Statement of Faith

WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT THE BIBLE
We believe that the Bible is God-given, reliable in everything it asserts and the final authority for what we believe and how we live.
 
GOD-GIVEN: In various ways, God guided the human authors of the Old and New Testaments to record the very words that originally appeared in them, making the Bible the very Word of God – 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21.
 
RELIABLE: When all the facts about it are known, the Bible will be found to be without error as originally written and absolutely reliable in all it asserts – Matthew 5:18; John 10:35.
 
FINAL AUTHORITY: While God speaks through creation and his Spirit, the Bible is the final authority for all we believe and how we live – Psalm 119:105; Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:17.
 
WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT GOD
We believe in one God who made all, knows all and is over all. He exists eternally in three persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit – Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19-20; 1 Peter 1:2.
 
FATHER: According to God’s plan, the Father sent the Son and the Spirit to carry out the work of creation – Genesis 1:2; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16. After sin entered the world, he sent them again to carry out God’s plan of redemption – Joel 2:29; John 6:37-39; 14:28-32; Galatians 4:4-5.
 
JESUS CHRIST THE SON: Jesus Christ is eternally divine – John 1:1-4; 8:58; 20:28; Colossians 2:9; Titus 3:4. He also became human, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life and died a sacrificial death – Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Matthew 1:18-23; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 10:10,12. After paying the penalty for sin, he rose from the grave bodily, appeared to many witnesses and ascended to heaven – Luke 24; John 20-21; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; 2 Timothy 3:16.
Currently, Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of the Father, acting on our behalf until he returns – Ephesians 1:20; Hebrews 1:3; 1 John 2:1-2. Jesus Christ could return to earth at any time to gather his people, put an end to evil and establish his kingdom – Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. After binding the forces of evil, he will rule the earth for one thousand years – Revelation 20:1-6.
 
THE SPIRIT: The Holy Spirit is a distinct person and eternally divine – John 14:26; 15:26; Acts 5:3. He is active in the world, making people aware of sin, righteousness and judgment – John 16:8-11. When we turn to Christ, the Spirit indwells, renews us, declares us righteous and sets us apart for unending fellowship with God, guaranteeing our spiritual inheritance – Matthew 3:11-12; John 3:5; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13-14. He continues to act in our lives, encouraging us and guiding us in all truth, filling us with himself, helping us overcome sin and giving us gifts for service – John 15:26-27; Romans 8:15-17; Ephesians 5:18; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11.
 
WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT HUMANKIND
We believe that every human being is created in the image of God for unending fellowship with him, but is alienated from God by sin and needs to be saved from the eternal consequences of that sin and reconciled to God.
 
IN GOD’S IMAGE: While we do not share his divine nature, we do reflect God’s image, are created male and female, and are stewards of his creation – Genesis 1:26-30. Every human (born and unborn) is of infinite worth – Jeremiah 1:5.
 
FOR FELLOWSHIP: Having created us for fellowship with himself, God longs to dwell with us and share his incredible joy with us – 1 John 1:3; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Revelation 21:3.
 
ALIENATED: Beginning with Adam and Eve, we have all sinned by turning our backs on God and disobeying his laws for living. As a result, we are all alienated from God and from his joy – Genesis 3:1-7; Psalm 51:4-5; Romans 3:10-18, 23.
 
NEED SALVATION: We are thoroughly unable to make up for our sin – Isaiah 53:6; 64:6. Indeed, we are liable to death and eternal separation from God – Genesis 2:17; Romans 5:12, 6:23. Our only hope is that God in his grace took it upon himself to save us from sin and reconcile us to himself, which he did through Christ.
 
WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT SALVATION
We believe that salvation is an act of God, accomplished by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and imparted by the Holy Spirit to everyone who turns from sin and relies on the death of Christ as a payment for their sin, resulting in the guarantee of unending fellowship with God.
 
ACT OF GOD: Recognizing our helplessness and liability, God graciously took it upon himself to send Jesus Christ to do for us what we could not do for ourselves – Romans 3:21-31; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:3-5.
 
ACCOMPLISHED BY CHRIST: Through his death, Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sin so that we can be forgiven and reconciled to God – Isaiah 53; 1 John 2:2; 1 Peter 2:24. Through his resurrection, he opened the way to eternal life – Romans 6:5; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; Ephesians 1:19-21, 2:4-6.
 
IMPARTED BY THE SPIRIT: When we confess our sin and rely on the death of Christ as a payment for it, God’s indwelling Spirit declares us righteous, leads us in righteousness and reconciles us to God – 1 John 1:9; Romans 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:18.
 
THE GUARANTEE: Once saved, sin may hinder our immediate fellowship with God – Psalm 51:10-12, 66:18; 1 John 1:7; Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19. But nothing can separate us from his love and eternal life – John 10:29; Romans 8:38-39; 1 John 5:11-12.
 
WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT THE CHURCH
We believe in the global Church, consisting of every follower of Jesus Christ – 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:4. We believe in the local Church, consisting of believers in a given area who gather regularly under biblical leadership for teaching, fellowship, worship and prayer, with the goal of making disciples of all nations – 1 Corinthians 1:1-2.
 
GATHER REGULARLY: Just as the Spirit incorporates each believer into the global Church, so our Lord directs each one to be committed to a local Church – Hebrews 10:24-25.
 
BIBLICAL LEADERSHIP: The New Testament Church is led by men who meet the Bible’s qualifications for Elders, who oversee the life of the Church and who function as shepherds to the flock – 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4. Men and women who meet the Bible’s qualifications for Deacons manage the daily operations of the Church and assist in caring for the flock – Romans 16:1; 1 Timothy 3:8-13. All believers are called to align themselves with their leaders and follow the biblical guidelines when confronting them – 1 Timothy 5:19-20; Hebrews 13:17.
 
MAKING DISCIPLES: The goal of our gathering is to grow in Christ-likeness and lead others toward the same. Our mission is to make disciples in our community, our country and around the world – Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8.
 
WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT THE ORDINANCES
We believe in Believers Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Jesus gave these ordinances to his followers as visible symbols of spiritual realities.
 
BELIEVERS BAPTISM: By being immersed in water after professing faith in Christ, we show that we have participated in Christ’s death and resurrection. That is, we have died to the guilt and power of sin and have risen to a new and eternal life – Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:38, 8:36; Romans 6:1-7.
 
THE LORD’S SUPPER: By taking the bread and the cup, we remember what Christ did for us through his death and show that we are united with him and his Body, the Church – Matthew 26:17-30; Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 11:23-26. Believers who are at odds with Christ and any member of his Body are urged to set things right before partaking of the Lord’s Supper – 1 Corinthians 11:27-29.
 
WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
We believe that marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman established by God and the state – Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:1-9. We believe that the family consisting of father, mother and children is God’s norm and the building block of a functional society – Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
 
LIFELONG UNION: God intends marriage to last a lifetime and hates divorce – Malachi 2:15-16; Romans 7:2. When spouses are at odds, God forbids divorce and calls for reconciliation 1 Corinthians 7:10-14. When one spouse proves unfaithful without regret or abandons the marriage altogether, the other spouse is no longer bound, after doing everything to restore the marriage – Matthew 19:9; 1 Corinthians 7:15-16.
 
MAN AND WOMAN: The relationship between husband and wife is a reflection of the relationship between Christ and the Church – Ephesians 5:22-33. Just as Christ loves the Church and gave himself for it, so a husband is to love his wife and give himself for her. Just as the Church is to revere and align itself with Christ, so a wife is to respect and align herself with her husband.
 
THE FAMILY: While we are committed to promoting God’s norm for the family, we are also committed to reaching out to every member of our society regardless of their family’s structure.
 
WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT LIFE BEYOND DEATH
We believe in the immortality of the human soul. We believe in the final resurrection of all people: Non-believers to an eternal existence apart from God. Believers to an eternal existence of fellowship with God.
 
THE HUMAN SOUL: We believe that the souls of those who die continue to exist, consciously waiting for the resurrection – Daniel 12:2-3. The souls of believers wait in heaven – Luke 23:39-43; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10. The souls of non-believers wait in hell – Luke 16:19-31.

RESURRECTION: Before Christ establishes his millennial kingdom, the souls of those who were faithful to him in life will be united with their resurrected bodies. This is the first resurrection – John 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Corinthians 4:14. They will reign with Christ for a thousand years – Revelation 20:4-6.

At the end of Christ’s reign, the souls of all people will be united with their resurrected bodies. This is the second resurrection. All will confess Christ as Lord and be judged by him. Those whose names are not found in the Book of Life will forever be separated from God in the Lake of Fire – Revelation 20:11-15. Those whose names are in the Book of Life will enjoy unending fellowship with God in his New Creation – Revelation 21-22. This is the final goal of God’s plan and our ultimate hope.