Articles of Faith
1. The Scriptures.
We believe that the Bible is divinely inspired; that it is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness (II Timothy 3:16); that it has God for its author (II Timothy 3:16-17) and truth without error for its content (John 17:17); that it reveals God’s plan for the salvation of mankind and the principles by which God judges us (John 12:47-48); and that it is and shall to the end of the world be the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions are tested (I Peter 1:25; II Timothy 3:16-17).
2. The Triune God.
We believe there is one and only one living God, an infinite Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth (Jeremiah 10:10,12), who is holy, loving, just, merciful, omnipotent, ever-present, and eternal; and who is worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love (Psalm 99; Mark 12:30; Revelation 4:11). We believe that in the unity of the Godhead there are three equal persons, of one substance and equal in every divine attribute, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (John 5:18; Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14), who perform distinct tasks in the work of redemption (Ephesians 2:18).
A. God the Father.
We believe that God the Father is the author of the plan of salvation (Psalm 2:7-9) and that He sent His Son into the world (John 5:37) to perform certain specific tasks (I John 4:14) so that man could be redeemed (John 3:16; I John 4:14); that He raised Jesus from the dead (I Thessalonians 1:10) and appointed Him heir of all things (Hebrew 1:2), including the office of judge of man at the end of all things (John 5:21-22); that He rescues (Colossians 1:13) and gives new birth to those who believe in His Son (I Peter 1:3) and then sanctifies them so they may share in the inheritance of the saints (Colossians 1:12) and be presented blameless before Him (I Thessalonians 3:13). He resides within believers (I John 2:23; II John 9), giving them spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3) and protection (John 10:29; 17:11), as well as disciplining them (Hebrews 12:7-11).
B. Jesus Christ.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God (John 10:30; 11:27; Luke 22:70), that He was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:18-25) and lived a sinless life (I Peter 2:21-22), that He died on the cross in our place for our sins (I Corinthians 15:3), that God raised Him bodily from the grave (Mark 16:6; Luke 24:39-40; Acts 2:31-32; I Corinthians 15:3-7) and that He ascended to heaven, where He reigns with God the Father (Mark 16:19) and intercedes for believers (Hebrews 7:25; I John 2:1), and that He will come to earth again in a personal, visible manner (Acts 1:11; Revelation 20:6).
C. The Holy Spirit.
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person who was active in the creation (Psalm 104:24-30); that He convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11); that He is the agent of the new birth (John 3:5,6); that He testifies to the work and person of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:16); that He indwells (John 14:17; Romans 8:11), guides (John 16:13), teaches (John 14:26), sanctifies (Romans 15:16), seals (Ephesians 1:13-14), helps (Romans 8:26), comforts, strengthens, and gives spiritual gifts to the believer (I Corinthians 12:7-11; Romans 12:3-8, Ephesians 4:7-16).
A. The Fall of Man.
We believe that God created man in His own image (Genesis 1:27) and without shame (Genesis 2:25); but that the first man deliberately transgressed the law of God (Genesis 3:1-7). As a consequence of his disobedience, we are all sinners (I Corinthians 15:22), not only by inheritance but because of our own deeds (Isaiah 53:6; Romans 5:12, 3:23) and unbelief (John 3:18), and we stand under just condemnation without defense or excuse (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 1:18-20).
We believe in the reality of Satan, the devil (Matthew 4:1-11), a created being who fell as a result of pride (Isaiah 14:12-15). The devil is by nature a liar and a deceiver (John 8:44; Revelation 20:3). He is at war with God and His people (Ephesians 6:12) and seeks to prevent and disrupt fellowship between God and men (II Corinthians 4:4), tempting men to sin (Genesis 3:1-4) and accusing them before God (Zechariah 3:1, Revelation 12:10). When Jesus Christ returns, the devil will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:10).
4. The Plan of Salvation.
We believe that God has prepared a plan by which, despite our sin, we can be reconciled to Him through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:8-11; Ephesians 2:15-16). In order to escape condemnation, we must be born again spiritually (John 3:3,18), becoming new creatures in Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 5:17-19). Salvation from sin comes only through the person of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:10-12), who gave His life once as a sacrifice for sins (Hebrews 9:27-28; I Peter 1:18-21; I John 2:1) in order that those who repent of their sins and believe in Him may enjoy God’s forgiveness and gift of eternal life (John 3:16; Acts 2:38, 3:19).
When we believe, the righteousness of Jesus Christ is credited to us (Romans 4:3-8, 18-25), and we are justified with God (Romans 5:1; Acts 13:39). We believe that saving faith comes as the free gift of God, not because of any righteousness or good works of our own (Romans 3:20-28). The blessings of salvation include not only peace and favor with God on earth, but the promise of eternal fellowship with Him in heaven (II Corinthians 5:1; John 14:2-4). We believe that all who are born again by the Spirit of God are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ (John 10:28-29; II Timothy 1:12; II Peter 1:10) and cannot be lost again (John 6:37-39).
5. The Saved and the Lost.
We believe that there is a radical difference between the saved and the lost in that only those who are justified by faith in Jesus Christ and are being sanctified by the Holy Spirit are righteous (Romans 3:21-23). We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; those who are saved will be raised to eternal life with Jesus Christ, and those who are lost will be condemned to suffer eternal torment in hell, eternally lost and separated from God (Revelation 22:1-5; Revelation 20:10-15).
6. The Christian Life.
We believe that God calls upon believers to live holy and blameless lives (II Timothy 1:9; I Peter 1:14-16), to fear God and keep His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13), to praise and worship Him (Psalms 95, 150), and to imitate the example and character of Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 2:5). Christians are commanded to proclaim Christ as Savior, to fulfill the law of love, to walk in accordance with the Spirit of God, and to exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, rather than to indulge the sinful nature (Galatians 5:13-26; II Peter 1:3-11). The process of Christian growth involves study of the Scriptures (II Timothy 3:15), self-examination (II Corinthians 13:5), self-denial (Luke 9:23), meeting with and encouraging one another (Hebrews 10:24-25; I Thessalonians 5:12-15) and prayer (Luke 18:1; I Peter 4:7; I Thessalonians 5:17).
7. The Church.
We believe that the church exists in a universal aspect as the spiritual body of Christ which unites all believers (I Corinthians 12:12-14, 27; Ephesians 1:22-23) and in a local sense in individual assemblies of believers who gather together for worship, praise, prayer, preaching, and teaching (Acts 2:42; Colossians 3:15-16). The church is commanded to disciple, baptize, reprove and correct, proclaim the gospel, and observe the Lord’s supper (Matthew 28:18-20; I Corinthians 11:26). Through the church, believers are strengthened in their faith and enabled to fulfill their calling to emulate Jesus Christ (I Peter 2:21; I John 2:6).