OUR STATEMENT OF FAITH
God is the inspiration of all Scriptures in the Bible (1 Cor 2:13). All Scriptures are a revelation of God and point to the work and person of Jesus Christ (John 5:39; Rom 3:25). The Bible is without error and is reliable in all it affirms (Ps 119:160; John 17:17). The Bible is sufficient in teaching everything we need to know necessary for salvation and for living a good life (2 Tim 3:15,17). The 66 inspired books of the Bible meet the divine standard for inclusion (2 Tim 3:16). The standard is set by the authority of God and there are no more books to be added to the Scriptures (John 21:25). The Bible is worthy of preservation (Matt 5:18).
God has eternally existed in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Ps 90:2-4; John 1:1-3; Gen 1:2; Matt 28:19; 1 Pet 1:2). The three persons of God are co-equal, and each has the whole fullness of God (John 14:16; Col 1:16; 1 Cor 2:11; Col 2:9; Heb 1:3). God is not three Gods; He is one God in three persons (Deut 6:4: 1 Tim 2:5). And while each person is fully God, they are not identical (Eph 4:4-6). Although all three persons are involved in God’s work, there are distinctions in their focus, which are eternal distinctions since no one person existed before the other (John 3:34; John 14:17; John 17:5; Col 1:17). And though their work is distinct, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are internally unified, accomplishing one purpose (John 14:10; John 17:21; Phil 2:5-8; John 6:38).
God’s creation exists to bring glory to Him (Isa 43:7; Ps 19:1-2; Rev 4:11). Humanity is distinct from all other creation in that we function as visible representatives of God, multiplying and filling the earth while at the same time taking care of it (Gen 1:26-28; Ps 8:6). Humanity began when God breathed life first into them, and they existed in harmony with God until they used their God given gift of free will to try and become like God (Gen 2:7, 22; Gen 3:5-6). At that moment, sin entered the world, and with it, death (Gen 3:19; Rom 5:12). Sin is the corruption of good and results in our separation from God (Eph 2:1-3). Humanity is born into a helpless and hopeless state of selfishness, unable to change without God’s grace (Phil 2:3; James 3:16; Luke 9:23; Eph 2:8). God also created spiritual beings known as angels (Col 1:16; Job 38:7). Angels use their free will to either glorify God or destroy humanity (Ps 34:7; Heb 1:14; 1 Tim 4:1-2; 1 Cor 7:5).
Salvation is God’s redemption plan for humanity (Acts 17:24-29). God’s lovingkindness toward humanity is expressed through his grace, and it is his grace alone that can save us from our natural state (Rom 5:17). In his grace, God sent his Son Jesus to live a life free from sin, surrender his life on the cross, and rise again defeating sin and death once and for all (Rom 6:2-4; Rom 8:1-3). Christ fully satisfies the sinfulness of all mankind (2 Cor 5:21; John 3:16). Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone (Eph 2:8-9; Rom 1:17). As proof of God’s promise of eternal life, believers in Christ are indwelled with the Holy Spirit, and they experience repentance as their hearts turn from their natural desires to express the desires of Christ (Eph 1:13; 1 Cor 12:7; Gal 5:16-23). The Spirit is not only a taste of eternal life with God, it also assures us that our salvation can never be lost (2 Cor 1:22; John 10:28). All believers will exist in this state until their physical death or the return of Christ unites them in full glory (Rom 8:30; Tit 2:13).
On the day Christ’s followers received the Holy Spirit, the church began (Acts 1:8; Acts 2:4; 2 Cor 3:6). The church is all of God’s people, united by His grace through faith in Jesus (Eph 1:22-23; Eph 4:15-16; Col, 1:18). Together, these communities of believers form the global church (Rom 12:5; 1 Cor 1:10). The local church unites believers into this community of faith through baptism and communion (Matt 28:19; 1 Cor 11:23-26). Baptism is an outward pledge of an inward commitment to follow Jesus and marks the beginning of a new life of spiritual growth (Acts 2:37-41). Communion is a celebration of the sacrifice Jesus made for us and reminds believers they are all part of one body (Matt 26:26-28; 1 Cor 10:17). Church exists for the sole purpose of glorifying God through worship (Matt 5:16). Worship is an expression of our joy for the goodness of God (Rom 12:1-2). When we worship, we hear God’s word, speak to Him in prayer, sing songs of praise, and grow in God’s grace through communion (Acts 2:42; Acts 12:5; Col 3:16).
Our hope in Christ is found in both His first and second coming (1 Thess 4:13; Titus 2:13; 1 Tim 1:1). When Christ comes again, it will usher all believers into eternal life with Him (Titus 1:2; 3:7). Until then, humanity must still face physical death. When we die, our soul is separated from our physical body (Phil 1:21-24; 1 Cor 5:6-8). The souls of believers are with Jesus upon death (Luke 23:43). Before Jesus makes His full return to Earth, He will resurrect the physical bodies of all those united with Him, both dead and living (1 Thess 4:14-18). This will happen in advance of a seven-year period known as the tribulation (Jer 30:7; Joel 1-3; Dan 7:25). During that time, Christ and His resurrected church will be gathered in Heaven (Rev 12). Every resurrected believer will come before the judgment seat of Christ, but not for punishment, rather for reward (1 Thess 5:9; 2 Cor 5:10; Matt 16:27). At the end of the seven-year tribulation, Christ and His followers will return to earth where He will reign with them for a thousand years (Rev 20:4). When the thousand years concludes, all the remaining dead will be resurrected (Rev 20:11-13) They will come before the judgment seat of Christ where they will receive their just punishment (John 5:25-29; Rev 20:14-15). Finally, Christ will defeat Satan and death completely, and believers will reign eternally with Christ on a new earth (Isa 65:17-25; 2 Pet 3:13; 2 Cor 5:17; Rom 8:18-25; Rev 21:1-3).