Doctrinal Beliefs

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Doctrinal Beliefs

What we believe about the message and teaching of the Scriptures is the core driving force behind everything we say and do. See our beliefs below, and for more details, open the "Articles of Faith" document below.

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The Scriptures

We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments in their entirety are the verbally breathed-out (inspired) Word of God. The Holy Spirit exercised a supervising influence upon the human authors of the Scriptures so that what they wrote is God’s own Word. As God’s Word, the Bible is the final authority for faith and life and is completely free from error in the very words (inerrant) and teaching (infallible) of the original writings.

God

We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--co-equal in essence, power, and glory. God directly created all that exists out of nothing, and he providentially sustains his creation. God is the sovereign ruler of the entire universe, working in all things to further the display and recognition of his glory.

Jesus Christ

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God, having been miraculously conceived in a virgin mother by the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ came to earth so that he might reveal God and redeem sinful people. We believe that Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through his perfectly righteous life, his substitutionary atoning death on the cross, and his victorious bodily resurrection. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where he rules over all creation as the sovereign King, intercedes for us as our High Priest, and awaits his imminent return to earth.

The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. It is this convicting work that produces faith in Christ and repentance of sins (conversion) in the hearts of unbelievers. The Holy Spirit brings new eternal life (regeneration) to those whom he draws to Christ and baptizes them into the Body of Christ (the Church). We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells all believers, identifying them as God’s children and ensuring their future redemption. He guides believers into all truth, speaking in the Scriptures. We believe that the Holy Spirit also performs a sanctifying work in the lives of believers, producing spiritual fruit and conforming believers to the image of Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit gifts Christians for service and enables them to use those gifts for God’s glory and the edification of other believers. We believe that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit were intended for the foundation of the Church in the Apostolic period and are therefore no longer regularly occurring gifts among the members of the Church.

Satan

We believe that Satan is a real person and the tempter of Adam and Eve, whose Fall led mankind into sin. As the chief of all demons, Satan is the open and declared enemy of God and God’s people. Though he is powerful, he is under God’s control and will ultimately be overthrown by Jesus Christ and eternally punished in the Lake of Fire.

Man and Sin

We believe that man and woman were created in the image of God, but in Adam’s sin the entire human race fell into sin, inheriting a sinful nature and becoming separated from God under the judgment of death. All people give evidence of their sin nature by committing sins themselves and going their own way. People now bear a marred image of God and are unable to obey him fully or to deliver themselves from their sins.

Salvation

We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by repentance from sin and personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and his substitutionary death by shedding of blood. All those who have received this gift of forgiveness of sin (justification) will experience ongoing growth in holiness in this life (sanctification) and complete deliverance from sin in eternity (glorification).

The Church

We believe that the Church is made up of all regenerate persons of this age, who belong to the one Body of which Jesus Christ is the Head. Local churches are responsible to carry out God’s purposes in the world involving worship of God, edification of the saints, evangelism of unbelievers, and the practice of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe that water baptism is an outward expression of a person’s acceptance of Jesus Christ and is not salvific or meritorious in any degree. Baptism symbolizes the Christian’s union with Christ in his death and resurrection as well as cleansing from sin. In light of this understanding of the significance of baptism, we believe that baptism is intended for believers in Christ only and that its symbolism is best expressed by immersion of the person in water. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is symbolic in representing Jesus Christ’s body and blood to help Christians remember and proclaim his atoning work. The elements do not become the body and blood of Christ, and no saving effect is transferred in partaking of them. The Lord’s Supper demonstrates dependence on Christ for spiritual life and communion with him and fellow believers.

Obligations of Believers

We believe that it is the responsibility of each believer to join in the fellowship and mission of the Church. Believers are to make and mature disciples through prayer, the exercise of spiritual gifts, deeds of mercy, personal witness of the gospel, the teaching and admonishing of other believers, and the giving of material gifts. We believe that the saved should live in a manner that is worthy of their Lord and Savior, who has called them. Grace teaches believers to deny ungodly, fleshly, worldly desires, and to live instead as Christ lived. There is liberty in Christ, but that liberty is never to be used as an occasion for the flesh, but rather for love and service to others. God has called believers to remain set apart from worldliness--whether it appears in the world, in religion (Christian or non-Christian), or in other professing believers.

Future Things

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will visibly return to earth at an hour known only to God. He will defeat every enemy, establish his eternal universal kingdom of righteousness, and gather believers to be forever with him. We believe that all people will be bodily resurrected--the saved unto eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. We believe that the spirits of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord. After the resurrection, the eternal state of every believer is life in the presence of God in the New Heaven and New Earth. The spirits of unbelievers at death are immediately subject to conscious torment and separation from God. After the resurrection, unbelievers will face the final judgment, at which they will be cast into the Lake of Fire, where they will experience eternal conscious punishment apart from the presence of God.

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