Confession of Faith

Updated by vote of the Church Members at a Quarterly Business Meeting July 12, 2020

 

Article I – THE SCRIPTURES

We believe that the Bible, sixty-six books in the Old and New Testaments, is the inerrant Word of GOD, verbally inspired in all parts, sufficient as our only infallible and authoritative rule of faith and life. By “inspired” we mean that GOD superintended human authors so that using their  personalities they wrote the original writings without error, His revelation to humanity in the very words of His choosing, II Tim. 3:16-17; II Pet. 1:19-21, Psa. 119:160; Prov. 30:5-6.

Article II – THE ONE TRUE GOD

We believe in the one true GOD; perfect, infinite, and eternal in His being, holiness, love, wisdom, and power. He is separate from and above the world as its Creator, yet everywhere present in the world as the Upholder of all things. He is revealed to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, distinct but without division of nature, essence, or being, and each having a distinct ministry in GOD’s relation to His creation and people. It is the Trinity Whom we worship and serve. We exist for Him in Whom we have our being, Gen. 1:1; Ex. 15:11, Psa. 83:18; Matt. 28:19; John 10:30; 15:26.

  1. The Father: We believe that the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace. He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption. As Father, He is the sender of Jesus Christ, the Father of all creation, and the Father of believers in Christ, Psa. 145:8-9; I Cor. 8:6; John 3:16; Rom. 8:14-17.
  2. The Son: We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the second One of the Triune God, the eternal Word, and only begotten Son. Without any change in His Divine Person, He became man by miracle of the virgin birth and continues forever as both true GOD and true man, one with two natures. As man He was tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin. As the perfect Lamb of GOD, He gave Himself in death on the cross, bearing there the sin of the world and suffering its full penalty of divine wrath in our stead. He arose bodily from the grave as our great High Priest, He ascended into Heaven, there to appear before the face of GOD the Father as our Advocate and Intercessor, John 1:1-14; 3:16; Matt. 1:18-25; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:6-10; I Cor. 15:3-7; Heb. 4:14-16; I John 2:1-2.
  3. The Holy Spirit: We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third part of the Trinity and that He is equal in power and eternality with The Father and The Son. He is the agent in revelation and redemption. It is the Holy Spirit Who regenerates, forming a union with Christ that cannot be broken. He indwells, sanctifies and seals believers unto the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit also instructs and fills believers who daily surrender to Him, empowering them for service. We also believe that the Holy Spirit still, on occasion,  performs miracles through believers to fulfill God’s will in accordance with the teachings of scripture (  John 14:16-17, 26; 16:7-14; I Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:13-14; Rom. 8:26-30; I Cor. 12:4-11; 13:8-10.

Article III – CREATION AND GOD’S DESIGN

  1. Creation: We believe that the Genesis account of creation is literal and accurate history. The universe, all spirit beings, mankind, and all life were the special, immediate, and formative acts of GOD.  Gen. 1-2; Col. 1:15-18; John 1:3.
  2. Gender Identity: We believe that the Bible clearly establishes human gender biologically, and that those genders are fixed, binary categories of male and female. We further believe that seeking to confuse, alter, or otherwise change these GOD-given genders (developed in the womb prior to birth) is a violation of GOD’s design. Gen. 1:26-27; 5:12; Mark 10:6; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Eph. 5:2-5; 1 Thess 4:3-8
  3. Marriage: We believe that the Bible defines marriage as one man and one woman joined together by GOD.  We further believe that sexual intimacy within marriage (as the Bible defines marriage) is a wonderful gift of GOD designed to be enjoyed. We believe any sexual intimacy outside of marriage is condemned in the Bible as a perversion of GOD’s created order. The perversion of GOD’s design for sexual intimacy includes, but may not be limited to, voluntary acts of adultery, polygamy, heterosexual sex for any unmarried person, homosexuality, lesbianism, bi-sexuality, incest, bestiality, pedophilia, and pornography. Gen. 1:26-27, 2:24, 19:5, 13; Lev. 18:1-30; Matt. 19:4-6; Eph. 5:31; Heb. 13:4; Rom. 1:26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:10
  4. Ministry Roles: We believe that GOD created man and woman as equal image-bearers of GOD, and, thus both man and woman have equal access to salvation in Christ, spiritual enablement to live a godly life, and eternal reward in the future. We further believe that GOD has designed different roles for men and women to image Him. In the home, wives are to submit to and help their husbands. Husbands are to love and lead their wives. In the church, both man and woman are to participate but pastor and deacon are reserved for men only. Gen. 1:26-27, 2:18, 24; Gal. 3:28; Eph. 4:12-13; Rom. 8:29-30; Eph. 5:21-28, 33; 1 Cor. 11:3; 1 Tim. 2:8-15, 3:1-13; 2 Peter 1:3-4

Article IV – SATAN

We believe that Lucifer, though created holy and perfect, through pride rebelled against GOD, becoming utterly depraved in character, the great adversary of GOD and His people, leader of all other evil angels, the deceiver, and god of this present world. His powers are strictly limited by the permissive will of GOD, who overrules all his wicked devices for good. Satan was defeated and judged at the cross. His final doom is certain. We are able to resist and overcome him only in the armor of GOD, by the blood of the Lamb, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, Col. 1:16; Gen. 3:1-7; II Cor. 4:3-4, 11:3; Eph. 2:1-4, 6:11-12; Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:11-19; Rev. 20:1-10.

Article V – HUMANITY

We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of GOD, but that in Adam’s sin the race fell and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death, which is separation from GOD. Man is born with a sinful nature and becomes a willful sinner with the first expression of personal choice and is totally unable to regain his former position. Man is, therefore, under just condemnation to eternal ruin in a literal hell, without defense or excuse before God, Gen. 1:26; 3:1-24; Eccl. 7:20; John 3:18-19; Rom. 1:20; 3:10-23; 5:12; Eph. 2:1-6, 12.

Article VI – SALVATION

We believe that salvation is wholly of GOD by grace based on the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not based on human merit or works. GOD’s gift of salvation flows from His eternal plan and good pleasure. While man is responsible to repent and believe, it is GOD who graciously works to bring about our voluntary obedience to the gospel without coercion and in a manner beyond our comprehension, John 1:12; Acts 5:31: 11:18; 13:48; 16:20-33

  1. The Gospel: We believe that the Gospel needs to be proclaimed throughout the world. It involves the recognition that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ. It also involves the acknowledgment that He died for one’s own sin and rose from the dead. It requires placing one’s trust in Christ (His Person) and His work (death and resurrection) for the forgiveness of sin and everlasting life. This is the Good News that is the remedy for the bad news of the fallen condition of each member of the human race, Matt. 28:18-20; Heb. 11:6; John 6:28-29; John 3:36; 8:24; 20:31, I Cor. 15:3-4; John 3:14-16.
  2. Regeneration: We believe that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given through the Word of GOD to the believer who has responded in faith to the divine provision of salvation, John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5; John 5:24; Rom. 10:13-17.
  3.  Justification: We believe that justification is the judicial act of God in which He declares sinners to be righteous and acceptable before Him. This is done based on Christ’s death on the cross in the place of sinners, which is verified by His resurrection from the dead. This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of the sinner and involves the placing of our sins on Christ and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us as believers, Matt. 1:21; 20:28; Rom. 5:9-11; Col. 1:20-22; Heb. 9:11-14, 24-28; Isa. 53:4-12; II Cor. 5:21.
  4. Sanctification: We believe that every believer is sanctified or set apart unto GOD by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and is identified as a saint. This sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing before GOD, not his or her present walk or condition. We believe that there is also a progressive sanctification that is a work of the Holy Spirit. Through this process of sanctification, the state of the believer is brought closer to the standing he enjoys in justification. This sanctification progresses if the believer is yielded to the Holy Spirit’s control. It is carried on in the hearts of believers by the power of the Holy Spirit through the Word of GOD, watchfulness, and prayer. There is no complete victory over our fallen, sinful nature in this life, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin. We believe that complete sanctification will be the experience of every believer when finally, in the presence of Adonai. With soul and spirit united in the resurrected body, the Believer will be free from every trace or effect of sin and rebellion, I Cor. 1:2, 30; 6:11; Acts 20:32, Heb. 3:1; 10:10, 14; I Pet. 1:2;
  5. Eternal Life: We believe that GOD promises eternal life to those who place their faith in Christ. The benefits for the believer of an unbreakable union with Christ and a standing as joint-heir with Him include being kept by GOD’s power and being secure in Christ forever. By the Spirit’s power, all who are truly born again will continue in their commitment to Christ, His gospel, and the essential truths of biblical Christianity. Christ’s death, resurrection, and endless life secure absolutely for the believer the resurrection of the physical body, an eternal home with Christ, and endless,  fellowship with GOD, John 3:14-18; I John 2:3-6, 5:10-12,16-17; Matt. 28:20; John 10:28-30

Article VII – THE CHURCH

  1. The Body of Christ: We believe all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ, which is the Church. All members of this spiritual body should assemble and identify themselves in local churches, I Cor. 12:12-13; Eph. 1:22-23; 3:21; 4:11-16; 5:25-27; II Cor. 11:2; Heb. 10:25.
  2. The Local Church: We believe that a New Testament church is a local assembly of born-again, baptized believers united in organization to practice New Testament ordinances; to meet together for worship, prayer, fellowship, teaching and a united testimony; and in carrying out the Great Commission, Acts 2:41-42; Matt. 28:19-20.
  3. The Autonomy of the Local Church: We believe in the local church. It is to be free, with the right of self-government. It should cooperate with other churches of like faith and practice in the unity of all true believers, Matt. 18:17; Acts 6:1-5; 13:1-3.
  4. The Priesthood of All Believers: We believe that Christ is our Great High Priest and through Him every born-again person has direct access into GOD’s presence without the need of a human priest. The believer has the personal right and responsibility to study the Scriptures and interpret them as he is guided by the Holy Spirit, John 14:6; Heb. 4:12-16; II Tim. 2:15.
  5. The Ordinances:
    1. We believe that Believer’s baptism is the immersion in water, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, to show, faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, picturing our death to sin and resurrection to a new life. Baptism is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership.
    2. In the Lord’s Supper, the death of Christ is remembered by partaking of the bread and the “fruit of the vine”, preceded by prayer. The Lord’s Supper is observed only by true followers of Christ (“close” communion), Rom. 6:3-4; Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41; Matt. 26:26-30; I Cor. 11:23-30.
  6. Two Offices: The Bible mandates only two offices in the church–pastor and deacon. The three terms “pastor,” “elder,” and “bishop,” or “overseer” all refer to the same office. The offices of pastor and deacon exist within the local church, not as a hierarchy outside or over the local church. 1 Tim. 3:1–13; Acts 20:17–38; Phil. 1:1)

 Article VIII – THINGS TO COME

  1. Death: We believe that at death, the soul of the believer passes into the presence of Christ and remains in conscious joy until the resurrection of the body. After death, the souls of unbelievers remain in conscious misery in a literal hell until the second resurrection when, reunited with their body, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, Luke 23:43; II Cor. 5:6-8; Phil. 1:23; I Thess. 4:13-18; Luke 16:29-31.
  2. The Rapture of the Saints and the Tribulation: We believe that the blessed hope of the believer is the personal, pre-tribulational, premillennial return of Christ to rapture the Church, His body. God’s righteous judgments will then be poured out on an unbelieving world during the Tribulation, the last half of which is the Great Tribulation. The climax of this fearful era will be the physical return of Christ to the earth in great glory, Titus 2:13; I Thess. 4:13-18; Jude 14,15; Rev. 19:11-16.
  3. The Second Coming and the Millennium: We believe that the return of Christ to earth to establish His reign for one thousand years is the concluding event of the Great Tribulation. Israel will be saved and restored as a nation. Satan will be bound, and the curse will be partially lifted from the physical creation. Christ’s reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace, righteousness and long life, Rev. 19:11-16; Isa. 65:17-25; Ezek. 37:21-28; Rev. 20:1-3; Ezek. 36:33-38.
  4. The Judgment of Satan and the Lost: We believe that Satan will be released after the one-thousand-year reign of Christ, and that he will deceive the nations of the earth and lead them to a final rebellion against GOD and His people. This will lead to Satan’s final defeat and judgment, resulting in the casting of him and his forces into the lake of fire to be tormented forever. At the Great White Throne Judgment, the physical bodies and the souls of unbelievers will be reunited, and they will be judged. The lost will be cast into eternal, conscious punishment, Rev. 20:7-15; Matt. 25:41.
  5. Eternal State of the Saved: We believe that after the final judgments, there will be a new heaven and new earth. Saints will enjoy eternal, conscious, joyous fellowship with GOD and with one another.