Doctrinal Statement

THE BIBLE: We believe that "all scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Tim 3:16) resulting from God having superintended human authors with their own experience, personality, methods, and style to produce the very words of Scripture--the Word of God--without error in the original writings. We believe that all the Scriptures center about the Lord Jesus Christ and when properly understood, lead to Him. We believe the Bible to be the revelation of God and His will for the salvation and practical instruction of man. We also believe God's revelation is completed in the sixty-six books of the Bible; and therefore there is no new revelation. (Mark 12:26, 36; 13:11; Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Acts 1:16; 17:2-3; 18:28; 26:22-23; 28:23; Romans 15:4; I Cor. 2:13; 10:11; Eph. 2:20; 3:5; II Tim. 3:16; Heb. 1:1-2; II Pet. 1:21).

THE GODHEAD: We believe in one God, the living and true God, existing eternally in three persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—each having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections. (Matt. 28:18-19; Mark 12:29; John 1:14; Acts 5:3-4; II Cor. 13:14; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 1:4-6).

THE FATHER: We believe that God the Father, unlimited in holiness, power, and majesty, especially showed His exceedingly great love in giving His only beloved Son to redeem man from sin for eternal fellowship with Him. This act of grace was carried out according to His eternal, sovereign plan. The nature of the Father is completely and perfectly revealed in the Son. (Gen. 3:15; Isaiah 53:1-10; John 3:16; 4:6-9; Romans 16:20; Col. 1:15, 18-20).

THE LORD JESUS CHRIST: We believe that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God and continues to be the God-Man forever. We believe Jesus to be the second person of the Holy Trinity, being of the one and same essence, both co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. We believe that He was born of the virgin Mary, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit, entered into human flesh in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man. We believe that His death on the cross was a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of all men and that His bodily resurrection from the dead guaranteed redemption and salvation to all those who believe. We also believe that He later ascended into heaven exalted at the right hand of God where He is our High Priest and Advocate. (John 1:1, 14, 18; Luke 1:35; Romans 3:24-26; 4:25; Eph. 1:20-21; Heb.4:14; Phil. 2:9-10; Col. 1:17-19; Heb. 1;3, 3:1, 7:23-25, 9:24, 12:2; I John 2:1-2.)

THE HOLY SPIRIT: We believe that the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead, eternal in being, took up His abode in the world to reveal and glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to save men. Beginning on the day of Pentecost, according to the divine promise, the Holy Spirit never departs from the church, nor from the feeblest of believers, but indwells and seals the believer unto the day of redemption. We believe that His abode in the world in this special sense will cease when Christ comes to receive His own at the completion of the church. (John 14:16-17, 16:7-15; I Cor. 6:19; Eph. 1:13, 2:22; II Thess. 2:7.)

We believe that under the New Covenant certain well-defined ministries are committed to the Holy Spirit. The following ministries are found in Scripture: the restraining of evil according to His divine will; the convicting of the world respecting sin, righteousness, and judgment; the regeneration of all the elect; the indwelling of all believers; the sealing of all believers unto the day of redemption; the baptizing of all believers into the one Body of Christ; the distribution to every saint of at least one spiritual gift; the filling of the Spirit; and the teaching and guiding of the Spirit to enable all saints to walk pleasing to the Lord. (John 3:6, 16:7-11; Romans 8:9, 14-16; I Cor. 2:11-13, 12:11-13; II Cor. 3:3-6; Eph. 4:30, 5:18; II Thess. 2:7; I John 2:20-27.)

We believe some of the gifts of the Spirit were temporary gifts and were used as foundational and sign gifts to the church in order to authenticate the church due to its uniqueness of including Jews and Gentiles and the work of the apostles until the writing of the New Testament. The sign gifts were given to confirm God's message, messengers and mission and as a sign of judgment to unbelieving Israel. The exercise of the permanent gifts of the Spirit is necessary for the spiritual life, growth, and edification of the Body of Christ. Though we believe the sign gifts were of a temporary nature and that their use has ceased, this does not preclude the unhindered work of the Spirit to perform supernatural and miraculous acts apart from spiritual gifts. (Isaiah 28:11; I Cor. 12:11-13, 13:8, 14:21-22; Eph. 1:13, 4:11-16; Heb. 2:3-4; I Pet. 4:10-11.)

We do not believe "tongues" are a sign of receiving the Holy Spirit or Spirit-baptism, nor do we believe that the Spirit-baptism is a "second work of grace after salvation to receive power to live the Christian life. (I Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:2, 14.)

We believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to the church for the common good of all believers. Since each gift is given according to God's sovereign will and discretion, the possession of any gift is of grace and does not constitute spiritual maturity. The proper use of the gifts are for the edification of the body; to promote united worship of God in the congregation, giving preeminence and glory to Jesus Christ, and continually to facilitate the growth of each member of the body into maturity in Christ. (Isaiah 28:11; John 16:14; Acts 4:8, 31, Romans 8:23, 12:1-21; I Cor. 12:11-13, 13:8, 14:21; Eph. 1:13,

SATAN AND HIS DEMONS: We believe in the existence of Satan and demons as personal beings and fallen angelic creatures of God, who are the open and declared enemies of God and man. (Job 1:6-7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Matt. 4:2-ll; II Cor. 4:3-4, 11:3, 14-15.)

MAN: We believe that man was created in the image of God, but fell from his original state of spiritual life through sin against God, which was transmitted, to the entire human race with Christ being the only exception. We also believe that every child of Adam is born into the world with a nature, which not only possesses no spark of divine life, but is totally depraved apart from divine grace. Man can only obtain spiritual life and salvation through the Redeemer, Jesus Christ. (Gen. 1:26, 2:17, 5:3, 6:5; Psalm 14:1-3, 51:5; Jer. 17:9; John 3:6, 5:40, 6:53; Romans 3:10-18, 8:6-7; Eph. 2:1-3; I Tim. 5:6; I John 3:8.)

SALVATION: We believe that salvation is the gift of God in grace and is received only through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed for the forgiveness of our sins. (John 1:12; Eph. 1:7, 2:8-9) We believe that when an unregenerate person exercises that faith in Christ and His death on the cross as payment for his sin, he immediately passes out of spiritual death into spiritual life, and from the old creation into the new; being justified, accepted before the Father according as Christ, His Son, is accepted, loved as Christ is loved, having his place and portion as linked to Him, and one with Him forever. (John 5:24, 17:23; Acts 13:39; Romans 5:1; I Cor. 3:21-23; Eph. 1:3; Col. 2:10; II Peter 3:18; I John 4:17, 5:11-13.) We also believe that the greatest degree of reformation, the highest attainment of morality, the most attractive culture, baptism or another ordinance, cannot help the sinner to take even one step toward heaven. Only by a new nature imparted from above, a new life implanted by the Holy Spirit through the Word, may one obtain salvation and thus become a child of God. (Lev. 17:11; Isaiah 64:6; Matt. 26:28; John 3:5, 18; Romans 5:6-9; II Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; 6:15; Eph. 1:7; Phil. 3:4-9; Titus 3:5; James 1:18; I Peter 1:18-19, 23.)

ASSURANCE AND SECURITY: We believe that God is the only One who can give the believer assurance of salvation. We believe the Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to give us assurance. Also He "bears witness with our human spirit that we are the children of God." The salvation of every believer is secure for all eternity from the moment of new birth. The security is guaranteed by the fact that the life, which is imparted, is eternal life by the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit. (John 10:27-30, 17:3; Romans 8:1, 16, 29-30; Eph.  1:13-14, 2:10, 4:30; I John 2:29; 3:9-10, 4:7, 5:9-13; Jude 24.)

SANCTIFICATION: The Bible refers to Christians as "saints," as those who have been set apart unto God. We believe that sanctification is threefold: (1) POSITIONAL sanctification, which means that a person now stands before God as holy and is already complete because our perfect representative Jesus Christ took all our unholiness away through His sacrifice. (2) However, the believer retains his sin nature in this life so that his present state is no more perfect than his experience in daily life. There is therefore, a PROGRESSIVE sanctification wherein the Christian is to "grow in grace," and to "be changed" into the likeness of Christ by the unhindered power of the Spirit. (3) WE believe, also that the child of God will ULTIMATELY be fully sanctified in Christ when he shall see his Lord and shall be "like Him" in his resurrected, glorified body. (John 17:17; Romans 12:2;  II Cor. 3:18, 7:1; Eph. 4:24, 5:25-27; Col. 1:22; I Thess. 5:23-24; Heb. 10:10, 14, 12:10.)

CHURCH ORDINANCES: We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ instituted the ordinances of water baptism and the Lord's Table to be observed by all believers until His return. We believe baptism was instituted by the Lord to symbolize the work of the Holy Spirit identifying the believer with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Baptism is commanded by the Lord Jesus and was practiced by the New Testament Church. We practice the ordinance of baptism by immersion after conversion and believe that it is the solemn responsibility of every believer to bear this testimony of trust in Jesus Christ by being baptized. We also believe baptism is commitment to the Lord in accepting the role of disciple and expressing the desire to walk in newness of life as directed by scriptural doctrine.  (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:38-44, 43-48; Romans 6:3-7; Col. 2:12.)

We believe the Lord's Supper was instituted as a memorial, which focuses the believer's worship upon Christ and His work on the cross. The Lord's Supper reminds us of the basis of our fellowship with Him, promotes an atmosphere of thankfulness in the church, and motivates our anticipation of His Second Coming through a common hope of future deliverance. We believe each believer is responsible to partake of the bread (signifying His body broken for us) and the drink (signifying His blood shed for us) in a worthy manner having a right relationship with the brethren and the Holy Spirit so as not to grieve either. (Matt. 5:21-24, 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:7-38; I Cor. 11:20-34.)

FUTURE EVENTS: We believe that the next event in the fulfillment of the prophetic calendar will be the coming of Jesus Christ in the air to receive the believers who have fallen asleep in Him, and those who are alive on the earth (John 14:1-3; I Cor. 15:51-52; I Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 3:10.) After the translation (rapture) of the Church, the seventieth week of Daniel (seven-year tribulation period) will begin. The whole period of the seven years of tribulation will be a time of judgment on Israel and the Gentile nations (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:15-21; Rev. 16:19-21). We believe the great tribulation of the earth will be climaxed by the bodily return of the Lord to the earth. Christ, in great glory, will bring with Him the church-age saints (His bride) as He begins the program to restore the creation from the curse, bind Satan, give Israel her promised land, and fulfill the covenants in a thousand-year reign (Millennial Kingdom). At the end of the thousand-year reign, Christ will give the Kingdom to the Father and all believers from all ages will dwell in the new heavens and new earth with the New Jerusalem at its center. (Deut. 30:1-10; Isaiah 11:9, 65:17, 66:22; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Matt. 24:15-25, 46; Acts 15:16-17; Romans 8:19-23, 11:25-27; I Cor. 15:24; I Tim. 4:1-3; II Tim. 3:1-5; II Pet. 3:10; Rev. 21-22)

We believe that at death the spirit and soul of the believer passes immediately into the presence of the Lord and, at the appointed time, the body will be resurrected in a glorified condition. We believe that the spirit and soul of the unbeliever at death experience condemnation and misery until the final judgment of the Great White Throne at the close of the thousand-year Kingdom. At this final judgment, the soul and spirit of the unbeliever are united with a body and cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished forever with eternal destruction and banishment from the presence of the Almighty Lord of Glory. (Matt. 25:46; Luke 16:19-26; I Cor. 15:21-26, 35-49;  II Cor. 5:9; Phil. 1:21, 23; II Thess. 1:7-9; Rev. 20:11-15.)

RESPONSIBILITY OF THE BELIEVER: We believe that all believers should walk by the Spirit in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Lord and to be separated from worldly attitudes and conduct. We believe it is the obligation of every believer to witness by life and by word to the truths of Holy Scriptures and to seek to proclaim the Gospel to all the world; that it is the responsibility of all believers to remember the work of the Lord in prayer and to support that work through the local church according to the means by which God has prospered him.  We believe every believer has the privilege of being used by the Holy Spirit in order for the Body of Christ to grow in love and be edified. (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; Rom. 12:1-2, 14:13; I Cor. 12:4-7, 16:2; II Cor. 5:18-20, 8:1-9, 15; Eph. 4:11-16, 6:18-19; Heb. 10:25.)