Articles of Faith

Articles of Faith

The Scriptures

 We believe that the Holy Bible: (a) was inspired by God; (b) written by men controlled by the Holy Spirit; (c) that it is truth without any admixture of error for its matter; and therefore, is, and shall remain to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; the true center of Christian unity and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.

Explanatory Definitions:

 By “THE HOLY BIBLE” we mean that collection of sixty-six books from Genesis through Revelation, which, as originally written, does not contain and convey the word of God, but IS the very word of God;

 By “INSPIRED” we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, in such a definite way that their writings were moved by the Holy Spirit, and were supernaturally inspired and free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired.

 Biblical References: 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Acts 1:16; 28:25; Psalms 19:7-11; 119:89, 105, 130, 160; Luke 16:31; 24:25-27, 44-45; John 5:39, 45-47; 12:48; 17:17; Proverbs 30:5-6; Romans 3:4; 15:4; 1 Peter 1:23; Revelation 22:19; Isaiah 8:20; Ephesians 6:17

The True God

 We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the maker and supreme ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.

 Biblical References: Exodus 15:11; 20:2-3; Genesis 17:1; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11; 8:6; 12:4-6; Ephesians 2:18; 4:6; John 4:24; 10:30; 15:26; 17:5; Psalms 83:18; 90:2; 147:5; Jeremiah 10:10; Revelation 4:11; 1 Timothy 1:17; Romans 11:33; Mark 12:30; Matthew 28:19; 1 John 5:7; Acts 5:3-4; Philippians 2:5-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14

 The Lord Jesus Christ

 We believe that, as provided and proposed by God and as pre-announced in the prophecies of the Scriptures, the eternal Son of God came into this world that He might manifest God to men, fulfill prophecy and become the Redeemer; that He was begotten of the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner, born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can be born of woman; that He received a human body and a sinless human nature; and that He is both the eternal Son of God and God the Son—perfect God and perfect Man.

 Biblical References: Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; John 1:14

 We believe in the essential, absolute, eternal Deity, and the real and proper, but perfect and sinless, humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ; that Christ is the eternal Son of God, and God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, being co-equal, co-eternal and of the same essence as God the Father; and that He united in one person undiminished deity and perfect, sinless humanity.

 We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day in the same body, though glorified, and that His resurrection body is the pattern of that body which ultimately will be given to all believers.

 We believe that in departing from the earth in His resurrection body, Christ ascended into Heaven as our great High Priest, and will come again in like manner.

 We believe that He now sits in Heaven at the right hand of God the Father as our great High Priest, interceding for His own; that He became Head over all things to the Church, which is His body; and that, in this ministry, He ceases not to intercede and advocate for the saved.

 Biblical References: Matthew 28:6-7; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:2-6, 39; John 20: 27; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:4; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:17; 4:15; 5:9-10; 7:25; 8:6; 12:2; 1 John 2:1; Revelation 3:21

The Holy Spirit

 We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of judgment and of righteousness; that He bears witness to the Truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent of the New Birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer; and that the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance) is the evidence of His indwelling rather than the speaking in tongues and other spectacular demonstrations.

 We believe in the cessationist view of sign gifts. We believe that God established the Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Himself being the cornerstone, and that He confirmed the apostolic message with signs and wonders in that era. Having served their divine purpose, the revelatory and sign gifts of the Spirit, including tongues, prophecy, and the gift of healing, have ceased. We believe that God continues to hear and answer prayers for the sick and afflicted according to His sovereign will and that the ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection.

 Biblical References: John 14:16-17; Matthew 28:19; Hebrews 9:14; John 14:26; Luke 1:35; Genesis 1:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 2:7; John 16:8-11; John 15:26-27; Acts 5:30-32; John 3:5-6; Ephesians 1:13-14; Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; 24:49; John 1:33; 16:13; 14:26; Romans 8:14; 1 Corinthians 13:8-10; 14:21-22; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:18-21; 2 Thessalonians 2:13

The Devil or Satan

 We believe that Lucifer was once holy and enjoyed heavenly honors, but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, sin was found in him. He is now the malignant prince of the power of the air and the unholy god of this world. We believe him to be man’s great tempter, the enemy of God and His Christ, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the chief power behind the present apostasy; the lord of the anti-Christ, and the author of all powers of darkness. He is destined, however, to final defeat at the hands of God’s Son, and to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire, a place prepared for him and his angels.

 Biblical References: Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:14-17; Revelation 12:9; Jude 6; Ephesians 2:2; 1 Thessalonians 3:5; Matthew 4:1-3; 1 Peter 5:8; Matthew 13:25, 37-39; Luke 22:3-4; Revelation 12:10; 1 Corinthians 11:13-15; 1 John 2:22, 4:3; 1 John 7; Revelation 13:13-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-11; Revelation 19:11, 16, 20; 20:1-3, 10; Matthew 25:41

The Creation

 We believe in the Genesis account of creation; that it is to be accepted literally, not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness; that man’s creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly, and God’s established law was that they should bring forth only “after their kind.”

 Biblical References: Genesis 1:1; Exodus 20:11; Acts 4:24; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3; John 1:3; Revelation 10:6; Romans 1:20; Acts 17:23-26; Jeremiah 10:12; Nehemiah 9:6; Genesis 1:11, 24, 26-27; 2:21-23

The Fall of Man

 We believe that man was created in innocence (in the image and likeness of God) under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression, Adam fell from his sinless and happy state and all men sinned in him. As a result, all men are totally depraved, are partakers of Adam’s fallen nature, are sinners by nature and by conduct and therefore are under just condemnation without defense or excuse.

 Biblical References: Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 1:18, 32; 3:10-19; 5:12, 19

Salvation

 We believe that the salvation of sinners is divinely initiated and wholly of grace through the mediatorial office of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who, by the appointment of the Father, voluntarily took upon Himself our nature, yet without sin, and honored the divine law by His personal obedience, thus qualifying Himself to be our Savior; that by the shedding of His blood in His death He fully satisfied the just demands of a holy and righteous God regarding sin; that His sacrifice consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that having risen from the dead He is now enthroned in Heaven, and uniting in His wonderful person the most tender sympathies with divine perfection, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, compassionate and all-sufficient Savior. We believe that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation.

 Biblical References: Romans 10:9, 10; Jonah 2:9; Ephesians 2:8; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24, 25; John 3:16; Matthew 18:11; Philippians 2:7-8; Hebrews 2:14-17; Isaiah 53:4-7; 1 John 4:10; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Corinthians 5:17, 21; 1 Peter 2:24

Grace and the New Birth

 We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about by our sovereign God in a manner above our comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith, and newness of life.

 Biblical References: John 3:3; 1 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 5:1; Acts 16:20-33; 2 Peter 1:4; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1, 5; Colossians 2:13; John 3:8

Justification

 We believe justification is that judicial act of God whereby He declares the believer righteous upon the basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ; that it is bestowed solely through faith in the Redeemer’s shed blood, not in consideration of any work of righteousness which we have done.

 Biblical References: Romans 3:24; 4:5; 5:1, 9; Galatians 2:16; Philippians 3:9.

Sanctification

 We believe that sanctification is the divine setting apart of the believer unto God accomplished in a threefold manner; first, by an eternal act of God, based upon redemption in Christ, establishing the believer in a position of holiness at the moment he trusts the Savior; second, by a continuing process in the saint as the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to the life; third, by the final accomplishment of this process at the Lord’s return.

 Biblical References: Hebrews 10:10-14; 3:1; John 17:17; 1 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 5:25-27; 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 4; 5:23, 24; 1 John 3:2; Jude 24, 25; Revelation 22:11

The Security of the Saints

 We believe that all who are truly born again are eternally kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ.

 Biblical References: Philippians 1:6; John 5:24; 10:28, 29; Romans 8:35-39; 1 John 5:13; Jude 1

The Church

 We believe in the unity of all true believers in the Church, which is the Body of Christ. It was established on the Day of Pentecost and will continue until the Rapture and includes both Jews and Gentiles. All who are part of this Church have been added through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is also the Bride identified in the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

 Biblical References: Acts 15:13-18; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 1:22-23; 3:1-6; 4:11; 5:23; Colossians 1:18; Revelation 19:7-8; 22:17

 We believe that the local Church is a congregation of immersed believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship in the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ (Baptism and the Lord’s Table); governed by His laws, and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its called or given officers are Pastor (also called Bishop or Elder) and Deacons whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. We believe that the true mission of the Church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men as we have opportunity. We believe that the local Church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations, that the one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is Scriptural for true Churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that each local Church is the sole judge of the measure of its cooperation; that on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of benevolence (charity), the will of the local Church is final. We believe that the local Church is God’s plan for accomplishing His commission in this age. We believe, therefore, that all other Christian institutions and agencies should have as their objective the aid and strengthening of the local Church. We believe that it is the responsibility of each local Church to have no fellowship with those organizations involved in apostasy (falling away from the truth); to have no fellowship with those organizations that are disobedient or are walking disorderly.

 Biblical References: Acts 2:41-42, 20:17-28; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 11:2; 1 Corinthians 6:14-18; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; 6:3-5; Titus 3:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10; Romans 16:17; 1 John 9-11

Two Ordinances: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

 We believe that Christian baptism is the single immersion of a believer in water to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our identification with the crucified, buried and risen Savior, through Whom we died to sin and rose to a new life; that baptism is to be performed under the authority of the local Church; that it is evidence of obedience to God’s Word and is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership.

 We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of His death “till He come.” We believe that the Biblical order of the ordinances is first, baptism, then the Lord’s Supper, and that participants in the Lord’s Supper should be immersed believers and a member of a New Testament Church.

 Biblical References: Acts 8:36-39; John 3:23; Romans 6:3-5; Matthew 3:16; Colossians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 1 Corinthians 11:20-28; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:41-42

Civil Government

 We believe that civil government is divinely appointed for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; except in those things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ Who is the only Lord of the conscience and the coming King of Kings.

 Biblical References: Romans 13:1-7; 2 Samuel 23:3; Exodus 18:21-22; Acts 23:5; Matthew 22:21; Acts 5:29; 4:19-20; Daniel 3:17-18

Israel

 We believe in the sovereign selection of Israel as God’s eternal covenant people, that she is now dispersed because of her disobedience and rejection of Christ, and that she will be regathered in the Holy Land and after the completion of the Church. The believing remnant shall be saved as a nation at the second advent of Christ.

 Biblical References: Genesis 13:14-17; Romans 11:1-32; Ezekiel 37

Rapture and Subsequent Events

 We believe in the pretribulational return of Christ, an event that can occur at any moment, and at that moment the dead in Christ shall be raised in glorified bodies. The living in Christ shall be given glorified bodies without tasting death, and all shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air before the seven years of the Tribulation.

 Biblical References: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 51-54; Philippians 3:20-21; Revelation 3:10

 We believe that the seven-year Tribulation, which follows the Rapture of the Church, will be culminated by the revelation of Christ in power and great glory to sit upon the throne of David and to establish the millennial kingdom.

 Biblical References: Daniel 9:25-27; Matthew 24:29-31; Luke 1:30-33; Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:1-9; Acts 2:29-30; Revelation 20:1-4, 6

The Righteous and the Wicked

 We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only those who are justified by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and sanctified by the Spirit of our God are truly righteous in His esteem; while all such continue in non-repentance and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse of sin through Adam; and that this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting felicity (joy) of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost in the “lake of fire”.

 Biblical References:  Romans 5:12;  Malachi 3:18;  Genesis 18:23; Romans 6:17-18; 1 John 5:19; Romans 7:6; 6:23; Proverbs 14:32; Luke 16:25; Matthew 25:34-41; John 8:21; Revelation 20:14-15