Doctrine

We stand firmly on a Baptist heritage and have a great appreciation for the historic 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith, which provides a detailed exposition of the divine doctrines we love and cherish.  We offer the following statement of faith as a more succinct doctrinal statement for our church:

 

1.  The Holy Scriptures

We believe that God has revealed all that is necessary to life and salvation in the completed canon of Holy Scripture – the entire sixty-six books of the Bible, which are the Word of God.1 Our faith is not based on any speculation or man-made philosophy, but is based on the historic Christian faith which is recorded in the Holy Scriptures.2 We believe that all Scripture was given by inspiration of God, is infallible and inerrant in the original manuscripts, and represents the supreme and final authority for our faith and practice.  The Bible is our guide in all matters regarding doctrine, church practice, counseling, and individual behavior.3 Therefore, we should always be reforming our thoughts of God in order to be more God-honoring and consistent with the Word of God.4 The Scriptures were written by humans enabled by the Holy Spirit and are God’s revelation of Himself to everyone.5

1. John 5:39;  Deuteronomy 4:12-13;  Revelation 22:19;  Hebrews 4:12 2. 1 Thessalonians 2:13;  Jude 3 3. 2 Timothy 3:16;  1 Timothy 3:15;  1 Timothy 6:3 4. Romans 12:2; 5. 2 Peter 1:19-21


2. God and the Holy Trinity

We believe that there is one true and living God, eternally existing in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.1 These three, being one in essence, are co-equal, co-eternal, and co-existing and perform distinct, but harmonious functions in creation, redemption, and providence.2

1. Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19 2. Genesis 1:1-2; Ephesians 1:7; Genesis 50:20

a. God the Father

We believe in God, the Father, an infinite personal spirit, perfect in His holiness, justice, wisdom, power, and love.1 We believe that He is eternal, almighty, holy, righteous, unchanging, omniscient, omnipresent, good, loving, trustworthy, merciful, gracious, and long-suffering.2 We believe that He is all glorious in His nature, absolutely sovereign, and worthy of all honor, praise, and adoration.3

1. 1 Corinthians 8:6; Job 11:7-9; John 4:24; Isaiah 6:1-3; Genesis 18:25; Romans 16:27; Psalm 147:5; 1 John 4:16 2. Psalm 90:2; Revelation 11:17; Revelation 15:4; Daniel 9:14; James 1:14; Psalm 139:1-12; Jeremiah 31:14; Proverbs 3:5; Exodus 34:6-7 3. Revelation 21:23; Daniel 4:35; Revelation 4:11

b. God the Son

We believe in Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, God’s only begotten Son who was born of the virgin Mary through a divine, miraculous act of the Holy Spirit.1 We believe in His sinless life, miracles, and teachings as recorded in the Holy Scriptures.2 We believe in His substitutionary atoning death on the cross, His bodily resurrection, His ascension into heaven, and His perpetual intercession for His people.3 We believe He is the only way of salvation for lost mankind.4

1. 1 John 1:1-14; Matthew 1:18-23 2. Hebrews 4:15; Matthew 11:20; Matthew 7:29 3. 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Acts 1:11; Hebrews 7:25 4. Acts 4:12; John 3:16-17

c. God the Holy Spirit

We believe in the Holy Spirit who came from the Father and the Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to apply the benefits of Christ’s work to the elect in regeneration and sanctification.1 We believe that every believer is baptized by the Holy Spirit and indwelt by the Spirit at regeneration.2 We believe the Holy Spirit bestows spiritual gifts, helps, teaches, and guides every believer.3

1. John 15:26; John 16:8-14; John 3:5-6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13 2. 1 Corinthians 12:13; 1 Corinthians 3:16 3. 1 Corinthians 12:11; John 16:13

 

3. Election

We believe that God, before the foundation of the world and for His own glory, did elect a great multitude of men and women to eternal life as an act of His free and sovereign grace.1 This election was without condition, according to His good pleasure, and in no way was dependent upon His foresight of human faith, decision, works or merit.2

1. Ephesians 1:3-6, 12-14; Ephesians 2:8-10 2. Romans 9:11; 1 Peter 1:2

 

4. Creation

We believe the biblical account of creation is the only logical explanation for the universe and all that is therein. We believe that God created the heavens, the earth, and all living creatures in six literal twenty-four hour days, resting on the seventh day. We believe that all living things reproduce after their own kind and that nothing is evolved.1

1. Genesis 1-3; Psalm 19:1; Psalm 33:6-9; Psalm 104:24; Psalm 148:1-6

 

5. Adam, the Fall, and its Effects

We believe that God created our first father Adam in His own image, righteous and upright to do that which is good, and yet under the possibility of transgressing by the liberty of his own will.1 Adam was appointed representative and head of the human race, thereby exposing all his offspring to the effects of his obedience or disobedience to God’s commands.2 We believe that Adam fell from his original righteousness into sin, and brought upon him and all his offspring spiritual and physical death, condemnation, and a sinful nature.3

1. Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:16-17 2. Romans 5:12-14 3. 1 Corinthians 15:22; Romans 6:23; John 3:18-19

 

6. Man’s Depravity

We believe that due to the effects of the fall, man’s spiritual condition by nature is such that he is dead in his trespasses and sins, enslaved to sin, and wholly incapable and unwilling to come to God.1 Therefore, we believe it is utterly beyond the power of fallen man to love God, to keep His laws, to understand the Gospel, to repent of his sin, to trust in Christ, or to cooperate with God in his salvation.2

1. Ephesians 2:1; Titus 3:3; 1 Corinthians 2:14 2. John 3:19; Ephesians 2:5; Romans 3:11; Colossians 2:13; Ephesians 2:8; Jonah 2:9; Matthew 1:21

 

7. Christ our Representative

We believe that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, born under the law, unchangeably sinless, fully God and fully man, to live a perfect life of righteousness on behalf of His elect people.1 We believe that Christ came in the likeness of man’s nature, yet without sin, in order to fulfill God’s promises and, ultimately, to receive in Himself the full penalty and consequences of Adam’s fall though His death on the cross.2 We, therefore, have a representative in Christ who can sympathize with all of mans’ weaknesses.3

1. 1 John 4:9; Galations 4:4; John 1:14; Philippians 3:9; Romans 8:33 2. Romans 8:3; John 17:2,6; Hebrews 2:17 3. Hebrews 4:14-16

 

8. Particular Redemption

We believe that Jesus Christ died a substitutionary death on the cross in perfect obedience to His Father’s will and in fulfillment of Holy Scripture.1 The result of His death at Calvary was to fully satisfy the justice of God and, thereby, accomplish propitiation, reconciliation, redemption, and atonement for the sins of His elect people.2 We believe that God the Father bore testimony to His acceptance of the Son’s completed work by raising Him bodily from the dead.3

1. Isaiah 53:4-5; 1 Peter 2:24; Phillipians 2:8 2. Romans 3:25-26; Romans 5:10; Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 5:25 3. 1 Corinthians 15:20-22

 

9. The Resurrection and Ascension of Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead on the third day and ascended to heaven where He is seated at the right hand of His Father, enthroned in glory.1 We believe that Christ, the only mediator between God and man, ever intercedes on behalf of His people and rules over all things for their sake.2

1. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Ephesians 1:20-22; Jude 24-25 2. 1 Timothy 2:5; Romans 8:34; Colossians 2:10

 

10. Irresistible Grace (Regeneration), Repentance, and Faith

We believe that Jesus Christ has poured out the Holy Spirit to work in the salvation of the elect.1 It is the quickening work of the Holy Spirit that effects a new spiritual birth and regenerates the elect sinner, drawing them irresistibly to faith in Christ the Savior by grace alone.2 The Word of God is used by the Holy Spirit as a medium or instrument in regenerating the elect to their new life in Christ.3 We believe that true repentance and faith can only be exercised by a soul as the immediate consequence of first being regenerated by the Spirit of God.4 Repentance is a Gospel grace by which a person is caused by the Holy Spirit to feel the manifold evils of sin and, therefore, humbles himself before God and expresses godly sorrow for his personal sin.5 We believe that our new spiritual birth is evidenced by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ through the working of the Holy Spirit, which results in our voluntary obedience to the Word, holiness of life, and good works.6

1. John 15:26; Acts 1:8 2. John 3:5-8; John 6:44 3. 1 Peter 1:23 4. 1 Corinthians 2:14-15; Ephesians 2:1,5; 5. John 16:8-11; Luke 18:13; Acts 2:37-38 6. John 1:12-13; 1 John 5:18; 1 John 2:29; Ephesians 2:10

 

11. Justification

We believe the elect, who are called by the sovereign grace of God, are also justified in the sight of God on account of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ.1 Justification is a judicial act of God in which He pardons us as sinners, accepts us as just, and restores our right relationship with Himself from our previous enmity with Him.2 We believe the necessary means, or instrumental cause, of justification is our personal faith in Jesus Christ as crucified Savior and risen Lord, because the meritorious ground of our justification is entirely in Christ.3 Therefore, our justification is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God.4

1. Romans 8:30; Philippians 3:9 2. Romans 3:23-26 3. Romans 5:1,9 4. Romans 3:24; Galations 2:16

 

12. Perseverance and Sanctification

We believe that all who are regenerated, called, and justified are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise and shall persevere in holiness forever. A believer who has been effectually called and drawn to Jesus Christ will never fall away, since his salvation is based wholly on the finished work of Christ, and not on the strength of his own commitment or obedience. All true believers will be kept in the faith by God’s power until the end of their lives.1 We believe that all who are drawn to Christ are sanctified by the Holy Spirit and called to live a holy life before God.2 Sanctification is a progressive work of God’s grace in which the believer participates by confession of sin, repentance, holiness of life, and conformity to the Lord’s will.3

1. Philippians 1:6; John 10:27-29 2. 1 Peter 1:2, 15-16 3. 2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 3:13-14; 1 John 1:9; Revelation 2:5; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Romans 12:2

 

13. The Church

We believe in the universal church, an invisible spiritual body of which Christ is the head, composed of all the elect who have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.1 The church includes both Jews and Gentiles who have been called out of the world and united through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.2 We believe in the local church, whose membership consists of an assembly of baptized believers in Jesus Christ who come together for worship, Bible study, prayer, the ordinances, fellowship, and evangelism.3 The local church is under the authority of Christ alone.4 Nevertheless, He has appointed men to be elders (under shepherds) to represent Him as they care for His body.5 Deacons also serve Christ as His ministers of mercy.6 We believe in the autonomy and independence of the local church, although cooperation with other evangelical churches, associations, or organizations may prove beneficial.7

1. Hebrews 12:23; Ephesians 1:22 2. Ephesians 2:11-18; 1 Corinthians 12:13 3. Acts 2:38-42; Psalm 27:4; Acts 1:8 4. Colossians 1:18 5. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 6. 1 Timothy 3:8-13; Acts 6:1-6 7. Matthew 18:17-18; 1 Corinthians 6:1-5

 

14. Church Ordinances

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the church to be observed until the return of Christ: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

a. Baptism

We believe in the Biblical baptism of the regenerated believer by immersion in water.1 By experiencing baptism, a believer publicly declares his repentance of sin, his union with Christ, and his new life in Christ.2 We believe that Baptism provides a solemn and beautiful picture of our personal faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior.3 This ordinance is not a means for salvation, but is a visible sign of our invisible faith in the Lord Jesus Christ4

1. Acts 8:36-38; Acts 2:41; John 3:23; Acts 8:12-13 2. Acts 2:38 3. Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:11-12 4. Acts 16:31

b. The Lord’s Supper

We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross until He comes again and should only be partaken of by the regenerated believer.1 We believe the Lord’s Supper should be preceded by a solemn self-examination of our faith in Christ and our growth in grace. The Lord’s Supper is to be administered by the elements of bread and fruit of the vine, which are symbolic of the body of Christ that was broken for us and the blood of Christ that was shed for us.2 In the Lord’s Supper, the believer is dramatically reminded of the sacrifice of Christ for our sin.3 This ordinance is not a means for salvation, but is a visible sign of our invisible faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

1. Luke 22:19-20 2. Matthew 26:26-29 3. 1 Corinthians 11:23-31

 

15. Marriage

We believe that marriage is an exclusive relationship between a man and a woman in which they commit themselves to each other in a covenant for life before God, and on the basis of this vow become one flesh. We believe that marriage is a reflection of Christ’s great love for the church.1

1. Genesis 2:24; Malachi 2:14; Matthew 19:4-6; Ephesians 5:22-28


16. Christ’s Return and the Last Judgment

We believe in the personal and imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ to earth for the consummation of His eternal kingdom.1 We believe that God has appointed a day in which He will judge all people who have lived on the earth in righteousness by Jesus Christ, to whom the Father has given all authority and power to judge.2 We believe at the moment of Christ’s return all of those saints who are alive shall be caught up in the air and changed so they are with the Lord forever. We believe when Christ comes again He shall raise the dead bodily, both righteous and unrighteous, and that the righteous shall enjoy everlasting life and the wicked shall endure everlasting punishment.3

1. John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Matthew 24:44 2. Acts 17:31; 2 Timothy 4:1; Matthew 28:18; Revelation 20:11-15 3. 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17; John 5:28-29; Matthew 25:31-46

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