Statement of Faithabritnell2022-04-27T15:49:19-04:00
Statement of Faith
We believe the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments to be the full record of God’s self-disclosure to mankind. Different men, while writing according to their own styles and personalities, were supernaturally moved along by the Holy Spirit to record God’s very words, inerrant in the original writings. Therefore, those applying themselves to study its literal, historical-grammatical context can accurately understand God’s Word. Scripture is fully trustworthy as our final and sufficient authority for all of life (2 Timothy 3:16–17; 2 Peter 1:20–21).
The Triune God
We believe in the one living and true God, eternally (John 17:3) existing in perfect unity as three equally and fully divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19–20). Each member of the Godhead, while executing distinct but complementary roles in redemptive history, has precisely the same nature, attributes, and being, and is equally worthy of the same glory and honor and obedience (John 1:1–4; Acts 5:3–4).
God the Father
We believe God the Father created all things in six literal days for His glory according to His own will (Revelation 4:11), through His Son, Jesus Christ. He upholds all things by the Word of His power and grace, exercising sovereign headship over all creation, providence, and redemption (Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3).
God the Son
We believe that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son, moved by love in accordance with the will of the Father, took on human flesh (John 1:1,14,18). Conceived through the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the virgin Mary. He, being fully God and fully man (John 14:8–9), lived a sinless life and sacrificially shed His blood and died on the cross in our place accomplishing redemption for all who place their faith in Him. He arose visi bly and bodily from the dead three days later and ascended into heaven, where, at the Father’s right hand, He is now Head of His Body the Church, the only Savior and Mediator between God and man, and will return to earth in power and glory to consummate His redemptive mission (1 Timothy 3:16).
God the Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ during this age. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He draws the unredeemed to repentance and faith, and at salvation imparts new spiritual life to the believer, bringing that person into union with Christ and the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit sanctifies, seals, fills, guides, instructs, comforts, equips, empowers, permanently indwells at salvation, and bestows spiritual gifts to the believer for Christ-like living and service (John 16:8; 13:15; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 1:22; 4:11–12; Romans 8:9–17; 12:4–8; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 12:4–5, 11–13, 19; Galatians 5:25; Hebrews 2:1–4; 2 Corinthians 12:12).
We believe that God created mankind—male and female—in His own image and likeness, free of sin, to glorify Himself and enjoy His fellowship. Tempted by Satan, but in the sovereign plan of God, man freely chose to disobey God, bringing sin, death and condemnation to all mankind. All human beings, therefore, are totally depraved by nature and by choice. Alienated from God without defense or excuse, and subject to God’s righteous wrath, all of mankind is in desperate need of the Savior (Genesis 3:1–6; Romans 3:10–19; Romans 1:18, 32).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as the substitutionary atonement in our place, and that salvation is found in none other than Jesus Christ. Before Creation, God chose those who would be saved and granted this unearned grace solely based on His sovereign good pleasure. Jesus Christ’s death on the cross was the sole and complete payment for sins, fully satisfying God’s righteous wrath, for each person that turns from sin in repentance and places their faith in Christ alone by grace alone. At salvation each person is made a new creation by the Holy Spirit, declared righteous before God, and secured as an adopted child of God forever. Genuine faith continues in obedience and love for Jesus Christ with a life eager to glorify God and persevere to the end (Romans 8:37–39; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
Marriage, Sexuality, and Gender
We believe that marriage is created by God to be shared between one biological man and one biological woman, in a lifelong holy covenant, for the purpose of companionship, sexual intimacy, and procreation. Our created gender, sexuality, and sexual fulfillment are gifts from the Creator and are to be embraced with gratitude and worship. God designed sexual intimacy to be expressed and consummated only between a man and a woman when they are united as one flesh in marriage (Genesis 1:27–28, 2:24; Matthew 19:4–6).
Men and women are created in the image of God and stand equal in dignity and worth. (Gen 1:27; 9:6; Gal 3:28; James 3:9.) God designed gender, recognized through our biological sex, as an immutable reality essential to our identity as male and female. While the fall distorts God’s design for men and women (Gen. 3:16-19), Jesus makes men and women fellow heirs of God’s eternal grace (1 Peter 3:7) who differ in complementary and mutually beneficial ways.
We affirm the significant role women should play in the local church and that every leadership opportunity is open to women except those excluded by Scripture in the home and church. Specifically, the Scriptures state that husbands are called to lead and love in the home as Christ loves the church (Eph. 5:22-33) and that a plurality of men are to serve the
church as elders/pastors (1 Timothy 3:2).
We believe that upon placing one’s faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, the believer is made part of the Body of Christ, the one universal Church, of which Jesus Christ is the Head. The Scriptures command believers to gather locally in order to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, fellowship, the ordinances of baptism and communion, service to the local body through the development and use of talents and spiritual gifts, and outreach to the world to make disciples (Ephesians 1:22–23; Acts 2:42–46; 1 Corinthians 14:26; Matthew 28:18–20). Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the Church under the watchful care of a plurality of elders. A church’s members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ (Ephesians 4:16).
Baptism and Communion
We believe that Christian baptism is a public declaration of the believer’s salvation in Christ, identifying with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection symbolized by immersion in water. The Lord’s Supper is the united commemoration by believers of Christ’s death until He comes and should be preceded by a careful self- examination (Acts 2:41; Romans 6:3–6; 1 Corinthians 11:20–29).
We believe it is the aim, duty, and privilege of every believer and local church fellowship to glorify God by responding as active participants in the Great Commission call of Jesus Christ to go and make disciples of all nations. We believe the primary focus and priority of this call is centered on efforts that establish, strengthen, and reproduce biblically-based churches, which will then plant churches that plant churches for future generations and God’s glory.
Things to Come
We believe in and expectantly await the glorious, visible, personal, return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The blessed hope of His return has vital bearing on the personal life, service, and mission of the believer (1 Thessalonians 4:13–18). We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The lost will be raised to judgment and experience eternal wrath in hell. The saved will be raised to eternal joy in the new heaven and new earth in the manifested presence of God (Acts 1:3, 9; Hebrews 7:25–26).