WHAT WE BELIEVE
People are God’s Treasure
Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s creation. In the beginning, man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By this free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalms 1:1-6; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12,19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18,29; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19,21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.
Salvation is by Faith
We believe that people were created in the image of God and willfully disobeyed Him, bringing physical and spiritual death. This disobedience is known as sin. All human beings are born with a sin nature, separated from God, and in need of a savior. That salvation comes only through a faith relationship with Jesus Christ, the Savior, as a person repents of sin and receives Christ’s forgiveness and the promise of eternal life. Salvation is instantaneous and accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God. This salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works. Those who are saved are secure in Christ forever.
Genesis 3:15; Exodus 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26; 27:22-28:6; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14,29; 3:3-21,36; 5:24; 10:9,28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32; Romans 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3ff.; 5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18,29-39; 10:9-10,13; 13:11-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18,30; 6:19-20; 15:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-22; 4:11-16; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 1:9-22; 3:1ff.; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Timothy 1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8,14; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6-2:11; Revelation 3:20; 21:1-22:5.
Baptism by Immersion is the Biblical Norm for the Believer
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead.
The Church is God’s Plan
We believe that all people who put their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body, the Church, of which Christ is the head. The primary physical expression of the Church on earth is in autonomous local congregations of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel. The purpose of the Church is to glorify God by taking the Gospel to the entire world and by building its members up in Christ-likeness through the instruction of God’s Word, fellowship, service, worship, and prayer.
Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2:1-3:22; 21:2-3.
God Holds the Future
We believe that God will bring the world to its appropriate end in His own time and in His own way. At that time, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth. Both the saved and unsaved will be resurrected physically to be judged by Christ in righteousness. Those who have received Christ will, in their resurrected and glorified bodies, receive their reward and dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord. Those who have refused Christ will spend eternity in Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The certain return of Christ is the hope that motivates believers to be faithful in their daily lives.
Isaiah 2:4; 11:9; Matthew 16:27; 18:8-9; 19:28; 24:27,30,36,44; 25:31-46; 26:64; Mark 8:38; 9:43-48; Luke 12:40,48; 16:19-26; 17:22-37; 21:27-28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15:24-28,35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 1:5; 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 5:1ff.; 2 Thessalonians 1:7ff.; 2; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:27-28; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7ff.; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14; Revelation 1:18; 3:11; 20:1-22:13.
The Family is God’s Idea and is the Foundational Institution of Human Society
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 to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of 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, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, 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 Gods pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.
Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.
God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer’s cause on earth.
Genesis 14:20; Leviticus 27:30-32; Deuteronomy 8:18; Malachi 3:8-12; Matthew 6:1- 4,19-21; 19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21,42; 16:1-13; Acts 2:44-47; 5:1-11; 17:24-25; 20:35; Romans 6:6-22; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9:15; 12:15; Philippians 4:10-19; 1 Peter 1:18-19.
1. We Value Full Devotion to Christ and His Cause
We believe that whole-hearted devotion to Jesus Christ is the biblical norm for the believer. Full devotion should be expected of and encouraged by every believer in the local assembly (Matthew 10:34-38; Ephesians 1:22, 23).
2. We Value Biblical Teaching and Preaching
3. We Value Authentic Worship
We acknowledge that God is worthy of our worship and the primary responsibility of the individual and church is to worship God in spirit and truth. We believe worship involves the entire person: spirit, body, emotions, intellect, and will. We also believe that worship is a lifestyle of obedience, not simply a once-a-week experience (John 4:24; Romans 12:1, 2; Philippians 3:3).
4. We Value Discipleship
We believe that Christ’s followers should strive for continuous spiritual growth through godly relationships. It is the responsibility of the local assembly to present everyone mature in Christ. (Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Peter 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:2; Ephesians 4:11-16).
5. We Value Prayer
We rely on private and corporate prayer in order to fulfill God’s purposes for the church and our lives (Matthew 7:7-11).
6. We Value Genuine and Authentic Community
We expect each member of the local assembly to engage in activities that promote godly relationships with other members of the local assembly (Acts 2:44-46).
7. We Value the Family
8. We Value a Grace-Orientation to Ministry
We emphasize God’s unconditional acceptance and forgiveness through Christ and encourage our people to serve Him out of love and gratitude rather than guilt, duty and obligation (Romans 6:14, 12:1; Galatians 4:6-7).
9. We Value People as God Values People
We believe that people are valuable to God and therefore valuable to us. We spend time and energy on that which we value, therefore, we should spend time and energy pursuing people as Christ did. Our responsibility is to be faithful in showing God’s love to people through caring relationships and to be ready to share the gospel with them through a variety of methods as the Holy Spirit gives the opportunity (Luke 19:10, 1 Peter 3:15-16).
10. We Value Equipping and Mobilizing Members to Minister
We believe that everyone in the body of Christ has been uniquely designed to serve God. We believe that it is the responsibility of the church to equip, encourage, and actively help the individual believer find the place where God has designed him or her to serve in the body of Christ. We believe that this place of service may or may not be within the context of the local church (1 Corinthians 12:1-31; Ephesians 4:11-13).
11. We Value Creativity and Innovation
We will constantly evaluate our forms and methods, seeking cultural relevance and maximum ministry effectiveness for Christ. We must understand our culture and minister the truth of God’s Word in the most effective way possible in our community and beyond (1 Chronicles 12:32; Acts 17:16-34).
12. We Value Ministry Excellence
13. We Value Unity In Diversity
We believe that every Christian is a member of the body of Christ and that the Church Christ is building transcends all denominations and religious affiliations and all cultural differences. We believe that unity of Spirit does not mean uniformity of practice. The local church is composed of diverse members; so, too, the Church Christ is building is composed of diverse groups of people. We believe that every person in the body of Christ should strive for unity through loving relationships that are characterized by encouragement, teamwork, and purpose (Luke 9:46-50; John 17:21, 22’ Romans 12:18; 1 Corinthians 12:12, 13; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18; Ephesians 4:1-7, 13).
14. We Value Local, Domestic, and Foreign Missions
We believe that God has called the church to reach all people throughout the world and we will use whatever means possible to reach them with the saving message of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8) without compromising our integrity or our commitment to biblical truth (Acts 2:41; Acts 4:4).