What We Believe

Key areas of our beliefs are included here. These explanations are not meant to be exhaustive. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

The sole basis of our belief is the Bible, composed of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe that Scripture in its entirety originated with God, and that He chose certain people to write it. Scripture thus, at one and the same time, speaks with the authority of God and reflects the backgrounds, styles, and vocabularies of the human authors (2 Tim. 3:16-17, 1 Peter 1:10-12, 2 Peter 1:20-21). We hold that the Scriptures are infallible and without error in the original writings. They are the unique, full and final authority on all matters of faith and practice, and there are no other writings similarly inspired by God (Matt. 5:17-20).

We believe there is one, true, holy God, eternally existing in three persons-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-each of whom possesses equally all the attributes of deity and characteristics of personality (Deut. 6:4-5, Matt. 28:19). In the beginning, God created, out of nothing, the world and all the things therein, thus manifesting the glory of His infinite power, wisdom, and goodness. By His sovereign power He continues to sustain His creation and to fulfill His redemptive purposes (Gen. 1:1-2, John 1:1-2, Acts 17:28, Heb. 1:3). God possesses perfect knowledge of all things, past, present, and future, including all human thoughts, acts, and decisions.

Jesus Christ is the eternal second person of the Trinity who was united forever with a true human nature by the miraculous conception of the Holy Spirit, being born of a virgin. Thus He is fully God and fully Man (John 1:1-2, Luke 1:26-37). He lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father and voluntarily atoned for the sins of all by dying on the cross as their substitute, a sacrifice for sin, and as a propitiation of the wrath of God toward sin, according to the Scriptures. Thus, He satisfied divine justice and accomplished salvation for all who trust in Him alone (Heb. 4:14-16; 10:5-18). He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He lived and died. He ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father, where He, the only Mediator between God and Man, continually makes intercession for His own. He will come again to earth, personally and visibly, to consummate history and the eternal plan of God (Luke 24, 1 Tim. 2:5-6, Heb. 7:23-25, Acts 1:11, 1 Thess. 4:13-18).

The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, was sent into the world by the Father and the Son to apply to mankind the saving work of Christ. He enlightens the mind of sinners, awakens in them a recognition of their need of a Savior, and regenerates them (John 3:5-8, John 16:7-15). At the point of salvation, He permanently indwells every believer to become the source of assurance, strength, and wisdom, and uniquely endows each believer with gifts for the building up of His people. The Holy Spirit guides believers in understanding and applying the Scriptures. His power and control are appropriated by faith, making it possible for the believer to lead a life of Christ-like character and to bear fruit to the glory of the Father (John 14:16-18, 1 Cor. 12:13, Gal. 5:22-25, Eph. 1:13-14, Eph. 5:18).

The central purpose of God's revelation in Scripture is to call all people into fellowship with Himself. Originally created in God's image to have fellowship with God, man defied God, choosing to go his independent way. He thus became sinful, suffering alienation from God and the corruption of his human nature (John 5:39-40, Eph. 2:1-3). The fall of mankind took place at the beginning of human history, and all individuals since have suffered these consequences and are thus in need of the saving grace of God. The salvation of mankind is, then, wholly a work of God's free grace, not the result, in whole or in part, of human works or goodness, and must be personally appropriated by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ (Gen. 3, Rom. 3:9-26, Rom. 5:12, Eph. 2: 4-10). We believe salvation is all of grace, through faith, in Christ alone, for God's glory alone! Sinners are commanded to believe the Gospel, and the church is commissioned to preach and teach the Gospel to all nations. Salvation comes to those who truly believe and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. We believe that while there is continuity between the covenants of the Bible, there is a distinction between law and grace, and the true Gospel exalts Christ's atoning work as the consummate and perfect fulfillment of the law.

Upon accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, a believer becomes part of His body, which is the church. There is one church universal, composed of all those throughout the world who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The Scriptures command believers to gather (local church) in order to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observance of the ordinances (baptism and communion), fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world in fulfillment of the command of Christ to make disciples of all believers (Ephesians 5:23; Romans 12:1; Acts 2:42-46; 1 Corinthians 14:26; Matthew 28:18-20). Wherever God's people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the church under the oversight of elders and other supportive leadership. The church's members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ (Ephesians 4:11-16). We believe that God's purpose for the world is evident in faithful local churches (Ephesians 3:8-10). Thus growth in Christ for the individual believer can not take place apart from a local church. Each faithful local church displays God's glory as it seeks to serve Him in humble service to its members and as it cooperates in fellowship and ministry participation with other congregations that value the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We believe in the blessed hope-the imminent, literal, physical and personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth (Titus 2:11-14). His return has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The saved are raised to eternal, conscious enjoyment of God and His recreation of the new heavens and new earth (Matthew 25:34; John 14:2; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Revelation 2:7; 21:1-2). The lost are raised to eternal torment in Hell in conscious separation from God (Matthew 8:11; Matthew 10:28; Matthew 13:49-50; Mark 9:47-48; Luke 12:5; Revelation 21:8). We believe that our only sure and confident hope is in the certain promises of God. Therefore, our future hope, which causes us to live in faith in the present, is grounded in our confidence that God will bring all things to consummation in a manner that will bring the greatest glory to His name, the greatest preeminence to His Son, and the greatest joy to His people!

Baptism is an essential first step for a believer who seeks to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. In taking it, he reveals that a coup has taken place in the secret recesses of his soul. The government of self has been toppled and overthrown. In its place, a new authority now reigns and rules. It is Christ, the living Lord! We hold the act of baptism as a sacred, uncompromisable injunction of the Scriptures. Every believer, serious in his or her faith, will also be serious about baptism. It is the badge of our identity with Christ. In many ways, baptism is to Christianity what a ring is to marriage. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words and the picture portrayed in baptism declares a variety of scriptural truths: * It proclaims Christ's death and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) * It serves public notice to the world of one's new life in Christ (Matthew 10:32) * It pictures a believer's death to sin and his resurrection to a spiritual life and lifestyle through the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:3-7, 10-11) * It declares the joining of the believer into the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:13) and therefore into the life and mission of a local church Our method of baptism is immersion. We feel strongly that this mode is the one presented in the New Testament for the following reasons: * The Greek word for baptism means: "to submerge, plunge, drench, saturate, dip."(Arndt and Guingrich, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 131). * Immersion followed the Jewish proselyte practice. * The practice of the early church was immersion. * The command of the Scriptures is "be baptized." By it, we both please the Lord and declare His reality in our lives and to the world.

The Lord's Supper is summed up in the command of Christ, "Do this in remembrance of Me." It is first and foremost a memorial of Christ and His redemptive death, and secondly an expression of our fellowship with one another. We believe the Lord's Supper is open to all who meet the prerequisites outlined in the Scripture... that one personally know Jesus Christ as Savior and that they have a cleansed life. We corporately share the Lord's Supper in the Sunday worship service approximately every two months and encourage its celebration in our Life Groups. Luke 22:19, 1 Corinthians 11:24-25, Psalm 24:3-4, 1 Corinthians 11:17-34


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