About the Bible:
We believe the Bible is God’s holy, written revelation of Himself to mankind, inscribed by human authors and reflecting their style and their personalities but inspired (“breathed” or spoken to the writers) by the direct influence of the Holy Spirit. While the Holy Spirit uses the scripture in innumerable applications in the life of the believer, we believe there is only one true interpretation of each word, verse, passage, chapter, and book. The Word of God gives us valuable principles and instruction to be sought after as we face various issues in our lives, even where the Bible seems silent. Lastly, we believe that the Bible, when translated from the original manuscripts, is infallible in both faith and practice and totally without error in the whole or in part. (Proverbs 30:5; John 17:17; II Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21)
We believe there is only one true and living God, having no beginning and no end. He is the “I Am” that has revealed Himself to mankind through the Bible, creation and our conscience. He is the architect and creator of the universe and is expressly interested in, and involved with, its details, including the details of the individual lives of mankind. He is infinite, eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, universally present, and perfect in His holiness, truth, judgment, wrath, goodness, mercy and love. Though One, God has revealed Himself to be triune in nature. That is, within the Godhead, three distinct, infinite persons co-exist eternally in perfect and absolute unity and equality, as the one, true God; God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. Each person of this Trinity has their own unique role in the rule of this world and eternity; each are eternal, co-equal and equally deserving of our worship. God, the Father, the first person of the Godhead, is not the Son or Holy Spirit, the Son is not the Father or Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is not the Father or Son, yet each is individually truly and fully God. The doctrine that one God exists in a trinity of Persons is a non-negotiable truth that is at the heart and foundation of our Christian doctrine, faith and life, and we reject every Arian, monarchian, modalist, tritheistic, or polytheistic interpretation of the nature of God. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 3:16-17; Matthew 28:19; John 14:16-17; 1 Corinthians 8:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Galatians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:5)
About Jesus Christ:
We believe that Jesus Christ is God, being the second person of the Godhead. He is described as the eternal Son of God, the Messiah, having no beginning or end, and co-equal with God. We believe that two thousand years ago, God the Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be born of flesh to a virgin as He had promised in the Old Testament. For over thirty years, Emmanuel (God With Us) lived, breathed, walked and talked among men and women living a sinless life under the Mosaic Law. We believe that He was literally physically crucified on a cross, physically dying as the perfect, eternal, final Sacrifice for the sins of the elect, and that on the third day after His death, He was literally physically raised from the dead to demonstrate God’s power over death and sin, and to be evidence that the sacrifice of Jesus was both acceptable to, and accepted by God the Father. We believe that the elect, being crucified with Christ and raised to walk in newness of life, have become dead to sin, obtaining the fellowship with God that sin had previously made impossible. We believe that the elect, being raised with Christ in newness of life, have been redeemed and freed from the punishment, penalty and power of sin. After His death, burial and resurrection, Jesus ascended from earth into the heavens to be seated at the right hand of God signifying that our eternal redemption had been finalized, with nothing being left unfinished. Four times in the book of Revelation, Jesus promised to return again soon. (Matthew 1:22-23; Romans 1:3-4; 6:4; II Corinthians 15:3-4; Titus 2:13-14; Rev 16:15; 22:7,12,20)
About the Holy Spirit:
We believe that the Holy Spirit is God, being the third person of the Godhead, possessing the same deity as, and being co-equal with, the Father and the Son. We reject the false teaching that the Holy Spirit is nothing more than “God’s active force” since the Holy Spirit speaks (Acts 13:2); can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30); and has a will (1 Cor. 12:11). The Holy Spirit was sent to the world with the express purpose of bringing man to realize our need for Jesus Christ by convicting us of sin. He is our teacher, helper, comforter, and empowerer. He is the supernatural agent indwelling and working in believers from the moment of salvation until our ultimate glorification. He administers spiritual gifts and transforms us into the “Image of Christ.” We do not believe that the Holy Spirit “comes and goes” in response to a believer’s misbehavior or sin since Jesus promised He would be “with us forever”, and since the Holy Spirit is the “seal” of God’s ownership of the elect, and the guarantee of our salvation, perseverance, and glorification. Our goal and duty as Christians is to seek to continually be “filled with the Spirit”, and “led by the Spirit”, living under His guidance and control as He guides us into all Truth as He reveals it to us in God’s Holy Word. (John 14:16,26, 15:26, 16:7-13; Romans 8:14; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11; II Corinthians 1:22; II Cor 3:16-18; Galatians 5:16-18; Ephesians 1:13, 5:18)
We believe that every man, woman and child ever born has been formed by God in the spiritual image of God and placed on this earth to fulfill God’s sovereign purpose. Mankind was created for the sole purpose of bringing and giving glory to God the Father, whether in his righteous judgment or his merciful, gracious redemption.
Adam and Eve were created free from sin with a rational intelligence. Due to Adam’s disobedience, he forfeited his innocence and sin was introduced into creation, and imputed into the nature of the entire human race born from Adam. The nature of every human born thereafter, with the exception of Jesus Christ, was affected, and every individual has incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death and the threat of eternal damnation.
Because God is supremely holy, He is entirely intolerant of sin. In maintaining His holiness, righteousness and justice, He must punish each and every sin, whether committed intentionally or unintentionally, by commission or omission. Because the sin of Adam has been imputed to every man, woman and child is, therefore, spiritually dead, hopelessly lost and “condemned already” apart from the grace of God in the redemption of Jesus Christ. Our will is not “free” to choose to do good, but rather we are born in bondage to sin, and apart from Christ, even our “righteous” deeds are “as filthy rags”. While we may have the potential for doing some good deeds, we have no potential for overcoming our broken relationship with God that is due to our individual sins committed in our Adamic nature.
Because of this condemnation, eternal life and salvation may only be received as a gift by God’s grace by those drawn to repentance and faith by the Holy Spirit, because of the finished work of redemption carried out by Jesus Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. In redemption, the righteousness of Jesus Christ is accounted to the believer, who then becomes God’s “handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them”, and those “who once were far away (from God) have been brought near by the blood of Christ”. (Genesis 2:7; John 3:18; Ephesians 2:10;13; Romans 3:23-25; 1 John 1:8-10)
We believe in the eternal, physical, literal realities of “heaven” and “hell”, and in the eternal nature of every human soul. Every man, woman and child will ultimately be resurrected to live eternally, either (a) in a state fit for damnation, separated from God eternally in hell because of his/her sin which was not trusted to Jesus’ finished work of redemption, or (b) in a glorified state, together with God eternally in His Kingdom, because Jesus’ righteousness has been accounted to him/her by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. (Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15)
About Salvation and the Security of the Believer:
We believe that salvation is a gift for which we paid nothing, did nothing, and deserve nothing. God gave His gift of salvation to us by His grace alone, through our faith alone. Jesus took the sins of the elect upon himself “once for all” before they had even committed those sins against Him. God chose to save some rebellious, absolutely undeserving people who did nothing to earn or deserve His gift of grace in the first place. Because the singular, final, finished work of Jesus was acceptable to God as payment for the sins of the elect, we believe that those chosen by Him can not possibly do anything to cause God to take Jesus’ redemption or His promise of salvation back from them. The believer who has rested his faith in Jesus’ perfect, satisfactory, and finished sacrifice as the final, perfect payment for his own sins can be assured that Jesus’ full righteousness has been imputed to him, and that his salvation has been secured for eternity, having been “sealed” by the Holy Spirit Who indwells every believer. (Ephesians 2:8-10; Hebrews 9:28)
About the End Times:
We believe that Jesus Christ will return again soon, descending from heaven in the same way as He was seen ascending into heaven, meaning literally and bodily, to receive to Himself the elect that believe according to His redemptive plan and purpose, and to pour His wrath out upon the rebellious unbelievers, culminating in the bodily resurrection of both the just and the unjust. The purpose of this resurrection is for every soul that ever lived to stand before Jesus to be separated (the “goats” from His “sheep”) into everlasting life, or everlasting damnation. (Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:28-29)
We believe that God has an eternal plan and destiny for every person’s eternal soul and mortal body and that it is appointed for men to “die once, and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27)
We believe that upon dying, the soul of every elect believer passes immediately into the presence of the Lord. Likewise, the soul of the rebellious unbeliever passes into punishment until that time which God issues the final judgement upon them for their rebellion and sin – the greatest being their non-belief.
We believe that physical death only temporarily separates our eternal soul from our mortal bodies. Upon death every mortal body will “return to the dust” to await the ultimate resurrection of the dead and the preparation for damnation of unbelievers or the glorification of believers that will immediately follow. (Genesis 3:19)
When Jesus returns, the souls of the redeemed will also be rejoined with their bodies to be glorified in preparation for an eternity in God’s presence. They will be accounted as righteous in Christ at the “Judgment Seat of Christ” where their worthless deeds will be burned away as “wood, hay and straw” leaving only the “gold, silver and precious stones” that remains of their obedient service to Jesus. The souls of the rebellious and faithless will also be rejoined with their bodies and prepared for the everlasting fire. They will be judged “guilty” at the “Great White Throne Judgment” and will depart into a literal, eternal, conscious suffering in hell.
We believe that the establishment of the “new heavens and new earth” will unify all of the redeemed to fellowship together forever, and to enter into a blessed fellowship with God, for an eternity that glorifies God. (Acts 1:11; Romans 14:10-12; I Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:1,8; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Revelation 20:11-15; Revelation 22:20-21)