Authority of This Doctrinal Statement:
This Doctrinal Statement does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we teach. However, we do believe that the following statement accurately represents the teachings of the Bible on the subjects they address, and is therefore binding upon all who serve in a teaching capacity in our church.
1. The Holy Scriptures
We teach that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the verbally inspired Word of God, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the original writings, infallible and God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16,17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Matt. 5:18; John 16:12-13).
2. The Godhead
We teach that there is one living and true God, who is an infinite Spirit and the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; that He is inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all honor, glory, confidence and love. We teach that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who are co-equal in power and glory, who have the same attributes and perfections, and who execute distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption (Exod. 10:2; Deut. 6:4; John 10:30; 1 Cor. 8:6; Matt. 28:18-19; 2 Cor. 3:17; 13:14; 1 Tim. 2:3,5; Titus 2:13; 1 John 5:20; Rev. 4:11).
3. The Person and Work of Christ
We teach 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, the Seed of the woman, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man (Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2,14).
We teach 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 (Rom. 3:24-25; Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Pet. 1:3-5).
We teach that God, by the Lord Jesus Christ’s death, perfectly reconciles the believer, perfectly redeems him, and is perfectly propitious with him (2 Cor. 5:18-21; Rom. 5:18; 1 John 2:1,2).
We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ 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; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1-2)
4. The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
We teach that God the Holy Spirit is a divine person who was active in the creation, and who, in his relation to the unbelieving world, restrains the evil one until God’s purposes are fulfilled. He convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment and bears witness to the truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony (Gen. 1:1-3; Matt. 28:19; Mark 1:8; Luke 1:35; 24:49; John 1:33; 3:5-6; 14:16-17,26; 16:8-11; Acts 5:30-32; 11:11-16; Rom. 8:14,16,26-27; Eph. 1:13-14; Heb. 9:14).
We teach that He is the divine Teacher who guides believers into all truth, and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit (John 16:13,14; Eph. 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27).
5. The Total Depravity of Man
We teach that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; and that man is totally depraved, and of himself unable to remedy his lost condition (Gen. 1:26-27; 3:6-7; John 3:18; 1 Cor. 15:22; Rom. 3:10,22-23; 5:6,8,10,12; Eph. 2:1-3,12), and is without excuse or hope apart from the saving grace of God (Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; Rom. 3:20; Rev. 20:11-15).
We teach 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 sins (John 1:12; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).
7. Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers
We teach that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus in Christ forever (John 6:37-40; 10:28-29; Rom. 8:1, 38-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; Eph. 1:13-14; Heb. 13:5-6; 1 Pet 1:5; 1 John 5:13).
We teach 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 excuse for sinning (Rom. 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11-15).
We teach that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and identified as a saint. This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification. This sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing, not his present walk or condition (Acts 20:32; 1 Cor. 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Pet. 1:2).
We teach that there is also, by the work of the Holy Spirit, a progressive sanctification by which the state of the believer is brought closer to the standing the believer positionally enjoys through justification. Through obedience to the Word of God, and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, and to become more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:17, 19; Rom. 6:1-22; 2 Cor. 3:18; 1 Thess. 4:3-4; 5:23).
In this respect, we teach that every saved person is involved in a daily conflict: the new creation in Christ doing battle against the flesh, but adequate provision is made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The struggle nevertheless stays with the believer all through this earthly life and is never completely ended. All claims to the eradication of sin (i.e., it’s total elimination) in this life are unscriptural. But the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin (Gal. 5:16-25; Eph. 4:22-24; Phil. 3:12; Col. 3:9-10; 1 Pet. 1:14-16; 1 John 3:5-9).
We teach that all Christians should live in such a manner so as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord, and that separation from all religious apostasy and all worldly and sinful pleasures and practices is commanded by God (Rom. 12:1-2; 14:13; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; 1 Thess. 5:22; 2 Tim. 3:1-7; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11).
We teach that it is the obligation of the saved to witness by life and by word to the truths of Holy Scriptures, and to seek to proclaim the Gospel to all mankind (Matt. 28:18,19; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:18-20).
11. Spiritual Gifts
We teach that God gave to His church gifted men to serve as apostles, prophets, evangelists and teaching-shepherds “for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.” We teach that the New Testament apostles and prophets were unique men by whom God established His church, and through whom He gave the New Testament Scriptures. Further, we teach that apostles and prophets subsequently passed from the scene but that evangelists and teaching-shepherds continue with the ongoing task of equipping the saints (Eph. 2:20; 4:11-13).
We teach that every believer is gifted by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of edifying the body of Christ, and that spiritual gifts fall into two broad categories: 1) temporary “sign gifts” (e.g., speaking in tongues, working of signs, wonders, and miracles), which were manifestations of the Holy Spirit to authenticate the messenger and the gospel message during the foundational period of the church, and which gradually ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed and their authority established, and 2) permanent edifying gifts (e.g., leadership, serving, helps, mercy), which are given to believers to equip them for ministry and for mutual edification (1 Cor. 12:4-11; 13:8-10; 2 Cor. 12:12; 1 Pet. 4:10-11).
12. The Church
We teach that the church is the body and espoused bride of Christ, and is a spiritual organism into which the born-again believer is baptized by the Holy Spirit. This organism had its beginnings at Pentecost and continues until the rapture. Continuance of the believer in the body of Christ is entirely based on the faithfulness of the Lord and the sealing of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:12-14; Gal. 3:26-28; Eph. 1:22-23; 2 Cor. 1:22).
We teach that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures. We also teach that a local church is a congregation of baptized believers who meet together to glorify God through corporate worship; and for joint edification through sound doctrinal instruction, fellowship and prayer, and for witness through godly living, faithfulness to the ministry and ordinances of the church and also through cooperation in the mission of the church to win the lost (Acts. 9:31; 14:26-28; 20:17, 28-32; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11).
We teach that the Scriptures interpreted in their plain 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 divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purposes. We reject the extreme teaching known as “hyper-dispensationalism”, which opposes the Lord’s table and/or water baptism as scriptural means of testimony for the church in this age (Matt. 28:19-20; John 1:17; Acts 2:41-42; 18:8; 1 Cor. 11:23-26; 2 Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1:10; Heb. 7:19; Rev. 20:2-10).
14. Personality of Satan
We teach that Satan is a person, a spirit-being who is the unholy god of this age, the author of sin and the cause of the fall. As the ruler of the powers of darkness, 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; Isa. 14:12-17; Matt. 4:2-11; 25:41; 2 Cor. 4:4; Rev. 20:10).
15. Second Advent of Christ
We teach the “blessed hope” of the personal, imminent, pre-tribulation and pre-millennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His redeemed ones in the air, and in His subsequent return to the earth, with His saints, to establish his millennial kingdom (1 Cor. 15:51-54; 1 Thess. 1:10; 4:13-18; Rev. 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6; Zech. 14:4-21)
16. Eternal State
We teach the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28-29; 11:25, 26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13).
We teach that the immaterial part of the redeemed is, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6).
We teach that the souls of the unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious misery until the second resurrection, when with spirit, soul and body reunited, they shall be cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment (Matt. 25:4-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 14,15; Rev. 19:11-21; 20:11-15).
We teach that two ordinances are significant above any other that Christians are commanded to observe, namely, water baptism and the Lord’s Supper. While recognizing that water baptism has no saving merit, it is our conviction that after one is saved, baptism is the next step in order to portray to the church the believer’s union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, and to the unbeliever that he is now a believer. It is our conviction that the scriptural method of water baptism is immersion, to be observed once as a sign of identification and as a testimony to newness of life.
We teach that Jesus Christ instituted the Lord’s supper to remember the blessings from His finished work until He returns, and that it is to be observed as a memorial of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:18-19; 1 Cor. 1:13-14; Rom. 6:4; 1 Cor. 11:23-33; Col. 2:9-13).
We teach 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 (Gen. 1-2; Ex. 20:11).
We teach that God has ordained and created all authority, consisting of three basic institutions: the home, the church, and the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities 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 (Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13-14).
20. Human Sexuality
We teach that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We teach that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We also teach that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance (Gen. 2:24; 19:5, 13; 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4).
We teach that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman in a union that is recognized by both the government and the church (Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23).
21. Divorce and Remarriage
We teach that God hates divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Remarriage after a divorce is regarded as adultery except when the divorce is obtained on the grounds of unrepentant sexual immorality (Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 5:31-32; 19:3-12), or if an unbelieving spouse leaves a believing spouse due to the believing spouse’s Christian faith (1 Cor. 7:12-16).
We teach 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, and is therefore murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well-being of the mother are acceptable (Job 3:16; Psalm 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).
23. Standard of Conduct
We teach that all things must be done decently and in order. Ministry functions and services are private meetings held on private property according to policies and procedures followed by the ministry and should not be considered open to the general public under all circumstances. The ministry leadership reserves the right to remove any participant for any reason at the leadership’s sole discretion.
A member/participant/student may be dismissed/removed from any ministry function or asked not to return if he/she demonstrates by conduct or spirit that he/she is out of harmony with the Statement of Faith, the spirit, or the policies of the ministry whether on or off property as determined in the sole discretion of the ministry leadership. Readmission considerations following dismissal/removal will be determined on a case-by-case basis (1 Cor. 11:17-22; 14:40; 2 Cor. 2:1-11).