statement of faith


2.1 THE BIBLE

2.1.1 Divinely inspired - The Bible is the divinely inspired word of God for all mankind, for all the ages. It is inerrant in its original writings and complete for the needs of man.


2.1.2 Validity and Application - The Bible is valid and applicable in its Spiritual Truth for all mankind, for all the ages of time, for all the situations of life. It is to be viewed as God's written word for man and suitable for "teaching, reproof, correction, and for training in righteousness that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."(2 Tim 3:16 17).


2.2 GOD

2.2.1 One God - We believe in One God, triune in nature though one in essence, diverse in personage, each personage equally divine. He is the one God of all creation, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This one God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. By His own declaration He is: "I Am" (Exodus 3:14). He has always been, now is, and ever will be. By His power all things are and are held together(Acts 17:28).


2.2.2 Personage of the Godhead - God's distinct personage is regarded as God the Father.


2.3 JESUS CHRIST

2.3.1 Deity of Christ - Jesus Christ is the only begotten son of God (John 3:16). He is of the same essence, virtue, completeness, and holiness as God, being one with God though manifest to man in a distinct person. We regard Jesus Christ as God the Son.


2.3.2 Virgin Birth - Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary, conceived by miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). As such, Jesus is the literal son of God made man.


2.3.3 Savior - Jesus Christ is the savior, the messiah, the means by which man is able to be redeemed from sin. It is by faith in Christ that we receive Christ's redemptive function by which we are given eternal life in the presence of God.


2.4 HOLY SPIRIT

2.4.1 Deity and Personage - The Holy Spirit is the third person of God. He is manifest among and within believers in Christ, having been promised by Jesus Christ to us as the comforter, helper, empowerer, and gift giver (Luke 24, Acts1, 1Cor 12:7). We regard this personage as God the Holy Spirit.


2.4.2 Functions - The Holy Spirit functions as a person interacting with men in a spiritual manner. He teaches, reveals truths, commands and directs, intercedes, gifts, and empowers men to the work of God. He is alive and functions among and through us during and for this time in the same ways as He helped in the early church.


2.5 MAN

2.5.1 Creation - Man is created in God's image and as such has inherent value in his essence as created and placed there by God. As creation in God's image, we regard the life of man as sacred, a creation of God, to be treated with respect and deference as unique amongst all of God's created work (Gen.1:26 28). This sanctity of life as God's creation extends from conception to eternity.


2.5.2 Sin and Salvation - Since the fall of Adam, man has been in a sinful state, separated from the perfect fellowship with God (Genesis 3 account). So separated, all mankind is lost, excluded from the eternal fellowship with God. The original sin has been transferred through Adam upon all mankind for all time (Rom 3:23). The only redemption is in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord (Rom 6:23).


2.6 SALVATION

2.6.1 Sanctification - Man is sanctified by Christ; Man's sinful state is made holy by Christ. "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast." (Eph.2:8). Man receives the gift of eternal life from Christ. By repenting of sin and believing in Christ as Savior and Lord, man receives salvation. The debt of sin is paid by Christ (John 19:3, "It is finished." meaning the debt is paid) in His death, burial, and resurrection. Trusting in Christ alone as Savior results in salvation for lost man.


2.6.2 Resurrection - Man is saved by Christ to be raised to eternal life with Him in Heaven. By the resurrection work of Christ, man is also redeemed to resurrected eternal life.


2.6.3 Joint Heirship - Those receiving salvation in Christ become engrafted to the family of God, becoming joint heirs of the kingdom of God, entitled to participate in receiving the promises of God, and accountable to the covenants of God (Eph.1:5 & 13 14).


2.7 THE BODY OF CHRIST: THE CHURCH

2.7.1 Membership


2.7.1.1 - All believers in Christ receive membership in the universal church of Christ.


2.7.1.2 - Membership in the local church is for believers who have a like vision of the church and its work in the local community. Members must be in agreement with sound Christian doctrine as stated in these tenets of faith, and committed and submitted to the local church ministries and leadership.


2.7.2 Function - The body of Christ should function as Christ in the world for this time. Ministries of grace and caring should develop through the body in the name of Christ (Luke 4:18 19). The body of Christ should glorify God in all its functioning. It should serve to edify Christians, perform godly ministries in the community, and serve in evangelizing the lost.


2.8 ORDINANCES and INTEGRAL DOCTRINE

2.8.1 The Lord's Supper - The Lord's command to remember Him in the sacrament of communion is affirmed as an ordinance to be observed in the body by all who believe (1Cor11:33).


2.8.2 Water Baptism - We recognize water baptism by immersion as a needed act of obedience and identification as a disciple of Christ (Matt.28:19, Mark16:16).


2.8.3 Baptism of the Holy Spirit - The baptism of the Holy Spirit is recognized as a fulfilling and empowering experience of receiving the presence of the Holy Spirit within the Christian (Acts 2:38).


2.8.4 Gifts of the Holy Spirit - By the Holy Spirit spiritual gifts are bestowed and empowered in the individual Christian. By the work of the Holy Spirit miraculous giftings may be exercised in the body, for example, healing, word of knowledge, tongues, prophecy, etc.(1Cor. 12, Rom 12:6 8). We affirm our belief in the present day manifestation of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit as named and demonstrated in the New Testament.


2.8.5 Heaven and Hell - Eternal life is experienced in either Heaven or Hell by each soul according to the righteous judgement of God. Mankind may enjoy eternal ecstasy worshipping in fellowship before the Throne of God or eternal torment in separation from God. The former is experienced by receiving Christ as Savior, the latter by rejecting Christ.


2.8.6 Worship - To bring all men to worship God and thereby to glorify Him should be a goal of the church (Eph.1:13&14). Worship should lead the worshippers into the presence of the Holy of Holies. We recognize as valid all the biblical expressions of worship including vocal and instrumental music, shouting, praying, raising or extending hands, clapping, dancing, and various other edifying forms of expression as called out in scripture, both Old and New Testament. We recognize Spirit led worship as desired by God and able to open the doors of fellowship and blessing with God.


2.8.7 Marriage - We recognize only heterosexual marriage as ordained by God between one man and one woman. From the Genesis account of creation (Gen 2:20b 24) to Jesus' apparent blessing of marriage by changing of water to wine as a guest at a wedding (John 2:1 11) to the apostle Paul's references to the church as the bride of Christ, we see the institution of marriage between a man and a woman as being from God for the good of mankind.


2.8.8 Baby Dedication - In recognition of the commitment of Godly parents and grandparents we view the formal dedication of an infant or young child as a testimony of the family's and the church's commitment to raise the child in a Godly manner. Further, the act of dedication serves as a testimony to all of the faith of the family who commits to raising the child to the service of the Lord. Instances of children dedicated and raised for God are found in both the Old and the New Testament (Abraham & Isaac, Gen.22; Hannah & Samuel, 1Sam 1; Zechariah, Elizabeth & John the Baptist, Luke 1).


2.8.9 Second Coming of Christ - We believe in Christ's literal return to reign, rule, and judge the world as cited in Scripture. Christ's return is promised to gather in the saints and for Him to winnow the wheat from the chaff (Matt 3:12), to sit in Divine judgement regarding all men. Christ himself speaks of His return for the saints in the last days (Mark 13:24 27). Jesus promises to return to take the saints to be with Him in the place He has prepared for them (John 14:1 4).


2.8.10 The Kingdom of God - We affirm the Kingdom of God as the present and eternal reign and rule of God in the affairs of man and all creation. We regard God's kingdom as having dominion over all forever.