1. Concerning the Scriptures
Revelation and Inspiration: We believe that God has revealed Himself and His truth by both general and special revelation. Whereas general revelation points to His existence, power, and glory, only special revelation describes His character of grace and His program of redemption for man. This special revelation has been given in various ways, but in these last days in the incarnate Word of God, Jesus Christ, and in the Word of God, The Bible. We affirm that the sixty-six books of the Bible are the written Word of God given to man by the Holy Spirit. (Ps. 19:1-6; John 1:1-5, 14, 18; 20:30, 31; Acts 14:17; Rom. 1:19, 20 2:14, 15; I Thess. 2:13; Heb. 1:1, 2; 4:12).
These books were written by a process which the Holy Spirit so superintended the human authors that, through their individual personalities and different styles of writing, they composed and recorded God's Word to man without error in the whole or in the part. These books constitute the written word of God and are the believer's only infallible rule of faith and practice. (Ps. 119:160; John 10:35; 17:17; I Cor. 2:13; II Tim. 3:16, 17; II Pet. 1:20, 21).
Illumination and Interpretation: Whereas there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation and it is to be found as one, under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, correctly handles the Word of Truth (i.e., grammatical, historical, contextual). This procedure gives due consideration to the various literary modes such as narrative, poetry, figures, etc., thus facilitating the proper understanding of the native meaning of each passage. (John 7:17; 16:12, 13; I Cor. 2:14, 15; I John 2:20).
2. Concerning God
The Triune God: We believe there is but one living and true God who is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. He is absolutely separate from and above the world as its Creator, yet everywhere present in the world as the upholder of all things. We further believe that God is one in essence, that in the unity of the Godhead there are three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine attribute and perfection, and each worthy of precisely the same worship, confidence, and obedience; and executing distinct but harmonious functions in the great work of redemption (Gen. 1:26; Deut. 6:4; Ps 139:8; Isa. 45:5-7; Matt. 28:19; Mark 10:18; John 4:24; Acts 17:24-29; II Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:6).
Functional Distinctives of the Triune God:
God the Father: God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all thing according to His own purpose and grace. As the absolute and highest Ruler in the universe He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption. He created the universe apart from pre-existing materials and without means. He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass, and continually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and events. This He does, so as in no way to be the author or approver of sin nor to abridge the accountability of morally intelligent creatures. He has graciously chosen from all eternity those whom He would have as His own; He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ; and He relates Himself to His own as their Father. (Ps. 145:8, 9; I Chron. 29:11; Ps. 103:19; John 1:18; Rom. 11:33; I Cor. 8:6; Eph. 1:3-6; Heb. 4:13; I Pet. 1:17).
God the Son: Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, is the Son of God and the virgin-born Son of Man who was incarnated as the God-Man to reveal God, redeem man, and rule over God's kingdom. (p. 2:;:7-9; Isa. 7:14; 9:6; John 1:1, 3, 18, 29; 10:36; I John 1:3).
We believe that in the incarnation He surrendered nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind, all the while voluntarily limiting the manifestation of the divine attributes forming this essence. Although He was fully man, since He was also fully God, He was without sin as to nature, unable to sin in principle, and did not sin in fact. (John 1:14; 29; 8:46; II Cor. 5:21; Phil.2:5-11; Col. 2:9; Heb.4:15; 7:26; I Pet. 2:21- 24).
By His sinless life, miraculous ministry, and substitutionary death, He satisfied divine justice concerning sin. (Matt. 11:2-6; 12:28; Rom. 3:24-26; II Cor. 5:19; Heb. 1-3: 10:5-10; I John 2:2; 4:10).
In the resurrection of Christ from the grave God confirmed both the deity of Christ and His acceptance of the atoning work of Christ on the cross, raising Him bodily as a guarantee of the future resurrection to life of all believers (Matt. 28:6; John 14:19; Acts 2:30, 31; Rom. 1:4; 4:25: 6:5-10; I Cor. 15:20).
After His ascension to the father's right hand, He sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost as a like-Companion to Himself to assume the care and keeping of His own. Throughout this age Christ is seated at the Father's side performing the intercessory aspect of His High Priestly work for believers. (John 15:26; Acts 2:33; Heb. 7:25; 10:12; 12:2; I Pet. 3:22).
Christ is the only Mediator between God and man: The Head of His body, the Church; the coming universal King who will reign on the throne of David; and the final Judge of all who fail to place their trust in Him as their Savior from sin. (Isa. 53:10; Luke 1:31-33; John 5:27-29; Eph. 1:22, 23; Col. 1:18; I Tim. 2:5; Heb. 7:25; Rev. 20:11-15).
God the Holy Spirit: It is the work of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, to execute the divine will with relation to the world of men. We affirm this sovereign activity in creation, the incarnation, the written revelation, and the work of salvation. (Gen. 1:2; Matt. 1:18; John 3:5-7; II Pet. 1:20-21).
The broad scope of His divine activity includes convicting the world, glorifying the Lord Jesus and transforming believers into the likeness of Christ. (John 14:16-17; 15:26; 16:7-9; Acts 1:5; 2:4; I Cor. 12:13; II Cor. 3:18; Eph. 2:22).
The work of the Holy Spirit in believers involves that of regeneration, indwelling, baptism into the body Christ, sanctifying, instructing, empowering for service, and preserving to the day of Christ. We believe that He alone administers spiritual gifts to the church, to glorify Christ and implement His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in the faith. (John 3:5-7; 16:14-15; Rom. 8:2; I Cor. 6:19; 12:4-13; Eph. 1:13-14; II Thess. 2:13).
3. Concerning Angels
Their Origin: The angels were all created simultaneously by God as a great host of sinless spirit-beings, most of whom kept their first estate of holiness and presently worship God and serve His purposes. (Ps. 148:2-5; Matt. 26:53; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:14).
The Fall of Some: One of the Angels fell through the sin of pride and influenced a large company of angels to follow him, who thereby became demons. Scripture usually refers to this angel as the Devil or Satan. (James 2:19; II Pet. 2:4; Rev. 12:9; and possible Isa. 14:12-14; Ezek. 28:12-19).
Satan's Work: The work of Satan and the demons is the attempted subversion and supplanting of the work of God. By a subtle suggestion, Satan accomplished the moral fall of the progenitors of the human race, subjecting them and their posterity to his own power. (Gen. 3:1-7; Job 1:12; 2:6; Ezek. 28:13-15; Zech. 3:1, 2; John 8:44; II Cor. 4:3-4; Eph 2:2).
Satan continues as the enemy of God and the accuser of God's people and persistently seeks to counterfeit the works and truth of God. (II Cor. 2:10-11; 11:13-15; Eph. 6:12, 16; I Pet. 5:8; Rev. 12:10).
Satan's Judgment: Satan was judged at the cross, though the sentence was not then executed, and he will finally be consigned to the lake of fire at the end of the Millennium. (Gen. 3:15; Isa. 14:12; Matt. 25:41; Luke 10:18; John 12:31; 16:11; I Tim. 3:6; Heb. 2:14; Rev. 12:9; 20:10).
4. Concerning Man
His Original Nature: Apart from any natural processes man as male and female was created in the image of God, free from sin. He was created with a rational nature, great intelligence, and moral responsibility to God. (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:15-25; I Thess. 5:23; James 3:9).
His Original Purpose: He was originally created with the divine intention that he should glorify God, enjoy His fellowship, and fulfill His will and purposes on the earth. (Gen. 1:26-30; Isa. 43:7; Col. 1:16; Rev. 4:11).
His Subsequent Sin: Man subsequently fell into sin by a voluntary act of personal disobedience to the revealed will of God. (Gen. 1:16-17; 3:1-19; I Tim. 2:13-14).
His Present Condition: As a consequence man became subject to the wrath of God, inherently corrupt, and incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. Thus he is hopelessly lost apart from the salvation which is in the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 3:36; Rom. 3:23; I Cor. 2:14; Eph. 2:1-3; I John 1:8).
The fall of man was an historical and non-repeatable act, the effects of which are transmitted to all men of all ages, Jesus Christ excepted. All men thus are sinners by divine pronouncement, nature, and deed. (Ps. 14:1-3; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:23; 5:12-19; James 2:10).
5. Concerning Salvation
Its Elements: The salvation of man consists in the satisfaction of divine justice, the forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God, the imputation of righteousness of Jesus Christ, the gift of eternal life, every spiritual resource needed for life and godliness, and the guarantee that those thus saved shall never perish. (Jonah 2:9); Isa. 53:6, 10; John 10:27-29; Rom.3:24; 5:8-9; 8:38-39; II Cor. 5:18, 19, 21; Gal. 2:16: Eph.1:7; II Pet. 1:3; I John 4:10).
Its Attainment: This salvation is based upon the elective grace of God, was purchased by Christ on the cross, and is received by grace through faith, apart from any virtue or work of man, through the instrumentality of the Word of God as applied by the Holy Spirit.(John 1:12; 3:16; Acts 16:31; Rom.8:29-30; 9:14-24; 10:8-13; Eph.1:4-5; 2:8- 10; II Thess. 2:13-14; Heb. 11:6).
Its Results: This salvation results in righteous living and good works as its proper evidence and fruit and will be experienced to the extent that the believer submits to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life through interaction with the Word of God. This is accomplished by conformity of the believer to the image of Christ, culminating in his glorification at Christ's coming. (John 5:24; 10:28; Rom 8:35-39; I Cor. 6:19-20; II Cor. 3:18; Eph. 2:10; 5:17-21; Phil. 2:12-13; Col. 3:16; II Pet. 1:4-10; I John 3:2-3).
6. Concerning the Church
Its Nature: All who have placed their faith in Christ are united together immediately by the Holy Spirit in one spiritual body, the church, of which Christ is the Head. This body began on the day of Pentecost and will be completed at the coming of Christ for His own. In addition to the spiritual union and communion which extends to the entirety of the body of Christ, the members of this one spiritual body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies. (Matt. 16:18; Acts 1:4-5; 11:15; 2:46-47; I Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:4-6; 5:25-27; Col. 1:18; Heb. 10:25).
Its Relationship: We believe that the individual members of this body and these local assemblies are priests before God having the privilege and responsibility of offering prayer and spiritual sacrifices to Him. Because God alone is Lord of the conscience, He has left it free from those doctrines or commandments of men which are in anything contrary to His Word. For this reason, separation of church and state should be maintained. Since civil magistrates are ordained of God, subjection in all lawful things commanded by them should be yielded by the believer in the Lord. Matt. 22:15-22; Rom. 12:4-21; I Pet. 2:5-9; Rev. 1:6; Rom. 13:1-7; I Pet. 2:13-17).
Its Organization: These local assemblies have been given the needed authority for administering that order, discipline, and worship which Christ the sovereign Head has appointed. The Biblical designated officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are elders and deacons. (Matt. 18:15-18; Acts 6:1-6; I Cor. 14:40; Eph. 4:11-12; I Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; I Pet. 5:1-5).
Its Mission: The mission of the church is to glorify God by worshipping corporately, building itself up in the faith by instruction of the Word, by fellowshipping and observing the ordinances, and by communicating the gospel to the entire world. (Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:41-42; Rom. 15:6, 9; Eph. 1:6, 12, 14; 3:10; 4:11-16; Heb. 10:25; I Pet. 2:9, 10).
Its Gifts: To fulfill its God-ordained mission of edification and evangelism the church has been given spiritual gifts. One class of gifts is that of gifted believers, who are given for the equipping of the saints for the work of this ministry. The other class of gifts is that of spiritual abilities, and each member of the body of Christ receives at least one such gift, which is sovereignly bestowed by the Lord. It is essential that each member develop and employ spiritual gifts for the church to accomplish its task.
Since these gifts are bestowed by the Lord in order to fulfill specific purposes in God's program we believe that when the purpose of any gift is fulfilled, that particular gift is terminated. (ie. Speaking in tongues and other sign and wonder gifts that were given for the purpose of laying the foundation of truth for the Church.)
Its Ordinances: Two ordinances have been committed to the local church--baptism and the Lord's Supper. Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water into the name of the triune God. This ordinance, being a command of Christ, is recognized as a prerequisite for membership in the local assembly. Likewise, the Lord's Supper was instituted by Christ for commemoration of His atoning death. These two ordinances are to be observed until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Matt. 28:16-20; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 2:41; 10:47-48; I Cor. 11:23-29).
7. Concerning Last Things
The Intermediate State: At death, the redeemed pass immediately into the presence of Christ and there remain in joyful fellowship until the first resurrection, that is, their bodily resurrection unto life. The unsaved at death descend immediately into Hades where they are kept under punishment until the second resurrection, that is, their bodily resurrection unto damnation. (Luke 16:22-23; 23:43; II Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21-26; 3:10, 11, 21; Rev. 20:11-15).
The Rapture of the Church: The next great event in the fulfillment of prophecy is the personal, bodily, return of the Lord to remove from the earth His waiting church and to reward them according to their works. (John 14:2-3; Rom. 14:10-12; I Cor. 3:11-15; 15:51-53; II Cor. 5:10; I Thess. 4:15-17; Titus 2:11-13; Rev. 3:10).
The Tribulation Period: After this removal from the earth the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon the unbelieving world during the seven year period of tribulation, known as the seventieth week of Daniel. These judgments will be climaxed by the return of Christ in glory to the earth, at which time the Old Testament and tribulation saints will also be raised and the living will be judged. (Dan. 9:27; 12:1; Jer. 30:7; Matt. 24:15-31; 25:31-46; II Thess. 2:7-12; Rev. 16:1-19, 21).
The Millennium: After the judgment Christ will establish His Messianic Kingdom in which the resurrection saints will reign with Him over Israel and all the nations of the earth. (Deut. 30:1-10; Isaiah 11:1-16; 65:17-25; Ezek. 37:21-28; Rev. 19:11, 14; 20:1-6).
The Eternal State: At the close of the millennial reign the unsaved dead will be raised and committed to eternal punishment and the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God. Having fulfilled His redemptive and kingdom missions as the Son of Abraham and the Son of David, Christ will deliver up the kingdom to God the Father that the Triune God may reign forever in all spheres. (Mark 9:43-48; I Cor. 15:24-28; II Thess. 1:9; II Pet. 3:10-13; Rev. 20:11-15; 21:1-4; 22:5; 11).