What We Believe
A. God the Father is the supreme ruler of the universe. He providentially directs the affairs of history according to the purposes of His grace(3).
B. God the Son is the Savior of the world(4), born of the virgin Mary(5), born without sin. He is fully man, fully God. He declared His deity among men(6), died on the cross as the only sacrifice for sin(7), arose bodily from the grave(8), and ascended back to the Father(9). He is at the right hand of the Father(10), interceding for believers(11) until He returns to rapture them from the world(12).
C. God the Holy Spirit is the manifest presence of deity. He convicts of sin, teaches spiritual truths according to the written Word, permanently indwells believers, and confers on every believer at conversion the ability to render effective spiritual service.
A. The World–God created all things for His own pleasure and glory, as revealed in the biblical account of creation(18).
B. The Angels–God created an innumerable host of spirit beings called angels. Holy angels worship God and execute His will; while fallen angels serve Satan, seeking to hinder God’s purposes(19).
C. Man–God created man in His own image. As the crowning work of creation, every person is of dignity and worth and merits the respect of all other persons(20).
Satan is a person rather than a personification of evil(21), and he with his demons opposes all that is true and godly by blinding the world to the gospel(22), tempting saints to do evil(23), and warring against the Son of God(24).
Although man was created in the image of God(25), he fell through sin and that image was marred(26). In his unregenerate state, he is spiritually dead, is under the influence of the devil, and lacks any power to save himself(27). The sin nature has been transmitted to every member of the human race(28), the man Jesus Christ alone being excepted(29). Because of the sin nature, man possesses no divine life and is essentially and unchangeably depraved apart from divine grace(30).
Salvation is not only a declaration of righteousness, and not merely God’s work in believers’ lives through the Holy Spirit to conform then into the image of Christ, but it is also the promise of ultimate salvation when they will no longer struggle with sin but will be rid of the sinful nature and made perfect. The culmination of salvation will result in glorified bodies in heaven with the Lord where believers will know and see and savor God in Christ for all eternity.
A. The Nature of the Church–A New Testament Church is a local congregation (56) of baptized believers in Jesus Christ(57) who areunited by covenant in belief of what God has revealed and in obedience to what He has commanded(58).
B. The Autonomy of the Church–She acknowledges Jesus as her only Head(59) and the Holy Bible as her only rule of faith and practice(60), governing herself by congregational rule(61) under the oversight of her pastors(62).
C. The Perpetuity of the Church–Instituted by Jesus during His personal ministry on earth(63), true churches have continued to the present and will continue until Jesus returns(64).
D. The Ordinances of the Church–Her two ordinances are baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer as a confession of his faith in Jesus Christ, demonstrating his death to self and being raised to walk in the newness of life in Christ (65), and is a prerequisite to church membership and participation in the Lord’s Supper(66). The Lord’s Supper is the sacred sharing of the bread of communion and the cup of blessing by the assembled church(67) as a memorial to the crucified body and shed blood of Jesus Christ(68). Both ordinances must be administered by the authority of a New Testament church.(69)
E. The Officers of the Church–Pastors(Elders) and deacons are the permanent officers divinely ordained in a New Testament church.(70)Each church may select men of her choice to fill those offices under the leading of the Holy Spirit according to the divinely given qualifications.(71) Pastors (Elders) are authorized to oversee and teach the churches under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.(72) Each church is responsible to follow them as they follow Christ(73) and to provide a livelihood for them that they might fulfill their ministries(74). Pastors are equal in the service of God.(75) Deacons (ministers, servants) are servants of the churches and assistants to the pastors, particularly in benevolent ministries. Each church may select her own deacons according to her needs, and no church is bound by the act of another church in that selection.(76)
F. The Ministry of the Church–Her mission is evangelizing sinners by preaching the gospel(77), baptizing those who believe(78), and maturing them by instruction(79) and discipline(80).
G. The Fellowship of the Church–She is free to associate with true churches in furthering the faith(81) but is responsible to keep herself from those who hold doctrines or practices contrary to Holy Scripture(82). In association with other churches, each church is equal and is the sole judge of the measure and method of her cooperation.(83) In all matters of polity and practice, the will of each church is final.(84)
A. Christians should submit to the authority of the government under which they live, obeying all laws which do not contradict the laws of God, respecting officers of government, paying taxes, rendering military service, and praying for the welfare of the nation and its leaders.(86) They should vote, hold office, and exercise influence to direct the nation after the principles of Holy Scripture.
B. Civil authority is not to interfere in matters of conscience or disturb the institutions of religion(87), but it should preserve for every citizen the free exercise of his religious convictions.
C. Churches should receive no subsidy from the government, but they should be exempt from taxation on property and money used for the common good through worship, education, or benevolence.
A. Return–Our risen Lord will return personally in bodily form to receive His redeemed unto Himself. His return is imminent.(88)
B. Resurrections–After Jesus returns, all of the dead will be raised bodily, each in his own order: the righteous dead in “the resurrection of life” and the wicked dead in “the resurrection of damnation”.(89)
C. Judgments–Prior to the eternal state, God will judge everyone to confer rewards or to consign to punishment.(90)
D. Eternal States– Heaven is the eternal home of the redeemed(91), who, in their glorified bodies, will live in the presence of God forever in ultimate blessing(92). Hell is the place of eternal punishment and suffering(93) for the devil, his angels(94), and the unredeemed(95).