We believe that the Bible–the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments–is the Word of God (Psalm 19:7-11; John 2:22; Colossians 3:16), written by human authors under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21). It is truth without error, trustworthy, and the supreme authority for all matters of faith and practice (Psalm 119:160; 2 Timothy 3:15-17).
God has revealed Himself to be the living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4), perfect in love and righteous in all His ways (Psalm 18:30; Matthew 5:48; I John 4:8), one in essence (Ephesians 4:5-6) and eternally existing in the three Persons (or personalities) of the Trinity as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each Person of the Trinity is fully divine, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being (Genesis 1:26; Matthew 3:16-17; Matthew 28:18-20; John 14:16-17; 2 Corinthians 13:13,14)
- God the Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the direction of human history according to His purposes (Psalm 103:19; Matthew 5:45; Acts 17:26-28; I Timothy 6:15). He is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, and all-wise (Jeremiah 32:17; Mark 10:27; Romans 16:27; James 1:17). God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ (Matthew 6:9; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 3:14-15)
- God the Son is Jesus Christ. He is fully human and fully divine (John 10:30; Romans 9:5). He is the Creator (Colossians 1:16), One Mediator (I Timothy 2:5), the prophesied Jewish Messiah (John 20:31), and the King of Kings (Luke 1:31-32; Revelation 17:14). There is no salvation apart from Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission by fully establishing His Kingdom (Acts 1:10-11; Revelation 1:8)
- The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God (2 Corinthians 3:17) who inspired the writing of the Scriptures (2 Peter 2:20-21). He convicts people of sin, righteousness, and judgement (John 16:8-10). He exalts and glorifies Christ (John 16:14). He calls people to the Savior (John 15:26; I John 5:6) and effects regeneration (Titus 3:4-7). At the moment of regeneration, He indwells every believer (Romans 8:9-11; Galatians 3:2) and believers need to be continually filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). He is the believer’s Counselor and Comforter (John 14:26). He cultivates Christian character (Galatians 5:22-23), guides believers as they follow Christ (John 16:13), gives them spiritual gifts for service and mission (1 Corinthians 12:4-6), and seals believers as a guarantee and down payment of our salvation and future inheritance. (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13).
For His glory, God created the world out of nothing (Isaiah 43:7; Romans 11:26; Colossians 1:16; I Peter 4:11; Hebrews 11:3). He made man and woman in His own image to be in relationship with Him forever (Genesis 1:27). Only in living for Him do people find unending joy and complete satisfaction; therefore, we may say that our chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever (Psalm 16:11; John 15:11). The sacredness of humanity is evident in that God created man in His own image and in that Christ died for humankind; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love (Psalm 8:5; Revelation 7:9).
In the beginning people were innocent of sin and endowed by God with freedom of choice (Genesis 2:15-17). However, starting with Adam and Eve, people have defied God by sinfully going their own way and rebelling against Him (Genesis 3:1-7). All people have sinned (Romans 3:23; 6:23), are inwardly depraved (Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:10-13), and justly deserve condemnation and eternal separation from God (Ephesians 2:3). People are helpless and powerless to change their sin condition and end their separation from God, apart from His grace (John 8:34; I Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; Ephesians 2:8-9).
The good news is that God sent His Son (John 3:16), Jesus Christ, born of the virgin Mary (Matthew 1:18-24), God in the flesh as the promised Jewish Messiah (John 1:40) to save people from their sins and to begin His Kingdom (Matthew 1:21; Luke 2:11; Matthew 3:2; Mark 1:15). Through Jesus’ perfect, sinless life (Hebrews 4:15) and by His death in our place, He upheld God’s justice and demonstrated His perfect love (Romans 4:25, 5:8; I Corinthians 15:3). Through His death on the Cross, He satisfied the righteous anger of God and bore the punishment for our sins (Isaiah 53:5; Romans 3:25; I John 4:10). He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death (Romans 6:9; I Corinthians 15:55-57), to prove His identity as the Son of God and King of Kings (Matthew 28:18; John 20:27-28; Romans 1:4; Ephesians 1:20-21), and to assure that all who turn from sin and trust in Him will have their sins removed and be reconciled to God forever as part of His eternal Kingdom (I Corinthians 15:13-14; Revelation 5:10).
This good news of salvation for sinners comes only through God’s saving grace — not human effort — (i.e. no one can be good enough or religious enough) and must be received personally by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as a free gift from God and part of His good purpose (Ephesians 2:4-9; Matthew 4:17; Acts 2:38; Acts 20:21). Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God (Matthew 3:8). Faith is accepting Christ as Savior and trusting Him enough to follow Him as the new and superior leader of one’s life.
- Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of God’s grace as part of regeneration, or the new birth, where sinners become new creations (who are ‘born again’) in Christ Jesus (Mark 1:15; Acts 2:38)
- Regeneration is a change of heart caused by the Holy Spirit through the conviction of sin and the revelation of Jesus as Lord and Savior (2 Corinthians 4:6; Titus 3:5). The Holy Spirit indwells the believer at the time of salvation (Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:2)
- Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal of all sinners who repent and trust in Christ that gives the believer the righteousness of Christ (Romans 4:6,11; I Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9) and gives them a relationship of peace and favor with God (Romans 5:1-2; Galatians 2:16)
- Those who are born again (regenerated believers) have new affections for God and a new ambition to live for Him (Ezekiel 36:26; Matthew 22:37-39; I John 2:15; I John 3:9-10; Titus 2:11-14). This begins the process of sanctification by which the believer is progressively changed into Christ-likeness (Romans 6:22, 8:29; Colossians 3:10). Believers cooperate with the Holy Spirit in this process of growth and transformation (Philippians 2:12-13; I Timothy 4:7-8) through various spiritual disciplines or habits. The believer is enabled by the indwelling presence and power of the Holy Spirit to walk in a growing relationship with the living God (Galatians 5:25), to cultivate Christian character (2 Peter 1:5-7), and to serve Christ and His Church through spiritual gifts (I Corinthians 12:4-6). All true believers persevere to the end of the age, being kept by the power of God through faith (Mark 13:13; I Corinthians 15:1-2; Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 3:14; Jude 24)
Regenerated believers become members of God’s eternal and universal church (Romans 12:5), a living spiritual body of which Christ is the Head (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 4:15-16). The local church is a unified and organized community of regenerated believers (Acts 6:1-7; Titus 1:5; Hebrews 13:17; I Thess. 5:12-13) seeking to love God and one another by obeying the His Word (Colossians 3:12-17; I Timothy 4:13), yielding to His Spirit (Acts 13:1-4), and making Him known to the ends of the earth (Matthew 28:18-20; I Peter 2:9)
- The local church also administers the two ordinances of Christ: baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
- Baptism is immersion of a believer in water as an act of obedience to Christ that outwardly and publicly symbolizes the believer’s death to their old life, cleansing from sin, and new life under the leadership of God (Matthew 3:13-17; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41; Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12)
- The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience where He is spiritually present through faith. This act illustrates the death of Christ and its benefits to believers, strengthens their faith and unity, and anticipates the second coming of Christ (I Corinthians 11:23-29; I Corinthians 10:16-18)
The church is a demonstration community, previewing the realities of the coming Kingdom of Jesus (Matthew 5:14, 6:10, 6:33 24:14; Philippians 2:14-15; I Peter 2:9,12). The Kingdom of God includes His sovereignty over the cosmos (Psalm 147:4; Colossians 1:16-17; I Timothy 6:15), His particular kingship over people who acknowledge Jesus as King (Luke 17:21; Colossians 1:13-14), and areas where Gods’ will is done on earth and in human society (Isaiah 11:9; Matthew 6:10).
- The church participates in the mission of God by declaring Jesus as Messiah and King (Ephesians 3:10-11), sharing the Gospel through evangelism and missions to all nations (Matthew 28:18-20; John 20:21; Acts 1:8), opposing oppression and injustice (Jeremiah 22:3-5; Isaiah 58:6), and demonstrating His love and justice through acts of service and charity (Micah 6:8; Luke 4:18; Matthew 25:31-46; Galatians 2:10; Ephesians 2:10; James 1:27). The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ (Titus 2:12-13; Hebrews 9:28; Revelation 5:9-10; Revelation 22:12). According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to earth to establish His kingdom (Matthew 16:27; Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:7).
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one biological man and one biological woman in a single, exclusive, and intimate union, as delineated in Scripture (Genesis 2:18-25; Mark 10:6-9). It is also God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:22-33).