Statement of Faith

Taste and see that the LORD is good. [Ps. 34:8]

God

We believe that there is only one true God, who exists eternally in three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, being one in essence, and each having his own distinct personality and role (John 1:1, 10:30, 17, 20:28; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; Eph. 4:4-6; Heb. 1:8).

The Scriptures

We believe that the 66 books of the Bible recognized as the canon of Scripture are God-breathed.  We believe that they are without error in the original manuscripts and that they have been sufficiently preserved to such an extent that the available manuscripts may be considered inspired. Translations can also be considered authoritative so as long as they accurately convey the literal meaning of the original languages (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:19-21).  We believe that the Scriptures are to be understood literally (making allowance for the use of metaphor and figures of speech).  We further believe that it is the responsibility of every believer to study the Scriptures for his/herself (2 Tim 2:15, 3:14-15).  We believe that the Bible, as the Word of God, is the believer’s final authority for faith and practice. (1 Tim. 4:13, 6:3-5; 2 Tim. 2:23-26, 4:1-4; Jas. 1:22-25).

Angels

We believe that angels are spirit beings created by God to serve as emissaries between Himself and human beings (Heb 1:14). The highest of these angels fell into the sin of pride, becoming the one now known as Satan, and was followed by many others so that there are now fallen and unfallen angels (Isa. 14:12–17; Ezek. 28:11–19). Unfallen fallen angels serve and worship God (Luke 15:10; Eph. 1:21; Heb. 1:14; Rev. 7:12), while unfallen angels resist His will, under the leadership of Satan, and will ultimately suffer eternal judgment in the lake of fire (1 Tim. 3:6; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6; Rev 20:10).

Man

We believe that man was created in the image of God. We believe that man fell into sin and experienced both physical and spiritual death. Spiritual death, or total depravity of human nature, has been transmitted to the entire human race of man, with the one exception being the man Christ Jesus. We believe that, because man is totally depraved, he is unable to please God apart from a supernatural work of God (Gen. 1:26; 2:17; 6:5; Ps. 14:1–3; 51:5; Jer. 17:9; John 3:6; 5:40; 6:35; Rom. 3:10–19; 8:6–7; Eph. 2:1–3; 1 Tim. 5:6; 1 John 3:8).

Salvation

We believe that when the first man, Adam, sinned, he received a sin nature which every human being since (with the exception of Jesus Christ) has inherited.  Because of this, all human beings are born sinners who are separate from God and justly deserve the consequence of their sin, which is eternal separation from God in the lake of fire (Rom. 5:12-21, 6:23: Rev 21:8). We further believe that God loved mankind so much that He provided a way of salvation by sending His own son Jesus Christ to earth to become a man (while completely maintaining his deity), miraculously born of a virgin, and conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matt 1:18-25; Luk.1:34-38).  We believe that as a man Jesus lived a perfect life, completely without sin (2 Cor. 5:21), that Jesus paid the penalty for sin in His own blood when he died on the cross. We believe that He was buried, and raised from the dead on the third day, and He now offers unconditional salvation as a free gift to all who believe on him.  We believe that this salvation is a free gift, entirely based upon God’s grace, and with no works required (Jn. 1:12, 3:16; Acts 16:31; Rom. 3:21-31, 5:1-11; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Eph. 2:1-10). We believe that true faith is characterized by repentance, and the inevitable results of salvation are the fruit of righteousness in the believer’s lift through the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:14, Gal. 5:22-23 Phil. 1:6).

The Extent of Salvation

We believe that, because Christ completely paid the price for every believer’s sin on the cross, and because salvation is a free gift not based on any works, that it is impossible for any true believer to “lose their salvation” or become “unsaved.”  Every believer is eternally secure from God’s condemnation and will, without fail, spend eternity with God, salvation being a present possession of believers, not merely future hope, and being a completed work.  We further believe that every believer is sealed with the Holy Spirit of God until the day Christ comes back to claim His possessions (believers) for whom He has already paid the price in full, and that the seal of the Spirit is unbreakable (Jn. 3:15-16, 36,4:14, 6:32-40, 10:27-30, 19:30; Rom. 8:1,15-17, 35-38; Eph. 1:13-14; Heb. 7:25, 10:12-14, 13:5-6).

Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, and God the son, being the second member of the Trinity. We believe that He was fully God from all eternity (John 1:1), and became man at a specific point in time when He was made incarnate, being conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary (John 1:14; Matt 1:18-25; Lk.1:34-38). Thus, for eternity future He will exist as one who is fully God and fully human, united in one being. We believe that, in His time on earth, Christ lived a perfect life, died on the cross, taking the punishment for human sin, rose again on the third day, ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father (Acts 1:9-11, 1 Cor 15:1-11; 2 Cor. 5:21). We believe that He offers eternal life as a free gift to all who trust in His atoning work on the cross for salvation (Acts 16:31; Eph 2:8-9; Rev 22:17). We believe that He will return bodily to the earth, judge the wicked and establish His kingdom (Rev 19-22).

The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is fully God, and that He is the third person of the Trinity. Though the Spirit is omnipresent, He also indwells believers in a special way in the present age. We believe that, at the moment of salvation, He baptizes each believer in to the body of Christ, which is the universal church (John 14:16–17; 16:7–15; 1 Cor. 6:19; Eph. 2:22; 2 Thess. 2:7).

We believe that the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to believers for service in the church and seals them until the day of redemption as God’s purchased possessions (John 3:6; 16:7–11; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:30; 5:18; 2 Thess. 2:7; 1 John 2:20–27).

We believe that certain gifts were sign gifts to the first century and have ceased with the end of the apostolic era, including prophecy, tongues and interpretation of tongues (Acts 4:8, 31; Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 13:8).

Sanctification (The Christian Life)

We believe that personal holiness is unattainable by human effort, but is a work which God Himself does in the believer through the indwelling Holy Spirit.  Progressive Sanctification occurs when the believer yields his/herself to the Holy Spirit’s will, and submits his/herself to his leading. We believe that submission to the Spirit’s leading is manifested in a life of obedience to the Scriptures.  We believe that sanctification is a result of salvation, and can never considered as a condition for it.  The extent to which a believer lives a holy life is in direct proportion to his/her submission to the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:15-20,15:1-14,17:15-19; Rom. 8:1-15, 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 2:9-16; Gal. 5:16-26; Eph. 4:17-5:21; Phil. 1:6, 2:12-13; 1 Thess. 5:23; Jas. 4:7-10).

The Church                   

We believe that the church is a distinct phase in God’s kingdom program. It was a mystery unrevealed in the Old Testament and is distinct from Israel. Though the church is distinct from Israel, which in turn is distinct from earlier phases of God’s kingdom program, all believers of all ages are united in a common salvation through the blood of Christ. Thus in one sense there are different peoples of God, including pre-Israelite saints (Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, etc), Israel and the church, but in another sense there is one people of God, the redeemed. We believe the church age began on the day of Pentecost and will consummate with the rapture, when God will finish the last 7 years of his program with Israel prior to the return of Christ. I believe that the universal church is composed of all believers from Pentecost to the rapture, and that these believers are commanded to gather in local fellowships to worship God, receive teaching and engage in acts of service toward one another and the world. We believe that the New Testament offices within the church are elder and deacon, and that its ordinances are baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Matt. 16:16–18; Acts 2:42–47; Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:12–27; Eph. 1:20–23; 4:3–10; Col. 3:14–15).

The Last Things

We believe that Christ may return at any time to gather all living and dead believers from the church to himself in the air, in an event commonly referred to as the rapture (1 Cor. 15:51-53; I Thess. 4:13-18; Jas. 4:7-9).  We believe that following the rapture there will be a seven year period of tribulation in which God will judge the earth (Dan. 7:25-26, 12:7; Rev. 11:2, 12:14, 13:5).  At the end of the tribulation all the armies of the world will gather against the nation of Israel at Armageddon, at which time Christ will return and destroy the armies with the word of His mouth (Rev. 19:11-21).  After this, Christ will establish the millennial kingdom on earth for one thousand years, in which He will reign from Jerusalem with Satan bound from deceiving the nations. At the end of the thousand years Satan will be released and gather all of unbelieving humanity against God for one final battle.  Satan and his forces will be defeated, and ultimately, every being that has rejected God in all of history will be cast into the lake of fire (Isa. 11; Rev. 20). We further believe that every human being that has trusted in God for salvation based on the sacrifice of Christ alone will spend eternity with God in a state of unspeakable joy (Rev. 21-22).