“…to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us…” — Luke 1:1
Concerning the Scriptures
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God. By inspiration we mean that all books of the Bible were written down by holy men of God as they were supernaturally moved by the Holy Ghost, in a definite yet inexplicable way so as to record the very words and sense of God though conveyed within their own literary styles; that such writings are free from all error and from all omission as no other writings have been or ever will be; that the Bible does not merely contain the Word of God, but is the very Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed and, therefore, are the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament are the complete and divine revelation of God to Man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning.
2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21
We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life which 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.
Gen. 1:28; 1 Cor. 9:17; 2 Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1:10; 3:2-10; Col. 1:24-25, 27; Rev.20:2-6
Concerning the Godhead
We believe the Scriptures teach 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.
Deut. 6:4; Matt. 3:16-17; 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; John 14:10, 26; 1 John 5:7
We believe the Scriptures teach that God the Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the events of human history according to the purposes of His grace; that He is unchangeable in holiness, love and truth; that He is Father in truth to those who are the children of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and fatherly in His attitude toward all men, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and receive His gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.
Genesis 1:1; 17:1; Exodus 3:14; 15:11; 20:2-3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6; John 4:24; Psalm 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; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 2:18; 1 John 1:5; 4:8; Hebrews 12:29; Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Isaiah 6:3; 1 Peter 1:15.
Concerning the Person and Work of Christ
We believe the Scriptures teach that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, co-equal, co-essential, and co-eternal with God the Father and God the Holy Ghost, the second Person of the Trinity; that He was born into this world of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of a woman, and that He is both perfect God and perfect man; that He lived a sinless life, honoring the divine Law by His personal obedience, yet identifying Himself completely with mankind; that He died a substitutionary death on the cross securing redemption through His shed blood for sinners; that He supernaturally rose again the third day with a glorified body, was seen of many, and ascended into the heavens to be exalted and seated at the right hand of the Father where He is the Head over His churches, the Mediator and Advocate with God the Father for all believers; and that He is supernaturally coming again to this world to reign personally and visibly over the earth.
Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; Mark 1:1; John 1:1-3,14; Psalm 2:7; Hebrews 1:8; Galatians 4:4; 1 John 5:20; 1 Corinthians 15:47; Isaiah 9:6,7; John 8:58; 10:30; 17:5; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:15; 7:26; Romans 9:5; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 13:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 9:24-28; Revelation 1:8; Hebrews 10:12; 1 John 2:1; Isaiah 53:6; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Colossians 1:18.
Concerning the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, co-equal, co-essential, and co-eternal, and co-active with God the Father and God the Son, the third Person of the Trinity; that He was active in the creation of the universe; that He moved holy men of God to write the Bible; that He is the present representative of the Godhead on this earth, and in His relationship to the unbelieving world restrains evil, convicting men of sin, of righteousness, and judgment; that He bears witness to the Truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony, and is the Agent of the new birth, regenerating those who by faith believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; that He seals, fills, guides, teaches, sanctifies, and comforts all believers.
John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26, 27; 16:8-11, 13; Acts 5:3-4, 30-32; 11:16; 1 Corinthians 2:10, 11; 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Hebrews 9:14; Luke 1:35; 3:16; 24:49; Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; John 1:33, 3:5, 6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:7, 13; Romans 8:9, 14, 16, 26, 27, 12:12-14; 1 Peter 1:2.
We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry.
Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11, 28; Eph. 4:7-12
We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary. Speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit, and that ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing.
1 Cor. 1:22; 13:8; 14:21-22
Concerning the Devil
We believe that Satan was once holy, and enjoyed heavenly honor; but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and drew after him a host of angels; that he is now the malignant prince of the power of the air, and the unholy god of this world. We hold 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 back of the present apostasy; the lord of the Antichrist, and the author of all the powers of darkness – destined however to final defeat at the hands of God’s own Son, and to the judgment of an eternal justice in hell, a place prepared for him and his angels. He can be resisted and overcome.
Isa. 14:12-15; Ezek. 28:14-17; Rev. 12:9; Jude 6; 2 Pet. 2:4; Eph. 2:2; John 14:30; I Thess. 3:5; Matt. 4:1-3; 1 Pet5:5-8; 1 John 3:8; Matt. 13:39; Luke 22:3-4; Rev. 12:10; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Mark 31:21-22; I John 4:3; 2 John 7; 1 John 2:22; Rev. 13:13-14; 2 Thess. 2:8-11; Rev. 19:11, 16, 20; Rev. 12:7-9; Rev. 20:1-3; Rev. 20:10; Matt. 25:41; James 4:7; 1 Jn. 2:13; Rev. 12:11
We believe that 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.
Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:17-19
The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image and is mindful of him, and in that Christ died for man; therefore every individual possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Psalm 8:4-9; Colossians 3:9-11
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; that man was created by a direct work of God and not from previously existing forms of life; and that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race.
Genesis 1; 2; Colossians 1:16, 17; John 1:3.
In light of God’s creative design, we believe that the Bible teaches that marriage is the joining of one man and one woman and that sexual intimacy is to be expressed only within the bounds of a Biblically defined marriage. Any other form of marriage or sexual intimacy is immoral and a perversion of God’s gracious will. The marriage ceremony is a religious ceremony designed to solemnize a man and a woman’s commitment to one another before God and man.
Genesis 2:18, 24, 25; Matthew 19:4–6; Romans 1:24–29; 7:2; 1 Corinthians 6:9-20; 7:1–5; Ephesians 5:22–33; Hebrews 13:4.
Salvation is by the grace of God alone, which means that it is a free gift that is neither merited nor secured in whole or in part by any virtue or work of man or by any religious duty or sacrament. The gift of God’s grace was purchased by Jesus Christ alone, by His blood and death on Calvary. The sinner receives God’s salvation by repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Though salvation is by God’s grace alone through faith, it results in a changed life; salvation is not by works but it is unto works. The faith for salvation comes by hearing God’s Word. Men must hear the gospel in order to be saved.
John 1:11-13; 3:16-18, 36; 5:24; 14:6; Acts 4:12; 15:11; 20:21; Romans 10:9-10,13, 17; Ephesians 1:7; 1:12-14; 2:8-10; Titus 3:3-8; Hebrews 1:3; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 John 4:10; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
We believe the Scriptures teach that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the Gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a penitent and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth except his own inherent depravity and voluntary refusal to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, which refusal will subject him to an aggravated condemnation.
1 Thessalonians 1:4; Colossians 3:12; 1 Peter 1:2; Titus 1:1; Matthew 11:28; Isaiah 55:1, 6, 7; Revelation 22:17; Romans 10:13; John 6:37; Acts 2:38; John 3:15-16; 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Corinthians 15:10; Ephesians 2:4-5; John 15:40; John 3:18, 36.
We believe the Scriptures teach that the Son of God, by appointment with the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin; that by His death on the cross made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by his death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinners’ place, the Just dying for the unjust; that having risen from the dead He is now enthroned in Heaven and, uniting in His wonderful Person the most tender sympathies with divine perfections, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, compassionate, and all-sufficient Savior.
Ephesians 2:8; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24,25; John 3:16; Matthew 18:11; Philippians 2:7-8; Hebrews 2:14; Isaiah 53:4-7; 1 John 4:10; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 20; 2 Corinthians 5:21; John 10:18; Galatians 1:4; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18; Isaiah 53:11-12; Hebrews 7:25; 9:12-15; 12:2; 1 John 2:2.
We believe the Scriptures teach that regeneration, or the “new birth,” is that change wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, by which a new nature and a spiritual life, not before possessed, are imparted, and the person becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus; that a holy disposition is given to the mind, the will subdued, the dominion of sin broken, and the affections changed from a love of sin and self, to a love of holiness and God; that the change is instantaneous and not a process, effected not by culture or character, nor by the will of man, but solely through the power of God through the Word of God, in a manner incomprehensible to reason.
John 3:3, 6; 1 Peter 1:23; James 1:18; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 2:29; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 1:13; 2:13; Romans 6:13; John 1:12-13; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Titus 3:5-7.
We believe the Scriptures teach that repentance is a personal act, prompted by the Spirit of God; and consists in a godly sorrow over sin, as offensive to God and ruinous to the soul; that it is accompanied with great humiliation in view of one’s sin and guilt, together with prayer for pardon; also by sincere hatred of sin, and a persistent turning away from, and abandonment of, all that is evil and unholy.
Matthew 3:1, 2; 4:17; Mark 1:15; Acts 3:19; 5:31; 17:30; 20:21; Luke 18:13; 24:47; 2 Corinthians 7:2; Romans 2:5; Isaiah 55:7; Psalm 51:1-4, 7.
We believe the Scriptures teach that faith, inseparably united with repentance, is a solemn obligation and a grace wrought in our soul by the quickening Spirit of God; that it is an assent of the mind and a consent of the heart, consisting mainly of belief and trust, wherein the testimony of God is accepted and believed as true, while Christ is unreservedly received for salvation; that through it the believer is brought into vital relations with God, as seeing Him Who is invisible, freely justified; that it reveals Christ to the soul as a willing and sufficient Savior, and commits the heart and life to Him.
Acts 16:31; Romans 1:17; 3:22; 5:1; 10:3, 9-13; Hebrews 11:1, 6; James 2:23; Jeremiah 17:7; Psalm 34:22; 125:1; 2 Corinthians 5:7.
We believe the Scriptures teach that the great Gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe on Him is justification; that justification includes the pardon of sin, and the gift of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood; by virtue of which faith His perfect righteousness is imputed to us of God; that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needed for time and eternity.
John 1:16; Ephesians 3:8; Acts 13:39; Isaiah 3:11-12; Romans 5:1-3, 9, 11; 8:1; Zechariah 13:1; Matthew 9:6; Acts 10:43; Matthew 6:33; 1 Corinthians 1:30-31; 1 Timothy 4:8; Isaiah 53:11.
Concerning the Believer’s Security
We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. We believe that eternal life is the present possession of every believer.
John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1;38-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; 1 Pet. 1:4-5
We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh.
Rom. 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11-15
We believe that sanctification is presented in three phases in Scripture, past, present, and future: that the believer has been sanctified in Christ; that he is being progressively sanctified through the working of the indwelling Spirit, and that he will be completely sanctified at resurrection; that there is no complete eradication of the old nature in progressive sanctification during this present life.
John 17:17; Romans 1:17; 6:1-18; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 6:11; Ephesians 4:15; 5:26-27; Philippians 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7; Hebrews 10:10; 1 Pet. 1:15-16
Concerning the Church
A church is a congregation of baptized believers associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel, observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; and that its officers are pastors or elders and deacons whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures.
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ founded His church prior to Pentecost, and He guaranteed the perpetuity of immersionist assemblies by promising to be with those who carry out the Great Commission, until the end of the age.
The true mission of the church is found in the Great Commission: first, to make individual disciples; second, baptize and build up the church; third, to teach and instruct as He commanded.
The church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations. 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 every church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; and that on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final.
Matt. 16:15-18; 18:15-18; Acts 13:1-4; 14:27; 15:19-31; 20:17, 28-32; Rom. 16:1, 4; 1 Cor.3:9, 16; 5:4-7, 13; 1 Tim. 3:1-3; 1 Pet. 5:1-4
Concerning Church Government
Each church is autonomous (self-governing, self-disciplining, self-supporting, self-propagating) and stands on its own feet under its one Head Jesus Christ, which is what we see in Acts and the Epistles. Its officers are pastors (also called elders and bishops) and deacons. Pastors and deacons must be males with holy lives according the standards of the New Testament. Their lifestyles are held to a higher standard in order to be examples to the assembly and the world. We believe that divorce disqualifies a man from the office of pastor or deacon.
Pastors oversee the ministry and resources of the church. Pastors shall devote their time to prayer, the ministry of the Word (by teaching and encouraging sound doctrine), and shepherding God’s flock. Deacons care for the temporal needs of members, handle matters of benevolence, and encourage and support the ministry of the pastors.
Matt. 18:15-18; 1 Tim. 3; Titus 1; Acts 6:1-6; 1 Peter 5:1-4
Concerning 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; and that it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership.
We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of His death until He come by members of the church. We believe that the Biblical order of the ordinances is baptism first and then the Lord’s Supper.
Acts 8:36, 38, 39; John 3:23; Romans 6:3–5; Matthew 3:16; Colossians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 11:23–28; Matthew 28:18–20; Acts 2:41, 42.
Concerning Heresy and False Teachers
We believe that the Bible requires separation from all forms of heresy and ecclesiastical apostasy. We are commanded to try them, mark them, rebuke them, have no fellowship with them, withdraw ourselves, receive them not, have no company with them, reject them, and separate ourselves from them. The Bible teaches that the course of the church age is characterized by increasing apostasy.
Rom. 16:17; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; 1 Thess. 3:6; 1 Tim. 6:3-5; 2 Tim. 3:5; Titus 3:10-11; 2 John 10-11; Rev. 18:4; 2 Tim. 3:1-4:6
Concerning Civil Government
We believe the Scriptures teach that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interest and good of human society; that all those in authority are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except only in things opposed to the revealed will of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming Prince of the rulers of the earth; that civil rulers have no rights or control over, or interference with, religious matters; that no ecclesiastical group or religious denomination or organization should be preferred above another by the State; that the State should not impose taxes for the support of any form of religion, and that churches and religious organizations should receive no help from the State, except protection and full freedom in the pursuit of spiritual ends; and that the requiring of an implicit faith and absolute blind obedience destroys liberty of conscience and reason.
Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13, 14, 17; Matthew 22:21; Titus 3:1; 1 Timothy 2:1-8; Acts 5:29; Matthew 10:28; Daniel 3:15-18; 6:7, 10; Acts 4:18-20; Matthew 23:10; Romans 14:4; Revelation 19:14; Psalm 72:11; 2 Samuel 23:3; Exodus 18:21-22; Acts 23:5; Philippians 2:10-11.
Concerning Future Events
We believe the Scriptures teach that at death the spirit of the believer passes instantly into the presence of Christ and dwells there in conscious joy until the resurrection of the body when Christ comes for His own (Mk. 9:4; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 2 Tim. 4:6; Rev. 6:9-11). At death, the spirit of the unbeliever descends immediately into Hell to await the resurrection of the wicked into judgment; there the conscious soul is tormented in fire (Mk. 9:43-49; Lk. 16:22-31). The blessed hope of the believer is the personal, pre-tribulational, pre-millennial appearance of Christ to rapture the church age saints away before the Tribulation (1 Cor. 15:51-57; 1 Thess. 1:9-10; 4:13-18; 5:1-9; Titus 2:13). This coming of Christ is imminent (Mat. 24:42-44; 25:13; 1 Thess. 5:2-4). God’s righteous judgments will then be poured out on an unbelieving world during the Tribulation (Dan. 12:1; Joel 2:2; Mat. 24:21; Rev. 6-18). This is the seventieth week of Daniel — Dan. 9:24-27). The climax of this fearful era will be the physical return of Jesus Christ to the earth in great glory to establish the Davidic Kingdom (Mat. 16:27; 24:30-31; 26:64; Rev. 1:7; 2 Thess. 1:7; Rev. 19:11-21; 20:1-4). Israel will be saved and restored completely to their land and kingdom (Isaiah 2:2-5; 60; 66:20-24; Joel 3:1-2; 18-21; Zech. 14; Rom. 11:25-29). Satan will be bound, and the curse will be lifted from the physical creation (Isaiah 11:6-9; Rev. 20:1-4). Following the Millennium, Satan will be loosed from the bottomless pit, will lead one last unsuccessful rebellion, and will be cast into the lake of fire to be tormented forever and ever (Rev. 20:7-10). This will be followed by the Great White Throne judgment of the unsaved dead (Rev. 20:11-15) and the establishment of the New Heavens and the New Earth (Rev. 21-22; 2 Pet. 3:10-13).