We believe, that Christian doctrine is important, and we are committed to a program of teaching and instruction that will establish our members upon the basic truths of the Word of God (1 Tim 1:3,9-11; 2 Tim 4:2-4; Titus 2:1). We have no formal, written creed which we ask people to accept. Rather, we seek to make Christ and His word our creed.
Our hope of salvation is not in adherence to men’s doctrinal summaries or official creedal statements, but in a Person. If there are questions of orthodoxy and doctrine, it is best to go directly to the Bible for clarification, not to a human creed. The following comments are not presented as a formal creedal statement, but only as a summary of our understanding of certain doctrinal issues and themes. (Acts 4:12; 2 Tim 3:16)
What We Believe About The Bible
We believe that the Scriptures (the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament) are given to us as the revelation of God. As such, we believe them to be uniquely inspired by God and authoritative for our lives as the Word of God. We believe that Scripture originated with God and was given through human authors, chosen and directed by Him. Thus, at one and the same time the Bible speaks with the authority of God and also reflects the backgrounds, styles, and vocabularies of its human authors.
We believe that all the good of the life of man, all the hope that he has for his life, and all the expectation he has for an eternal destiny are to be found in the Bible. It is the source of our knowledge of God, of the hope and means of salvation, and of the hope of eternity. In it man finds God revealed, as well as his will for man. In it he finds the means of salvation, the divine pattern for the church, the pattern for Christian living, and the promise of the deepest things for which the soul of man can hunger.
We affirm that the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant in their original manuscripts, and we accept them as the full and final authority on all matters of faith and practice. Recognizing that there are no other writings similarly inspired by God, they must comprise the foundation of all that we believe and teach. (Jn 10:35; 2 Tim 3:15-17; 2 Pet 1:20,21; Rom 15:4)
What We Believe About God
We believe that there is one, true, holy God who created out of nothing the heavens and the earth– all that exists. The creation, therefore, manifests the Creator’s power, wisdom, and goodness. By the power of his sovereign Word He sustains His creation. Through His providence He continues to work in history to bring about His divine purposes.
The one true and living God eternally co-exists in the three persons revealed in Scripture as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, each equally manifest all the qualities of deity and the characteristics of personality. (Heb 11:1-6; Rom 1:20; Deut 6:4-6; 1 Tim 1:17; Acts 14:15)
What We Believe About Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the living God and the promised Messiah of the Old Testament. To accomplish the divine plan of redemption, He took upon himself the nature of man. He was miraculously conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. He lived a sinless life of obedience to the Father, faithfully taught the message of the Kingdom of heaven, and demonstrated his authority and power through mighty signs and wonders. He voluntarily gave himself as the substitute for man\’s sins by dying on the cross. His death revealed God’s perfect love and absolute demand for justice. Through his death he made possible the salvation of all who trust him alone as Savior and Lord.
Jesus Christ died, was buried, and arose from the dead. He ascended to heaven to assume his eternal position of glory and authority at the right hand of the Father. He continues to make intercession for his own, as the only Mediator between God and man. He shall come again to earth, personally and visibly, to assert his authority over all of creation. His return will bring to final fulfillment God’s plan for human history. (Isa 9:6; Jn 1:1-18; Phil 2:1-11; 1 Cor 15:1-3; Acts 4:12; Jn. 14:1- 6)
What We Believe About The Holy Spirit
We believe that all those who trust Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are forgiven of sin and receive the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit (i.e., the Spirit himself). The Holy Spirit is the powerful and unseen, yet personal, manifestation of the living God. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment through the message of the gospel. All Christians are commanded to be filled with the Spirit, thus to put their lives under His control. Through such submission, the Spirit provides assurance, spiritual strength, and wisdom in the life of the believer. He also endows every believer with special gifts for ministry and the building up of the body of Christ. The Spirit guides us and assists us in applying the Scriptures to our lives. It is through the power of the Spirit that Christians are able to live faithful and fruitful lives. He enables us to become like Christ in our character and to boldly witness for Christ through both word and deed. (Acts 2:38; Jn 14:1-21; Eph 1:13,14; 1 Cor 12:1-26; Rom 8:9-17; Rom 8:26,27; Gal 5:16-25)
What We Believe About The Gospel
We believe that man was created to live in fellowship with God. But man has rebelled against the authority of God, has defied God, and chosen to go his own independent way. The result of man’s rebellion is alienation, condemnation, and corruption. Consequently, all mankind stands in need of the saving grace of God extended through Jesus Christ.
The Bible presents God’s good news and message of grace to a lost world. It reveals God’s plan to restore men to fellowship with himself through the saving work of Jesus Christ, not through human works, goodness, or religion. The offer of salvation that comes through the gospel must be personally received by faith. All may be saved, regardless of past sin, if they trust in Jesus as Savior and obey him as Lord. Those who do not receive God’s gracious gift of salvation offered through the gospel will be eternally lost.
In the New Testament, a faith-response to the gospel manifests itself in a determination to turn from sin to serve the living God, a willingness to acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior, and submission to him in Christian baptism. Correctly understood, these are responses of faith and obedience and are in no way to be construed as works of human merit. (Jn 3:16,17; Rom 3:21-26; Acts 2:22-39; Acts 8:30-38; Rom 5:6-11; 2 Cor 5:14,15; Eph 2:8-10; 2 Thess 1:8-10)
What We Believe About Human Destiny
Death seals the destiny of each person. At the end of history all mankind, the living and the dead, will be raised to stand in judgment before the Eternal God. Unbelievers will be eternally separated from God into condemnation (hell). Believers will be received into eternal fellowship with God (the new heaven and earth) and rewarded for their works done in this life. God’s judgment will be completely fair and just. The condemnation of the unbeliever will come in response to his personal rejection of the Living God. The blessings of the saved will result from their submission to the saving work of Christ. (Acts 17:31; Heb 9:27-29; Rev 20:11-15; 2 Thess 1:5-10; 2 Cor 5:9-10; 1 Cor 3:10-15; Mt 25:14-30)
What We Believe About The Lord's Supper
We believe that the Lord’s Supper is an essential mark of identity of the church of Christ. The apostles, acting under the directives of Christ, instituted its observance upon the first day of every week as the central act of Christian worship. The Lord’s Supper (communion/eucharist) is a Christian act of corporate worship which reaffirms the believer’s faith in the redemptive work of Christ and proclaims this faith in word and deed. It is an act of thanksgiving (Eucharist) to the living God. It is also an opportunity for a deepening personal relationship (communion) between the believer and his/her Lord. The Lord’s Supper demonstrates the spiritual unity of believers and regularly calls us to renewed.
What We Believe About Baptism
We believe that Christian baptism is the “initiation rite” of the believer. It is both a response of personal faith in the person and work of Christ and a proclamation of the saving events of the gospel. We believe it is important to follow closely the New Testament teaching about baptism and to maintain the integrity of the original design and practice of Christian baptism. For that reason, we practice believer baptism for the forgiveness of sins by immersion into Christ.
We believe baptism to be a clear command of Christ given to His apostles and carried out by them, with the intention that it be continued to be practiced in the church. We view baptism not as a work of merit that in some way earns God’s favor, but as an act of faith and repentance and a necessary response of obedience to the gospel. Baptism is a public affirmation of one’s faith in the gospel of grace. (Mt 28:19,20; Mk 16:15,16; Acts 2:38,39; Acts 8:30-38; Rom 6:1-10; Col 2:9- 12; Gal 3:26-29; 1 Pet 3:20,21)
What We Believe About The Christian Life
We believe that all Christians are called to obedient and holy living.
The teachings of Jesus and his apostles comprise the basis of the Christian life; the example of Jesus provides the model. The Christian’s commitment to Christ is to manifest itself in the whole of the believer’s experiences and relationships–in marriage and family life, in work and social relationships, in personal and ethical conduct.
We believe that every believer is called to live a life of intentional discipleship. As a disciple we are to deny ourselves, follow Jesus, learn from him, and become like him. Through the spiritual disciplines of prayer, meditation, fasting, Bible study, corporate and private worship, mutual accountability, and personal stewardship the disciple is able to grow in his Christian life and in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. The Christian disciple is called to a life of worship, compassion, service, and witness. Such a life is made possible by the empowering work of the Holy Spirit and is lived only for the glory of God. (Jn 15:1-17; Col 3:1-4:1; Gal 5:13-26; Rom 12:1-21)
What We Believe About The Church
We believe that all who put their faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord are made members of his body, the church. We affirm that there is one true church universal, comprised of all those who have obeyed the gospel.
The Scriptures teach that the church is to gather regularly for worship, prayer, teaching from the Word, and for mutual encouragement and ministry. Wherever believers meet regularly in obedience to God’s Word, there exists a local expression of the church. Under the watch care of faithful elders, the church is to work together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purposes of glorifying Christ and advancing his Kingdom.
We also believe that within the church there should exist a special “togetherness”, a common care of Christians for each other which triumphs over our individual differences. This special bond of faith with brothers and sisters of like, precious faith is one of the richest blessings of the church. We believe that it is important for each believer to find concrete ways to involve himself/herself in the shared life of Christian fellowship that is to exist in the church. (Mt 16:17-19; Acts 2:42-47; Acts 14:21-23; Eph 1:22; Eph 4:11-16; Heb 10:24,25)
What We Believe About Faith & Freedom
We believe that the Bible is our final authority in all matters of faith and practice. In areas where Scripture is silent, Christian freedom shall prevail and each believer must be guided by his own faith, as led by the Spirit. Where honest differences of interpretation and opinion exist, the believer remains under obligation to pursue unity and love. We are each called to respect and serve other followers of Christ with whom we may disagree and to do nothing that would bring about dissension in the body of Christ.
Our standard shall be… “in essentials, unity; in opinions, liberty; in all things, love.” (1 Cor. 8:1-13; 1 Cor. 10:23-33; Rom. 14:1-22; 2 Tim. 2:23-26; Titus 3:9-11)