We accept the Bible, including the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, as the written Word of God. Being given by God, the Scriptures are both fully and verbally inspired by God. Therefore, as originally given, the Bible is free of error in all it teaches. The Scriptures are the authoritative and normative rule and guide of all Christian life, practice and doctrine. They are not to be added to, superseded, or changed by later tradition or extra-biblical revelation. Every doctrinal formulation, whether of creed, confession or theology, must be put to the test of the full counsel of God in Holy Scripture.
The Triune God
There is one God: infinite, eternal, almighty, and perfect in holiness, truth, and love. In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; co equal, co existent, co eternal. The Father is not the Son, and the Son is not the Holy Spirit, yet each is truly Deity. Our God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is the foundation of Christian life and faith.
God the Father
God the Father is the creator of heaven and earth. By His word and for His glory, He freely created the world of nothing. Through the same Word He daily sustains all of His creatures. He is faithful to every promise, works all things together for good to those who love Him, and in His unfathomable grace gave us His Son, Jesus Christ, for mankind’s redemption. He made man for fellowship with Himself, and intended that all creation should live to the praise of His glory.
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God was the eternal Word made flesh, supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin, Mary. He was perfect in nature, in teaching, and in obedience. He is fully God and fully man. He was always with God and is God. Through Him all things came into being and in Him all things hold together by the Word of His power. He is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation, and in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily. He is the only Savior for the sins of the world, having died a vicarious death on Calvary’s cross for all mankind.
By His death in our place He revealed the divine love and upheld the divine justice, removing our guilt and reconciling us to God. having redeemed us from sin, the third day he rose from the grave, victorious over death and the powers of darkness and for a period of forty days appeared to over 500 witnesses performing many convincing proofs of His resurrection. He ascended into heaven where, at God’s right hand, He intercedes for His people and rules as Lord over all. He is the head of His body, the Church, and should be adored, loved, served, and accepted by all.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement. Through the proclamation of the Gospel He persuades us to repent of our sins and confess Jesus as Lord. By the same Spirit a person is led to trust in divine mercy. The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth, and dwells with the regenerate. The Holy Spirit has come to glorify Jesus. He will lead the Church into all the truth. He is to be respected, honored, and worshipped as God, the Third Person of the Trinity.
God made man – male and female – in His own image, as the crown of creation, that man might have fellowship with Him. Tempted by Satan, man rebelled against God. Being estranged from his Maker yet responsible to Him, he became subject to divine wrath, inwardly depraved and apart from grace, incapable of returning to God. Fallen, sinful people whatever their character or attainments, are lost and without hope part from salvation in Christ.
Jesus Christ is the Gospel. The Good News is revealed in His birth, death, resurrection, and ascension. Christ’s crucifixion is the heart of the Gospel. Christ’s crucifixion is the power of the Gospel and His ascension is the glory of the Gospel.
Man’s Response to the Gospel
The Gospel is to be preached to all but is only effectual to those who genuinely repent of their sins and put saving faith in Christ. Biblical repentance is characterized by a changed life and saving faith is evidenced by kingdom service or works, while neither repentance nor works save. Unless a person is willing to deny himself, pick up his cross and follow Christ, he cannot become His disciple.
Man’s Inheritance Through the Gospel
Salvation, the free gift of God, is provided solely by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Anyone turning from sin in repentance and looking to Christ and His substitutionary death is born again into eternal life by the holy spirit and is declared to be righteous as a gift. Through Christ’s great redemptive act an individual is reconciled to God the Father and becomes His child. The believer is forgiven the debt of his sin and liberated from the law of sin and death into the freedom of God’s Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the active agent in our sanctification and seeks to produce His fruit in us as we are conformed to the image of Christ. As we are led by the Spirit, we grow in the knowledge of the Lord, freely keeping His commandments and endeavoring to live in the world so that all people may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in Heaven.
Baptism in the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit empowers believers for Christian witness. Being indwelt by the Holy Spirit and being baptized in the Holy Spirit are distinct experiences, though the latter may occur in close proximity to the former. The promise of the Father is freely available to all who believe in Jesus Christ. Jesus baptizes the believer in the Holy Spirit thereby enabling him to exercise the powers of the age to come in ministry and mission. The Holy Spirit desires to fill each believer with power to witness and impart His supernatural gifts for the edification of the Body and the work of ministry in the world. The gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the church of the first century are available today and are earnestly to be desired and prayed for. They are essential in the mission of the Church in the world today.
God by His Word and Spirit created the Church, calling sinful men out of the whole human race into the fellowship of Christ’s Body. By the same Word and Spirit He guides and preserves that new redeemed humanity. The Church is not a religious institution or denomination. Rather, the Church universal is made up of those who have become genuine followers of Christ and personally appropriated the Gospel. The Church exists to worship and glorify God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It also exists to serve Him by faithfully doing His will in the earth. This involves a commitment to see the Gospel preached in all the world for a testimony. The ultimate mission of the Church is the redemption of souls. When God transforms human nature, this then becomes the chief means to a society’s transformation.
All members of the Church universal are to be a vital and committed part of a local church. In this context, they are called to walk out the New Covenant as the people of God and demonstrate the reality of the Kingdom of God. The ascended Christ has given gift ministries to the Church (i.e. apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) for the equipping of Christ’s body that it might mature and grow. Through the gift ministries all members of the Church are to be nurtured and equipped for the work of the ministry. In the context of the local church, God’s people receive pastoral care and the opportunity to employ their God-given gifts in His service in relation to one another and the world.
Marriage and Sexuality
We believe that the only Scriptural marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 5:22-23)
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a Scriptural marriage and that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, transsexuality, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. (Genesis 2:24; Genesis 19:5, 13; Genesis 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; 1 Corinthians 5:1, 6:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4)
The consummation of all things included the visible, personal and glorious return of Christ, the resurrection of the dead and the translation of those alive in Christ, the judgement of the just and the unjust and the fulfillment of Christ’s Kingdom in the new heavens and the new earth. In the consummation, Satan with his hosts and all those outside Christ are separated from the presence of God, enduring eternal punishment. The righteous, in glorious bodies, shall live and reign with him forever. Married to Christ as His Bride, the Church will be in the presence of God forever, serving Him and giving Him unending praise and glory. Then shall the eager expectation of creation be fulfilled and the whole earth shall proclaim the glory of God who makes all things new.