Doctrinal Statement

Written by PhilD41 on Oct 13, 2011

Section 1. The Scriptures

We believe the Bible to be the verbally inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, and the supreme and final authority in doctrine and practice. (II Timothy 3:16-17, II Peter 1:20-21, John 17:17, Matt. 5:18)

We believe the Bible is to be interpreted in a normal and literal way. This means to consider history, grammar, context, and harmony with other Scripture as guidelines for interpretation. We believe that the Holy Spirit guides the believer to understand the Bible. We believe that God’s revelation to man is complete, and that He speaks to man primarily through the Scriptures. (II Timothy 2:15, John 16:12-15, Revelation 22:18, 19)

Section 2. The Godhead

We believe in one God eternally existing in three equal persons—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—who have the same nature and attributes but who are distinct in office and activity. (Deut. 6:4, II Cor. 13:14, Matt. 28:19)

Section 3. The Person and Work of God the Father

We believe God the Father is the Creator of all things. In His nature He is among other things, completely holy, all-powerful, all-knowing, omnipresent, eternal, just and loving. He is totally sovereign in all that has or shall come to pass. As such, He is the author of election, through which He chooses a people for Himself. (Ps. 139:1-18, I John 1:5, John 3:16, Eph. 1:3-6)

Section 4. The Person and Work of Christ

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary in order that He might reveal God to man and redeem sinful man. We believe that He accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice. We believe that our redemption and salvation is guaranteed to us by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. (John 1:1, 14, 18, Luke 1:35, Rom. 3:24-26, 4:25)

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is now in heaven, exalted at the right hand of God, where as His people’s High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of intercession and advocacy. (Heb. 1:3, 3:1, 7:23-25, 9:24, 12:2, I John 2:1-2)

Section 5. The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

We believe that God, the Holy Spirit, is that person of the trinity whose ministry is to restrain evil in the world, convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement, and to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. He also regenerates those who receive Christ as Savior, baptizing them at the moment of salvation into the church (the body of Christ), indwells them permanently, seals them unto the day of redemption, bestows on them spiritual gifts, and empowers them for godly living and service. It is the Spirit’s ministry to lead, instruct, and fill (control) believers as they are yielded to Him. (John 16:7-15, John 3:8, 14:16-17, 15:26-27, Eph. 1:13-14, Titus 3:5, I Cor. 6:19, I Cor. 12:4-11, 13, Eph. 4:30, 5:18, Rom 8:14)

Section 6. Angels and Satan

We believe that angels are spiritual beings who were created in a sinless state and that they occupied different orders and rank. They presently exist in both fallen and unfallen states; the former includes Satan and his angels. (Heb. 1:13-14, II Peter 2:4, Rev. 7:11-12)

We believe that Satan, by his own choice the enemy of God and of the people of God, is the originator of sin. We believe he led our first parents into sin and now rules as the god of this world. Satan was judged at the cross, and ultimately he will be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity. (Isa. 14:12-14, Gen. 3:1-19, Rev. 20:10)

Section 7. Creation and the Fall

We believe that all things in heaven and on earth were created by God and exist by His power and for His glory. (Gen. 1:1, Col. 1:16-17) We believe that man was created innocent and in the image and likeness of God but that he sinned, bringing both physical and spiritual death to himself and to his posterity. We believe that man has inherited a sinful nature, is alienated from God, is incapable of redeeming himself, and is in need of salvation. (Gen. 1:26-27, 2:17, 3:1-24, Rom. 3:10-12, 23, Rom. 5:12, 17-19, Eph. 2:1-3, 12)

Section 8. Salvation

We believe that every man is lost in sin apart from Christ and in need of a Savior. We believe that salvation is a gift of God and is received by man only through personal faith in Jesus Christ. We believe that man is justified by grace through faith alone, apart from works. (Eph. 2:8-9, Rom 6:23, John 1:12, Rom 3:23-24, Eph. 1:7) We believe that all true believers, once saved, are kept secure in Christ forever. (Rom. 8:1, 29-30, 38-39, John 6:37-40, John 10:27-30)

Section 9. Sanctification

We believe that sanctification, which is a setting apart of an individual unto God, is positional, progressive, and ultimate:

Positionally, it is already complete at the moment a person trusts Christ for salvation, since the believer is in Christ and is set apart unto God as Christ is set apart unto God.

Since the believer retains his sinful nature, however, there is need for progressive sanctification (or spiritual growth) whereby the Christian matures in grace by the power of the Holy Spirit and the daily intake of the Word.

Ultimately the child of God will be sanctified when he is taken to be with Christ and becomes like Him. (John 17:17, II Cor. 3:18, Eph. 5:25-27, I Peter 2:2-3, I Thess. 5:23, Heb. 10:10, 14, I John 3:2-3)

Section 10. The Church

We believe that the universal church, the body and Bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism, made up of all born-again persons of this present age irrespective of their affiliation with Christian organizations. We believe that the church began at Pentecost and that a believer is placed into the church by the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit. We believe that the church is distinct from Israel. (Eph. 1:22-23, 5:25-27, I Cor. 12:12-13, 10:32, Acts 2:1-4)

We believe that the local church is an assembly of professed believers in Jesus Christ who are voluntarily joined together in one locality for the purpose of worship, study of the Word of God, observance of the ordinances, Christian fellowship, and prayer, thereby to be equipped for Christian service and evangelism. (Acts 2;42-47, Eph. 4:11-13)

Section 11. The Ordinances

We believe that Christ instituted the ordinances of water baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which are to be observed by believers until He returns. (Matt. 28:19-20, I Cor. 11:23-26)

We believe that by water baptism a believer is publicly identified with his Savior in His death, burial, and resurrection, and that immersion is the Scriptural mode. (Acts 8:36-38)

We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a memorial of Christ’s death by which He established the New Covenant, the elements being symbols of His body and blood. The Lord’s Table is open to all believers who are walking in fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. (I Cor. 11:23-24, Luke 22:17-20)

Section 12. Events of the End Times

A. The Blessed Hope: We believe in the personal, imminent coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in the air to receive to Himself all those, dead or alive, who belong to Him. This event, the rapture of the Church, is the blessed hope for which we should be constantly looking. (John 14:1-3, I Cor. 15:51-52, I Thess. 4:13-18, Titus 2:11-14, I Thess. 1:8-10, 5:9)

B. The Tribulation: For seven years at the end of this dispensation, the earth will undergo a time of judgement known as “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble” or “The Tribulation.” During this period, many will turn to Christ and be slain for their faith. (Jer. 30:7, Matt. 24:14-22, Rev. 6:1-19:21, II Thess. 2:3-12)

C. The Second Advent: The culmination of the Tribulation will be the personal, bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth to establish the Millennial Age, during which He will reign; Satan will be bound; Israel will be restored; and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord. (Isa. 11:9, Ezek. 37:21-28, Matt. 24:15-25, 36, II Tim. 3:1-5, Rev. 20:1-3)

D. The Eternal State: We believe that the spirits of believers in Jesus Christ in this age pass immediately into His presence at death and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at His coming for the church. At that time the spirit and body shall be reunited and shall be associated with Him forever in glory. We believe that the spirits of unbelievers remain in conscious torment in Hades after death until the final judgement of the Great White Throne at the close of the Millennium. At that time, spirit and body shall be reunited and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be destroyed but to be punished with everlasting separation from the presence of the Lord. (Luke 16:19-26, 23:43, II Cor. 5:8, Phil. 1:23, II Thess. 1:7-9, Rev. 20:11-15)