What We Believe

 

What We Believe:

Concerning God – God is one being as three distinct persons, each being fully God and eternally existent.  The Triune God is made up of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  God has always existed in perfect community, fellowship, and submission.  (Gen. 1:26; Psalm 110:1; Matt. 3:16-17; Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Pet. 1:2; 2 Cor. 13:14)

  1. God the Father created heaven and earth and all that we see.  He created all things out of nothing by his Word.  It is by this same Word that he sustains all things and works all things together for his purposes, which cannot be thwarted.  He did this all for his glory.  He is sovereign over all his creation.  (Gen. 1:1; Isaiah 40:28; 43:7; 48:13) 
  2. God the Son, Jesus Christ, is eternally existent and fully God.  He is not created, but all things were created through him and for him, and there was nothing created apart from him.  Jesus was sent by the Father to the earth to accomplish the redemption of fallen humanity and he joyfully submits to the Father.  Jesus came to earth as God incarnate, fully God and fully man.  He was born supernaturally of a virgin and lived a perfect and sinless life.  Jesus died as a substitute in our place, receiving the wrath of God for us and reconciling us to God.  He rose from the dead on the third day, and after 40 days ascended to the Father, where he continues as the head of the church and intercedes on its behalf.  Christ is the only means of salvation for mankind.  (Luke 1:26-35; John 1:1-4; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:15-18; 1 Cor. 15:3-8; Rom. 8:34; 2 Cor. 5:17-21)
  3. God the Holy Spirit is the third person in the Trinity.  The Holy Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son and works to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.  He leads man to repentance and faith in Christ as Savior, and is sent as a helper and comforter for them.  He dwells in Christians as a guarantee of coming redemption and to empower Christians to live a life of God-glorifying service.  (John 14:26; John 16:7-8; Eph. 1:13-14; Acts 1:8)

Concerning the Bible – The Bible is the Word of God contained in the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments of Scripture (39 Old and 27 New).  It is without error in its original manuscripts, leading to proper practice in all points of life, and is the authority of truth by which all other truth is judged.  We hold to the verbal, plenary inspiration of Scripture and believe that all Scripture, rightly interpreted, points to the gospel of Jesus Christ, through which man can be saved by grace through faith.  It is through obedience to God’s will revealed in Scripture that we can live lives that bring him glory and result in our greatest joy.  (Luke 24:27; John 5:39;46; 17:17; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Rom. 10:17)

Concerning Mankind – Man was created by God as male and female, in the image of God, apart from sin, and for the purpose of enjoying fellowship with God.  Man rebelled against God by giving in to the temptation of Satan, and as a result of that rebellion died both physically and spiritually.  This rebellion separated man from fellowship with God.  (Gen. 1:26-27; 2:17; 3:17-19; Rom. 3:23)

Concerning Salvation – When Adam sinned, all mankind became guilty of sin.  This is proven by man’s propensity to sin and inability to refrain from sin apart from Christ.  This guilt of sin has broken fellowship with God and has left man unable to restore fellowship with God apart from God’s divine grace.  But God, who is rich in mercy, has offered salvation to man as a free gift by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.  If man will confess Christ as Savior and follow him as Lord, he will be saved.  Christ’s righteousness will be imputed to him and he will be accepted by God. (Rom. 3:23; 5:12, 17; 10:9-11; Eph. 2:8-10; Acts 4:12).

Concerning the Church – The Church is God’s institution consisting of regenerated and redeemed believers in Christ.  The Church’s ultimate purpose is to bring glory to God.  This is accomplished by living sanctified lives that are pleasing to him, worshiping and serving him in a local context, and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations.  The local church gathers regularly to hear the preaching of God’s Word, engage in Christian fellowship, and to participate in the sacraments of communion and baptism under qualified leadership.  (Matt. 16:18-19; 28:18-20; Acts 2:42-47; 1 Cor. 11:23-26; Titus 1:5-9; 2:1; Acts 20:28-32; 1 Pet. 5:1-5; Heb. 13:7, 17)

Concerning the Last Things – We believe in the personal, visible, bodily, and glorious return of Jesus Christ to the earth.  After Christ’s return he will judge the living and the dead, the just and the unjust, as well as angels.  Those who have put their faith in Christ will be forever united with Christ, living and reigning with him for all of eternity in glorified bodies.  Those who have rejected Christ will be forever in the torments of everlasting fire with Satan and his host.  (2 Tim. 4:1; 2 Cor. 5:10; Jude 6; Rev. 19:11-16; 20:11-15)