STATEMENT OF FAITH: WHAT WE BELIEVE
There is only one true and living God. He is an intelligent being, a spiritual being, and a personal being – the Supreme Being. God is the Creator, Ruler, and Redeemer of the universe. He eternally exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God’s character is infinite in holiness, justice, mercy, and love. He alone is worthy of our highest reverence, deepest love and truest obedience (Genesis 1:1, 26-27, 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 40:28; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
Man is a created being, the crowning work of God’s creation. Human beings are made in the image of God, for fellowship with God, and to be like God in character. Our worth as human beings is derived from our divine origin, not from our personal achievements. In the beginning man was innocent of sin. The Creator endowed the first man with conscience and freedom of choice. By choice Adam rebelled against God and brought sin into the human race. Although man has tremendous potential for good, he is marred by an attitude of indifference and disobedience toward God that the Bible calls sin. Sin separates man from God. All human beings are sinners by nature and by personal choice. Only the grace of God can forgive human sin and restore man to a right relationship with God (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1-2).
About Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God, fully human and fully divine. His life and teaching perfectly reveal the will of God. Jesus was born into the world, ministered to human need, proclaimed good news, died on a cross, and arose from the dead. Through His death, He made provision for the redemption of all men. Through His resurrection He defeated sin and the grave. He is the way of salvation for all who believe. After His resurrection, He ascended into heaven, and one day He will return to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The earthly ministry and sinless life of Jesus Christ are described in the four Gospels of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14-15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:15-18).
About the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God active in the world to make us aware of our need for Christ and to guide us into truth. The Holy Spirit comes into our lives the moment we begin to believe and continues to inspire us to grow in faith. The Spirit is the abiding presence of Christ in the life of the believer. He provides the Christian with understanding of spiritual truth, power for daily living, strength to endure difficulty, and guidance in knowing right from wrong. The Holy Spirit empowers believers to worship God and the church to minister in Christ’s name. The leadership and guidance of God’s Holy Spirit is essential to the life of faith (2 Corinthians 3:17, John 14:16-17, John 16:7-13; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 4:16, Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25, Ephesians 5:1-2).
Salvation is the gift of a gracious God to sinful mankind. By efforts of self-improvement or good works, man cannot earn his way into God’s favor. Sin and self-will are destructive of human character. A person can be saved from the destructiveness of sin only by accepting God’s offer of forgiveness. Through His death on the cross, Jesus paid the penalty for our sin and provided the way for us to be saved. God freely offers forgiveness and salvation to all who will accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The experience of salvation is like being born again into a whole new life (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:12; 3:16; 14:6, Romans 5:1-10; Galatians 3:26; Titus 3:5, 2 Corinthians 5:14-17).
Man was created by God to exist forever. He will exist eternally either separated from God by sin or related to God through faith in Christ. To be eternally separated from God is hell. To be eternally united with God is heaven. New life in Christ is life abundant here and now and life everlasting in the hereafter (John 2:25; John 3:16; I John 5:11-13; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15, Matthew 8:11, 24:44, 25:31-46).
About the Bible
The Bible is God’s word addressed to all mankind. The Bible was written by men divinely inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit to record the stories of God’s great acts in history. Scripture is God’s full and complete revelation of Himself to the human race. The Bible has God as its main character, salvation as its primary message, and truth without error as its subject matter. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. The Bible sets forth the spiritual principles by which we are to live and by which we will be judged. Because it is inspired and preserved for us by God Himself, the Bible is to be the supreme standard for all human conduct and the sole authority for all Christian doctrine and practice. All religious opinions should be examined in light of the clear teachings of Scripture. The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is the person and work of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 12:6; Psalm 19:7-11; Psalm 119:105-160; Proverbs 30:5).
About the Church
The church is the family of God on earth. A local church is a body of baptized believers who are called Christians after their Founder, Jesus Christ. Because of His Lordship over all believers, Christ alone is the Head of the church. Churches consist of persons committed to following Jesus Christ and fulfilling His command to go into the world and make disciples. The church gathers in Christ’s name for worship, Bible study, and spiritual fellowship, and then scatters in Christ’s Spirit to minister, witness, and serve. Each local church is an autonomous body, conducting its business through democratic processes under the Lordship of Christ in the life of each member. The church universal consists of all the redeemed of all the ages (Matthew 16:13-19; Acts 2:41-47; 1 Corinthians 3:9-11; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2: 19-22; 1 Peter 2:4-10).
We believe the basis for all matters of faith and conduct is to be the Bible. We have no creed but the Bible. To be a Christian is to believe biblical truth and to seek to live according to that truth. At The Church we embrace certain biblical principles which historically mark Christian life at its best.
The immersion in water of believers in Christ constitutes the only baptism known in the New Testament. We baptize only those persons who willingly give testimony to personal faith in Jesus Christ. Baptism symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and expresses the believer’s unity with Christ and His church.
The Priesthood of All Believers
Every Christian has direct access to God through the Lord Jesus Christ, the sole mediator between God and man. Every Christian is competent to read and understand Scripture without the imposition of creeds or clerical supervision. Every Christian, whether ordained or non-ordained, is responsible for ministering on Christ’s behalf. All believers are called and set apart to be priests, with equal access to God and equal responsibility for the life of Christ’s church.
The Autonomy of the Local Church
Every local church is free under the Lordship of Christ to determine its own course of action without interference from any other church body or external group. Cooperation among churches and with denominational structures is voluntary and not imposed by any church hierarchy. Every church is an independent church, not free to do as it pleases, but free to do what pleases Christ.