_ What We Believe - Detail
There is one and only one living and true God. He is the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. He is absolute holiness and perfect in every way. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
GOD THE FATHER
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and all humanity according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.
see: Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6; Isaiah 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10; Matthew 6:9-13; 7:11; 28:19; Mark 9:1-11; John 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6; Hebrews 11:6; 12:9
GOD THE SON
Jesus Christ has always existed as God. He is co-equal with God the Father even though He is referred to as the Son of God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born the son of Mary, who was still a virgin. While on earth He lived fully as a man. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of the Father and never sinned. Jesus offered Himself to the Father as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all mankind as he died on the cross. Jesus furthered demonstrated that He was God when He arose from the dead three days after His crucifixion and thereby conquered sin and death. Jesus ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of the Father where He is the Mediator between the Father and mankind. It is through the person of Jesus Christ that there is reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and present Lord.
see: Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Matthew 1:18-23; 8:29; 14:33; 16:16, 27; 17:5; John 1-5, 18; 14:7-11; Acts 2:22-24; 7:55-56; Romans 1:3-4; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 8:6; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:20; 3:11; Philippians 2:5-11; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 4:14,15; Revelation 12:10-11; 19:16
GOD THE SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is God. He is co-equal with God the Father and God the Son. He has always existed. He inspired men of centuries past to write the Scriptures. He illumines the minds of men today to understand Scriptures and eternal truths. He exalts Christ and seeks to make humanity aware of their sinfulness and need for the Savior. The Spirit lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. The Spirit gives the Christian power for living and guidance in doing what pleases God. He is the Comforter. Christians seek to live their lives under the complete control of the Holy Spirit.
see: Psalm 51:11; 139:7; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28; Matthew 3:16; 4:1; 12:30-32; 28:19; John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 5:18
Man was created by God, in the image of God, and is the crowning work of His creation. Man was created for special relationship and fellowship with God that was unlike anything else in creation. In the beginning man was in perfect harmony with God and innocent of sin. Being endowed by God with the gift of freedom of choice, man chose one day to rebel against God and brought sin into the human race. Falling to the temptation of Satan man broke the command of God and fell from his innocence. Consequently, humanity has inherited a nature and environment that is inclined toward sin. All men choose to transgress the law and will of God and therefore are under condemnation. The sin nature and state of condemnation rob man of his highest and fullest potential for life. Only the grace of God can bring man back from his fallen state and restore his relationship and fellowship with God. The fact that Jesus Christ was willing to die on the cross for the sinfulness of humanity so that relationship with God could be restored reveals the great love that God has for man and the great worth and dignity that every man possesses.
see: Genesis 1:26-30; 2:7, 18-22; 3:1-24; Psalm 1:1-6; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; Isaiah 53:6; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:18-32; 3:23; Ephesians 2:1-10
Salvation is a gift from God for man that involves the restoration of man to the purposes for which God created him in the beginning. Salvation refers to the deliverance of man from the eternal penalty of sin, namely separation from God forever which the Scriptures refer to as Hell. Man is incapable of saving himself from his condemnation. Therefore, by placing one's faith and trust in the saving work of Jesus Christ (His death upon the cross and His resurrection from the grave) man can have his sin forgiven and his penalty paid. The result is being able to have close relationship and fellowship with God forever which the Scriptures describe as Heaven. Receiving God's gift of salvation by receiving Jesus Christ into one's life immediately regenerates that life by a new birth experience whereby the believer becomes a new creature. At the point of regeneration, one also begins a progressive move toward moral and spiritual completeness called sanctification. This growth should continue throughout the person's life. The culmination of the salvation experience is the final blessed and abiding state of glorification where believers are in the immediate presence of God in heaven.
see: Matthew 1:21; Luke 2:28-32; John 1:11-14, 29; 3:3-21, 36; 5:24; 10:27-29; 14:6; 15:5-16; 17:3, 17; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 16:30-31; Romans 3:23; 6:23; 10:9-10, 13; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Ephesians 2:8-10; Colossians 1:18-22; 3:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:1-3; Revelation 3:20
ABOUT OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
Our salvation comes to us as a gift from God, through Jesus Christ. Our works did not earn it. Our works cannot forfeit it. As true Christians, we are secure in our salvation through all eternity. God, through His grace and power, sustains us in our salvation. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, and therefore grieve the Holy Spirit of God, bring reproach on the cause of Christ and/or temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation forever.
see: John 10:27-29; 17:6, 12; Romans 8:28-39; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 10:10; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 1 John 2:19; 3:2
ABOUT THE BIBLE
The Bible is God's revealed word to man. Human authors wrote the Bible as they were inspired and guided supernaturally by the Holy Spirit. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian belief and practice. Because God inspired the writing of the Bible, it is true and worthy of our complete trust.
see: Exodus 24:4; Psalm 19:7-10; 119:11, 89, 105, 140; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:17-18; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; 2 Timothy 3:15-16; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:19-20
ABOUT THE CHURCH
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local body of baptized believers who are associated by covenant, in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the two ordinances of Christ (baptism and the Lord's Supper), committed to His teachings, exercising their spiritual giftedness to serve the Lord and extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. This church is an autonomous body, operating under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. As such, members of the congregation are equally responsible. The New Testament speaks also of the church as the body of Christ which includes all of the believers of all the ages.
see: Matthew 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42; 5:11-14; 14:27; 15:1-30; 20:28; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-20
ABOUT THE LORD'S SUPPER
The Lord's Supper is one of the ordinances that the Lord Jesus Christ gave His church. It is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through the partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, celebrate and memorialize the death of Christ and anticipate His second coming.
see: Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 21; 11:23-29
Christian baptism is one of the ordinances that the Lord Jesus Christ gave His church. It is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior. It is an act of obedience declaring the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ.