STATEMENT OF FAITH
We Believe In:
There is one true and living God, the Father, who matchlessly reigns in majesty and glorious splendor! God, who is spirit is without beginning and ending. He is creator of the heavens and the earth, the giver and sustainer of life, the maker of mankind and of all things which are seen and unseen. He is Holy in all His ways and Righteous in all His works, infinite in love, perfect in judgment and unchanging in mercy. The all seeing, knowing, and powerful God, exists eternally in three persons: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit;
Genesis 1:26, Daniel 7:9-10, Colossians 1:12-27, Psalms 8:1-6, Ephesians 3:9-21, John 4:24, Isaiah 40:12-28; 57:15, Revelation 1:14-16, Psalms 145:17, Romans 1:20
Jesus Christ, the second person of the Godhead, is God, Savior, and Lord. He is God’s eternal and only begotten Son incarnate, born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, and fulfilled all that the Old Testament declared concerning the Messiah and His coming. Jesus Christ, who was, and is, and is to come, is unquestionably the Messiah for the Jew and Gentile. He died for the sins of all, taking upon Himself the punishment for sin yet He is without sin, redeeming all from Spiritual death and the curse of the law. In His physical body, He literally rose from the grave and after forty days ascended to Heaven. He is seated at the right hand of the Father where He intercedes for us. He is THE ONLY Way to God, and is King of kings and LORD of lords forever and ever;
John 1:1-3, Hebrews 2:9-14, Romans 8:3, 29, Romans 5:8, I John 2:1-2, Philippians 2:6-11, Revelation 1:5, John 3:16, Revelation 13:8, Hebrews 5:7-9, Revelation 5:9-10, Colossians 1:14-20
The Holy Spirit is God, the Comforter, and the Third Person of the Godhead or Trinity. He was in the beginning with the Father and the Son, was active in the Old and New Testaments, and is yet present and active in the world. He was given to the church in His fullness on the day of Pentecost and dwells within those who love Jesus Christ and keep His commandments. He does not act upon His own accord but according to the will of God. He glorifies Jesus Christ by making known what He's seen and heard from Him (to the Church). He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. He indwells and sanctifies believers unto Holiness and righteousness, empowering them to be witnesses unto Christ. He is the Spirit of Christ, without which one does not belong to God. By Him Christ lives in His church and within the believer; by Him vessels are Anointed to proclaim the gospel with power; by Him the Church is given Spiritual gifts to edify one another; by Him the believer is given spiritual insight of His Word, and, by His enabling the kingdom of God is manifested in the world;
Genesis 1:2, Luke 1:34-35, 4:1, Romans 8:9-14, Galatians 5:22-25, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, 1 John 3:9-11, 1 Corinthians 2:9-10, Ezekiel 36:26-27, Acts 8:15-17; 19:6, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5; John 16:13-15
The Holy Bible from Genesis to Revelation (sixty-six books) is THE Word of God, Divinely inspired, The Truth, plenary, without error in all it affirms, and Authoritative in both the Old and New Testaments. These Scriptures are the rule of faith and practice for the Church, the Body of Christ. Although presented in historic and modern translations, its original manuscripts are trustworthy and profitable for doctrine, reproof, and instruction in Righteousness. The Holy Spirit preserves God’s Word in the church today and by it speaks God’s truth to peoples of every age;
We affirm the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (formulated in October of 1978 by the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy) in its entirety, whereas a summary of the said statement is as follows:
God, who is Himself Truth and speaks truth only, has inspired Holy Scripture in order thereby to reveal Himself to lost mankind through Jesus Christ as Creator and Lord, Redeemer and Judge. Holy Scripture is God's witness to Himself.
Holy Scripture, being God's own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: it is to be believed, as God's instruction, in all that it affirms; obeyed, as God's command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God's pledge, in all that it promises.
The Holy Spirit, Scripture's divine Author, both authenticates it to us by His inward witness and opens our minds to understand its meaning.
Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God's acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God's saving grace in individual lives.
The authority of Scripture is inescapably impaired if this total divine inerrancy is in any way limited or disregarded, or made relative to a view of truth contrary to the Bible's own; and such lapses bring serious loss to both the individual and the Church.
2 Timothy 3:15-17, 1 Peter 1:23-25, Hebrews 4:12, Romans 15:4, 2 Peter 1:20-21, Matthew 24:34, Isaiah 40:8, 1 Corinthians 2:13, Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29, Proverbs 30:5,
What do we mean by inerrant?
“Our Greek and Hebrew versions and our translations are inerrant to the degree that they faithfully render the divine meaning that the words of the original manuscripts carried.” John Piper, Why We Believe The Bible, The Inspiration, Inerrancy, and Authority of the Bible, 2008
“By this word we mean that the Scriptures possess the quality of freedom from error. They are exempt from the liability to mistake, incapable of error. In all their teachings they are in perfect accord with the truth.” E. J. Young, Thy Word Is Truth, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1957, p. 113
“The inerrancy of Scripture means that Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact.” Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology
Human beings were created in the image of God. Humans fell from this image through the sin of Adam and Eve which brought about Spiritual death and eternal separation from God. God, in His Grace, made possible the reconciliation of all mankind to Himself through (believing on) the atoning crucifixion, shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through faith in Jesus Christ and the message of the Gospel (which calls one to repentance), mankind is cleansed and forgiven of all sins, born again by the Spirit of God, restored to the image of God, and reconciled to fellowship with Him;
Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-17; 3:22; 5:1-2, Romans 6:23, James 1:15, Romans 5:17-19, 1 Corinthians 11:7-10, Ephesians 4:20-24, Colossians 3:9-11, James 3:9, Galatians 3:13-14, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, 1 John 1:7
The Christian Church
The Christian Church is the body of Jesus Christ, wherever she is established in local assemblies throughout the world, where Jesus Christ is the head and founder of the Church. She is visible in the world wherever believers in obedience of faith hear (and follow) the Word, receive the sacraments, live as disciples, and carry out Christ's mission. She is also referred to in Scripture as His (Christ's) Bride (awaiting and preparing). She exists to Glorify and worship God the Father, Evangelize the lost, make disciples of Jesus Christ of all nations, and to be His witnesses in the world according to the Scriptures.
There is only one Christian Church (which is the Church of the living God) who is Holy in her makeup, Righteous in her standards, Sanctified in her character, Biblical and historic in her doctrine, Spirit-filled in her living, and diverse in her body. This community of faith gathers regularly to worship God, for prayer, to hear the Word, partake of the sacraments, fellowship with believers, and to receive Ministry through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Everyone who is in Jesus Christ is placed in the Church by the Holy Spirit and no one who belongs to Christ is exempt from belonging to a local Church Body;
Matthew 16:18, Acts 2:41-47; 9:31; 12:5; 14:23; 15:22, 1 Corinthians 1:2; 12:28; 16:1-2, Galatians 1:2, Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:9-10, 21, Colossians 1:18, 1 Timothy 3:15, Hebrews 12:23, James 5:14
The sacraments are those sacred outward rituals instituted by Christ our LORD, entrusted to the Church, where grace is inwardly imparted to the recipient. Because they were commanded by Christ to be observed, they are intrinsic to our weekly worship, next to honoring the Godhead and hearing the Word. In liturgy, the people and the clergy joyfully rehearse, reflect, and receive this means of His Grace. The two sacraments which were instituted by Jesus Christ for the Church are the Eucharist (or the LORD’s supper) and water baptism;
Exodus 12:1-14, Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:17-20, John 6:28-58, 1 Corinthians 10:14-21; 11:23-32
Salvation, according to the Scriptures, is a loving act of God’s Grace, where He saves people from sin through the blood of His Son Jesus the Messiah. This unmerited act brings all into right relationship with God. This faith experience comes because the gospel of Jesus Christ has been rightly preached, taught, or divinely communicated to a seeking soul. Upon conviction of sin, the seeker confesses their sin and faith in Jesus Christ, surrendering to His Lordship over their life. The seeker is subsequently baptized in water and receives the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Evidence of Salvation
The evidence of Salvation is a surrendered heart to Christ which is progressively and practically displayed by: a loving obedience to God and a love for people; a passion for the Spiritual disciplines of prayer, worship, and study of Scripture; a willful belonging to the local Church and her congregational fellowship, and desire to engage full participation and support of its ministries; an abandonment of the old life of sin and embracing of the new life in Holiness, Sanctification, AND Righteousness. These characteristics are descriptive of the faith journey of the believer, strengthening as the believer grows accordingly. This evidence is fueled exclusively by the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, guided by Scripture, and cultivated by prayer and the ministry of the local Church. In addition, those who are filled with the Holy Spirit, after receiving Scriptural knowledge of the early Church’s experience, will also speak with tongues as the Holy Spirit gives utterance. We believe speaking in tongues is a Heavenly sign consistent with Scripture that God bestows to them who believe on Jesus Christ however; tongues are not the primary evidence of Salvation. A heart yielded to GOD through exclusive worship of Him, obedience to the Scriptures, and a love for people is THE primary evidence of Holiness and peace—without which no man shall see the Lord;
John 3:16, Matthew 1:21, Romans 10:13, Ephesians 2:8, Romans 3:24-25, Ephesians 1:7, 13, Romans 10:9-10, Acts 2:38; 16:30-33; 2:42-47, 1 John 2:3-9; 3:2-10, Hebrews 10:26, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 2 Peter 1:4-9, Romans 8:1-11, Acts 2:4; 10:44-46; 11:15-17; 19:1-7, Hebrews 12:14
God graciously justifies and regenerates all who trust in Jesus Christ, after repentance and believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This justification makes one right with God, removing the guilt and penalty of the sin condition inherited from original sin, and eradicates the sins practiced by the repentant person. The Lord breaks the powers of satan’s hold on the life of the repentant, and liberates them from sin’s bondage in spirit, soul, and body. Upon acceptance of this justification, believers become children of God and begin to live in holiness through faith in Christ, the Scriptures, and the sanctifying work of the Spirit;
Luke 18:14, John 1:12-13; 3:3-8; 5:24, Acts 13:39, Romans 1:17; 3:21-26, 28; 4:5-9, 17-25; 5:1, 16-19; 6:4; 7:6; 8:1, 15-17, 1 Corinthians 1:30; 6:11, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Galatians 2:16-21; 3:1-14, 26; 4:4-7, Ephesians 1:6-7; 2:1, 4-5, Philippians 3:3-9, Colossians 2:13, Titus 3:4-7, 1 Peter 1:23, 1 John 1:9; 3:1-2, 9; 4:7; 5:1, 9-13, 18
Assurance of Believers
All believers are assured that they are children of God by the inward witness of God’s Spirit with their spirit, by faith in the gracious promises of God’s Word, and by the fruit of the Spirit in their lives. This assurance is not a license to practice sin or an exclusive guarantee of ultimate salvation aside from persevering in one’s faith. The sons of God who have the hope of living eternally with Christ purify themselves, even as He is pure;
Romans 8:16, 2 Corinthians 1:22-24, Ephesians 1:13-14, 1 John 3:24, Romans 6:1, 1 John 3:1-3, 7-8, Matthew 10:22
Baptism of the Holy Ghost
God commands all believers to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, where “baptism” signifies the initial possession or abiding of the Spirit in one’s life. Thereafter, the Holy Spirit continually “fills” the seeking believer to empower, encourage and enlighten them for life, ministry, worship, and witness. This necessary or mandatory baptism is the seal of redemption, verifying persons have repented and possess genuine faith in Jesus Christ and the Gospel. He only comes because the believer has a heart to love God and keeps His commandments. He gives the believer power to be a witness of the resurrection and testimony of Jesus Christ. The Spirit’s empowerment keeps the believer from the practice of sin and the tendency of human rebellion toward God. He sheds abroad God’s love in the heart causing the believer to love Christ and love one another. He illumines one’s understanding of Scripture and reminds the believer of the Words of Christ. It is possible that those who are baptized with the Holy Ghost will have occasional faults, flaws, sin, or mistakes. However, the Holy Spirit empowers the believer to recognize error and overcome these things through prayer, repentance, and the blood of Jesus Christ. He causes the believer to model God’s way as the standard of living, thereby breaking the acceptance of the practice of sin. Believers must live daily by faith in the forgiveness and cleansing provided for them in Jesus Christ;
Acts 1:1-5, 8; 2:4; 4:31; 5:32, John 14:14-17, 21-24; Acts 8:14-17; 9:17; 10:44-46; 19:1-7, 2 Corinthians 4:16, Ephesians 1:13, Romans 5:5, John 14:26; 16:13-14, Galatians 3:1-3, 1 John 1:7; 2:1-3
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The gifts of the Spirit, as outlined in Scripture, are given by the will of God to members of the Body of Christ as He wills; not by the request or zeal of the individual. These gifts are vibrant and valid for today’s Church and shall remain until Christ’s return. The Scripture outlines nine gifts, of which all are for ministry to the seeker and edification of the believer. The flow of these gifts should be operative in the church and her ministries. The continuous exercise of these ministry gifts is to be received only when the vessel with the gift is faithfully connected to the local Church and verifiably a vessel of Holiness.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 14:1, Hebrews 2:4, Romans 12:6-8, 1 Peter 4:10-11, 1 Corinthians 7:7
The fivefold ministry gifts of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, and Teacher were given by Christ to perfect the Church for the work of the ministry and prepare her for His return. These Spiritual gifts are also contemporarily valid, and, are never an exclusive ministry apart from the local Church and its accountability. They are both descriptive of the types of ministry gifting a minister may possess and are ministerial offices which God has set to build and edify the Church. Those who are called to these offices are valid, whereas they are not novices whom have been recognized and affirmed by the local Church and her leadership. Their assignment is to assist the local church in carrying-out Christ’s plan, according to the Spirit’s leading, which is always in accordance with the Scriptures;
Ephesians 4:11-13, 1 Corinthians 13:1-2, Acts 11:27-30; 15:32, 1 Corinthians 12:28, Acts 20:28; 21:8-9, 2 Timothy 4:5
Heterosexual Exclusive Marital Fidelity
Marriage is a covenant institution created by God, which joins together a man and woman—who were naturally born as such in physiology rendered on the day of birth—to become one flesh. The man and woman are to follow Christ, love one another, grow together, and have a prosperous life in one household until death separates. The order of the marriage is the Scriptures, not society. Under no circumstances theological, scientific, sociological, civic, and educational, by personal prerogative, or by thwarted view of Scripture should men or women of the same sex date, endorse physical attraction, engage in a homosexual relationship or be married;
Genesis 1:27; 2:18, 21-23, Genesis 2:21-24; 5:1-2, Ephesians 5:22-33, Matthew 19:3-9, 1 Corinthians 6:9, Romans 1:18-32, Leviticus 18:22-30; 20:13
Return of Christ
In the personal return of Jesus Christ, as promised by Him and prophesied in the Scriptures. He will come to catch away His bride, who without spot or wrinkle, shall be “caught up” to meet Him when the first trumpet sounds. In this, the dead in Christ shall rise, putting off all corruption and mortality and shall meet Jesus first before those who are alive when Christ returns. In the end, there shall be a final judgment for all, the small and the great. Whosoever’s name is not written in the Lamb’s book of life shall be eternally damned, and shall eternally burn in hell or the place of torment. Those whose names are written shall be eternally saved, and will enter in the Kingdom of Heaven eternally. The eternal destination of the believer is predicated upon how one lives in the earth, either for or against God’s will.
Matthew 25:31-46, Luke 10:20, John 14:1-3, Acts 1:9-11, 1 Corinthians 15:50-56, Philippians 3:20-21; 4:3, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Titus 2:11-14, Hebrews 9:26-28, 2 Peter 3:3-15, Revelation 1:7-8; 20:11-15; 21:27; 22:7-20
God’s Ultimate Victory
God’s ultimate victory over satan shall culminate when the devil and his angels are cast into a lake of fire and brimstone to be tormented for forever. The Saints throughout history, shall eternally live with the Lord and will live in perfect peace and joy in the Kingdom of Heaven which was prepared for them who love Him.
Revelation 20:4-6, 7-9; 20:10, 1 Corinthians 15:55-57, 1 John 5:4, John 14:1-4, 2 Peter 3:8-13, Romans 16:20, Revelation 12:10-11, John 16:33, Revelation 3:21, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18