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What We Believe

 
     
1.                              The Bible –  We believe that the Bible is the fully inspired Word of God, without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, yet reflects the backgrounds, styles and vocabularies of the human authors.  The Bible has final authority in all matters of faith and conduct. (Exodus 24:4a; Matt ; 2 Tim -17; 2 Pet -21)

2.                              Trinity – We believe that there is one true God, Creator of all things, infinitely existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each of whom possess equally all of the attributes of deity and characteristics of personality, while executing distinct, but harmonious functions. (Gen 1:1, 2, 26; Deut 6:4; Matt 3:16-17; John 1:1, 14; Gal 4:4-6; Eph 4:5-6; Col 1:15-20)
 
3.                              God The Father – We believe that God the Father is an infinite and personal spirit, perfect in holiness, judgment, wisdom, power, and love.  We believe He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, answers prayer, justly executes His wrath upon those who disobey, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.  (Lam 3:22-23; Matt 7:7-11; John 3:16; John 4:24; Rom 1:18-20; Rom 5:8-9; 1 Tim 1:2; 1 Pet 5:7
 
4.                              Jesus Christ – We believe that Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully man, was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.  He was like us in every way except that he had no sinful nature and committed no sin.  Since he was without sin, Jesus’ death in our place fully satisfied God’s justice and thus made a way for us to enter into a reconciled relationship with God.  After his death, Jesus proved his power over death by rising from the dead.  He is now in heaven, where he intercedes with God for us.  He will come again to earth, personally and visibly, to fulfill history and God’s eternal plan.  (Matt 1:18-24; Matt 20:28; Luke 1:26-38; Luke 24; John 1:1, 14; John 20:28; Acts 1:11; Rom 4:25; Rom 8:34; 1 Cor 15:3-5; 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:14-15; Heb 9:28)
 
5.                              Holy Spirit – We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, equal to the Father and the Son in essence and attributes.  He initiates our relationship with God by convincing us of our sin and helping us see our need for a Savior.  He permanently indwells each person at the point of their faith commitment and assures them of their relationship with God, placing them in the body of Christ.  He leads us into all truth and guides believers in understanding and applying Scripture.  He gives believers spiritual gifts for the building of the church body.  He empowers believers to communicate the good news of Jesus Christ and bears fruit for the glory of God.  (Gen 1:2; Luke 12:12; John 3:3-6; John 14; John 15:8, 16, 26, 27; John 16:5-15; Acts 1:8; Rom 8:9, 16; 1 Cor 3:16,12:4-13; Eph 1:13-14, 5:18)
 
6.                              Sin – We believe that every person is a sinner by nature and by choice and is therefore separated from God and deserves judgment.  Sin can be described as a natural bent to resist God, live independent of Him and make choices contrary to His Word and character.  Sinful thoughts, attitudes and actions result from living independent of God and relying on ourselves instead of trusting and depending on Him.  Each person is responsible for their sin and the penalty of that sin, which is physical and spiritual death.  (Psalm 51:3-5; Pro 3:5-6; Jer 17:9; Matt 15:18-19; Rom 1:21; Rom 3:10-12, 23; Rom 5:12-21; Rom 6:23; Eph 2:1-3; 2 Thes 1:8-9; 1 Jn 1:8; Rev 20:14-15)
 
7.                              Salvation – We believe that everyone who turns from their sin and makes a faith commitment to God receives salvation.  Salvation is God’s restoration of the broken relationship between God and man.  God’s free gift of salvation is the result of personally applying Christ’s death and resurrection to our sin, not a result of anything we try to do or earn.  (John 3:16; Rom 6:23; Rom 10:9-10; Eph 2:4-5, 8-9; 1 Tim 2:4-6; Tit 3:4-7; 1 Jn 4:10)
 
8.                              Ordinances of the Church – We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has given two ordinances to the local church: baptism and communion (the Lord’s Supper).  These are to be observed and practiced until the return of Christ.  Believers are to be baptized in obedience to Christ’s command, by immersion in water, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Believers are to celebrate communion as instituted by Christ in remembrance of His death, signifying His saving work on the cross.  The elements used in communion are symbolic of Christ’s broken body and His shed blood. (Matt 26:26-28; Matt 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 22:14-20; John ; Acts ; Acts , 38-39; Acts 18:8; 1 Cor -26)
 
9.                              Personal Responsibility in Faith and Conduct – We believe that the Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and conduct, that believers have a direct relationship with God and are ultimately responsible to Him.  We also believe that Christians are to live for the glory of God with the goal of being conformed to the image of Christ.  They are to honor God by obeying His Word, loving others, sharing the good news with unbelievers, and being faithful managers of their time, talent and possessions, which God has given them.  (Matt 25:21; John 13:34-35; John 14:15, 23, 24; Rom 10:14-15; Rom 12:1-2, 9-21; Rom 14:7-9, 12; 1 Cor 4:2; 1 Cor 10:31; 2 Cor 5:10, 18-20; Eph 4:13; Philip 1:27; Heb 10:24-25; 1 Jn 3:14-18; 1 Jn 4:20-21)
 
10.                          The Church – We believe that the church refers not to a building, but to a group of people who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who is the head of the Church.  In the broadest sense, as the “universal church,” the church consists of all people everywhere who have acknowledged Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.  In the narrower sense, the church refers to a local body of believers who gather regularly for worship, prayer, fellowship, and the teaching of the Bible.  They are committed to reach out to and serve the world and each other through the development and use of their talents and spiritual gifts.  They observe baptism and communion as the ordinances established by Jesus.  Under the watchful care of spiritual leaders, the members work together in love, submission and unity for the purpose of bringing glory to God and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a lost world.  (Matt ; Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:41-42; 1 Cor 12:7, 12, 13; Eph -23; Eph -22; Eph -21; Philip 2:1-5; Col ; Heb -25; Heb )
 
11.                          Religious Liberty- We believe that every person has direct relations with God, and is responsible to God alone in all matters of faith; that each church is independent and must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority; that therefore Church and State must be kept separate as having different functions, each fulfilling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other.
 
12.                          Church Cooperation- We believe that local churches can best promote the cause of Jesus Christ by cooperating with one another in a denominational organization.  Such an organization, whether a regional or district conference, exists and functions by the will of the churches.  Cooperation in a conference is voluntary and may be terminated at any time.  Churches may likewise cooperate with interdenominational fellowships on a voluntary basis.
 
13.                          Future Events – We believe that Jesus Christ will personally and visibly return to earth to rule the Kingdom of God .  Every person will ultimately be judged by God.  Those who formerly chose to believe in and follow Jesus will enjoy eternal life in heaven with God.  Those who chose to reject Jesus and live life their own way will be separated from God and eternally punished in hell.  (Matt ; Matt 24:30; Matt 25:31-46; Mark 9:43-48; John 14:3; Rom -12; 2 Thes 1:7b-10; Heb 10:27; 2 Pet 2:4-10; -15; Rev 21:3)