What We Believe

What We Believe1.  What is the Bible?
The Holy Bible is a collection of sixty-six books that were written by men divinely inspired by God.  It is God’s revelation of Himself to mankind.  It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction, having God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter.

2.  Who is God?
There is 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, all powerful, all knowing, and His perfect knowledge extends to all things past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures.  God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

3.  Who is God the Father?
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and all human history according to the purposes of His grace.  He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise.  He is fatherly in His attitude toward all people.

4.  Who is God the Son?
Jesus is the eternal Son of God. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life. His substitutionary death on the cross made possible the redemption of humankind from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body. He ascended into Heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He continually intercedes for those who believe in Him. One day He will return in power and glory to judge the world and consummate His redemptive mission.

5.  Who is God the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is the fully divine Spirit of God.  He inspired men to write the Scriptures and enables people to understand the truth.  He exalts Jesus, draws people to Jesus, and convicts people of sin.  At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ.  He bestows spiritual gifts upon believers, comforts believers, and seals believers until the day of final redemption.

6.  How much do people matter to God?
God created all people in his own image. God gave human beings the freedom to choose between good and evil. Adam and Eve sinned against God and therefore brought sin into the human race. Only the grace of God can bring people into fellowship with Him. God loves people so much that Jesus died on the Cross to make the forgiveness of sin possible. Since people are created in God’s image and life is therefore sacred, every person of every race should be cherished.

7.  What is salvWhat we believe, 1ation?
Salvation is the deliverance from the power and effects of sin. It includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification.  Salvation is offered to all who accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord.

8.  What is regeneration?
Regeneration, or new birth, occurs the moment a person responds to the conviction of the Holy Spirit in repentance from sin and faith in Jesus.  Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.  At the moment of regeneration a person becomes a new creation in Jesus.

9.  What is justification?
Justification is God’s complete exoneration of all sinners who repent of their sin and believe in Christ as Savior and Lord.  In justification God declares “righteous” those who through faith in Christ repent and believe.  This action is not based on man’s virtue; this righteousness is credited to those who believe as an act of God’s grace.

10.  What is sanctification?
While sanctification begins at the moment of regeneration (the new birth), it is the process whereby the believer is set apart for God’s purposes and is enabled to progress in spiritual maturity.  Sanctification, as a process, occurs as the believer is brought closer to the likeness of Christ through obedience to the Word of God.  Believers are able to live lives of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God.  This process continues throughout the believer’s life.

11.  What is glorification?
Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of all those who have been redeemed.  Salvation, then, includes regeneration (the new birth), justification (being declared righteous by God), sanctification (the process of being set apart for Christ and growth in holiness), and finally, glorification (our ultimate blessed and abiding state).

 12.  What is grace?
Grace is God’s totally unmerited favor granted to human beings enabling those who receive it through repentance from sin and faith in Jesus to experience salvation.  Grace is given by God’s sovereign mercy and is not based on good works done by human beings.  There is nothing we do to deserve God’s grace.

13.  What is eternal security?What we believe, 2
Those who are true believers in Christ are kept by God’s power and therefore are secure in Christ for all of eternity.  The assurance of our salvation in Christ is cause for rejoicing.  Spiritual maturity leads us toward caution in making sure our liberty in Christ is not mistaken as license for questionable or sinful activities.

14.  What is the church?
The New Testament indicates there is a “universal” church and there are many “local” churches.  The universal church is comprised of all the redeemed of all the ages.  When someone believes in Jesus as Lord, he is immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into the universal church.  The local church is an autonomous congregation of Christ followers who have experienced water baptism by immersion as their public profession of faith.  Christ alone is the head of the church in its universal expression and its local expression.

15.  What are the offices of the local church?
The Scriptural offices of the church are that of pastor and deacon.  Pastors (also referred to in the New Testament as elders or overseers) and deacons work together in servant leadership to guide the church in carrying out the Great Commission.  While many deacons are able to teach, it is a requirement that pastors are “able to teach.”  It is the role of the pastors both to do ministry personally and to equip the people of God to do ministry.  Deacon ministry is rooted in aiding pastors in various ministries, ensuring that pastors are able to give adequate time to the ministries of preaching, teaching, and prayer.

16.  What happened on the Cross?
On the Cross, Jesus (who never sinned) shed his blood, thus giving his life, to reconcile humankind to God.  All who trust in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross are forgiven from sin and made righteous in God’s sight.

17.  What are the ordinances of the local church?
Believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the two ordinances of the church.  Both of these are symbolic acts of obedience, and apart from one’s acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord have no saving effect.  Since they are ordinances (orders) of Jesus Christ to the church they are important components of a Christian’s obedience to his Lord.

18.  What is believer’s baptism?
Believer’s baptism is the immersion of a Christ follower in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life.  Further, it demonstrates faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior.  It is a prerequisite to local church membership and to the Lord’s Supper.  Believer’s baptism serves as an individual’s public profession of faith.

What we believe19.  What is the Lord’s Supper?
The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience in which believers eat bread and drink the fruit of the vine to memorialize the death of Jesus Christ.  In the Lord’s Supper, with gratitude we remember the body and blood of Jesus sacrificially given for us.  Further, as we gather for the Supper, we anticipate ultimate reunion with Christ in the Kingdom of Heaven.

20.  Why do we worship on Sunday?
Since Jesus was resurrected on the first day of the week, worship on Sunday became a regular observance of the church.  Many refer to Sunday as “the Lord’s Day,” and it commemorates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and should include worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private.  Activities on the Lord’s Day should be commensurate with the Christian’s conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

21.  What are angels?
Angels are created beings, a higher order of creation than man.  They were created to serve and worship God.  Throughout history, angels have sometimes given guidance to God’s people, protected God’s people, brought encouragement to God’s people, and even interpreted God’s will to God’s people.  There are good angels and fallen angels.  Fallen angels oppose God and work to defeat His will and plans.  In the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Jesus implies when a righteous person dies angels escort him into the presence of God.  In addition to what they do to help and protect God’s people, good angels stand in the presence of God and worship Him.

22.  What are fallen angels?
Fallen angels endeavor to separate believers from God.  They oppose good angels in their work and seek to hinder man’s temporary as well as eternal welfare.  They do this by exercising limited control over natural phenomena, by inflicting disease, by tempting man to sin, and by spreading false doctrine.  However, their power is limited; they cannot exercise any moral power over people independent of the human will.

23.  Is Jesus returning to earth one day?
Just as he promised, Jesus will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth.  No one knows the day or the time of his return.  When he returns, he will judge all people in righteousness.  The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell and the righteous will go to Heaven to be with the Lord.

24.  What is Heaven?
Heaven (in the ultimate sense) will be comprised of a new heaven and a new earth in which God Himself with dwell with the redeemed of all the ages as their God.  It is not a dream state or an unconscious existence; Heaven is a real place where there will bWhat We Believe, 6e no more death, mourning, crying, or pain.  The glory of God and the Light of the Risen Lamb, the Lord Jesus Himself, will be its light.

25.  What do we believe about the sanctity of life?
Since we believe all people are created in the image of God it is our responsibility to nurture, protect, and hold as sacred all human life from conception to natural death.  Our understanding of the sanctity of life is not based on one’s intelligence, health, or ability to contribute to society; we hold human life as sacred because it is a gift from God.

26.  What do we believe about our faith and the social order?
We believe all Christians should seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society.  We should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the influence of righteousness.  To this end, we oppose all forms of racism, greed, selfishness, and sexual immorality.  Further, as ambassadors for Christ, as we share the Gospel we feel compelled to work for the relief of the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick.

27.  How do we support the ministries of the church?
We believe all Christians have spiritual gifts.  We should dedicate ourselves and our gifts to serving Jesus through the local church.  In addition to giving of ourselves, we also believe in financially supporting ministries by cheerfully and sacrificially giving tithes and offerings.  It is our conviction that Christian ministry should be supported joyously by Christ’s people.

28.  What do we believe about marriage?
Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in a covenant commitment for life.  Through marriage a husband and wife are able to experience intimate companionship, sexual expression according to Biblical standards, and a means for procreation of the human race.  While the husband, by God’s design, has the responsibility to provide for, protect, and lead his family, husbands and wives are of equal worth before God.


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