STATEMENT OF FAITH
Historically, we are rooted in Biblical truth as interpreted by the traditional creeds of the early church:
- Apostles', second century
- Nicene, A.D. 325, with later additions
- Athanasian, early fifth century, and
- Chalcedon, A.D. 451
and the confessions of the Protestant Reformation:
- Belgic Confession, 1561
- Heidelberg Catechism, 1563
- Canons of Dordt, 1619
- Westminster Confession, 1647 and the
London Baptist Confession, 1689
and more recently:
Cambridge Declaration, 1996
What We Believe:
About the Bible. The Bible is the written Word of God -- God's written revelation to man. It is divinely inspired and infallible throughout its 66 books. It is the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. Its assertions are factually true in all the original autographs. The final guide to the interpretation of Scripture is Scripture itself (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; John 10:35; Matthew 5:18).
About God. There is one God, eternally existing in three persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth (Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 4:24).
Jesus Christ, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, is God come in the flesh. While on earth, He lived a sinless life and performed miracles. His physical death on the cross provides substitutionary atonement for our sins (Matthew 1:21-23; 1 John 4:14-15; 1 John 2:2).
Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead, and ascended bodily and visibly into Heaven. He is currently seated at the right hand of God the Father, where He intercedes for us. Christ will literally return to earth in power and glory as Judge of the living and the dead (John 1:1, 14; Luke 1:26-38; 2 Corinthians 5:21; John 6:19; Romans 3:24; Matthew 28:6; Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews 7:25; Acts 1:11; Luke 21:27).
The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Godhead. He enables the sinner to repent and believe in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit lives and works in individual believers, enabling them to live godly lives and conforming them to the likeness of Jesus Christ. This process of sanctification is evidenced by fruits of righteousness. Every believer is responsible to live in obedience to the Word of God in separation from sin (Acts 5:3, 4; Titus 3:5; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18; Ephesians 4:30).
About Man. Man was created in the image of God, but because of sin was alienated (separated) from God. As a result, all of mankind are sinners, both inherently (from Adam) and individually (by choice), and are therefore subject to God's wrath and condemnation. Alienation from God can be removed only by accepting God's gift of salvation.
Salvation is a gift received by faith alone in Christ alone. This salvation provides freedom from the penalty and power of sin and is available to man only through the sacrificial death and shed blood of Jesus Christ, and His complete and bodily resurrection from the dead. Salvation is expressed in the individual's life by repentance, recognition of the death of Christ as full payment for sin, and acceptance of the risen Christ as Savior, Lord, and God (Genesis 1:26; 3:6-7; Romans 3:23; 1 John:1:7-9; Hebrews 9:11-14).
All who receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ are born of the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God, a relationship in which they are eternally secure (Romans 8:9-11; John 10:14; Romans 8:38,39; Hebrews 7:25). Those who do not receive God's gift of salvation are subject to everlasting conscious punishment (not annihilation), but believers enjoy eternal life with God (Genesis 1:26, 27; Romans 3:23, 5:8, 8:1; John 3:16-19, 5:24; Ephesians 2:8-10).
About the End Times. We believe, according to His promise, that Jesus will physically return for His people (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
About the Christian Life. The view that knowledge, truth, or any of life may be divided into secular or religious categories is rejected. We believe and teach that ALL of life is a part of God's sovereign plan, and therefore under the authority of God. Thus, ALL of life is the Christian life.
** These declarations do not comprise all that an individual Christian may consider important elements of faith; rather, they establish the essential framework within which we both unite in our shared beliefs and explore our differences.
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