What we believe
The sole basis of our belief is the Bible, composed of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe that the Bible originated with God, and that it was given through chosen men. Scripture speaks with the authority of God and reflects the backgrounds, styles and vocabularies of the human authors. We believe that the Scriptures are truthful and without error in the original manuscripts, that God’s Word is inerrant. They are the final authority on all matters of faith and practice and there are no other writings similarly inspired by God. (2 Timothy 3:16)
We teach that there is but one true and living God, perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three persons--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–each possessing all the attributes of deity and deserving of our worship and obedience. In the beginning God created out of nothing the universe and all things therein, thus manifesting the glory of His power, wisdom and goodness. By His sovereign power, He continues to sustain His creation. By His providence, He is operating throughout history to fulfill His plan of redemption. (Matthew 28:19; Genesis 1:1)
We teach that Jesus Christ–the second Person of the Trinity-though being equal with God, surrendered His perogatives of deity and came to earth to pay the debt for man’s soul. Having been born of a virgin, Jesus lived a totally sinless life, and was therefore qualified to pay for our sins by dying on the cross as our Substitute. He rose from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Father where He now mediates as our Advocate and High Priest. We teach that Jesus will return to earth, personally and visibly, to consummate history and judge all mankind according to the eternal plan of God. (1 Corinthians 15:1-8)
The Holy Spirit is a divine person, coequal with the Father and the Son in all the divine attributes. A natural outgrowth of a genuine saving relationship with Jesus Christ is a life of holiness and obedience. This is attained by believers as they submit to the Holy Spirit. At baptism, the Spirit indwells every believer and equips them for personal growth and service in the church. He becomes a source of assurance, strength and wisdom for every believer. The Holy Spirit will enable believers to walk as children of God ought to walk. Christians are endowed with spiritual gifts through the sovereign act of the Holy Spirit. These gifts are intended to strengthen the church and glorify Christ. (Acts 2:38; 1 Corinthians 12)
The central purpose of God’s revelation in Scripture is to call all people into a relationship with Himself. Originally created to have fellowship with God, man defied God choosing to go his independent way, and therefore was alienated from God. Because of this, man suffered the corruption of his nature. The salvation of mankind, therefore, is wholly a work of God’s free grace, not the result in whole or in part of human works or goodness. This salvation is a gift, made available through faith in Jesus Christ at baptism where a believer meets God’s grace. (Romans 3:23, 6:23, 10:9; John 3:16; Acts 2:38)
Death seals the eternal destiny of each person. For all mankind, there will be a resurrection of the body into the spiritual world, and a judgment that will determine the fate of each individual. The saved will be raised to eternal life and will be rewarded for works done in this life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
A relationship with Jesus Christ causes all believers to become members of His body, the church. There is one true church universal, made up of all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The Scripture commands believers to gather together to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching the Word, to observe the ordinances commanded by Jesus Christ, fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world.
Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the church. Under the protection and oversight of elders its members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ and making disciples of all nations. (Acts 2:42-47; Ephesians 4:1-16)
We teach that two ordinances have been committed to the local church: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is commanded by our Lord and His apostles. Baptism should occur immediately upon confession of faith in Christ, as modeled for us in Acts. Baptism by immersion is taught in Scripture and symbolically portrays the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Baptism is where we meet God’s grace and have our sins forgiven and gain the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 6:3-4; Acts 2:38; Matthew 28:19)
The Lord’s Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes again. Though the elements of communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ, the Lord’s Supper is nevertheless an actual communion with the risen Christ, Who is present in a unique way, fellowshipping with His people. (1 Corinthians 11:23-29)
Faith and Practice
Scripture is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. This church recognizes that it cannot bind the conscience of individual members in areas where Scripture is silent. Rather, each believer is to be led in those areas by the Lord, to Whom he or she is ultimately responsible.