What We Believe...
Bibliology - The Study of the Bible
We believe in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as verbally inspired of God (2 Tim. 3:16,17), and inerrant in the original writings (2 Peter 1:19-21), and that they are of supreme and final authority in faith and life (Matt. 5:18).
We believe that there is one true and living God (Is. 45:5-7), who is infinite (Ps. 90:2), eternal (Is. 57:15) and unchangeable (Heb. 13:8) in His being (Ex. 3:15), wisdom (Job 9:4), power (Is. 40), holiness (Is. 6:3), justice (Ecc. 12:14), goodness (Matt. 5:48), and truth (John 7:28). God is the Creator (John 1:3) who freely created all things and sustains all things (Heb. 1:3). We believe that God has absolute control over every element of reality at all times (Eph. 1:11), so that everything that happens takes place according to the eternal plan of God (Acts 4:27, 28). The purpose of all things is to glorify God (Rom. 11:36). We further believe that God is one in essence (Dt. 6:4), but eternally existent in three persons (Matt. 28:19), Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God without blending or dividing of substance; each having precisely the same nature, attributes and perfections, and each worthy of precisely the same worship, confidence, and obedience (Eph. 5:20; Heb. 1:6; Acts 5:3,4).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God and the second person of the Godhead, became man without ceasing to be God (John 1:1, 2, 14; Phil. 2:5-11), having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary (Matt. 1:20, 21; Luke 1:35), in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man (John 1:12,18).
We believe in His sinless life (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15), in His miracles (Acts 2:22), in His vicarious (in our place) and atoning death through His shed blood (Heb. 2:9; 1 Pet. 3:18), His burial (1 Cor. 15:4), in His bodily resurrection (Acts 2:23,24; 4:33; 1 Cor. 15:4), in His ascension to the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19; Eph. 1:20), and in His personal, bodily return in power and glory (Acts 1:11; John 14:3).
We believe that Christ is the only mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 7:25); the Head of His body, the Church (Eph. 1:22, 23; Col. 1:18), into which He baptizes every believer in (with or by) the Holy Spirit at conversion (Acts 1:5; 1 Cor. 12:13); the coming universal King who shall reign on the throne of David (Luke 1:31-33); and the final judge of all who fail to place their trust in Him as their Savior from sin (John 5:27-29; Rev. 20:11-15).
We believe that it is the work of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, to execute the divine will with relation to men. We affirm His sovereign activity in creation (Gen. 1:2), the incarnation (Matt. 1:18), the written revelation (2 Pet. 1:20, 21), and the work of salvation (John 3:5-7). His work in this age includes that of convicting the world (John 16:7-11), restraining the forces of evil (2 Thess. 2:6, 7), glorifying the Lord Jesus (Phil 2:9-11), and transforming believers into the likeness of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18).
We believe that this work in believers involves regenerating (John 3:5-7), indwelling (1 Cor. 6:19), sanctifying (2 Thess. 2:13), instructing (John 16:13 15), empowering for service (Acts 1:8), and preserving to the day of Christ (Eph. 1:13, 14).
We believe that the Holy. Spirit alone administers spiritual gifts to the Church according to His sovereign will (1 Cor. 12:11). These gifts are given to bring glory to the Head of the Church (1 Cor. 4:9; 1 Pet. 4:10) through the edifying (building up) of the body (1 Cor. 12:7; 14:12; 1 Pet. 4:10). Every believer is equipped with at least one spiritual gift (1 Cor. 12:7, 11; 1 Pet. 4:10), regardless of his spiritual maturity (compare 1 Cor. 1:7; 3:1 3).
We believe that man was directly and immediately created, male and female, in the image of God, free from sin and perfect (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:15-25). He was originally created with the divine intention that he should glorify God (Rev. 4:11), enjoy His fellowship (Gen. 3:8, 9), and fulfill His will and purpose in the earth (Gen. 1:26-30).
By voluntary transgression, man fell into sin, thus plunging the whole race into condemnation and death, so that now all mankind is born with a sin nature (Rom. 5:9-21); every man is a sinner in deed, thought and motive (Rom. 3:23) and so is without excuse before God
We believe that man is totally depraved, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Eph. 2:1-3, 12).
We believe that salvation of men is a sovereign act of God who saves those whom He chose according to His will (Eph. 1:4-11; Rom. 9:18). We believe that all those who are enabled by God (John 6:65) are born again of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-8; Eph. 2:8, 9). They receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ and thereby become the children of God (John 1:12). They are thereafter indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9) who makes possible a life of personal holiness and a walk of obedience to the will of God (Gal. 5:16). All who are truly born again are kept by the power of God (John 10:27-30) and are therefore incapable of losing their salvation.
We believe that the local church is a body of believers organized for the purpose of fulfillment of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19, 20), worship (Eph. 5:19, 20), work (2 Thess. 3:7-14; Phil. 2:13), and fellowship (Heb. 10:25; Acts 2:41-47); that the two ordinances of the church are baptism (by immersion whenever possible), and the Lord's Supper (Matt. 28:19; Rom. 6:3-5; 1 Cor. 11:23-31); that the local church is an independent and self-governing body responsible alone to Christ who is its Savior and Lord (Eph. 1:22, 23).
We believe that neither the individual Christian character nor the Christian church as a whole attains its destined perfection in this life (Rom. 8:24). This perfection is reached in the world to come (1 Cor. 13:10). In preparation for the completeness of the Kingdom of God, general events will take place, such as death, Christ's Second Coming, the resurrection of the body, and the general judgment.
Physical death is separation of the soul and spirit from the body (James 2:26). All human beings will physically die except for those believers who are alive at the time of the rapture and at the end of the tribulation (Heb. 9:27; 1 Thess. 4:17; 1 Cor. 15:51-52). At death, the soul continues on in a conscious existence and the body returns to the dust from which it came (Luke 16:22-31; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; Gen. 3:19; Ps. 104:29). The souls of believers immediately go to be with the Lord and will be united with a resurrection body at the rapture (1 Cor. 15; 1 Thess. 4:13-15). The souls of unbelievers immediately enter into a conscious state of suffering and will be consigned to an eternity in hell after the great white throne judgment (Rev. 20:5, 11-15).
Christ's Second Coming is the final, triumphant return of Christ, to punish the wicked and to complete the salvation of his people. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ will be preceded by the imminent rapture of the church (Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 15:51-53; Phil. 3:20, 21; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 2 Thess. 2:1), and by a seven year period of tribulation (Dan. 9:24-27; Rev. 13:5; Rev. 12:6). He will return personally, literally, and bodily (Acts. 1:11). He will judge and wage war on the earth (Rev. 19:11; Jude 14, 15; 2 Thess. 1:6-9). The beast (Antichrist) and the false prophet will be cast into the lake of fire; the kings of the earth and their armies will be killed (Rev. 19:17-21), and Satan will be bound (Rev. 20:1-3). Living Israel will be regathered, purged and judged (Dan. 9:24-27; Ezek. 20:33-44; 37:1-14; Zech. 12:10-13:9), and all living Gentiles will be judged (Matt. 25:31-46), after which Christ will establish His Millennium reign where all the promises made to the nation of Israel will be fulfilled and their blessing consummated (Zech. 14:1-11).
After the Millennial reign of Christ, Satan will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10, 14; Matt. 25:41), Christ will judge the righteous and the unrighteous at the great white throne judgment. The righteous will go unto eternal life and the unrighteous will go unto eternal death (Rev. 20:11-14; John 5:28, 29; Rom. 2:5-11).
Then God will create the New Heaven and the New Earth (Is. 65:17-19; 66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1). That will be the final dwelling place for all the righteous.