WHAT WE BELIEVE

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.

1 CORINTHIANS 15:3-4

1. The Bible

We accept the Bible, including the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, as the written Word of God. The Bible is:


INSPIRED BY GOD
The Bible was written by human authors inspired by the Holy Spirit and without error in the original manuscripts.


AUTHORITATIVE
The Bible has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.


SUFFICIENT
The Bible is totally sufficient in that it contains all the written words of revelation from God that He intended humanity to have. We believe the Bible is complete and must not be added to, superseded, or changed.


The Bible’s purpose isn’t just to inform but to transform. We should not treat the Bible as a textbook to study but as the living, active, life-giving Word of God. The Bible is to be believed as God’s instruction in all that it teaches; obeyed, as God’s command in all that it requires; and, trusted as God’s pledge in all that it promises. As God’s people hear, believe, apply and live according to the Word, they are equipped as disciples of Christ and witnesses to the gospel. (2 Tim 3:15-16; 2 Pet 1:20-21; Mark 13:31; John 8:31-32; John 20:31; Acts 20:32; Hebrews 4:12-13)

2. The Trinity

There is one God, uncreated and eternally existing in three distinct Persons, each of which is fully God: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. This one true and living God is infinitely perfect in love, power, and holiness. (Gen 1:1, 26; Deut 6:4; John 1:1-3; Matt 28:19; Rom 1:19-20; Eph 4:5-6)


GOD THE FATHER
God the Father is the eternal God and Creator of all things. By His word He both created the world out of nothing and daily sustains all that He has made. He is faithful to all that He has promised, works all things together for good to those who love Him, and hears and answers prayer. In His desire for us to live in fellowship with Him, He graciously gave His Son, Jesus Christ, for our salvation. (Gen 1:1; Matt 23:9; John 3:16; Rom 1:20; 1 Tim 2:5-6; Rom 8:28; Lam 3:22-23)

JESUS CHRIST
Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, was always with God and is eternally God. Through Him and for Him all things were created. He is before all things and He holds all things together by the word of His power. Being supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, He is fully God and fully man and the image of the invisible God. He lived a perfect sinless life, performed many miracles, and taught with authority. By dying on the cross in our place, He removed our guilt and reconciled us to God. On the third day, He physically rose from the dead and was later seen by over 500 witnesses. Soon afterwards He ascended into heaven where He sits at the Father’s right hand as Head over the Church. He rules over all, intercedes for His people, and will one day visibly return to earth. (Matt 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1; 20:28; Rom 9:5; 8:46; 2 Cor 5:21; I Pet 2:21-23; John 20:30, 31; Matt 20:28; Eph 1:4; Acts 1:11; Rom 5:6-8; 6:9,10; Heb 7:25; 9:28; 1 Tim 3:16)

HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is eternally God and should be respected and worshipped as God. The Holy Spirit was actively involved in creation. In Old Testament times, the Holy Spirit came upon certain individuals in manifest power for certain periods of time, but later departed (withdrew His manifest power from the individual). The Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus after His return to heaven to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement. He leads us to repentance and unites us to Christ in faith through the new birth. He dwells within believers to comfort, counsel, empower, and lead them and gives them gifts to help them serve God and one another in the church. We believe that all the gifts of the Spirit continue today and are to be used for the building up of the body and the evangelism of the nations. (Gen 1:2; Job 33:4; 1 Sam 16:13-14; Ps. 51:11; John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26, 27; John 16:9-14; Rom 8:9; 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19; Gal 5:22-26; Rom 12:6-8; 1 Cor 12:4-11, 28-31; 1 Pet 4:10-11)

he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.

Titus 3:5

3. Regeneration

God made humanity - male and female - in His own image. Tempted by Satan, humanity disobeyed God (sinned) and thereby incurred physical, spiritual and eternal death, which is separation from God. As a consequence, all human beings are sinners by nature and therefore under condemnation. Those who, by God’s grace and through faith, repent and trust Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are regenerated (born again) by the Holy Spirit and become new creations in Christ. Being delivered from sin’s condemnation and dominion, they are now empowered by the Holy Spirit to live godly lives and inherit eternal life. (Gen 1:26; 5:2; Gen 3; Gen 2:17; 3:19; Eccl. 2:11; John 3:14; 5:24; John 5:30; 7:13; 8:12; 10:26; Rom 9:22; 2 Thes 1:9; Rev 19:3, 20; 20:10, 14,15; 21:18; Ps 51:7; Jer 17:9; Jas 1:14; Rom 3:19, 5:19; Prov 28:13; 1 John 1:9; John 3:16; John 1:13; 2 Cor 5:17; Rom 8:1; 1 Pet 1:23; Eph 4:24)

4. The Church

The universal church is the living spiritual body of which Jesus is the head and all believers are members. The church is likened to a building, with Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, and the members living stones, being joined together growing into a holy temple, a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. We believe that members of the universal church are to be committed members of a local church.  In the context of a local church, believers receive pastoral care, leadership, and the opportunity to use the spiritual gifts that God has given them for His service. Through the ministries found in Ephesians 4 (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) the local church is equipped for service and members are encouraged and enabled to mature and grow in their faith. The central aim of the church is to glorify God through worship, being filled with God’s Spirit, making disciples, and communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world. (Eph 2:19-22; Acts 1:8; Eph 5:19-21, Eph 4: 11-16; Acts 2:42-27; Heb 10:23-25; Matt 28:18-20)


BAPTISM

Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, in the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit. Baptism is an external celebration of an internal transformation that has happened through salvation. It shows the work of Christ—His death, burial, and resurrection—and the believer’s participation in that work by God’s grace. It signifies that their life is linked with Christ and displays their union with His body, the Church. (Matt 3:13-17; Matt 28:18-20; Acts 2:38; Rom 6:3-5; Gal 3:27; 1 Pet 2:4-10)



COMMUNION

As with baptism, communion (the Lord’s Supper) is to be observed only by those who have become genuine followers of Christ and members in His body. Communion symbolizes the breaking of Christ’s body and the shedding of His blood on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. It should be observed with an attitude of faith and self-examination, remembering and celebrating the death of Jesus. (1 Cor 11:23-26; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 2:42)

5. Christian Conduct

Every true Christian’s desire is to live for the glory of God and well-being of all people. Not fulfilling the desires of the sinful nature, we are to walk in the Spirit, seeing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.  Believers should be blameless in conduct before the world, faithful stewards of their possessions, and should seek for themselves and others to grow and mature in Christ. (1 Cor 10:31; Rom 12:1-3; Heb 12:1-2; John 14:15, 23-24; 1 John 2:3-6; 2 Cor 9:6-9; 1 Cor 4:2; Col 1:9-10)

6. Restoration Of All Things

One day Jesus will personally and visibly return to earth to fully establish His kingdom. He will resurrect all people from the dead and judge the just and the unjust. Satan, with his hosts, and all those outside of Christ will be separated from God, enduring eternal punishment. But all those in Christ will be given glorious bodies and will eternally live and reign with God in whose presence is fullness of joy, praising the One who makes all things new! (Matt 16:27; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Phil 3:20; 1 Thes 4:15; 2 Tim 4:1; Tit 2:13; 1 Cor 4:5; 1 Cor 15; 2 Thes 1:7-10; Rev 20:4-6, 11-15)

Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.


1 Thessalonians 4:17-18