Our Beliefs

What follows is a brief summary of what we believe. For more information be sure to follow the links at the bottom of the page concerning historic creeds and confessions which we affirm.


 

Scripture

1.1 The Bible, consisting of the 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament, is the verbally inspired, written Word of God, without error in its original manuscripts.
1.2 The Bible serves as the supreme and normative rule of faith and practice for all of the Christian life. The Bible is God’s totally sufficient revelation of himself for our salvation, and is superior to all tradition, extra-biblical revelation, and worldly wisdom. Every tradition, doctrinal formulation, creed, confession, theology, and practice, must be tested against, and held in submission to, the full counsel of God found in the Holy Scriptures.

The Trinity
2.1 There is one God: the Creator of the universe, sovereign, infinite, almighty, perfectly holy, just, and loving.
2.2 God eternally exists in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
2.3 Each person of God is fully God. The Father is fully God. Jesus (the Son) is fully God. The Holy Spirit is fully God.

God the Father
3.1 God the Father is the Creator of both heaven and earth. He created all things from nothing, by the power of His word and for His glory. Together with the Son and the Spirit, He is sovereign and rules over all.
3.2 In His holiness He judges sin.
3.3 In His love He gave his Son Jesus as a sacrifice to reconcile sinners to Himself.

Jesus Christ
4.1 Jesus Christ is the eternal, only begotten Son of God.
4.2 Conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, He is both completely God and completely man. In Him the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.
4.3 He lived a sinless, perfectly obedient life, and voluntarily gave Himself as a substitute to die in our place, trading His righteousness for our sinfulness, and reconciling us to God. His death satisfied the demands of God’s holy justice, paying the penalty for our sins, and accomplishing salvation for those who are joined to Him by faith alone. He is the only savior.
4.4 He rose bodily from the grave, appeared to many witnesses, ascended bodily into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God to intercede for His church and serve as the only mediator between God and man.
4.5 He is the head of His body, the church, and will one day return visibly and bodily to earth to judge all men and establish His kingdom.

The Holy Spirit
5.1 The third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit came into the world to reveal and glorify Jesus, and to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.
5.2 The Spirit regenerates men’s hearts, persuades them to repent and believe the gospel, and indwells believers from the moment of spiritual birth, sealing them until the day of redemption.
5.3 The Spirit gives gifts to all believers for the edification of the church, and the ministry of reconciliation.

Mankind
6.1 God made man (male and female) in His own image for the purpose of glorifying Him by enjoying fellowship with Him.
6.2 The first man and woman, tempted by Satan, chose to rebel against God. This disobedience put hostility between God and man, bringing divine wrath, condemnation, and death to mankind.
6.3 All humans since have been born with a corrupted nature. Spiritually dead and at war with God, men are incapable of returning to the Creator in and of themselves. This corrupted nature extends to all aspects of a person’s being: mind, will, and affections.

The Gospel
7.1 The Gospel is the good news that God is reconciling to Himself all things, through the person and work of Jesus. It was His plan from the beginning, revealed in Scripture, carried out through the incarnation of Jesus, His penal substitutionary atonement on the cross, and the grace given to individual sinners who deserve death, but are given life instead as their sins are traded for Christ’s righteousness.
7.2 But the Gospel is more, it is the reconciliation of all things to God. So the Gospel continues in the sanctification of the church, through the work of the Spirit and Scripture, the church’s witness of the living Savior to a dying world, and finally the restoration of creation itself, where Christ will visibly reign supreme over all things.

Salvation
8.1 Salvation is accomplished only by the work of Christ on the cross, granted to men and women by a loving God, not as a result of any merit or works on their part, but only by His undeserved grace.
8.2 In salvation, God gives life to spiritually dead people, grants them repentance leading to salvation, and transfers them into “the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14)
8.3 Salvation is naturally accompanied by a changed life, and evidenced by good works. Works being the result of salvation, not the cause of it.

Baptism
9.1 Baptism is an outward indication, and public profession, of the believer’s repentance and “appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 3:21)
9.2 Baptism being an ordinance of the new covenant, it is not the means of salvation, but rather a testimony to it.
9.3 According to the words of Paul in Romans 6:4 and Colossians 2:12, our baptism pictures our being united with Christ in his death, and resurrected to new life by the power and grace of God. Therefore, we believe that baptism by immersion is to be preferred over sprinkling or pouring. We also believe, that baptism is to follow repentance and faith. It was commanded of us by Jesus himself, when he said we were to

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” – Matthew 28:19

Again in Mark 16:16, Jesus tied baptism to belief

“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

The second half dissolves us of the notion that baptism has any merit by which to save us apart from faith. It is the faith on which our salvation rests, not our baptism, but our baptism is to accompany our faith as an act of obedience, a visible sign of our entrance into the covenant community (1 Cor 12:13), and a testimony to others of our faith.

Throughout the New Testament, baptism is spoken of as following repentance and faith (Acts 2:38, 8:12-13, Acts 10, 18:8, etc.).

9.4 Therefore our belief and practice on baptism is to baptize, by immersion, only those who have made a credible profession of faith in Christ. Baptism is to be administered only once.

The Church
10.1 The church is the body of Christ, comprised of all true believers, in all times, in all places. The local church is a visible expression of this universal church.
10.2 The church is called out of the world to be a holy people belonging to God. The church is the flock “of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28) Christ “gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:14)
10.3 The church, as the people of God, is sent into the world to be a witness for Jesus, who said, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” (John 20:21)

For Jesus, His sending meant incarnation. That is, He entered into our world. He left the comfort of eternal communion with His Father and journeyed into our world. He entered our lives, as a human like us, but without sin.

For the church this means we also are to incarnate. We are to enter into the world, joining lost sinners, just as Jesus did, for the express purpose of being a witness to them of the incarnation of Jesus himself. This is what it means to be salt and light in the world.

For the Christian, this means the church serves as an agent of sanctification, where we live life alongside other believers, speaking the gospel into each other’s lives so that we continue to conform to the image of Jesus. The church also serves as a source of edification, as we encourage, support, and help each other to become more like Jesus. We need each other, if we are to be all that God would have us be.

It also means the church is a place of service, where the individual believer looks for ways to serve other Christians, encouraging, supporting, speaking the gospel to them, etc.

The church is to be a place where the individual Christian joins with others in taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and hurting world. We are a sent people.

Restoration
11.1 Since the very beginning, God has promised redemption and restoration, for all of creation, as part of his plan.
11.2 The final restoration will include the physical, visible, glorious return of Jesus, the resurrection of the dead, and the judgment of the just and unjust.
11.3 The restoration will include the establishment of the new heavens and new earth, which will be inhabited by the redeemed people of God for eternity, in perfect peace and joy in personal fellowship with Jesus.


 

We likewise affirm the following historic creeds and confessions:

* We also subscribe to the Danver’s Statement from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

While we do not consider these documents to be perfect or exhaustive in expression, they are accurate summaries of that body of doctrine which is believed, preached, and taught in this local church.