Doctrinal Statements

bible_openThe following 15 Doctrinal Statements are listed as our pastoral overview on biblical teachings, but not as a church creed or test of fellowship.

We invite all in our fellowship to follow the example of the noble Bereans who, nearly two thousand years ago, “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).

 

1. The Bible is the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration through holy men of God who spoke and wrote as the Holy Spirit moved them. It is the infallible revelation of God’s will and the plan of redemption. It is the standard of right and wrong, the guide for decisions and behaviors, and the record of God’s acts in history. (2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Ps. 119:105; Prov. 30:5, 6; Isa. 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 4:12; Acts 17:11.)

2. God is one God, yet revealed to us as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God is the Sovereign, the Source, the Sustainer of life, whom Scripture presents as all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present, the only immortal One, patient, faithful, beyond human comprehension, and defined as Love. (Gen. 1:1; Ex. 34:6, 7; Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2; 1; 1 Cor. 15:28; John 3:16; 1 John 4:8; 1 Tim. 1:17; John 14:9; Rev. 4:7, 11.)

3. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the prophesied Messiah, through whom all things were created, the character of God revealed, and the only way to salvation, and earth’s soon coming King. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived and experienced temptation as a human being, and perfectly satisfied the atonement for our sins to redeem us from Satan’s power, through his crucifixion, death, and resurrection. (John 3:16; Isa. 53; John 1:1-3, 14; Col. 1:15-19; John 10:30; 14:9; Rom. 6:23; 2 Cor. 5:17-19; John 5:22; Luke 1:35; Phil. 2:5-11; Heb. 2:9-18; Col. 2:15; Phil. 2:6-11; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4; Heb. 8:1, 2; 1 Tim. 2:5; John 14:1-3.)

4. The Holy Spirit is the Comforter promised by Jesus to come beside us in journey toward Heaven. He is the One who convicts us of sin and righteousness, the Glorifier of Jesus Christ, the Giver of spiritual gifts for the gospel mission, and leads us to freedom through truth. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to male and female, young and old, according to His will, and no one gift is evidence of God’s favor, except love. He equips believer for pastoral care, faith, healing, wisdom, witnessing, teaching, evangelism, hospitality, administration, reconciliation, compassion, service, language, and love for others. (Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12:9-11, 27, 28; Eph. 4:8, 11-16; Acts 6:1-7; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; 1 Peter 4:10, 11; Gen. 1:1, 2; Luke 1:35; 4:18; Acts 10:38; 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:11, 12; Acts 1:8; John 14:16-18, 26; 15:26, 27; 16:7-13.)

5. Creation is the mark of God’s sovereignty and evidence of his active interest in our well-being and provisions for life. In six days the Lord made “the heaven and the earth” and all living things upon the earth, including man in His image, given mankind dominion over His creation, and rested on the seventh day of that first week. Thus He established the Sabbath as a memorial of His creative power, pointing toward the re-creative work of Jesus Christ, as a practice of looking forward to the Messiah and now to the Lord Jesus in the New Covenant, resting in His works for our salvation and trust in Him for our sustenance and sanctification. (Gen. 1; 2; Eph. 3:9; Rev. 4:11; Ex. 20:8-11; Ezek. 20:12, 20; Ps. 19:1-6; 33:6, 9; 104; Heb. 4:9-10, 11:3; Rev. 11:18; Isa. 66:22-23.)

6. The Law of God, as given at Sinai through Moses, known as the 10 Commandments reveal God’s holy character and man’s sinful nature. The 10 Commandments spell-out the perfect will of God for man’s behavior toward Him and toward others. The law also points out our sinfulness because it taunts our inability to achieve righteousness through our own efforts, merits, or self-sufficiency. Jesus Christ has fulfilled the requirement of the law through His life and teachings. The law of God in the Old Covenant represented the character of righteousness for mankind. The Law of God in the New Covenant represents the Character of Christ our righteousness. Jesus Christ magnified the literal Old Testament application of the law and broadened it through such New Testament applications as hate, lust, and has summed them up to mean love for God and love for one another. (Ex. 20:8-11; Mt. 5:17, 21-22, 27-28,; Luke 16:16-18; James 2:8-12; Rom. 13:8-10; Heb. 4:9-10, 11:3; Rev. 11:18.)

7. Eternal Life is a gift, freely available to all men because of the cross of Calvary, where Jesus Christ became the sinless sacrifice for our sins. He was the second Adam, our Substitute, and our Savior. We receive eternal life by our free-will acceptance of Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. The Bible teaches that all of us has sinned and are unable to provide our own atonement for our own salvation. No human effort, thoughts, or goodness is able to save us. Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved, the only mediator between God and man, and that gift can only be ours through faith. Eternal life is only available to those who accept Him, while those who intentionally reject His sacrifice and substitutionary life are choosing eternal death. Confessing Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is to choose to be covered by His righteousness in the judgment. It is the beginning of the sanctification process of being born again, adoption as a child of God, and abiding in His grace through the Holy Spirit. (2 Cor. 5:17-21; John 3:16; John 1:12; Rom. 5:17; Gal. 1:4; 4:4-7; Titus 3:3-7; John 15:4; John 16:8; Gal. 3:13, 14; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; Rom. 10:17; Luke 17:5; Mark 9:23, 24; Eph. 2:5-10; Rom. 3:21-26; Col. 1:13, 14; Rom. 8:14-17; Gal. 3:26; John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:23; Rom. 12:2; Heb. 8:7-12; Eze. 36:25-27; 2 Peter 1:3, 4; Rom. 8:1-4; 5:6-10.)

8. Spiritual Warfare between Christ and Satan, which started in heaven, has forced us into the center of this conflict, which arose when Lucifer began to dispute the character and sovereignty of God. An angel, a created being, endowed with freedom of choice, engaged in self-exaltation, become known as Satan, God’s adversary, and led into rebellion a portion of the angels. He introduced the spirit of rebellion into this world when he led Adam and Eve into sin. This human sin resulted in the distortion of the image of God in humanity, the disordering of the created world, and its eventual devastation at the time of the worldwide flood. Observed by the whole creation, this world became the arena of the universal conflict, out of which the God of love will ultimately be vindicated. To assist His people in this warfare, Christ sends the Holy Spirit and the loyal angels to guide, protect, and sustain them in the way of salvation. (Rev. 12:4-9; Isa. 14:12-14; Eze. 28:12-18; Gen. 3; Rom. 1:19-32; 5:12-21; 8:19-22; Gen. 6-8; 2 Eph. 6:12; Peter 3:6; 1 Cor. 4:9; Heb. 1:14.)

9. The Church is the community of believers who have answered the Spirit’s call out of the world and into a born again relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The church is God’s family; adopted by Him as children, its members live on the basis of the new covenant. The church is the body of Christ, a community of faith of which Christ Himself is the Head. The church is the bride for whom Christ died that He might sanctify and cleanse her. We know the church at-large as categorized by various governing organizations, but know that at his return the saved, from within and without the universal Christian church, will make-up the true church. He will present them to Himself a glorious church, the faithful of all the ages, the purchase of His blood, not having spot or wrinkle, but holy and without blemish. (Gen. 12:3; Acts 7:38; Eph. 4:11-15; 3:8-11; Matt. 7:20-23; 28:19, 20; 16:13-20; 18:18; Eph. 2:19-22; 1:22, 23; 5:23-27; Col. 1:17, 18; Rev. 21:1-14.)

10. Baptism of Believers, by full water immersion, is a public confession of our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Baptism testifies of our free will choice to die to sin, of our purpose to walk in newness of life, and public commitment to being born again. Thus, in the symbolism of water baptism, we acknowledge Christ as Lord and Savior, become His people, and are received as members of the local church. Baptism is a symbol of our union with Christ, the forgiveness of our sins, and our reception of the Holy Spirit. It is a step in faith and not an act of graduation or attainment, but an acceptance of commitment of new birth into the family of God. (Rom. 6:1-6; Col. 2:12, 13; Acts 16:30-33; 22:16; 2:38; Matt. 28:19, 20.)

11. Marriage and the Family was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus to be a lifelong union, between a man and a woman only, in loving companionship, as creation’s intention for procreation. Marriage is a commitment to God as well as to the spouse, and should be entered into only between male and female partners who share a common respect for each other and a mutual faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Divorce is not a Christian choice, except for adulterous severance, and although some family relationships may fall short of the ideal, remarriage is acceptable and optional for the believer who desires the guidance of the Spirit in that decision. The family circle, of mother, father, and children, is God’s will and a high honor of influence for an understanding of God’s paternal love. (Gen. 2:18-25; Matt. 19:3-9; John 2:1-11; 2 Cor. 6:14; Eph. 5:21-33; Matt. 5:31, 32; Mark 10:11, 12; Luke 16:18; 1 Cor. 7:10, 11; Ex. 20:12; Eph. 6:1-4; Deut. 6:5-9; Prov. 22:6; Mal. 4:5, 6.)

12. Second Coming of Christ is called the blessed hope of the Christian and is the grand climax of the gospel story. It will usher in God’s Kingdom of peace, rule of justice, and harmony between heaven and earth. The Savior’s coming will be literal, personal, visible to the saved and unsaved, and it will be worldwide. The second advent of Christ will bring about the great reunion of the saints on resurrection day, the rapture of the living believers, the destruction of the wicked “by the brightness of His coming” and the beginning of the 1000 years of Revelation 20. Christ’s coming is imminent. The signs of the times are telling.  The time of this event has not been revealed, and we are therefore exhorted to be ready at all times. (Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:7; Matt. 24:43, 44; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; 2:8; Rev. 14:14-20; 19:11-21; Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 Thess. 5:1-6.)

13. The Resurrection of the Dead will occur when Christ returns. It will be a great reunion for those who have died in Him. Death is not permanent for the believer, but is a state of “sleep” as identified as such throughout the Bible. Just as Adam was given the Breath of God to become a living soul, so the dead in Christ are given the Breath of God at his return. At that time the mortal redeemed will put on immortality. Just as Jesus called Lazarus from death to life, so He will call believers from death to life at the resurrection. Jesus also spoke of a “second resurrection” that will take place after the 1000 years of Revelation 20, in which the unsaved will experience “a resurrection unto death.” Whereas the saved go from death to life, the unsaved will go from life to death, in God’s mercy and ultimate eternal judgment, because “the wages of sin is death.” (Gen. 2:7; 1 Cor. 15; John 5:28-29; Rom. 6:23; 1 Tim. 6:15, 16; Eccl. 9:5, 6; Ps. 146:3, 4; John 11:11-14; Col. 3:4; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; John 5:28, 29; Rev. 20:1-10.)

14. The Millennium and the End of Sin is the thousand-year reign of Christ with His saints in heaven between the first and second resurrections. During this time the wicked dead will be judged; the earth will be utterly desolate, without living human inhabitants, but occupied by Satan and his angels. At its close Christ with His saints and the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth. The unrighteous dead will then be resurrected, and with Satan and his angels will surround the city; but fire from God will consume them and cleanse the earth. The universe will thus be freed of sin and sinners forever. Believers have accepted Christ and have been given their promised life eternal, while unbelievers have been given their complete destruction, ultimate punishment, and eternal death. Thus the promise of Scripture, that has been the hope of the ages, “affliction will not raise up the second time.” (Nah. 1:7; Rev. 20; 2 Cor. 5:10; 1 Cor. 6:2, 3; Jer. 4:23-26; Rev. 21:1-5; Ecc. 12:14; James 2:10-13; Mal. 4:1; Eze. 28:18, 19.)

15. The New Earth is the Heaven spoken of in the Bible, of the earth being made new, and purified by fire, although last time, during the days of Noah, it was purified with water. At the conclusion of the 1000 years when the New Jerusalem descends, Satan and his hosts are forever eliminated by the Lake of Fire and the wages of their sins- death. The earth is made new and becomes the New Heaven and the New Earth. Eden is reestablished and the literal Kingdom of God reigns anew without sin, in which righteousness dwells, an eternal home for the redeemed and a perfect environment for everlasting life, love, joy, and learning in His presence. For here God Himself will dwell with His people, and suffering and death will have passed away. Spiritual warfare will be ended, and sin will be no more. All things, will declare that God is love; and He shall reign forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:13; Isa. 35; 65:17-25; Matt. 5:5; Rev. 21:1-7; 22:1-5; 11:15.)

 

 

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Position Statements

As often as conflicting issues within our society, disputes with the church at large, or as national religious liberty threats deem necessary, we will develop and adopt appropriate “position statements” to offer clarity regarding our pastoral leadership and/or our Doctrines of the Church on those matters and post them at this website with links below: