(Affirming the first eight articles is necessary for membership.)
I. The Scriptures
The Bible is the Word of God and was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is without errors, trustworthy, authoritative, and sufficient in matters of faith and conduct. 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21
There is only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite and holy. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being. The worship of God is the end for which people were created, and He is the source of abiding joy.
A. God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men. Genesis 1; Daniel 4:34-35; Matthew 6:9-13; Acts 17:24-29; 1 Timothy 1:17
B. God the Son
Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. Scripture affirms His virgin birth, full humanity, full deity, sinless life, miracles, and teachings. Christ died as a sacrificial substitute for sinners, rose again in the body, ascended into heaven, and now He intercedes for His people and will personally return to earth to judge the world and gather His people. Matthew 1:18-25; John 1:1-14; 1 Corinthians 15:3-5; Colossians 1:13-22; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; Peter 2:21-24
C. God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit convicts man of sin. The Spirit is the fully divine Spirit of God who indwells all believers. The Spirit empowers, comforts and guides Christians. He enables believers to live obedient by cultivating Christian character as they yield to the Spirit, and He gives them spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. The Spirit seals believers unto the day of final redemption. Matthew 28:19; John 14:15-21; 15:26-16:15; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 2:6-16; Galatians 5:22-26; Ephesians 1:13-14
Mankind was created male and female by the special act of God, in His own image, and is the crowning work of His creation. In the beginning man and woman were innocent of sin and were endowed by the Creator with freedom of choice. By their free choice man and woman rebelled against God, brought sin into the world and fell from their original innocence. Their descendants inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. As a result, mankind is estranged from his Maker, hostile toward God, and subject to divine wrath. Only the grace of God can bring individuals into His holy fellowship and enable them to fulfill the creative purpose of God. Every person of every ethnicity possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love. Genesis 1-3; Psalm 51; Romans 1; 5; 8:7; Rev 5:9-10
Salvation is a gift from God offered freely to all and is made possible by Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection. Those who repent and forsake sin and trust Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are made new creatures by the Holy Spirit (regeneration), delivered from condemnation and declared righteous (justification), received as God’s own child (adoption), set apart from sin (sanctification), are given eternal life, and will be raised to be with God forever (glorification). Salvation is only found in Jesus’ name. Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works. Psalm 32:1-5; Proverbs 28:13; John 3:16-17; Mark 1:14-15; Romans 8:1, 30; 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21; Ephesians 2:8-10
V. Evangelism and Missions
It is the duty and privilege of the church to make disciples of all peoples. The gospel should be passionately and urgently proclaimed to all people in appropriate ways so that all who believe may be saved. Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:13-15; 15:14-22; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
VI. Christian Conduct
Christians should live for the glory of God and the well-being of others. Even though Christians will continue to sin, they should strive to be blameless before the world and to be conformed more and more into the image of Christ. Matthew 5:13-16; Romans 12:1-2; Colossians 2:6-8; Hebrews 12:1-2; 1 Peter 1:13-16; 1 John 2:3-6.
Christians should be faithful stewards of their possessions, recognizing that God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual. Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, proportionately and sacrificially for the advancement of the Redeemer’s cause on earth. Proverbs 3:9; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 8-9; James 1:17
Christians should gather together regularly as a church. Activities on the day set aside for such gatherings should agree with the Christian’s conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Romans 14:5-6; Galatians 4:10; Colossians 2:16-17; Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Cor 16:1-2; 2 Cor 8-9.
VII. Last Things
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord. Mark 9:42-48; John 14:1-4; 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; 2 Timothy 4:1; Revelations 20-22
VIII. On Marriage and Sexuality
We believe that Scripture teaches that sexual intimacy should only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other. We believe that Scripture also teaches that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, unbiblical remarriage, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, incest, any attempt to change one’s sex, disagreement with one’s biological sex, or pornography is sinful and offensive to God. Scripture also instructs Christians not to marry non-Christians.
However, we believe that Scripture requires that every person should be shown compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. We believe that God offers redemption to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.
IX. The Church
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers associated by covenant. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation. Matthew 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-47; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22-23; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-12; Hebrews 12:22-24; Revelation 5:9
Evangelical congregations, as occasion requires, are to work together in humble and voluntary cooperation. The resulting spiritual fellowship and organizations bear witness to the unity of the Church and the glory of God. Such organizations have no authority over churches and are voluntary. Acts 15:1-35; 2 Corinthians 8-9; Ephesians 4:1-6; 3 John 5-8
X. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
Baptism is the immersion of a believer in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead, and it is prerequisite to membership and the Lord’s Supper. Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 6:3-5
The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience where believers, through taking the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming. Luke 22:7-22; 1 Corinthians 10:14-17; 11:17-34
XI. Election and Perseverance
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility. Genesis 12:1-3; Romans 9:6-29; Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-13; 1 Peter 1:1-5
All true believers endure to the end, as evidenced by personal transformation that includes an ever-growing love for God, love for brothers and sisters in the church, and love for lost neighbors. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, which grieves the Spirit, and it may also embarrass the church and invite the Father’s discipline; however, believers shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. Matthew 13:1-23; 24:13; Romans 8:28-30; 1 Corinthians 6:9-12; Ephesians 4:30; Philippians 1:6; Colossians 1:21-23; 2 Timothy 1:12; 1 John 2:19; Jude 24