Statement of Faith

Bible

We believe the Holy Bible to be the inspired Word of God and our standard for faith and practice. We believe it is the standard by which all subsequent revelation is to be evaluated. 

God

We believe in the one triune God revealed in the Bible. He is Creator, Redeemer, and the Sovereign Ruler of creation. He is the Author of truth, love, and faith.

Sin

We believe that man was created in the image of God. Through disobedience mankind is separated from God, and without God he is without hope.

Salvation

We believe man’s salvation is through renouncing his self-determination, taking responsibility for his disobedience, turning from his sin, and seeking forgiveness from God.
Further, we believe such a penitent person must put his faith in Jesus Christ - whom we believe to be the incarnate Son of God, who died substitutionally for man’s transgressions, who was raised from the dead on the third day, and who ascended back to the Father. The scriptural evidence that one has repented and put his faith in Jesus Christ includes public confession, baptism in water, and coming under the pastoral instruction of the Church to walk in the ways of God.

Covenant Life

We believe God is a covenant-making and covenant-keeping God. That is, He has made promises to those who respond to His love by committing their lives to Him.
His promise of forgiveness and eternal life begins the moment one commits himself to Him. (From His sovereign perspective He knows those who are His.) He is the source of life and all necessary provision to the one believing. This provision, including both spiritual and natural resources, is available in abundance.
We believe those who accept His lordship should commit themselves to His will for their lives and to His appointed pastoral care for them, and to love the Church as He does. Thus, all those who are in covenant with God are also in covenant with one another.
God made this new covenant in the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus gave His life for us. When one accepts Jesus as Lord, he pledges his life also to the will of God. Jesus then sends the Holy Spirit to abide in the one believing, thus sealing the covenant and writing it in his heart.
We believe that all who so confess Jesus Christ as Lord and King are part of His Kingdom and should live in covenant loyalty with one another. This means laying down their lives for one another if necessary. On a daily basis, it means learning to love one another in practical ways, forgiving one another, serving one another, and correcting one another in a brotherly fashion when necessary.

Church

We believe the very nature and purpose of God is revealed in His Church. Jesus came and established it as His Body in the earth. We believe the Church Universal consists of all who live under Jesus’ lordship, while the Church Local is a body of believing people, baptized and joined together, practicing the new covenant. Since the church is one as God is one, the Church Local must seek to walk in harmony with the Church Universal.
We believe that Jesus Christ, who is Lord of the Church, has established government and ministry in the Church on earth; apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers are set in the Church by the Lord to mature it and inspire it to do His work on the earth.
We believe the scriptural norm calls for each local church to have a plurality of elders or pastors with one pastor presiding. We recognize, however, the validity for variety in church governments as the Lord may lead other Christian groups.
We believe the Lord sets His people under pastoral care in the Church for maturing of character and developing of ministry.

Holy Spirit

There are many experiences which are valid encounters with God, the Holy Spirit. “Baptism with the Holy Spirit,” “filled with the Holy Spirit,” “anointed with the Holy Spirit” are among those scriptural terms used to describe such encounters with the Holy Spirit. These experiences should produce greater commitment to God’s will, greater realization of His power, and greater edification of His Church.
We further believe the Holy Spirit imparts gifts or abilities greater than our own to accomplish God’s will. These gifts include miraculous healings, revelations, and utterances. These gifts ought to be operative in the Church, supervised by mature leaders, and ministered in love by Christians whose lives reflect godly character.

Priesthood of the Believer

We believe in the priesthood of the believer. By the shedding of His blood, Jesus has become the believer’s High Priest and made it possible for each Christian to have free access to the presence of the Father. In His presence, each one can come to know God and to receive from Him. Each Christian, likewise, is responsible to come to the Father in confidence and faith as a priest unto Him under the new covenant, and there to minister both the worship of his lips and the worship of his life sacrificially presented to God.

Freedom of Conscience

We believe in freedom of conscience. One is responsible for his own choices and behavior. While God has ordained both civil and spiritual government, we believe each person is still directly accountable to Him. Therefore, pastors can give strong direction, and the churches can make strong demands, but all services must he rendered voluntarily, joyfully, and from a free conscience.

Evangelism

We believe in world evangelism. We accept the commission of Jesus Christ, who is Lord, to make disciples of all nations, to baptize them, and to teach them to observe His commandments. We join with all those believing in Him to accomplish this urgent task. We accept this as a personal commission, as well as a commission to the entire Church.

Ecumenism

Our understanding is that God views His people as one people. This is true historically and currently. All Christians share in the responsibility for division and reconciliation. There exists in all of our people a deep prayer to see God’s people walk together in peace.

Civil Authority

We believe God is the author of all authority. He has ordained civil government for the establishment of order and peace in the nations. He has ordained government in His Church to bring it to righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. We believe there should be mutual respect between civil and spiritual authority. While civil authority is separated from church government, it should not be separated from God and His Law.
We believe it is the task of civil authority to maintain order and freedom among those responsible to it. We believe it is the task of the Church to speak prophetically to the nations, both by its proclamations and its living example. The Church must faithfully proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord until every knee bows and every tongue confesses that He is Lord to the glory of God. Meanwhile, the Church is admonished to pray for and honor civil government.
We believe history shows that a church established and supported by the State tends to lose its ability to represent God’s will to that nation, and Christians of persuasions other than those sanctioned by the State tend to lose their freedom to worship after the dictates of their own consciences.

Tithes and Offerings

We believe the Church should be supported by the tithes and offerings of those committed to its mission. We further believe that when people serve God with a free spirit, there is financial abundance to accomplish God’s purpose.

Christ’s Return

We believe Jesus Christ will return to the earth in a visible way. His purpose will be to manifest His government in the earth. Christians are exhorted to be watchful and obedient until His appearing. While there are many viewpoints concerning His second coming, we believe Christians should lovingly look for His appearing, giving full attention to obedience while He tarries. We believe His appearing will occasion the resurrection of the righteous who have died and who are now with Him.

Judgment

We believe in a final judgment at the end of the age. The righteous and the wicked shall stand before Him and be judged. Those who have righteousness produced by faith will be rewarded with the privilege of ruling with Him and enjoying His eternal blessings. Those who are wicked will be eternally punished.


Conclusion

These principles of our faith are foundations for God’s continuing leadership in our lives. We realize that our statement of faith does not relieve us of the responsibility to live by faith. We gratefully acknowledge those who have served Him in ages past, and we bless them in their eternal state for their faithfulness. We acknowledge those who serve Jesus Christ now, whose doctrinal expressions may be different from our own. We desire to walk with them as brothers and sisters. Our statements are not to be construed as walls but as doors through which others may communicate with us and we with them.