What we Believe

The Bible

The Bible is God's written revelation to man, and thus the sixty-six books of the Bible given by the Holy Spirit constitute the plenary (inspired equally in all parts) Word of God (1 Cor 2:7-14; 2 Pet 1:20-21). It is verbally inspired in every word (2 Tim 3:16), absolutely inerrant in the original manuscripts, infallible, and God breathed.

The word of God is sufficient for man to fulfill his role and responsibility to God. It provides the content and direction necessary for Christians to be fully equipped and enabled to do every good work. God’s written Word is sufficient, containing everything that pertains to life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3). Through the learning of its doctrine, conviction from its truth, restoring by its application, and discipline by its instruction, the man of God can be fitted into the complete aptitude required of him for every good work (2 Tim 3:16-17). Scripture is the positive source for Christian doctrine and truth (John 17:17). Because God’s Word is inspired, it is authoritative and without error; one can be confident concerning the content of its teaching.

God

There is only one living and true God (Deut 6:4; Isa 45:5-7; 1 Cor 8:4), an infinite, all knowing Spirit (John 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19; 2 Cor 13:14). God is Holy unique, totally separate from all of creation and pure, untouched and unstained by evil (Ex 15:11; Hab 1:13; James 1:13). God is grace which is the good pleasure that inclines him to bestow benefits upon the undeserving and is eternal, free, and sovereign (Ex. 33:19; Jonah 4; Rom 3:24; 2 Tim 1:9). Grace is manifested in and by and through the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:17). He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Ps 103:19; Rom 11:36). He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (Eph 1:11). He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events (1 Chron 29:11). In His sovereignty He is neither author nor approver of sin (Hab 1:13; John 8:38-47), nor does He abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (1 Pet1:17). He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own (Eph 1:4-6); He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. There is one only and true God, but in the unity of the Godhead there are three co-eternal and co-equal Persons, the same in substance (his being) but distinct in subsistence (how he exists) (Heb 1:3; Col 1:15; John 1:1; Phil 2:6 Matt 28:19; Acts 5:1-5; Titus 3:5). God is immutable (I Sam 15:29; Psalm 102:12, 25-28; Heb 13:7-9; Jam 1:17). The wrath of God is His eternal detestation of all unrighteousness. It is the displeasure and indignation of Divine equity against evil (Rom 3:24-26; Eph. 2:3; I John 2:2).

Jesus

Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father (John 10:30; 14:9). God the Father created everything according to His own will, through His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence and in operation (John 1:3; Col 1:15 17; Heb 1:2). In the incarnation Christ surrendered only the prerogatives of deity but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind, accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God Man (Phil 2:5-8; Col 2:9), and represents humanity and deity in indivisible oneness (Mic 5:2; John 5:23; 14:9 10; Col 2:9). Jesus Christ was virgin born (Isa 7:14; Matt 1:23, 25; Luke 1:26 35); He was God incarnate (John 1:1, 14); and the purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God, redeem men, and present God's kingdom (Psalm 2:7-9; Isa 9:6; John 1:29; Phil 2:9 11; Heb 7:25 26; 1 Pet 1:18 19). Jesus Christ lived without sin, though He endured the common infirmities and temptations of human life (Heb 4:15).

The Lord Jesus Christ accomplished redemption for the elect through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross. His death was voluntary, vicarious, and substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive (John 10:15; Rom 3:24 25; 5:8; 1 Pet 2:24). Justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead and He is now ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now mediates as our Advocate and High Priest (Matt 28:6; Luke 24:38 39; Acts 2:30 31; Rom4:25; 8:34; Heb 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1). In the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that God has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross. The atonement of Christ for sin warrants and impels a universal offering of the gospel to all persons (John 3:16; Matt 28:19; Col 1:23; Acts 1:8; I John 2:2).

Jesus' bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers (John 5:26 29; 14:19; Rom 1:4; 4:25; 6:5 10; 1 Cor 15:20, 23). As the Mediator between God and man (1 Tim 2:5), the Head of His Body the church (Eph 1:22; 5:23; Col 1:18), and the coming universal King, who will reign on the throne of David (Isa 9:6; Luke 1:31 33), He is the final Judge of all who fail to place their trust in Him as Lord and Savior (Matthew 25:14 46; Acts 17:30 31).

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is a divine Person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity including intellect (1 Cor 2:10 13), emotions (Eph 4:30), will (1 Cor 12:11), eternality (Heb 9:14), omnipresence (Ps 139:7 10), omniscience (Isa 40:13-14), omnipotence (Rom 15:13), and truthfulness (John 16:13). In all the divine attributes He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son (Matt 28:19; Acts 5:3-4, 28:25-26; 1 Cor 12:4 6; 2 Cor 13:14; and Jer 31:31-34 with Heb 10:15 17). The Holy Spirit has always been at work in the world, sharing in the work of creation, awakening faith in the remnant of God’s people, performing signs and wonders, giving triumphs in battle, empowering the preaching of prophets and as the divine Teacher, guided the apostles and prophets into all truth as they committed to writing God's revelation, the Bible (John 16:13; Rom 8:7-9; 2 Pet 1:21).

 

The broad scope of His divine activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and transforming believers into the image of Christ (John 16:7 9; Acts 1:5; 2:4; Rom 8:29; 2 Cor 3:18; Eph 2:22). The Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:13). Apart from the effectual work of the Spirit, no one would come to faith and be morally able to submit to God or please Him. Thus, for God’s elect, the Spirit triumphs over all resistance, wakens the dead, removes blindness, and manifests Christ in such a compellingly beautiful way through the Gospel that He becomes irresistibly attractive to the regenerate heart (Matt 16:17; John 6:44, 65; Rom 8:7-8; Eph 2:8-9).

 

When Christ had made atonement for sin, and ascended to the right hand of the Father, He inaugurated a new era of the Spirit by pouring out the promise of the Father on His Church. The work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost when He came from the Father as promised by Christ (John 14:16-17; 15:26) to initiate and complete the building of the Body of Christ, which is His church (1 Cor 12:13). The Holy Spirit  indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals the elect unto the day of redemption (Rom 8:9; 2 Cor 3:6; Eph 1:13). The Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the church for the purpose of redeeming the lost, building up believers in the most holy faith, bestowing all His gifts for the perfecting of the saints (John 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor 12:4-11; 2 Cor 3:18; Eph 4:7-12).
 

How we are saved

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 (John 1:12; Eph 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Pet 1:18-19). Regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5). It is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God (John 5:24), when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. Obedience causes the believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor 3:18). Such conformity is climaxed in the believer's glorification at Christ's coming (Rom 8:17; 2 Pet1:4; 1 John 3:2-3). 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 (Rom 8:28-30; Eph 1:4-11; 2 Thess 2:13; 2 Tim 2:10; 1 Pet 1:1-2). Unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative of their own part nor to God's anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of His sovereign grace and mercy (Eph 1:4-7; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Pet 1:2). Justification before God is an act of God (Rom 8:33) by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; Rom 2:4; 2 Cor 7:10). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Rom 3:20; 4:6). At salvation the Father imputes Christ's righteousness to believers (1 Cor 1:30; 2 Cor 5:21). By this means God is enabled to "be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus" (Rom 3:26).

 

Every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and is therefore 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 (Acts 20:32; 1 Cor 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2 Thess 2:13; Heb 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Pet 1:2). Progressive sanctification works through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, and enables the believer 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; Rom 8:29; 6:1-22; 2 Cor 3:18; 1 Thess 4:3-4; 5:23). Eradication of sin is not possible, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin (Gal 5:16-25; Eph 4:22-24; Phil 3:12; Col 3:9-10; 1 Pet 1:14-16; 1 John 3:5-9).

The Church

All who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual Body, the church (1 Cor 12:12-13), the bride of Christ (2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:23-32; Rev 19:7-8), of which Christ is the Head (Eph 1:22; 4:15; Col 1:18). The church is not Israel; rather it is a distinct intermittent program (Rom 9-11). The program of the church, began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21, 38-47) and will be completed at the coming of Christ for His own at the rapture (1 Cor 15:51-52; 1 Thes 4:13-18). The one supreme authority for the church is Christ (1 Cor 11:3; Eph 1:22; Col 1:18) and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed by God as found in the Scriptures. The biblically designated officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are elders (also called bishops, pastors, and pastor teachers; Acts 20:28; Eph 4:11) and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualifications (1 Tim 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5).

 

There must be discipleship (Matt 28:19-20; 2 Tim 2:2), mutual accountability of all believers to each other (Matt 18:5-14), as well as discipline of sinning members of the congregation in accord with the standards of Scripture (Matt 18:15-22; Acts 5:1-11; 1 Cor 5:1-13; 2 Thes 3:6-15; 1 Tim 1:19-20; Titus 1:10-16). The purpose of the church is to glorify God (Eph 3:21) by building itself up in the faith (Eph 4:13-16), by instruction of the Word (2 Tim 2:2, 15; 3:16-17), by fellowship (Acts 2:47; 1 Jn 1:3), by keeping the ordinances (Lk 22:19; Acts 2:38-42) and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world (Matt 28:19; Acts 1:8; 2:42).

 

The autonomy is attributed to the local church, free from any external authority or control, with the right of self government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations (Tit1:5). The elders should determine all other matters of membership, policy, discipline, benevolence, and government (Acts 15:19-31; 20:28; 1 Cor 5:4-7, 13; 1 Pet 5:1-4).

  

Two ordinances have been committed to the local church: baptism and the Lord's Supper (Acts 2:38-42). Believer’s baptism is by immersion (Acts 8:36-39) symbolizing the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and the believer’s union with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life (Rom 6:1-11). The Lord's Supper as often as it is performed is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes, and should be always preceded by solemn self-examination of whether one is in Christ like unity with his brother (1 Cor 11:28-32). The elements of Communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ, the Lord's Supper is nevertheless an actual communion with the risen Christ who is present in a unique way, fellowshipping with His people as they fellowship with him and each other (1 Cor 10:16).

 

Giving is according to be assessed by each believer according to the abundance that God has blessed him, using Christ as the example (2 Cor 8-9)

 

Every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and is therefore 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 (Acts 20:32; 1 Cor 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2 Thess 2:13; Heb 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Pet 1:2). Progressive sanctification works through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, and enables the believer 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; Rom 8:29; 6:1-22; 2 Cor 3:18; 1 Thess 4:3-4; 5:23). Eradication of sin is not possible, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin (Gal 5:16-25; Eph 4:22-24; Phil 3:12; Col 3:9-10; 1 Pet 1:14-16; 1 John 3:5-9).