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Statement of Faith

 

The Scriptures

We believe that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” by which we understand that God providentially worked through the personalities of men by special revelation, dictation, dreams, wise thinking and documents without error in the words of the original autographs to record His authoritative revelation. This revelation extends equally and fully to all parts of the writings-historical, poetical, doctrinal and prophetical. (2 Timothy 3:16 & 17; 2 Peter 1:20 & 21)

The Godhead

We believe that God is a tri-unity. God is one in essence and three in substance by which we mean that God, being one divine essence, has three eternal distinctions which are three equally divine persons-God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit-having precisely the same nature, attributes, perfections, and worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence and obedience. (Genesis 1:26; Luke 3:21 & 22)

Jesus Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ is the God-Man-completely God and completely man-conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. We believe in His bodily crucifixion and resurrection and ascension into heaven as the High Priest and Advocate for all believers. (Philippians 2:6-8; Hebrews 7:14-17)

The Holy Spirit

We believe in the Holy Spirit as one of the divine persons of the Trinity. He has worked in the Old Testament by giving life, giving order, giving adornment, preserving, selectively indwelling men, enabling men for service, restraining sin and in revelation and inspiration. He worked in Christ’s life and He presently works by convicting of sin, imparting eternal life, indwelling all Christians, baptizing (or identifying) all Christians into the Body of Christ- the universal church-sealing all believers at the time of conversion as a guarantee of their inheritance, giving all believers at least one God-given ability for service, filling all believers to enable them to live righteously and by teaching-guiding-answering and helping all believers pray. In the future He will work by saving and filling men, being upon the King and being in God’s people. (2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 John 4:13-15)

Man

We believe that man was originally created in the image of God and that he fell through sin becoming subject to Satan and death-both physical and spiritual (which is separation from God). We also believe that this spiritual death, or total depravity of the human nature, has been transmitted to the entire human race of man (Christ Jesus alone being excepted), and hence that all are guilty of sin by nature and are unchangeable apart from divine grace. (Genesis 5:1-3; Romans 1:28)

Salvation

We believe, due to the universal death of man through sin, that no one can enter the kingdom of God through his own efforts-no degree of reformation, attainments in morality, culture, baptism or any other ordinance however administered, can help the sinner to take even one step toward heaven.

We believe that all men must trust in Jesus Christ as the One who paid for their sin, dying as a substitute on the cross. We believe that trusting in Christ and no other act, such as confession, baptism, prayer or faithful service should be the condition for salvation, and that eternal life is available to all who believe in Christ.

We believe that when an unregenerate person trusts in Christ as his one provision for sin, He saves immediately out of spiritual death into spiritual life, and from the old creation to the new. He is justified from all things, accepted before the Father just as Christ is, loved as Christ is loved and his place and portion with Christ forever. Although there may be room for growth, upon belief he is in possession of every spiritual blessing and absolutely complete in Christ and not required to seek a so-called “second blessing” or “second work of grace.” (Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8 & 9; 10:9; 10 &13)

Sanctification

We believe that sanctification, which is a setting-apart unto God, is three-fold. It is already complete for every saved person because his position toward God is the same as Christ’s position. Since the believer is in Christ, he is set apart unto God in the measure in which Christ is set apart unto God. We believe, however, that he retains his sin nature, which cannot be eradicated in his life. Therefore, while the standing of the Christian in Christ is perfect, his present state is no more perfect than his experience in daily life. There is, therefore, a progressive sanctification wherein the Christian is to “grow in grace,” and to “be changed” by the unhindered power of the Spirit. We believe, also, that the child of God will yet be fully sanctified in his state as he is now sanctified in his standing in Christ when he shall see his Lord and shall be “like Him.” (1 John 1:5 through 2:6; 1 John 3:2 & 3)

Eternal Security

We believe that, because of the eternal purpose of God toward the objects of His love, because of His freedom to exercise grace toward the meritless on the ground of the propitiatory blood of Christ, because of the very nature of the divine gift of eternal life, because of the present and unending intercession and advocacy of Christ in heaven, because of the immutability of the unchangeable covenants of God, because of the regenerating, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all who are saved, we and all true believers everywhere, once saved shall be kept saved forever. We believe, however, that God is a holy and righteous Father and that, since He cannot overlook the sin of His children, He will, when they persistently sin, chasten them and correct them in infinite love; but having undertaken to save them and keep them forever, apart from all human merit, He, who cannot fail, will in the end present every one of them faultless before the presence of His glory and conformed to the image of His Son. (John 10:28; 1 John 5:13)

Angels: Fallen and Unfallen

We believe that God created an innumerable company of sinless, spiritual beings, known as angels; that one, “Lucifer, son of the morning”-the highest in rank-sinned through pride, thereby becoming Satan; that a great company of the angels followed him in his moral fall, some of whom became demons and are active as his agents and associates in the prosecution of his unholy purposes, while others who fell are “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”

We believe that Satan is the originator of sin, and that, under the permission of God, he, through subtlety, led our first parents into transgression, thereby accomplishing their moral fall and subjecting them and their posterity to his own power; that he is the enemy of God and the people of God opposing and exalting himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped; and that he who in the beginning said, “I will be like the Most High,” in his warfare appears as an angel of light, even counterfeiting the works of God by fostering religious movements and systems of doctrine, which systems in every case are characterized by a denial of the efficacy of the blood of Christ and of salvation by grace alone.

We believe that Satan was judged at the Cross, though not then executed, and that he, a usurper, now rules as the “god of this world;” that, at the second coming of Christ, Satan will be bound and cast into the abyss for a thousand years, and after the thousand years he will be loosed for a little season and then “cast into the lake of fire and brimstone,” where he “shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

We believe that a great company of angels kept their holy estate and are before the throne of God, from whence they are sent forth as ministering spirits to minister for them who will be heirs of salvation.

We believe that man was made lower than the angels; and that, in His incarnation, Christ took for a little time this lower place that He might lift the believer to His own sphere above the angels. (Hebrews 1:14; 2 Peter 2:4)

The Church

We believe in the Church both universal and local. We believe that its mission is to represent Christ with the Gospel for salvation of the lost and sanctification of the saved. We believe that all its endeavors should be supported by the free will offerings of those who are committed to its ministries. (Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Corinthians 16:2)

Ordinances

We believe that water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the only ordinances of the church. We believe they are to be followed as examples and reminders of spiritual truth which has already occurred in a believer’s life. (Matthew 28:19 & 20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

Resurrection

We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and unjust, the everlasting enjoyment of God and life of the saved, which demand heaven and hell. (1 Corinthians 15:12-20; Revelation 20:11-15)

The Future

We believe in the “blessed hope” or the pretribulational return of the Lord in the air to receive to Himself the Church-both those alive and asleep-into heaven. We believe that the translation of the church will be followed by the Tribulation (or Israel’s seventieth week)- a time of judgment on the whole earth for seven years. We believe that the period of great tribulation upon the earth will be followed by a premillennial physical return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth to reign for one thousand years. We believe that after Satan is loosed at the end of the millennium and stirs up a rebellion that he and all of the wicked will be judged and thrown into the lake of fire to suffer forever. We believe that God will then consummate the eternal state by creation of a literal new heaven and earth where all of those who are saved will enjoy Him and life forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 5:4-7; Titus 2:13; Revelation 20-22)