Doctrinal Statement

Updated May 2009

Introduction

This church recognizes that it cannot bind the consciences of individual members in areas where the Scripture does not speak directly or where it can legitimately be understood in more than one way, but that each believer is to be led by the Lord to whom they alone are ultimately responsible. For the preservation of the peace and unity of the church, officers and teachers shall be in agreement with this Doctrinal Statement. All members should refrain from imposing doctrines that are not included in this Doctrinal Statement in such a way as to encourage doctrinal disputes which could destroy the peace and unity of the church.

By accepting and subscribing to these articles of faith, we by no means set aside or under value any of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

Section A – The Word of God, The Bible

WE BELIEVE the Bible, which includes the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, to be the divinely inspired, infallible, inerrant, supreme and final authoritative Word of God for faith and life. (Ps. 19:7-11; Luke 24:27; John 17:17; Acts 17:2-3; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; 3:15-16)

Section B – The Trinity of the Godhead

WE BELIEVE that the one God eternally exists in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; and that these three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes and perfection, and are worthy of the same homage, confidence, obedience, praise and worship. (Is. 48:16; Matt. 28:19; Mark 12:29; John 1:1,14; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 13:14)

Section C – The Total Sinfulness of Man

WE BELIEVE that human beings were originally created in the image of God; that we sinned through disobedience and thereby incurred not only physical but also spiritual death, which is separation from God; that all human beings are born with a sinful nature; that all have fallen short of the glory of God; that we express our sinful natures through thoughts, words and deeds; and that in and of ourselves, we cannot please God. (Gen. 1:26; 2:17; 3:1-19; Ps. 51:5; Jer. 17:9; John 6:44,65; Rom. 3:23; 5:12; 8:7-8; Eph. 2:1-3)

Section D – The Person and Work of Jesus Christ

WE BELIEVE in the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, His absolute deity, His sinless humanity and perfect life, the eternal all-sufficiency of His atoning death, His bodily resurrection, and His ascension to the Father’s right hand, where as the only mediator between God and man He makes intercession for us until He comes again. (Isa. 7:14; Isa. 9:6-7; Luke 1:30-35, 2:40; John 1:1-2,18; Romans 8:34; 1 Cor. 15:4; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:13-15; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 1:3; 2:14-18; 1 John 3:5)

Section E – The Blood Atonement of Jesus Christ

WE BELIEVE that Jesus Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures as a substitutionary sacrifice. His shed blood is the redemptive price for sinners, the only means of atonement for sin, and is appropriated by faith alone. (Lev. 17:11; Rom. 3:21-26; 5:6-8; 1 Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; Eph. 1:7, 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; Heb. 9:22; 1 Pet. 1:18-19,23; 3:18)

Section F – Justification

WE BELIEVE that justification is a judicial act of God whereby He pardons the believer’s sin and declares the sinner righteous solely on the merits of Christ’s sacrificial death and shed blood. This is an act solely of God and is appropriated by faith in Jesus Christ alone. (John 1:12; 3:7-8; Rom. 3:24,28; 4:4-5; 2 Cor. 5:21; Eph. 2:8-10; Col. 1:13-15; Titus 3:5-6; 1 John 1:9)

Section G – The New Birth (Regeneration)

WE BELIEVE that the new birth, or regeneration, is the act of God which gives eternal life. When we were dead in our sins, He raised us up and made us alive together with Christ by grace alone. He imparts to us a new nature and puts his laws in our hearts and writes them on our minds. (John 1:12; 3:3-7; Rom 3:10,23; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:1-5; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5; Heb. 10:16; 1 Peter 1:23)

Section H – The Assurance of Salvation

WE BELIEVE that God’s Word teaches the assurance of salvation and the keeping power of God for daily living to every born again person and that this new life is eternal for the believer. (John 5:24; 10:28-29; Rom. 8:1, 28-39; 2 Cor. 5:1, 6-8; Phil. 1:6; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 1 John 5:13)

Section I – The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead; that He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment; and that He regenerates, indwells, seals, enlightens, guides and empowers the believer. (John 3:6, 14:16-17, 16:7-15; Acts 1:8; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:13-14, 4:30, 5:18)

Section J – The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit sovereignly gives each believer at least one spiritual gift; that no believer is destitute of such a gift; that He gives these gifts to believers so that they might serve the body; and that the Church has been given specific gifted believers whose purpose it is to equip the saints for service and building up the body of Christ. (Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; Eph. 4:7-12; 1 Peter 4:10)

Section K – The Christian Walk

WE BELIEVE that all who are born again by the Holy Spirit are made partakers of the divine nature, and are called with a holy calling to walk, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit; and that they can be victorious over the flesh through the power of the Holy Spirit and thus not manifest the works of the flesh, which would dishonor Christ’s name, but manifest the fruit of the Spirit, which glorifies God. (Romans 6-8; Gal. 5:16-23; Eph. 1:3-14; 4:1-6:4; 1 Peter 1:15-16; 2 Peter 1:3-4)

Section L – Marriage and Human Sexuality:

WE BELIEVE that God has established marriage as the exclusive, lifelong covenantal union of one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24; Matt. 19:3-9). Hence, sexual activities outside of marriage including, but not limited to, adultery, premarital sex, homosexuality, and pedophilia are forbidden (Rom 1:26-27, 1 Cor 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:3-8). Further, lewd conduct, transgender behavior, bestiality, and the creation and/or distribution and/or viewing of pornography, are incompatible with Christian conduct (Matt. 5:27-28, Eph. 5:3-5).

Section M – Missions

WE BELIEVE that we should obey Christ’s command to go into the whole world to make disciples, proclaiming the gospel by word and deed. (Matt. 28:18-19; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; Col. 4:5-6)

Section N – Ordinances

WE BELIEVE that there are two church ordinances, communion and baptism, which are the outward signs of inward spiritual reality and which our Lord Jesus Christ instituted and commanded for the Church.

1. Communion: The Church celebrates Communion with the use of bread and the cup (fruit of the vine), symbolizing the body and blood of Christ, in accordance with the accounts given in the Scriptures (Matt. 26:20-30; Mark 14:17-27; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Cor. 11:1-34). We believe that the Lord’s Supper should be an important part of the Church life and a priority for every believer. Thus we observe communion frequently and regularly.2. Baptism: Baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is administered by immersion to born again believers (Matt. 28:18-19). Baptism is an act of obedience to Jesus Christ, a symbol of identification with Christ (Romans 6:4), and a public testimony of faith in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit’s inward work of regeneration (Matt. 10:32-33). Baptism does not impart salvation, but follows salvation. (Acts 8:12; Ephesians 2:8-9) (Believer’s baptism by immersion is the official teaching position and practice in this church. We will consider accepting into membership those who hold a different view of baptism, providing they agree not to teach this view in our church or make it a point of contention or division. Members accepted under this exception to doctrine shall be allowed to vote in all church matters except for amendments to this section of the constitution. They shall not be eligible to hold the position of Elder unless they come into full agreement with the view of baptism stated above. Elder board approval shall be required prior to their acceptance into membership.)

 

Section O – Second Coming of Christ

WE BELIEVE in the personal, imminent, and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ to this earth in power and glory, which is the blessed hope for which we constantly should be looking (John 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-14). We recognize that godly, Bible-believing scholars have different views on the end times. While these views are worth studying and debating in a brotherly manner (because the Scriptures speak much about these matters), we should not make our views on prophecy a matter of faction or division in the church. Rather, biblical prophecy is given to motivate us to godly living and increased zeal for Christ’s kingdom (2 Pet. 3:3-14; 1 John 3:2-3).

Section P – Heaven, Hell, and the Resurrection of the Saints

WE BELIEVE in the resurrection of the saints to eternal blessedness in heaven and the lost to be raised to judgment, condemnation and eternal punishment in hell. (Dan. 12:2; Matt. 25:46; Luke 16:22-23; John 5:24,28-29; 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:16-23; 2 Cor. 5:6-8; Phil. 1:23; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; 1 John 5:11-13; Rev. 20)

Section Q – The Personality and Work of Satan

WE BELIEVE that Satan is a real and personal spiritual being and that, as the “prince of the power of the air,” he is now working in the children of disobedience. He uses demons and humans as agents in the execution of his ungodly purposes, and his final defeat is assured. (Isa. 14:12-27; Matt. 4:1-3; 2 Cor. 4:4; 11:3-4,13-15; Eph. 2:2; 2 Peter 2:4; Rev. 12:9; 20:10)