BELIEFS

About the Bible

We believe the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, which make up the Holy Bible, were written by men who were guided and directed by the Holy Spirit in such a way that they recorded the very word of God, yet while maintaining their own personal writing style and vocabulary. Consequentially we believe that the Bible is God-breathed, and therefore without error, and entirely trustworthy. We believe that it is, as it claims to be the complete revelation of God to Man. We believe that the Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning, and all issues of interpretation and meaning shall be determined by the pastoral leadership team. As God has ultimate final authority in the universe, and the Bible is His very word, we believe that the Bible carries His authority and accept it as our final authority in all we believe, all we do, and the way we are to live.

(1) By what we believe we mean those things we believe about God, about ourselves, about others, about the universe, and about every facet of life. 
(2) By what we do we mean the ministries and actions of this church.
(3) By how we live we mean the way we live our personal lives: how we treat others, how we do our work, how we handle our finances, and how we prioritize our lives, etc.
2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21


About God

There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.

God the Father

God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.
Genesis 1:1, 2:7; Exodus 3:14, 6:2-3, 15:11ff, 20:1ff; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4, 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3, 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10, 17:13; Matthew 6:9ff, 7:11, 23:9, 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24, 5:26, 14:6-13, 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:6, 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7

God the Son

Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever-present Lord.
Genesis 18:1ff; Psalms 2:7ff, 110:1ff, Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 53:1-12; Matthew 1:18-23, 3:17, 8:29 11:27, 14:33, 16:16, 27, 17:5, 27, 28:1-6, 19; Mark 1:1, 3:11; Luke 1:35, 4:41, 22:70, 24:46, John 1:1-18, 29, 10:30, 38, 11:25-27, 12:44-50, 14:7-11, 16:15-16, 28, 17:1-5, 21-22, 20:1-20, 28; Acts 1:9, 2:22-24, 7:55-56, 9:4-5, 20; Romans 1:3-4, 3:23-26, 5:6-21, 8:1-3, 34, 10:4, 1 Corinthians 1:30, 2:2, 8:6, 15:1-8, 24-28; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21, 8:9; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:20, 3:11, 4:7-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-22, 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 1 Timothy 2:5-6, 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 1:1-3, 4:14-15, 7:14-28, 9:12-15, 24-28, 12:2, 13:8, 1 Peter 2:21-25, 3:22; 1 John 1:7-9, 3:2, 4:14-15, 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Revelation 1:13-16, 5:9-14, 12:10-11, 13:8, 19:16

God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Savior, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration, He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11, 139:7ff; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18, 3:16, 4:1, 12:28-32, 28:19; Mark 1:10, 12, Luke 1:35, 4:1, 18-19, 11:13, 12:12, 24:49; John 4:24, 14:16-17,26, 15:26, 16:7-14; Acts 1:8, 2:1-4, 38, 4:31, 5:3, 6:3, 7:55, 8:17, 39, 10:44, 13:2, 15:28, 16:6, 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11, 14-16, 26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14, 3:16, 12:3-11, 13; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30, 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; 1 Timothy 3:16, 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14, 3:16; Hebrews 9:8 , 14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13, 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10, 22:17


About Mankind

We believe that Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God's creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin, and became separated from God (spiritually dead). Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation. The fall also caused the human race to become, in and of themselves, utterly unable to reconcile themselves to God and free themselves from the separation from God and eternal punishment their sin has earned them. Consequentially the human race is worthy of eternal punishment from God in the Lake of Fire. Only the grace of God can bring man into a right relationship with God and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of Him.
The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:17-19, Rev. 20:11-15


About Salvation

Of Grace in the New Creation:

We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, not by culture, not by character, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.

Of the Freeness of Salvation:

We believe in God's electing grace; that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the Gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent and obedient faith; and nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.

Of Justification:

We believe that the great Gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is justification; that justification includes the pardon of sin, and the gift of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done; but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood, His righteousness is imputed unto us.

Of Repentance and Faith:

We believe that Repentance and Faith are solemn obligations, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the quickening Spirit of God; thereby, being deeply convicted of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, trusting in His death as the propitiation for our sins and believing that He rose again the third day.
II Cor. 5:17; John 1:12; John 3:3, 6-7, and 16 - 18; Rom. 4:1-8; Eph. 1:7; 2:1, 4-5, and 8-10; Titus 3:5-7; Acts 2:37-38, 41; Acts 16:31; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 John 1:9


About the Eternal Security of Believers

All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
John 8:31-32; Col. 1:21-23; I John 2:19; Matt. 13:19-21; Rom. 8:28; Ps. 121:3; Heb. 1:14; I Peter. 1:5; Phil. 1:6; John 10:28-29; Rom. 8:35-39


About the Church

(1) We believe that the church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is solely made up of born-again believers.
1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27

(2) We believe in the autonomy of the local church free of any external authority or controls; and any affiliations, societies, organizations, associations, or agencies this church affiliates with to further the objectives stated in the Purpose Statement are not authoritative in matters of church practice or belief.
Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Rom. 16:1, 4; 1 Cor. 3:9, 16; 5:4-7, 13; 1 Pet. 5:1-4

(3) We believe that the Bible teaches that the church is not a democracy but a Theocracy, ruled by God himself, Jesus Christ being the head of the Church. We believe that God places pastors (elders) over the church as overseers of the church, as undershepherds who are to lead the church as Christ directs. We believe that the Biblical model for pastor leadership is found in a plurality of pastors, all of which being equal, with one of those equals granted by the others the responsibility and privilege of being "first among equals", the one who has the ability to cast the deciding vote to break a tie in any and all matters. We believe that group of pastors should strive for a consensus in any and all decisions, seeking the direction of God.
Acts 11:30, Acts 15, Acts14:23, 20:17; Philippians 1:1; I Timothy 5:17-25; Titus 1:5; I Peter 5:1-5

(4) We believe that the church has two ordinances, baptism and the Lord's Supper.


About Baptism

We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, with the authority of the local church, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem of our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership.
Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 8:36-38


About the Lord's Supper

The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.
Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20; I Corinthians 11:23-29


About the Second Coming of Christ

We believe in that blessed hope, the personal, imminent return of Christ, Who will rapture His church prior to the seven-year tribulation period. At the end of the Tribulation, Christ will personally and visibly return with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom, which was promised to the nation of Israel.
Ps. 89:3-4; Dan. 2:31-45; Zech. 14:4-11; 1 Thess. 1:10; 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6


About the Eternal State

(1) We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment.
Matt. 25:46; John 5:28-29; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13

(2) We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord.
Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6

(3) We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment.
Matt. 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15


About Creation

We believe in the Genesis account of creation and that it is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in God's own image and after His own likeness; that man's creation was not a matter of evolution, evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly and God's established law was that they should bring for only "after their kind." We believe God created mankind into two genders, distinctly male and female. We believe that God not only created the universe and everything in it, but that He is also the One who holds it all together.
Gen. 1-2; Ex. 20:11; John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-17


About the Devil, or Satan

We believe that Satan was once holy, and enjoyed heavenly honors; but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and drew after him a host of angels; that he is now the malignant prince of the power of the air, and the unholy god of this world. We hold him to be man's great tempter, the enemy of God and His Christ, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the chief power back of the present apostasy; the lord of the antichrist, and the author of all the powers of darkness – destined however to final defeat at the hands of God's own Son, and to the judgment of an eternal justice in the Lake of Fire, a place prepared for him and his angels.
Isa. 14:12-15; Ezek. 28:14-17; Rev. 12:9; Jude 6; II Peter2:4; Eph. 2:2; John 14:30; I Thess. 3:5; Matt. 4:1-3; I Peter.5:8; I John 3:8; Matt. 13:39; Luke 22:3-4; Rev. 12:10; II Cor. 11:13-15; Mark 13:21-22; I John 4:3; II John7; I John 2:22; Rev. 13:13-14; II Thess. 2:8-11; Rev. 19:11,16, 20; Rev. 12:7-9; Rev. 20:1-3, 10; Matt. 25:41


About Civil Government

We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; that government leaders are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed; unless they require us to act contrary to our faith at which time we must obey God rather than the government.
Rom. 13:7; II Sam. 23:3; Ex. 18:21 -22; Acts 23:5; Matt. 22:21; Titus 3:1; I Peter 2:1-14; Acts 4:19-20; Dan. 3:17-18; Matt. 10:28; Matt. 23:10; Phil. 2:10-11; Psa.72:11, I Peter 2:17


About Marriage and Human Sexuality

(1) We believe that marriage is primarily a spiritual union, and is only a legal union as that spiritual union is recognized and acknowledged by the government. We believe that marriage is a holy institution established and created by God Himself; and that since He is the creator of marriage He alone has the right to define what marriage is. Therefore, although society, government, and culture may have an evolving definition of marriage, we hold to God's definition of marriage, which is a sacred union between one naturally-born man and one naturally-born woman for life, as defined in the Bible, as being the only true and right definition of marriage.
Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23

(2) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between one naturally-born man and one naturally-born woman.
Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5, 13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Matthew 15:19; Rom. 1: 26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4

(3) Consequentially, we believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God's gift of sex. We believe that the body is a creation of God and is biologically determined as He designed and planned. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one's biological sex to a different sex by surgery or appearance. We also hold that the biblical standards associated with each gender are to be observed consistently.
Psalm 139; Genesis 1:27; Deuteronomy 22:5; Romans 1:26-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

(4) We believe that salvation, freedom, and redemption from sexual sin, as well as all sin, is possible through faith in Christ as Savior, repentance, and submitting to God in obedience to His commands.
John 3:16; Acts 16:31; Romans 6

(5) We do not believe that the above statement of faith concerning marriage and human sexuality provides us with permission or license for bigotry, bullying, or hate of those who are living lives that would be considered sinful based on said statement. We believe that those responses to the aforementioned people would be sinful responses, of which people should repent. However, we believe that speaking the truth about these sinful sexual activities in a loving matter does not constitute hate, bigotry, or bullying, but that it is our God given responsibility to proclaim the truth of God in love to all people, including His truth about marriage and human sexuality.
Zechariah 8:16; Matthew 22:39; John 13:34, 15:12; Ephesians 4:14-15, 25

The above statement of faith concerning Marriage and Human Sexuality is based on the clear teachings of God as found in the Holy Bible. Therefore Section 2.01(L) shall not be subject to change through popular vote; referendum; the opinion of the majority of church members or the general public; influence of or interpretation by any government agency, authority, or official action; nor any legal developments on the local, state, or federal level.

About Family Relationships

(1) We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position and worth before God, but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church.
Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12

(2) We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ. Children are a heritage from the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values through a consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline, including Scriptural corporal correction.
Gen. 1:26-28; Ex. 20:12; Deut. 6:4-9; Ps. 127:3-5; Prov. 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; Mk. 10:6-12; 1 Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33; 6:1-4, Col. 3:18-21; Heb. 13:4; 1 Pet. 3:1-7


About Divorce and Remarriage

We believe that God disapproves of divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. The only Scriptural grounds for divorce are in the case of sexual immorality on the part of either spouse and in the case of an unbelieving spouse who is unwilling to continue being married to a believer. However, God's desire is for us to remain married if possible and seek reconciliation of the relationship as much as possible. Divorce and remarriage is regarded as adultery in the eyes of God, except on the grounds of sexual immorality on the part of either spouse. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the offices of pastor or deacon, based on the Scriptural qualifications for those who are to hold those positions of service in the church.

We believe that there is forgiveness for divorce as there is forgiveness for all sins.
Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 19:3-12; I Cor. 7:12-16; Rom. 7:1-3; 1 Tim. 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6; John 1:9


About Abortion

We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. We believe that abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well-being of the mother are acceptable.

We believe that there is forgiveness for abortion as there is forgiveness for all sins.
Job 3:16; Ps. 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44; John 1:9


About Euthanasia

We believe that the direct taking of an innocent human life is a moral evil, regardless of the intention. Life is a gift of God and must be respected from conception until natural death. Thus, we believe that an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder contrary to the will of God. Discontinuing medical procedures that are extraordinary or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be a legitimate refusal of over-zealous treatment.

We believe that there is forgiveness for euthanasia as there is forgiveness for all sins.
Ex. 20:13, 23:7; Matt. 5:21; Acts 17:28; John 1:9


About Love

We believe that we should demonstrate love for others, not only toward fellow believers, but also toward those who are not believers, those who oppose us, and those who engage in sinful actions. We are to deal with those who oppose us graciously, gently, patiently, and humbly. God forbids the stirring up of strife, the taking of revenge, or the threat or use of violence as a means of resolving personal conflict or obtaining personal justice. Although God commands us to abhor sinful actions, we are to love and pray for any person who engages in such sinful actions.
Lev. 19:18; Matt. 5:44-48; Luke 6:31; John 13:34-35; Rom. 12:9-10; 17-21; 13:8-10; Phil. 2:2-4; 2 Tim. 2:24-26; Titus 3:2; 1 John 3:17-18


About Lawsuits Between Believers

We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian's insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander. See Article 8 of this document for our church's adopted policy concerning resolving issues between Christians, specifically members.
1 Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32; Matt. 18:15-17


About Missions

We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ, we must use all available means to go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us.
Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:20


About Giving

We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God's wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to financially support his local church. We believe that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving, but that every Christian should also give by grace other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that under grace we give, and do not pay, the tithe, as Abraham gave tithes to God in the book of Genesis before the Law of Moses was given. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of his tithe or offering once the gift has been made.
Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Malachi 3:8-10; Matthew 23:23; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; Hebrews 7:2, 4; 1 John 3:17