WHAT WE BELIEVE
We believe in the one true, holy and living God, Eternal Spirit, who is Creator, Sovereign and Preserver of all things visible and invisible. He is infinite in power, wisdom, justice, goodness and love, and rules with gracious regard for the well-being and salvation of men and women, to the glory of his name. We believe the one God reveals himself as the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, distinct but inseparable, eternally one in essence and power.
We believe in Jesus Christ, truly God and truly man, in whom the divine and human natures are perfectly and inseparably united. He is the eternal Word made flesh, the only begotten Son of the Father, born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. As ministering Servant he lived, suffered and died on the cross. He was buried, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven to be with the Father, and he shall return to set up his eternal kingdom among those who have become his by faith. He is eternal Savior and Mediator, who intercedes for his own, and by him all people will be judged.
The Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from and is one in being with the Father and the Son. He convinces the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. He leads men and women through faithful response to the gospel into the fellowship of the Church-the Body of Christ. He comforts, sustains and empowers the faithful and guides them into all truth.
The Holy Bible
We believe the Holy Bible, Old and New Testaments, reveals the Word of God so far as it is necessary for our salvation. It is to be received through the Holy Spirit as the true rule and guide for faith and practice. Whatever is not revealed in or established by the Holy Scriptures is not to be made an article of faith nor is it to be taught as essential to salvation.
We believe the Christian Church is the community of all true believers under the Lordship of Christ. We believe it is one, holy, apostolic and is membered by those whose lives are placed in Christ from every tribe and nation. It is the redemptive fellowship in which the Word of God is preached by those who are called by God, and the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper are duly administered according to Christ’ own appointment. Under the discipline of the Holy Spirit, the Church exists for the maintenance of worship, the edification and equipping of believers, and the redemption of the world.
We believe the Sacraments, ordained by Christ, are symbols and pledges of the Christian’s profession and of God’s love toward us. They are means of grace by which God works invisibly in us, quickening, strengthening and confirming our faith in him. Two Sacraments are ordained by Christ our Lord, namely Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
We believe Baptism signifies entrance into the household of faith, and is a symbol of repentance and inner cleansing from sin, a representation of the new birth in Christ Jesus, and a mark of Christian discipleship.
We believe children who have not yet reached the age of accountability (when they understand they are sinners in need of a Savior) are under the atonement of Christ. They should be nurtured and led to personal acceptance of Christ, by profession of faith.
We believe the Lord’s Supper is a representation of our redemption, a memorial of the sufferings and death of Christ, and a token of love and union which Christians have with Christ and with one another. Those who rightly, worthily, and in faith eat the broken bread and drink the blessed cup, do it in remembrance of his body and blood given as the ransom for their souls. This commanded sacrament is to be practiced until Christ comes again.
Sin and Free Will
We believe mankind is fallen from righteousness and, apart from the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, is destitute of holiness and inclined to evil. Except men and women be born again, they cannot see the Kingdom of God. In their own strength, without divine grace, they cannot do good works pleasing and acceptable to God. We believe, however, that people influenced and empowered by the Holy Spirit are responsible in freedom to exercise their will for good.
Reconciliation Through Christ
We believe God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. The offering Christ freely made on the cross is the perfect and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, offering men and women complete redemption from all sin and no other satisfaction is required.
Justification and Regeneration
We believe we are never accounted righteous before God through our works or merit, but that penitent sinners are justified or accounted righteous before God only by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe regeneration is the renewal of persons in righteousness through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, whereby we are made partakers of the divine nature and experience newness of life. By this new birth the believer becomes reconciled to God and is enabled to serve him with the will and the affections.
We believe that in the newness of life-the new creation-cannot sin. However, the practice of sin by the “old man” or dead flesh may still occur. Once the believer denies self and turns authority back to the power of the Spirit, then by the grace of God, we walk in righteousness.
We believe good works are the necessary fruits of faith and follow regeneration but they do not have the virtue to remove our sins or to avert divine judgment. We believe good works, pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, spring from a true and living faith, for through and by them faith is made evident.
Sanctification and Christian Perfection
We believe sanctification is the work of God’s grace through the Word and the Spirit, by which those who have been born again are trained from practicing the old way of life of sinful thoughts, words and acts, and are enabled by surrender to the Spirit’s power to live in accordance with God’s will, and to strive for holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
Entire sanctification is a state of perfect love, righteousness and true holiness which every regenerate believer may obtain by being delivered from the power of sin, by loving God with all the heart, soul, mind and strength, and by loving one’s neighbor as one’s self. Through faith in Jesus Christ this gracious gift may be received in this life both gradually and instantaneously, and should be sought earnestly by every child of God.
We believe this experience does not deliver us from the infirmities, ignorance, and mistakes common to all people, nor from the possibilities of further sin. Christian believers must continue on guard against spiritual pride and seek to gain victory over every temptation to sin. They must respond wholly to the will of God so that sin will lose its power over them; and the world, the flesh, and the devil are put under their feet. In this way, believers are enabled to rule over these enemies with watchfulness through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Judgment and the Future State
We believe all people stand under the righteous judgment of Jesus Christ, both now and in the last day. We believe in the resurrection of the dead; the righteous to life eternal and the wicked to endless condemnation.
The Worship of God
We believe divine worship is the duty and privilege of all Christian believers who, in the presence of God, bow in adoration, humility and dedication. We believe divine worship is essential to the life of the Church, and that the assembling of the people of God for such worship is necessary to Christian fellowship and spiritual growth.
The Lord's Day
We believe every day is the Lord’s Day but that the setting aside of a day for private and public worship as practiced by Christ and his disciples is both worthy and honorable before God. A day for rest from unnecessary work, devoted to spiritual improvement, and to Christian fellowship and service. It is commemorative of our Lord’s resurrection and is an emblem of our eternal rest. It is essential to the permanence and growth of the Christian Church, and important to the welfare of the civil community.