ARTICLE 2 – STATEMENT OF FAITH
The following comprise the Scriptural beliefs of this church and its members.
(A) The Holy Scriptures.
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally and plenarily inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and Godbreathed and, therefore, are the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament are the complete and divine revelation of God to man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical- historical meaning. (II Tim. 3:16-17, II Pet. 1:20-21)
We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life which define man’s responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather are divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Some of these dispensations would include the law, the church, and the kingdom. (Gen. 1:28, II Cor. 3:9-18, Gal. 3:13-25, Eph. 1:10,3:2-10, Col. 1:24-25,27 Rev. 20:2-6)
(C) The Godhead.
We believe in one triune God, eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, coequal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections. (Deut. 6:4, Mt. 28:19, Jn. 14:10,26, II Cor. 13:14)
(D) The Person and work of Christ.
1. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men. (Ish. 7:14, Lk. 1:35, Jn. 1:1-2,14, II Cor. 5:19-21, Gal. 4:4-5, Phil. 2:5-8)2. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. (Acts 2:18-36, Rm. 3:24-25, Eph. 1:7, I Pet. 2:24, I Pet. 1:3-5)
3. We believe that the Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate. ( Acts 1:9-10, Rm. 8:34, Heb. 9:24, 7:25, I Jn. 2:1-2)
(E) The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
1. We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and, that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. (Jn. 16:8-11, Rm. 8:9, I Cor. 12:12-14, II Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:13-14)
2. We believe that He is the divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit. (Eph. 1:17-18, 5:18, I Jn. 2:20,27)
3. We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry. (Rm. 13:3-8, I Cor. 12:4-11,28, Eph. 4:7-12)
4. We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues, miracles, and the gift of healing were temporary apostolic gifts to confirm the message of the apostles. Speaking in tongues was not the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit. Ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing. (I Cor. 1:22, 13:8, 14:21-22)
(F) The Total Depravity of Man.
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God; but that in Adam’s sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God. Man is totally depraved and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition. (Gen. 1:26-27, Rm. 3: 22-23, 5:12, 6:23, Eph. 2:1-3, 4:17-19)
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins. We believe that all sins, except blasphemy of the Holy Spirit are forgivable (Mt. 12:31-32, Jn. 1:12, Eph. 1:7,2:8-10, I Pet. 1:18-19, I Jn. 1:9)
(H) The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers.
1. We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. (Jn. 6:37-40, 10:27-30, Rm. 8:1,38-39, I Cor. 1:4-8, I Pet. 1:4-5)2. We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh. A person who professes to be saved and continues in sin is either not saved or will face the chastening of God. (Rm. 13:13-14, Gal. 5:13, Titus 2:11-15, I Jn. 3:4-6, Heb. 12:5-14)
(I) The Church.
1. We believe the local church, which is the body and the bride of Christ, is solely made up of born-again persons. (I Cor. 12:12-14, II Cor. 11:2, Eph. 1:22-23, 5:25-27)
2. We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures. (Acts 14:27, 20:17,28-32, I Tim. 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-11)
3. We believe in the autonomy of the local church free of any external authority or control. (Acts. 13:1-4, 15:19-31, 20:28, Rm. 16:1,4, I Cor. 3:9, 16, 5:4-7,13, I Pet. 5:1-4)
4. We recognize water baptism and the Lord’s Supper as the Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the church in this age. (Mt. 28:19-20, Acts 2:41-42, 18:18, I Cor. 11:23-26)
We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior Jesus Christ. God commands His people to separate from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful practices and associations.
(K) The Second Advent 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, I Thes. 1:10, 4:13-18, Titus 2:13, Rev. 3:10, 19:11-16, 20:1-6)
(L) The Eternal State.
1.We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to everlasting punishment. (Mt. 25:46, Jn. 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 soul and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. (Lk. 23:43, II Cor. 5:8, Phil. 1:23, 3:21, I The. 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 the soul and body are 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. (Mt. 25:41-46 Mk. 9:43-48, Lk. 16:19-26, II Thes. 1:7-9, Jude 6-7, Rev. 20:11-15)
(M) The Personality of Satan.
We believe that Satan was created by God as an angel (Lucifer), but fell from that position when he tried to be like God. He became the author of sin and the cause of the Fall of Man; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man and that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire. (Job 1:6-7, Ish. 14:12-17, Mt. 4:2-11, 25:41, Rev. 20:10)
(N) The Creation.
We believe in the Genesis account of Creation and believe that man came by the direct creation of God and not by evolution. (Gen. 1-2, Col. 1:16-17, Jn. 1:3)
(0) Civil Government.
We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions; 1) the home 2) the church & 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsiblities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God. (Rm. 13:1-7, Eph. 5:22-24, Heb. 13:17, I Pet. 2: 13-14)
(P) Human Sexuality
1. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of marriage between one man and one woman. 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 God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance. (Gen. 2:24, 19:5, 26:8-9, Lev. 18:1-30, Rm. 1:26-29, I Cor. 5:1, 6:9, I Thes. 4:1-8, Heb.13:4)2. We believe that the only Scriptural marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. (Gen. 2:24, Rm. 7:2, I Cor. 7:10, Eph. 5:22-23)
(Q) Family Relationships
1. We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position 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, I 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 an heritage from the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them, through 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, I Cor. 7:1-16, Eph. 5:21-33, 6:1-4, Col. 3:18-21, Heb. 13:4, I Pet. 3:1-7)
(R) Divorce and Remarriage.
We believe that God disapproves of and forbids divorce and intends marriage to last until death. Divorce and remarriage is regarded as adultery except on the grounds of fornication. 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. (Mal. 2:14-17, Mt. 19:3-12, Rm. 7:1-3, I Tim. 3:2,12, Titus 1:6)
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 reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the physical or mental well-being of the mother are acceptable. (Job. 3:16, Ps. 51:5, 139:14-16, Ish. 44:24, 49:1,5, Jer. 1:5, 20:15-18, Lk. 1:44)
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 to cause death in order to eliminate suffering is contrary to the will of God. (Ex. 20:13, 23:7, Mt. 5:21, Acts 17:28)
(U) 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. (I Cor. 6:1-8, Eph. 4:31-32)
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 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 a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of his tithe or offering once thegift has been made. (Gen. 14:20, Prov. 3:9-10, Acts 4:34-37, I Cor. 16:2, II Cor. 9:6-7, Gal. 6:6, Eph. 4:28, I Tim. 5:17-18, I Jn. 3:17)
Section 2:02 – AUTHORITY OF STATEMENT OF FAITH The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing Statement of Faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible and, therefore, is binding upon all members. All literature used in the church shall be in complete agreement with the Statement of Faith. We as a body approve the use of varied Bible translations such as the King James Version, New King James Version, New American Standard Version, and New International Version.