What We Believe
THE HOLY TRINITY
We believe in the one triune God, self-existent and everlasting, both holy and loving in nature, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of all things. God exists in three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – each eternal in being, equal in power and glory, and identical in essence.
GOD THE FATHER
We believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth – from whom, through whom, and to whom are all things. He intentionally seeks to relate to all people as Father, thereby forever declaring His goodwill toward them. In love, He both seeks and receives sinners, adopting as His children all who repent of their sin and trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.
THE PERSON AND WORK OF JESUS CHRIST
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal and only begotten Son of God, became man without ever ceasing to be God; that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, and lived a sinless life. He died on the cross to be the one sufficient sacrifice for sin, and to reconcile all mankind to God. Then He rose bodily the third day from the grave and ascended into Heaven, where He is enthroned at God’s right hand as our intercessor. He will return to judge all humanity at the last day.
THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory with the Father and the Son, truly and eternally God. As the third Person of the Trinity, He continually glorifies Jesus Christ, convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment to come, regenerates all who repent and trust in Christ for salvation, sanctifies and indwells believers, and guides into all truth. He is ever present, assuring, preserving, guiding, and empowering the believer for godly living and service.
We believe that the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments constitute the Holy Scriptures, and are the written Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and therefore inerrant in the original writings, and have been transmitted to the present without corruption of any essential doctrine. They contain all that is necessary for our salvation and are the supreme authority for faith and practice. The Old Testament is not contrary to the New; for both in the Old and New Testaments everlasting life is offered to mankind by grace through faith in Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man. The Holy Scriptures have been given for our comfort in order that we may have hope, and for our correction and instruction in order that we may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
SIN: ORIGINAL SIN AND ACTS OF SIN
We believe that sin and death came into the world through the disobedience of Adam. We believe that sin is of two kinds: original and actual.
Original Sin. We believe that original sin, or inherited depravity, is the corruption of the nature of all the offspring of Adam; therefore, by nature we are fallen from original righteousness, hostile to God and His Law, and utterly unable to remedy our lost condition apart from grace. We further believe that, though its control over the believer is broken, inherited depravity continues to exist in the nature of the regenerate until the heart is fully cleansed by the filling with the Holy Spirit in entire sanctification.
Acts of Sin. We believe that acts of sin are committed by morally responsible persons choosing to do what they know is wrong or choosing not to do what they know is required. They are therefore not to be confused with shortcomings, infirmities, faults, mistakes, failures, or other such deviations from a standard of perfect conduct which are the residual effects of the Fall.
We believe God created humanity in His image with the ability to choose between right and wrong. As a result of Adam’s fall and the consequent corruption of human nature, mankind is unable to choose right apart from God’s grace. But through Jesus Christ the prevenient grace of God makes possible what human-effort cannot do. Therefore, individuals who reach and retain moral awareness are responsible for their choices and actions. Prevenient grace is bestowed freely upon all mankind, enabling all who will to be saved. Only as a result of the enabling grace of God working in us, are we able to perform works that are pleasing and acceptable to God.
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and freely received through faith and not by our own works. God graciously justifies, regenerates all who repent. of their sins and believe on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and seals them as His own with the Holy Spirit. As the children of God, they are restored to fellowship with Him, delivered from the penalty of sin, as well as from its willful practice, are initially sanctified, and given assurance of salvation by the Holy Spirit who dwells in them.
We believe that entire sanctification is that work of the Holy Spirit by which the child of God is cleansed from inherited depravity and empowered for more effective service through faith in Jesus Christ. It is subsequent to regeneration and is accomplished in a moment of time when the believer presents himself a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God. The Spirit-filled believer is thus enabled to love God with an undivided heart. We believe entire sanctification is both preceded and followed by growth in grace, expressed in advancing Christlikeness. After entire sanctification, we grow in grace by responding to the Holy Spirit as He guides us to apply the principles of holiness in all areas of life.
SIN AFTER SALVATION
We believe that after we have experienced salvation, it is possible to commit sin and depart from saving faith, for in this life there is no such height of holiness from which it is impossible to fall. But by the grace of God, one who has fallen into sin may by repentance and faith find forgiveness and restoration.
We believe good works are the necessary fruit of faith and follow salvation, but cannot save us from our sins or prevent divine judgment. They are pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, adorn the doctrine of God, and by them a living faith may be evidently known as a tree is discerned by it’s fruit.
We believe that the Church universal is composed of the entire body of believers in Jesus Christ, who is its founder and only Head, in whom it is being built into a holy dwelling place of God by the Spirit. The mission of the Church is to make Christlike disciples of all nations through the proclamation of the Word of God, the administration of the sacraments, the exercise of the Spirit’s gifts, and obedience to all that Christ commands.
THE SACRAMENTS: BAPTISM AND THE LORD'S SUPPER
We believe that water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the sacraments of the church commanded by Christ and ordained as a means of grace when received through faith. They are signs of our profession of faith and of God’s gracious ministry toward us. By them, He works within us, refreshing, strengthening, and confirming our faith in Him.
Baptism. We believe that water baptism serves as a symbol of regeneration or the new birth. It signifies acceptance of the benefits of the atonement of Jesus Christ, rejection of one’s former life of sin, and identification with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection. By means of this sacrament, believers declare their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. Baptism is for those who have consciously renounced their sins, accepted Christ as Savior, and are committed to following Him.
The Lord’s Supper. We believe that the celebration of the Lord’s Supper is a sacrament of our redemption through Christ’s death and of our hope in His victorious return, as well as a sign of the love that Christians have for each other. To such as receive it in a worthy manner, with humility and faith, the Lord’s Supper becomes a means through which God communicates grace to the heart.
THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
We believe that the imminent and bodily return of Jesus Christ Is that blessed hope of believers, providing a powerful incentive to holy living and inspiring a zeal for world evangelism. Upon His return, Jesus Christ will fulfill all Scripture concerning the final triumph of good over evil, consummate His kingdom, and judge the world in righteousness.
THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD
We believe in the resurrection of all mankind at which time the body and soul will be reunited. The resurrection of the just is unto eternal life, the resurrection of the wicked is unto eternal punishment. The bodily resurrection of Jesus is a miracle of supreme importance and foundational to our faith.
THE JUDGMENT OF MANKIND
We believe that God is the Judge of all and the acts of His judgment are based on His omniscience and eternal justice. His administration of judgment will culminate before His throne of great majesty and power, where records will be examined and final rewards and punishments will be administered.
We believe that there is conscious, personal existence after death. The final destiny of each person is decided by his response to God’s grace, and not by any arbitrary decree of God. The new heavens and new earth with their eternal glory and the blessedness of Christ’s presence is the final abode of those who choose the salvation which God provides through Jesus Christ. The Lake of Fire with its everlasting misery and separation from God is the final abode of those who neglect this great salvation.