Statement of Faith

What We Believe… and Why We Believe it!

THE HOLY SCRIPTURES – We believe in the inspiration of the Bible, equally in all parts and without error. In all matters of faith and practice, the Holy Bible is our final authority, according to our best reasonable effort to determine its accurate interpretation. Therefore, we hold fast to the established revealed truth of the Bible and remain open for any further revelation of the existing Scriptures by the Holy Spirit. 2 Timothy 1:13-14; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; John 2:22; John 16:13

CREATION – We believe in the eternally existent Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — the One Who created the earth and all living things in six days. We believe He created man by a direct immediate act in order to have fellowship with His creation. Genesis 1:1; Genesis 1:26-27; Exodus 20:11; John 1:1-4; 1 John 5:6-8; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 1 John 1:1-3

THE FALL OF MAN – We believe that through the disobedience and fall of one man (Adam), all men are born sinners and deserve punishment, that all sinners need to be restored to fellowship with God, that through the obedience of One (Jesus), we can be “born again” spiritually and be restored to fellowship with God. We believe that all men will be resurrected to either eternal life or punishment based on their relationship with Jesus. Genesis 3:1-23; Romans 5:12-21; John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 5:28-29; Romans 3:23; Titus 3:5; Matthew 19:28

THE LORD JESUS CHRIST – We believe in the pre-existence, incarnation, virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, substitutionary death, bodily resurrection, ascension to heaven, and the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. John 1:1-2; John 1:14; Philippians 2:6-11; Isaiah 7:14; Hebrews 4:14-15; Acts 2:22-24; Hebrews 9:28; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; Acts 1:10-11

JUSTIFICATION – We believe that through justification (which includes true repentance and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ and in the shed blood and substitutionary death of Christ), the penalty of sin is removed and the believer is forgiven, justified, and restored to fellowship with God and made joint heirs with Christ. Acts 2:38-39; Romans 3:21-26; Romans 5:1; Romans 5:9; Romans 8:16-17

WATER BAPTISM – We believe that, after repentance and faith toward God, Water Baptism by full immersion is for circumcision of heart, for the believer to identify with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and is an outward affirmation of an inward commitment to Jesus Christ and His Lordship. Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:9-14; Acts 19:2-6; John 3:3-5

REGENERATION – We believe that the process of regeneration, or being “born again,” begins with true repentance and faith toward God, is continued in water baptism, and is outwardly expressed in the believer’s life through the power given by the baptism in the Holy Spirit. John 3:3-5; Acts 2:38; Acts 1:8

BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT – We believe that the gift of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the total immersion of the believer into God. It is an act performed by God on the believer to empower him or her to live an overcoming life of progressive sanctification. We believe that speaking in tongues is the usual accompanying sign of receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8; Acts 2:4; Acts 2:38; Acts 10:44-46; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Romans 15:16

SANCTIFICATION – We believe that it is necessary for each believer to willingly enter into the process of being set apart from the world (sanctification), and that each believer should choose to be a witness of the Lord’s saving grace through a consecrated lifestyle by being separated from the foolishness of the world and by living a life of good works as a declaration of his or her faith. Romans 12:1-2; Romans 14:13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 1:9-11

LAYING ON OF HANDS – We believe that the laying on of hands in prayer imparts LIFE and is for blessing, for receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, for prophecy by the presbytery, and for healing as provided through the sufferings of Jesus Christ as a benefit of the Gospel for every believer. Mark 10:16; Acts 8:17; Acts 19:6; 1 Timothy 1:18; 1 Timothy 4:14; Acts 13:2-3; 2 Timothy 1:6James 5:14-16; Mark 16:17-18

SACRAMENTS – We believe that a sacrament is a life-imparting act of obedience to scriptural imperatives, such as: matrimony (the marriage of one man with one woman), dedication of children, water baptism (by total immersion), communion (The Lord’s Supper), the laying on of hands, footwashing, prayer/fasting/worship, giving, and preaching/teaching the Word of God. Genesis 2:24; Matthew 28:19-20; John 6:53-58; Acts 2:38-42; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Mark 10:16; John 13:1-20

PRAYER – We believe that prayer, or communicating with God, is essential for life, fruit, and victory in a believer’s life. Psalm 4:1; Matthew 6:4-6; Mark 11:24-25; Mark 13:33; Luke 11:1-4; Luke 22:40

FASTING – We believe that fasting helps a believer give his or her life more fully to Jesus, be more sensitive to Him, receive direction in ministry, cleanse and chasten the soul, see answers to prayer, and be more effective in spiritual warfare. Psalm 35:13; Isaiah 58:1-3; Daniel 9:3; Joel 2:12-13; Matthew 17:21; Acts 13:2-3; Acts 14:23

WORSHIP – We believe that praise and worship is an essential part of the believer’s lifestyle in order to magnify the Lord and is expressed in the following ways in the Bible: vocally–singing, audibly praising, shouting; lifting and clapping hands; musical instruments; physical expressions–standing, bowing, kneeling, being prostrate, falling under the Spirit’s power; dancing before the Lord and spinning about; marching, processions, using banners, flags, and streamers; offering tithes–extravagant giving. Psalm 66:1-4; Psalm 47:1; Psalm 150:3-5; Psalm 95:6; Phil. 2:10; Luke 17:15-16; Psalm 149:3; Psalm 20:5; Deut. 12:5-6

STEWARDSHIP – We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that which God has placed in his custody, is to be found faithful and is to properly manage his life to enhance the Kingdom of God, including his body, his giftings & talents, the Church, his time, and his money. We believe that tithing (giving at least ten percent of one’s income) was voluntary before the law, compulsory under the law, and should be willing, cheerful, and expectant under grace. We believe that the Bible teaches us to give: as an act of worship, with a clean conscience and sincere spirit, with generosity and expectancy, and regularly, willingly and cheerfully. Genesis 14:20; Deut. 14:22-27; Matthew 23:23; Deut. 26:8-10; Matthew 5:23-24; Matthew 6:1-4; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Proverbs 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; Ephesians 4:281 John 3:17

THE LOCAL CHURCH – We believe that the establishment, continuance, and autonomy of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures and that Jesus Christ is the governmental head of the church. Numbers 27:16-17; Ephesians 1:22-23

17. THE CHURCH – THE BODY OF CHRIST – We believe that the local church consists of believers who choose to live in covenant relationship with one another as members, and that every member is a minister called to serve the Lord with his or her own particular SHAPE: Spiritual giftings, Heart, Abilities, Personality, Experiences. John 1:12-13; Acts 14:21-27; 1 Corinthians 1:2-3; 1 Corinthians 2:27-28

CHURCH GOVERNMENT – We believe in the scriptural pattern for local church government, having the Senior Minister as chief presiding elder among other elders as equals in a local eldership to govern and oversee the congregation and its activities. Acts 14:23; Acts 20:17; Acts 20:28-32; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; 1 Timothy 5:17-18; Titus 1:5

FIVE-FOLD MINISTRY – We believe in the five-fold ministry in the church as given by Christ when He ascended to heaven: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. These ministries, as well as the gifts of the Spirit, are necessary for the equipping of the saints until we all come into the unity of the faith. Ephesians 4:11-13; 1 Corinthians 12:1-18

LOVE COMES FIRST – We believe that the true love of God is the premise upon which any and all of the gifts, ministries, and activities of the church must function. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Romans 12:9-10Ephesians 4:15-16; Hebrews 13:1-2