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"Of First Importance..."
(1 Corinthians 15:3)
I. The Gospel
We believe God created man in His own image, that man and God were once in perfect community in the Garden of Eden. Man sinned and therefore brought upon all humanity physical, spiritual, and eternal death, condemned to separation from God. In love God sent His only Son, Jesus, to live a sinless life, die a sacrificial death, and to bodily rise from the dead. By grace, those who believe Jesus alone accomplished everything necessary to rescue us from sin and death and reconcile us back to God are regenerated by the Holy Spirit, becoming new creatures, and are delivered from condemnation, receiving eternal life.
References: Genesis. 1:26; 5:2; Genesis 3; Genesis 2:17; 3:19; Ecclesiastes 2:11; Matthew 11:25-27; Luke 10:21-22; John 3:14; 5:24; John 5:30; 7:13; 8:12; 10:26; Romans 9:22; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 19:3, 20; 20:10; 14, 15; 21:18; Psalm 51:7; Jeremiah 17:9; James 1:14; Romans 3:19; 5:19; Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9; John 3:16; John 1:13; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:1
II. The Trinity
We believe there is only one living and true God, the creator, sustainer, and ruler over all things, one in essence, existing in three Persons, each fully God in every way, having distinct offices but working harmoniously to bring glory to Himself. He is infinite in power, wisdom, and goodness, perfect in all His ways.
References: Genesis 1:1, 26; John 1:1, 3; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; Romans 1:19, 20; Ephesians 4:5, 6
III. God the Father
We believe the first Person of the Trinity is God the Father who is infinitely excellent in all He is and desires to have a personal relationship with us. He perfectly knows and has power over all things that will come to pass, graciously concerns Himself with the affairs of man, and saves from sin and death any and all who come to Him through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, bringing them into his invincible love forevermore.
References: Luke 10:21,22; Matthew 23:9; John 3:16; 6:27; Romans 1:7, 10:13; I Timothy 1:1,2; 2:5,6; I Peter 1:3; Revelation 1:6
IV. God the Son — Jesus Christ
We believe the second Person of the Trinity is Jesus Christ, the unique Son of God the Father, eternal in existence, the promised Messiah (Christ) incarnated through the Holy Spirit. He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, did miracles and signs, and taught truth. His death on the cross was a substitutionary, propitiatory, atoning, and reconciling sacrifice; He was bodily raised from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is perpetually interceding before the throne of God for His people. He will return to destroy all evil, renew all things, and reign for eternity.
References: Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1; 20:28; Romans 9:5; 8:46; II Corinthians 5:21; I Peter 2:21-23; John 20:30, 31; Matthew 20:28; Ephesians 1:4; Acts 1:11; 4:10; Romans 5:6-8; 6:9,10; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:28; I Timothy 3:16; Revelation 21:1-3
V. God the Holy Spirit
We believe the third Person of the Trinity is the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father and the Son to glorify the person and work of Jesus, convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Holy Spirit regenerates, indwells, sanctifies, and empowers all who believe in Jesus Christ and is their helper, teacher, counselor, and guide.
References: John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26, 27; John 16:9-14; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; Galatians 5:22- 26
"Also True, Right, and Good..."
VI. The Inspired Word
We believe the 66 books of the Bible are the Word of God, fully inspired by Him, without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration and instruction of the Person of the Holy Spirit. Holy Scripture, being God’s own Word, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: it is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it affirms: obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises.
References: II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20, 21; Mark 13:31; John 8:31, 32; John 20:31; Acts 20:32; c.f. Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy
VII. The Church
We believe in the worldwide and timeless Church, of which Jesus Christ is the head, Holy Spirit is its life and power, and all regenerated persons are members of the body. The local church consists of a community of believers, baptized on a credible profession of faith in Jesus, and associated for worship, community, and ministry.
References: Ephesians 2:19-22; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 5:19-21; Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:23-25; Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Corinthians 5:18, 20
VIII. The Mission of the Church
We believe the Church is sent into the world under the authority of Jesus to be ambassadors for Him, preaching the message the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world, making disciples of all peoples to the ends of the earth, baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit, teaching to obey all that Jesus commanded. Living as salt in a world that is decaying and light in a world that is dark, believers should neither withdraw into seclusion from the world, nor become indistinguishable from it: rather, we are to do good, for all the glory and honor of the nations is to be offered up to the living God.
References: John 20:21; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Matthew 28:18-20, 5:13-16; John 15:19, 17:15-18; Romans 12:2; Galatians 6:9; Psalm 37:3, 65:1, 67:1-5
IX. The Sacraments
We believe Jesus Christ has commanded two sacraments for the church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is the immersion of the believer into water in the name of the triune God, symbolizing the believer’s immersion into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Lord’s Supper, communally partaking of the bread and cup symbolic of Jesus’ body and the New Covenant in His blood, was instituted by Christ for the remembrance and proclamation of His sacrificial death on the cross. These two sacraments should be observed and administered until the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
References: Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-28; 28:18-20; Acts 8:26-39; Romans 6:3-5; I Corinthians 11:23-26
X. The Christian’s Life
We believe the Christian can and should live for the glory of God, be blameless before the world, a faithful steward of all entrusted to them, living as a disciple of Jesus and a disciple-maker for Jesus, striving for unity in the faith and in the knowledge of Jesus, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness.
References: 1 Corinthians 10:31; Romans 12:1-3; Hebrews 12:1-2; John 14:15, 23-24; 1 John 2:3-6; 2 Corinthians 9:6-9; 1 Corinthians 4:2; Colossians 1:9-10; Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 4:13
XI. Marriage & Sexuality
We believe the common grace of marriage is a covenant relationship between one man and one woman for all of life, instituted as such by God in the Old Testament and reaffirmed by Jesus Christ in the New Testament. It is within this understanding of marriage that sexuality is to be expressed and fully enjoyed as a good gift from God (sexual morality). Any deviation from such is sexual immorality.
References: Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:24-25; Matthew 19:4-6; 1 Corinthians 7:1-7:5; Proverbs 5:18-19; Hebrews 13:4; Exodus 20:14; 1 Corinthians 6:18-20; Romans 1:26-27
XII. The Enemy
We believe Satan is the god of this world who desires to undo every good work God has done, is doing, and will do. We believe Satan roams the earth to steal, kill, and destroy, he goes before the throne of the Father to accuse followers of Jesus Christ, and he will be thrown into the lake of fire for the rest of eternity when Jesus returns to establish His kingdom on earth.
References: Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:12-18; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 Peter 5:8; John 10:10; Revelation 12:10; 20:10
XIII. Last Things
We believe Jesus Christ will physically return to earth to establish His eternal kingdom and triumph over all evil. The Church will be bodily resurrected from the dead on this day to reign with Him. There will be a great and final judgment where those who believe The Gospel will enjoy eternity in the presence of and in perfect community with the triune God; and those who do not believe The Gospel will eternally suffer separated from God.
References: Matthew 16:27; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Phil. 3:20; I Thessalonians 4:15; II Timothy 4:1; Titus 2:13; I Corinthians 4:5; I Corinthians 15; II Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 20:4-6, 11-15
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