Our Essential Beliefs
1. The Scriptures
We believe that the Bible is God’s written revelation to man, and thus the sixty-six books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit constitute the plenary (inspired equally in all parts) Word of God. We believe that the Word of God is an objective, propositional revelation verbally inspired in every word, inerrant in the original documents, infallible, and God-breathed. We believe that the Bible is to be believed as God’s instruction, in all that it teaches; obeyed as God’s command, in all that it requires; and trusted as God’s pledge, in all that it promises.
2. God the Father
We believe in one God, eternally existing in three equally divine Persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This one true and living God is infinitely perfect both in His love and in His holiness. He is the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, and is therefore worthy to receive all glory and adoration. Immortal and eternal, He perfectly and exhaustively knows the end from the beginning, sustains and sovereignly rules over all things, and providentially brings about his eternal good purposes to redeem a people for Himself and restore His fallen creation.
3. God the Son
We believe that Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellencies and is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father. In the incarnation (God becoming man) Christ surrendered only the prerogatives of deity but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind. In His incarnation, the eternally existing second Person of the Trinity accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God-Man. We believe that Jesus Christ was virgin born, that He was God incarnate, and that the purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God, redeem humanity, and rule over God’s kingdom. In the incarnation, the second Person of the Trinity laid aside His right to the full prerogatives of coexistence with God and took on an existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes. We believe that Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross, and that His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive. On the basis of the efficacy of the death of Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from the punishment, the penalty, the power, and one day the very presence of sin; and that he is declared righteous, given eternal life, and adopted into the family of God.
4. God the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity, including intellect, emotions, will, eternality, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, and truthfulness. In all the divine attributes He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son. We teach that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption. We teach that the Holy Spirit is the divine Teacher, who guided the apostles and prophets into all truth as they committed to writing God’s revelation, the Bible. Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation, and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with (controlled by) the Spirit.
We believe that human beings were directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. They were created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, and moral responsibility to God. We believe that God’s intention in the creation of human beings was that they should glorify God, enjoy God’s fellowship, live their life in the will of God, and by this accomplish God’s purposes in the world. We believe that in Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, human beings lost their innocence; incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death; became subject to the wrath of God; and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. Human beings are hopelessly lost apart from God’s grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that because all human beings were in Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam’s sin has been transmitted to all, Jesus Christ being the only exception. All human beings are thus sinners by nature and by choice. We believe that Adam and Eve were made to complement each other in a one-flesh union that establishes the only normative pattern of sexual relations for men and women, such that marriage ultimately serves as a type of the union between Christ and his church. We believe that God ordains for men and women to assume distinctive roles which reflect the loving relationship between Christ and the church, the husband exercising headship in a way that displays the caring, sacrificial love of Christ, and the wife submitting to her husband in a way that models the love of the church for her Lord.
We believe that salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works. We believe that the eternal Son became a man. The Word became flesh, fully God and fully man, one Person in two natures. The man Jesus, the promised Messiah of Israel, was conceived through the miraculous agency of the Holy Spirit and was born of the virgin Mary. He perfectly obeyed his heavenly Father, lived a sinless life, performed miraculous signs, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead on the third day, and ascended into heaven. As the mediatorial King, He is seated at the right hand of God the Father, exercising in heaven and on earth all of God’s sovereignty, and is our High Priest and righteous Advocate. We believe that by his incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus Christ acted as our representative and substitute. He did this so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. On the cross he canceled sin, propitiated God, and, by bearing the full penalty of our sins, reconciled to God all those who believe. By his resurrection, Christ Jesus was vindicated by his Father, broke the power of death and defeated Satan who once had power over it, and brought everlasting life to all his people. By his ascension He has been forever exalted as Lord and has prepared a place for us to be with him. We believe that salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved.
7. The Justification of Sinners
We believe that justification before God is an act of God by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins and confess Him as sovereign Lord. This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man and involves the imputation of our sins to Christ and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us. By this means God is enabled to “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
8. The Church
We believe that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual Body, the church (the bride of Christ) of which Christ is the Head. We believe that the church is a unique spiritual organism designed by Christ, made up of all born again believers in this present age. We believe that the establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures and that the members of the one spiritual Body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies. We believe that the one supreme authority for the church is Christ, and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Scriptures. The distinctive leadership role within the church given to qualified men is grounded in creation, fall, and redemption and must not be sidelined by appeals to cultural developments.
9. The Restoration and Consummation of All Things
We believe in the personal, glorious, and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ when He will exercise his role as final Judge, and his kingdom will be consummated. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the just and the unjust—the unjust to judgment and eternal, conscious punishment in hell, and the just to eternal life in the presence of Him who sits on the throne and of the Lamb, in the new heaven and the new earth.