Statement of Faith

Statement of Faith
Updated 2017

The Holy Bible was written by men who were divinely inspired and is the record of God’s revelation of Himself to man. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and infallible truth for its matter. It reveals the principles by which God judges us and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions and practice should be tried. Jesus Christ is the criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted. (Joshua 1:8; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:17-19; John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

There is one, and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as three distinct and coexisting persons, but without division of nature, essence, or being. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 44:8, 46:9-10; Matthew 28:19; John 10:30)

God, as Father, reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of events of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all loving, and all wise. God is Father to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men. (Psalm 90:2; John 3:16, 4:24; Titus 1:1-3)

Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself the demands and necessities of human nature, identifying Himself completely with mankind, yet remaining without sin. He fulfilled the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His death on the cross. He accomplished the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God and fully Man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to accomplish His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever-present Lord. (Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:23; Mark 16:19; Luke 1:34-35; John 1:1-3, 8:58, 11:25; 1 Timothy 3:16; Revelation 1:8)

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment. He calls men to the Savior and effects regeneration. He indwells the regenerate. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which Christians serve God through His church. He seals the believer until the day of final redemption. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service. (John 14:26, 16:8-11; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:26, 15:13, 16; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Hebrews 9:14)

Man was created by the special act of God, in His own image, and is the crowning work of His creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by God with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God by disobeying His command, resulting in his fall from his original innocence. Therefore man inherits a nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law, and is under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident because God created man in His own image and because Christ died for man. (Genesis 1:26, 2:7; Acts 3:19, 20:21; Romans 3:23; Ephesians 2:1- 9)

Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man and is given freely to all who, by faith, accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, sanctification, and glorification. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby lost sinners become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer into a relationship of peace and favor with God. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God’s purpose and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual perfection through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person’s life and will be complete (body, soul, and spirit) with the return of Jesus Christ. The culmination of salvation is glorification and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed. (John 3:15, 6:40; Romans 6:17-18, 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 2:8; Colossians 3:10; Hebrews 7:25)

God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift revealing the union between Christ and His church. Marriage provides for the man and the woman the framework for intimate companionship, the channel for sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.

The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.

Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent example and loving discipline, to make choices based on Biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents. (Genesis 1:28, 2:22-24; Matthew 19:6; Ephesians 5:22-26; Colossians 3:18-20)

God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be sent to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous, in their resurrected and glorified bodies, will receive their reward and will dwell forever with the Lord. (Matthew 16:27, 25:31-46; Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; Revelation 19:11-16, 20:11-15)

The new birth of man’s spirit by God’s Holy Spirit gives birth to the fruit of the Spirit which includes a love for others. Missionary effort therefore, rests upon the regenerate as expressed and commanded in the teachings of Christ. It is the duty of every child of God to seek opportunities to guide the lost to Christ by preaching, teaching, and sharing the Gospel of Christ. (Psalm 96:3; Matthew 28:18-19; Romans 1:16; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 2:10)

God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians are therefore obligated to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions, and they should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians are to contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer’s cause on earth. (Malachi 3:10; 1 Corinthians 9:6-11, 14; Ephesians 6:7; Colossians 1:24-25; 1 Peter 4:10)

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