Statement of Faith and Aims
The doctrines and practices which God has revealed and retained in His Word, the Holy Bible, are called “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Our statement of faith is a declaration of certain foundational truths accepted by the members of this church.
1. THE HOLY BIBLE
The Bible, composed of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is the supernaturally inspired Word of God, who gave the authors the very words to write. It has been supernaturally preserved from the time it was written. It is without error and is the source of our doctrines and practices and the standard by which we evaluate all opinions and behavior. It generates faith in those who hear it, enabling them to believe and to do the will of God. We use the Authorized King James Version as our textbook.
There is one true and living God, from everlasting to everlasting, the infinite spirit, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. He exercises these qualities in infinite righteousness, justice, and love. He is the creator and supreme ruler of the universe, and He is worthy of all confidence, honor, and love.
In the unity of the Godhead, there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each possesses the same nature, essence, and attributes, coexistent and coequal, each one equally God, yet executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. The Father represents the authority and holiness of the Godhead. The Son is the creator, revealer, and judge; He is the Savior of the world and the coming King. The Holy Spirit, active in the creation, works in the hearts of people, revealing truth, granting faith and repentance, and regenerating believers whom He then indwells; and He administrates the church.
3. JESUS CHRIST
The Lord Jesus Christ is God manifest in flesh. He was born of a virgin, the only begotten Son of God. He lived a sinless, righteous life and died on the cross to pay the penalty for the sins of mankind. Having satisfied the justice of God, He arose from the dead three days later. He is seated at the right hand of God the Father interceding for those who come to God through Him. He will judge all mankind. He will return to earth and rule as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
God created a vast company of glorious spiritual beings called angels who worship and serve Him.
5. SATAN and DEMONS
Satan was a once a holy angel of the highest order; but through pride he fell, drawing a third of the angels with him. He is the enemy of God, Christ, the saints, and humanity. He is the evil influence behind the powers of darkness, sin, and false religion. He and his angels are destined to be defeated by Christ and cast into the lake of fire for eternity.
The Genesis account of creation is to be taken literally. God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them in six literal days. All living creatures were created immediately by His will, and they procreate according to their own kind. We reject the notion that creatures evolve into new kinds of organisms over time.
The first man, Adam, was created innocent, in the image of God, and was given dominion of the earth; but through his voluntary choice to sin, Adam fell from his innocent, happy state and brought sin and all its consequences upon humanity. All are born with a predisposition to sin; they are innocent until they reach cognitive maturity, receive the knowledge of good and evil, and voluntarily choose to sin. They become sinners by choice, resulting in their just condemnation.
8. SIN and JUDGMENT
Sin is any motive, thought, or will contrary to the infinite righteousness of God. Because of His righteous and just nature, God must separate from and infinitely judge sin. God condemns all who are guilty of sin and are not forgiven. Condemnation for sin results in physical and spiritual death, which culminates in eternal separation from God in the lake of fire.
9. FREENESS of SALVATION
God is willing that everyone be saved from sin. Salvation is free to all through the gospel of grace, the good news that Christ died for our sins, arose from the dead, and saves all who come to God through Him. Nothing prevents the greatest sinner from being saved but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel. Before the world began, God predestined the plan of salvation and its eternal benefits. In His foreknowledge, He knew who would respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and would voluntarily trust Christ; and He chose them to salvation.
10. REPENTANCE and FAITH
Repentance and faith, prerequisites of salvation, are brought about in our souls by the Spirit of God through the Word of God. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our guilt and condemnation and draws us to Christ as our Savior. Repentance is the God-given desire to turn from sin and to do God’s will. Faith is the God-given instrument of perception and power enabling us to put complete confidence in the person and promises of God for salvation.
11. ATONEMENT and JUSTIFICATION
Salvation is wholly of grace, not of works, and wholly of God. For sinners to be saved, God’s legal requirements must be fulfilled. The infinite penalty for sin imposed by God’s justice must be atoned, satisfied by an infinite payment; and to meet the standard of God’s righteousness and holiness, the sinner must be justified, made and accounted the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus in the sight of God the Father.
To make atonement for our sins, Jesus Christ freely took upon Himself our nature, fulfilled the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full substitutionary payment for our sins, thus satisfying the judgment of God, the just dying for the unjust that He might bring us to God. Christ the Lord arose from the dead and is now enthroned in Heaven. He is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior.
To be justified, believers not only have their sins atoned by the blood of Christ, they also have been declared as having the righteousness of God which is the result of the new birth. In the new birth, believers receive the spiritual genetics of Jesus Christ, the Last Adam. Thus, through the exercise of faith, by believing in the Redeemer’s blood, the believer is justified, not in consideration of any works which he has done, but solely upon who Christ is and what He has done. Justification affirms reconciliation and peace with God.
12. THE NEW BIRTH and ETERNAL SECURITY
To be saved, sinners must be born again. The new birth occurs when one believes in Christ as Lord and Savior. The new creation is instantaneously brought about by the Holy Spirit who regenerates the inner man with the spiritual genetics of Christ, the Last Adam. Thus, the believer is a child of God, a partaker of the divine nature, with the secure hope of eternal life. The righteous inner man serves the law of God, regardless of the actions of the outer man. The proper evidence of the new birth is the holy fruit of newness of life.
13. THE DUTY and JUDGMENT of BELIEVERS
Believers in Christ are eternally secure through redemption and new birth. The saints who are responsible to represent Christ to the world are to live a holy life by the power of the Holy Spirit. God develops spiritual maturity in believers. Christ will judge believers, not for their souls which were judged and atoned for at the cross, but for their works done in the body. The judgment seat of Christ is for receiving or losing rewards.
14. THE CHURCH
The church of the New Testament is a congregation of Scripturally baptized believers associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel, and following the instruction in the Scriptures. Its ordained offices are pastors and deacons. Its ordinances are baptism and the Lord’s supper. Its mission is to take the gospel to all the world, baptize believers, and teach them to observe all that Christ taught. Each church is self-governing under Christ, administered by the Holy Spirit, following the New Testament. Christ promised that His church would continue to the end of the age, and that promise has been fulfilled. Although known by different names in different times and places, today it is found among baptistic churches.
Churches may cooperate to fulfill various ministries, but there is no authority over any church except Christ. Because of its unique relationship to Christ, the New Testament refers to the church as the Bride of Christ and as the Body of Christ. While all believers are children of God and citizens of the kingdom of God, only Scripturally baptized believers are in the church.
15. BAPTISM and THE LORD'S SUPPER
New Testament churches have two ordinances: baptism and the Lord’s supper. Scriptural baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by the authority of a New Testament church. It symbolizes the believer’s identification with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, and it is a prerequisite to membership in a church. The Lord’s supper is a solemn commemoration of the suffering and death of Christ by the sacred use of unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine representing the broken body and shed blood of Christ. Only the members of the church observing the ordinance are to partake of it.
God’s plan for financing His work is the tithes and offerings of His people.
Although every believer is responsible to proclaim the gospel, Christ commanded, authorized, and empowered the church as His institution to take the gospel to all the world, to evangelize, to make disciples, and to establish churches; the Holy Spirit administers mission work in and through the churches. There is no other Biblical agency for carrying out the work of missions.
God created human beings in his image and in the two distinct and complementary genders of male and female. Marriage, as defined by God in the Bible, is the uniting of one man and one woman in a covenant commitment for a lifetime; and it is the only righteous framework for sexual relations and child bearing. Because God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ, every person must be afforded compassion and respect.
19. CIVIL GOVERNMENT
God ordained civil government for the good order of human society. Magistrates are to be prayed for and conscientiously honored and obeyed, except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, in which cases, believers are obligated to obey God rather than men.
20. THE RETURN OF CHRIST
The return of Christ is imminent. The Scriptures on this subject should be taken at their face value. Christ will return to gather the saints and give them glorified bodies; and, after judging the world seven years, He will return visibly with the saints to reign a thousand years on the earth; then the present creation will be dissolved and replaced with a new heaven and new earth where God and His redeemed will dwell together in righteousness and joy throughout eternity.