God is the creator and ruler of the universe. He eternally exists in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equals and one God.
The Father: God the Father reigns with providential care over His universe. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise.
The Son: Jesus Christ is the only Son of God. He is fully God and fully man. He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless human life, and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death, and ascended into heaven where he sits at the right hand of God.
The Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He lives in all Christians from the moment of salvation, providing them with power for living and guidance in doing what is right.
John 16:7-13; Galatians 5:22-25; John 4:24; 1 Corinthians 15: 3-4; Philippians 2:5-11; Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 6:4.
The Bible is God’s word to us. Human authors wrote the Bible under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. Because of its divine inspiration, the Bible is the supreme source of truth for all people. We believe that every word of the Bible is inspired and that, in its original form, the Bible has no error. We also believe that the Bible plays an indispensable role for the follower of Christ. It is a living word that builds up, transforms, encourages, corrects, and protects the Christian as he or she studies and applies it.
Psalms 119:11; Acts 20:32; Ephesians 5:26; 6:17; Exodus 24:4; Psalms 40:8; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 4:12; Psalm 119:105; 1 Corinthians 2:7-15; John 16:12-15
Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Man’s decision to sin caused a division between Creator and creation leaving man in need of a Savior.
Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5;7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12,19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18,29; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19,21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.
1. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace. Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Savior.
2. Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal, upon principles of His righteousness, of all sinners who repent, believe, and place their faith in Christ. Justification brings the believer into a relationship of peace and favor with God.
3. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is consecrated, set apart, to God’s purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity in the likeness of Christ through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person’s life.
4. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed when reconciled to God in heaven.
Genesis 3:15; Exodus 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26; 27:22-28:6; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14,29; 3:3-21,36; 5:24; 10:9,28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32; Romans 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25;4:3; 5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18,29-39; 10:9-10,13; 13:11-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18,30; 6:19-20; 15:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-22; 4:11-16; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 1:9-22; 3:1ff.; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Timothy 1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8,14; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6-2:11; Revelation 3:20; 21:1-22:5.
Evangelism and Church Planting
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ, and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ, to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. We believe that disciples are most effectively made in the context of the local church. Therefore, church planting and missions are of utmost importance. The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the preaching of the gospel to all nations. It is the duty of every Christian to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ.
Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-6; Isaiah 6:1-8; Matthew 9:37-38; 10:5-15; 13:18-30, 37-43; 16:19; 22:9-10; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 10:1-18; 24:46-53; John 14:11-12; 15:7-8,16; 17:15; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2; 8:26-40; 10:42-48; 13:2-3; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 3:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; 2 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 2:1-3; 11:39-12:2; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Revelation 22:17.
There are two ordinances for the New Testament church. The first, baptism, is the immersion of a believer in water. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, burial, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. Second, the Lord’s Supper, is a symbolic act of obedience whereby followers examine their sanctification and memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.
Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; 20:7; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 10:16,21; 11:23-29; Colossians 2:12.
Gender Identity and Marriage
God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. Marriage was created and instituted by God for the good of his creatures and creation in order to display his gracious love and to teach the world about how he would unite himself to his redeemed people through Jesus Christ. Marriage is a single, exclusive, covenant union joined by God and entered into by one man and one woman. Only within such union does God intend sexual intimacy to occur.
Genesis 1:26-28; Ephesians 4:24; Colossian 3:10; Genesis 2:4-25, 9:1; Malachi 2:15; Ephesians 5:25, 31-32; Revelation 19:7-9; Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18; Job 31:1; Malachi 2:14; Matthew 5:28, 5:31-32, 19:3-12; Mark 10:2-12; Rom 7:2-3; 1 Corinthians 7:39; Proverbs 5:8, 5:19-20; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-9; Hebrews 13:4; Genesis 19:1-29; Leviticus 18:1-30, 20:10-21; 1 Kings 15:21; 2 Kings 23:7; Proverbs 2:16-20, 7:5, 10, 13, 21-22; Amos 2:7; Matthew 15:18-20; Mark 6:18; Romans 1:21-31; 1 Corinthians 5:1, 6:9-10, 7:36-38; Ephesians 5:3-4; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7; 1 Timothy 1:9-10; 2 Peter 2:14; Jude 6-7
God’s Sovereignty, Mankind’s Responsibility, and the Mystery of God’s Will
The Bible teaches that God’s sovereign grace extends over all matters including human salvation. At the same time, the Bible teaches human responsibility to respond to God’s grace. Between God’s perfect sovereignty and mankind’s responsibility to believe lies the mystery of God’s perfect will, which as Romans 11:33 states is, unknowable to the human mind: “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” In response to his perfection and our human fallibility, we are called to rest in faith and praise God saying “To him be glory forever” (Romans 11:36).
Romans 8:28-30; 9:14-33; 10:1-21; 11:11-36; Ephesians 1:3-14; 2:1-9; John 3:1-21; 6:41-51, 60-70