Articles of Faith
We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it alone is the verbally inspired Word of God. It is without error in its original autographs, with the result that it is wholly trustworthy and infallible in all that it affirms. It is complete in its revelation of God’s will for salvation, sufficient for all that he requires us to believe and do, and therefore is the basis of truth on which the church is unified, and the final standard by which all human behavior and beliefs should be tried.
The True God
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, Creator of the universe in six days, inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love. God is one divine essence in three distinct persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The members of the Trinity are eternally, fully, and simultaneously equal in their divine essence and perfection, while executing distinct and harmonious roles in the great work of redemption.
We believe that from eternity, God decrees or permits all things that come to pass, continually preserves, upholds, and provides for all his creation. He directs, guides, governs and reigns supremely over the whole of creation in order to fulfill all of his intended purposes. Yet in his providence he is in no way the author or approver of sin nor does he destroy the will and responsibility of intelligent creatures created in his image.
We believe that man was directly created by God in a state of holiness, under the rule of God, but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state. In consequence of the fall, all mankind are now sinners, not by coercion, but choice. They are by nature utterly without that holiness required by the Scriptures and continually inclined to evil. As a result, they are under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.
We believe that the salvation of sinners is completely of grace through explicit faith in the person and finished work of Jesus Christ. Christ, by the appointment of the Father, was born of a virgin, freely took on a human nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by his personal obedience, and by his substitutionary death made a full atonement for our sins. Having risen from the dead on the third day, he is now enthroned in heaven, interceding for his people, and is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior.
The Freeness of Salvation
We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel, that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them with repentant and obedient faith. Nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel.
God’s Purpose of Grace
We believe that election is the eternal purpose of God, according to which he graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners not based upon any foreseen merit. Being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man and the fact that it is humanity’s responsibility to believe, it includes both the means and the end of salvation. It is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable, utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy. While we cannot identify the elect beforehand and so freely proclaim the gospel to all, the elect are made known by all who truly believe the gospel and it is therefore a source of Christian assurance.
We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again. Regeneration consists in giving a new disposition to the mind, is accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, results in our voluntary obedience to the gospel, and is made evident in the fruits of repentance, faith, and newness of life.
Repentance and Faith
We believe that repentance and faith are inseparable graces, accomplished in our souls by the work of the Spirit of God. When deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of our need for salvation in Christ, we turn to God with genuine contrition, confession, and for mercy. At the same time we heartily receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and rely on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Savior.
We believe that justification is God’s declaration of the sinner to be righteous on the basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ. Christ secures this great gospel blessing to all those who believe in him. This justification includes the pardon of sin and the promise of eternal life on the basis of the righteousness of Christ. It is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness that we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood. Because of this faith, his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us by God and brings us into a state of peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needed for eternity.
We believe that progressive sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made holy. While all believers are set apart unto God in Christ, in an irreversible union, at the moment of saving faith, the work of progressive sanctification is a necessary outcome from this positional sanctification. Progressive sanctification is begun in regeneration and carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter. It is accomplished by the continual use of the appointed means—especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer. As he empowers believers in their sanctification, the Holy Spirit gives gifts to believers for the edification of the local church. However, we reject any teaching and practice of the gifts that undermines the authority and sufficiency of the Scriptures or the uniqueness and exclusivity of the person and work of Christ for salvation.
The Perseverance of Saints
We believe that truly regenerate believers endure to the end and that the sovereign Lord ensures their perseverance. This persevering union with Christ is the mark that distinguishes them from false professors. Though they may fall through neglect and temptation into sin, grieve the Spirit, damage their assurance, and bring reproach on the church, they will be inevitably renewed again unto repentance and kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
We believe that the invisible church is the Body of Christ, made up of all who are united to Christ through faith. We believe the visible church is identified by the marks of the preached Word, the proper administration of the ordinances, and church discipline and that a healthy local church is a congregation of baptized believers, united by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the ordinances of Christ, its head. As defined in the epistles to Timothy and Titus, its only scriptural officers are Pastors (Elders), which are limited to men, and Deacons.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that the baptism (by immersion) of believers in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit displays our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, in order that we too might die to sin and walk in newness of life. We believe that the Lord’s Supper commemorates the dying love of Christ and is to be regularly practiced as a way to proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society. Government officials are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the ruler of the conscience, and the ultimate Lord of the rulers of the earth. We believe that Christians have privileges and responsibilities toward their government as citizens and may freely use them, including the right to vote, to petition, and to engage in free speech, lobbying, and lawful assembly, addressing prevailing social issues on which God’s Word has provided commands or principles, such as medical ethics, homosexuality, abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia.
Morality and Gender
We believe the Bible teaches that marriage is a God-ordained and God-regulated covenant relationship between one man and one woman in which each person is equal in value in the sight of God and yet has a distinct marital role; and we believe that God has prohibited all forms of sexual activity outside of that marriage covenant.
The Return of Christ and World to Come
We believe that Jesus will return suddenly and in bodily form at the second coming and that he will judge the redeemed and the lost. In the eternal state, those who are regenerate will receive resurrection bodies and dwell with Christ for eternity in the new heaven and new earth. The unregenerate will likewise be raised to eternal suffering for their sin in hell with the devil and the fallen angels. This hope motivates us now toward godly living and propels us to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with a lost and dying world.
We believe that these doctrines will compel us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Because of this commitment to the two greatest commandments, we will endeavor to carry out the Great Commission, equipping servant leaders to change the world and unleashing them in the power of the Spirit. We cannot accomplish this task in our strength or by our own cleverness, but rather we trust the promise of God to empower his Church with his Holy Spirit for our mission. We believe that the gospel is the power of God for salvation to all who believe and will commit our lives to the proclamation of this gospel to the end of the earth.
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” -Acts 1:8