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Beliefs and Doctrine

Statement of Beliefs and Doctrine

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God

We believe in the only true God (John 17:3), the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20). He created all things (Revelation 4:11) and upholds all things by the Word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). He is a God of truth and without iniquity. He is just and right (Deuteronomy 32:4), and He shall judge the world (Psalm 9:8). We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes and perfections, and are worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience (Mark 12:29; John 1:1-4; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 4:3-4).

Jesus Christ

We believe in the total deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe He is the manifestation of God in the flesh. We believe He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. We believe Him to be true God and true man (John 1:1, 1:14, 1:18; John 14:8-9; 1 Timothy 3:16).

Holy Spirit

We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:14). The Holy Spirit regenerates the sinner upon belief in Christ and baptism into Christ (Titus 3:5-6, Romans 6:4-6). The Holy Spirit indwells, guides, instructs, fills, comforts, and empowers the believer for godly living (Mark 13:11; John 14:26; John 16:13; Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 3:16). The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of God's righteousness and of coming judgment (John 16:8-11). We believe that the Holy Spirit is a gift from God given to all Christians (Acts 2:38). We believe that the Holy Spirit: lives in us (Romans 8:9-11), empowers us to fulfill our mission while on earth (Ephesians 3:14-4:1), sanctifies us (I Pet. 1:2), convicts us (Jn. 16:8), comforts (Acts 9:31), teaches (I Cor. 2:13) and renews us (Tit. 3:5).

Scriptures

We believe the Scriptures of the Old Testament and New Testament are inspired by God and inerrant in their original writings. We believe the 66 books of the Old Testament and the New Testament are God's complete and sufficient revelation and therefore carry God's authority for the total well-being of mankind (Psalm 119:97-104; Psalm 119:160; Matthew 5:18; John 5:46-47; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:15-16).

Man

We believe man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by voluntarily transgressing, fell from his sinless and happy state. Consequently, all mankind is sinful. All people are sinners by their own choice and therefore are under just condemnation without defense or excuse. We believe that without exception every man and every woman bears the guilt of sin and needs a Savior (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 3:10-19; Romans 1:18, Romans 1:32).

Salvation

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice. We believe that each person who by faith repents of their sins, turning away from a sinful life (Acts 17:30), receives forgiveness of sin and is born again through water baptism (Acts 2:38), being justified on the basis of Jesus Christ's shed blood on the cross (Romans 6:3-11).

Resurrection

We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord Jesus Christ, His ascension into heaven and His present life for us as High Priest and Advocate (Acts 1:3; Acts 1:9; Hebrews 7:25-26; 1 John 2:1-2).

Heaven, Hell, and the Return of Christ

We believe in the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. His return has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The saved are raised to eternal, conscious bliss in heaven (Matthew 25:34; John 14:2; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Revelation 2:7). The lost are raised to eternal torment in hell in conscious separation from God (Matthew 8:12; Matthew 10:28;Matthew 13:49-50; Mark 9:47-48; Luke 12:5; Revelation 21:8).

Church

Upon faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and being immersed for the forgiveness of sins, a believer becomes part of His body, which is the church. There is one church universal. The Scriptures command believers to gather in order to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, sharing in the Lord’s supper, fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world in fulfillment of the command of Christ to disciple all believers (Ephesians 5:23;Romans 12:1; Acts 2:42-46; 1 Corinthians 14:26; Matthew 28:18-20). Wherever God's people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the church under the oversight of Overseers/Elders/Shepherds. The church's members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ (Ephesians 4:16).

Missions

Realizing that the cause of Christ extends beyond any one local fellowship, we commit ourselves to an ongoing ministry of extending the call of Christ to make disciples around the world (Matthew 28:19-20).

Assimilation and Church Membership

We believe in the importance of serving the body of Christ by offering clear paths for people to start and develop healthy and growing relationships with others in the church body. We value an intentional plan to help every interested person enjoy godly relationships in the church. Church membership is a byproduct of people who are growing in Christ and who grasp the importance of serving the Lord by using their gifts to serve others in the local church.

Baptism

We believe that baptism by immersion in water brings a believer into union with the death Jesus Christ and His resurrection. We believe that baptism is required for salvation for all who believe in Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38, 41; Acts 18:8). The waters of baptism connect us with Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection to newness of life that happens when we become new creations in Christ (Colossians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:1-4).

Communion (The Lord's Supper)

Communion is the commemoration by believers of Christ's death, and a reminder through the bread and the juice of the Savior's broken body and shed blood. Communion is a time of self-examination, but also a time of joy as Christians proclaim the death of Jesus. (Acts 4:13; Romans 6:3-6; 1 Corinthians 11:20-29).

Process of Sanctification and Maturity

Mature disciples Know Christ, Serve Christ, and Share Christ. A person committed to a relationship with Christ focuses on a personal walk with Him, worshipping Him, and working for Him. That person will experience significant growth in personal sanctification and, therefore, will experience a closer personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and will become "complete in Christ" (Colossians 1:28). We are committed to multiplying the godly characteristics of leaders' lives into others (2 Timothy 2:2). This multiplication of ministry is key to the healthy growth of the church. We believe the disciples of Jesus Christ should minister to one another in the local church, rather than one or a small number of professional pastors bearing total responsibility to care for the entire congregation. God has given spiritual gifts to all of His people to provide mutual ministry in the context of the healthy and strong local church (Ephesians 4:11-12).

Spiritual Warfare

Satan and his demonic servants viciously oppose the work God performs in and through His people (1 Peter 5:8; Genesis 3:1-7; Ephesians 6:12). God, who by His nature is infinitely more powerful than Satan, in due time will have complete and total victory over Satan (1 John 4:4; Revelation 20:1-10). The Scriptures instruct the Christian to combat Satan by: Humbly drawing near to God, knowing that He will give grace, mercy, and strength (2 Corinthians 12:7-9; Hebrews 4:15-16; James 4:8; 1 Peter 5:6-10). Resisting Satan's temptations (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9). Rightly applying the truth of the Scriptures (Matthew 4:1-11; John 8:44; Ephesians 4:24-27). Forgiving offenses (2 Corinthians 2:10-11). Putting on the armor of God's truth, righteousness, readiness to share the Gospel, faith, salvation, and prayer (Ephesians 6:11-20). Demonstrating faithfulness to the Lord by enduring trials (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 2:13;Revelation 3:9-10).

Sufficiency of Scripture

We believe in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Scriptures and that they contain all the words of God that we need in order to completely trust and obey Him. The Scriptures are inerrant in their original writings (Psalm 119:97-104; Psalm 119:160; Matthew 5:18; John 5:46-47; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:15-16), and are infallible in their instruction (Proverbs 6:32; 2 Peter 1:19), eternal in duration (Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:23-25); the final authority and the standard for faith and practice (Matthew 4:4; Psalm 119); and sufficient for counsel in every issue of life (Psalm 19:7-14; 2 Timothy 3:16). We believe that the very words of Scripture in the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic are inspired by God.

Women in Ministry

Our leaders affirm the God-ordained and significant role that women should play in establishing and leading the local church. Every leadership opportunity is open to women except those that are excluded by Scripture. The Scriptures clearly state that men are to serve in the office of Elder/Shepherd/Overseer and that women are not to serve in church positions in which they exercise authority over men or in which they teach men (1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Timothy 3:1-2; Titus 1:6-9). We do not see this as an issue of equality, for men and women are equal under God. The Bible is clear that men and women do not have the same roles. Qualified women should serve in any leadership position that is not forbidden in the Scriptures.

Worship

The chief purpose of mankind is to glorify God by loving Him with the entire heart, soul, mind, and might (Deuteronomy 6:5; Isaiah 43:7; Matthew 22:37). All believing men, women, and children are to glorify God and thus fulfill the purpose of their existence. Worship glorifies God through adoration (Psalm 95:6), praise (Psalm 99:5), prayer (Daniel 6:10-11), thanksgiving (Nehemiah 12:46), and a complete yielding to Him (Romans 12:1). Worship declares His worth, pays Him homage, and celebrates Him in a life of devotion. We seek to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth (Exodus 15:1-21; 2 Samuel 6:14-16; Psalm 5:7; John 4:23-24; Revelation 4:11; 5:12).

Several tenets guide our worship. We seek to:

  • Lift high the name of Jesus Christ (John 4:22-26; John 12:32; John 14:6).
  • Lead God's people to lift their hearts and voices to Him, giving Him praise and thanks (Nehemiah 12:45-46; Psalm 66:1-4; Psalm 95:1-2).
  • Prepare hearts to hear the Lord speak through the proclamation of Scripture (Psalm 95:6-9; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42).
  • Emphasize fresh and contemporary expressions while retaining traditional elements that recognize the richness of our heritage in the faith (Deuteronomy 32:7; Psalm 33:3; Isaiah 46:8-9; Matthew 13:32, Ephesians 5:19; Revelation 5:9).
  • Pursue excellence in worship, knowing that God is worthy of our best (Exodus 12; Deuteronomy 17:1; Psalm 33:3; 1 Timothy 4:14-15; Hebrews 11:4).
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