We believe that the Bible was written by divinely inspired men and is God’s revelation of Himself and His will to man. The Bible in its entirety is the Word of God, and as such is wholly true in everything it affirms. The Scriptures are the unique, full and final authority on all matters of faith and practice (Ps. 18:30, 119; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; 3:15-16).
We believe that the Godhead exists eternally in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These three persons are one God, and are worthy of precisely the same confidence, obedience, and worship (Mt. 28:18-19, Mk. 12:29, Jn. 1:14, Acts 5:3-4).
1. God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, and all-wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, yet He remains fatherly in His attitude toward all men (Gen. 1:1, 2:7; Ex. 3:14, 6:2-3, 15:11ff, 20:1ff, Lev. 22:2; Dt. 6:4, 32:6; 1 Chr. 29:10; Ps. 19:1-3; Isa. 43:3,15, 64:8; Jer. 10:10, 17:13; Mt. 6:9ff, 7:11, 23:9, 28:19; Mk. 1:9-11; Jn. 4:23-24, 5:26, 14:6-13, 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Rom. 8:14-15; 1 Cor. 8:6; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 4:6; 1 Tim. 1:17; Heb. 11:6, 12:9; 1 Pet. 1:17).
2. God the Son
We believe that Jesus Christ in the flesh was fully God and fully man, that He was born of a virgin and that He lived a sinless life. He taught and worked mighty works, wonders and signs as recorded in the four Gospels. He was crucified, died as a penalty for our sins, and was later raised from the dead, bodily, on the third day. Later, He ascended to the Father’s right hand where He is head of the church and intercedes for believers. He will come again personally, bodily, and visibly to this earth (Matt. 16:27; Rom. 8:34; 1 Cor. 15:3-8; Heb. 1:2, 4:15).
3. God the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is God, and possesses all the divine attributes. He exists to bring glory to the Father and the Son. He convicts the world of sin, indwells all believers, and baptizes and seals them at the moment of salvation. He uniquely endows each believer with gifts for the building up of the body. He guides believers in understanding and applying the Scriptures and empowers them to lead a life of Christ-like character (Jn. 16:7-15; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:30; Gal. 5:22-23).
God, from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and all events; yet He is not the author or approver of sin nor does He destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures (Prv. 16:33; Isa. 46:9-11; Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3; Jas. 1:13-15).
Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love (Gen. 1:26-30).
By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan, man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin and evil. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation (Gen. 3; Rom. 1:19-32, 3:10-23, 5:6-19, 6:6; Eph. 2:1-3).
We believe that God, by His sovereign choice and His love for mankind, sent Jesus into the world to bring people back into fellowship with Him through regeneration. Regeneration is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who gives life to those dead in trespasses and sins, enlightening their minds to understand the word of God, and renewing their whole nature. This salvation, with its forgiveness of sin, is a gift, wholly a work of God’s grace, not the result of human works, and this salvation must be personally appropriated by repentance and faith, resulting in God declaring believers righteous through the merit of Christ. Through sanctification, beginning in regeneration, the believer is set apart to God’s purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person’s life. All those whom God has regenerated will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end. Though they may fall, through neglect and temptation, into sin, they shall be renewed again unto repentance and be kept by the power of God through faith unto the culmination of salvation. (Mk. 1:15; Jn. 6:37-40, 10:28-29; Rom. 3:23, 5:8, 8:28-39; 1 Cor. 1:8-9; Eph. 2:8-9; Phil. 1:6; Heb. 12:5-6; 1 Jn. 5:12-13).
The Lord Jesus is the head of the church, which is composed of all His true disciples, and in Him is invested supremely all power for its government. We believe there is one universal church which is comprised of all who place their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. According to His commandment, Christians are to associate themselves into particular, local churches; and to each of these churches He has given needful authority for administering that order, discipline and worship which He has appointed. The regular officers of a church are elders (pastors) and deacons; the regular ordinances of a church are baptism and the Lord’s Supper. (Mt. 26:26-29, 28:19; Jn. 10:16; Acts 2:38, 20:17, 28; Rom. 6:3-5; 1 Cor. 10:16-17, 11:23-34, 12:13; Eph. 1:22-23, 5:23; 1 Tim. 3:1-13, 5:17-18; Tit. 1:5-9; Heb. 10:25)
Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. It is prerequisite to church membership.
2. The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and the fruit of the vine, and to be observed by His churches till the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate His death and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of a believer’s communion with Him, and of their church membership, preceded always by solemn self-examination.
Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality
The gift of gender as male and female is part of the goodness of God’s created order, is the fundamental and universal biological distinction of the human race, and is not determined by one’s self-perception. As embodied spirits, gender is a part of the very core of the body-soul unity that determines the very essence of human nature. It is therefore not possible to sever the connection between one’s gender and one’s biological sex.
Marriage is the joining of one man and one woman in an exclusive, lifelong, public covenant. Sexual intimacy is a good gift from God to be enjoyed only within the confines of marriage. Any form of sexual intimacy outside the marriage covenant constitutes immorality. Sexual immorality includes lust, pornography, adultery, polygamy, fornication, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, bestiality, incest, and disagreement with and attempts to change one’s biological gender (Gen. 2:18-25; Matt. 15:18-20; Mark 7:21-22; Rom. 1:21-32; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 6:18; 7:2-5; Eph. 5:21-33; 1 Tim. 1:9-10; Heb. 13:4; Jude 7).
The bodies of men after death return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God—the righteous to rest with Him; the wicked, to be reserved for the final judgment. The bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised. God has appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when every one shall receive according to his deeds; the wicked shall go into everlasting and conscious punishment; the righteous, into everlasting life (Mt. 25:46; Jn. 5:22-29; Acts 17:31; Rom. 2:6-11; 1 Cor. 15:12-28; 2 Cor. 5:1-10; Phil. 1:23; 2 Thes. 1:7-10; 2 Tim. 4:8; Rev. 7:13-17, 14:9-11).