own conscience and understanding of Scripture, at the same time allowing others in the church the same liberty, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
(Ephesians 4:3; Romans 14:14-2)