Unabridged Statement of faith
All Scripture is the literal written Word of God as recorded in its original language by its authors through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. These Scriptures lack error, defect, or contradiction of any kind. Scripture, in its entirety, centers upon our Lord Jesus Christ and cannot be properly understood apart from its relationship to the Person or work of Christ. God designed the Scriptures, from their inspiration to their institution as the Holy Bible, for the practical instruction of all Christians.
(Mark 12:36; Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Acts 17:2–3; Acts 18:28; Acts 16:22–23; Acts 28:23; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21)
God has revealed Himself to be perfect in love and righteousness and is worthy of our praise and obedience. God eternally exists in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, also known as the Trinity. These three are the one true God, having exactly the same nature, attributes, and perfection. God is sovereign over all and Creator of all, both material and spiritual.
(Genesis 1:1; Matthew 28:18–19; Mark 12:29; John 1:14; John 10:30; John 14:9–10; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 1:1–3; Revelation 1:4–6)
Man was originally created in the image and likeness of God, but sinned against God and lost his spiritual life becoming spiritually dead or fallen. This death, or total depravity of the human nature, was transmitted into the entire human race through the first Adam. Therefore, every human born into this world is morally and spiritually dead with a nature that holds no spark of divine life. Man cannot see God, nor enter His Kingdom without the divine grace available only through Jesus Christ.
The Lord Jesus Christ, who has existed eternally with God as a member of the Trinity, entered our world to make God apparent to mankind, to fulfill the prophecies preannouncing His arrival, and to save a world dead in sin. Being the very Son of God, Jesus was supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. Both fully God and fully man, Jesus Christ lived the only perfect, sinless life this earth has ever seen. Because of His love for the lost, Christ voluntarily laid down His life and was crucified. He became the divinely provided sacrificial Lamb that took away the sin of the world. He bore the holy judgments against sin imposed by a righteous God and became the propitiation of our sin. His death was substitutionary in the most absolute sense—the just for the unjust—and by His death, He became the Savior of the lost. He was then resurrected by the power of God in the same body three days after His death. After appearing to His disciples and others over a period of 40 days, Jesus Christ ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father with all things put in subject under Him, and He will one day return to judge the living and the dead.
(Luke 1:30–35; John 1:1–2; John 1:14; John 1:18; John 1:29; John 20:19–20; Acts 2:22–24; Romans 3:25–26; Ephesians 1:22–23; Philippians 2:5–8; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 3:18)
THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit, as the third member of the Trinity, is equal to both the Father and the Son in holding all the attributes of God and deserving of the same praise. According to the promise of God, the Holy Spirit came into this world in a special way on the day of Pentecost to unite believers into one body, testify of Christ, to restrain evil, to convict of sin, and to seal and empower all believers. The Holy Spirit will neither depart from the Church nor from even the weakest of Christians until Christ returns again.
(John 3:5–6; John 14:16–17; John 16:7–15; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 2:22; Ephesians 4:30; Ephesians 5:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:5–7; 1 John 2:20–27)
Due to mankind’s predicament of universal spiritual death, no one can enter the eternal Kingdom of God unless they have been reconciled to God through the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ. All those who place their trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior and their Lord will receive this salvation. Salvation and eternal life are solely possible through God’s provided means of redemption in Jesus Christ. Neither human effort nor religious affiliation can earn salvation. Salvation is found through Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone. All who reject Jesus Christ and the salvation available through His sacrifice will exist for eternity, separated from God, in a state of endless torment and anguish.
(Isaiah 64:6; Matthew 26:27–29; John 1:12; John 3:7–18; John 3:36; John 5:24; John 6:28–29; Acts 13:38–39; Acts 16:31; Romans 1:16–17; Romans 3:22–23; Romans 5:6–11; Romans 10:4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13–14; Galatians 3:22; Ephesians 1:7; Philippians 3:4–9; Titus 3:4–5; 1 Peter 1:18–19)
All genuine believers once they have been reconciled to God will remain in Him eternally. Due to the Christian’s rebirth through salvation, his/her adoption into the Kingdom of God, the sealing of the Holy Spirit, and the clear and repeated promises of God, it is impossible for a genuine believer to lose salvation. All teaching to the contrary is scriptural heresy. However, because of God’s holy and righteous nature, He will discipline and correct His children in love when they sin.
(John 5:24; John 10:28; John 14:16–17; John 17:11; Romans 8:28–29; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1–2; 1 John 5:13; Jude 24)
All who have truly placed their trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior and their Lord, and have been sealed and united by the Holy Spirit, and are members of the universal Church. Membership in the organized churches of this world is irrelevant to fellowship within the universal Church. As the Holy Spirit unites them, all members are charged with keeping this unity in peace and loving one another with a pure heart. Water Baptism and Communion are the only scriptural sacraments of the Church.
(Matthew 16:16–18; Matthew 28:19; Luke 22:19–20; Acts 2:42–47; Acts 10:47–48; Acts 16:32–33; Acts 18:7–8; Romans 12:4–5; 1 Corinthians 11:26; 1 Corinthians 12:12–27; Ephesians 1:20–25; Ephesians 4:3–10; Colossians 3:12–15)
Through the dwelling of the Holy Spirit within every believer, certain gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to believers for the encouragement, maturing, and benefit of the Church. The Holy Spirit gives these gifts in differing amounts, with all believers holding at least one spiritual gift. Spiritual gifts are separate and distinct from talents or personality tendencies and are divinely appointed at the moment of salvation to enable the believer for service within the Kingdom of God. The spiritual gifts appointed by God are stated and defined by Scripture.
(Romans 12:6–8; 1 Corinthians 12:4–11; Ephesians 4:11–13)
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
Christians are called to live a holy life and to reject the priorities and desires of their individual sinful nature and of this spiritually dead world. The sinful nature will never be completely erased in this present life. However, the Christian responsibility is to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Ultimately, the Christian life is a process—a journey that is carried out daily with reliance upon the Holy Spirit to renew the heart of every believer.
God created a vast body of sinless, spiritual beings, known as angels. Lucifer, the highest in rank of these angels, sinned in pride and rebelled against God becoming Satan. A great company of the angels followed Lucifer in his fall and some have become demons, active agents in carrying out his evil purposes, while God is holding others for judgment at the end of time. Satan is the originator of sin and led the human race into their moral fall and subsequent spiritual death. As the enemy of God and Christians, Satan works to counterfeit the works of God and to lead people astray from the path of truth. However, Satan’s influence is limited by God’s permissive will and his eventual demise is clearly recorded in Scripture. The great multitudes of unfallen angels remain before God’s heavenly throne and are sent as ministers to God’s people and His Church.
(Genesis 3:1–19; Isaiah 14:12–17; Ezekiel 28:11–19; Luke 15:10; Romans 5:12–14; 2 Corinthians 4:3–4; 2 Corinthians 11:13–15; Ephesians 1:21; Ephesians 6:10–12; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; 1 Timothy 3:6, 4:1–3; Hebrews 1:14; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Revelation 7:12)
At the climax of all time and history, the Lord Jesus Christ will return to earth the same way in which He left. He will descend through the clouds, to forever abolish Satan and his work. At this time, all of mankind will be judged and those who have rejected Jesus Christ will be forever separated from God’s presence. Genuine believers in Christ, both alive and dead, will be gathered to Jesus to reign with Him for eternity under universal righteousness. This hope, to which all believers should await with eager anticipation, will be preceded by a period of great tribulation over the earth. In our present time, we are living with an imminent expectation of Christ's return and the complete restoration of God's eternal Kingdom.
(I Thessalonians 4:13–18; Philippians 3:20; Matthew 24:15–31; Zechariah 14:4–11; Revelation 20:1–6)