Here is a brief summary of our doctrinal distinctives:
- We believe the Bible is God’s Word, and it is inspired and without error.
- We believe in one God, who exists in three Persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- We believe that Jesus Christ was God Himself incarnate in the flesh – and that he was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on the cross as a substitute for our sins, and was raised from the dead three days later. He ascended to heaven, where he intercedes for our sins.
- We believe that salvation is found exclusively in Jesus Christ.
- We believe that upon salvation, all believers are indwelled by the Holy Spirit.
- We believe that angels were created by God and have a ministry to believers. Demons are fallen angels who rebelled against God and whose ultimate destination is the lake of fire.
- We believe that human beings were created in the image of God. The first people, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, and died spiritually (though their physical death was not to come for many hundreds of years). That condition of spiritual death has been inherited by their children and all humans who were born thereafter.
- We believe marriage is a covenant relationship between one man and one woman.
What we believe about Scripture
We believe that the Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is the inspired Word of God. “Inspired” (literally, “God-breathed;” 2 Timothy 3:16-17) means “men spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” to write the very words of God (2 Peter 1:20-21). Since Scripture is the very Word of God, it is without error in the original autographs (Psalm 12:6; 19:7-9). It serves as the supreme, sufficient and final authority in all matters of faith and conduct (Matthew 5:17-19). Scripture is the primary means by which He speaks to us today. Obedience to it brings God’s blessing to the believer (James 1:22-25; Psalm 19:11; Matthew 7:24-27).
What we believe about God
We Believe in one God (Deuteronomy 6:4), eternally existing (Psalms 90:2; John 1:1; Genesis 1:1) in three distinct persons-- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). These three are equal in essence (John 5:18; Philippians 2:5-6), each possessing all of the divine perfections, including, but not limited to, holiness, love, omnipotence, omniscience, wisdom, omnipresence, immutability, faithfulness, righteousness, justice, freedom, sovereignty and truthfulness (Exodus 34:6-7; Jeremiah 9:23-24).
What we believe about Jesus Christ
We believe in Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God (John 1:1-4; 8:58). He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:16, 20-21; Luke 1:34-35). We believe that in His Incarnation He became true man, while remaining fully God (Philippians 2:5-8). He came to reveal God (John 1:18; Hebrews 1:1-3) and redeem sinful man (Mark 10:45; Galatians 4:4-5) through His substitutionary atonement. He was crucified, dead, and buried.
We believe in the historical, physical resurrection from the dead of our Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 24:1-6; I Corinthians 15:1-8). We believe that He was bodily exalted to the right hand of God (Acts 7:55; Ephesians 1:19-21; Hebrews 1:3) where He provides our access to God (Ephesians 2:17-18), and from which He will return (Acts 1:11). Today, as the Church’s High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of intercession and advocacy (Hebrews 7:23-25).
What we believe about salvation
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) as a substitutionary sacrifice (Isaiah 53:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21), thereby satisfying the righteous wrath of God against our sin (1 John 2:2).
All who in repentance believe in Christ (and specifically His substitutionary death and resurrection) (John 1:11-13; Romans 3:21-4:8) are saved on the basis of His shed blood (Romans 3:23-26; 5:8-10). (Repentance is not the ceasing of sin in order to be saved. It is the conviction of and remorse over sin that leads to trusting Christ for its pardon. It is a recognition of sin’s offensive nature, and the desire to be free of it. )
There is salvation in no other name but Jesus. There is no other way to heaven but through faith in Him who died for our sin and rose again (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
Salvation is not by religious or moral works, but entirely by the sovereign grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-9; Jonah 2:9).
That salvation encompasses justification (Romans 3:24; 5:1), the forgiveness of sin (Ephesians 1:7), eternal life (John 3:16; 6:47), adoption as God’s children (Romans 8:14-16; Ephesians 1:5; 1 John 3:1), redemption (Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:17-19), sanctification (Hebrews 13:12), and the promise of eternal glory (2 Corinthians 4:17).
We believe that all true believers, once saved, are forever secure in their salvation (John 10:27-30), being kept by the power of God through faith (1 Peter 1:3-5), and are sealed with the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30), Who is given as a divine pledge of their future inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Corinthians 5:5).
What we believe about the person and work of the Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead. He is the Spirit of adoption, nurturing our adoptive relationship with God our Father (Romans 8:14-17). He convicts the world of sin (John 16:8-11), regenerates those who receive Christ as Savior (John 3:3-7), baptizes them into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13), indwells them permanently (1 Corinthians 6:19), bestows spiritual gifts on each one (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Romans 12:4-8), leads and enables them to walk in the will and pleasure of God (Romans 8:4-6, 12-14; Galatians 5), transforms them progressively into the likeness of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:17-18), and keeps them secure in faith for the day of full redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14).
What we believe about angels and demons
We believe angels are spiritual beings (Hebrews 1:13-14) who were created sinless. The unfallen angels are ministering spirits, sent to execute God’s judgments (2 Samuel 24:16–17; 2 Chronicles 32:21; Acts 12:23; Revelation 16:1; Revelation 20:1–3), battle demonic powers (Daniel 10:13; Revelation 12:7–8), and serve God’s people (Hebrews 1:13-14) by guarding them, comforting them, and delivering God’s messages (Luke 1:11–19, Acts 8:26, 10:3–8, 22, 27:23–24).
At some point, many angels fell into rebellion against God. They were cast out of heaven (Ezekiel 28:16-17). These include Satan and his demons (2 Peter 2:4; c.f., Ezekiel 28:11-15; Isaiah 14:12-20; Revelation 12:1-4). Satan is now the enemy of God and of the people of God. He is the originator of sin (John 8:44; 1 John 3:8) and led our first parents into sin (Genesis 3). He is called the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2).
We believe Jesus triumphed over Satan at the cross (Colossians 2:13-15). Satan was judged there (John 16:11) and he will be cast into the lake of fire at the end of time (Revelation 20:10).
What we believe about man
We believe that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). That verse (as well as Genesis 5:1-2) states two elements of our divine design.
First, we are created in the image of God. This distinguishes us from other living creatures. It speaks to our likeness to God. It includes our spiritual capacity – our capacity to personally know, enjoy, and represent the living God. It also includes our heightened creative, relational, intellectual, and communication capacities. Finally, it speaks to the worth and dignity of every man, woman, and child (born or unborn) – equal worth regardless of differences in development, age, gender, wealth, capabilities, or ethnicity.
Second, we are created male or female. Thus, our gender is God-assigned, not an elective choice we make.
What we believe about marriage
Marriage is a one-flesh covenantal union between a man and a woman that establishes the only normative pattern of righteous sexual relations (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4-6, Mark 10:6-9, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Hebrews 13:4). Therefore, marriage is biblically defined as a monogamous, heterosexual covenant relationship – between one man and one woman until death.
What we believe about sin
Adam was the progenitor, the first created, of mankind, having been made by God from dust. In Adam’s sin the human race fell (Genesis 3:1-24) and incurred not only physical death (separation of spirit and body), but also spiritual death, which is separation from God (Genesis 3:19; Romans 5:12-14). Every individual is born with a sinful nature (Psalms 51:5; Romans 3:9-12, 23; 5:12-14; Ephesians 2:1-3), which bears the fruit of personal sin.
What we believe about sanctification
We believe that sanctification, which is a setting apart unto God, is positional, progressive, and ultimate. In positional sanctification (which is justification) the believer is clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ (Acts 20:18; Hebrews 10:10). However, since he retains his sinful nature there is need for progressive sanctification, which is his daily experience of growing in holiness by the power of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18; Hebrews 10:14-17) and the Word of God (John 17:17). Ultimate sanctification is where position and practice meet in perfect righteousness in the presence of the LORD.
This personal gospel holiness (sanctification), without which no one will see the Lord, (Matthew 7:13-27; Romans 8:12-13; Hebrews 12:14) is the result of salvation and is not to be understood as the basis of justification (Ephesians 2:8-10). It consists of one's personal obedience to God (Romans 3:31, 6:13,20-22; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:20-24; 1 Jo 2:3-4) out of a Spirit-nurtured affection of love for God (Matthew 22:34-40; Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:13-14; 1 John 2:5-11,15,17; 4:20-5:3) and love for men. Common morality, religious ceremonies, spiritual experiences or the exercise of spiritual gifts are not of the essence of this holiness. (Isaiah 1:10-17; Jeremiah 7:8-11; Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:6-8; Matthew 7:15-23; Romans 2:1-3:20; 1 Corinthians 3:1-3).
What we believe about the church and its ordinances
We believe that the church is composed of all believers in Christ, their having been baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:4-6). We believe God has purposed that all believers assemble in local fellowships that are led by qualified elders (1 Timothy 3:1-7; 5:17), served by qualified deacons (1 Timothy 3:8-13), and marked by a rich diversity of spiritual gifts in mutual ministry (1 Corinthians 12). The local church gathers for worship, prayer, instruction, ministry, fellowship and encouragement (Acts 2:42-47).
The ordinances of the local church are the Lord’s Supper and baptism. Baptism is for disciples, and it is an affirmation of the obedience of faith and conversion.
What we believe about what happens to people after death
We believe the bodies of men, after death, return to dust (Genesis 3:19), and see corruption (Acts 13:36); but their souls, which neither die nor sleep, having an immortal existence, immediately return to God who gave them (Luke 23:43; Ecclesiastes 12:7): the souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God, in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies. (2 Corinthians 5:8; Hebrews 12:22-24).
The souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torment and utter darkness, reserved for the final judgment (Luke 16:19-26). Beside these two places, for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledges none.
What we believe about the second coming of Christ
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ will return to the earth as He went, in person on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory (Mark 13:26; John 14:2-3; Acts 1:10-11). This is the blessed hope of God’s children, who make themselves ready for His return (Titus 2:13; 1 John 3:2-3).
He will lift the curse which now rests upon the whole creation (Romans 8:18-25), inaugurating the millennium – a one-thousand-year reign upon the earth. This is in fulfillment of God’s covenant promises (2 Chronicles 7:12-16). It will be a season of unprecedented righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17)
What we believe about the two judgments
We believe all the redeemed will one day stand before Christ their Savior to give an account for what they have done in the body, whether good or evil. Then each man will receive his reward from God. (1 Corinthians 3:1-15; 4:1-5; 2 Corinthians 5:9-10)
Unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery in Hades until the final judgment at the Great White Throne at the close of the millennium, where all are cast into the lake of fire. (Luke 16:19-26; 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:11-15).
Jesus will then say to the redeemed, “Come, O Blessed of My Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34). “For behold I create new heavens and a new earth” (Isaiah 65:17). “No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it. And His servants will worship Him” (Revelation 22:3).