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Affirmation of Faith

 

The Word of God

We believe that the Bible, consisting of a total of sixty-six books in the Old and New Testaments, is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it is sufficient for and has supreme authority over all matters of faith and conduct (Mark 13:31; Acts 20:32; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

The Trinity

We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons; that these three are equal in every divine perfection; and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption (Genesis 1:1,26; Matthew 28:19; John 1:1-3; Ephesians 4:5-6).

God the Father

We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He infallibly foreknows all that shall come to pass, that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, that He desires to have a relationship with those whom He has created, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ (Leviticus 11:44; Isaiah 46:9-10; Luke 10:21-22; John 3:16; 4:24; Romans 11:33-36; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 2 Timothy 1:8-9; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 4:7; Revelation 1:8).

God the Son

We believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal, visible return to earth (Matthew 1:18-25; 20:28; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1; 20:30-31; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6-8; 6:9-10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 7:25; 9:28; 1 Peter 2:21-23).

God the Holy Spirit

We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that He is an abiding helper, teacher and guide (John 14:16-17,26; 15:26-27; 16:5-15; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Galatians 5:22-26).

Man

We believe that man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness, and that it was God’s intention that man should glorify God, enjoy God’s fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and accomplish God’s purpose for man in the world. We believe that in Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, man lost his innocence, incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death, became subject to the wrath of God, and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. With no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, man is hopelessly lost. Man’s salvation is thereby wholly of God’s grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that, because all men were in Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam’s sin has been transmitted to all men of all ages, Jesus Christ being the only exception. All men are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (Genesis 2:7, 15-25; 3:1-19; Psalm 14:1-3; Jeremiah 17:9; John 3:36; Romans 3:9-18,23; 5:10-12; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1-3; Colossians 1:16; 1 Timothy 2:13-14; 1 John 1:8; Revelation 4:11).

Salvation

We believe that salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works. We believe that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given. Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works are the proper evidence and fruit of regeneration and will be experienced to the extent that the believer submits to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life through faithful obedience to the Word of God. This obedience causes the believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ. Such a conformity is fully realized in the believer’s glorification at Christ’s coming (John 1:12-13; 3:3-21; Romans 3:9-31; Ephesians 1:3-14; 2:1-10; 2 Timothy 1:8-11; Titus 3:5; 2 Peter 1:4-11).

Election

We believe that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies. We believe that sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord. All whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith, and all who come in faith the Father will receive. We believe that the unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative of their own part or to God’s anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of His sovereign grace and mercy (Ezekiel 18:23; 33:11; Matthew 11:25-28; John 3:1-8; 6:35-40,44; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:28-30; 9:1-33; Ephesians 1:3-14; 2 Timothy 1:8-11; 2:10; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Peter 1:1-2).

Justification

We believe that justification before God is an act of God by which He declares righteous those who, 
through faith in Christ, repent of their sins and confess Him as Lord. This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man and involves the imputation of our sins to Christ and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us. By this means God is enabled to be both just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Isaiah 53:6; Romans 2:4; 3:19-26; 4:1-25; 8:31-39; 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 2:13-14; 1 Peter 2:24).

Sanctification

We believe that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and identified as a saint. This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification. This sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing, not his present walk or condition. We believe that there is also, by the work of the Holy Spirit, a progressive sanctification by which the state of the believer is brought closer to the standing the believer positionally enjoys through justification. Through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:17-19; Romans 6:1-22; 1 Corinthians 1:2,30; 6:11; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:23; Hebrews 2:11; 10: 14; 13:12; 1 Peter 1:2).

Security

We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living and carnality (John 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 5:9-10; 6:15-22; 8:1,31-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; Galatians 5:13,25-26; Ephesians 4:30; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 7:25; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Jude 24).

Christian Conduct

We believe that separation from sin is clearly called for throughout the Old and New Testaments, and that the Scriptures clearly indicate that in the last days apostasy and worldliness will increase. We believe that, out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to us, and because our glorious God is so worthy of our total consecration, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to God and so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior. We also believe that separation from all religious apostasy and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of us by God. We believe that a Christian should live for the glory of God and the well-being of his fellow men; that his conduct should be blameless before the world; that he should be a faithful steward of his possessions; and that he should seek to realize for himself and others the full stature of maturity in Christ (John 14:15,23-24; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 10:31; 2 Corinthians 6:11-7:1; Colossians 1:9-12; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; Hebrews 12:1-2; 1 John 2: 15-17; 2 John 9-11).

The Church

We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession of faith, and associated for worship, work, and fellowship. We believe that God gave Elders/Pastors/Teachers to the church to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry so that the Body of Christ will be built up (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 2:42; Ephesians 2:19-22; 4:11-16; Colossians 1:28-29; Hebrews 10:23-25).

The Ordinances

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church, baptism and the Lord's Supper. We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of the believer in water into the name of the triune God. We believe that the Lord's Supper was instituted by Christ for the commemoration and proclamation of His death. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32).

Marriage

We believe that marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment before God for a lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race. We believe that the husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. We believe that a husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. We believe that a wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; Psalms 127; Proverbs 5:15-20; 18:22; 31:10-31; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 19:3-9; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Timothy 5:8; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7).

Family

We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. We believe parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage, to teach their children spiritual and moral values, and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle, example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. We believe children are to honor and obey their parents in all things (Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Psalms 78:1-8; 127; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 6:20-22; 13:24; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 29:15,17; Ephesians 6:1-4; Colossians 3:20-21).

Government and the Social Order

We believe that all Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, greed, selfishness, vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. In order to promote these ends, Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any worthy cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth (Micah 6:8; Zechariah 8:16-17; Matthew 5:13-16, 43-48; 22:36-40; 25:34-46; Luke 20:25; Romans 13; 1Corinthians 5:9-10; 6:1-7; 7:20-24; Colossians 3:12-17; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; James 1:27).

Stewardship

We believe that God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the Gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others (Deuteronomy 8:18; Malachi 3:8-12; Matthew 6:1-4, 19-21; Luke 12:16-21; Acts 2:44-47; 17:24-25; 20:35; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8-9; Philippians 4:10-19).

The Last Things

We believe in the blessed hope: the personal, literal return of the Lord Jesus Christ to establish His kingdom. His return has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The saved are raised to eternal, conscious bliss in heaven. The lost are raised to eternal torment in hell in conscious separation from God (Matthew 10:28; 13:49-50; 25:34,41; Mark 9:47-48; Luke 12:5; John 14:2; 1 Corinthians 15:1-58; 2 Corinthians 5:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 21:1-8).

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