Statement of Faith
The Bible is God's Word written, inspired, infallible, and inerrant in the original manuscripts, and is the unique, full, and final authority on all matters on which it bears. The NT interpretation of the OT, both factually and theologically, represents an authoritative way of interpreting the Bible. See Psalm 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21.
There is one true God, eternally existing in three Persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - each of whom possesses equally all of the attributes of deity and elements of personality. See Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Revelation 1:4-6.
The Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, deity incarnate and born of a virgin. Although tempted by Satan, He did not sin. By His death as a substitute for sinners He infinitely satisfied divine justice and accomplished salvation for all who trust in Him alone. He rose bodily from the dead and ascended to His Father's right hand where He now intercedes as our Great High Priest. See Matthew 3:17; Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 1:30-35; John 1:1, 14; Acts 1:10-11; Romans 3:24-25; 8:34; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 9:23-28.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit was sent by the Father and the Son into the world to apply the benefits of the saving work of Christ. He enlightens the minds of sinners and convicts them of their need for a Savior. He permanently indwells from the moment of faith in Christ in every believer, whom He also seals for the day of redemption. The indwelling Holy Spirit is the available source of power, comfort, and teaching for all believers. See John 3:5-8; 14:16-26; 16:5-15; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:11; Galatians 5:22-23.
The first human, Adam, was created in the image of God. Through disobedience he sinned, choosing to go his own independent way, and thus was alienated from God, died spiritually, and suffered the corruption of his nature, rendering him unable to please God. This fall took place at the beginning of human history, and all individuals born since suffer these same consequences, are fallen, sinful, and lost and are thus in need of the saving grace of God. This saving grace cannot be experienced by any person in the world apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ. See Genesis 3:1-19; Romans 3:10-20, 23; 8:12-21; Ephesians 2:1-3.
God, out of love for the human race, sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world to save sinners. Jesus Christ, God incarnate, paid the full penalty for human sin when He died on the cross. Any person who believes in Jesus Christ for eternal life receives that gift which, as the words eternal life suggest, can never be lost. We believe the only right response to the Gospel of grace is faith alone in Christ alone based on His cross-work alone (Acts 16:30-31; John 3:16-18, 5:24, 6:32-40, 8:24; Romans 3:28, 4:5).
Every child of God possesses this eternal (or everlasting) life and, being regenerated, justified, and sealed by the Holy Spirit, is safe and secure for all eternity. However, a Christian can, through sin, lose his fellowship, joy, power, testimony, and reward and incur the Father's discipline. Relationship is eternal, being established by the new birth; fellowship, however, is dependent upon obedience to the Word of God. See John 3:16-18; 5:24; 6:47; 10:27-30; Romans 3:21-25; 4:5; 8:38-39; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:1-10; 1 Timothy 1:15-16; Titus 3:3-7; Revelation 22:17.
1. The Grace of God in justification is an unconditional free gift.
2. The sole means of receiving the free gift of eternal life is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whose substitutionary death on the cross fully satisfied the requirement for our justification.
3. Faith is a personal response, apart from our works, whereby we are persuaded that the finished work of Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection has delivered us from condemnation and guaranteed our eternal life. The faith that results in a sinner being justified before a holy God is like the hand of the beggar reaching out to receive the gift. All the merit in saving faith resides in the object of faith (Jesus Christ), not the subject exercising the faith. The quantity, quality or continuity of faith is not the issue. Even the tiniest amount of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ at any point in time results in being born again forever into God’s family.
4. Christ has delivered us from condemnation and guaranteed our eternal life.
5. Justification is the act of God to declare us righteous when we believe in Jesus Christ alone.
6. Assurance of justification is the birthright of every believer from the moment of faith in Jesus Christ, and is founded upon the testimony of God in His written Word.
7. Spiritual growth, which is distinct from justification, is God’s expectation for every believer; this growth, however, is not necessarily manifested uniformly in every believer.
8. The Gospel of Grace should always be presented with such clarity and simplicity that no impression is left that justification requires any step, response, or action in addition to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
All believers in the present age are members of the body of Christ, the church, and they are united to Christ and to one another by the indwelling Spirit. The Word of God commands believers to gather together in local congregations, to devote themselves to worship, prayer, the teaching of the Bible, observance of the ordinances of water baptism and the Lord's Supper, the edification of the body, and an active witness to the unsaved world. A local expression of the church is found wherever Christians meet regularly in obedience to these commands. See Matthew 4:10; Acts 2:42-47; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:11-16; 5:24-30; Colossians 3:16; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Hebrews 10:23-25.
At physical death the believer enters immediately into eternal, conscious fellowship with the Lord and the unbeliever into eternal separation from Him. The bodies of all the dead shall be raised: those of believers to a resurrection of glory; those of unbelievers to a resurrection of eternal condemnation. All of the lost will experience conscious, physical punishment in a literal place called the lake of fire, forever. See Luke 16:19-31; Philippians 1:23; 1 Thessalonians 1:6-10; 2 Peter 3:8-13; Revelation 20:1-15; 21:1-22.