WHAT WE BELIEVE
Concerning the Holy Scriptures
Concerning the Holy Scriptures. We believe that the Bible, consisting of sixty-six books in the Old and New Testaments, is without error in its original writing; its author is God using Spirit-guided men, being thereby verbally and plenarily inspired; it has been preserved through the ages so as to be authentic and reliable to every generation; it is the only supreme and ultimate authority for faith and practice (II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20-21; Matthew 5:18; I Corinthians 2:10-13).
Concerning the Godhead
We believe there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, eternal, self-existing, perfect Spirit. He is a personal Being, the Creator and Upholder of the universe. He exists in three Persons--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--eternal in being, identical in essence, equal in power and glory, and having the same divine attributes and perfections, yet having distinct functions (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14; John 14:7-12; 16:7; Philippians 2:5-6).
Concerning the Person and Work of Jesus Christ
(a) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, in order to reveal God and redeem sinful men (Matthew 1:18-20; John 1:1-2, 14, 18; Luke 1:35).
(b) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a substitutionary sacrifice, and that all who receive Him are justified on the grounds of His shed blood (Romans 3:24-26; 4:25; I Corinthians 15:3-4; II Corinthians 5:21).
(c) We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord Jesus Christ and that our redemption and salvation is guaranteed to us by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead; in His bodily ascension into heaven; and in His present life there for us as High Priest and Intercessor (Matthew 28:5-6; Acts 1:9; I Corinthians 15:12-19; Hebrews 4:14-16; 7:23-25; I John 2:1-2).
(d) We believe that in addition to the coming of Christ to rapture His own, the Church, to be with Him, He will come another time--seven years subsequent to the Rapture—personally and visibly to the earth to establish His Kingdom and to reign for a millennium over the entire earth from the throne of David (Zechariah 14:4-11; Luke 1:30-33; Acts 15:14-18; Revelation 19:11-16; Revelation 20:6; Revelation 11:2-3; Daniel 12:11-12; Daniel 9:27).
Concerning the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, equal with the Father and the Son and of the same substance and nature; that He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment; bears witness to the truth; is the agent of the new birth; and that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses to, sanctifies, and helps the believer; that He baptizes them into the Church, the Body of Christ, indwells them permanently, seals them unto the day of redemption, bestows spiritual gifts upon them, and fills for service those yielded to Him. We believe that certain of the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit to the Church were temporary—apostleship, prophecy, tongues—and, although they were needed during the Church's infancy, they are not to be expected today. We believe that the Holy Spirit testifies concerning Jesus Christ and never leads any person, at any time, contrary to the teaching of the Bible (John 3:8; John 14:16; John 15:26-27; John 16:7-15; I Corinthians 12:4-13; 1 Corinthians 13:89-11; Ephesians 4:30; Ephesians 5:18).
We believe that God created the heavens and the earth; including all life, by direct act, and not by any process of evolution and that the days of creation in Genesis 1 were 24-hour days. God's established law is that living beings bring forth only "after his kind." Man was created directly in God's own image and after His own likeness (Genesis 1-2; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17).
Concerning Satan and Fallen Angels
We believe that Satan—the Devil—is a fallen angel whose name is Lucifer. He was created perfect, but he sinned and became the archenemy of God and His creation. He is the chief adversary of God's children. He seeks to keep men from getting saved, and when those attempts fail he tries to weaken the testimony of Christians. He has at his command a great host of fallen angels—demons—to carry out his purposes. He is not omnipotent, and he can be overcome by the power of God. He was judged at the Cross, and his doom is sealed in the Lake of Fire forever and ever (Isaiah 14:10-17; Ezekiel 28:12-19; Revelation 20:10).
Concerning the Fall and Depravity of Man
We believe man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam's sin the entire race fell and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God. All men have inherited a sinful nature, become willful sinners with the first expression of personal choice; they are totally unable to regain their former position, and are without excuse before God (Genesis 1:26; 3:1-24; Romans 3:23; 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3).
We believe that the only way of salvation for sinners is by grace--made possible by the substitutionary death of the Son of God--received by one's personal faith. We believe that the Scriptures teach that regeneration (the new birth) is that change in the soul by the Holy Spirit by Whom a new nature and spiritual life--not before possessed--are imparted, and the person becomes a new creation in Christ Jesus. We further believe that the salvation of every believer is secure for all eternity from the moment of regeneration. This security is guaranteed to each believer by the fact that the life received is eternal life, by the keeping power of God, by the healing ministry of the Holy Spirit, and by the interceding ministry of Christ (Philippians 1:6; John 3:16; John 10:28-29; Ephesians 4:30; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; John 5:24; Romans 8:38-39.)
We believe that sanctification is presented in three phases in Scripture:
(a) Believers have been made partakers of Christ's holiness;
(b) They are being progressively sanctified;
(c) They will be completely sanctified at His glorification.
We believe that there is no complete eradication of the old nature in progressive sanctification and that speaking in tongues is not a sign of regeneration or sanctification, nor is the New Testament gift of tongues in existence today, but has ceased (Hebrews 10:10; I Corinthians 6:11; 1 Corinthians 13:8; Philippians 3:12-16, 21; II Peter 1:5-8; I John 3:2).
We believe the Scriptures teach us to maintain total and complete separation in four areas:
(a) The separation of the local church from all affiliation and fellowship with those who deny the verities of "the faith once delivered to the saints;"
(b) The separation of the individual believer from all worldly practices that may dishonor the Savior;
(c) The separation of Church and State;
(d) The separation of the believer from other believers who support or in some affirmative way advocate worldly practices which may dishonor the Savior.
We believe the Bible teaches that we are to (1) try them; (2) mark them; (3) rebuke them; (4) have no fellowship with them; (5) withdraw ourselves from them; (6) receive them not; (7) have no company with them; (8) reject them; (9) turn away from them; and (10) separate ourselves (Galatians 6:1-6; I John 4:1; II John 10:11; Romans 12:1-2; Romans 16:17; Titus 1:13; Titus 3:10; Ephesians 5:11; II Thessalonians 3:6, 14; II Corinthians 6:17; II Timothy 3:1-5).
Concerning the Church
We believe in the Church--a living, spiritual body of which Christ is the Head (Matthew 16:16-18; I Corinthians 12:12-13; Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 5:25-27).
We further believe that each local church is a visible expression of the Body of Christ and is a congregation of believers in Jesus Christ, immersed upon a credible confession of faith, and associated together by covenant for worship, Christian education, evangelism, observance of the ordinances, and fellowship. We also believe that the local church is the center of God's program for this age, and that every Christian is bound by Scripture to give his unhindered cooperation to the program of His local church (Hebrews 10:24; Acts 2:41-47; Acts 14:27; I Corinthians 3:10-17; 1 Corinthians 5:1-7; 1 Corinthians 11:2).
We believe the Scriptures provide for two offices within the local church: Pastors (bishops and elders) and Deacons (I Timothy 3:1-16; Titus 1:6-9). We further believe the local church is an autonomous, independent democracy, which organically can join nothing, and that it has the power and right within itself to confess its own faith in accordance with the New Testament; and that each congregation recognizes its own democratic self-containing government as its highest authority for carrying out the will of the Lord Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 5:4-5, 13; I Timothy 3:15; Jude 3; Acts 6:3-5).
Concerning Future Events
We believe in "that blessed hope" which is the personal, visible (to the believers), pretribulational, premillennial, and imminent return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This is commonly known as the "Rapture." We further believe that the Scriptures teach that at death the spirit and soul of the believer pass instantly into the very presence of Christ and remain in conscious joy until the resurrection of the body at the Rapture; after the Rapture, God's righteous judgments will then be poured out on an unbelieving world during the Tribulation (the 70th week of Daniel), while the saints are judged for rewards and enjoy the Marriage Supper of the Lamb; the last half of the Tribulation is known as the Great Tribulation; the climax of this fearful era will be the physical return of Christ with His saints to the earth in great glory to introduce the Davidic kingdom; Israel will be saved and restored as a nation; Satan will be bound and the curse will be lifted from the physical creation; following the Millennium the Devil will be loosed for a season to deceive, then will be cast into the Lake of Fire; and the saints will enjoy Heaven for eternity (II Corinthians 5:8; I John 3:2-3; Titus 2:13; I Thessalonians 4:14-17; I Corinthians 15:51-57; Matthew 24:21; Romans 11:25; Revelation 19:11-16; Revelation 20:2-3, 11-15).