What We Believe
THE HOLY SCRIPTURES:
We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men and supernaturally inspired; that it is truth without any admixture of error for its matter; and therefore is and shall remain to the end of the age the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried. By "The Holy Bible" we mean that collection of sixty-six books from Genesis to Revelation, which, as originally written, does not only contain and convey the Word of God but is the very Word of God. By "inspiration" we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old as they were moved by the Holy Spirit in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired (II Tim 3:16; I Peter 1:21).
THE TRUE GOD:
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God and infinite, intelligent Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of Heaven and Earth (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 90); that He is inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love; that in the unity of the Godhead, there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption and in the accomplishment of His eternal plan and purpose (I John 5:6-12).
We believe that Jesus Christ, eternal with the Father, was begotten of the Holy Ghost and in miraculous manner; that He was born of Mary, a virgin, as no other person was ever born of woman, and that He is both the Son of God and God the Son (I John 1:1,2). He is both true man, one person with two natures, tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin (Isaiah 7:14; Hebrews 4:14-17).
THE HOLY SPIRIT:
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person; eternal and equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same essence (I John 5:7); that He was active in the creation (Genesis 1:2); that in the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God's purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of judgment and of righteousness; that He bears witness of the truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the new birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, bears witness with, sanctifies, and helps the believer (John 14:7; Romans 8:14-27). Using Acts 1:8 as our criteria for evaluation, we believe that the evidence of the fullness of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer is boldness to witness for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
SATAN OR THE DEVIL:
We believe that Satan was once holy and enjoyed heavenly honors; but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, he fell and drew after him a host of angels and is now the malignant prince of the power of the air and the unholy god of this world (Ezekiel 28:12-17; Isaiah 14:12-25). We hold him to be man's great tempter, the enemy of God and Jesus Christ, the accuser of the brethren, the author of all false religions, the chief source of the present apostasy, the lord of anti-Christ, and the author of all of the powers of darkness (I Peter 5:8,9); destined, however, to final defeat at the hands of God's Son and the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire, a place prepared for him and for his angels as well as all of the unbelievers of the ages (Rev 20:10).
We believe the Genesis account of creation is to be accepted literally and not allegorically or figuratively (Genesis 1); that the creation was accomplished in six (6), twenty-four (24) hour days (Genesis 1:5,8,13,19,23,31; 2:2; Exodus 20:11); that man was created directly in God's own image and after His own likeness (Genesis 1:26,27); that man's creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life were made directly by God, and God's established law was that they should bring forth only “after their kind.” We deny any form of atheistic or theistic evolution (Romans 1:19, 20).
THE FALL OF MAN:
We believe that man was created in innocency under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression, he fell from his sinless and happy state of perfection (Genesis 3), in consequence of which, all mankind are now sinners and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse and are guilty before God (Romans 5:12;Psalm 51:5; Romans 3). THE
ATONEMENT FOR SIN:
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God who by the appointment of the Father freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin and honored the divine law by His personal obedience and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins; that His atonement was not merely an example but was the voluntary substitution enthroned in Heaven and is uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection. He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Saviour (Hebrews 2:9; II Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 10:4-14).
THE NEW BIRTH:
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is the new creation in Jesus Christ (John 3:3,5); that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God (Ephesians 2:8,9); that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, not by culture, not by character, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel (John 1:13; Titus 3:5); that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith in newness of life (Galatians 5:22-25).
We believe that the great Gospel which Christ secures to such as believe in Him provides justification; that justification declares the sinner righteous through the merits of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21-26) and this divine pardon is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood, and that His righteousness is imputed unto us; that through justification we have peace with God (Romans 5:1, 9).
REPENTANCE AND FAITH:
We believe that repentance and faith are solemn obligations and also inseparable graces wrought in our souls by the quickening Spirit of God; thereby, being deeply convicted of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and being convinced of the way of salvation through Jesus Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time, we heartily receive the Lord Jesus Christ and openly confess Him as our only and all-sufficient Saviour (Jeremiah 8:6; Acts 17:30;26:30).
We believe that a New Testament church is a congregation of baptized believers associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers of ordination are pastors or elders and deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures (I Tim 3:1-13; Titus 1:6-9); we believe the true mission of the church is found in the "Great Commission" which instructs us first, to make individual disciples (Matt 28:19,20); second, to baptize the converts; and third, to teach and instruct as He commanded. We do not believe in the reversal of this order. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that Christ is the Head of the church and superintends over the work of the local church through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:19-23); that it is scriptural for the true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel (Jude 3); that every church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its cooperation on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, and that the will of the local Church is final (Matt 18:15-20; Acts 5:29; I Corinthians 6:1-8). We are opposed to the ecumenical movement, neo-orthodoxy, new evangelicalism.
BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER:
We believe that New Testament baptism is the immersion in water of a born-again believer in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, with the authority and approval of the local church to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, as it pictures our death to sin and resurrection to a new life (Matt 28:19,20); that it is pre-requisite to the privileges of church membership and to the observing of the Lord's Supper. We believe the Lord's Supper should always be preceded by solemn self-examination and that the sacred use of unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ until He returns (Matt 26:26-29; I Corinthians 11:30). The prerequisites to participation in the Lord’s Supper are those laid down by Christ and his apostles as a church ordinance that include (1) Salvation (1 Corinthians 11:27-29), (2) Baptism (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41, 46), (3) an orderly walk (1 Corinthians 11:27-29). A disorderly walk designates a course of life in a Christian which is contrary to the precepts of the gospel including immoral conduct, disobedience to the commands of Christ, heresy (teaching false doctrine), and schism or promotion of division and dissension in the church. The New Testament accounts indicate that the Lord’s Supper was observed only at regular appointed meetings of local churches and thus we believe that the scrutiny of qualifications for participation in the Lord’s Supper rests with the same body.
THE SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER:
We believe that the preserving attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes true believers from superficial professors; that it is a work of God the Father (John 10:28,29; Romans 8:30), God the Son (Romans 8:34; I John 2:1), and God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30); and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal salvation (I Pet 1:5). We believe that God's eternal election and predestination guarantee theirultimate conformity to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).
THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED:
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and sanctified by the Spirit of our God are truly righteous in His esteem (Romans 8:1-10); all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse (Romans 3:19-23), and this distinction holds among men both in life and after death in the everlasting conscious blessedness of the saved and the everlasting conscious punishment of the lost (Rev 20:11-15).
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interest and good of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for (I Tim 2:1-3), conscientiously honored and obeyed except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only Lord of conscience, coming Prince of the Kings of the earth (Acts5:29; Romans 13:1-5).
THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST:
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is coming again in the air at any moment to catch up all born again believers and to reward their service (I Thessalonians 4:15-17; I Corinthians 3:12-14); the unbelievers left behind will go through a seven year period called the Tribulation, after which Christ shall return visibly to the earth to set up His kingdom of 1,000 years of righteous rule; after this, the unbelievers of all ages will stand at the Great White Throne to be judged and cast into the lake of fire, separated from God forever, while the believers spend eternity in the fullness of joy and in the presence of our Lord forever (Rev 20:11-15).
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, tran-sexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex (Genesis 2:24;19:5, 13; 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).
ABORTION AND EUTHANASIA:
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well-being of the mother are acceptable (Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5; 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24; 49:1, 5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).We believe that life is sacred and any act of putting to death a person suffering from a distressing disease, illness or health problem from injury (euthanasia or mercy killing) for his own good is virtually an instance of self-deification usurping a right that belongs to God (Psalm 68:20; II Kings 5:7; Job 1:21; 2:6; Hebrews 9:27).
LAWSUITS BETWEEN BELIEVERS:
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the Church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the Church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members (Article IV, Arbitration of Disputes). We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander (I Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:31-32).