STATEMENT OF FAITH

The Holy Scriptures.  We believe the Holy Bible of the Old and New Testament to be the verbal and plenary (complete) inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and supernaturally inspired; “…holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”     (II Peter 1:19-21) to form the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus.  The authorized King James Version is the true, pure and preserved Word of God and shall remain till the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man for the English language. The Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice and is the supreme standard by which all conduct and opinions should be tried (Psalm 119:1-16, 105; Proverbs 2:1-6). The literal interpretation of the Scriptures should be preached and taught in their historical, grammatical, and dispensational context. All the Bible was written for us but not to us. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” The King James Version of the Bible shall be the official and only translation used by the church.  (II Timothy 3:16-17, Psalm 12:6-7, Psalm 19:7-11)

Dispensationalism.  We believe the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life that define man’s responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather are divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these dispensations—the law, the church, and the kingdom—are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture. (Genesis 1:28; I Corinthians 9:17; II Corinthians 3:9-18; Galatians 3:13-25; Ephesians 1:10; 3:2-10; Colossians 1:24-25, 27; Revelation 20:2-6)

The Godhead.  We believe the Bible clearly teaches that there is one, and only one, true eternal, triune God who exists in three persons: (the Trinity) God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, co-eternal in being, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption (I John 5:7, John 1:1,14). God is an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the Creator and Ruler of Heaven and earth, possessing Omniscience, Omnipotence, Omnipresence, and Immutability. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; John 14:10, 26; II Corinthians 13:14)

God the Father. We believe God the Father is the fullness of the Godhead invisible.   “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24) God reigns with loving care over His universe. He is unchangeable in holiness, love and truth. He is the Father to those who become the children of God by placing their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Fatherly in His attitude towards all men, “…longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come  to repentance.” (II Peter 3:9) (Romans 8:14-17).

God the Son.

     (1) We believe God the Son is the fullness of the Godhead manifested (Colossians 2:8-10), the eternal Son of God, becoming man without ceasing to be God, conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. He lived a perfect sinless life, “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15); in obedience to God the Father, “he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8) (Isaiah 7:14, 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; II Corinthians 5:19-21; Galatians 4:4-5)

     (2) We believe the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross, shedding His blood as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice and satisfactory payment to God the Father; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. (Acts 2:18-36; Romans 3:24-25; Ephesians 1:7; I Peter 1:3-5, 2:24)

     (3) We believe the Lord Jesus Christ was seen by many before His ascension to Heaven. He now is exalted at the right hand of God as our Intercessor, Mediator, and Advocate, and one day “…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11) (Acts 1:9-10; Romans 3:24-26, 8:34; I Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 7:25, 9:24; I John 2:1-2)

The Holy Spirit.

     (1) We believe the Holy Spirit is the fullness of the Godhead as the Divine Comforter, Teacher, and Spirit of Truth.  He was active in the creation of the universe; He moved holy men of God to write the Scriptures; in His relationship to the unbelieving world, He restrains evil and does “reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” (John 16:7-14). He bears witness of the Truth, and baptizes all believers into the body of Christ, instantaneously indwelling and sealing them until the day of redemption.  He is our comforter Who “maketh  intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26-27) (Ephesians 1:13-14, 17-18)

     (2) We believe the Holy Spirit guides believers to understand the Scriptures, cultivating Christian character and our daily walk with the Lord. He equips believers with spiritual gifts to further the work of the Lord. (John 15:26; Romans 8:9-10, 14-16,   26-27; I Corinthians 12:4-13; II Corinthians 3:6)

     (3) We believe the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary and for the Jews.  Speaking in tongues was never common nor a necessary sign of baptism nor a filling of the Holy Spirit, and that ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the fulfillment of our salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer prayers of believers for physical healing. (I Corinthians 1:22; 13:8; 14:21-22)

The Total Depravity of Man.  We believe man was created in the image and likeness of God; but that in Adam’s sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God. Man is totally depraved and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition. (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3; 4:17-19)

Salvation. We believe that in order for Salvation to be necessary there must first be a need for salvation.  According to Genesis 1:26-27, God said “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:…So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Through Adam’s voluntary transgression, the human race fell, inheriting the sinful nature, and became alienated from God; man is totally depraved, and of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition and is without defense or excuse. (Romans 3:23, 5:12, I Corinthians 15:22) We believe that “by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:  it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) Jesus Christ and His shed blood on the cross is the only way for the sinner to become reconciled to God. Salvation is instantaneous and not a process. Justified (just as if I had never sinned) by the righteousness of Christ, His righteousness and shed blood are imputed unto us when we repent of our sins and place our faith and trust in Christ alone for our salvation. “…repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations…” (Luke 24:46-47) (Romans 3:23-25, 5:8-15; II Peter 3:9; I Peter 1:4-5; Romans 5:8-15; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; I John 1:9)

The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers.  We believe that once a person is saved, he is kept by God’s power and remains secure in Christ forever. We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word. (John 6:37-40, 10:27-30; Romans 8:1, 38-39; I Corinthians 1:4-8; I Peter 1:4-5)

Individual Soul Liberty.  We believe that while it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation, Romans 6:1-2 and Galatians 5:13 clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to fulfill the lusts of the flesh.  Romans 14:12-13 also states “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.  Let us not therefore judge one another any more:  but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.”  All those saved should remain separated unto Christ and live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Saviour and Lord. (Romans 13:13-14; II Corinthians 6:14-17; Titus 2:11-15)

The Church.  “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:18) The New Testament Church began with Jesus teaching and training the disciples and was empowered at Pentecost. Hebrews 9:11-28 speaks of Christ being our testator and “where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.  For a testament is of force after men are dead; otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.”

     (1) We believe the church is a local group of believers baptized by immersion joined together for edification, exhortation, and evangelism as commanded by Christ to fulfill the Great Commission. The establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament.(Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 2:36-42, 14:27, 20:17; I Corinthians 12:12-14; Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:25-27; I Timothy 3: 1-13; Titus 1:5-9)

     (2) We believe in the autonomy of the local church free of any external authority or controls.  Any affiliations, societies, organizations, associations, or agencies this church affiliates with to further the objectives stated in the Purpose Statement are not authoritative in matters of church practice or belief. (Acts 13:1-4, 15:19-31, 20:28; Romans 16:1, 4; I Corinthians 3:9, 16; 5:4-7, 13; I Peter 5:1-4)

     (3) We recognize water baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper as the two Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the church in this age. (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42, 8:36-38; 18:8; I Corinthians 11:23-34)

     (4) We believe the two Scriptural offices of the church are pastor and deacon. (I Timothy 3:1, 13)

Separation. We believe that believers should maintain a godly testimony and live in such a way that their lives do not bring reproach upon their Savior. God commands His people to separate from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices, and associations, and to refrain from all immodest and immoderate appearances, piercings, and bodily markings. We stand against any and all worldly philosophies that seek to destroy or undermine the truth of Biblical Christianity. (Leviticus 19:28; Romans 12:1-2, 14:13; I Corinthians 6:19-20; II Corinthians 6:14-7:1; II Timothy 3:1-5; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11)

The Second Coming of Christ. We believe in that blessed hope, the personal, imminent return of Christ, Who will rapture His church prior to the seven-year tribulation period.  At the end of the Tribulation, Christ will personally and visibly return with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom, which was promised to the nation of Israel.  (Psalm 89:3-4; Daniel 2:31-45; Zechariah 14:4-11; I Thessalonians 1:10, 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Revelation 3:10, 19:11-16; 20:1-6)

The Eternal State.

     (1) We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved, Christ-rejecting sinner to judgment and everlasting punishment.  (Matthew 25:46; John 5:28-29, 11:25-26; Revelation 20:5-6, 12-13)

     (2) We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord.  (Luke 23:43; II Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 3:21; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 20:4-6)

     (3) We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment, eternally separated from God. (Matthew 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Revelation 20:11-15)

The Devil or Satan.  We believe Lucifer is a created angel who enjoyed heavenly honors,  but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and drew after him a host of angels. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith…”  I Peter 5:8-9)  He is the open and declared enemy of God, the tempter, the accuser of the brethren, destined to a final defeat at the hands of God’s only begotten Son, and destined to a judgment of eternal justice “…into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” (Matthew 25:41) (Job 1:6-7; Isaiah 14:12-15; Matthew 4:2-11; I Thessalonians 3:5; II Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Revelation 12:9, 10)

Creation.  “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) We believe that the Genesis account of creation is neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of God’s creation of the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin.  (Genesis 1-2; Exodus 20:11; John 1:3; Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3)

Civil Government.  We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions:  1) the home, 2) the church, and 3) the state.  Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word.  God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other.  The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically-assigned spheres of responsibility under God.  We believe we must obey the state unless it requires us to act contrary to our faith, at which time, we must obey the Word of God rather than the state. (Acts 5:29; Romans 13:1-7; Ephesians 5:22-24; Hebrews 13:17; I Peter 2:13-14)

Human Sexuality.

     (1) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between one man and one woman.  We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, pedophilia, 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 surgery or appearance. (Genesis 2:24, 19:5-13, 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; II Samuel 13:1-30; Romans 1: 26-29; I Corinthians 5:1, 6:9; I Thessalonians 4:1-8;   Hebrews 13:4)

     (2) We believe that the only Scriptural marriage is the joining of one naturally-born man and one naturally-born woman. (Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2; I Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 5:22-25)

Family Relationships.

     (1) We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church.  The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church.  Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church. (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:18; I Timothy 2:8-15, 3:4-5, 12; I Peter 3:7)

     (2) We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society.  The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church.  The wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ.  Children are an heritage from the Lord.  Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline, including Scriptural corporal correction.  (Genesis 1:26-28; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Psalms 127:3-5; Proverbs 19:18, 22:15, 23:13-14; Mark 10:6-12; I Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33, 6:1-4, Colossians 3:18-21; Hebrews 13:4; I Peter 3:1-7)

Divorce and remarriage.  Marriage was designed by God to be one man with one woman for life.  Marriage is a solemn covenant before God that two people will become one and is to be entered into with the intent that it is permanently binding until death.  We believe that God disapproves of divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Divorce should be the last option and only for the reasons allowed in the Bible.  Divorce and remarriage is regarded as adultery except in the case of death, on the grounds of fornication, or if the unbeliever departs. (Malachi 2:14-17; Matthew 19:3-12; Romans 7:1-3; I Corinthians 7:10-17)

Abortion. We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being.  Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life.  Abortion is murder.  We reject any teaching that abortions due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the physical or mental well-being of the mother are acceptable. (Job 3:16; Psalm 51:5; 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24, 49:1-5; Jeremiah 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)

Euthanasia.  We believe that the direct taking of an innocent human life is a moral evil, regardless of the intention.  Life is a gift of God and must be respected from conception until natural death.  Thus we believe that an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder contrary to the will of God.  Discontinuing medical procedures that are extraordinary or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be a legitimate refusal of over-zealous treatment.  (Exodus 20:13, 23:7; Matthew 5:21; Acts 17:28)

Love.  We believe that we should demonstrate love for others, not only toward fellow believers, but also toward those who are not believers, those who oppose us, and those who engage in sinful actions. We are to deal with those who oppose us graciously, gently, patiently, and humbly.  God forbids the stirring up of strife, the taking of revenge, or the threat or use of violence as a means of resolving personal conflict or obtaining personal justice. Although God commands us to abhor sinful actions, we are to love and pray for any person who engages in such sinful actions. (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 5:44-48; Luke 6:31; John 13:34-35; Romans 12:9-10, 17-21, 13:8-10; Philippians 2:2-4;      II Timothy 2:24-26; Titus 3:2; I John 3:17-18)

Lawsuits Between Believers.  We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes.  We believe the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members.  We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander.          (I Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:31-32)

Missions.  We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ, we must use all available means to go to foreign nations and not wait for  them to come to us.  One way in which we fulfill the Great Commission is through supporting missionaries that are   in agreement with our statement of faith. (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; II Corinthians 5:20)

Giving. We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to financially support his local church.  We believe that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving, but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel.  All contributions to the church should be deemed advisory rather than mandatory in nature.  No fiduciary obligation should be created by any designated contribution made to the church other than to use the contribution for the general furtherance of any of the stated purposes of the church. (Genesis 14:20; Proverbs 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; I Corinthians 16:2; II Corinthians 9:6-7; Galatians 6:7; Ephesians 4:28; I Timothy 5:17-18; I John 3:17)

AUTHORITY OF STATEMENT OF FAITH

The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe.  We do believe, however, that the foregoing Statement of Faith accurately represents the teachings of the Bible and, therefore, is binding upon all members.