who we are
what we believe
1. The Bible
We believe the sixty-six books of the Bible are the infallible, inerrant Word of God (2 Tim. 3:15-17). The Bible is the final authority for judging what to believe and how to live (John 20:31, Rev. 22:18-21, James 2; Gal. 4:30).
We believe that God created the universe by the power of His word (Gen. 1; John 1:1-3; Col. 1:16). We believe that God created the world in six twenty-four hour days and reject the notion that higher life forms have evolved from lower life forms (Gen. 1; Gen 1:26; Gen. 2:20).
We believe in the Trinity. God is one being in three co-equal, co-eternal persons (Isa. 6; Deut. 6; Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 2 Cor. 13:14, Jude 20-21). The Father is God (1 Cor. 8:6). Jesus is God (John 1:1). The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:4).
We believe that God is sovereign, present in all places at all times (Psalm 139), all-powerful (Psa. 115:3), all-loving (1 John 4:9-12), and knows all things, including what will happen in the future (Rom. 11:33-36; Psa. 147:5; Acts 2:23).
We believe that Jesus is the eternal Son of God and God the Son (John 1:1). He became a man to live among men and is now and forever both man and God (John 8:58). Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary and had no earthly father (Gen. 3:15; Matt. 1:16; Luke 1:24).
We believe that Jesus, the only perfect man, was sent by God to die on the Cross as the substitute for the sins of the whole world (Isa. 53; I Pet. 2:24). He died spiritually and physically and shed His blood for the forgiveness of sins (Col. 2:13). He satisfied the wrath of God upon individual sin (Rom. 3:25) and rose again from the dead in the same body in which He died (1 Cor. 15:3-4; Luke 24:7). He provided the possibility of peace and life with God by paying the price for sin (1 Cor. 6:20). Jesus is the only Mediator between God and man (Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:34).
We believe that all men are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26) and should be respected as such. Every person is worth pursuing with the message about Jesus regardless of race, gender, social or economic status (John 3:16,; Acts 1:8). We reject all forms of racism.
We believe that all men are born sinners (Rom. 5:12; Rom. 3:23) who are separated from and declared guilty before God (Rom. 3:9-20). Men sin because it is their nature to do so (2 Cor. 4:4; 1 Tim 4:2; Rom. 1:28; Eph. 4:18). All sin must be removed for a person to be accepted by God (Isa. 59:1-2; Col. 1:21-23).
We believe that anyone who puts his faith in the death and resurrection of Christ on the Cross as payment for his sin is forgiven of all his sins (past, present, future) the moment he trusts in Him (1 John. 1:9; John 3:16; Rom. 6:23; Rom. 10:9). Baptism, church membership, and good deeds (although good things) are not necessary for someone to be forgiven and possess eternal life (Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 4:5). A person is justified before God by faith alone in Christ alone (Rom. 4:2,; Rom. 5:1). We believe that all men in every age are saved by grace through faith although their level of understanding about God’s plan in past ages was less than believers have today (Heb. 11).
We believe that Christians should live holy and prayerful lives according to the teachings of the Bible with lives focused on serving God and others rather than serving themselves and their own pleasures (1 Pet. 1:13-16; Rom. 12:1-2). Christians are accountable to others for the way they live.
We believe that once a person trusts Christ as Savior, his salvation is secure (Eph. 1:4,;Rom. 8:28-30; Jn. 14:17). He is given eternal, “forever” life. He can never lose his personal relationship with God. This frees the Christian to focus on others and not himself.
7. Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit lives inside every person who believes in Jesus (Jn. 14:17; Eph. 4:30). The Spirit also places every believer into the body of Christ (baptism of the Spirit) at the moment he believes (Acts 2:4; 1 Cor. 12:12; Acts 11:15-16). The Spirit assists the believer in right living to the degree that the Christian obediently surrenders to the Word of God (filling of the Spirit) (Titus 3:5; Eph. 5:18; Col. 3:16). He seals the believer guaranteeing that what God started in the believer’s life will be finished (Eph. 1:4; Eph 4:30). The Spirit also grants spiritual gifts to believers in order to edify the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12; Eph. 4:11-13,;1 Pet. 4:10-11; Rom. 12:3-8). However, the miraculous sign gifts such as tongue-speaking, healing, and prophetic utterance have ceased for the remainder of the Church Age (1 Cor. 13:12-13; 2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:1-4).
We believe that both good angels and bad angels (demons) exist (Matt. 22:29-30; Col. 1:16; Job 2:1; Matt. 12:24). Satan is the leader of the fallen angels (1 Pet. 5:8; John 12:31). While good angels serve those who are believers (Heb. 1:14; Psalm 35:4-5), bad angels tempt all men and women and try to destroy their lives (Matt. 4:3; Rev. 12:10; I Pet 5:8). In the end, Satan and his band of fallen angels will be destroyed (Rev. 20:7-10).
We believe that marriage is not a sacrament but is holy before God even when the ceremony is performed outside of the Church (Gen. 2:20-24; Matt. 19:1-8). Biblical marriage is the marriage between one man and one woman (Gen. 2; 1 Cor. 7:2). All other forms of marriage such as polygamy and so-called homosexual marriage are unbiblical (Lev. 18:22; Rom. 1:26-27). All sexual unions outside of the marriage bond are wrong, deviant, and destructive (1 Cor. 6:15-20; 7:1-4). Divorce (or remarriage following divorce) is contrary to God’s plan for marriage (Matt. 19:1-8; 1 Cor. 7:6-11). The Church does not encourage divorce and remarriage, although those who have experienced the heartache of divorce and remarriage should be accepted into the church family as the Church helps them grow in maturity.
We believe the Church formally began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 11:15-16; 1 Cor. 12:12-13; Eph. 1:22-23). The Universal Church consists of all who have put their faith in Jesus Christ from that day until Jesus comes to rapture the Church (1 Cor. 12:12-13; Gal. 1:13; Heb. 12:23). While all Christians are part of the Universal Church, each Christian should also seek to join a local church where they live. The local church must teach the Bible, train believers to do ministry, seek to spread the Gospel to the community and the world, and stand against evil in our day (Acts 2:41; Eph. 4:11; 1 Cor. 12). The Church is distinct from the nation of Israel and does not replace that nation in God’s plan in world history (Jer. 31; Gen 15; 2 Sam. 7).
We believe that each local church is independent. There is no authority or hierarchy outside of the local church other than God. Inside the local church, the church chooses its leaders called pastors, bishops, overseers, or elders to lead the church in its ministry (Acts 2:38; Acts 8:31; Acts 6; Heb 13:17). These men must meet the qualifications listed in Scripture for leadership positions (I Tim. 3; Titus 2). Deacons are also officers of the local church with biblical qualifications. They serve to assist the church in every day matters so that the pastors can spend more time in the ministry of the Word and in prayer (Acts 6).
We believe that a local church may cooperate with other local churches and ministries as long as such ministries are not apostate and are in harmony with biblical faith and practice (2 Cor. 5-6; 2 Pet. 2:1-3).
11. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that there are two biblical ordinances for the church: water baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Matt 28:19; 1 Cor. 11). Only believers may be baptized (Acts 2:41). Baptism is by immersion in water to symbolize the cleansing of forgiveness and identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ from the dead (Acts 2:38; 1 Pet. 3:21;John 3:23; Matt. 3:16; Acts 8:36). The Lord’s Supper or Communion is a memorial ceremony to the death of Christ (1 Cor. 11) and a time of self-examination. The elements of the bread and the fruit of the vine simply remind the partaker of the body and blood of Christ which was given for him.
We believe that the nation of Israel and the Jewish people are God’s nationally chosen people (Gen. 15; 2 Sam 7; Jer. 31). God has a special plan for that nation in world history including a future kingdom when Jesus returns (John 18:36; Rev. 21-22). In light of this, the Church should avoid all forms of anti-Semitism.
13. Second Coming of Christ and God’s Coming Kingdom
We believe in the Second Coming of Jesus. Christ’s Second Coming is in two phases. First, he will come to rapture or catch up all believers to be with Him (1 Thes. 4:16-17). After that will be a tribulation period of judgment on the earth for seven years (Matt. 24; Rev. 6-19; Daniel 12). Second, Jesus will come to earth at the end of the seven years to destroy the Antichrist, judge the nations, and establish God’s kingdom on earth (Rev. 19; Rom. 2:2; Matt. 16:27; Rev. 20). A period of one thousand years will begin the kingdom and will be followed by the eternal state when God will remove all tears from our eyes and make all things right (Rev. 20-21).
14. Eternal Destiny
We believe that the ultimate destiny of all believers is to be with God forever (Rev. 21; Eph. 1:4-10). The ultimate destiny of unbelievers is the lake of fire or hell forever (Rev. 20:7-15; Matt. 13:49-50; Mark 9:43-44; Luke 16:28; Matt. 25:31-46). While believers should always speak of hell with a tear in their voices and an ache in their hearts, the Church should not refuse to mention the Bible’s teaching on this topic. The Church should proclaim the balance of the Word of God in showing that God is both a God of love and a God of judgment (Ex. 34:1-8; 1 John. 4:16). He is neither a harsh God nor a mush God who will ignore all sin.