What We Believe

A. The Scriptures:     

We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and the New Testaments to be the verbally and plenarily inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible, and God-breathed and, therefore, are the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and the New Testaments are the complete and divine revelation of God to man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal, original, grammatical-historical meaning. The King James Version of the Bible shall be the official translation used by the church. (II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20-21)

B. The True God:         

We believe that there is one and only one living and true God, as the infinite, sovereign spirit and the maker and supreme ruler of heaven and earth; He is inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love. In the unity of the Godhead, there are three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection, who execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of redemption. (Exodus 20:2-3; I Corinthians 8:6; Revelations 4:11)

C. The Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ:                             

We believe in the absolute divinity of Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity; in His eternal existence with the Father, in His glory before His incarnation, in His miraculous conception of a virgin, that He is truly man, and truly God, in His life without sin, His voluntary and expiatory death, His bodily resurrection, His triumphal ascension, His ministry of mediator, intercessor and advocate, His personal return before the wrath of God and the millennium to take out His church, His coming in glory to establish the reign of a thousand years, and that He will judge the living and the dead. (John 1:1-3; Philippians 2:2-11; John 1:14; Luke 1:26-55; John 14:1-5; Matthew 24:44; I Thessalonians 4:13-18)

D. The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit:

1. We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment and that He is the supernatural agent in regenerating Christians, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, and indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. (John 16:8-11; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 12:12-14; II Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13-14)
2. We believe that the Holy Spirit is the divine teacher who assists believers in understanding and appropriating the Scriptures and that the privilege and duty of all the saved is to be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 1:17-18, 5:18; I John 2:20, 27)                                                                                                                                                                                3. We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. The Holy Spirit uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly so they can do the work of the ministry. (Romans 12:3- 8; I Corinthians 12:4-11, 28; II Corinthians 3:4-6; Ephesians 4:7-12)                                                                           4. We believe that the “sign gifts” of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing were temporary and were a “sign” to the Jews. Speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit. Ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing. (I Corinthians 1:18-25, 13:8, 14:21-22)

E. The Depravity and Fall of Man:                 

We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his maker, but by voluntary transgression, Adam fell from his sinless and happy state, and all men sinned in him. As a consequence, all men are totally depraved, are partakers of Adam’s fallen nature, are sinners by nature and by conduct, and therefore, are under just condemnation without defense or excuse. (Genesis 3:1- 24; Romans 1:18-32, 3:10-19, 5:12, 19)

F. Salvation :                   

1. We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins. We believe that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation. (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-10; I Peter 1:18-19; Acts 16:31; I John 1:9)
2. We believe that true repentance is a change of mind and purpose toward God, is promoted by the Holy Spirit, is characterized by godly sorrow for sin as offensive to God and ruinous to the soul, and is inseparably connected to true faith. (Luke 13:1-3, 15:7; Acts 8:22, 20:21; Romans 2:4; II Corinthians 7:10)
3. We believe that to be saved, sinners must be born again; the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; salvation is instantaneous and not a process; and in the new birth, the one dead in trespasses and sins is a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God. (John 3:3; II Corinthians 5:17; I John 5:1; Acts 16:30-33; Romans 6:23; II Peter 1:4)

G. Sanctification:

We believe that sanctification is the divine setting apart of the believer unto God, and this is accomplished in a threefold manner: First, an eternal act of God, based upon redemption in Christ Jesus, establishes the believer in a position of holiness at the moment he or she trusts the Savior; Second, the process continues in the saint as the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to the life of the believer; and Third, the process is finally accomplished at the Lord’s return (Hebrews 10:10-14; John

17:17; II Corinthians 3:18; I Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 5:25-26; I Thessalonians 4:3-4; I John 3:2)

H. The Security of the Saints :             

1. We believe that all redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. (John 6:37-40, 10:27-30; Romans 8:1, 38-39; I Corinthians 1:4-8; I Peter 1:4-5)
2. 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 clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty, however, as an occasion to the flesh. (Romans 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15)

I. The Church:             

1. We believe that the local church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ is solely made up of born-again believers. (I Corinthians 12:12-14; II Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:25-27)
2. We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures. (Acts 14: 27, 20:17, 28-32; I Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11)
3. We believe in the autonomy of the local church and its freedom from any external authority or controls, and any affiliations, societies, organizations, associations, or agencies this church affiliates with to further the objectives stated in the Purpose Statement are not authoritative in matters of church practice or belief. (Acts 13:1-4, 15:19-31; 20:28; Romans 16:1, 4; I Corinthians 3:9, 16, 5:4- 7, 13; I Peter 5:1-4)
4. We recognize water baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper as the Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the church in this age. (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 8:36-38; I Corinthians 11:23-26)

J. Separation:   

We believe that Christians should maintain a godly testimony and live in such a way that their lives do not bring reproach upon their Savior or upon His Church. God commands His people to separate from all religious apostasy, worldly and sinful pleasures, practices, and associations and to refrain from all immodest and immoderate appearances, piercings, and bodily markings. We stand against any and all worldly philosophies that seek to destroy and undermine the truth of biblical

Christianity. (Leviticus 19:28; Romans 12:1-2, 14:13; I Corinthians 6:19-20; II Corinthians 6:14-7, 1; II Timothy 3:1-5; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11)

K. The Rapture and Subsequent Events: 

1. We believe in that blessed hope, the personal, imminent return of Christ, who will rapture His church prior to the seven-year tribulation period. At the end of the tribulation, Christ will personally and visibly return with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom, which was promised to the nation of Israel. (Psalms 89:3-4; Daniel 2:31-45; Zechariah 14:4-11; I Thessalonians 1:10, 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Revelations 3:10, 19:11-16, 20:1-6)
2. We believe in the imminent, pre-millennial return of Christ Jesus for His church and that the dead in Christ shall be raised in glorified bodies at that time and the living in Christ Jesus shall be caught up to be with the Lord in the air before the tribulation begins. (I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Corinthians 15:42-44, 51-54; Philippians 3:20-21; Revelations 3:10)
3. We believe that the Great Tribulation, which follows the rapture of the church, will be culminated by the revelation of Christ Jesus in power and great glory to sit upon the throne of David and to establish His millennial reign. (Daniel 9:25-27; Matthew 24:29-31; Luke 1:30-33; Isaiah 9:6-7, 11:1-9; Acts 2:29-30; Revelations 20:1-4, 6)

L. The Eternal State :                 

1. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men with the saved to eternal life and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. (Matthew 25:46; John 5:28-29, 11:25-26; Revelations 20:5-6, 12-13)
2. We believe that at death the souls of the redeemed are absent from the body and present with the Lord where they await in conscious bliss for the first resurrection when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. (Luke 23:43; II Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23, 3:21; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelations 20:4-6)
3. We believe that, after death, the souls of unbelievers remain in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection when, with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the great white throne judgment and shall be cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment. (Matthew 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Revelations 20:11-15)
M. The Personality of Satan – We believe in the personality of Satan and that he is the unholy god of this age, the ruler of all the powers of darkness, the author of sin, and the cause of the fall of man; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and that he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire. (Job 1:6-7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 4:2-11, 25:41; Revelations 20:10)

N. Creation:                     

We believe the Genesis account of creation as being neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of the direct, immediate, creative acts of God in six twenty-four (24) hour periods, without any evolutionary process. Furthermore, man with spirit, soul, and body was created by a direct act of God and not evolved from previously existing forms of life and all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, the first parents of the entire human race. (Genesis 1 and 2; Exodus 20:11; Colossians 1:16-17; John 1:3)

O. Civil Government:

We believe that God has ordained and created all authority, which consists of three basic institutions: (1) the home, (2) the church, and (3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God. We believe that we must obey the state unless it requires us to act contrary to our faith, and in such a situation, we must obey God rather than the state. (Matthew 22:15-22; Acts 5:29; Romans 13:1-7; Ephesians 5:22-24; Titus 3:1-2; Hebrews 13:17: I Peter 2:13-14)

P. Human Sexuality:           

1. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between one naturally-born man and one naturally- born woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality. Bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, pedophilia, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. Furthermore, we believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance. (Genesis 2:24, 19:5, 13, Genesis 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; I Corinthians 5:1, 6:9; I Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4)
2. We believe that the only scriptural marriage is the joining of one naturally- born man and one naturally-born woman for life. (Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2; I Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 5:22-23)

Q. Family Relationships:

1. We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions and roles for men and women in the home and in the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church. (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:18; I Timothy 2:8-15, 3:4-5, 12)
2. We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church; the wife is to submit herself to the scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ. Children are a heritage from the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline, which includes Scriptural corporal correction.
3. Women (of female gender) shall not be considered eligible for the offices of pastor or deacons, based upon Scriptural guidance and direction (I Timothy 3:1- 13, Acts 6, and Titus 1:6-9). Similarly, women shall not be considered for ministry and organizational leadership roles such as trustees, music director, or business meeting moderator. Otherwise, women members in the church are extremely valuable assets and possess special unique talents in the furtherance of the church ministries. For example, women could be selected for and perform functions in the roles of selected committee members, Sunday School teachers, nursery supervisors and coordinators, musical accompanists, visitation team leaders or members (e.g., soul-winning, illness, etc.), fellowship coordinators, facility use or upgrade advisors (not limited to décor or functionality), special music, etc. to name a few. (Genesis 1:26-28; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Psalms 127:3-5; Proverbs 19:18, 22:15, 23:13-14; Mark 10:6-12; I Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33, 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; Hebrews 13:4; I Peter 3:1- 7)

R. Divorce and Remarriage:     

We believe that God does not approve of divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Divorce and remarriage is regarded as adultery except on the grounds of fornication. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced members may hold valuable and critical positions of service in the church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the offices of pastor, pastoral staff, or deacon. (Malachi 2:14-17; Matthew 19:3-12; Romans 7:1-3; I Timothy 3:2, 12, Titus 1:6)

S. Abortion:           

We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion is murder and constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. We reject any teaching that justifies abortion due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the physical or mental well-being of the mother. (Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5, 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24, 49:1, 5; Jeremiah 1:5, 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)

T. Euthanasia:     

We believe that the direct taking of a human life is a moral evil, regardless of the intention. Life is a gift of God and must be respected from conception until natural death. Thus, we believe that an intentional act or omission of care that causes death to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder, which is always contrary to the will and Word of God. However, discontinuing medical procedures that are extraordinary or disproportionate to the expected outcome could be considered a legitimate refusal of over-zealous treatment. (Exodus 20:13, 23:7; Matthew 5:21; Acts 17:28)

U. Love:             

We believe that we should demonstrate love for others, not only toward fellow believers but also toward those who are not believers, those who oppose us, and those who engage in sinful actions. We are to deal with those who oppose us graciously, gently, patiently, and humbly. God forbids the stirring up of strife, the taking of revenge, or the threat of use of violence as a means of resolving personal conflict or obtaining personal justice. Although God commands us to abhor sinful actions, we are to love and pray for any person who engages in such sinful actions. (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 5:44-48; Luke 6:31: John 13:34-35; Romans 12:9-10, 17- 21, 13:8-10; Philippians 2:2-4; II Timothy 2:24-26; Titus 3:2; I John 3:17-18)

V. Missions:         

We believe that God has given the church the Great Commission to proclaim the gospel to all nations so that a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnicity, and language group will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ, we must use all available means to go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us. (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; II Corinthians 5:20)

W. Lawsuits Between Members:       

We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other believers or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries or losses from another believer’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander. (Matthew 18:15-17; I Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:31-32)

X. Giving:       

We believe that every Christian, as a steward of the portion of God’s wealth that is entrusted to him, is obligated to financially support his local church. We believe that God has established the tithe of ten percent (10%) as a basis for giving, but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the gospel. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of his tithe or offering once the gift has been made. (Genesis 14:20; Proverbs 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; I Corinthians 16:2; II Corinthians 9:6-7; Galatians 6:6; Ephesians 4:28; I Timothy 5:17-18; I John 3:17)

Y. Dispensationalism:         

We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life that define man’s responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation but, rather, are divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these dispensations – the law, the church, and the kingdom – are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture. (Genesis 1:28; I Corinthians 9:17; II Corinthians 3:9-18; Galatians 3:13-25; Ephesians 1:10, 3:2-10; Colossians 1:24-25, 27; Revelations 20:2-6)