What We Believe
We are in substantial agreement with the London Baptist Confession of 1689. The LBC and the following Statement of Faith are subordinate to Scripture and amendable.
We believe the LORD God, as revealed in the Bible, is the one and only living and true God, having in and of Himself all perfections, and being infinite in them all. He is the holy, sovereign, self-existent and self-sufficient One.
(Exodus 3:14; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 135:6; Psalm 139; Isaiah 6:3; Isaiah 43:10-11; John 5:39)
This God reveals Himself to us in the Trinity as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each equal in His nature, essence, and being, yet each possessing distinct personal attributes suitable to His person and work.
(Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2)
He is Creator, Sustainer and Ruler of all things, visible and invisible, physical and spiritual. Out of nothing, by the power of His Word, He called all that exists into being and sustains it according to His desire and power. To Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience.
(Genesis 1; Psalm 2; Psalm 104; Isaiah 45:21-25; John 1:1-3; Philippians 2:9-10; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3)
God, from eternity, decrees and ordains all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and all events; yet not in any way as to be the author or approver of sin nor to destroy the will and responsibility of intelligent creatures. In this, His manifold attributes, including His wisdom, power, love, and faithfulness are revealed to us.
(Psalm 104; Isaiah 42:5; Isaiah 45:5-13; Isaiah 46:10-13; Isaiah 48; Amos 3:6; Matthew 24:32-36; Romans 1:20; Romans 9:17-18; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Ephesians 1:3-5,11; Colossians 1:17)
We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as they were composed by the original authors in the original languages, were given by inspiration of God and are the only inspired, inerrant, infallible, and authoritative Word of God. The Scriptures speak to every area of life, to completely instruct, guide, and conform every believer to the image of Christ, in all life and godliness. These Scriptures, which in English translations make up the 66 books of the Bible, are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience.
(Deuteronomy 4:1-8; Psalm 19:7-14; Proverbs 30:5a; 2 Timothy 3:16,17; Hebrews 4:12,13; 2 Peter 1:3,4; 2 Peter 1.20,21)
Man’s belief in the authority of Scripture comes from the inward work of the Holy Spirit who works in the mind, heart, and will of man. The Spirit and the Scriptures work in us to draw us into a personal saving knowledge of God in Christ, to establish the content of our belief or faith, and to direct us in the conduct of our daily lives.
(John 6:44; John 16:13-15; Romans 6:17; 1 Corinthians 2:12-14; 2 Timothy 3:16,17)
Nothing is to be added to or taken away from the Scriptures in any way, such as new revelation or traditions of men. It is the standard by which all knowledge is tested.
(Deuteronomy 4:7, 12:32; Proverbs 30:5-6; Galatians 1:8; Colossians 2:8; Revelation 22:18-19)
Each of us is called to correctly handle the Word of God, through the guidance and illumination of the Holy Spirit. Thus, we are to discern its true, intended, and plain meaning. There are three necessary interpretive principles we are to employ in order to accurately handle the Word of God. First, we establish meaning by textual and historical context and consideration of the original languages. Second, by recognizing the unity of all Scripture, we follow the basic rule of all Biblical interpretation – Scripture must be used to interpret Scripture (e.g., Genesis 12:7 with Galatians 3:16; Joel 2:28-32 with Acts 2:16-24; Genesis 15:6 with Romans 4:1-3,13). Third, we understand all Scripture to testify to the person and work of Jesus Christ, who authored and fulfills the Word of God. Therefore we search the Scriptures to that end.
(Matthew 5:17; Luke 24:27; John 5:32,39; 2 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Peter 3:15,16)
We believe that God originally created man in His own image, and free from sin; that in the beginning, all of God’s creation, including man, was good. Mankind, male and female, was righteous, walking closely with God. Man, through the temptation of Satan, transgressed the command of God and fell from that original position of holiness, righteousness and fellowship with God into disgrace, deserving condemnation to Hell, through unbelief and rebellion. All of Adam’s descendants have inherited Adam’s sinful nature, a nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law. All are under condemnation, totally unable to do anything that is pleasing to God. All men are commanded to repent of their sin and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, however, all are dead in their sin and cannot in themselves respond to the gospel for salvation.
(Genesis 1, 2, 3; Psalm 14:1-3; Romans 3:10-12, 5:12-21, 8:6-8; Ephesians 2:1-9)
And this is the gospel, that Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, being fully God and fully man, was sent by the Father and came willingly to be the only divinely appointed mediator between God and man. Having determined to take upon Himself human nature, he was born of a virgin and lived a perfect, sinless life of obedience to His Father, observing all His commands and fulfilling all His purposes. In doing so, He revealed to man the glory, mercy, grace, and truth of God, teaching man the new way of life.
(Luke 1:26-28; John 1:14, 14:6, 17:4; Acts 2:23,36; Philippians 2:5-8; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 1:1-3; 1 Peter 2:21,22)
Jesus Christ suffered and gave up His life by death on the cross at the hands of sinful men according to God’s sovereign purpose. Christ, being without sin, did this in order to pay God’s just penalty for sin on behalf of those whom the Father had chosen to redeem unto salvation from the effects of sin. He was buried and then rose bodily from the dead on the third day, removing the power of the curse of death from His people forever.
(Acts 2:23; Romans 3:23-26; 1 Peter 1:18-2 1; John 20:25,27; 1 Corinthians 15:54-58)
After Christ ascended into heaven, the Holy Spirit was sent to make the Savior known to those whom God the Father had chosen – not because of foreseen merit in them, but of his mere mercy in Christ. The Holy Spirit works in God’s people by making them spiritually alive and enabling them to freely receive the free gift of eternal life as offered in the gospel through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus, the Lord of His people, ascended to His Father after His resurrection and now dwells in the Father’s presence, interceding on their behalf and enabling them to grow more and more in living obedience to Himself.
(Acts 1:8,9; John 16:7-13; Ephesians 2:4-8; Romans 3:21-26; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:18-2 1; Hebrews 7:24,25; 2 Corinthians 10:5)
All who respond by faith to the gospel promises are declared righteous before God by means of the righteousness of Christ credited to them. They are reconciled to God through the forgiveness of sin by Christ’s substitutionary death on their behalf. Thus reconciled, believers have passed from judgment, wrath, and death to life and have received a spirit of adoption as beloved children who know God as Father.
(Romans 3:21-26; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24; Romans 6:23; Romans 5:9-11)
Through the course of his life, the believer will continue to struggle against his remaining sin, however, growth in conformity to the image and likeness of God by obedience is a vital and necessary part of the life of the believer. Thus, the believer, made aware by the Holy Spirit of the manifold evil of his sin, humbled with godly sorrow, detesting sin, and abhorring [i.e., hating] self, and having been re-created to do good works, will grow increasingly in the grace of God, turning from their sin with a purpose and endeavor to follow Jesus Christ as Lord and walk before God so as to please Him in all things.
(Romans 6:1,2, 11-14; Romans 7:14-25; 2 Corinthians 3:17,18; Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 4:11-13; 2 Peter 1:3-11).
All those whom God has chosen and redeemed in the Beloved, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace and will most certainly be preserved by God and shall certainly persevere in their saving faith until that time when God chooses to take them to be with Him forever. Though they may fall, through neglect and temptation, into sin, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again unto repentance, and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
(John 6:37; John 10:28,29; John 14:1-3; Philippians 1:6)
We believe that all those who have faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are united by the indwelling Holy Spirit into one spiritual and physical body called the Church, of which Jesus Christ is the Head, and in Whom is supremely invested all power for its government. According to His commandment, this Church is made manifest as Christians associate themselves into local churches that recognize Jesus as Lord and Savior and serve Him according to the Scriptures. To each of these churches He has given needful authority for administering the order, discipline and worship which He has appointed. The regular officers of a church are Elders and Deacons.
(Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 1:13b-14; Colossians 1:18)
God’s purpose in establishing His church is to glorify Himself by making known His manifold wisdom, which He demonstrated in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:8-11). This is accomplished when believers do the following:
- Gather together on each Lord’s Day (i.e. Sunday) in the power and unity of the Holy Spirit for worship and celebration of Christ’s resurrection and the redemption of His people, by the reading and teaching of the Word of God, praise, prayer, mutual encouragement – stimulating one another to love and good deeds, and participation in the ordinances of the church.(Acts 2:42-47; Hebrews 10:23-25)
- Mutually exercise the gifts of the Holy Spirit for the edification, equipping, and growth of the members for works of service to maturity in Christ and unity with Christ and the Body.(John 17, 1 Corinthians 12:4-7; Ephesians 3:10-11; 4:11-13; 1 Peter 4:10)
- Proclaim the good news of God’s saving grace in Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world, disciple and baptize those who have received the Word and believed unto salvation, teaching them to observe and obey all that Christ has commanded.(Matthew 28:18-20; Colossians 1:28; 1 Timothy 4:11-16)
- Are salt of the earth and light of the world in all dealings with each other and the world.(Matthew 5:13-16)
God has established two ordinances for the local church to observe – Baptism and the Lord’s Supper and has established the church as the sole authority to oversee these ordinances.
Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of his giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. It is undergone once as a sign of the new life in Christ after a person has confessed faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with bread and fruit of the vine, and to be observed by His Church until the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed as a remembrance of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on our behalf, to demonstrate, encourage, and strengthen their communion with Him, and of their church fellowship. It is to be observed regularly until He returns.
(Acts 2:38,42; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
All believers are priests within the household of God. All possess a common dignity, calling, and privilege of communion before and with God. All are called to offer themselves as living sacrifices, with praise and thanksgiving to God. With our various gifts and callings, we serve God and one another. Within this household, Jesus Christ appoints elders (pastors) as under-shepherds to serve His people by administering the activities of His church and providing watch-care [teaching, training, admonishing, correcting] over the spiritual needs of its members, and, when necessary, administering Biblical discipline. Deacons minister to the physical needs of the church, both corporately and individually.
(Acts 20:28; Romans 12:1,2; 1 Corinthians 12:7; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; 1 Timothy 5:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Timothy 4:1-2; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 2:9-10; 1 Peter 5:1-3)
The final authority by which all disputes within the church are to be settled is Scripture, being interpreted by the guidance and illumination of the Holy Spirit. Scripture shall be interpreted in the historical, grammatical method, honoring the intention of the author in his original purpose.
(John 14:26, 16:13a; Acts 20:27; 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Timothy 3:16,17)
We believe that the bodies of men return to dust after death, but their spirits return immediately to God – the righteous to rest with Him; the wicked, to be reserved under darkness to judgment.
We believe that God has appointed a day when Jesus Christ will physically and visibly return in glory to judge the world in righteousness, each one receiving according to his deeds. On that day the living shall be changed and the dead will be raised, their eternal souls being reunited with their resurrected bodies. God’s justice will be displayed in the eternal punishment of the wicked, who will be cast into the lake of fire to experience the wrath of God, separated forever from his glory and mercy. His mercy will be displayed in the eternal blessing of the righteous, who will be gathered in Christ, in glorified bodies, to everlasting life in fullness of joy in the presence of the Lord.
(Matthew 24:36; Matthew 25:31; Mark 13:26,27; John 5:28,29; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 6:16-17; Revelation 14:10; Revelation 20:12-15; Revelation 21:3; Revelation 21:8)