We believe the following truths that are clearly defined in God’s Word, The Bible.
1. The Bible
We believe that the Bible in its original writings is the inerrant (without errors), verbal (every word), and plenary (every part) inspired Word of God (Matt. 5:18; 1 Cor. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16;). The Bible is found in the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments (Luke 24:44; John 16:12-13;). It was written as holy men of God were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21) and it is the only source of God’s plan of salvation and the only guide for the Christian life (2 Timothy 3:15-17).
We believe that God is one in essence (Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29), yet three in persons (Matt. 28:19). God is an infinite (Ps. 139), self-existent (John 5:26), and indivisible (John 10:30) eternal spirit (John 5:24). The three persons of the “Trinity” are co-equal and coeternal, each of whom possesses the totality of the divine essence simultaneously while existing as separate personal manifestations. The Scriptures declare that these three persons are God. The Father is declared to be God (James 3:9); the Son is declared to be God (John 1:1;Heb. 1:8-10); the Holy Spirit is declared to be God (Acts 5:3-9).
3. Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity, being co-equal and coexistent with God (Phil. 2:6; John 10:30). The Deity of Christ is seen in His possessing the attributes of God (John 14:6; Heb. 13:8;Matt. 28:20), and in His exercise of the prerogatives of God. He received worship (Matt. 15:25), forgave sin (Mark 2:3-12), and is the object of faith (John 1:12). God the Son was with the Father before the foundation of the world (John 1:1, John 8:58). In the incarnation, Christ humbled Himself and subordinated Himself to the power of the Holy Spirit and to the will of the Father (Isa. 11:2; Phil. 2:5-8). In the incarnation, He was born of a Virgin (Matt. 1:23), and conceived of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:20). He was one person with two unmixed natures, the perfect human and the perfect divine.
Christ lived a sinless life (2 Cor. 5:21) and on the cross was the complete payment for the sins of the world (John 1:29), He being the sacrifice for our sins by the shedding of His blood (Heb. 9:13-14;Heb. 10:12). Christ was bodily resurrected (Matt. 28:6) and ascended bodily to the right hand of the Father to ever make intercession for His saints (Acts 1:9; Heb. 7:25). Christ shall return for His saints in the event known as the “pre-tribulational rapture of believers” (1 Thess. 4:16-17). At the end of the tribulation period which follows the rapture, Christ will return with His saints as the King of kings, and will rule with power and glory on the throne of David for one thousand years (Acts 1:10-11; Rev. 19:11; Rev. 20:3; Zech. 14:4-9).
4. The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity and is co-equal and coexistent with God the Father and God the Son. He is declared to be God (Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 3:17) and as God possesses the attributes of God, such as: eternality (Heb. 9:14), omnipresence (Psalm 139:7-10), and omniscience (1 Corinthians 2:10-11). The Holy Spirit convicts the unsaved of sin and their need to receive Christ (John 16:7-14). He gives spiritual life in the new birth (John 3:5), seals the believer, is the guarantee of our inheritance (Ephesians 4:30), and He permanently indwells the believer with power for holy living and service (1 Corinthians 6:19).
Holy Spirit baptism is that event in which Christ baptized believers in the Holy Spirit into the body of believers (1 Cor. 12:13; Luke 3:16-17).
The Holy Spirit gave apostolic gifts to the apostolic churches (1 Cor. 12), to authenticate the message of the early church (Heb. 2:1-5) because the complete Bible had not yet been written. These authenticating and revelatory gifts ceased with the completion of the body of the Scripture (Bible) (1 Cor. 13:8-12). Those churches which continue to practice these “gifts of the Spirit” today are in direct violation of the Bible and, for this reason, we will maintain a position of separation from them in all aspects of ministry.
We believe that God created man a perfect being, without sin, and in God’s own image and likeness (Gen. 1:26-27). Man was created a moral, rational, spiritual being consisting of a body, soul, and spirit (1 Thess. 5:23). Man’s original nature was good (Gen. 1:26-31); however, he had a free will, and when he chose to disobey God, he fell from that goodness, and sin entered the world (Rom. 5:12). At that time, man not only began to die physically (Gen. 3:19; Gen 5:5), but also did die spiritually. Adam being the head of the human race, passed on this sinful nature to all humans (Gen. 5:1-3; Psalm 51:5). All men since Adam are born with a sinful nature and are not able to please God (Rom. 3:10-12) and are in need of salvation through the new birth (John 3:3-7).
We believe that sin is lawlessness or disregard for the law of God (1 John 3:4) and is the missing of the mark of the perfect holiness of God. Sin originated with Satan (Isa. 14:12-17) and came into the human race through the fall of Adam (Gen. 3:1-7; Rom. 5:12). As a result of Adam’s sin, death passed upon all men. Because of the fall of man, man is evil and unable to please God through his own nature (Rom. 3:10-12; Rom. 5:12-19). He is born with a sinful nature which will naturally produce sin (Ps. 51:5). Man has no means of recovery from this sinful state apart from the work of Christ on the cross as the Divine provision for this sin nature (Rom. 6:1-6; Eph. 2:8-9), and its sin (1 John 2:2).
We believe that salvation is a free gift through the grace of God (Eph. 2:8-9) and cannot be received on the basis of human merit or doing good works (Rom. 4:4; Rom. 6:23). Each man needs salvation because of his sinful condition (Rom. 3:23) and his only basis of salvation is the death of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross (Eph. 1:7; Acts 4:12). On the cross, Jesus paid the penalty for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2) by the shedding of His blood (Heb. 8:12; Matt. 26:28) and becoming sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21). Those who receive Christ by faith as their own Savior are justified on the ground of His shed blood (Rom. 5:9).
When a person by faith receives Jesus Christ as personal Savior, he becomes a child of God (John 1:12-13), he is instantly born again by the Spirit of God (John 3:5), he is converted and he becomes a new person in Christ (2 Cor. 5:1; Acts 3:19). At the moment of salvation, he is justified, that is, judicially declared righteous by God, the righteousness of Christ being applied to him (Rom. 5:1-2; Rom. 4:5). He is likewise sanctified, being set apart for holy service (1 Cor. 1:2). The saved are eternally saved and are kept by the power of God (John 10:28) and have eternal life (1 John 5:11-12).
Since Christ died for the sinful nature of all men and freed them from that guilt they had with Adam (Rom. 6:10; 1 Tim. 4:10), those infants who die before they are knowingly able to sin and reject Christ or before they are able to exercise true faith, will be saved and live eternally with Christ even as David’s infant who died on the seventh day (2 Sam. 12:15-20).
8. The Church
We believe that Jesus prophesied that He would build His church (Matt. 16:18). Christ began His church in His lifetime and on the day of Pentecost those first believers were empowered to serve God when Jesus Christ had the Holy Spirit to permanently indwell all believers (Acts 2). The local church (1 Cor. 12:27) is the organization which God has started and chosen to carry out His work in this age. It is composed of saved, immersed (baptized) believers (Acts 2:41), who join together to carry out the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20), and meet for edification, fellowship, prayer, worship, and instruction in the Word, and for observing the ordinances (Acts 2:42). This body is independent of outside control and is under the immediate authority of Christ (Heb. 13:7; Matt. 16:18), the Word of God being its sole authority for both faith and practice (2 Tim. 3:15-17). The local church has only two divinely appointed offices,Pastor and Deacon (Phil. 1:1). The local church observes two divinely appointed ordinances, baptism by immersion (Rom. 6:3-5; John 3:23), and the Lord’s Supper.
Baptism is not necessary for salvation (Eph. 2:8-9), yet it is the privilege and duty of every child of God to follow the Lord in baptism as an open confession of his identification with Christ as Savior and with His death, burial, and resurrection (Acts 10:47-48; Rom. 6:3-5). We believe that baptism is a step of “obedience” to Christ, therefore unbaptized believers (disobedient believers) may not be members of the local church. The Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:23-34) is to be observed by born again believers in remembrance of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 11:20-32). This observance shows forth His death until He comes, and should always be preceded by self-examination. The cup and bread are symbolical of the blood and body of Christ (Luke 22:19); the cup being described as the ‘fruit of the vine,” (Matt. 26:26-29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18), pure, unfermented (no alcohol) grape juice.
The first day of the week, Sunday, is the Lord’s Day (Rev. 1:10), a day set apart for worship of the Lord. This was the day of the week on which the Lord Jesus was resurrected (Matthew 28:6; John 20:6, and thus the church meets on this day as the early Christians did (Acts 20:7), in remembrance of His resurrection.
Angels are created beings and are divided into two groups: good angels, who obey the will of God (Matt. 26:53; Ps. 103:20; Heb. 1:14), and bad angels, (fallen angels) who left their first estate (Jude 6), obey Satan (Matt. 25:41), and will be cast into the lake of fire. Satan was created a perfect, anointed cherub (a type of angel), but because of pride he fell (Isaiah 14:12-25). Today he works as the adversary (enemy) of God, and His work (1 Pet. 5:8).
10. Last Things
We believe that the next great prophetic event on God’s time calendar is the “pre-tribulational rapture of believers” and the soon return of Christ for His own (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Thess. 5:9). Following the rapture, believers will appear before the judgment seat of Christ, and the works of each believer will be judged with the works of the flesh being consumed and the works of the spirit being rewarded (2 Cor. 5:20; 1 Cor. 3:9-15).
The unbelievers who are left after the rapture will face seven years of tribulation in which the wrath of God is poured out upon this earth. This period is the seventieth week of Daniel (Dan. 9:24-27). The tribulation will end with Christ returning to the earth when all unbelievers will be cast into Hades (hell) and unbelieving nations will be destroyed (Rev. 19:11-21).
Christ will establish His promised millennial (1000 year long) kingdom with the earthly citizens being those believers who were living at His return. During the millennium, Satan will be bound and peace will prevail (Rev. 20:1-3). At the end of the 1,000 years, Satan will be released for a season, and many will rebel against Christ (Rev. 20:8-10). After being conquered by Christ, Satan will be cast into the lake of fire to spend eternity (Rev. 20:10).
Following the defeat of Satan, the great white throne judgment will take place at which time all the unsaved will be brought from their temporary place of torment in Hades, and their bodies will be resurrected from their place of abode. After this judgment, all the unsaved will be cast into the lake of fire to spend eternity, but this judgment will determine the degree of that eternal torment (Matt. 11:20-24).
Eternity will follow in which all believers will enjoy eternal blessedness in the presence of God, in the new heaven and earth (Revelation 21; Revelation 22).