We find these creeds to be both helpful and encouraging in our pursuit of knowing God in His Word.
All creeds, books, and sermons are only good and helpful as they reflect the content of Scripture. Discretion must be exercised at all times when evaluating the content of these confessions in light of God's Word.
We find these three confessions very helpful:
We believe the Bible is the Word of God and the only absolute authority for faith and practice. The Bible is the sole source of propositional truth from God that we have today making its revelation the foundation for all understanding. It is both verbally and plenarily inspired in the original writings making them completely inerrant in all matters. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their grammatical-historical and contextual meaning. (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:2-3, 19-21; Ps. 19:1-3, 7)
We believe the Scriptures are sufficient (2 Timothy 3:16-17). This means that God's Word contains everything we need that is profitable and fruitful (John 15:7-8). As such we must take every thought captive to His Word (Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 10:5-6). We are to add nothing to Scripture (Mark 7:13). We must take nothing away from Scripture (Rev. 22:18-19). No other book is of equal value with Scripture (2 Cor. 10:5-6). God does not require us to believe anything about Himself or His will that is not found in Scripture (Deut. 13:1-4). The sufficiency of Scripture teaches us that nothing is to be placed on a level equal to Scripture (1 Cor.4:6). Nothing is required of us by God that is not commanded in Scripture either explicitly or by implication. We must emphasize what Scripture emphasizes and be content with what God has told us (2 Timothy 1:13, 4:2; Deut. 29:29).
We believe in one Triune God, who is ternally existing, uncreated in three distinct persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each are co-identical in nature, power and glory, and equally divine in perfection and in essence. While executing distinct functions in the great work of redemption, God is unity in diversity. None but He can fully comprehend His essence. God is self-existing and infinite in His being and perfection. He is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient in all things and every act of His will is free. The God of the Bible is the only true God who in his holiness justly judges all sin and in his love has provided salvation. (Gen. 1:1; Deut.6:4; Isa.6:3, 40:12-17; Matt 28:19, John 10:30; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 13:14)
- We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man. (Is.7:14, 9:6; Matt.1:18-20; John 1:1,2,14,18; Luke 1:35; Phil.2:5-8)
- We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross in His shed blood as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and that our justification was made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. (Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-26; 4:25; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; 2 Cor. 5:21; Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:3-5, 2:24)
- We believe in His bodily ascension into heaven. He is now exalted at the right hand of God, as High Priest, and therefore fulfilling the ministry of Intercessor, Advocate and Head. (Acts 1:9-19; Rom. 8:34; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Eph.5:23; Heb. 9:24; 1 John 2:1-2).
- We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, equal with the Father and the Son, and of the same essence (Matt. 28:19; Acts 5:3-4).
- We believe that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ at salvation, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:13-14).
- We believe that He is the Divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and apply the Scriptures and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit (1 Cor.2:9-16; Eph. 1:17-18; 5:18; 1 John 2:20,27).
- We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses pastors and teachers to equip believers to do the work of the ministry (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11,28; Eph. 4:7-12).
5. We believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues, the gift of healing, and prophecy in the early church were given as sign gifts to vindicate the message of the Christian gospel in order to lay the foundation of the church. Speaking in tongues never has been a common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit and that ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God may choose to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing (Acts 2:6; 1 Cor. 1:22, 13:8, 14:21-22; Eph. 2:20-22).
We believe that God created the physical universe, all spirit beings, man, and lower forms of life, without the process of evolution, and that the early chapters of Genesis are a literal and accurate history of a real twenty-four hour, seven day week. God sustains all creation, but exists in no necessary relationship to it (Gen.1,2; Col. 1:15-17; John 1:3).
We believe that God created an innumerable company of sinless spirit beings. One of these, though created holy by God, sinned through pride, thereby becoming Satan, the Devil, the enemy of his Creator, leading a host of angels in rebellion against God. He became the god of this age and the ruler of all the powers of darkness and is destined to the judgment of an eternal punishment in the lake of fire (Ezek. 29:12-17; Matt. 25:41; 2 Cor. 4:3-4; Eph. 2:22; Col.1:16; Heb. 12:22; Rev. 12:7-9; 20:10).
We believe that man was created innocent in the likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin the race fell and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death, which is separation from God. All mankind has inherited a sinful nature, and are now sinners by birth and by choice, positively inclined to evil. Mankind is totally depraved in that every part of man (mind, emotion, will) is corrupted by sin and therefore, under just condemnation to eternal ruin by the Holy God without defense or excuse (Gen.1:26-27; 2:17; Ps. 58:3; Rom. 1:20; 3:9-18; 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 2:14).
- We believe that the only escape from the condemnation of sin is through the atoning and reconciling work of Jesus Christ, the Sinless One. Only in His life, bloody death on the cross, and resurrection has full satisfaction to the justice of God been paid for the sin of men. Thus, salvation for all peoples of the world is exclusively found in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom. 3:22-28; Eph. 1:7; Heb. 9:20-28).
- We believe that salvation is a gift of God received by faith alone in the Lord Jesus. At conversion, a regenerated sinner is justified, redeemed, forgiven, and reconciled to God based solely on the merit of Christ. Conversion is a turning from sin in repentance and to Christ in faith. A sinner is made alive spiritually at conversion being given a new nature not possessed before which will evidence itself in works however great or small (Mark 1:15; John 3:16; Rom. 4:5; 4:24-25; 5:10-11; Eph.2:8-9; Titus 3:5; James 2:26).
- We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation. Every believer is secure for all eternity from the moment of regeneration because of Christ’s completed work and the testimony of God’s Word which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion or excuse to sin. (John 10:27-30; Rom. 6:1-6; 13:13-14; Eph 4:30; Heb.7:25; 1 Peter 1:4-5).
- We believe that positional sanctification is the act of God whereby God imputes Christ’s holiness to a believer such that he is eternally set apart as belonging to Him by redemption. This position removes the penalty of sin (Heb. 10:10-14, 1 Cor.1:2; Eph.1:4).
- Progressive sanctification is the process of becoming more like Christ as God imparts holiness and the believer receives it. This breaks the power of sin (John 17:17; Rom.8:29; Gal. 5:16; Phil. 2:12-13; 1 Thess. 4:3; 5:23).
3. Ultimate sanctification will be the portion of every believer when in the presence of the Lord, with the spirit united in a resurrected body, every trace of sin and rebellion will be removed forever. This removes the presence of sin. (1 John 3:2; Rom.8:29-30; 1 Cor. 15:52-54; Eph. 4:30).
- We believe in 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 believe that the souls of believers in Christ do at death immediately pass into His presence, to stand before Christ to be judged of their Christian works and for the giving of rewards; and they shall then be associated with Him forever in glory; receiving a resurrected body as He wills (1 Cor.3:11-15; 2 Cor.5:8-10; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).
3. We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery until the final resurrection at the end of the millennium for judgment. The result of this judgment will be that all will be cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting separation from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thess. 1:6-9; Rev. 20:4-15).
- We believe that the church is an assembly of immersed believers who meet in Jesus Christ. Believers are baptized on an acceptable confession of faith, associated for worship, work, fellowship, edification, and observance of the ordinances. The church is commanded and given the authority by God to spread the Gospel to all the world. The New Testament church has two offices: (1) Pastor/Elder and (2) Deacon. These positions are to be held by qualified men only (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 2:41-42; 20:17, 28; Phil 1:1; 1 Tim. 2:12; 3:1-13; 5:17; Heb. 10:25).
- We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament. God gives the organism of the church growth and direction; making it the essential New Testament entity, as the body of Christ, to which all believers are bound by Scripture for accountability and support. (Acts 14:27; 20:17; 28-32; Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Cor.3:9; 12:12; Titus 1:5-11; 1 Tim. 3:15).
3.We believe that the local church has the right of self-government directed by the Holy Spirit, and it is accountable only to Christ, and that in all matters of membership, polity, government, discipline, and benevolence the will of the local church is final and free of any external authority and control (Matt.18:15-20; Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Rom. 16:1,4; 1 Cor. 3:9,16; 5:4-7,13; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
We recognize water baptism and the Lord’s Supper as the Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the church in this age.
- Water baptism as immersion is the only form of baptism revealed and commanded in the Scriptures and is properly called “believer’s baptism”. It sets forth, in a beautiful and solemn way, our faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its effects in our lives of death to sin and resurrection to a new life. Having no saving power, it is performed as a symbol to identify a believer with Christ. Thus, it is for those who are already saved the necessary first step of obedience for those who are old enough to believe for themselves (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:38; 10:47-48; Rom. 6:3-5).
- Lord’s Supper is a memorial of the death of Christ until He comes. It was instituted also to confirm saints in the belief that all the benefits stemming from Christ’s sacrifice belong to them. It is a bond and pledge of fellowship which believers have with Christ and with one another, thus only those walking in obedient fellowship with Him in His body ought to partake of it (Acts 2:41-42; 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:23-32).
We believe that separation is a doctrine as well as a practice and that the separation principle runs through the entire Bible. True spiritual fellowship is the result of common faith and practice. We believe there are several aspects of biblical separation.
- Political separation of the church from the state (Luke 20:25).
- Personal separation of the believer from the world and sin in order to serve God. We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord. Therefore, personal separation involves a separation from acts of sin, the world system, heretics, and false teachers (Josh. 24:15; Rom. 12:1-2,14; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; Eph. 5:15-18; Titus 3:10; 1 John 2:15-17; 4:1; 2 John 10-11).
- Ecclesiastical separation of the church from apostasy. While recognizing the unity of all believers, it is also evident that unbelief and error in many organized fellowships has developed to the point where recognized apostasy exists. We are to reprove apostates rather than recognize them, to rebuke rather than to reason with them, to reject rather than to receive or unite with them. Loyalty to Christ also demands separation from those groups who walk with or tolerate religious unbelief and apostasy (2 Cor. 6:14-18; Eph. 5:11-15; 2 Tim. 4:2-4; 2 John 10-11).
4. Familial separation from an erring brother when doctrinal or ethical compromise creeps into his life or ministry. We believe that we must separate from those brethren who continue in disobedience to the Word of God. The goal of this separation being reconciliation by the repentance of the erring brother (Matt. 18:15-22; Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 5:11; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15).
We believe that God has given the 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 reach the lost among us and go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:20).
We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home 2) the church; and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by 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; I Peter 2:13-14).
We believe that every Christian, as a steward of the portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local church financially. God established the tithe as a pattern for proportionate giving. Every Christian should give offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to support the local church, to relief of those in need, and for the spread of the Gospel (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17).
Sanctity of Human Life
We believe 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. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defect, gender selection, population or birth control, or the mental well-being / health of the mother are acceptable. Human life is precious and bestowed by God and should be received and protected by every believer (Gen 1:1; 30:22; Job 3:16; Ps. 51:5; 127:3; 139: 14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49; Jer.1:5; Luke 1:44).
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of marriage between a man and a woman. That any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, immorality, adultery, and pornography, are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. (Gen. 2:24; 3:16-19; 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 believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God, but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Women are blessed to nurture life. (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 2:8-15, 5:8; 3:4-5, 12, 14-15; 2:8; Titus 2:1-8;).
We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ. Children are a heritage from the Lord and are to be valued and received from God as such. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them, through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline, including Scriptural corporal correction. (Gen. 1:26-28; Ex. 20:12; Deut. 6:4-9; Ps. 127:3-5; Prov. 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; Mk.10:6-12; Eph. 5:21-33, 6:1-4; Col. 3:18-21; Heb 13:4; 1 Pet. 3:1-7).
Divorce and Remarriage
We believe that marriage is a divine institution and God intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Divorce is a distortion of God’s intention for marriage. Scripture does teach that there was one circumstance in which divorce may have been initiated (though not required): in the case of habitual sexual unfaithfulness. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the local church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the office of pastor or deacon. (Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 5:31-32; 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3; 1 Tim. 3:2,12; Titus 1:6).
Lawsuits Between Believers
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe that the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander (1 Cor.6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32).