Basic Theological Convictions
1. We believe there is but one true and Living God, One in essence, Holy, Creator of all things, Infinite, Eternally existing, Perfect in all attributes, everywhere present equally, limitless in knowledge, and absolute in sovereign power. God is triune, who exists in three equally Divine Persons: The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit – equally deserving worship and obedience.
2. We believe that the Bible is God’s written, infallible revelation to man. The Holy Spirit superintended human authors, with their individual personalities and different writing styles, to compose and record the very Words of God. We use the literal, grammatical-historical method of interpreting Scripture, believing the meaning of each text can be found as we diligently apply these principles guided by the Holy Spirit. Though there may be many applications, there is but one true interpretation and authorial intent. As the verbally inspired Word of God, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of God’s will for salvation, and our ultimate binding authority for faith and practice. We believe the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days, and the miracles of the Bible portray actual events. We believe the Scripture is objective, propositional truth. We value expositional teaching of the Word of God, and we place priority on preaching. Scripture is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises. We believe in the sufficiency of God’s Word, and thereby use it as the basis of counseling issues directly related to the human soul.
The Nature of Man
3. We believe that man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. Although Adam and Eve were created free of sin with a rational nature and volition, they disobeyed God when tempted by Satan. Because of that choice, man incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death, causing them to become inherently corrupt, utterly incapable of choosing what is right, and alienating them from God, and under His divine wrath. Because all men are in Adam, Adam’s sin was transmitted to all men making all mankind sinners. All human beings are sinners by nature and by choice from the moment of birth to the point of death. Only through God's grace and the saving work of Jesus Christ can man be rescued, regenerated, and brought back into a right relationship with God. Man’s ultimate purpose is to glorify God and enjoy fellowship with his Creator.
The Person & Work of Jesus Christ
4. We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, one Person in two natures. Jesus, Israel's promised Messiah, was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and Advocate. We believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, shed His blood on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins. His atoning death and victorious resurrection constitute the only means for salvation. Jesus is the only all-sufficient mediator between God and man. Jesus’ bodily resurrection guarantees the future resurrection to life of all believers. We believe Jesus is the one through whom God will judge both the living and the dead.
5. We believe salvation is wholly an act of God’s grace alone, through the redemption of Jesus Christ alone and His shed blood on the cross. We preach the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus as what is central in the gospel message. Salvation is not on the basis of human effort. Grace is God’s unmerited favor He grants to totally undeserving, depraved sinners. God has graciously purposed from eternity past specific individuals to redeem, save, and sanctify for Himself, solely for His own glory. Regeneration is the supernatural work of the Spirit though the Word of God, where new life is freely given to a person who responds to the gospel. We believe both faith and repentance are God’s gracious gifts. A true believer is one who confesses Christ as Lord and Savior, and who therefore is declared righteous on the basis of Christ’s righteousness imputed to his account. God saves forever those who come to His Son in genuine faith and repentance. We become children of God, adopted into His family, by faith alone.
The Holy Spirit
6. We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all His divine attributes, is co-equal, co-eternal, and co-substantial in His essence with the Father and Son. In all that the Spirit does, He magnifies the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of righteousness, sin, guilt, and judgment. He regenerates sinners, and by Him they are baptized into Christ, and adopted as heirs in the family of God. The Holy Spirit illuminates, regenerates, indwells, sanctifies, guides, equips, and empowers believers for Christ-like godly living and service, and seals them until the day of redemption. We believe the unique indwelling ministry of the Spirit in believers began at Pentecost when the New Testament church began. We believe the Holy Spirit is the sovereign agent in regeneration to new life. Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Sprit from the moment of salvation. The Spirit also bestows on each believer spiritual gifts to be used in service to build up the Body of Christ for the glory of God. We believe certain sign gifts have ceased with the death of the apostles, and never were intended to be characteristic of the lives of all believers.
7. We believe that the true church is comprised by all who have been justified by God's grace through faith alone in Christ alone and are immediately placed in the spiritual body of Christ. They are united by the Holy Spirit in the Body of Christ, of which Christ is the Head. The true church is manifest in local autonomous churches, whose membership should be composed only of believers. We believe the local church should be governed by spiritually qualified male elders and deacons, who are servant leaders who focus on preaching the Word, prayer, fellowship, and Christian witness. We believe the goals of the church are to exalt Christ in worship, equip the saints for ministry, and extend the kingdom through personal evangelism. We believe the formation of the church began on the Day of Pentecost and will be completed at the coming of Christ for his Bride at the rapture. The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism by immersion and the Lord's Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer. We believe the Spirit equips each believer with spiritual gifts for the work of the ministry. We believe in the practice of discipleship and church discipline which edifies and purifies the church toward Christ-likeness.
8. We believe that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God from the moment of faith. True saving faith manifests itself in fruit worthy of repentance, and reveals itself in righteous living. Genuine faith will produce a life of obedience and godly fear. Through the work of the Spirit, a believer becomes more like Christ as he conforms his life to the Word of God and the will of God. Although the flesh is ever present until the day a believer is glorified, the believer must submit himself daily to the Lordship of Christ and battle his fleshly desires, so that he honors and glorifies God alone. Full eradication of sin will not be complete until the Lord Jesus returns in glory. Believers should never use their liberty as an opportunity for the flesh. We believe that God secures the believer until that final day, and keeps him secure forever.
The Rapture & Christ's Second Coming
9. We believe Jesus Christ will meet his bride, the Church, in the air and will receive them unto Himself until the appointed time. We believe in the personal, bodily, glorious, and premillennial return of our Lord Jesus Christ to this earth with His saints, where He will reign as King for a thousand years. Waiting for the coming of Christ the Messiah, at a time known only to the Father, demands our constant expectancy and hope, and should motivate each believer to holy living, sacrificial service, and focused evangelism waiting for Jesus’s soon return.
Distinction Between Israel & The Church
10. We believe the New Testament church and Old Testament ethnic Israel are distinct in God’s plan of redemptive history. Although individual Jews may be in the church today, the nation as a whole has rejected God in their unbelief, but we believe will one day be raised to life and regrafted back in to God’s plan for ethnic Israel. We believe Jesus Christ will return to this earth and physically reign for a thousand years as King of kings and Lord of lords on David’s throne, fulfilling His promises to ethic Israel, establishing Israel’s complete restoration, ushering in absolute peace and righteousness, fulfilling the promises of land and blessing, spiritually reviving the hearts of the Jewish people to their Messiah, and making Jerusalem the center of worship of our great God.
Gospel & Eternal Destiny
11. We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to repent and believe the gospel, by turning to Jesus Christ in faith and repentance, and personally receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We believe in the last days, that God will raise the dead bodily and judge the world righteously, assigning the unbeliever to condemnation and eternal conscious punishment, and the believer to eternal life and joy in the presence of the Lord, in the new heaven and the new earth, to the praise of His glorious grace.
For a more precise doctrinal statement with biblical support, please refer to our expanded statement of “What We Teach”.