Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Our Beliefs

The Bible  

We believe that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” such that God superintended human authors with their own experience, personality, methods, and style to produce the very words of Scripture—the Word of God—without error in the original writings. We believe that all the Scriptures center on the Lord Jesus Christ and when properly understood lead to Him. We believe the Bible to be the revelation of God and His will for the Salvation and practical instruction of Man (Mark 12:26, 36; 13:11; Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Acts 1:16; 17:2-3; 18:28; 26:22-23; 28:23; Romans 15:4; I Corinthians 2:13; 10:11; II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:21).

The Godhead

We believe in one God, the living and true God, existing eternally in three Persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—each having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections. (Matthew 28:18-19; Mark 12:29; John 1:14; Acts 5:3-4; II Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 1:4-6)

The Father

We believe that God the Father, unlimited in holiness, power and majesty, especially showed His exceedingly great love in giving His only beloved Son to redeem man from sin for eternal fellowship with Him. This act of grace was carried out according to His eternal, sovereign plan. The nature of the Father is completely and perfectly revealed in the Son (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 53:1-10; John 3:16; 14:6-9; Romans 16:20; Colossians 1:15, 18-20).

The Lord Jesus Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God and continues to be the God-Man forever. We believe that He was born of the Virgin Mary, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit, entered in human flesh in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man. We believe that His death on the cross was a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of all men and that His bodily resurrection from the dead guaranteed redemption and salvation to all those who believe. We also believe that He later ascended into heaven exalted at the right hand of God where He is our High Priest and Advocate (John 1:1, 14, 18; Luke 1:35; Romans 3:24-26; 4:25; Ephesians 1:20-21; Hebrews 4:14; Philippians 2:9-10; Colossians 1:17-19; Hebrews 1:3; 3:1; 7:23-25; 9:24; 12:2; I John 2:1-2).

The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead, eternal in being, took up His abode in the world to reveal and glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to men. Beginning on the day of Pentecost, according to the divine promise, the Holy Spirit never departs from the church, nor from the feeblest of believers, but indwells and seals the believer unto the day of redemption. We believe that His abode in the world in this special sense will cease when Christ comes to receive His own at the completion of the church. (John 14:16-17; 16:7-15; I Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 1:13; 2:22; II Thessalonians 2:7).

Satan

We believe in the existence of Satan as a personal being and a fallen angelic creature of God, who is the open and declared enemy of God and man (Job 1:6-7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 4:2-11; II Corinthians 4:3-4; 11:3, 14-15).

Man 

We believe that man was created in the image of God, but fell through sin against God which brought mankind into a state of sin, separation from God, and subject to the power of Satan. We also believe that every child of Adam is born into the world with a nature which not only possesses no spark of divine life, but is totally depraved apart from divine grace. Man can only obtain spiritual life and salvation through the Redeemer, Jesus Christ (Genesis 1:26; 2:17; 5:3; 6:5; Psalms 14:1-3; 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9 John 3:6; 5:40; 6:53; Romans 3:10-18; 8:6-7; Ephesians 2:1-3; I Timothy 5:6; I John 3:8).

Salvation

We believe that man was created in the image of God, but fell through sin against God which brought mankind into a state of sin, separation from God, and subject to the power of Satan. We also believe that every child of Adam is born into the world with a nature which not only possesses no spark of divine life, but is totally depraved apart from divine grace. Man can only obtain spiritual life and salvation through the Redeemer, Jesus Christ (Genesis 1:26; 2:17; 5:3; 6:5; Psalms 14:1-3; 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9 John 3:6; 5:40; 6:53; Romans 3:10-18; 8:6-7; Ephesians 2:1-3; I Timothy 5:6; I John 3:8).

Justification, Sanctification & Glorification

We believe that the Bible teaches that salvation comes in three parts. 1) Justification means that a person now stands before God and is holy. Salvation is already complete for every saved person because our perfect representative Jesus Christ took all our unholiness away through His sacrifice. 2) However, the believer retains his sin nature in this life so that his present state is no more perfect than his experience in daily life. There is therefore, an ongoing sanctification wherein the Christian is to “grow in grace” and to “be changed” into the likeness of Christ by the unhindered power of the Spirit. 3) We believe also, that the child of God will ULTIMATELY be glorified in Christ when he shall see his Lord and shall be “like Him” (John 17:17; Romans 12:2; I Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 10:10, 14; 12:10).

Baptism and the Lord's Table

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ instituted the ordinances of water baptism and the Lord’s Table to be observed by all believers until His return. We believe baptism was instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ to symbolize the work of the Holy Spirit identifying the believer with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. Baptism is commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ and was practiced by the New Testament church. We practice the ordinance of baptism by immersion after conversion and believe that it is the solemn responsibility of every believer to bear this testimony of trust in Jesus Christ by being baptized (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:38-44; 10:44-48; Romans 6:3-7; Colossians 2:12).

We believe the Lord’s Table was instituted as a memorial remembrance which instructs the body of believers by focusing the believer’s worship upon Christ and His work on the cross. The Lord’s Table is the only act of worship where Jesus Christ gives us special directions and thus is the highlight of corporate worship. The Lord’s Table reminds us of the basis of our relationship with Him and promotes an attitude of thankfulness in the church. We believe each believer is responsible not to partake of the bread (signifying His body broken for us) and the cup (signifying His blood shed for us) unworthily (Luke 22:7-38; I Corinthians 11:20-34). We are commanded to observe the Lord’s Table continually in order to focus on our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26).

The Second Coming of Christ

We believe that the period of great tribulation on the earth will be climaxed by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth as He went, in person on the clouds of heaven, and with power and great glory to introduce the millennial age, to bind Satan and place him in the abyss, to lift the curse which now rests upon the whole creation, to restore Israel to her own land and to give her the realization of God’s covenant promises, and to bring the whole world to the knowledge of God (Deuteronomy 30:1-10; Isaiah 11:9; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Matthew 24:15-25, 46; Acts 15:16-17; Romans 8:19-23; 11:25-27; I Timothy 4:1-3; II Timothy 3:1-5; Revelation 20:1-3).

We also believe that the before the tribulation, Christ will descend from heaven and at the sound of the trumpet the dead in Christ and all living believers will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. It is the purpose of God, in the rapture, to save His church from the wrath destined for the world (I Corinthians 15:51-58; I Thessalonians 4:13-17; Revelation 3:10).

Eternal Security

The salvation of every believer is secure for all eternity from the moment of the new birth. The security is guaranteed by the fact that the life that is imparted is eternal life by the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:1, 29-30, 38-39; John 10:27-30; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; Jude 24).

The Church

We believe that the church which began on the day of Pentecost, the Body and Bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all born-again persons irrespective of their affiliation with Christian organizations (I Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:25-27). We further believe that by the Holy Spirit all believers in this age are baptized into, and thus become, one body that is Christ’s and having become members one of another, are under solemn duty to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, rising above all sectarian differences, and loving one another with a pure heart fervently (Matthew 16:16-18; Acts 2:42-47; Romans 12:5; I Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 1:20-23; 4:1-16; Colossians 3:14-15).

Responsibility of the Believer 

We believe that all believers should walk by the Spirit in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Lord and Savior. We believe that it is the obligation of every believer to witness by life and by word to the truths of the Holy Scriptures and to seek to proclaim the Gospel to all and to support it with their means as the Lord has prospered them. We believe that every believer has at least one spiritual gift which should be used to edify the body of Christ (Acts 1:8; Romans 12:1-2; 14:13; I Corinthians 12:14; 16:2; II Corinthians 6:14; 7:1; 9:7; Ephesians 4:11-16).