Doctrine is important. Here are the truths I ascribe to and that we have covenanted under with our local church.
Below is the Extended Statement of Faith of the church we have joined in covenant membership. If you have any further questions or concerns, feel free to email me.
We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; glorious in holiness, worthy of all honor and praise. The three Persons of the Godhead are equal in every perfection, and holding distinct offices in harmony as the great work of redeeming humankind is accomplished (Gen. 1; Deut. 6:4; Job 42:2; Is. 6:1-5; Dan. 4:34-35; Matt. 16:16, 28:19; John 1:1; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Cor. 8:6; 2 Cor. 13:14; Rev. 4:6-11).
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternally begotten Son of the Father. As the Incarnate Son, He is fully God and fully man. He was born of a virgin, lived a perfect human life, died a vicarious death, was buried, and bodily raised from the dead, ascended to the right hand of the Father, and will return personally in power and glory (Is. 53:5; Matt. 1:23, 16:16; John 1:1-2; 18, 20:31; Acts 7:55; 2 Cor. 5:21; Col. 1:15-16; 2:9; Heb. 1:5-6).
III. The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit has always been at work in the world, sharing in the work of creation, empowering signs and wonders and the preaching and writing of the apostles, and inaugurating a new era of the Spirit by pouring out all the promises of God on His Church. It is by the power of the Spirit that repentant sinners become a new creation and are enabled to live a godly life. The saving work of the Holy Spirit works in connection with the presentation of the gospel message, so that the work of the Father in election, the work of the Son in atonement, and the work of the Spirit in regeneration is an encouragement, not a hindrance, to the proclamation of the gospel to all people everywhere. (Gen. 1:2; Psalm 104:30; Luke 24:49; John 3:8, 7:38-39, 16:5-16; Acts 1:8, 2:33; Rom. 8:7-9; 15:18-19; 2 Cor. 3:17-18; 2 Peter 1:21; Heb. 2:3-4).
IV. The Bible
We believe that the Bible is the inspired, eternal, infallible and sufficient word of God; inerrant in the original manuscripts; and the final authority in all matters of faith and conduct. It was written by men divinely inspired. It has God for its author, salvation as its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter. All creeds, human conduct, and opinions must be tried by the Word of God (Num. 23:19; Psalm 12:6, 119:43; Prov. 30:5; Is. 40:8; Matt. 24:35; John 1:1-3, 14:26, 17:17; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21).
V. Man’s Sinfulness
We believe that Mankind was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker; but by willful transgression fell from that original place, and by consequence all are now sinners, by nature and by choice, and unable by any act of our own to attain the holiness required by God. Humankind is inclined toward evil, and is therefore under condemnation without any defense or excuse (Gen. 2:17, 3:1, 3:6-8, 3:6-13; Ps. 14:3, 51:5; Jer. 17:9-10; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Rom. 5:12-19, 8:20-23; Eph. 2:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:21; 2 Cor. 4:16).
VI. Justification (Being made right with God)
We believe that the great blessing of the gospel message is that all who repent and believe, placing their trust in Jesus Christ will be justified, which includes the pardon of sin and the promise of eternal life. This is based not on any righteousness (holiness) on our part, or on anything we have done or accomplished, but is given to us through the blood of Jesus Christ and imputed to us by God, bringing us to a state of favor with God, and securing for us every blessing promised by God. In short, Jesus died a vicarious death for us (He died in our place) so that the righteous wrath of God might be turned from us (propitiated) and we might know peace with God (Ps. 32:5, 49:15; Isaiah 53; John 1:29, 3:16,36, 6:36-37; Acts 13:38; Rom. 3:28, 5:18-19, 8:3-4; 1 Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 2:16, 3:13; Eph. 1:7; 1 Peter 2:24; Rev. 22:17).
VII. God’s Purpose in Grace
We believe that what the Bible calls “election” or “predestination” is the eternal purpose of God, according to which He changes, saves, and sanctifies (makes holy) men and women who are sinners. It is perfectly consistent with the free agency of human beings, comprehending all things from beginning to end; and is a glorious display of God’s goodness. Knowing salvation through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ utterly excludes boasting. God’s gift of salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ Jesus alone, promoting humility, love, prayer, and praise. God, from all eternity, does freely and unchangeably ordain and foreknow everything that will come to pass (Num. 23:19; Isaiah 41: 21-23, 42: 8-9, 46:9-10; Matt. 10:29-30; Rom. 11:5-8, 36; Col. 1:16-17; 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Tim. 1:9; Eph. 1:4-11, 2:8-9; 1 Peter 1:20; Rev. 13:8).
VIII. The Resurrection of the Dead
We believe that all people will experience a resurrection: the believer in Christ to everlasting life, the unbeliever to everlasting judgment and separation from God. There exists a radical difference between the righteous and the unrighteous; so that only through faith in Jesus Christ are those who are unrighteous made righteous (holy) in God’s sight. All who continue in unbelief will know only separation from God, both in life and in death (Psalm 16:11; Dan. 12:2; Matt. 19:29, 24:30-31, 25:23; 46; Luke 21:27; John 3:16, 36: Rom. 1:18; 1 Thess. 4:15-17; 5:2-3; Titus 2:13).
IX. The Church & Her Ordinances
We believe that the church is the body of Jesus Christ, for which He will return, composed of all from every tongue, tribe, people and nation who have trusted Christ alone for their salvation. The church exercises the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in it by God’s Word. Its officers are elders (pastors) and deacons, whose qualifications are defined in the letters to Timothy and Titus. The local church is a congregation of baptized believers who covenant (agree) with each other in the faith and fellowship of the gospel (good news). Its ordinances are twofold: Baptism, which is an outward expression of the inward reality of salvation in Jesus Christ, depicting the believer’s spiritual death and resurrection to a new life, and The Lord’s Supper, in which the members of the church, by the use of bread and wine (or juice), are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ, preceded always by self-examination (Matt. 18:15-20, 26:26-29, 28:19; Rom. 6:4, 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 11:23-26, 12:13-18; Eph. 1:21-22, 2:19-22; 3:10, 4: 11-13, 4:15-16, 5:18-20; Col 1:18, 2:12; 2 Thess. 3:14-15; 1 Tim. 3:1-15; Titus 1:5-9; Heb. 10:24-25;Rev. 14:6).
X. Of the World to Come
We believe that the end of the world is a reality and is approaching. On the last day, Christ will descend from heaven and raise the dead from the grave to final judgment, and the separation of believers and non-believers will take place. This judgment will fix forever the final state of men and women in an eternal, conscience state in heaven or in hell (Matt. 24:31, 25:46; Luke 21:27; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Cor. 15:22-24; Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Thess. 4:15-17, 5:2-3; Heb. 12:22-23; Jude 24-25; Rev. 20:11-15, 21:6-8).
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