Compelled Statement of Faith (what we believe)
The Word of God
We believe the sixty-six canonical books of the Old and New Testaments are the divinely inspired, infallible Word of God, without error in the original manuscripts, and God’s complete, written revelation to humankind. The Bible is sufficient and trustworthy for life, faith, conduct, and practice, and is the supreme and final authority in all matters to which it speaks. We further believe there is but one true interpretation of Scripture, although there may be several applications. The true meaning lies in the text and is that which the divinely-guided author willed to convey. It is recoverable through careful application of a literal (grammatical, historical, contextual) method of interpretation under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and in the community of Christ. The Holy Spirit illumines the text, enabling the reader to embrace the significance of what God has communicated, and to see the glory of Christ in the Word of God .
We believe in one God, Creator and Sustainer of all things, eternally divine existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit; we believe that these are equal in every distinct perfection and they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence, and redemption.
God the Father
We believe in God the Father: an infinite, personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of humanity, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. We believe God’s knowledge is exhaustive; that He fully knows the past, present, and future independent of human decisions and actions. The Father does everything in accordance with His perfect will, though His sovereignty neither eliminates nor minimizes our personal responsibility.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the incarnation of God’s eternal Son. God the Son has precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections as God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. We believe further that He is not only true God, but true man, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. We also believe in His sinless life, His substitutionary atonement, His bodily resurrection from the dead, His ascension into heaven, His priestly intercession on behalf of His people, and His sudden, personal, visible bodily return from heaven.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, His personality and His work in regeneration, sanctification, and preservation. His ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, to implement Christ’s work of redeeming the lost, and to empower the believer for godly living and service. We believe the Holy Spirit distributes spiritual gifts to believers as He wills for the common good. No gift signifies His baptism or filling, nor does any gift provide authoritative revelation beyond what has already been revealed in the Holy Scriptures. Life in the Spirit includes trials and does not guarantee physical health, material wealth, nor confirming outward signs.
We believe God originally created persons, male and female, in the image of God and free from sin. We believe all people are sinners by nature and choice and are spiritually dead. We also believe that those who repent of sin and trust Jesus Christ as Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit. We believe God established marriage to be a lifelong covenant relationship between one man and one woman. Marriage so defined is the only permissible context for intimate sexual expression and is the foundation for human family. We further believe that human life is precious and should be protected from beginning, at fertilization, until death.
We believe in salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We further believe that this salvation is based upon the sovereign grace of God, was purchased by Jesus Christ on the cross, is eternally secured by the Holy Spirit, and is received by faith, apart from any human merit, works, or ritual. We further believe salvation results in righteous living, good works, and proper social concern.
We believe that the Church is the spiritual body of which Christ is the head. We believe that the true Church is composed of all persons who have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit. We believe that this body expresses itself in local assemblies whose members have been immersed upon a credible confession of faith and have associated themselves for worship, for instruction, for evangelism, and for service. We believe the ordinances of the local church are believer’s baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper. We also believe in the interdependence of local churches and the mutual submission of believers to each other in love.
We believe that the supreme task of believers is to glorify God in their life and that their conduct should be blameless before the world. We further believe that they should be faithful stewards of their possessions and that they should seek to realize for themselves the full stature of maturity in Christ.
The Last Things
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the saved and lost, the eternal existence of all people either in heaven or hell, in divine judgment, rewards, and punishments.