The Holy Trinity: We believe in the one living and true God, both holy and loving, eternal, unlimited in power, wisdom, and goodness, the Creator and Preserver of all things. Within this unity there are three persons of one essential nature, power, and eternity – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The Son of God: We believe in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, truly God and truly man. He died on the cross and was buried, to be a sacrifice both for original sin and for all human transgressions, and to reconcile us to God. Christ rose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, and there intercedes for us at the Father’s right hand until He returns to judge all humanity at the last day.
The Holy Spirit: We believe in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son, and is of the same essential nature, majesty, and glory as the Father and the Son, truly and eternally God. He is the Administer of grace to all, and is particularly the effective Agent in conviction of sin, in regeneration, in sanctification, and in glorification. He is ever present, assuring, preserving, guiding, and enabling the believer.
The Holy Scriptures: We believe that the books of the Old and New Testaments constitute the Holy Scriptures. They are the inspired and infallibly written Word of God, fully inerrant in their original manuscripts and superior to all human authority, and have been transmitted to the present without corruption of any essential doctrine. We believe that they contain all things necessary for salvation; so that whatever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man or woman that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary for salvation. Both in the Old and New Testaments life is offered ultimately through Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and humanity. The New Testament teaches Christians how to fulfill the moral principles of the Old Testament, calling for loving obedience to God made possible by the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit.
Free Will: We believe that humanity’s creation in the image of God included the ability to choose between right and wrong. Thus individuals were made morally responsible for their choices. But since the fall of Adam, people are unable in their own strength to do the right. This is due to original sin, which is not simply the following of Adam’s example, but rather the corruption of the nature of each mortal, and is reproduced naturally in Adam’s descendants. Because of it, humans are very far gone from original righteousness, and by nature are continually inclined to evil. They cannot of themselves even call upon God or exercise faith for salvation. But through Jesus Christ the prevenient grace of God makes possible what humans in self-effort cannot do. It is bestowed freely upon all, enabling all who will to turn and be saved.
The Atonement: We believe that Christ’s offering of Himself, once and for all, through His sufferings and meritorious death on the cross, provides the perfect redemption and atonement for the sins of the whole world, both original and actual. There is no other ground for salvation from sin but that alone. This atonement is sufficient for every individual of Adam’s race, unconditionally effective for the mentally incompetent and children under the age of accountability. It is effective for the salvation of those who reach the age of accountability only when they repent and exercise faith in Christ.
Repentance and Faith: We believe that repentance involves a willful change of mind that renounces sin and longs for righteousness, a godly sorrow for and a confession of past sins, proper restitution for wrongdoings, and a resolution to reform the life. Repentance is the precondition for saving faith, and without it saving faith is impossible. Faith, in turn, is the only condition of salvation. It begins in the agreement of the mind and the consent of the will to the truth of the gospel, but issues in a complete reliance by the whole person in the saving ability of Jesus Christ and a complete trusting of oneself to Him as Savior and Lord.
Justification, Regeneration, and Adoption: We believe that when one repents of personal sin and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, that at the same moment that person is justified, regenerated, adopted into the family of God, and assured of personal salvation through the witness of the Spirit. We believe that justification is the judicial act of God whereby a person is accounted righteous, granted full pardon of all sin, delivered from guilt, and completely released from the penalty of sins committed by the merit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, by faith alone, not on the basis of works. We believe that regeneration, or the new birth, is that work of the Holy Spirit whereby one’s moral nature is given a distinctively spiritual life with the capacity for love and obedience. We believe that adoption is the act of God by which the believer becomes a partaker of all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of a child of God.
Good Works: We believe that although good works cannot save us from our sins or from God’s judgment, they are the fruit of faith and follow after regeneration.
Sin after Regeneration: We believe that after we have experienced regeneration, it is possible to fall into sin. But by the grace of God one who has fallen into sin may by true repentance and faith find forgiveness and restoration.
Sanctification: We believe that sanctification is that work of the Holy Spirit by which the child of God is separated from sin unto God and is enabled to love God with all the heart and to walk in all His holy commandments blameless. Sanctification is initiated at the moment of regeneration, from which there is a gradual progression as the believer daily grows in grace and in more perfect obedience to God. This prepares for the crisis of entire sanctification which is wrought instantaneously when a believer presents himself or herself as a living sacrifice through faith in Jesus Christ, being effected by the baptism of the Holy Spirit who cleanses the heart from all inbred sin. This fullness of the Spirit perfects the believer in love and empowers that person for effective service. It is followed by lifelong growth in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Gifts of the Spirit: We believe that the Gift of the Spirit is the Holy Spirit Himself, and He is to be desired more than the gifts of the Spirit which He in His wise counsel bestows upon individual members of the Church to enable them properly to fulfill their function as members of the body of Christ. These gifts are to be exercised in love under the administration of the Lord of the Church, not through human volition. The relative value of the gifts of the Spirit is to be tested by their usefulness in the Church and not by the ecstasy produced in the ones receiving them.
The Church: We believe that the Church is the entire body of believers in Jesus Christ, who is its founder and only Head. The Church includes both those believers who have gone to be with the Lord and those who remain on earth.
The Sacraments: We believe that water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the sacraments of the church commanded by Christ and ordained as a means of grace when received through faith. They are tokens of our profession of Christian faith and signs of God’s gracious ministry toward us. By them He works within us to quicken, strengthen, and confirm our faith. We believe that water baptism, whether through immersion, pouring, or sprinkling, is a symbol of the new covenant of grace and signifies acceptance of the benefits of the atonement of Jesus Christ. By means of this sacrament, believers declare their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ’s death and of our hope in His victorious return, as well as a sign of the love that Christians have for each other. To such as receive it humbly, with a proper spirit and by faith, it is made a means through which God communicates grace to the heart.
Marriage and Family: We believe that every person is created in the image of God, that human sexuality reflects that image in terms of intimate love, communication, fellowship, subordination of the self to the larger whole, and fulfillment. God’s Word makes use of the marriage relationship as the supreme metaphor for His relationship with His covenant people and for revealing the truth that that relationship is of one God with one people. Therefore God’s plan for human sexuality is that it is to be expressed only in a monogamous lifelong relationship between one man and one woman within the framework of marriage. This is the only relationship which is divinely designed for the birth and rearing of children and is a covenant union made in the sight of God, taking priority over every other human relationship.
The Second Coming of Christ: We believe in the personal and imminent return of Christ, a certainty that inspires holy living and zeal for evangelization of the world. At His return He will fulfill all prophecies made concerning His final and complete triumph over evil.
The Resurrection of the Dead: We believe in the bodily resurrection from the dead of all people – the just unto the resurrection of life, and the unjust unto the resurrection of condemnation.
The Judgment: We believe that God is the Judge of all and the acts of His judgment are based on His omniscience and eternal justice. His administration of judgment will culminate in the final meeting of all persons before His throne, where records will be examined and final rewards and punishments will be administered.
Destiny: We believe that there is a conscious personal existence after death. The final destiny of each person is determined by God’s grace and that person’s response in this life, not from any arbitrary decree from God. Heaven with its eternal glory and the blessedness of Christ’s presence is the final abode of those who choose the salvation which God provides through Jesus Christ. Hell with its everlasting misery and separation from God is the final abode of those who neglect this great salvation.