I - THE SCRIPTURES
We believe that the Holy Bible (meaning thereby the sixty-six portions called "books" which together are commonly received as the Holy Bible) as originally written, is verbally inspired of God and the product of Spirit-controlled men, and therefore is infallible in its record. We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian union, and the one standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be judged. And we hold these things to be true of no other book or part of a book, of any character whatsoever.
II Timothy 3:16, 17; II Peter 1:19-21; Proverbs 30:5, 6; Isaiah 40:8.
II - THE TRUE GOD
We believe there is one and only one living and true God, an infinite Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, love, and obedience; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct and harmonious offices in the work of redemption.
Exodus 20:1-3; Matthew 28:19; John 14:16, 17; I Corinthians 8:6; II Corinthians 13:14.
III - THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ to be the Son of God, the second person of the Godhead, having all the attributes of Deity, being eternal with the Father and partner with Him in the creation of the universe; that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, thus becoming as to His manifestation upon earth both God and Man in one person; that His existence on earth was in complete obedience to the will of the Father and so entirely without sin; that He was delivered to be crucified for no fault of His own, but rather on the cross He was made sin for all mankind, and bore the sins of the whole world. He died, and was buried, but was raised from the dead, being seen of many witnesses; He ascended into heaven where His present ministry is one of priestly intercession for His own. We believe He will soon come again to receive His own unto Himself, and that later He will come to the earth to bring in the judgments of God upon the ungodly and to establish in person His kingdom of righteousness.
Colossians 1:15-17; Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:30, 31, 35; John 1:1, 14; I Peter 2:21, 22, 24; II Corinthians 5:21; Acts 2:22-24; Acts 17:31; I Thessalonians 4:13-17; Revelation 19:1-21.
IV - THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe the Holy Spirit to be a divine person, eternally one with God the Father and God the Son, and so of the same nature. We believe He was active in creation; that in His relation to the world He restrains the evil until God's present purposes are fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. We believe He bears witness to the truth of the Gospel in preaching and in other testimony; that He is the agent in the New Birth; that He baptizes every believer into the Church which is the Body of Christ, and that by His agency all who believe may acceptably pray, live, witness, and worship, and be assured of the hope that is set before them.
Genesis 1:1-3; John 14:16, 17; John 16:7-11; Matthew 28:19; John 3:5, 6; Ephesians 1:13; I Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 5:16, 25; Romans 8:14; Romans 8:26, 27.
V - MAN
We believe that man was created directly by God; that he was created in the image of God, and so innocent; that by voluntary transgression of the law of God he fell from his sinless and happy estate, and as a consequence all mankind are now sinners both by nature and by choice, being incapable of fellowship with God, justly condemned, without hope, or without excuse; and that they in this present estate can only look forward to judgment and an eternity apart from God.
Genesis 1:26, 27; Genesis 3:1-6, 24; Romans 3:23; Ephesians 2:1-3, 12; Romans 1:18, 32; Hebrews 9:27; Hebrews 10:28, 29; II Thessalonians 1:7-10.
VI - THE FACT AND CONSEQUENCES OF SIN
We believe and teach that sin is any want of conformity to the Person, affirmations, and decrees of God, and is the nature of every unregenerate man, wherewith he was born; and finds expression in the thoughts, words, and ways of all men after the flesh; that because of this sinful nature the unregenerate person has nothing of grace whereby he may please God or gain His favor; that the consequences of sin in the life of the unbeliever is eternal separation from God, and in the life of the believer it is broken fellowship with the Godhead now, and loss of reward at the judgment seat of Christ.
Genesis 6:5; Proverbs 24:9; Romans 14:23; James 4:17; I John 5:17; I John 3:8 with John 8:44; I John 3:4; Proverbs 20:9; Proverbs 14:9; I Corinthians 6:9; I John 1:5-10.
VII - ATONEMENT FOR SIN
We believe that the salvation of the sinner is wholly of grace, through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Himself our nature, yet without personal sin; by His own obedience He honored the divine law, and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins. We do not believe His death to be an example to us of a martyr, but rather the Just One dying for the unjust, a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner's place. We further believe that He has risen from the dead and is now seated in the heavenlies, and since He combines in Himself the tenderest of sympathies with divine perfections, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior.
Ephesians 2:8, 9; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:23-25; John 3:16; Matthew 18:11; Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 2:14; Isaiah 53:4-7; I John 4:10; I Corinthians 15:3,4; II Corinthians 5:21.
VIII - SALVATION AND THE NEW BIRTH
We believe that in order to be saved sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, which is the free gift of God; that the new creation is accomplished in a manner above our comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with the Word of God, working in us to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel; and that the proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and in holiness of life. We further believe that the only condition of salvation is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and is by no means dependent upon our own good works.
John 3:3; II Corinthians 5:17; I John 5:1; John 3:6,7; Acts 16:30-33; II Peter 1:4; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1; II Corinthians 5:19; Colossians 2:13; John 3:8; Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5.
IX - JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH
We believe that Christ secures to such as believe in Him the blessing of justification by faith, which we interpret to mean a perfect righteousness in the sight of God. We believe that justification includes the pardon for sin and the gift of eternal life, and that this is not bestowed in consideration of any righteousness or works that we have done, but that solely through our faith in the Redeemer's blood is His righteousness reckoned unto us. We further believe that all who are truly born again are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ, ready to be revealed in the last day.
Acts 13:39; Isaiah 53:11; Romans 5:1, 9; Romans 8:1, 35-39; Philippians 1:6; John 10:28, 29; Jude 1; I Peter 1:3-5.
X - SEPARATION
We believe that each believer is called upon by God through the Word, to reckon himself to be dead unto sin and alive unto God, and that he is enabled and commanded to separate himself from the sinful practices, conduct, and outlook of the world and to live soberly and righteously.
II Corinthians 6:14-17; Romans 6:1; I John 2:15-17.
XI - THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED
We believe there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only such as through faith are justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus are truly righteous in God's reckoning; while all who persist in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse; and this distinction continues among men both in this life and after death, in the unending happiness of the justified and the everlasting conscious suffering of the wicked.
Malachi 3:18; Genesis 18:23; Romans 6:17,18; I John 5:19; Romans 7:6; Romans 6:23; Proverbs 14:32; John 8:21.
XII - THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY
We believe that it is appointed unto man once to die, death being the result of the coming of sin into the world; that at the time of death the soul separates from the body, at which time the righteous will be present with the Lord, while the unrighteous are immediately aware of their eternal estate. We believe that at the appointed time the Lord Jesus will call forth the bodies that are in the graves and the living souls will then be reunited with the resurrected bodies. We believe the Scriptures teach two resurrections, that of the righteous to eternal life, and that of the wicked to equally eternal condemnation. We do not believe these resurrections are for the purpose of a "second chance" but only as an element necessary to final judgment and rewards.
John 5:26-30; I Corinthians 15:51,52; I Thessalonians 4:16,17; Revelation 20:11-15.
XIII - THE CHURCH
We believe (1) that all who by faith have received the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior have been baptized by the Holy Spirit into the spiritual body designated in the Scriptures as the Church of Christ and the Body of Christ, and as such are endowed with such gifts of the Spirit according to the will of God as will enable them to work together with their fellows to the edifying of that body; that Christ is the true and only head of this Church; and that this Church shall one day be taken from this earth, without loss or division of membership, to be forever with the Lord Jesus Christ.
We also believe (2) that in the providence of God there have been formed on the earth in this present age local congregations that are called churches; that the New Testament defines their organization, purpose, mission, etc., in general terms leaving the specific applications to each separate church as it may be led by the Holy Spirit. We believe that each such church is a congregation of believers, baptized on confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, associated in mutual agreement for the purpose of missionary evangelism, the edifying of the Church through the ministry of preaching, the observance of the ordinances, the bringing to maturity of the saints, and in other ways bearing witness to the Lord Jesus Christ as prescribed in the Scriptures.
We believe (3) that a New Testament Church as thus defined is possessed of the right of self-government, absolutely free from the interference of any outside person, organization, or power; that while it is not against Scripture for any Church to be associated with any other organization for the purposes for which it was formed, such association cannot be interpreted as a surrender of its sovereignty over its own affairs, nor does it limit its power to be the sole judge of the measure and method of such association and cooperation. In every detail Christ is held to be the true Head of the Church, administering His will through the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 1:22, 23; Colossians 1:24; I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 4:11-16; Romans 16:1, 4; II Corinthians 8:1; I Timothy 3; Titus 1:5-9.
XIV - THE ORDINANCES
We believe (1) that Christian baptism is ordained of God for every believer; that upon his personal profession of faith in Christ he is to be baptized by immersion only, not as a means to his salvation, but as a testimony thereto; that thereby he testifies not only to his faith in the crucified, buried, and resurrected Savior, but also to the effects thereof in his own death to sin and resurrection to a new life. We further hold that baptism is prerequisite to church membership. While we recognize baptism by immersion as the only valid form, and require it of all who apply for church membership, we cannot recognize such baptism as valid when administered by churches, clergymen, or other agencies whose doctrines and/or practices are at variance with the Scriptures, or our own standards.
We also believe (2) that the observance of the Lord's Table was ordained by the Lord Jesus Christ as a memorial to His own sacrifice of Himself, of His broken body and His shed blood, to be observed by His own until He returns for them. Therefore, we believe that only those who have truly been born again should partake thereof, but that it is an obligation for all believers to be partakers and that as preparation therefore there should be a personal self-examination.
(3) We acknowledge neither of these ordinances as sacramental in character, seeing they do not possess nor bestow any spiritual benefit in and of themselves, but are ordained only as testimonials to accomplished facts.
Acts 2:41-42; Acts 16:30-33; Matthew 3:13; Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 6:3-5; Mark 1:9-10; Galatians 2:20; I Corinthians 11:23-28.
XV - SATAN
We believe that there exists a very real person known in Scripture as Satan and the Devil, who endeavors by every means to usurp the place and assume the prerogatives of God; that he seeks to imitate the works and image of God, thus to deceive the unwise and to gain for himself their loyalty and their service. We understand the Scriptures to teach that he is a spirit being, created by God; that he was made perfect and placed in a responsible position in the universe; through pride and self-assertion he fell from his glorious estate, taking with him a number of other spirit beings of lesser rank, through whom he maintains himself as the prince of this world, and is, by permission of God, its present ruler. He caused the downfall of man at the beginning by deception, and deception has marked his dealings with man every since; that he is the source and inspiration of those religious agents and agencies that pervert, deny, or work contrary to, the teaching of Scripture and the testimony of Christ. By the work of Christ at Calvary he became a defeated foe, and some day will be brought to judgment and removed as a factor in the universe, also through the operation of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Job 1:6; Ezekiel 28:12-19; Isaiah 14:12-17; Genesis 3:1-7; II Corinthians 11:14; Ephesians 2:2; I Peter 5:8; John 14:30; John 16:11; II Corinthians 4:3,4; John 8:44; Hebrews 2:14; I John 3:8b; James 4:7; Revelation 20:2, 3, 7, 8, 10; Revelation 12:10, 17.
XVI - OF THE END OF THE AGE AND THE RETURN OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
We believe that according to the Scriptures we are living in the closing days of this age, and therefore it is expedient that we maintain a worthy manner of life consistent with our expectancy, and that we be diligent to complete the work which He has entrusted to us. We believe in the soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, first to call His Church to be with Himself, later to the earth to personally execute the judgment of God upon the ungodly and the rebellious, and to institute the kingdom of righteousness covenanted to David and confirmed by the prophets.
Matthew 25:13; I John 3:1-3; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-13; II Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 1:7; Revelation 19:11-14; I Corinthians 15:51-58.