a.) Angels are created beings who serve and worship God, but are not to be worshipped.
b.) Satan is a created angel and author of sin who incurred the judgment of God through his rebellion against the creator, took numerous angels with him in his fall, introduced sin into the human race in his temptation of Eve; is the enemy of God, the prince of this world, defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus, and will be eternally punished in the lake of fire.
Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:14-17; Matt 4:1-11, Matt 13:39, Matt 25:41; Ephesians 2:2; I Peter 5:8; II Peter 2:4; I John 3:8; Jude 6; Rev 12:7-11; 20:1-3, 10;
a.) Baptism is a one time, obedient act of a believer immersed in water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as a sign of faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, and union with the visible body of Christ. It is a pre-requisite to church membership, but not a means of grace.
Matt 3:6,16, 28:19-20; Acts 8:36-39;Rom 6:3-5;
b.) The Lord’s Supper is a repeated act for the church as a sign of a believers union in Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and his substitutionary sacrifice for sins on the cross, through the eating of bread and drinking of the fruit of the vine, representing the blood and body of Jesus. We celebrate it often, reminding one another of our sin, salvation and the anticipated return of Jesus.
Acts 2:41-42; I Cor 11:23-28
Everything that exists (planets, stars, galaxies, plants, animals, etc.) was originally created ex-nihilo (out of nothing) by the unstoppable power and word of God. Before creation nothing existed but God. The Genesis account literally and accurately tells of the creation of all things, and is affirmed through out the Old and New Testaments.
Gen 1:1,11, 24 26-27, 2:21-23, Ex 20:11; Neh 9:6; Jer 10:12; Jn 1:3; Acts 4:24, 17:23-26; Rom 1:20; Col 1:16-17; Heb 11:3; Rev 10:6
There is one living and true God, Ruler of the universe; infinite in holiness, all powerful, all knowing; eternally existing in three persons; equal in every divine perfection; executing distinct but harmonious work in creation, providence and redemption; without division of nature.
a.) God the Father - Infinite, loving personal spirit, who reigns providentially over the universe and flow of human history according to his purposes and grace; infallibly foreknows all that will come to pass; concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men; hears and answers prayer; and saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
Gen 1:1,2; Ex 34:5-7; Num 23:19; Deut 3:24, 33:27; Ps 33:11-13; 48:14; Matt 23:9; John 3:16; Rom 1:7; 1 John 4:16; Rev 1:6, 21:3.
b.) God the Son - Jesus, eternal and only begotten Son of God, by whom all things were created and exist; determined before the foundation of the world to be the Savior of mankind; conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, fully God and man; lived a perfect, sinless life; taught and revealed the will of God; took upon Himself human nature, identified completely with mankind yet without sin; made provision for the redemption of humanity through His substitutionary death on the cross; was raised from the dead in a glorified, physical body; appeared to His disciples; ascended into heaven; is exalted at the right hand of God as the living Lord of lords and only Mediator between God and man. Jesus will return in power and glory to judge the world; consummate His redemptive Kingdom and renew creation from the curse of sin.
Matt 1:18-25, 20:28; Jn 1:1; 20:28-31; Acts 1:11; Rom 5:6-8, 6:9,10 8:32; II Cor 5:21; I Pet 2:21-23; Heb 7:25; 9:28; I Tim 2:5,6 3:16
c.) God the Holy Spirit - Fully God and possessing all divine attributes; active in work of creation; inspired men to write the Scriptures; enables understanding of truth; convicts the world of sin and judgment; calls people to the Gospel; immediately indwells every believer upon faith; regenerates, sanctifies and empowers all who believe in Jesus; comforts and gives spiritual gifts to believers; seals and guarantees believers until final redemption; and seeks to glorify Jesus.
John 14:16,17,26; 15:26,27; 16:9-14; Rom 8:9; I Cor 3:16; 6:19; Gal 5:22-26.
Directly created by God in His image and likeness; male and female as his special, crowning work, free from sin with a rational nature, intelligence and moral responsibility before God. God’s intention was for people to glorify Him, enjoy His fellowship forever, and accomplish His purposes in the world. Adam’s sin of disobedience incurred a curse of spiritual and physical death on all creation; becoming subject to God’s wrath; inherently corrupt and incapable doing what is acceptable to God or save himself apart from divine grace. All people are born in Adam with a sinful nature, and are sinners by nature, choice, and divine declaration.
Gen 1; 2:5-22; 3; 9:6; Ps 1; 8; 32; 51; Jer 17:5; Acts 17:26-31; Rom 1:19-32; 3:10-23; 5:6-19; 8:14-30; 1 Cor 15:19-22; Eph 2:1-22; Col 1:21-22;
Marriage, Family and Sexuality
a.) Humanity and Gender - We affirm all men and women are created in the image of God; are of equal worth before God yet distinct in role and function; and masculinity and femininity are not aspects of the fallen order to be overcome but part of what God declared from the beginning to be very good. We deny any person is insignificant; that gender is a product of environment, nurture, culture, or neutral; or that gender can/should be rejected, altered, or changed.
Genesis 1:27, 31; 3:1-15; Romans1:16, 3:23; Hebrews 13:4
b.) Marriage - We affirm, as taught in the Old Testament, New Testament and by Jesus, marriage is a God created and ordained one flesh covenantal union between one man and one woman, who cleave to one another sexually, emotionally, and relationally; for the benefit of society, the glory of God and the re-enactment of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We deny that any redefinition of marriage (i.e. civil union) by government, culture or individuals is consistent with God’s design for marriage or will be recognized as a biblical marriage by this church.
Gen 1:26,27; Matt 5:30-33, 19:4-9, Mark 10:6-9; Eph 5:22-32; Heb 13:1-5
c.) Sex - We affirm God created sex to be good for God’s glory; the mutual benefit of a man and woman in biblical marriage, the purpose of procreation; and all sexual activity outside of biblical marriage (fornication, adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, incest, pornography) is sin; a product of the fall; part of our predisposed sin nature; and contrary to God’s design. We deny freedom from sexual sin is possible by the mere will of man or impossible by the power of the Spirit.
Lev 18:22, 20:13; Rom 1:26-28; 1 Cor 6:17-20, 7:2; 1 Tim 1:8-11; Heb 13:1-5; Jude 1:5-8
d.) Family - We affirm the family was created and designed by God, imaging his relationship with people; is the foundational institution of society composed of persons related to one another through biblical marriage, blood and/or adoption; that the biblical pattern and ideal is one father, one mother, united in biblical marriage, and any children; that children should honor, obey, and submit to parents for this is pleasing to the Lord; and parents are to lovingly care for, teach and bring up children in the knowledge and fear of Christ. We deny the God ordained construction of a family can be culturally or civically redefined and that any abuse of children (verbal, sexual, physical, psychological, or emotional) is pleasing to God or reflects his loving character.
Gen 1:26-28, Ex 20:12; Deut 6:6,7; Psalm 127:3-5; Prov 22:6; Eph 6:1-4; Col 3:20; 1 Tim 5:8; 2 Tim 1:5; Titus 1:6, 2:4
e.) Divorce - We affirm marriage is for life, marital reconciliation should be pursued (even after divorce) for God’s glory, the benefit of the family, and the gospel of Jesus Christ; and divorce is sin. We deny a marriage ending in divorce is ever pleasing to God; displays his character and the gospel; is ever beyond the hope of reconciliation; is worse than others sins; or is unforgivable.
Gen 1:26-28; Deut 24:1-4,; Mal 2:16; Matt 5:30-33,19:4-9, Mark 10:2-12; Rom 7:2; 1 Cor 6:17-20, 7:10-15
f.) Abortion - We affirm children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing from God; have dignity, value, and worth; are created in God’s image; and abortion is the killing of children, a rejection of God’s design and character, and is sin. We deny terminating the life of an unborn child is pleasing to God, is worse than other sins, or that it is an unforgivable sin, beyond the mercy and grace of Jesus.
Gen 4:8-11; Ex 2:15-20; 20:13; Psalm 139:13-16; Matt 19:14
g.) Sexual Sin And The Gospel - We affirm every person, regardless of sin, must be shown compassion, love, kindness, and dignity as one created in God’s image; can be redeemed, restored and freed by God from sexual sin through repentance and faith in the gospel of Jesus, receiving mercy, forgiveness and salvation; and who is a follower of Jesus has the power of the Spirit to reject temptations of sin and walk in obedience. We deny hateful and harassing behavior, attitudes or speech directed towards a person in sexual sin is in accordance with scripture, the doctrines of this church, and the heart of God; that sexual sin is worse than others sins; that sexual sin is un-forgivable; that temptation is sin; or that sinful sexual temptation is impossible to reject for a follower of Jesus.
Gen 2:4-24; 3:1-15, Rom 1:18-32, 1 Cor 6:9-20, 10:12-14, 1 Tim1:8-11, Heb 4:14-16, James 5:15-16, 1 Peter 1:14–16; 1 John 1:6-10
h.) Sexuality And The Church - We affirm that the Bible’s teaching on marriage, family, divorce or sexual sin are authoritative; anyone wishing to be in/maintain membership, to be in/maintain employment or serve as a volunteer in this church must be in agreement with our statement of faith and pursue obedience and conformity to God’s standards for sexuality, marriage and the family; and confronting anyone in sexual sin with an invitation to repent, turn from their sin and believe the gospel is loving, kind and compassionate. We deny that the Bible’s teaching on marriage, family, or sexual sin are not relevant today; anyone living in sexual sin is a member in good standing of this church; and sharing the truth revealed in God’s word regarding marriage, family divorce or sexuality or inviting others to repent and believe the gospel is unkind, hateful or bigoted speech.
We affirm the pastor(s) of this church are not to conduct or participate in any marriage ceremony that violates their conscience or the biblical standards of marriage. We deny the use of our facility for the performance, celebration or activities of marital unions not in conformity to the biblical standards of marriage or to anyone who is not a member of this church.
Rom 1:18-32; 1 Cor 5:1-13; 2 Tim 4:1-5; Heb 13:4)
Religious Liberty and Government
The church and state are separate; each fulfilling different functions and duties free from the other. Government is a divine appointment for the interests and order of human society. We pray for, honor and obey government in all things except when opposed to the will of King Jesus.
Rom 13:7; Acts 23:5; Matt 10:28, 22:21, 23:10 ; Titus 3:1; I Pet 2:13, 14, 17; Acts 4:19-20; Dan 3:17-18; Phil 2:10-11; Ps 72:11, 1 Tim 2:5
Salvation is completely of God’s planned, resurrecting, outrageous, overcoming and forever grace through the redemptive life, death and resurrection of Jesus in the place of sinners; not because of human works, and involves the redemption of the whole man for the glory of God. The Gospel is offered freely to all but no salvation is apart from personal faith and repentance in Jesus for the forgiveness of sin. Salvation includes:
a.) Regeneration - a supernatural and instantaneous work of the Holy Spirit giving spiritual life to a sinner who repents and responds in faith to the good news of the gospel for salvation.
b.) Justification - act of God declaring, instantaneously and positionally, all who by faith in Jesus repent of sins and confess Him as Lord as righteous, holy and saints; apart from any human work but by the imputation of our sins to Christ and imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us.
c.) Sanctification - Evidence of genuine regeneration and the work of the Holy Spirit transforming a believer through the word of God to a life of increasing holiness and fruit of repentance in conformity to God’s will, becoming more like Jesus. This process is an ongoing, daily struggle and claims of eradicating all sin in this life is not possible and is unscriptural.
d.) Glorification - Secure climax of sanctification and culmination of salvation when Jesus returns for his people who are being kept by God’s power and sealed by the Holy Spirit.
Is 53:11; Zech 13:1; Matt 1:21, 4:17,16, Jn 1:12-13, 3:3-18; Acts 2:41, 15:11; Rom 3:24-25, 4:1-8, 5:9, 6:23; 1 Cor 15:3; 2 Cor 5:17-21; Gal 3:11, 5:22; Eph 2:1-8, 5:9; Phil 2:12-13; Col 1:9-22; 2:13; Heb 9:12-15, 10:38, 12:2; James 2:14-26; 1 Pet 1; 2:24; 2 Pet 1:4; 1 Jn 5:1; Rev 21:1-25.
The sixty-six books from Genesis to Revelation, written by men divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit, is God’s revelation of Himself to man; not just containing the Word of God but is the very Word of God. The Bible is inerrant, infallible, without any error; totally true and trustworthy and the standard by which all human conduct, creeds and religious opinions should be tried. All scripture is a testimony to Jesus Christ who is the focus of divine revelation.
II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20,21; Mark 13:31; John 8:31,32; John 20:31; Acts 20:32
a.) The Universal church is a living and spiritual community of baptized believers, not bound by time or location, with Christ as the head and all regenerated persons as members.
b.) The local church consists of believers in Jesus, baptized on profession of faith and associated in covenant relationship by faith and fellowship in the gospel for worship, ministry, fellowship and mission. The church is literally “the called out ones”.
c.) The Church, as ambassadors, is given God’s mission of redemption and ministry of reconciliation to make disciples by imploring people on Christ’s behalf to be reconciled to God through Jesus and to build up disciples by growing in the gospel and unity of the faith.
d.) The Church’s final authority is Jesus Christ and the Bible.
e.) The Church’s biblical leadership roles are elder and deacon, who fulfill cooperative functions leading the church in measurable thresholds of discipleship and equipping the church in gospel influence and empowerment for the work of ministry in God’s redemption mission because whatever God is going to do in the world He will do through all of Christ’s people, the church.
Biblical Pattern of Elders: Elder is used in reference to a unique group of leaders responsible for overseeing and leading a local church in spiritual discernment, personal growth and gospel mission. Elder or overseer is used forty times synonymously for the same office with other terms (pastor, shepherd or teacher) used to describe different elder functions not different offices or levels of authority. The Bible teaches that each local church was not led by a single pastor or elder but had a plurality of elders (1 Tim 1:5, James 5:14, Acts 14:23). This plurality helps assure decisions are not self-willed or self-serving to any one individual (Prov 11:14) as Elders work interdependently, each using their gifts to compliment one another, with no one elder having more authority than another. Decisions are made in prayer, study and seeking the will of God until consensus is achieved. The unity and harmony the Lord desires for the whole church begins with those He has appointed to shepherd it. The effectiveness of a church is directly related to Spirit led leadership. Qualifications for elder are listed in Titus 1 and 1 Timothy 3. 5
Biblical Pattern of Deacons: Deacons are introduced in Acts 6. Deacon comes from a greek word meaning to serve. Deacon is not an office or role of authority but one of example, ministry and service. Each church chose a plurality of deacons, affirmed by the apostles, who tended to ministry needs and the application of the gospel into church life, freeing Elders to equip the church for the work of ministry. Deacons organize, empower and release men and women for ministry. Qualifications for deacon are in 1 Timothy 3.
f.) The local church is autonomous and independent of any governing authority, religious or governmental, but should endeavor to cooperate with other churches in gospel mission.
g.) The church, in union with Jesus, is part of the Kingdom of God, but is not the totality of it.
Matt 28:19-20; Acts 1:6-8; 14:23; 15:22,23; 20:17-28; I Cor 12; Eph 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 4; Col 1:18; I Tim 3; Heb 10:23-25, Titus 1; I Pet 5:1-4;
The Return of Jesus and the Last Things
Jesus rose bodily from the dead, was taken up bodily into heaven and will in the same way return to earth to establish his rule and reign. Jesus will separate his enemies to eternal judgment in hell; restore the earth to its pre-fall condition without any sin, death, or curse; and gather all His people, the dead and the living, from every tribe, tongue and nation who have been covered by the blood of the Lamb, to live in the presence of God forever.
Matt 16:27; Mk 14:62; Jn 14:3; Acts 1:11; Phil. 3:20; I Thess 4:15; II Tim 4:1; Titus 2:13; I Cor 4:5; I Cor 15; II Thess 1:7-10; Rev 20:4-15