What We Believe
THE BIBLE consisting of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments is the Word of God. Supernaturally inspired, so that it is inerrant in the original manuscripts and preserved by God in its verbal, plenary inspiration, so that it is the only divinely authoritative standard for every age and every life.
THE ONE GOD exists eternally in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is the absolute and sole creator and sustainer of the universe. Creation was fully accomplished by His spoken word and not through any evolutionary process.
MAN was originally created without sin and in the image of God. Through disobedience the first man, Adam, fell from his state of perfection, brought sin upon himself and the whole human race. Since Adam, every person is born with an inherently sinful nature, is under the condemnation of God and is unable to save himself. GOD, BY HIS SOVEREIGN CHOICE AND OUT OF LOVE FOR MAN, sent Christ into the world to save sinners.
JESUS CHRIST in the flesh was fully God and fully man. He was born of a virgin and lived a sinless life in which He taught and performed mighty works, wonders and signs exactly as revealed in the four gospels. Christ was crucified, dying as the payment for our sins, and was raised from the dead bodily on the third day. Later, He ascended to the Father’s right hand where He is head of the church and is interceding for believers. He will come to earth again personally, bodily and visibly to set up His millennial kingdom. IN HIS DEATH, BY HIS SHED BLOOD , the Lord Jesus Christ made a perfect atonement for sin, redeeming us from the curse of the law by becoming a substitute sacrifice for us. Man is saved on the simple and single ground of the shed blood of our Lord.
SALVATION includes forgiveness of sins, the impartation of a new nature and a sure hope of eternal life. It is received entirely apart from good works, water baptism, church membership or other efforts of man. Salvation is of pure grace.
THE TRUE BELIEVER is a joint-heir with Christ and is assured of his salvation, which is not lost even when sin interrupts the joy of the believer’s fellowship with God and brings the loving discipline of our Heavenly Father.
THE HOLY SPIRIT Who is fully God, indwells every believer. He baptizes and seals each believer at the moment of salvation and fills him in response to confession of sin and yieldedness. The obedient Christian life will glorify God. Also, spiritual maturity is gained through obedience to the Word of God and the indwelling Holy Spirit.
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST is composed of God’s redeemed people. It is Christ’s body of which He is the head. The Body of Christ is visibly expressed in local assemblies. Their purpose is to glorify God through worship, fellowship, loving one another, discipline, service and instruction in God’s Word.
AT DEATH the Spirit of each true believer departs to be with Christ in conscious blessedness. In contrast, the spirit of the unbeliever awaits judgment in Hell. There will be a bodily resurrection for both believers and unbelievers. Believers will be raised in the likeness of the glorified body of Christ, and will dwell forever in His divine presence. Unbelievers will face God in judgment and will suffer eternal punishment and torment in the Lake of Fire.
One of the mistaken concepts many have is that all Christians and churches should be identical. They assume that “unity” is equivalent to “sameness”. But the Apostle Paul points out that differences do and will exist between churches and individuals in Christ.
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.” (1 Cor. 12:4-6)
We are called to unity in faith and doctrine, and there should be no tolerance for false, heretical doctrine. But on issues of style and practice, there should be tolerance. There are the areas of personal preference that should be respected. We refer to to these as “distinctives”. They represent diversity within the greater Christian unity. The following is a short list of our distinctives.
We believe …in the expository Teaching of the whole Word of God (Acts 20:20. 27; Neh. 8:8; Ps 138:2), therefore our worship services are structured around verse-by-verse teaching of the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.
We believe …the Book of Acts represents “normal” Christianity. Therefore we seek to pattern our lives and ministry after that modeled by the early church, as revealed in that book.
Missions and Means :
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth: -Acts 1:8
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellow-ship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”-Acts 2:42
“And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”-Acts 2:47
We believe …in Pastoral Leadership as the truest Biblical pattern for church government. Therefore the Elder Board, under the leadership of the Senior Pastor, is primarily responsible for direction and decision-making.
We believe … that the worship of God should be Spiritual: we remain flexible and yielded to the leading of the Holy Spirit to direct our worship;
Inspirationa l : we give a great place to music in our worship;
Intelligen t: our services are designed with great emphasis upon teaching the Word of God that He might instruct us how He should be worshiped;
Fruitfu l : we look for His love in our lives as the supreme manifestation that we have truly been worshiping Him.
We believe …in balance regarding the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Therefore we consider ourselves to be neither charismatic nor non-charismatic. We believe that all the gifts of the Spirit are available and operational within the church, but should only be publicly exercised under the guidelines found in 1 Corinthians 12-14, and by permission of the pastoral leadership.
We believe …that our ministry should be simple and sincere. Therefore we seek to imitate the testimony of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians:
“For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience,
that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom,
but by the grace of God, we have behaved in the world,
and more abundantly toward you.”
2 Cor. 1:12
Therefore our services are conducted in a relaxed, comfortable and normal style. Human efforts to coerce or manipulate a response is contrary to the gentle and personal nature of the true ministry of the Holy Spirit.
We believe …we are only one member of the Body of Christ. Therefore we can rightly be classified as non-denominational. Denominationalism is an attempt to draw a line of exclusivity around Christ. No such line can honestly be drawn. We have our distinctive (as the hand is distinct from the foot); and we have our role that may differ from other parts of the body. But we are still only a part.
We believe …in both the sovereignty of God and mankind’s free will/choice Therefore we resist the extreme positions of hyper-Calvinism and/or hyper-Armenianism. We feel that both try to force a conclusion that disregards a Biblical balance. The believer in Christ is both secure in his faith and responsible to live a life of faith.
We believe …in the Imminent Return of Jesus Christ. Therefore, doctrinally, we are Pre-Tribulational/Pre-Millennial in our interpretation of last days prophecy. Consistent with this position, we believe there is no sign or condition which must be met or fulfilled before Christ’s visible, bodily return.
We believe …that ‘healthy sheep beget healthy sheep’. In keeping with this purpose,, we seek to win the lost, disciple the saved, and encourage the faithful. We believe that as we take care of our ‘depth’, God will take care of our ‘breadth’. The purpose of the church is not numerical growth, but spiritual growth. The only strategy we have for our ministry is to ‘feed the flock of God’. (John 21:12; Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2)