5. What We Believe

STATEMENT OF FAITH

CONCERNING THE SCRIPTURES:
We believe that the Holy Bible was written inerrant in its original language by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end and truth without any mixture of error for its matter. It reveals the principles by which God will judge us. It is, and shall remain to the end of the age, the true center of Christian union. It is the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinions should be tried.

CONCERNING THE TRUE GOD:
We believe that there is one, and only one living and true God; an infinite, intelligent perfect Spirit and Personal Being; the Creator, Preserver and Supreme Ruler of the Universe; inexpressibly glorious in holiness; and all other perfections, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; 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 but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.

CONCERNING CHRIST:
We believe that Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary; that He is one person possessing two natures and thus is true God and true man; that He lived a sinless life; and gave Himself as a perfect substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of all men; that He arose bodily from the grave; ascended into Heaven where He is seated at the right hand of God interceding for His people; and will return to the earth in keeping with His promises.

CONCERNING THE HOLY SPIRIT:
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment; that He bears witness to the truth of the gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the new birth; that He seals, indwells, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer. We believe that tongues, healing and other sign gifts are not for us since the completion of the canon of Scriptures.

CONCERNING THE SPIRIT REALM:
We believe that God created an innumerable company of sinless spirit beings known as angels1 that many of these continued in their holy state and are the ministers of God; that Lucifer (now known as Satan or the Devil) and many others rebelled against God; that these fallen angels, though defeated in the cross of Christ, still continue to oppose God and His work; that they will ultimately be judged by God and cast into the lake of fire to suffer everlasting punishment, which is their righteous due.

CONCERNING CREATION:
We accept the Genesis account as being an historic record of creation and believe that the universe with all that is in it was created by God, not produced by some process of evolution.

CONCERNING MAN:
We believe that man was created by the special act of God, as recorded in Genesis. “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” “and the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” We believe that man was created in a state of holiness, under the law of his maker, but through the temptation of Satan he voluntarily transgressed from this holy state in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by restraint, but choice, being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil, and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.

CONCERNING SALVATION:
We believe that salvation is all of grace through the substitutionary work of Jesus Christ who paid the full redemptive price, by shedding His blood; fully satisfied God’s righteous demands by suffering the death penalty for man’s guilt; and imputed to man His perfect righteousness reconciling him to God; that salvation is made effective to man only upon his exercise of personal faith in Jesus Christ;4 which faith is not a meritorious work but possible only by the grace of God. We believe5 that salvation includes justification, regeneration, adoption into the family of God, sanctification (positional, progressive and final) and glorification; that one who is truly born again will, by the grace of God, persevere and be kept forever.

CONCERNING SANCTIFICATION:
We believe that every saved person is positionally in Christ, completely set apart for God; that in experience the saved person retains his sin-nature which is not eradicated in this life, and thus his present state is no more perfect than his daily experience; that there is a progressive sanctification wherein the saved person is to grow in grace into Christ likeness by the unhindered power of the Holy Spirit; that when Christ appears the saved person will be fully sanctified so that his state will conform to his standing. We believe that progressive sanctification involves separation not only from ungodly living but also from ungodly teaching; that though we love all men and seek their salvation, there are areas in which we cannot have fellowship with unbelievers; that, in areas of ecclesiastical fellowship, it may be necessary to separate even from our brethren in Christ, if they in turn maintain ecclesiastical fellowship with unbelievers.

CONCERNING THE CHURCH
We believe that the Church, which is His body, is composed of all true believers (those who have been born again through a personal acceptance of Christ as Savior) from Pentecost to the rapture; that this Church was brought into being on the day of Pentecost by the Holy Spirit’s baptizing into one body all who were believers at that time; that on the day of Pentecost and since that time others have been and are being added to the Church as they personally accept Christ as Savior; that at the rapture this Church will be complete and will be caught up to be united with Christ as His bride, never to be separated from Him. We believe that local Churches are gatherings of professing believers in given communities, organized for the purpose of united worship, fellowship, administration of ordinances (Baptism and the Lord’s Supper), edification, discipline and effective promotion of the work of Christ throughout the world; that such local Churches should be limited in membership to those who are born again, desire to follow Christ in obedience and have been immersed; that Christ is the Supreme Head and every member has direct access to Him and is responsible to seek His will; that the only offices recognized in such New Testament Churches were those of Pastor, (bishop, elder, presbyter) and Deacon; that government is democratic with every member responsible to vote in keeping with his understanding of the will of Christ; that each local Church is responsible directly to Christ and not to some other local Church or organization; that there is value in fellowship and cooperation with other local Churches of like convictions.

CONCERNING CIVIL GOVERNMENT:
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society, that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the only Lord of conscience, and the coming Prince of the Kings of the earth.

CONCERNING THINGS TO COME:
We believe that the Scriptures do foretell certain future events among which are the following:
RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH. We believe that Jesus Christ will return to the atmosphere of this earth; that the dead in Christ will rise first; then believers who are still living will be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air and to ever be with the Lord; that the rapture is the next event on the revealed calendar and that no prophesy need be fulfilled before it occurs.
TRIBULATION. We believe that the rapture of the Church will be followed on earth by Israel’s seventieth week (a period of seven years); that, though there will be salvation, this will be a time of great judgments, the latter part being known as the great tribulation.
SECOND COMING. We believe that following the tribulation, Christ will return to the earth with His glorified saints to establish the millennial kingdom; that during the thousand years of peace and prosperity Satan will be bound and Christ will reign with a rod of iron; that at the end of the millennium Satan will be released for a short time, deceive many and lead them in final rebellion but be overthrown with his armies.
ETERNAL STATE. We believe that Satan, the evil angels, and the unsaved men of all ages will be finally judged and condemned to everlasting, conscious punishment in hell; that all saved of all ages will enjoy everlasting blessing in the presence of God.