in the Lord, my dearly beloved
Our Confession of Faith
We believe that the Holy Bible is that collection of sixty-six books from Genesis to Revelation which, as originally written, was verbally and plenarily inspired, the product of God through Spirit controlled men; that it not only contains and conveys the Word of God, but is the very Word of God; that it is and shall remain to the end of the age the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; that it is the true center of Christian unity and the supreme and only authority by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions shall be tried. (Psalm 119:7-12, 89, 105, 130, 160; Proverbs 30:5-6; Isaiah 8:20; Luke 16:31; Luke 24:25-27, 44-45; John 5:39, 45-47; John 12:48; John 17:17; Acts 1:16; Acts 28:25; Romans 3:4; Romans 15:4; Ephesians 6:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17;
1 Peter 1:23; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Revelation 22:19)
We believe that there is one and only one living and true God, and infinite 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 Spirit, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:6;
1 John 5:7; Revelation 4:11)
We believe that the Father concerns Himself, mercifully and in justice, in the affairs of men; that He hears and answers prayer; and that He saves from death and hell all who come to Him through Christ. (Psalm 30:4; John 14:6; Romans 3:26; Hebrews 7:25)
We believe that the Son was co-existent, co-eternal and co-equal with the Father and the Spirit in eternity past and continues to sustain that identification as God; that He was miraculously begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary and that, as a man, He was true man and true God; that he is the only sufficient mediator between God and man; that He lived a sinless life, was crucified, dead, buried and rose again the third day, and was glorified in the same body in which He suffered and died; that He ascended into heaven where He now appears as our High Priest and Intercessor in the presence of the Father. (Isaiah 53:5-6; John 1:1-3, 14; Luke 1:35; Romans 3:2)
We believe that He will literally return to this earth according to His promise. (John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
We further believe that Jesus Christ alone is the way of salvation. (John 14:6; Acts 4:12)
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 and the affairs of men in ages past. (Genesis 1:1-3; Genesis 6:3)
We believe that, in this age, certain well-defined ministries are committed to the Holy Spirit and that it is the duty of every Christian to understand them and to be adjusted to them in his own life and experience.
These ministries are: the restraining of evil in the world to the measure of the divine will; the convicting of the world respecting sin, righteousness and judgment; the regenerating of all who are saved, thereby sealing them unto the day of redemption; the baptizing into one body of Christ of all who are saved; and the continuing filling for power, teaching and service of those among the saved who are yielded to Him and who are subject to His will. (John 3:6;
John 16:7-11; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:30; Ephesians 5:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:7; 1 John 2:20-27; Titus 3:5)
We believe that some gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and miraculous healings, were temporary; that speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism nor of the filling of the Spirit, and that the deliverance of the body from sickness awaits consummation of our salvation in the resurrection. (Acts 4:8, 31; Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 13:8)
Angels and Satan
We believe that God created an innumerable company of angels, sinless spiritual beings; that one, Lucifer, “son of the morning”, sinned through pride; that a great company of angels followed him in his moral fall, some of whom became demons and are active as Satan’s agents and associates in the prosecution of his unholy purposes, while others who fell are “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day”. (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; 1 Timothy 3:6; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 5, 6)
We believe in the reality and personality of Satan, the Devil; that he became the enemy of God through the fall; that he became the unholy “god of this age” and the ruler of all the powers of darkness and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire. (Matthew 4:1-11; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 20:10)
We believe that a great company of angels kept their first estate and are before the throne of God, from whence they are sent forth to be ministering spirits on behalf of those who shall be heirs of salvation. (Luke 15:10; Ephesians 1:21; Hebrews 1:14; Revelation 7:12)
We believe the Biblical account of the creation of the physical universe, angels, and man; that this account is neither allegory nor myth, but a literal historical account of the direct, immediate creative acts of God without any evolutionary process. (Genesis 1; Genesis 2; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16)
We believe in the Genesis account of creation, and man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness; that man’s creation was not by 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 affected by special creation, and God’s established law was that they bring forth only “after their kind”.
We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinful, and are sinners not by constraint but of choice; and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse; and that man in his natural state is in a condition of total depravity, by which we mean his nature is utterly incapable to receive the things of the Spirit of God apart from the regenerating grace of the Holy Spirit. (Genesis 1:1, 11, 24, 26-27; Genesis 2:21-23; Exodus 20:11; Nehemiah 9:6;
Jeremiah 10:12; John 1:3; Acts 4:24; Acts 17:24; Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3; Revelation 10:6)
We believe that, owing to universal death through sin, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless born again, and that no degree of reformation, however great, no attainments in morality, however high, no culture, however attractive, no baptism or other ordinance, however administered, can help the sinner to take even one step toward heaven; but a new nature imparted from above, a new life implanted by the Holy Spirit through the Word, is absolutely essential to salvation and only those thus saved are the sons of God.
We believe also that our redemption has been accomplished solely by the blood of Christ, who was made to be sin and was made a curse for us, dying in our stead; and that no repentance, no feeling, no faith, no good resolution, no sincere efforts, no submission to the rules and regulations of any church can add in the very least degree to the value of the blood or to the merit of the finished work wrought for us by Christ. (Leviticus 17:11; Isaiah 64:6;
Matthew 26:28; John 3:5, 18; Romans 5:6-9; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13; Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 3:4-9; Titus 3:5; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:18, 19, 23)
We believe that the salvation provided by the finished work of Christ was for all men. (2 Corinthians 5:19; 1 Timothy 2:6; Hebrews 2:9; 1 John 2:2;
1 John 4:14) However, not all men will be saved. Those who are saved are identified as “foreknown, predestinated, called, justified and glorified”.
We believe that justification is that judicial act of God where by He declares the believer righteous upon the basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ; that it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely by grace through faith in the Redeemer’s shed blood.
(Romans 3:24; Romans 4:5; Romans 5:1, 9; Galatians 2:16; Philippians 3:9)
We believe that sanctification is the divine setting apart of the believer unto God, accomplished in a three-fold manner; first, an eternal act of God based upon redemption in Christ, establishing the believer in a position of holiness at the moment he trusts Christ as Savior; second, a continuing process in the believer as the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to the life; third, the final accomplishment of this process at the Lord’s return. (John 17:17;
1 Corinthians 1:20; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 5:25-27; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; Hebrews 10:10-14; 1 John 3:2; Jude 24, 25; Revelation 22:11)
We believe that Christian living is the working out of our salvation (Philippians 2:12) and is the current on-going of the process of sanctification through the agency of the Holy Spirit.
We believe that because of the eternal purpose of God toward the objects of His love, because of His freedom to exercise grace toward the meritless on the ground of the propitiatory blood of Christ, because of the very nature of the intercession and advocacy of Christ in heaven, because of the regenerating, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all who are saved, we, and all true believers everywhere, once saved, shall be kept saved forever. Though, as a Father, God must and will chastise His own, nevertheless, having undertaken to save them forever, apart from all human merit, He will in the end present every one of them faultless before the presence of His glory and conformed to the image of His Son. (John 5:24; John 10:28-29; John 13:1;
John 14:16-17; John 17:11; Romans 8:29; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2; 1 John 5:13; Jude 24)
The Universal Body of Christ
We believe that the Church, as portrayed in the New Testament figures of the “Body” and the “Bride” of Christ, is composed of all born-again believers who are united by the Holy Spirit to the risen and ascended Son of God; that by the same Spirit we are all baptized into one body; and thus being members one of another are ever responsible to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Acts 15:13-18; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 1:22-23;
Ephesians 3:1-6; Ephesians 4:11; Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18)
The Local Church
We believe that a local Church is a congregation of immersed believers associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ, baptism and the Lord’s Table; governed by His laws; exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers were Pastors and Deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures.
We hold that the local Church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of an hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and in the furtherance of the Gospel; that each local Church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; and, on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local Church is final. (Acts 2:41; Acts 20:17-28; 1 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 4:11; Ephesians 5:23-24; 1 Timothy 3:17)
The Mission of the Local Church
In accordance with the Great Commission recorded in Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8, we believe that the mission of the Church is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all men, endeavoring to make the message clear and plain in order that the Holy Spirit can bring them to salvation. We further believe that the Church is to teach and train the saved person in order that he may produce fruit unto the edification of the church and the salvation of souls. (Acts 13; Ephesians 4:11-15)
We believe that the born-again Christian, as he grows and matures in spiritual things, should seek to honor the Lord by separation from the habits and lifestyles of the world and from anything that would defile the body and spirit and bring dishonor to the Lord. (1 John 2:15-16; 2 Corinthians 6:13-17;
1 Thessalonians 5:22)
We believe that it is mandatory for the Christian and the local Church to separate from those who no longer teach and preach the “whole counsel of God” and who deny the fundamental doctrines of the Word of God. These doctrines would at least include the following: 1) The absolute authority and inspiration of the Bible; 2) The virgin birth, sinless life, substitutionary death, bodily resurrection, the literal, imminent second coming of Christ; 3) The salvation by faith through grace apart from works; 4) or such as those outlined in this Confession of Faith.
Such separation would encompass organizations such as the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches. We further believe that we ought not to support or condone others who knowingly cooperate with such apostate groups. We also reject the philosophy of inclusivism and ecumenism such as is apparent in the New-Evangelical (National Association of Evangelicals) camp and the Charismatic Movement. We will seek to cooperate only with those churches and organizations which refuse to support and cooperate with ecumenism and apostasy. (Matthew 7:15-20; 2 Chronicles 19:2;
Romans 16:17-18; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17; 1 Timothy 4:1-2; 1 Timothy 6:3, 5; 2 Timothy 2:17-19; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; 2 John 6-11)
We further believe that the primary teachings of the Charismatic Movement, such as speaking in tongues, the baptism of the Spirit (as they define it - a second work of grace), and healing are unscriptural and that the ecumenical approach employed by the charismatic groups is error in doctrine and practice. For these reasons we will not cooperate with area ecumenical meetings and programs sponsored by such groups.
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, the Messiah; and that she will be regathered as a nation in the Holy Land and, after the completion of the Church, will be saved as a nation at the second coming of Christ. (Genesis 13:14-17; Ezekiel 37; Romans 11:1-32)
We believe in the absolute separation of Church and State; that the civil government is of divine appointment for the interest of good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except in things opposed to the clear will of God who is the Lord of conscience. (Exodus 18:21-22; 2 Samuel 23:3; Daniel 3:17-18; Matthew 22:21; Acts 4:19-20; Acts 5:20; Acts 23:5; Romans 13:17)
We believe in the pre-tribulational, pre-millennial return of Christ, an event which can occur at any moment; that at that moment the dead in Christ shall be raised in glorified bodies and the living in Christ shall be given glorified bodies without experiencing death and that all shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air before the seven years of Tribulation. (1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 51; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 3:20)
We believe that the Great Tribulation, which follows the Rapture of the Church, will be culminated by the revelation of Christ in power and great glory to claim the throne of David and establish His millennial kingdom over all the earth. (Isaiah 9:6-7; Daniel 9:25-27; Matthew 24:29-31; Luke 1:30-33; Acts 2:29-30; Revelation 20:1-6)
The Righteous and The Wicked
We believe that there is radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked (unsaved); that only those who are justified by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and sanctified (set apart) by the Holy Spirit of God are truly righteous in His sight, while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are, in His sight, wicked and under the judgment of God; that this distinction holds among men both in life and after death - in the everlasting felicity of the saved and everlasting conscious suffering of the lost in hell. (Malachi 3:18; Genesis 18:23; Romans 6:17-18; 1 John 5:19; Romans 7:6; Romans 6:23; Proverbs 14:32; Luke 16:25; Matthew 25:34-41; John 8:21; Revelation 20:14-15)
We subscribe to the basic tenets of the historic Baptist Faith, convictions which Baptists have consistently held as a people throughout their history:
B - Baptized, regenerate church membership
A - Authority and inspiration of Scripture
P - Priesthood of all believers
T - Two offices: Pastor and Deacons
I - Independent, sovereign local churches
S - Sovereignty of God
T - Two ordinances: Baptism and the Lord’s Table
S - Separation of Church and State and soul liberty
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged outside of marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex.
We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by appearance or surgical procedures. (Genesis 2:24,
Genesis 19:5-7, 13; Genesis 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-28; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 15-20; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8;
We further believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and of one woman. (Genesis 2:20-25; Romans 7:1-3; 1 Corinthians 7:10-11; Ephesians 5:21-33)