I am the vine, you are the branches. In me you will bear much fruit, but you can do nothing apart from me. John 15:5

Doctrine

What We Believe

THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
We believe that the Bible is God’s written revelation to man, inspired equally in all parts,  inerrant in the original documents, infallible, and God-breathed.

GOD
We believe that there is but one living and true God, infinite, eternal, all-knowing, perfect in all His attributes, infinitely powerful, infinitely kind and loving, incapable by His very nature of cruelty or sin, and incapable by His very nature of condoning, overlooking, or tolerating cruelty and sin. He is one in essence and eternally existing in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The Father. We believe that the God of the Bible, Old Testament and New, is our Heavenly Father, and that He orders all things according to His own purposes. He created and continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events. He is neither the author nor approver of sin, but rather He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ and adopts them as His own. He has mercifully chosen from eternity past those whom He will rescue to become His own, yet in this choice He does not abridge any person’s accountability or freedom to choose.

The Son. We believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Messiah, the only Son of God, and that He is one with the Father, eternally existing and coequal in authority and substance. We believe He became a man by being born to the virgin Mary, that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and that he surrendered by His own choice the prerogatives of deity but not the divine essence. In so doing he accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity, becoming truly and fully Man while remaining truly and fully God. He took the role of a servant, which is consistent with God’s innate character, for the purpose of redeeming mankind. This work He completed on the cross.

We believe that Jesus literally and physically rose from the dead, and that He ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now communes with the Father and mediates on behalf of His own, serving as their Advocate and High Priest. We believe that He will one day return, literally and physically, to earth, in power and glory as foretold in scripture, bringing this age to a close, and setting all wrongs to right.

The Holy Spirit. We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, eternally existing and coequal in authority and substance with the Father and the Son, whose work is to execute the divine will with relation to all mankind. The work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost, when He came from the Father as promised by the Son to indwell, empower, and instruct the disciples and followers of Christ, as He does to this day. His divine activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ, transforming believers into the image of Christ, and sealing them as God’s own forever.

BEGINNINGS
We believe that God’s intention in the creation of humankind was that we should glorify God, enjoy His fellowship and love, live life according to His will, and by all this accomplish God’s purposes in the world. We believe that the scriptures accurately and faithfully depict the creation of the world and of mankind, who were created male and female in Adam and Eve, in His image and likeness, and who, perfect in innocence, were given the freedom to choose submission to God or rebellion against Him.

We believe that evil came into the world through the deception of Eve by the created being known as Satan, who first disobeyed God and thus became the author of evil, and by the deliberate sin of Adam, who with full awareness chose to rebel against God. We believe that through Adam all men and women lost their innocence, incurred the sentence of spiritual and physical death, became subject to the wrath of God, and are now inherently corrupt in mind, spirit, body, and heart. We believe that a fair judgment would condemn each of us, for our own individual sins and cruelties, to eternal punishment and separation from the perfect and infinite God.

REDEMPTION
We believe that Jesus Christ, having led a sinless life, accomplished our redemption by shedding His blood and dying on the cross, the innocent freely paying the full penalty for the guilty. On the basis of His death alone all who believe in Him, guilty and helpless without Him, are cleansed of our shame and freed from the punishment, the penalty, the power, and one day the very presence of sin. By His will and His work alone we are declared righteous, given eternal life, and adopted into the family of God.

We believe that any person who believes in Jesus and calls on Him for salvation will be saved, and will be given the gift of the Holy Spirit to reside within, to empower a new life of holiness and purity in Christ.

GRACE
We believe that our salvation was not an act of our own righteousness but rather an act of God’s unmerited favor, and thus no unrighteous act of ours can change God’s plan and cause us to lose that salvation. We further believe that, out of deep gratitude for the undeserved mercy that God granted to us in Christ, and because God is worthy of our total devotion, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our love of God so as not to bring reproach upon Him or our fellow believers through continued sin and rebellion. We believe that in Christ and through the Holy Spirit great freedom from sin is ours, and that we are called and empowered to live in purity, no longer enslaved to various lusts, addictions, and excesses of the body. We believe that nevertheless no one will be totally free of sin in this life, and so it is our duty and privilege to confess our sins to one another, and forsaking them, to find in one another the same mercy, forgiveness, and acceptance that we have found in Christ.

THE CHURCH
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has commissioned His followers to reach out to all men and women and, being sent by Him, to make disciples of all those He calls to Himself in all nations and people groups, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that Christ commands. In this, the Church is solemnly charged to demonstrate the full measure of grace, mercy, and love that Christ showed His disciples on earth, and that He now shows them from heaven. These followers considered together, whether gathered locally or scattered abroad, are the Church, united spiritually in Him, the Body that He has built and is still building, whom He considers His holy and precious bride.

We believe that the powers of spiritual darkness and evil, led by Satan and his demons, are arrayed against the Church and against all believers, now as in scripture, and that the Church is fully equipped through prayer, the Spirit of God, and the Word of God always and at all times to prevail, even though victory may at times come through persecution and death.

We believe that His Church, being faithful to Him and His commands, will be rejected by the world, just as He was rejected by the world. We believe that He gave both His Church and the world a measuring rod by which they may know who are His disciples, and by which we may know whether the world’s rejection of the Church is caused by our likeness to Christ or by our hypocrisy—that standard being that we have deep and abiding love for one another. We believe this is a standard to which the Church, both local and universal, is always and should rightly be held accountable by all.

JUDGMENT
We believe that Jesus is the One through whom God will one day judge all mankind, each person standing alone before Him, accountable for every thought and every action, the standard being perfection. We believe that sin and evil having been conquered by His death on the cross, those whom Jesus knows, who have believed in Him and thereby accepted the redemption He freely offers, will enter into His heavenly kingdom forever, and those whom He does not know, who have rejected Him, will be sent away to eternal damnation.

THE GOSPEL
We believe it is the appointed role of the Church to preach to all the Gospel, the good news of the Kingdom of God, that Jesus Christ has been sent by God to free us from our sin, our shame, our sentence of death, and our impending judgment, which He has done once and for all by shedding his blood, dying on the cross, and rising from the dead, so that we may live new and joyful lives eternally in Him.

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