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The Holy Scriptures

We believe the Scriptures--both the Old and New Testaments--to be the verbally inspired Word of God, written by men in God's control, inerrant and infallible, in the whole and in the part, in all areas (including creation, science, geography, chronology, history, and in all other matters in which it speaks), in the original manuscripts, and the complete and final authority in faith and life. We accept the grammatical-historical-literal system of interpretation of the Scriptures, and accept the historical record of the Bible as accurate and adequate (1 Thes. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Pe. 1:20,21; Psa. 19:7-9; Rev. 22:18-19). Furthermore, no doctrine of inspiration is complete without the corollary of the doctrine of the preservation of God's Word ( Ps 12:6-7 ; Matt 4:4-10 ; ).

Creation

We believe in the Biblical account of the creation of the universe in Gen. 1:1, that it happened in an instant marking the beginning of time in the physical universe. That the earth that was then was destroyed and restored in six literal days for an habitation of man and the now animal kingdom; that man was created by a direct act of God; that all humans were present in Adam when he was created; that new individuals (in all their parts) come into existence today, not by a continuing creation, but through the laws of propogation established by God; that each individual is a living person from the moment of conception. (Gen. 1:1-31; 2:7; 5:3; Exo. 20:11; Heb. 11:13; Psa. 139:13-16; Lk. 1:41,44; Jn. 1:3; Rom. 5:12-24; 1 Cor. 15:22; Col. 1:15-19; Heb. 11:3).

The Godhead

There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being. (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; Lk. 3:22; 2 Cor. 13:14).

The Condition of Man

We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, in innocence and without sin. But in Adam's sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, became spiritually dead and alienated from God so that man is a sinner by both nature and imputation, thereby justly condemned to eternal damnation without defense or excuse, and man, of himself, is incapable of remedying his lost and depraved condition by any means whatsoever (Gen. 1:26; 3:1-24; Rom. 3:10-18; 5:12,19; Eph. 2:1-3).

The Person and Work of Christ

We believe that God demands a life of perfect obedience to His law; i.e., complete and total righteousness. Thus, God the Son had to become man in order to provide for us what God the Father's holy nature (and self-consistency) demanded--perfect righteousness. Thus, the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God; having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man. He accomplished this redemption by voluntarily giving Himself as a sinless substitutionary sacrifice on the cross, thereby satisfying God's righteous judgment against sin. He gave proof that He accomplished that redemption by His bodily resurrection from the grave. He then ascended to the right hand of His Father where He intercedes on behalf of those who have believed on Him (Jn. 1:1,2,14,18; Lk. 1:34,35; 24:36-43; Rom. 2:12,13; 3:24-26; 8:34; Heb. 4:14-16; 2 Cor. 5:21).

The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Divine Person who convicts the world of sin; that He alone brings new life to those who are spiritually dead; that He baptizes (or places) all believers into the one true Church, which is the Body of Christ; that He indwells them permanently, seals them unto the day of redemption, bestows spiritual gifts upon them, and fills (controls) those who are yielding to Him to empower for Christian life and service (Jn. 3:3-8; 16:7-11; Acts 5:3,4; Eph. 4:5; 1 Cor. 12:13; Rom. 8:9; Jn. 14:16,17; Eph. 4:30; 1 Cor. 12:7-11; 1 Pe. 4:10; Eph. 3:16; 5:18; Gal. 5:22,23).

Satan and the Fallen Angels

We believe that God created an innumerable company of spiritual beings, known as angels; that one, Lucifer, the highest in rank, sinned through pride, and thereby became Satan; that a great company of the angels followed him in his moral fall; ; and that some who fell are "reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day" (Rev. 12:1-10; 2 Pe. 2:4; Jude 1:6). We believe that Satan is the author of sin and, under the permission of God, was the deceiver of Eve in the Fall; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Job 1:6-7; Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:11-19; Matt. 4:2-11; Jn. 12:31; Rev. 20:10). In his warfare, he appears as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:13-15), counterfeiting the works of God by fostering religious movements and systems of doctrine (1 Tim. 4:1-3), and that these doctrines in every case are characterized by a denial of the efficacy of the atoning sacrifice of Christ and of salvation by grace alone.

Salvation

We believe that salvation is the gift of God's grace given to all who believe on the Son (i.e., to all whom God has sovereignly elected to salvation). It includes all that God does in saving the elect from the penalty, power, and presence of sin, and in restoring them to a right relationship with God. As such, it is solely the work of God from initiation to completion. It cannot be gained by good works, but is a free gift for all whom God has enabled to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. All who so put their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord have been forgiven and saved from their sins and declared righteous before God, and have been born into the family of God by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. God's purpose for saving His elect is so that they bring glory to Him by their lives (Rom. 1:16; 10:17; Acts 16:14b; Eph. 1:7; 2:8,9; Jn. 1:12,13; Rom. 9:16; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 1:6; Titus 2:11-14; 3:5-7; 1 Pe. 1:18- 19; Jn. 5:40; 6:44; 3:36; 5:24; 1 Jn. 5:1).

Security, Assurance, and Human Responsibility

We believe that all the saved--those in whom God has accomplished His transforming work of grace--are kept by His power, and thus, are secure in Christ forever. This assurance, however, is not the occasion for sin, for God in holiness cannot tolerate willful and/or persistent sin in His children, and in infinite love He corrects them. True faith in Christ is always expressed by a fruitful, God-pleasing life (Jn. 10:27-29; Rom. 8:29-39; 1 Jn. 5:13; Heb. 12:6; Matt. 7:20; Js. 2:20).

Sanctification

We believe that God, in the Scriptures, has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness. This includes the salvation from the penalty of sin, and just as surely, the provision of sanctification (separation) from sin. Sanctification from sin affects both the positional and practical aspects. Positional sanctification (i.e., justification) as a work of the Holy Spirit is complete and is without further growth; however, practical sanctification (i.e., progressive sanctification), a result of the work of the Spirit in regeneration using the Word of God, provides the nourishment for growth in maturity in Christ. While practical sanctification is assured by the Word and the Spirit, it is yet imperfect in this life. There is some element of corruption in every part of the fallen nature which is the source for the war between the flesh and the spirit. The maturing to obedience is possible for believers as they feed on the Word, submit to the Spirit of God, and are in fellowship with other believers for service and accountability (Jn. 17:17; 1 Cor. 1:30; Rom. 6:19,22; Heb. 10:25; 1 Pe. 2:2; 2 Pe. 1:3).

The Church

We believe that the true Church, called in Scripture the Body of Christ, is a spiritual organism. Every person who has trusted Jesus Christ for salvation in this present age has been baptized (placed) into this organism by the Holy Spirit. The local church, as established in Scripture, is made up of redeemed individuals who have joined together for worship, instruction, fellowship, and service (Eph. 1:22,23; 5:25-32; 1 Cor. 12:12,13; Acts 2:42; 13:1,2), exhibiting the true love of God to each other.

Giving

We believe that believers are to be generous in their giving, and that all giving should preferably be done in secret according to the Lord's command (Matt. 6:1-4). Thus, the giving of cash or by other means that preserve the privacy of the giver is encouraged.

Missions/Evangelism

We believe that it is the obligation of the saved to witness by life and by word to the truths of Holy Scripture and to seek to proclaim the Gospel to all mankind (Mk. 16:15; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:19,20). We also believe that the sending of missionaries is a local church function (just as it is the responsibility of the local church to conduct church discipline and believer's baptism) and, thereby, cannot be delegated to a mission board, denomination or agency.

Ordinances

We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ instituted two ordinances to be observed by all believers until His return--water baptism (by immersion) to show forth our identification with the crucified, buried, and risen Savior (Matt. 28:19; Rom. 6:3-5; Col. 2:12) and the Lord's Supper as the commemoration of His death until He comes (1 Cor. 11:23-26).

Biblical Dispensations

We believe that the dispensations are divinely ordered stewardships, or rules of life (not ways of salvation), by which God administers His purpose on Earth through man under varying responsibilities in successive ages. Each dispensation begins with man being divinely placed in a new position of privilege and responsibility, and each closes with a failure of man resulting in righteous judgment from God. Three of these dispensations, or rules of life, are the subject of extended revelation in Scripture. They are the dispensation of the Mosaic Law, the present dispensation of Grace (the Church age), and the future dispensation of the Millennial Kingdom. They are distinct and are not to be intermingled or confused, as they are chronologically successive. (Jn. 1:17; 1 Cor. 9:17; 2 Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1:10; Col. 1:24,25; Heb. 7:19; Rev. 20.:2-6).

The Second Coming of Christ

We believe in the imminent, personal, pre-tribulational coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His Church and His subsequent premillennial return to earth with His saints to establish His Millennial Kingdom upon the earth (1 Thes. 1:10; 4:13-18; Rev. 3:10; Zech. 14:4-11; Rev. 19:11- 16; 20:1-6).

The Eternal State

We believe that at death the souls of those who have trusted Christ for salvation pass immediately into His presence and remain there in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at Christ's coming for the Church, when soul and body will be reunited. We then shall be with Him forever in glory. We also believe that at death the souls of unbelievers remain in conscious misery until the final judgment of the Great White Throne at the close of the Millennium when the soul and body will be reunited and cast into the lake of fire--not to be annihilated, but to be separated from God forever in conscious punishment (Lk. 16:19-26; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21-23; Jn. 5:28-29; 2 Thes. 1:7-9; Matt. 25:46; Rev. 20:11-15).