what we believe
The church receives the Scriptures as the inspired Word of God and the sole authority in matters of faith and practice. Its understanding of Christian truth is therein contained by the following Declaration of Faith.
1. THE HOLY SCRIPTURES: We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction. That it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without mixture of error for its matter. That it reveals the principles by which Jesus Christ will judge us; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions shall be tried. We recognize the value, blessing and preservation of the King James Bible for the English speaking people. We teach, preach and endorse only the King James Bible translated from the Textus Receptus Greek. [II TIM 3:16-17; II PETER 1:19-21; PSALMS 12:6-7, 119:89; MATTHEW 5:18]
2. THE GODHEAD: We believe that there is one, and only one living and true God, as infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is JEHOVAH the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love. That in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost; equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. [DEUTERONAMY 6:4; MATTHEW 3:16-17, 28:18-20; II CORINTHIANS 13:14; COLOSSIANS 2:9; I JOHN 5:7]
3. HOLY GHOST: We believe that the Holy Ghost convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, indwelling and sealing the believer unto the day of redemption. 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. 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. We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary. Speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the 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. [GENESIS 1:1-3; JOHN 14:18, 26, 16:7-11, 16:13; ROMANS 8:9; EPHESIANS 1:13-14; I CORINTHIANS 12:12-13; II TIMOTHY 2:17; HEBREWS 9:14]
4. JESUS CHRIST: We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal and only begotten Son of God, conceived of the Holy Spirit, of Virgin Birth, sinless in life, making remission for the sins of the world by His Blood. We believe in His bodily resurrection, His ascension and visible, pretribulation, premillennial return, according to His promise [JOHN 1:1-3,14, ISAIAH 7:14, 12:1-2, I CORINTHIANS 15:34, I THESSALONIANS 4:14-17, REVELATION 19:11-16] .
5. MAN: We believe that man was created in holiness, under the law of his maker, but by voluntary transgression, fell from the Holy and happy state; in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint but choice; being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil, and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse [GENESIS 1:28, 2:17, JOHN 5:40, 6:53, EPHESIANS 2:1-3, ROMANS 3:9-10, 19; 3:20-23, I JOHN 3:8].
6. SALVATION: We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God: who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full forgiveness for our sins; that having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven, and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, compassionate, and all-sufficient Savior [EPHESIANS 2:8-9, JOHN 1:12, EPHESIANS 1:7, JOHN 6:37-40; 10:27-30, I PETER 1:18-19, ROMANS 8:35-39, I PETER 1:5, I JOHN 1:6, 2:2].
a. We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again; that regeneration consists in giving a Holy disposition by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel, and that its proper evidence appears in the Holy fruits of repentance, faith and newness of life.
b. We believe 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 that 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.
c. We believe that repentance and faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced 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 receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and relying upon Him alone as the only and all sufficient Savior.
d. We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is justification; that justification included the pardon of sin, and the promise of eternal life on the 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; by virtue of which faith His perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God; that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity.
e. We believe that election is the eternal purpose of God, according to which He graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners; that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end. That it is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, being indefinitely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable. That it excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of His free mercy. That it encourages the use of means in the highest degree. That it may be ascertained by its effect in all who truly believe the gospel, that it is the foundation of Christian assurance; and to understand it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence.
f. We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. 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.
7. SANCTIFICATION: We believe that sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of His holiness; that it is a progressive work; that it is begun in regeneration; and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer, and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means especially, the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer [ROMANS 12:1-27, II TIMOTHEY 3:1-5, II CORINTHIANS 6:14, 7:1, I JOHN 2:15-17, II JOHN 9:11].
8. CHURCH: We believe that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by its by-laws; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its only Scriptural offices are bishops or pastors and deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles of Timothy and Titus [MATTHEW 16:18, 5:25-27, I CORINTHIANS 12:12-14, II CORINTHIANS 11:2. EPHESIANS 1:22-23].
9. ORDINANCES—BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER: We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem, of 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; and to the Lord’s Supper, in which the members of the church by the sacred use of unleavened bread and fruit of the vine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination [MATTHEW 3:16-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20, ACTS 8:36-39].
10. DISPENSATIONALISM: 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. Three of these dispensations—the law, the church, and the kingdom—are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture [ACTS 10:43, II TIMOTHY 2:15]
11. THE SECOND ADVENT OF CHRIST: We believe in that “blessed hope,” the personal, imminent return of Christ who will rapture His saints 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 [1 THESSALONIANS 4:13-18, REVELATION 20:11-15].
12. THE PERSONALITY OF SATAN: We believe that Satan is a created being, 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 [ISAIAH 14:12-15].
13. CREATION: We believe that God created the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin [GENESIS 1:11; 26-27; 2:7, COLOSSIANS 1:16-17].
14. THE LORD’S DAY: We believe that Sunday, the first day of the week, is the Lord’s day, and as a church, assemble to celebrate the Lord Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead [1 CORINTHIANS 16:1].
15. THE ETERNAL STATE: We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where they consciously await their bodily resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when 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 [JOHN 5:28-29, REVELATION 20:11-15].
16. WITTNESSING: We believe witnessing for the Lord Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit filled believer exercising their responsibility and privilege to live a life that causes others to want to know Christ as their Savior. This includes door-to-door efforts to reach all souls, a separated personal walk, and verbal declaration of the gospel of Jesus Christ [MATTHEW 28:19-20, MARK 16:15, ACTS 1:8].
17. PRAYER: We believe every saved person has access to the throne of God through the blood of Jesus Christ through prayer. Prayer simply means to ask. We believe it is both a command and a privilege to pray to the Father in Jesus’ name [LUKE 18:1, JAMES 5:17].
18. 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 [II CORINTHIANS Chapters 8 and 9; MATTHEW 28:18-20].
19. FINANCE: We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local church financially. 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 the tithe or offering once the gift has been made [LUKE 16:10-13, MALACHI 3:8-11, I CORINTHIANS 4:2; 16:1-2].
20. CIVIL GOVERNMENT: We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed, according to the teachings of our Lord Jesus, the Prince of the Kings of the earth [ROMANS 13:1-5].
21. AUTONOMY: We believe that every human being is responsible to God alone in all matters of faith; that each church is independent and autonomous 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 the dictation or patronage of the other [MATTHEW 18:15-18].
22. HUMAN SEXUALITY: We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a 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. We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman for life [ROMANS 1:20-28, LEVITICUS 18:6-23].
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