Statement of Faith
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the verbally inspired Word of God which, in the original writings, are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed. As such, they are the final authoritative rule for all faith and practice.
There is but one God, who exists as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, without division of essence, attributes or perfections; yet who is distinct in person, office and function. As the Maker, Preserver, and Ruler of all things, He created the universe out of nothing in six days, and continues to sustain it and govern it by His care and power.
The Lord Jesus Christ was, is, and always will be the second person of the Trinity, and, as deity, He partakes of all the divine attributes and prerogatives. Although He pre-existed in “the form of God,” He took upon Himself a sinless human nature and body by the Virgin Birth in order that He might perfectly fulfill the law, suffer and die upon the cross, be buried and rise again on the third day, reveal God and redeem mankind. His death, burial and resurrection were representative, vicarious, and substitutionary, and accomplished complete salvation for those who believe.
Now ascended, He is exalted as Head of the Church and dwells at the right hand of God where He makes intercession for the saints, governs the universe, and forever lives as perfect God and perfect man with two distinct natures inseparably united in one person.
The Holy Spirit
God the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity who convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment and draws all men to Christ. His ministry in the life of the believer is to regenerate, baptize, seal, empower and indwell until the day of redemption. He also imparts spiritual gifts and spiritual fruit to those who yield to Him.
Satan is a spirit being who was originally created good; yet, through his own rebellion against God, he became the author of sin and the cause of the fall of man. He is the declared enemy of God, the tempter of mankind and the accuser of the brethren. As the god of this age he blinds the minds of those that do not believe the Gospel. His final destiny shall be eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire.
Man was originally created by the immediate agency and power of God, and was not a product of evolutionary processes; as such, he was made in the image and likeness of God, having an immortal and immaterial soul, and a physical body. By responding to the temptation of Satan he transgressed the command of God and fell from his original state of innocence. Now all men are born under the wrath of God and are totally depraved; that is, they are spiritually dead, morally polluted and physically mortal. None are righteous, nor are any able to attain righteousness by their works, apart from the salvation provided in Christ.
Salvation from sin and all its evil consequences is offered to all mankind, through the gospel, as the free gift of God’s grace, purchased by the atoning death and physical resurrection of Jesus Christ. Those who receive the gift of eternal life by faith in Christ are baptized, empowered and progressively sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and may rejoice in the assurance of their present and future salvation.
The universal Church, over which the Lord Jesus is Head, is the spiritual organism made up of all persons who through faith in Christ have been regenerated by the Spirit and baptized into the body of Christ. The visible church finds its expression on earth through the local church, which is governed by elders (pastors) and deacons. The marks and ministry of a true local church are: 1) the true preaching of God’s Word; 2) corporate worship; 3) the celebration of the ordinances of the Lord’s Supper and Baptism; 4) the communion of the saints; and 5) the administration of church discipline.
In the early chapters of Genesis we are told that God created “male and female” and commanded them to “be fruitful and multiply.” Marriage was instituted to facilitate procreation and alleviate man’s loneliness, requiring the “man to leave his mother and father, and cleave unto his wife” in a life-long covenanted union. Clearly, then, God’s created order for human sexual expression is heterosexual monogamous marriage. All sexual activity outside of the marriage institution is considered sinful. Therefore, the Scriptures prohibit adultery, fornication, bestiality, incest, and homosexuality. In addition to these Biblical limitations, Christians are forbidden to marry unbelievers or those who are guilty of an unlawful divorce.
The duties of spouses to one another are clearly set forth in the Bible, as are the duties of parents to provide for, train and educate their children, and the duties of children are to obey their parents in the Lord and to provide for them in old age.
Civil government, or the State, has its origin in the divine will and is thus an ordinance of God. Magistrates rule by His providence and command, and are His agents or ministers (deacons). Therefore, Christians are bound to obey the civil government, in the Lord, as a religious duty, and unlawful rebellion is a crime against our fellow-citizens and a sin against God.
The purpose of the State is the good of the community: namely, to secure to man his life, reputation, liberty and property; to provide general law and order; and to provide for the common good, which is achieved when the government punishes evil and rewards good. To this end, civil governments have the right to levy taxes, inflict temporal punishment and to wage defensive war.
The Three Sovereignties
The State, Church and Family are institutionally separate, with different duties and rights. The State is to administer civil justice as defined by God’s Word: its symbol is the sword. The Church is to administer grace through the gospel and the sacraments: its symbol is the keys. The Family is to administer nurture, instruction and welfare: its symbol is the rod.
The distinction between the three sovereignties does not mean that the Church should not expound the Biblical teaching on matters addressed in the Scriptures that touch either the Family or the State. Neither does the separation of institutions mean that Christians should not be involved in the political process. On the contrary, they are obligated to be “salt and light” in every sphere of life, and to do good to all men as their circumstances provide.
Eschatology, or the doctrine of last things, includes several major events which will occur at the end of this age. First, the second coming of Christ in the flesh, the time of which no man knows or can know. Secondly, at His coming, Christ will resurrect all the dead and judge both the just and the unjust. As a result of His judgment, all men will be consigned to their eternal state in either heaven or hell (the Lake of Fire).
The ecumenical, or general, creeds are the doctrinal confessions of the ancient church and are today accepted by all truly orthodox churches, forming a bond of union between them. The three general creeds are: the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Creed of Chalcedon. These creeds contain, in a popular form, the fundamental articles of the true faith, and adherence to them has historically been considered necessary and sufficient for salvation.
However, any and all creeds are subservient to the ultimate rule of our faith, the revealed Word of God, the Bible. Our adherence to the ancient creeds is, nevertheless, a testimony to our unity with the one true universal Church.