What We Believe
We believe that although God may give individual believers guidance in various ways, we reject the teaching that implies that individuals can receive “words from God” that have the same authority as Scripture. Therefore, the Bible alone is to be believed in all that it teaches; obeyed in all that it requires; and trusted in all that it promises. (Psalm 19:7–11; Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16–17; 2 Peter 1:20–21)
Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity past to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory. Since He is not limited in knowledge or power by any external forces or the will of His creatures, what He purposes will come to pass. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. (Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 32:3–4; John 17:3; Acts 17:28; Ephesians 1:3–5; 3:7–13; Revelation 4:11)
(a) God the Father. Although God the Father shares the same essence with God the Son and God the Spirit, He is to be distinguished from the two other members of the Trinity. The Father is not begotten nor is He the One who was crucified. He is frequently spoken of as “the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Thanks to His choice in adopting us, He is also our Father, and we are described as His children. Hence, Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven.” The Father is the one who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing and chose us to be His from before the foundation of the world. The Father loved the world and gave His Son on our behalf. (Matthew 6:9; John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 1:3; Ephesians 1:3)
Although the Fatherhood of God finds its clearest expression in the New Testament, this filial relationship was already known to the faithful in Old Testament times. For example, David, Isaiah, and Jeremiah refer to the intimacy of the Father/Son relationship. (Psalm 103:13, 14; Isaiah 64:8; Jeremiah 3:19)
In Christ, the Father was propitiated; that is, His anger against sin was turned away from us. Thus, both His love for us and His holy anger against sin found expression in and were fully satisfied through the work of Christ on the cross. Thus, we affirm that our God is our Redeemer.
(b) God the Son. We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, one Person with two natures. Although Jesus Christ, who is Israel’s promised Messiah, existed from eternity past, He was conceived in human flesh through the Holy Spirit and born of Mary who was a virgin. He lived a sinless life, was crucified and died under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and Advocate. (Matthew 1:23; John 1:1; Ephesians 1:15–23; 1 Timothy 2:5–6; Hebrews 1:8)
We believe that Jesus Christ honored God’s law as expressed in both the Old Testament and New Testament by His personal obedience and substitutionary death on the cross for sinners. He is the one Mediator between God and man, fully God and fully man, being the only One in whose person God and man can be reconciled. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and consummate His redemptive mission. To Him we gladly give our obedience and worship, being deeply grateful for His grace toward us while we were yet sinners. (John 14:6; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Timothy 2:5–6)
(c) God the Holy Spirit. We believe that the Holy Spirit exists as a co-equal and co-eternal Person within the Trinity and as such is fully divine. We believe that He glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father in all that He does. He convicts the unconverted of their sin and regenerates all who believe; and in Him all believers are baptized into union with Christ and adopted as heirs in the family of God. By the Holy Spirit the Godhead now indwells all believers. He also illuminates, guides, equips, and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service. (John 7:38–40; 16:7–11; Acts 1:8; 5:5; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 5:16–18)
We believe that the Holy Spirit distributes gifts to the church for the edification of the body of Christ. These gifts of service are intended to display both the diversity and unity of the one body in its mutual edification and ministry. We believe sign gifts (such as speaking in tongues) are not required as proof of the filling or baptizing work of the Holy Spirit. Rather, the Holy Spirit never departs from a believer and is ever present to testify of Christ, bringing about the fruit of the Spirit. His presence in the life of believers is the guarantee that God will bring us safely into heaven where we will enter fully into the inheritance that awaits us. (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13–14)
Since humanity is the crowning work of God’s creation, each human being is created in His image, is sacred, and is worthy of respect and Christian love. This respect must be accorded to all human life from the moment of conception until natural death. (Psalm 139:13–16; Revelation 5:9–10)
We believe this salvation is a gift of God’s grace, appropriated through faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ. This faith is a gift of divine grace, and is not simply knowledge of Jesus Christ, but is an act of personal trust accompanied by the miracles of regeneration and justification, leading to sanctification and glorification.
We believe that regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby we become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart brought about by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin and is accompanied by repentance and faith in Christ, resulting in a new nature within us. (John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3:4–7)
We believe that justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal of the sins of all who are regenerated. Christ’s righteousness is imputed to the regenerate, and God declares them to be entirely righteous, bringing them into a relationship of peace and favor with Himself. (Romans 3:19–26; 5:1; Galatians 3:10–14)
We believe that sanctification is the process by which God sets believers apart for His own purposes, that they might progress toward spiritual maturity by the presence and power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 4:3)
We believe that glorification is the culmination of salvation and will be the final blessed and abiding state of all who have been redeemed. (Romans 8:17, 30; 2 Thessalonians 1:10)
The holy angels are preserved from sinning by a divine decree and exist to serve God according to His good pleasure. They also glorify God in their obedience and service to believers, and they will eventually be used by God to judge the wicked. (1 Timothy 5:21; Hebrews 1:14; Revelation 7:1–3)
When the future millennial kingdom is established, the national promises given to Abraham will be fulfilled and Israel shall be restored to the glory predicted in the Scriptures, with Christ ruling from Jerusalem. As expressed in Habakkuk 2:14, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 2:2–5; Jeremiah 31:35–37; Zechariah 14:1–5; Luke 1:30–33; Acts 1:6–7; Romans 11:25–27; Galatians 3:9, 14, 23–29)
The Church believes and teaches that the premillennial return of Christ to establish His earthly reign is an important doctrine of eschatology. All who teach and preach in the Church are expected to do so consistent with this interpretation of end-time events.
We believe that all believers who die are immediately conscious in the presence of the Lord, although their bodies will be resurrected at the second coming of Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:1–10; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18) Unbelievers who die are conscious in Hades and will eventually be resurrected to face the Great White Throne judgment and eternal punishment in the lake of fire. (Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:11–15)