What we Believe
What we Believe
All mankind is accountable to the God who creates us. Every one of us has sinned against that God and will be judged according to God’s perfect and holy standard. But the good news is that God has acted in Jesus Christ to save us, and we take hold of that salvation and make it our own by repenting from sin and placing our faith in Jesus.
God. Man. Christ. Response. The gospel is seen from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation, all of the Scriptures writing a story of a merciful, just, holy God that loved His rebellious creation. We often articulate the meta-narrative of the gospel using the 9 C’s: Creation, Condition, Consequence, Covenant, Christ, Counselor, Community, Commission, and Consummation.
God. Man. Christ. Response.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
PURPOSE: We believe that we exist to glorify and to worship God, our Creator and the Creator of the universe and all that is in it.
GOD: We believe in one true and living God who is eternal and who exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He has created all things through His Son by the power of the Holy Spirit.
JESUS CHRIST: We believe that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. He came to earth to show humankind what God is like, died a sacrificial death on the cross for the forgiveness of sin, was buried, physically rose from the dead, ascended to the right hand of the Father, and will come again to save those who have put their faith in him.
HOLY SPIRIT: We believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, equal and eternal with God the Father and Jesus Christ, the Son. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, lives in every believer, baptizes us into the church, and transforms our character and lifestyle as we yield to His power. He equips every believer with a gift to minister to the body of Christ.
MAN: We believe God created man in His own image and, therefore, we have intrinsic value and our lives have meaning and purpose. Because of Adam and Eve's sinful rebellion against God, all humans are sinners by nature. Humankind's sinful condition results in spiritual death and eternal separation from God.
SALVATION: We believe that forgiveness of sin comes only through faith in Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sin. Forgiveness cannot be earned by doing good works, joining a church, following church sacraments, or by physical inheritance. Salvation is a free gift of God, unmerited and undeserved, that is received by trusting in Jesus Christ alone, repenting of our sins, and confessing Jesus Christ as Lord. The goal of salvation is to conform every believer into the likeness of His Son. The new life given is eternal and secured by God.
THE BIBLE: We believe the Bible to be God's spoken word that is a given record and testimony of His will for humankind. It is composed of sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament. It is authored by God and given to us flawlessly through the individual personalities and styles of chosen men. It is authoritative truth and given without any error in its original writings. It is a complete revelation of God's truth that nothing can be added to or subtracted from. It is sufficient for our lives and effective to accomplish what it says.
THE CHURCH: We believe that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are baptized into one spiritual body, the church. Christ is the head of His bride and His body. Every believer is called to faithfully participate in the fellowship of the church and to devote themselves to worship, prayer, God's Word, baptism and communion, service, and outreach. It is the mission of the church to "make disciples of all nations" through Jesus Christ. The local church is governed by godly men called pastors and elders and is self-supported through the generous giving of her members.
FUTURE EVENTS: We believe in a literal, visible, and eminent return of Jesus Christ for His church. He will also judge the earth and its people and return to establish His kingdom reign for a thousand years. He will, at a future time, resurrect all men to either eternal life with Him or everlasting punishment away from Him. Then, we who are saved will live forever with the Lord in a new heaven and a new earth.
AFFIRMATIONS & DENIALS
We affirm that the sole authority for the Church is the Bible, verbally inspired, inerrant, infallible, and totally sufficient and trustworthy.
We deny that the Bible is a mere witness to the divine revelation, or that any portion of Scripture is marked by error or the effects of human sinfulness.
We affirm that the authority and sufficiency of Scripture extends to the entire Bible, and therefore that the Bible is our final authority for all doctrine and practice.
We deny that any portion of the Bible is to be used in an effort to deny the truthfulness or trustworthiness of any other portion. We further deny any effort to identify a canon within the canon or, for example, to set the words of Jesus against the writings of Paul.
We affirm that the Bible reveals God to be infinite in all his perfections, and thus truly omniscient, omnipotent, timeless, and self-existent. We further affirm that God possesses perfect knowledge of all things, past, present, and future, including all human thoughts, acts, and decisions.
We deny that the God of the Bible is in any way limited in terms of knowledge or power or any other perfection or attribute, or that God has in any way limited his own perfections.
We affirm that the doctrine of the Trinity is a Christian essential, bearing witness to the ontological reality of the one true God in three divine persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each of the same substance and perfections.
We deny the claim that the Trinity is not an essential doctrine, or that the Trinity can be understood in merely economic or functional categories.
We affirm that Jesus Christ is true God and true Man, in perfect, undiluted, and un-confused union throughout his incarnation and now eternally. We also affirm that Christ died on the cross as a substitute for sinners, as a sacrifice for sin, and as a propitiation of the wrath of God toward sinners. We affirm the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Christ as essential to the Gospel. We further affirm that Jesus Christ is Lord over His Church, and that Christ will reign over the entire cosmos in fulfillment of the Father’s gracious purpose.
We deny that the substitutionary character of Christ’s atonement for sin can be compromised without serious injury to the Gospel or denied without repudiating the Gospel. We further deny that Jesus Christ is visible only in weakness, rather than in power, Lordship, or royal reign, or, conversely, that Christ is visible only in power, and never in weakness.
We affirm that salvation is all of grace, and that the Gospel is revealed to us in doctrines that most faithfully exalt God’s sovereign purpose to save sinners and in His determination to save his redeemed people by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to His glory alone.
We deny that any teaching, theological system, or means of presenting the Gospel that denies the centrality of God’s grace as His gift of unmerited favor to sinners in Christ can be considered true doctrine.
We affirm that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s means of bringing salvation to His people, that sinners are commanded to believe the Gospel, and that the Church is commissioned to preach and teach the Gospel to all nations.
We deny that evangelism can be reduced to any program, technique, or marketing approach. We further deny that salvation can be separated from repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
We affirm that salvation comes to those who truly believe and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
We deny that there is salvation in any other name, or that saving faith can take any form other than conscious belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving acts.
We affirm that sinners are justified only through faith in Christ, and that justification by faith alone is both essential and central to the Gospel.
We deny that any teaching that minimizes, denies, or confuses justification by faith alone can be considered true to the Gospel. We further deny that any teaching that separates regeneration and faith is a true rendering of the Gospel.
We affirm that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to believers by God’s decree alone, and that this righteousness, imputed to the believer through faith alone, is the only righteousness that justifies.
We deny that such righteousness is earned or deserved in any manner, is infused within the believer to any degree, or is realized in the believer through anything other than faith alone.
We affirm that our only sure and confident hope is in the sure and certain promises of God. Thus, our hope is an eschatological hope, grounded in our confidence that God will bring all things to consummation in a manner that will bring greatest glory to his own name, greatest preeminence to his Son, and greatest joy for his redeemed people.
We deny that we are to find ultimate fulfillment or happiness in this world, or that God’s ultimate purpose is for us to find merely a more meaningful and fulfilling life in this fallen world. We further deny that any teaching that offers health and wealth as God’s assured promises in this life can be considered a true gospel.