Faith Statement: What We Believe
The Bible, the Word of God
We believe the Bible, in its 66 canonical books in their original languages, is a divine revelation. It is the inspired, infallible Word of God (PSA 119:89, PRO 30:5-6, JOH 10:35, 2TI 3:16, 2PE 1:20-21).
The Triune God
We believe there is one Triune God existing in three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Each person of the Trinity is equal in essence and authority and each possesses all the same attributes and perfection (DEU 6:4, 2CO 13:14).
The Depravity of Man
We believe man is created in the image of God. Through Adam's original sin, the entire human race is born spiritually dead. At birth, every person receives a sin nature. The sin nature alienates mankind from God. Man is not qualified to redeem himself or restore his fallen condition (GEN 11:26-27; ROM 3:22-23, 5-12; EPH 2:12).
The Person & Work of Jesus Christ
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man while maintaining His essential Deity. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary to reveal God, redeem man, and resolve the invisible struggle among the angels by the total defeat of Satan. We believe that Jesus Christ fully accomplished our redemption through His substitutionary sacrificial death on the Cross. The Father accepted totally the pouring out of His soul unto death (ISA 53:9-12) as the propitiation of sins. The Father's acceptance of His death is dramatized and realized by His literal physical resurrection from the dead (LUK 1:35; JOH 1:1; ROM 3:24-26; ROM 4:24-25; 1CO 15:1-4; 2CO 5:21; HEB 9:22; HEB 13:20-21; 1PE 1:3-5; 1PE 1:18-20; 1PE 2:24; 1PE 3:18). We further believe that even now, the Lord Jesus Christ is in heaven having been supremely exalted by God the Father. He sits at the right hand of God where He fulfills the ministry of Great High Priest, intercessor, and advocate for believers. Jesus Christ is the irrefutably acknowledged Head of the Church, which is His body. He will return to crush all the enemies of God (ROM 8:34, EPH 1:19-23, HEB 7:25-27, 1JO 1:1-2).
The Person & Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is a person, and not merely a force. He convicts the world of the sin of unbelief, restrains evil from its ultimate manifestation, glorifies Christ and guides believers into all truth (JOH 16:7-14). We believe that at the point of personal faith in Christ the Spirit baptizes each individual into interminable union with Christ. He permanently indwells, seals, and regenerates each believer. It is the duty of each believer to walk by means of the Spirit and neither quench nor grieve Him (ROM 8:9; 1CO 12:12-13; GAL 3:26-29; GAL 5:16; EPH 1:12-14; EPH 4:30; EPH 5:18; TIT 3:5-6).
We believe eternal salvation is the gift of God received upon the sinner's non-meritorious faith in Jesus Christ. Christ's accomplished redemption on the cross provided man's reconciliation to God (JOH 3:15-16; JOH 5:24; JOH 6:40; JOH 6:47; JOH 20:31; ACT 16:31; ROM 3:24-25; ROM 5:11; ROM 5:16; 2CO 5:18-21; EPH 2:8-9).
The Eternal Security of the Believer
We believe that the Church, which is the Body and will be the Bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all born-again believers of this Age, irrespective of their affiliation with Christian organizations (EPH 1:22-23; EPH 5:25-27; 1CO 12:12-14).
We believe the Bible acknowledges the personal identity of Satan who is the openly declared adversary of God and man (JOB 1:6-7, ISA 14:12-17, 1PE 5:8). Satan is also the ruler of this present world (EPH 2:2; 2CO 4:4; JOH 12:31; JOH 14:30; JOH 16:11).
The Blessed Hope
We believe that the next great event in the fulfillment of prophecy will be the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in the air. He will receive to Himself believers who have died and believers who are alive at His coming. Also known as the "Rapture" or "Translation of the Church" (1CO 15:51-57; 1TH 4:13-18; TIT 2:11-14).
We believe the rapture of the Church will be followed by the fulfillment of Israel's seventieth week. The latter half of this seven-year period is the time of Jacob's trouble, the Great Tribulation (JER 30:7, DAN 9:27, MAT 24:15-21, REV 6:19).
The Second Coming of Christ
The Eternal State
We believe the soul and the human spirit of those who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation immediately pass into His presence at the moment of physical death. The soul and the human spirit remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at His coming. At this time, soul, human spirit and body reunite, and shall forever be associated with His glory. The souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery until the final judgment of the Great White Throne at the close of the millennium. At this time, the soul and body reunited shall be cast into the eternal Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to be salted with everlasting destruction and banished from the presence of the Lord forever (LUK 16:19-26; LUK 23:43; 2CO 5:8; PHI 1:23; 2TH 1:7-9; JUD 6:7; REV 20:11-15).
The Responsibility of the Believer
We believe once born again, the believer is to desire the sincere milk of the Word. Continually nourished by it, he may grow spiritually in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is God's desire that first every man be saved, and secondly that every believer in Christ come to intimately know Him through the inculcation of the Word of God (1TI 2:4). The effectual work of God's Word brings the believer into adjustment with God's purpose, plan, and will. The internal execution of God's Word brings glory to the Lord (ROM 12:1-2, 2CO 13:9, 1TI 4:6, 1PE 2:2, 2PE 3:18).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ instituted the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper to be observed until His return. (MAT 28:19-20; 1 COR 11:23-26).
We believe God, existing as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is sovereign. He exercises supreme and absolute rule over all creation as a part of, and consistent with, the essence and attributes of deity (1CH 29:11-12, DAN 4:35, PSA 24:1, EPH 1:11, 1TI 6:15). However, God in His sovereignty will not violate the free will of man. The free will of man and the sovereignty of God coexist by divine decree (1TI 2:4-6, ROM 5:8-10; ROM 5:32-33; ROM 16:24-25; JOH 3:16; JOH 3:36).
We believe though salvation is the result of one decision to believe, spirituality is the result of continuous decisions to depend upon the Holy Spirit and to be filled with the Spirit. The believer is mandated not to quench nor to grieve the Spirit by personal sin and by rejection of His grace and power. In addition, the believer is to walk by means of the Spirit and be filled with the Spirit, and the Christian life can only be fulfilled by the power of the Spirit (GAL 5:16; EPH 4:30; EPH 5:18; 1TH 5:19). The believer's intimacy with the Holy Spirit, also known as fellowship, is suspended once he commits personal sins. This intimacy is restored when he names and cites his sin(s) to God (1JO 1:9).