The Bible teaches that the gospel of Jesus Christ and His kingdom, is of first and foremost importance (1 Cor 15:1-3). We are in unity with all who have believed and hold firm the biblical gospel, which is built upon the death of Jesus for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, His burial, and His resurrection on the third day in fulfillment of the Scriptures. God has commanded that all people, everywhere must repent and believe the gospel in order to be saved from the wrath that is to come on Judgment Day. God has given proof of this fact by raising Jesus from the dead (Acts 17:30-31). The Church exists to be a witness to these things to the world, for the praise and glory of the living God who saved us by His grace (Matt 28:18-20).
It is the testimony of Scripture – both Old and New Testaments – and of the Church through history that God is Triune. The biblical revelation testifies that there is only one God, and that He exists eternally in three distinct and co-equal divine Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe that the Bible, in its entirety, is the inspired Word of God. As the Word of God, the Bible is the ultimate and final authority on all matters of faith. The Bible—both Old and New Testaments—contains everything that the believer needs to know for salvation. It is capable of thoroughly equipping the believer to live the life of holiness that God has called them to live. We believe that the Scriptures are completely without error in their original manuscripts and that the 66 books contained in the Bible are all of the inspired books from God—they cannot be added to or subtracted from. All doctrine and teaching is only as authoritative as it is faithfully representative of the true and intended teaching of God’s inspired and inerrant Word.
The Bible teaches that God’s creation has rebelled against its Creator, and as a result is under God’s curse and wrath (Gen 3; John 3:16-36). As a result of this rebellion and curse, mankind’s greatest need is to be reconciled to their Creator since both God and Man are at enmity with each other (Rom 5:6-10).
We affirm that Jesus Christ exclusively bore the wrath of God and the penalty due to those who have failed to obey God’s holy Law—in its entirety—in the place of those who appropriate this vicarious death and substitutionary payment by faith. The Bible teaches that the whole world has fallen short of God’s perfect standard of righteousness necessary to gain entrance into heaven, and that Jesus the Christ is the sole means of salvation from the coming wrath against sin (John 14:6; Rom 3:23, 6:23; 1 Tim 2:5).
By God’s grace, received through repentance and faith in Jesus, all who believe the gospel are declared righteous on the basis of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection in fulfillment of the Scriptures on the believer’s behalf by the Just and Holy Judge of the universe (Rom 3:21-26, 8:1-4). By making Jesus an offering for sin and publicly crushing Him on the cross under the curse of God, God demonstrated His justice and wrath against sin for the whole world to see, while also demonstrating that He can now justify (i.e. declare righteous) the one who has faith in Jesus as an atoning sacrifice for their own sin, forever changing God’s disposition towards those in Christ from that of wrath to that of favor (John 3:36; Gal 3:1-4:7).
We affirm that salvation is not attained by religious works, but by the grace of God alone (Eph 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7). Salvation is a present tense possession and is received by the individual through repentance and faith alone (John 3:36, 17:3). Repentance is a turning away from sin and rebellion against God, and turning towards God as Lord (1 Thess 1:8-10). Faith is trusting completely in what Jesus has done as Savior, knowing that on our own merit we deserve condemnation from God for our sin. When this happens, the individual is “born-again”—the new life in Christ includes the privileges of adoption and inheritance in the coming Kingdom of God’s beloved Son and an appointment as an Ambassador for Christ in this life by the King of the universe (John 3; 2 Cor 5). True salvation will produce an active lifestyle of loving obedience and service to Jesus Christ our Savior and we can be sure of our salvation based on the fruit of our lives and the promise of God (see, e.g., 1 John).
Salvation is a work of God in the individual, and God’s predestined purpose for each person He redeems is to have His amazing, transformative grace work towards conforming that person more and more into the image of His beloved Son, Jesus (Rom 8). Without sanctification, it is right to question whether or not the grace of God is active in the individuals life (2 Cor 13:5; 1 John). As a “present tense possession,” biblical salvation should be evident and is the sure foundation of a future hope of living eternally in the presence of the living God.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
The Word of God describes two on-going ordinances of the Lord Jesus Christ for His Church. The first, water baptism, is the outward sign of what God has already done in the believer’s life, and is a public testimony to all that the person belongs now to Jesus. Baptism is for all believers and allows them to publicly identify with Jesus, is the first step of a life of obedience to Him as the initiation into the fellowship of the church, and is performed in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The second ordinance, the Lord’s Supper, is a remembrance of the sacrificial and substitutionary death of the Lord and will be performed by the church until He comes again. Communion is a sign of our participation in Him and in the body of Christ. Both institutions are intended for those who are born-again believers.
We affirm the bodily, personal, second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ will physically and visibly return to earth for the second time to establish His kingdom and to render judgment upon all of Creation. This will occur at a day and time undisclosed by the Scriptures. We affirm the final judgment which will determine the eternal status of both the saints and the unbelievers, according to their relationship with Jesus Christ. We affirm with the Bible the final state of the New Heaven and New Earth.
“Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife…”, “…For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,…”, “Each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.”, “Finally the time came for him to marry her.” It is our sincere belief that marriage, as ordained by God, must be between one man and one woman. No other can be performed or condoned. (Jeremiah 29:6; Romans 7:2; Genesis 21:21; Genesis 29:21; 1 Corinthians 7:2, 36, 39; Genesis 2:23-24; Ephesians 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:25, 28-29, 31, 33).
We affirm the autonomy of the local church and recognize the unity that exists between all genuine members of Christ’s church extends beyond the walls of the local congregation who hold to the gospel of Jesus. Local congregations of believers must submit to the order and authority ordained by the living Lord Jesus Himself. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ intends for the local church to be built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, with Jesus Himself as the chief corner stone (Eph 2:19-22). This foundation is preserved in the Holy Scriptures and the gospel.
We further believe that the Lord Jesus Himself has given some as Evangelists and some as Pastors and Teachers for the equipping of the saints in the local church setting (Eph 4:11-16). The gifts of Evangelist and Pastor/Teacher are from Jesus (Eph 4:1-11) for the building up of the local church (Eph 4:12-16) and both of these (Evangelist and Pastor) are intended to serve the local church in the office of Elder. The Bible affirms two offices in the local church: Elder and Deacon. We affirm the need for the local church to be governed by a plurality of Elders (with Deacons being appointed on an “as needed” basis), which is immediately fulfilled by recognizing Jesus’ design of appointing both an Evangelist and a Pastor in each local congregation. Other Elders may be appointed according to the biblical qualifications listed in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, and 1 Peter 5:1-3. Deacons must meet the qualifications listed in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.