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BELIEVE

Our statement of Faith.

THE NATURE OF GOD

We believe that this universe, including man, was created by an all-powerful uncreated Being revealed in the scripture as God. His abilities and knowledge are beyond the ability of man to fully comprehend. He is revealed as both perfect love, which finds its ultimate expression in the cross, and perfect justice, which find its ultimate expression in the final judgment. Furthermore, this God is manifested in three persons – the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit, which, although equal, manifest His nature and mission in distinctive ways (Phil. 2:5-6). God the Father is the creator and the One Who sent His Son and authored the plan of salvation (John 14:28; John 3:16). The Son is the Word made flesh, carried out the plan of redemption through His death and resurrection, and serves as our High Priest and Mediator (John 1:1, John 1:18, John 1:14; Heb. 4:14-16; 1 Tim. 2:5). The Holy Spirit proceeds forth from both the Father and the Son, is eternal, and is literally “God on the earth”, revealing Himself to both unbelievers and believers (John 15:26; 16:7-9; Acts 1:8; Rom. 5:5; 8:4).

THE SCRIPTURES

We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, God’s recorded Will, through holy men of old who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. The New Covenant, as recorded in the New Testament, we accept as our infallible guide in matters pertaining to belief and conduct. (2 Tim. 3:16, 1 Thess. 2:13, 2 Peter 1:21).

MAN, HIS FALL, AND SALVATION

Man is a created being, made in the likeness and image of God. Through man’s transgression and fall, sin came into the world, and human nature has universally corrupted. This corruption is what the Bible calls “sin”. Sin is whatever is contrary to God’s will, as revealed in scripture. It is God, our ultimate Authority, and not man, Who defines good and evil. In fact, it is this desire on the part of man to define good and evil on his terms instead of God’s, that is part of our sinful behavior (Gen. 2:17). This corrupted state of human nature and the sinful acts that have followed has resulted in a necessary separation from God, Who is holy. Man, because he is created in God’s image, is a spiritual being, and is thus incomplete outside of ongoing communion with God. Jesus Christ, the Son of God gave His life and shed His blood to redeem and restore man back to God. Salvation is the gift of God to man, separate from works and the law, and is made available by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, producing works acceptable to God. Because of the corruption of human nature, the new birth is necessary for man’s salvation (Rom. 5:14, Rom. 3:10-19; Rom. 3:23; Eph. 2:8-10; John 3:3,5; 2 Cor. 5:17).

THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST

The primary message of the Church is to teach and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. This ‘good news’ (the literal meaning of the word ‘gospel’) includes the forgiveness of sins and the free gift of right standing with God, but is not limited to this, contrary to popular teaching and understanding. The gospel includes human transformation and the reign of God over the human condition in every significant area of individual life, both now and forever. This ‘reign’ over human affairs is what the Bible calls the Kingdom of God, and is fundamental to our understanding of the gospel. Jesus said it is this “gospel of the Kingdom” that would be preached in the last days (Matt. 24:14). Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 1:15 ; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-48; John 3:3,5; 2 Cor. 5:17, 21.

REPENTANCE AND FAITH NECESSARY FOR SALVATION

Because of the universal corruption of human nature, and the resulting corruption of a fallen world system, man’s first step toward salvation is repentance from sins and faith toward God. Our faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection, as full payment for our sins results in our beginning to know God in a personal way. This ‘personal relationship’ (as opposed to just conformity to a religious system) is the essence of eternal life (Mark 1:15; Luke 13:3; John 3:16; John 17:3; 1 Jn. 5:12).

WATER BAPTISM

Baptism in water is by immersion and is a direct commandment of our Lord for believers only. The ordinance identifies the believer with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, and, in this ‘union,’ accomplishes it’s own ‘burial’ of our old sinful nature. Thus, water baptism is more than just symbolic, we believe that a spiritual transaction takes place in the ``burying`` of the old nature that has been crucified with Christ. (Matt 28:19; Rom. 6:4; Col 2:12; Acts 8:36-39).

THE INFILLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

The infilling of the Holy Spirit is a gift from God as promised by the Lord Jesus Christ to all believers in this dispensation. It is given to empower believers in their walk with God and in their witness. It is given to believers who ask, and yield themselves to this infilling. It is many times accompanied with the laying on of hands. This ‘baptism of the Spirit’ also results in the ability to pray in the spirit as well as in your own understanding (I Cor. 14:15) for prayer and worship. (Matt. 3:11; Luke 11:13; John 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:4; Acts 2:38-39; Acts 8:14-17; Acts 19:1-7; I Cor. 14:2,4,14,15).

SPIRITUAL GIFTS

We believe that all of the spiritual gifts listed in the New Testament are still in operation today, and are intended by God to edify believers, meet people’s needs, and further the gospel of Jesus Christ. We believe the public exercise of spiritual gifts should be done in an orderly fashion, as defined in scripture. (I Cor. 12:7-11; Mark 16:17-18; I Cor. 14:1-3, 12, 14-16, 27-29, 32, 39-40)

DIVINE HEALING

We believe that divine healing is available for the physical ills of the human body and is wrought by the power of God through the prayer of faith, by the laying on of hands, anointing with oil, and other means. (Mark 16:18; James 5:14,15; 1 Peter 2:24; Matt. 8:17; Isa. 53:4,5)

THE CHURCH

The primary institution ordained by God, outside of the family, is the church, and therefore there is no substitution for this for the believer. It is where we find family, support, accountability, stability, God’s manifest presence, and a consistent witness of the truth of God’s Word. We believe that to be healthy, a believer must be in a good ongoing relationship with a local church. God has ordained spiritual leaders (pastors, teachers, elders) to lead the church and feed, equip, and oversee the health of the saints. All of our Christian endeavors should be grounded in the fellowship of a healthy local church, including missions and para church activities (Matt. 16:18; Psalms 92:13-14; I Cor. 12:18-21; Acts 2:42; Eph. 1:23; Eph. 2:20-22; 1 Tim. 3:15; Heb. 10:25; Heb. 13:17).

THE LAST DAYS AND THE RETURN OF CHRIST

We believe that just as Jesus literally came the first time, He will literally come the second time. History has an end, and God will end it at His time. We believe that what is happening with the state of Israel, the rapidly deteriorating moral culture, the increase of knowledge and travel, and state of lawlessness in our world are strong indicators that we could be nearing the end of the last days. Our Lord Jesus shall return to earth as Sovereign Lord and Ruler. (Acts 1:11; 1 Thess. 4:16,17; Dan. 12:4; Luke 21:24; Joel 3:1-2; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 2 Pet. 3:1-9)

RESURRECTION OF THE JUST AND THE ETERNAL STATE OF THE RIGHTEOUS

We believe that those who die “in Christ” will be resurrected to a glorious, eternal state, to be forever with the Lord. Our Lord Jesus shall return to earth as Sovereign Lord and Ruler. (I Cor. 15:22-58; 2 Cor. 5:1-5; John 14:1-6; Revelation 21, 22)

JUDGEMENT AND THE ETERNAL STATE OF THE UNRIGHTEOUS

The Bible teaches that those who physically die in their sins without being reconciled to God through Jesus Christ are hopelessly and eternally lost in a state of conscious eternal torment known as the lake of fire and therefore have no further opportunity of repenting. Just as heaven is described as eternal, so is the eternal judgment on those outside of Christ (John 3:18; 2 Thess. 1:8-10; Heb. 9:27; Rev. 20:15)