Statement of Faith
The heart of Christianity is a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. Through Scripture we discover who God is and how he wants us to worship him. Jesus declared: “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). He revealed to the crowds that, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32). In addition, he prayed to the Father, “Your word is truth” (John 17:7). Christianity is anchored to the truths of Scripture. These essential truths are captured in our Statement of Faith.
The Scriptures, fully contained in the Old and New Testaments, are the inspired, infallible word of God in their original autographs and remains the infallible standard for salvation, theology, morality, and Christian living. The Bible is the highest authority for the church. (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:23-25)
- We affirm a literal interpretation of Scripture, including the literal existence of Adam and Eve, a literal fall into sin in the Garden of Eden that has influenced the whole of human experience, and in the historicity of the whole of the Scriptures.
- We affirm that the meaning of Scripture is defined by the intent of the author, and we aim to communicate Scripture in a manner that is truthful, clear, and leads followers of Christ to greater spiritual maturity.
There is one God who is the Creator and Sustainer of all created things. As God, he is distinct from creation, being eternal, infinite, immutable, sovereign, and infallible in all things. He is essentially love, holy, truth, life, and the source of morality. God is relational, a Trinity who is one in being and three distinct Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19-20; Hebrews 1:3)
God the Father is immanently involved in creation, providentially accomplishing his plan. He hears and answers prayer, loves all people, desires for all people to be saved, and does save all who come to him through faith in Jesus Christ.
God the Son is fully God, being co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit miraculously caused Mary to conceive, he added a human nature to his person without sacrificing his deity. He lived a sinless and miraculous life, fulfilled prophecy, and provided atonement for sin through his death by crucifixion. He was physically resurrected by the power of the Holy Spirit and has ascended to the right hand of God the Father in heaven. He is the head of his church, actively interceding for the church. He will physically return to this earth to rule as King from Israel.
God the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity, being co-equal with the Father and the Son. He is the Author of Scripture, inspiring human agents to communicate the word of God. He is powerful and accomplishes the will of God in creation. He seals, indwells, sanctifies, teaches, empowers, and guides followers of Christ into all truth. He gifts each member of the church supernaturally as he wills.
God is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. He created ex nihilo (out of nothing) by the word of his power and with specified complexity. By his creative design living things have the capacity to adapt and flourish. God exercises providential care for his creation, with Christ upholding creation by the word of his power. We reject the views of an eternal universe and naturalistic macroevolution as sufficient explanations for the existence and complexity observed in the universe. We affirm that creation includes spiritual beings and the physical universe, and that the purpose of creation is to glorify God. (Genesis 1:1; Matthew 6:25-33; Psalm 19:1; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:3).
Every human is made in the image and likeness of God, having intellect, feelings, and free will. We are morally responsible for our actions and their consequences. In addition, since humans are communal, the actions of the individual affect the broader community. Adam and Eve chose to sin, and their free will decision affected the whole of humanity. All human descendants from Adam are born with a sin nature and are separated from fellowship with God. We are spiritually dead, incapable of earning salvation from sin.
Salvation is exclusively a work of God. He initiated its plan and accomplished salvation through the virgin birth of Jesus, his sinless life, substitutionary death and resurrection from the dead. Salvation is available to all people, and is the free gift of God apart from any human work, and is received by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ alone. The believer is sealed by the Holy Spirit, who works to transform the believer toward Christ-like character. This process of sanctification is lifelong. (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9)
The universal church is comprised of every person who has placed their faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for salvation. The church is a living spiritual body, and transcends all racial, ethnic, political, and geographical parameters. Christ is the head of his church and every born again person is a member of his church. Through the Spirit of God, every member of the church is equipped with gifts that are essential for the whole church to flourish and grow in spiritual maturity. While the gifts differ in function, every gift is equally necessary for the health of the universal church.
- Worship is vital for every Christian, and is both corporate and personal. We believe the worship of God should be spiritual. Therefore, we remain flexible and yielded to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We believe the worship of God should be inspirational. Therefore, we give place to music in our worship. We believe worship of God should be intelligent. Therefore, our gatherings are designed with great emphasis on the word of God, that through Scripture we might learn how to worship God. We believe the worship of God should be fruitful. Therefore, we look for his love in our lives as the supreme manifestation that we have been worshiping God in spirit and truth.
- Jesus commands his church to observe two ordinances: baptism and communion. Water baptism is not necessary for salvation, nor does it remove sin. Rather, it is a personal, conscious decision for every believer who has received Jesus for salvation. Communion is a solemn, symbolic act for every Christian to acknowledge the broken body and the blood that Jesus shed for our salvation.
Angels and demons
Angels are literal, created spiritual beings, who have significant influence in human life. God created angels in perfection and with choice. Lucifer rebelled against God and led one third of the angels in revolt. Their consequence is eternal torment. Satan and demons are finite and have the capacity to negatively influence humans. Angels, in contrast, have the capacity to influence human beings toward righteousness. Both angels and humans will enjoy eternal life together, while demons are sentenced to an eternal torment.
God is omniscient, sovereign, and providentially involved in the universe. Prophecy is the revelation of his plan and he will perfectly fulfill his prophetic word. In addition, prophecy is properly interpreted literally rather than allegorically.
- The nation of Israel and the church are distinct elect groups in Scripture. While all elect humans are saved through the efficacious work of Christ, a literal interpretation of prophecy understands that God is not finished with the nation of Israel. As such, we reject any form of replacement theology.
- The first coming of Christ was a display of perfect humility and sacrifice, in which he accomplished our salvation through his death and resurrection. His second coming is the event when he will return to this earth following the Great Tribulation, and will establish a literal millennial reign and will rule as King of kings from Jerusalem.
- There will be a literal, physical resurrection of every human being. The righteous will inherit eternal life in heaven, an experience of indescribable bliss and joy, while the unrighteous will incur conscious torment, along with Satan and his demons.
- We affirm that every human is made in the image and likeness of God, and life begins at conception. From conception to death, every life is invaluable, worth protecting and celebrating. Physical or mental disabilities do not diminish the innate worth and identity of every human being.
- We affirm that God created humanity with only two genders: male and female. One’s gender is identical to his/her genetic and biological composition, and is not defined by personal preference or social constructs. Rather, one’s identity is defined by God and contentment is experienced in a relationship with God through faith in Jesus.
- We affirm that marriage is defined by God, in Scripture, as a lifelong union between one biological male and one biological female. Further, we affirm that sexual activity is a gift to be enjoyed exclusively between husband and wife. Any and all sexual activity outside the marriage covenant is sin and devalues the sacredness of one’s sexuality.
- We reject any interpretation of Scripture or caricature of God that diminishes his love for the whole of humanity and of his desire for every person to receive salvation.
- We reject any philosophy or interpretation of Scripture that denies human free will, especially in relationship to humans having the free will to choose or reject salvation.
- We reject any theology that views faith as a force that can create one’s own reality, or that God is subject to the will of man. To the contrary, we affirm that faith is trusting in God to perform his perfect will, including his performing of miracles, and that God responds to prayer when we pray according to his will.
- We reject any caricature of God that denies his perfect omniscience and sovereignty over creation. To the contrary, God is eternal, sovereign, and has perfect knowledge of all past, present, and future events. He acts providentially to accomplish his plan.
unity and love
Christians are united in the essential truths of Scripture. These essential truths relate to the nature of God, the Person and work of Christ, and the doctrine of salvation. Within Christian thought are various views related to secondary doctrines. On these secondary doctrines we extend liberty while maintaining our unity in Christ.
In all areas of life, whether toward Christians or those who do not believe, we embrace the supremacy of love. Jesus is our exemplar and we are known as his disciples by our love.