From the beginning, the Church has always found it helpful to summarize its core beliefs and convictions into brief, compact statements. This is done to explain truth, clarify and prevent confusion, protect from false teaching, and hold fast to the landmarks of Church history. The Christian confession is a response to God’s revelation, therefore, the confessions of a church should be in agreement with the boundaries of biblical truth that God has revealed to us. All Christians say they believe the Bible, but the following statements help to clarify what we believe about the Bible.
The love of Jesus is the hope of the world. As we read the Bible, we see many overarching themes, including God’s providence, power, and provision to reconcile mankind and the created world to Himself through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Because of this, we believe the following:
One God, Three Persons
There is only one true God, Creator of heaven and earth, who eternally exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-6; Isaiah 46:9-10; John 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; 1 Timothy 2:5; Genesis 1:26; Psalm 45:6-7; Psalm 110:1; Matthew 3:13-17; Matthew 28:17-20; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6).
Apart from Christ, all people are sinful by both birth and action, and the penalty for their sin is physical and spiritual death (Genesis 6:5; Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:23; 5:8, 12-21; 7:18; Ephesians 2:1-3).
Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, born of a virgin, and is both fully God and fully man, who died as the sacrificial substitute to pay our penalty for sin, physically rose from the dead, ascended into heaven and will one day physically return. (Matthew 1:20, 28:1-20; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 2:52, 24:1-53; John 1:1-4, 14, 29, 10:1-18, 14:3; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 12-34; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 1:4; Colossians 1:15-20; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Hebrews 1:1-3, 9:28; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 1:7).
When Christ returns, there will be a physical resurrection of the dead. Only those who have turned from sin to Jesus in faith and repentance will be raised to eternal life with Him and those who have not turned from sin to Jesus will be raised to eternal punishment and separation from Him (Matthew 25:31-46; John 3:18, 5:28-29, 14:6; Acts 4:12, 24:15; Romans 3:21-26; 1 Timothy 2:5-6).
While the beliefs expressed above are recognized to be universal within the Church, there are a number of other beliefs that we are passionate about as well. All Christians do not hold these beliefs, but we find them to be important and true as we understand the Bible. Complete agreement is not required for connection in the church, but we will preach, teach and counsel according to these personal convictions that are summarized below.
God is sovereign over all things in such a way that there is no aspect of reality outside of His control. Though God’s rule extends to all things, it is particularly His sovereignty over the work of salvation that is a personal conviction. We believe that it is good and glorious news that salvation is not dependent on the desires or deeds of man. Though man is responsible for his sin, God is ultimately and entirely responsible for drawing those He would save to Himself and overcoming their natural resistance to the gospel (Psalm 115:3, 135:6; Isaiah 64:6; John 6:60-64, 10:14-18; Acts 4:24-31; Ephesians 1:3-14; Romans 8:26-9:23; Philippians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 2:13).
The Gifts of the Spirit
The gifts of the Holy Spirit that we see exercised in the Bible have not ceased with the death of the last Apostle or the closing of the New Testament canon. They are available today and are to be desired and practiced in submission to the Spirit speaking through Scripture (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:1-16).
The Complementary Role of Men and Women
Men and women are absolutely equal in essence, dignity, and value before God. They are, however, different and unique by God’s design. As part of God’s good created order, men and women are to have different yet complementary roles and responsibilities in the home and church. These role distinctions are God’s grace to men and women and are to be protected, preserved and practiced for His glory and our joy (1 Corinthians 11:2-16; 14:33-35; Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; 1 Peter 3:1-7).
God’s Glory and Our Joy
We believe that our greatest joy is found in faithful obedience to God and that our enjoyment of Him is the primary way that He is glorified (Psalm 16:11; 37:4; Matthew 13:44; John 15:11; Philippians 3:8; Hebrews 11:6).