What We Believe
We confess, in unity with all Christians everywhere, the Apostles Creed, which reads:
I believe in God the Father Almighty maker of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord; He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary, He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father; He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit; one holy Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen
CONCERNING THE SCRIPTURES
We believe that the Holy Bible, from beginning to end, is God’s gracious and perfect self-revelation. As the inspired Word of God written down by men and without error in the original manuscripts, it gives us a trustworthy and complete revelation of His will for the salvation of mankind through the person and work of Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 3:16; John 1:14; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews.1:1-2; 2 Pet 1:20-21; Lk 24:27; Jn 5:39
We believe that the Bible is the word of Christ by which all people come to know Him and continue to know Him by faith, and is the final standard and authority for all Christian faith and practice until the end of the world. As God’s people make it their priority to hear, believe and obey the Bible, their minds are renewed and they are equipped to be disciples of Christ and witnesses to the gospel.
Romans 10:17; Matthew 5:18; John 10:35; 17:17; Romans 12:1-2; Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 4:11-16 2 Timothy 3:16
THE ONE TRUE GOD
We believe in the only one living and true God, that He alone is worthy of all honor, confidence, obedience, and love. We believe that God, as the eternal, infinite Creator and supreme Ruler of heaven and earth, has always and will always exercise merciful, just, and loving control over all things, and that He will ultimately bring all things together to the completion of His plan in Christ Jesus, to His glory.
Exodus 20:3-4; Deuteronomy 4:35, 4:39, 6:4–5, 32:39; 1 Samuel 2:2; 1 Kings 8:23; Psalms 86:8–10; Isaiah 6:3; 44:6–8, 45:5-25, 46:9; Jeremiah 10:6-10; Micah 7:18; Malachi 3:6; 1 Corinthians 8:4–6; James 2:19; Jude 25; Revelation 4:11
We believe that the one true God eternally exists as three distinct persons—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; that each is fully God and equal in deity, power, and glory while executing distinct and harmonious roles in the whole scheme of creation and the great work of redemption.
Genesis 1:1-2; Matthew 28:18-20; John 14:6, 17:3; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 3:17, 13:14; Galatians 3:20; Ephesians 1:3-14, 4:4-6; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Timothy 1:17, 2:5; 1 John 5:20
GOD THE FATHER
We believe in God the Father as fully divine and sovereign over all creation. He is the source of all life and the one to whom the eternal kingdom belongs. He is the author of every event that occurs in both time and eternity. He foreknows, chooses and predestines people according to His glorious plan of redemption. The Father draws sinners to believe in His Son through the work of the Holy Spirit. Through the cross of Christ He forgives their sin and adopts them as His children.
Matthew 5:16, 6:5-14, 7:11, 18:35, 24:36, 28:19; John 3:16, 5:22-26 6:37-40, 6:44; 8:16, 10:10 27-29; 15:8, 16:23, 17:1-8; Acts 1:7, 10:37; Romans 5:1, 6:4, 8:15, 8:28-30; 1 Corinthians 8:6, 15:24; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 1:3-12; 4:6, 32; Philippians 2:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 2:4; Hebrews 12:6-10, 13:15-20; 1 Peter 1:2, 1:17, 1 John 1:9, 3:22, 4:14; 2 John 1:4
JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD
We believe in Jesus Christ as the eternal Son of God, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born into human flesh to a virgin, both fully God and fully human. He lived a sinless life, offered Himself as a substitutionary sacrifice for sinners, and rose from the dead on the third day as the Lord and Savior of all those who believe in Him. By the blood of his cross he satisfied the just wrath of God, obtained for believers eternal redemption, the forgiveness of sins, spiritual adoption as sons and daughters, life everlasting, and defeated the powers of darkness. He is now at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for those who trust in Him, and will one day return to fully establish God’s Kingdom, judging sin and sinners, and welcoming His people into their full inheritance.
Isaiah 53:1-12; Matthew 1:18-25; John 1:1-18; Romans 8:34; 1 Corinthians 15:1- 28; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:10-14; Ephesians 1:7; Philippians 2:6-11; Colossians 1:15-23; 2:15; Hebrews 7:25; 9:13-15; 10:19; 1 Peter 1:3-9; 2:21-25; 1 John 2:1-2; 3:8; Revelation 19:11-16; 21-22
THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe in the Holy Spirit, equal in divinity with the Father and Son, and sent by them to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, convict unbelievers of their need for Christ, and impart spiritual life through regeneration (the new birth). The Spirit indwells, sanctifies, leads, illumines, and graciously empowers for godly living and service all who come to faith in Christ. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ baptizes believers in the Holy Spirit, in whom also we are sealed for the day of redemption. Subsequent to conversion the Spirit desires to fill, empower, and anoint the Church for ministry and witness.
Matthew 3:11; John 1:12-13; 3:1-15; 15:26-27; 16:7-15; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14; 5:18
CONCERNING HUMANITY AND SIN
We believe that Adam was created in the image of God, righteous and without sin. In consequence of his disobedience, Adam’s posterity are born subject to sin and moral corruption, and are therefore by nature and choice the children of wrath, justly condemned in the sight of God, wholly unable to save themselves or to contribute in any way to their acceptance with God.
Genesis 1:1-3:24; Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:9-18; 5:12-21; Ephesians 2:1-3
We believe that Satan, originally a great and good angel, rebelled against God, taking a multitude of angels with him. He was cast out of God’s presence and is at work with his demonic hosts to establish his counter-kingdom of darkness and evil on the earth. Satan was judged and defeated at the cross of Christ and will, at the end of the age, be cast forever into the lake of fire which has been prepared for him and his angels. Until then, he remains the active enemy of humanity and the Church through deceiving, accusing and devouring, and is to be contested with the truth of the Gospel at every turn.
Isaiah 14:12-20; Ezekiel 28:12b-19; Matthew 12:25-29; 25:41; John 8:44; 12:31; 16:11; Ephesians 6:10-20; Colossians 2:15; 1 Peter 5:8; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Revelation 12:7-10; 20:10
CONCERNING THE GOSPEL
We believe that the gospel is the good news of what God has accomplished for sinners through the life, death, and resurrection of his Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. The gospel is centered in Christ and is not proclaimed if his death and resurrection are not the focus of our message. The church is responsible for the declaration of this Good News and the defense of it against all who would seek to distort or re-define its core truths. The Gospel is the foundation for the life of the Church and our only hope for eternal life. The Gospel is not only the means by which people are saved, but also the means by which people are sanctified. The truth of the Gospel enables us to genuinely and joyfully do that which is pleasing to God and to grow in progressive conformity to the image of Christ.
Mark 1:1; Luke 24:46-47; John 3:16-18; Romans 1:16-17; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25; 2:2; 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 4:1-6; 9:13; Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Timothy 1:8-14; Jude 3-4
We believe that there is no salvation apart from Jesus Christ alone. We believe that other religions, church upbringing, morality, or spirituality are unable to save, for ultimately they do not and can not adequately deal with the human predicament of sin before a holy God. Only Jesus met the righteous requirements of God’s perfect Law, died in the place of guilty sinners, and overcame the power of sin, proving Himself to be the only perfect sacrifice for mankind.
Ex 12; 34:6-7; Lev 17:11; John 1:12,19; 3:36; 14:6; Acts 4:12; Heb 9:11-28
We believe that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world and will, through the work of the Holy Spirit, draw the elect to faith in his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. We are therefore justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. No ordinance, ritual, work, or any other activity on the part of man is required in order to be saved. This saving grace of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, also sanctifies us by enabling us to do what is pleasing in God’s sight in order that we might be progressively conformed to the image of Christ.
John 1:12-13; 6:37-44; 10:25-30; Acts 13:48; 16:30-31; Romans 3:1-4:25; 8:1-17, 31-39; 9:1-23; 10:8-10; Ephesians 1:4-5; 2:8-10; Philippians 2:12-13; Titus 3:3-7; 1 John 1:7, 9
We believe that justification is God’s declaration that those who believe in Christ are righteous in His sight because He has fully forgiven them of their sin and imputed Christ’s righteousness to them. We affirm that justification is given freely by God, not in consideration of anything we have done, but solely through faith in Christ and His finished work. This justification brings us into peace and favor with God, and secures our eternal destiny with Him.
Psalm 103:12; Isaiah 53:11-12; Matthew 9:6; John 1:16; Acts 10:43; Romans 3:20-28, 4:1-5:21, 6:23, 8:30-34; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Galatians 2:15-17, 3:24; Philippians 3:7-9; Titus 3:5-7; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 2:12, 25
We believe that in order to be saved, a sinner must be regenerated, or born again. Regeneration is a work of God’s grace whereby the Holy Spirit gives new spiritual life and replaces our rebellious heart with a heart that delights in obeying God and responding to Him by repentance and faith. This new birth occurs when the Holy Spirit of God applies the divine truth of the Gospel to a sinner’s heart, resulting in our voluntary obedience to God through faith in Jesus Christ. The new birth is evidenced by spiritual fruits of repentance, faith, and a newness of life that seeks to please God. We believe that only God can give us this new spiritual life and bring us into the blessings of the New Covenant. In this New Covenant, we receive forgiveness of sins, God’s Law written on our hearts, and the indwelling presence of God’ Holy Spirit.
Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:25-27; John 1:12-13, 3:3-7; Acts 10:44; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 2:1-5; Colossians 2:13; James 1:17-18; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 2:29, 3:9-10, 4:7, 5:1-4, 5:18
REPENTANCE AND FAITH
We believe that repentance and faith are the right and required response of sinners to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are the inseparable acts of turning away from sin and turning to God through Christ alone for salvation. This response to the Gospel is brought about by the Holy Spirit who graciously convicts us of our sin, convinces us of our unrighteousness, and reveals that we are hopelessly condemned apart from Christ. We affirm that the Holy Spirit assures us that Christ is the only way of salvation and therefore we turn to God with sincere remorse for our sin and certain hope for mercy. We affirm that salvation comes to those who truly believe and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and that all true believers will trust in Him alone as their only and all-sufficient Savior.
Isaiah 55:1-7; Matthew 11:28-30; Mark 1:15; Luke 15:18-21, 24:46-47; John 1:12, 3:16, 6:37, 7:37, 16:8; Acts 2:37-38, 3:19-23, 11:18; 16:30-31, 17:30, 20:21; Romans 2:4, 10:9-11, 10:17; 2 Corinthians 7:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-10; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 4:14, 6:1, 7:25
We believe that sanctification is the process by which God frees believers from slavery to sin and makes them more like Christ in their lives. This is a progressive work that begins in regeneration and is carried on in the hearts and lives of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit until they see Christ. While this growth in holiness is a gift of grace, it also requires a believer to actively, intentionally, and persistently fight sin through means such as prayer, reading and hearing God’s word, and the mutual edification of Christian community. Faith and repentance are necessary responses to Christ that mark a believer’s life from the moment of conversion until Christ calls us to be with Him.
John 17:17; Romans 6:5-6, 6:11-19; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 6:11; 2 Corinthians 3:18, 7:1; Galatians 2:20, 5:16-24; Ephesians 4:20-24; Philippians 3:13-14; Colossians 3:5-10; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 4:14, 10:24-25, 12:1, 12:14; 1 Peter 1:15; 2 Peter 1:3-10; 1 John 3:9; Revelation 3:19
THE PERSEVERANCE OF BELIEVERS
We believe that all those who are truly born again will be kept by God’s power, and that they will, by His grace, persevere in active trust and obedience to Christ until they see Him face to face. The grand mark of those who receive salvation is that they have an enduring attachment to Christ as their Lord and Savior. This enduring faith of believers distinguishes them from those who renounce Christ and prove not to be His. A persevering faith is evidence of God’s election and love which gives sure hope of eternal life with Christ.
Matthew 5:13, 24:13; John 6:38-40, 8:31, 10:27-29, 15:6; Romans 5:3-4, 8:30, 11:22; 1 Corinthians 9:27, 10:12, 15:1; Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30; Philippians 1:6; Colossians 1:22-23; 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 2:12; Hebrews 1:14, 3:12-14, 4:11, 6:12, 9:15; 1 Peter 1:4-5; 2 Peter 1:10; 1 John 2:19; 2 John 1:9; Jude 20; Revelation 2-3, 14:12, 21:7.
CONCERNING THE CHURCH
We believe that the invisible church is the communion of God’s people drawn from every tribe, language, people, and nation throughout all the ages. It is made visible in the assembly of believers in local churches, which are marked by the right preaching of God’s word and right administration of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The church is governed by the word of God, which teaches that elders are given to oversee the church as pastors, that deacons are to serve the church, and that the congregation, comprised of all members, have the responsibility to defend doctrine and execute discipline when required by Scripture. We affirm that members of local churches are commanded to assemble regularly, promote Christ-honoring unity, and live lives that bring honor and glory to God. The mission of the church is to be a corporate display of God’s glory to the world by preaching the gospel and making disciples.
Matthew 5:16, 16:19, 18:15-20, 28:18-20; John 1:12, 13:34-35, 17:20-24; Acts 6:1-6, 11:26, 14:23, 20:28; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 5:4-5, 12-13; 11:25-26; 2 Corinthians 2:6-8; Ephesians 3:10, 4:1-2, 4:11-12; 1 Timothy 3:1-13, 4:13, 5:17, 5:17; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 10:19-25, 13:7, 17; 1 Peter 5:1-5; Revelation 5:9
Concerning Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that Baptism in water is the delightful duty of all believers upon their profession of faith. Baptism is to be done by immersion, into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit; to show forth our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior. Baptism is a response to the command of Christ that symbolizes our death to sin, our resurrection to a new life, and our entrance into fellowship and unity with the Triune God and His people. Baptism is performed upon one’s profession of faith, and is an act of obedience required for all disciples of Jesus Christ. The Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of Christ’s dying love through the sacred use of bread and the fruit of the vine. This time of remembrance should be taken by baptized believers and members in good standing with a Gospel-preaching local church who prepare for the meal with self-examination to ensure holiness before God and unity with the church. The Lord’s Supper is performed regularly at the discretion of each local church.
Matthew 3:13-17, 26:26-29, 28:18-20; Acts 2:38-42, 8:36-38, 16:32-33; Romans 6:4; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:11-12
CONCERNING SPIRITUAL GIFTS
John 14:12; Acts 2:14-21; 4:29-30; Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11; 12:28-31; 14:1-33; Galatians 3:1-5; 1st Peter 4:10-11
CONCERNING SOCIAL JUSTICE
We believe that God has created all of humanity in his image as male and female, and that they are, therefore, of equal moral and spiritual value and must be treated with the utmost dignity and respect. We also believe that God is concerned for the unborn and born alike.
We believe that life begins at the moment of conception in the womb and that the willful termination of a pregnancy for any reason other than an unavoidable threat to the life of the mother is prohibited by Scripture. Abortion is the termination of a human life, but, as is the case with all sin, can be forgiven because of Christ’s saving work on the cross. In light of this, we believe that the woman’s life is just as valuable as the child’s, regardless of whether or not she has had an abortion, and that she should be treated with dignity and compassion in her trouble.
We believe that all ethnicities/races of mankind equally bear the image of God and should be treated with the same dignity and love, regardless of national identity, language, skin color, or gender. Any expression of systemic racism, racial supremacy, or hatred of a person of a different ethnicity is forbidden by Scripture.
We believe that, because God made both male and female in His image, that women should be treated with dignity, love, and equality. Any expression of systemic sexism, denigration, or abuse of women at anytime, is forbidden by Scripture.
Abortion, racism, and sexism, therefore, are denials of the creative design of God and must be regarded as heretical deviations from the truth of Scripture regarding the nature and value of all human life. We believe it is the duty of Christians to oppose these injustices wherever they encounter them.
Genesis 1:27-28; Psalm 139; Micah 6:8; Acts 17:22-31; Galatians 3:25-29; Ephesians 2:11-22; James 2:1; Revelation 5:9-10.
CONCERNING MEN AND WOMEN
We believe that both men and women are together created in the divine image and are therefore equal before God as persons, possessing the same moral dignity and value, and have equal access to God through faith in Christ. We also believe that men and women are together the recipients of spiritual gifts designed to equip and empower them for ministry in the local church and beyond. We also believe that God has ordained the principle of male headship in both the home and in the local church and that certain governing and teaching roles are restricted to men (primarily the office of Elder), and that this in no way minimizes the dignity and value of a woman.
Genesis 1:27-28; Psalm 139; Micah 6:8; Acts 17:22-31; Galatians 3:25-29; Ephesians 2:11-22; James 2:1; Revelation 5:9-10.
CONCERNING MARRIAGE & SEXUALITY
We believe that God’s original creative design, as set forth in Scripture, is for complete fidelity (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) within heterosexual and monogamous marriage. Regardless of one’s marital status, we believe the Christian should pursue purity and abstain from sexually immoral practices such as adultery, premarital sex, and pornography.
Matthew 19:4-6; Romans 1:18-32, 13:13-14; 1 Corinthians 6:9-20, 10:8; Ephesians 5:3-14; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; 1 Timothy 1:8-10; Hebrews 13:4
CONCERNING CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that civil government is divinely appointed by God for the interests and good order of society, and that officials are to be prayed for and rightfully honored. These officials are to be obeyed except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ as revealed in the Scriptures, who is the only Lord of the conscience, and Ruler over the kings of the earth.
2 Samuel 23:3-4; Psalm 2:2-6; Mark 12:13-17; Acts 4:17-20, 23:4-5; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Timothy 2:1-3; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-17; Revelation 19:16
CONCERNING DEATH AND JUDGMENT
We believe that when Christians die they pass immediately into the blessed presence of Christ, there to enjoy conscious fellowship with the Savior until the day of the resurrection and glorious transformation of the body. The saved will then forever dwell in blissful fellowship with their great Triune God. We also believe that when unbelievers die they are consigned to hell, there to await the day of judgment when they shall be punished with eternal separation from the presence of God.
Matthew 25:46; Luke 16:19-31; John 5:25-29; 1 Corinthians 15:35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Philippians 1:19-26; 3:20-21; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:1-22:15
CONCERNING THE WORLD TO COME
We believe that the Kingdom of God came in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, that it continues to expand by the ministry of the Holy Spirit through the Church, and that it will be consummated in the glorious, visible, and triumphant appearing of Christ when he returns to the earth as King. We believe that after Christ returns, He will bring about the ultimate defeat of Satan, the resurrection of the dead, the final judgment, and the eternal blessing of the righteous. At that time, the Kingdom of God will be completely fulfilled in the new heavens and the new earth, in which righteousness dwells and in which he will be worshipped forever.
1 Corinthians 15:20-28,50-58; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12; Revelation 19:1-21