Statement of Faith
1. The Scriptures
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God. They are the only sufficient, certain, and authoritative guide to all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience.
There is one and only one, living and true God. He is the Creator, Preserver, and Ruler of all things. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. To Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience.
3. The Trinity
God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
God from eternity decrees or permits all things that come to pass. He perpetually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and all events, without destroying the free will and responsibility of each individual. God does not in any way cause or condone sin.
God from eternity chooses some persons to everlasting life. He chooses not because of foreseen merit in those persons, but because of His mere mercy in Christ. Due to God’s eternal choice, believers are called, justified, and glorified.
6. The Fall of Man
God originally created man in His own image, and free from sin. Through the temptation of Satan, man broke the command of God, and fell from his original holiness and righteousness. As a result, man’s descendants inherit a sin nature. All are corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law, and are under His condemnation. In addition, every person both desires to sin and does sin against God.
7. The Mediator
Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God. He is the only divinely appointed mediator between God and man. He took upon Himself human nature, yet without its sin. In life, he perfectly fulfilled the law. He suffered and died upon the cross, in place of sinners, for their salvation. He was buried, and rose again the third day. He ascended to His Father, at whose right hand He lives to make intercession for His people. He is the Prophet, Priest, and King of the Church, and Sovereign of the Universe.
Regeneration is a change of heart, caused by the Holy Spirit, which brings to spiritual life one who is dead in his trespasses and sins. This regeneration enlightens the mind to understand the Word of God for salvation. The new life transforms the whole nature of a person, so that he loves and practices holiness. Only the work of God’s free and saving grace can produce spiritual life, repentance, faith, and salvation.
Repentance is a work of God’s grace by which the Holy Spirit first makes a person aware of the enormous evil of his sin. A person who repents of sin responds to that sin by humbling himself because of it, with godly grief, hatred of sin, and self-loathing. A person who repents, turns from sin with a purpose to live before God, and strives to please Him in all things.
Saving faith is the belief in what God’s Word reveals concerning Christ. By God’s grace and authority, the Holy Spirit gives a person such faith. A person who believes, accepts and rests upon Christ alone for justification and eternal life. Saving faith leads to a life of holiness.
Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal of sinners who believe in Christ. God acquits believing sinners from all sin. God justifies sinners not because of anything good in them or done by them, but only because of the obedient and satisfying sacrifice Christ made for them. By faith, believers receive and rest in Him and His righteousness, alone.
Those who have been regenerated, are also sanctified, by God’s word and Spirit dwelling in them. God supplies the strength, by His grace, for all believers to make progress in sanctification. All saints seek to obtain that strength, pressing on to a heavenly life in heartfelt obedience to all Christ’s commands.
13. Perseverance of the Saints
Those whom God has justified, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace. All true believers shall persevere to the end, and only those who persevere to the end are true believers. Believers may fall into sin, through temptation, and the neglect of God’s Word and prayer. This sin of believers grieves the Spirit, weakens their joy and spiritual progress, brings dishonor on the Church, and earthly judgments on themselves. Nevertheless, God shall restore believers again to repentance, and keep them by his power, through faith unto salvation.
14. The Church
The Lord Jesus Christ is the head of the Church, which is his body. The Church is composed of all true believers, His disciples. God has given Jesus, and only Jesus, supreme authority to govern the Church. Christ has instructed Christians to associate themselves into local churches. To each of these churches, Christ has given all the authority needed for administering the order, discipline, and worship that He has required. The biblical officers of a church are elders and deacons.
Jesus Christ ordained baptism, for his own glory and the spiritual good of his children, to be carried out in the Church, throughout the Gospel age. The Lord Jesus Christ commanded his disciples to baptize all believers. In baptism, the believer is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Baptism signifies the believer’s union with the death and resurrection of Christ. Baptism also signifies the believer’s cleansing from sin, and new spiritual life of submission to God. Baptism is the initiation rite for joining the church because it symbolizes identification with Christ and his Church.
16. The Lord’s Supper
Jesus Christ ordained the Lord’s Supper, for His own glory and the spiritual good of His children, to be carried out in the Church, throughout the Gospel age. Believers share the bread and the cup, representing the body and blood of Christ that was sacrificed for them. In taking the Lord’s Supper, believers commemorate and proclaim the Lord’s death. The Lord’s Supper is an occasion for each believer to examine himself, confess his sins, and confirm his faith and forgiveness. The Lord’s Supper provides an opportunity for believers together to express their communion with the Lord, and their church fellowship with each other.
17. The Lord’s Day
The Old Testament Sabbath was a special day of rest for God’s people. Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law, including the Sabbath. Christians rest in Him by faith, until the Day when they will rest in His presence for eternity. Christians meet together on the first day of the week, known as the Lord’s Day, the day of the Lord’s resurrection. Each Christian should be fully convinced in his own mind, and by the Scripture, how best to spend the Lord’s Day in a way that glorifies God.
18. Liberty of Conscience
God alone is lawgiver and judge, who has established the standard of right and wrong. The Christian’s conscience is therefore bound to the Word of God. As a result, the Christian’s conscience is free from any teaching or command that is contrary to God’s word, or not contained in it. God has instituted civil authorities to rule over us. Therefore, we must be in subjection to all lawful things they command, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.
19. Death and the Resurrection
After death, the bodies of men return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God. The spirits of the righteous return to rest with Him, having been made perfect in holiness. Christians thus are received into paradise, where they are with Christ, and behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies. The spirits of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torment and utter darkness, until the judgment. At the last day, God will raise the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust.
20. The Judgment
God has appointed a day on which He will judge the world by Jesus Christ. On that day, He will judge impartially according to each one’s deeds. The wicked, who do not know God, and do not obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into endless punishment. The righteous, who through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, shall enter into endless joy.