We Believe And Teach That:
The Bible… is the Word of God…
…given by God to us so that we may know Him. The Bible is composed of sixty-six books – thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and twenty-seven books of the New Testament. Scripture in its entirety originated with God, and He communicated His truth through and to human beings, reflecting the backgrounds, styles and vocabularies of the human authors. The Bible is the Word of God in the words of human beings, yet it is without error. No other writings are similarly inspired by God. The Bible is the basis for our knowledge of God and is the final authority as to how we are to live.
There is only one true God…
…eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – each of Whom possesses equally all the attributes of God and the characteristics of personality. God created the heavens and the earth, demonstrating the glory of His power, wisdom and goodness. By His sovereign power He continues to sustain His creation, and by His providence He orders the affairs of human beings according to His own wise, eternal plan. God created men and women in His image and likeness, that we might be in relationship with Him. Our greatest purpose in life is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
Salvation…Our relationship with God was broken by sin
Ignoring His love and grace, we divorced Him from our lives through our acts of disobedience. As a result, human nature was corrupted, rendering us unable to please God. Our sinful nature results in sinful actions, and we stand condemned before God, spiritually dead and unable to alter our situation. We justly deserve God’s wrath for our sins. Our salvation from sin is wholly a work of God’s free grace – not the result, in whole or part, of human works or goodness – and it is appropriated by faith alone in Christ alone. There is only one way of salvation – by trusting in Jesus Christ alone.
The object of our faith and trust is Jesus Christ
Jesus was completely God, yet in order to accomplish our salvation, He laid aside His privileges as God and became a human being through His virginal conception and birth to a woman named Mary. In becoming human, He never ceased to be God. Jesus Christ was fully God and fully human.
On the cross, Jesus took upon Himself the punishment for our sins. Christ died in our place, as our substitute, suffering the hell that we justly deserved. In dying in our place, He removed the guilt and condemnation of sin. As we trust in Him alone, we are forgiven and are justified; that is, we stand before God “just-as-if-I’d never sinned.” We are declared righteous before God as we accept the work of Christ in our behalf.
Jesus truly died on the cross; was buried; and was physically resurrected from death.
Jesus physically ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father where He, the only mediator between God and man, continually makes intercession for us.
Jesus will physically return to fully establish His kingdom in the eternal plan of God.
The Holy Spirit…
The essential accompaniment of a genuine saving relationship with Jesus Christ is obedience to God, worked out in our lives by God the Holy Spirit.
God’s Spirit applies the benefits of Christ’s work of redemption to those who trust Him. The Spirit works to convince people of their sinfulness and need for the Savior, Jesus Christ. The Spirit regenerates us; that is, He removes our spiritual deadness makes us alive in Christ.
At the point of salvation, He lives in those who trust in Christ, giving us the assurance of salvation, strength, wisdom and guidance. The Spirit enables us to develop a Christ-like character to the glory of God.
The corollary of union with Jesus Christ is that all believers are united with one another. We become a part of His family, the Church. The Church is the assembly of God’s people, redeemed by Christ and regenerated and empowered by the Holy Spirit to do God’s work in the world.
There is one true universal Church, which is composed of all people – living and dead – who have trusted in Christ alone for their salvation without regard for organizational affiliation.
God commands us to assemble together for worship, instruction, fellowship and encouragement. Whenever God’s people meet in obedience to this command, there is a local expression of the Church.
It is the responsibility of each believer in Christ to keep the unity of the Spirit (since we are united with Christ and with one another), to build up Christ’s church, to work with other believers in showing concern for the needs of people everywhere, and to fulfill Christ’s final command to spread the Good News of salvation throughout the world.
The fulfillment of God’s saving work embraces the whole person – physically and spiritually. At physical death, the believer in Christ enters immediately into eternal conscious fellowship with the Lord. The non-believer enters into eternal conscious separation from the Lord.
In the consummation of Christ’s kingdom, the bodies of all the dead shall be raised, and all people will be judged by God. God, who is all-knowing, will render perfect judgment on each person.
There is no condemnation for those who have trusted in Christ because He has taken the punishment for their sin and they have been declared righteous through Him. They will be resurrected to eternal life in glorified bodies and will receive rewards for the quality of their work in Christ.
Those who have rejected Christ will be judged for their sinfulness. Because they didn’t trust in Christ’s saving work, they will be raised to everlasting condemnation and damnation, being eternally separated from God and every indication of His blessing.
Knowing the realities of eternal life through trusting in Christ and of eternal death through rejecting Christ, God has commanded His people to communicate to others the Good News of salvation in Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone.
As followers of Christ, we are committed to…
- Building a biblical foundation for our lives.
- Utter dependence upon God and inter-dependence with other believers.
- Independence of God or other Christians is an unbiblical and unhealthy attitude that we must avoid.
- Spiritual growth. In order for us to grow spiritually, we need a balanced Christian experience which includes:
meaningful worship through gathering together for celebration, encouragement, instruction and fellowship;
a vital and consistent prayer-life;
Bible study which understands and applies God’s truth to life, resulting in obedience;
accountability through relationships with other Christians.
- Giving of our time, abilities and resources in service to Christ and His Church. As Christians, God has given each of us spiritual gifts, natural talents and learned abilities which we can use to help encourage others and enable them to grow in God’s grace. God has blessed us with resources that we can share to equip others. As stewards of God’s gifts, we need to utilize everything God has given to us in a way that honors Him.
- Sharing the Good News of salvation through Christ.