About the Bible
We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were verbally inspired of God and inerrant in their originals, and that they afford the basis for our doctrine, practice, and conduct, and that they are of supreme and final authority.
[2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:10-21]
We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three Persons—Father, Son and Holy Spirit, having the same attributes and perfections.
[Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14]
We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and life; who concerns Himself in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death, all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
[Matthew 28:19; John 1:12-13, 20:17; 2 Corinthians 11:31]
We believe eternal God the Son became the sinless Son of God and Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, fully human without ceasing to be fully God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, so that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man by shedding His blood on the cross in our place. After that, Jesus rose from the dead literally and now sits at the right hand of God, as our Great High Priest.
[Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2; Romans 3:24-25; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 2:24; Acts 1:9-10; Romans 8:24; Hebrews 7:25, 9:24; 1 John 2:1-2]
About the Holy Spirit
We believe God the Holy Spirit convicts sinners of sin, righteousness, and judgment, making believers of repentant sinners, baptizing them into the Body of Christ at the moment of new birth, assuring them of Heaven and enabling them, by His permanent indwelling, to live a godly life.
[John 16:8; Romans 8:9, 12; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 1:13-14, 5:18]
We believe Satan is an angelic being, the prideful author of sin and the one who enticed a third of God’s angels and Adam and Eve to disobey God’s commands. He is the open and declared enemy of God and man, though often disguised as an Angel of Light. For his rebellion, he will be eternally punished in the lake of fire along with his demons.
[Job 1:6-7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 4:2-11, 25:41; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, 11:14; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 20:10]
We believe man was created in the image and likeness of God and not the end result of an evolutionary process. God created the universe out of nothing and created Adam and Eve on the sixth creative day. We believe when Adam and Eve sinned, all mankind sinned and became alienated from God. Mankind is utterly unable in itself to remedy its lost condition, even by works of righteousness.
[Genesis 1:26-27, 3:1-24; Romans 3:22-23; Ephesians 2:1-3, 12; Titus 3:5]
We believe salvation is the gift of God offered to all sinners and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. All who receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal savior are born again by the Spirit of God, and they become children of God through this new birth.
[John 1:12, 3:3-7; Romans 5:12, 8:14-17; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-9; 1 Peter 1:18-19]
About our conduct
We believe all Christians have been separated to live for God, which involves being in the world but not of the world. We are called to be transformed by God’s Word and not conformed to the patterns of this world, be they in areas of conduct or belief. Godly conduct applies to such areas as marriage, business, ministry, and personal habits.
[Romans, 12:1-2, 16:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:13-15]
About end times
We believe that Jesus Christ will return for His Bride, the Church. We believe the redeemed will be judged at Christ’s judgment seat and rewards will be based on the worth of the believer’s works in God’s eyes.
[1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17; 2 Thessalonians 2; Revelation 3:10; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15]
We believe life continues after physical death, and that when Jesus returns all men will be bodily raised, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and eternal punishment. We believe this present earth will be destroyed and Christ will make a new heaven and a new earth, which He will rule with glory.
[Matthew 25:46; John 5:28-29; 11:25-56; Revelation 20:5-6; 12-13; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21:1-2]
About Our Core Beliefs
Core beliefs are those which we believe are essential to this interaction. We don’t change or compromise them. There’s an old saying attributed to Augustine, which says: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity.”
What unites us as followers of Christ vastly outweighs what might divide us. In the essentials, such as the deity of Christ, the Trinity, justification by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, etc., we need to be in agreement. We cannot compromise on these major issues of the Gospel. These are “non-negotiables”; absolutes, if you will. In fact, to depart from these doctrines is to depart from the Christian faith itself.
But anything else is up for grabs. Christians hold differing views about important, yet non-essential matters. For instance, whether someone believes in the baptism of infants or whether God still heals today, are important issues; yet these are not essential to someone being included or excluded from the kingdom of God. Someone is not a “false teacher” who takes a different position on these issues.
The same is true for doctrines such as whether someone believes in a “pre-tribulation” rapture or a “post-tribulation” rapture or for those who take different positions on the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. Sincere, godly, dedicated believers believe different things about these issues, but it does not mean that one person is saved and another damned because they have a different view.
Scripture commands us to “maintain the unity of the Spirit” (Ephesians, chapter 4, verse 3) “until we all come to the unity of the faith.” (Ephesians chapter 4, verse 13).
Limits of a doctrinal statement
Doctrinal statements can’t truly reflect the experience of following Christ
To be honest, the entire Bible represents our “doctrinal statement,” since it provides the most complete description of God and how He operates than any other document or book ever written.
So to pick a few verses to describe the fullness of the Bible, and what a church believes, becomes a daunting task. Which verses to use? Who chooses the verses? You get the idea.
Doctrinal statements—such as ours—reflect only some of our beliefs, and are offered only to provide a sense of where we fall on core beliefs.
Knowing doctrine doesn’t mean we are changed people
If one were to read the owner’s manual for a car, write notes in the margins, even highlight key information, but one never actually got into the car and drove it, the knowledge about the car becomes useless.
The same is true about doctrine. It’s good to know, but if we don’t let the truth of God sink in, permeate, and ultimately work out into our daily lives, our ability to quote chapter and verse to support a doctrinal position helps no one.
Ultimately, we’re more concerned that people become acquainted with Jesus Christ, and learn to take Him at His Word. We seek to live as His disciples in a world that desperately needs to hear Jesus’ invitation to be free in Him. Do we live each day in a way that more reflects the holy and loving nature of Jesus Christ? Do we show love in our interactions with others in the church, those we work with, our neighbors, strangers driving past us on the road? Do our lives reflect the true fruit of a life saturated in, led by, and surrendered to the Holy Spirit (Galatians, chapter 5, verses 22-23)?
The Apostles Creed
One of the basic creeds of the church is called the Apostles’ Creed. It received this title because of its great antiquity: it dates from very early times in the Church, a half century or so from the last writings of the New Testament.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
from where He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy *catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.
Note: The word “catholic” refers not to the Roman Catholic Church, but to the universal church of the Lord Jesus Christ.