What We Teach

The Word of God

We teach the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, in the original manuscripts, to be the verbally and plenarily[1] inspired Word of God and the product of Spirit-controlled men.  The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed, and therefore are the supreme and final authority for faith and life.  The sixty-six books of the Old Testament and New Testament are the complete and divine revelation of God to man.  The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning.  (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Psalm 12:6, 7; Proverbs 30:5, 6)
 

The Trinity

We teach that there is one living and true God, an infinite Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of the heavens and earth, inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all honor, confidence, and love.  We also teach that there is one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each eternal in being, identical in nature, equal in power and glory, having the same attributes and perfections, as well as each executing a distinct but harmonious role in redemption.  (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 14:10, 26; Exodus 20:2, 3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 4:11)
 

God the Father

We teach that God the Father orders and accomplishes all things according to His own purpose and grace.  He is the Creator of all things.  As the only omnipotent Ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence and redemption.  As Creator, He is a Father to all men but He is the spiritual Father only to believers.  He has decreed for His Own glory all things to come to pass.  (Psalm 145:8, 9; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Genesis 1:1-3; Ephesians 3:9; Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:36; Ephesians 4:6; Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Ephesians 1:11)

God the Son

We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man yet remained fully God (hypostatic union[2]), was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of Mary, a virgin.  He is both the Son of God and Son of man.  He accomplished our salvation through His sinless life, substitutionary death on the cross and bodily resurrection.  He ascended to heaven where He is our High Priest, intercessor and advocate. (Gen. 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:34-35; Galatians 4:4-5; John 1:1-2; Philippians 2:5-8; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; 1 Corinthians 15:4-6; Hebrews 4:14-15; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1)   

God the Holy Spirit

We teach that the Holy Spirit was active in creation and in the process of giving the Scriptures.  He accomplishes the new birth and brings the conviction of sin, of righteousness and judgment.  He baptizes all believers into the body of Christ, seals and indwells them until the day of redemption.  He is our aid to understand and appropriate the Scriptures.  He bestows spiritual gifts to the Church and to every believer for the purpose of the work of the ministry.  Sign gifts, such as speaking in tongues and healing were temporary and for the purpose of authenticating the ministry and teaching of the Apostles. (Genesis 1:2; 2 Peter 1:19-21; John 3:5-6; John 16:7-10; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13-14; John 16:13; Ephesians 4:11-13; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 18; 13:8-12; Hebrews 1:1; 1 Corinthians 14:21-22; John 20:30-31; Acts 3)  
    

Creation

We teach that God directly and immediately created the heavens and earth and all that is in them in six literal twenty-four hour days, without any evolutionary process.  Within this divine work, marriage was designed as the permanent union of one natural-born man and one natural-born woman.  (Genesis 1-2; Exodus 20:11; Hebrews 11:3)
 

Angels

We teach that because angels are created beings, they are not to be worshiped.  They are of a higher order than man and were made to serve God and worship Him.  The most glorious angel created by God was Lucifer, who along with certain angels, rebelled.  They followed Satan (Lucifer), the author of sin.  Satan and all fallen angels have been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Exodus 20:3-5; Revelation 19:10; 22:8-9; Revelation 5:11-14; Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Romans 16:20; Revelation 20:10)  
 

Man

We teach that man was created in the image and likeness of God and had freedom and power to will and to do what was good and acceptable to Him.  In Adam’s sin man lost his innocence and incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death and became subject to God’s wrath, corrupt and incapable of choosing to do anything acceptable to Him.  Since man is hopelessly lost, salvation is wholly of God’s grace through the redemptive work of Christ.  Since all mankind was in Adam, his sin has been imputed to all men, Jesus Christ being the only exception.  All men are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration.   (Genesis 1:27; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Genesis 3:1-19; Romans 5:12; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; John 3:36; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1-3, 8-9; Psalm 14:1-3; Jeremiah 17:9; 2 Corinthians 5:21)
 

Salvation

We teach, as a result of man’s spiritual condition, salvation is wholly of God’s grace through faith in the redeeming work of Christ and not of human merit. (Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-9; Titus 3:5)
 

Election

We teach that God, before the foundation of the world, chose in Christ those whom He regenerates, saves and sanctifies.  All whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith, and all who come in faith the Father will receive.  (Ephesians 1:4-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; John 6:37-40, 44; Acts 13:48; James 4:8)

Regeneration – an act of God in us

We teach that regeneration is an act of God in which He imparts new spiritual life in us through the power of the Holy Spirit with the Word of God. (John 1:12-13; 3:5; Eph. 2:4-5, 8-9; Titus 3:5)

Justification – a declaration about us

We teach that justification is an act of God by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins and confess Him as Lord.  The righteousness we are given is apart from any virtue or merit we have.  This involves the imputation[3] of our sins to Christ, and the imputation of Christ's righteousness to us. (Romans 4:5; 5:1; 8:30, 33; 1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:21)

Sanctification

We teach that sanctification is a continuous act of God whereby He sets every believer apart byjustification and thus declares them holy. This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification.  Progressive sanctification is a present work in the life of a believer that involves the believer being brought closer to the standing he positionally enjoys through justification.  Through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness and conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like Christ.  Perfect sanctification is full and complete and will be realized when we see Christ. (Acts 20:32; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 8; 6:11; John 17:17; Romans 6:1-22; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:23; 1 John 3:2; Romans 8:1-14
Therefore, out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to us, believers should be separated from sin unto our Lord Jesus Christ.  A believer's life is a life that reflects the teaching of the Beatitudes, and a continual pursuit of holiness.  We teach that separation from all false religion, religious apostasy, and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of us by God.  This separation does not negate our command to be salt and light in a lost and dying world.  We are to be in the world but not of it. (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 1 Peter 1:15-16; Romans 12:1-2; 16:17; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; Matthew 5:2-14; Mark 16:15)

Security

We teach that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God's power and are thus secure in Christ forever.  All who persevere to the end by God’s grace will be saved.  (John 5:24, 6:37; 10:27-29; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; Romans 8:31-39; Jude 24)
 

The Church

We teach that the Church (a spiritual Body of believers in Christ) was inaugurated on the day of Pentecost with Christ being the Chief Cornerstone and the Apostles being the foundation.  Christ purchased the Church with His own blood and through the resurrection became its Head and source of life.  The Church and Israel are two distinct entities. As a result of Christ's sinless life and perfect sacrifice, He fulfilled the requirements of the Old Covenant law and instituted the New Covenant, the law of Christ. (Acts 2:1-21, 38-47; Acts 2:41; Ephesians 2:20; Ephesians 5:25-27; Colossians 3:1-4; Romans 10:1-4, 18-21; Matthew 5-7; John 19:30; Matthew 17:5;  Matthew 28:19, 20;  Galatians 6:2)
We also teach that Christ gave gifts to His Church through the Holy Spirit.  These gifts may be categorized into three groups: sign gifts (for the purpose of authenticating the Church), service gifts (for the purpose of the ministry of the Church), and speaking gifts (for the purpose of building up the Church).  (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 27-31; Ephesians 4:8-12)
Furthermore, we teach that the Church was given two ordinances and two offices:


Ordinances:

Baptism - the immersion of the believer into water, symbolizing his identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ as a public profession of what has already taken place in the heart. (Romans 6:3-13; Colossians 2:12; Matthew 28:19-20)
Communion - the memorial that church members practice out of love for and obedience to  Christ, remembering His body and shed blood on our behalf.  This, like baptism, is to be administered by the church.  It is to be preceded by solemn self-examination and diligent effort to resolve wounded relationships.  The elements are to be received by believers who are baptized and united with a local church.  It is to be done until Christ returns. (Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 11:23-24; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 1 Corinthians 11:26)   

Offices:

Those called must meet the Biblical qualification given in Scripture. 
Elder, Shepherd, Bishop (Pastor) (Acts 20:17, 28; 1 Timothy 3:1-7)
Deacon (Acts 6:1-6; 1 Timothy 3:8-13)

The Church is manifested in the Scripture in two forms:
Universal – all regenerate persons from Pentecost to the Rapture, both Jew and Gentile (Ephesians 2:16; 3:10; Colossians 1:18)
Local – a visible, organized body of baptized, professing believers in a local area who unite for the purpose of worship, prayer, fellowship, and observing the ordinances, to evangelize the lost and edify the believers.  Each is to be autonomous under the direct authority of Jesus Christ, appointing its own Elders and administering the ordinances. (1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; Acts
2:41-42)
 

End Times

We teach the following order of events:
The Second Coming of Christ in two phases:
The Rapture is the bodily, personal, pre-tribulational, pre-millennial return of Christ for His saints [Bride of Christ – Church] and includes the resurrection of all who are a part of the Church and the catching away of all those who are a part of the Church, both living and dead.  The Judgment Seat of Christ for the Church will take place in heaven and be followed by the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.   The Rapture will initiate the Tribulation simultaneous to the Judgment Seat and Marriage Supper in heaven.  (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; Titus 2:13; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 3:13-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11; Revelation 19:7-10)
We also teach that immediately following the removal of the Church from the earth, the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon this unbelieving world.  The Antichrist will be revealed during this seven-year period.  At the close of the seven years Christ will judge the Old Testament saints [resurrected at this time] and tribulation saints. (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27; 12:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Revelation 16; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12; Matthew 24:21; Revelation 4-19; Daniel 12:11, 12; Daniel 12:2-3; Revelation 20:4-6)
The Coming of Christ in His Glory is the visible return of Christ with His Church at the close of the Tribulation period on earth when He comes to judge the living nations, to bind up Satan, to set up His millennial reign [1,000 years] and to fulfill His promise to the nation of Israel.  At the close of the 1,000 years, Christ will release Satan and cast him into the lake of fire, judge the dead, great and small [Great White Throne Judgment], replace heaven and earth with the new heaven and earth, to ultimately hand over everything to God the Father where He and His can dwell forever. (Acts 1:11; Hebrews 9:28; Revelation 1:7; Revelation 19:11-19; Matthew 25:21-46; Revelation 20:1-4; Isaiah 11:4-5; Isaiah 65:17-25; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Zechariah 8:1-17; 1 Corinthians 15:25; Revelation 20:4, 6; Revelation 20:7-10; Revelation 20:11; Ephesians 5:5; Revelation 20:15; Revelation 21:1-27; Revelation 22:1-21; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28)
 

Civil Government

We teach that the civil government is of divine appointment for the interest and good order of human society and the guarantee of liberty of conscience.  This guarantee consists of the absolute constraint of the government to the civil realm, not interfering or influencing the spiritual realm of the Church.  The believer is to see that magistrates are prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except in the things opposed to our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the only Lord of the conscience and coming Prince of the kings of the earth.  (Romans 13:1; Matthew 22:21; Acts 5:29; Acts 4:19, 20)
 

Authority of What We Teach

The “Statement of What We Teach” does not exhaust the extent of our faith.  The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we teach.  We do believe, however, that the foregoing “Statement of What We Teach” accurately represents the teaching of the Bible.
 
 
 
Footnotes
[1] plenarily – completely, all, fully
 
[2] hypostatic union - …He was made of a woman, a descendant of Abraham and David.  In this way it came about that the two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the divine and the human, were inseparably joined together in one Person, without the conversion of the one nature into the other and without mixing, as it were, of one nature with the other; in other words, without confusion.  Thus the Son of God is now both true God and true man, yet one Christ, the only mediator between God and man. (Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689)
 
[3] imputation – reckoning to the account of another