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What We Believe...

 

THE SCRIPTURES
 
We believe the Bible is the written Word of God; that fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures are an essential and infallible record of God’s self- disclosure to mankind and function as the supreme authority and normative rule of all Christian life, practice and doctrine; that they are totally sufficient and must not be added to, superseded or changed by later tradition, extra- biblical revelation or worldly wisdom. Every doctrinal formulation, whether of creed, confession or theology, must be put to the test of the full counsel of God in Holy Scripture.
 
THE TRINITY
 
We believe in one living and true God, infinite, almighty, perfect in holiness, truth and love, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; that these are co-equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption.
 
GOD THE FATHER
 
We believe in God the Father, the Creator of heaven and earth; that by his word and for his glory, he freely and supernaturally created the world out of nothing; that through the same word he daily sustains all his creatures; that he rules over all and, together with the Son and the Spirit, is the only Sovereign; that his plans and purposes cannot be thwarted; that he is faithful to every promise, works all things together for good to those who love him and in his unfathomable grace gave his Son, Jesus Christ, for mankind's redemption; that he made all things for the praise of his glory and intends for man, in particular, to live in fellowship with himself.
 
JESUS CHRIST, GOD THE SON
 
We believe in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, the eternal Word made flesh, supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; that he is perfect in nature, teaching and obedience; that he is fully God and is fully man; that he was always with God and is God; that through him all things came into being and were created; that he was before all things and in him all things hold together by the word of his power; that he is the image of the invisible God, the first-born over all creation, and in him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily; that he is the only Savior for the sins of the world having shed his blood and died a vicarious death on Calvary's cross; that by his death in our place, he revealed the divine love and upheld divine justice, removing our guilt and reconciling us to God; that having redeemed us from sin, the third day he rose bodily from the grave, victorious over death and the powers of darkness, and for a period of 40 days appeared to over 500 witnesses performing many convincing proofs of his resurrection; that he ascended into heaven where, at God's right hand, he intercedes for his people and rules as Lord over all, awaiting his return; that he is the Head of his body, the church, and should be adored, loved, served and obeyed by all.
 
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
 
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment; and that the Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth, sanctifies, empowers and dwells within every believer in Christ as an abiding helper, teacher, guide and comforter.
 
We believe the Holy Spirit empowers believers for Christian witness and service, desiring to continually fill each believer and impart his supernatural gifts for the edification of the Body and the work of ministry in the world. We believe that all the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the church of the first century are available today and are to be earnestly desired and practiced in an orderly manner; and that these gifts are essential in the mission of the Church in the world today.
 
REGENERATION
 
We believe that man was created by God in his own image; that he sinned and thereby incurred physical, spiritual and eternal death, which is separation from God; that as a consequence, all human beings are born with a sinful nature and are sinners by choice and therefore under condemnation. We believe that those who repent and forsake sin and trust Jesus Christ as Savior have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and have become new creatures, delivered from condemnation and are recipients of eternal life.
 
THE GOSPEL
 
We believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ, the announcement that the eternal purpose of history has been fulfilled in the kingdom of God being brought within reach by the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ; that Christ’s death is a substitutionary and propitiary sacrifice to God for our sins that satisfies the demands of God’s holy justice and appeases his holy wrath while also demonstrating his mysterious love and revealing his amazing grace. We believe that Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man; that there is no other name by which men must be saved; that at the heart of all sound doctrine is the cross of Jesus Christ and the infinite privilege that redeemed sinners have of glorifying God because of what he has accomplished. Therefore, we want all that takes place in our hearts, churches and ministries to proceed from and be related to the gospel.
 
THE KINGDOM
 
We believe that the Kingdom of God was inaugurated by Jesus Christ and that his reign on earth is not reserved for a future date, but is available now for the transformation of individuals and societies until the consummation of all things at the return of Christ.
 
THE CHURCH
 
We believe in the universal church, made up of those who have become genuine followers of Jesus Christ and have personally appropriated the gospel. We believe the Church exists to worship and glorify God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; that it also exists to serve him by faithfully doing his will in the earth; that this involves a commitment to see the gospel preached and churches planted in the entire world for a testimony; that the ultimate mission of the Church is worship and the means by which this is accomplished is the making of disciples through the preaching and embracing of the gospel. We believe that when God transforms human nature, this then becomes the chief means of society's transformation.
 
We believe all members of the Church universal are to be a vital and committed part of a local church; that in this context, they are called to walk out the New Covenant as the people of God and demonstrate the reality of the kingdom of God; that the ascended Christ has given gift ministries to the church (including apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) for the equipping of Christ's body that it might mature and grow, and that through the gift ministries, all members of the church are to be restored and equipped for the work of the ministry, employing their God-given gifts in his service in relation to one another and to the world.
 
THE CONSUMMATION
 
We believe in a hopeful future that expects the success of the gospel through the Church and anticipates the full restoration of all creation; that the consummation of all things includes the personal, visible, physical, and glorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ , the resurrection of the dead, the judgment of the just and the unjust, the separation of those outside Christ from the benevolent presence of God into enduring eternal punishment, while those who are righteous in Christ shall live in glorious bodies and reign with him forever, serving him and giving him unending praise and glory.
 
ON HUMAN SEXUALITY
 
We believe that heterosexuality is God’s revealed will for humankind and that, since God is loving, a chaste and faithful expression of this divine design (whether in singleness or in the marriage relationship between one man and one woman) is the ideal to which he calls all people.
 
We believe that homosexual behavior and same-sex attraction are a result of the fall of humanity into a sinful condition that pervades every person. Whatever biological or familial roots of homosexuality may be discovered, we do not believe that these would sanction or excuse homosexual behavior, though they would deepen our compassion and patience for those who are struggling to be free from sexual temptations.
 
We believe there is hope for the person who struggles with same-sex attraction and that Jesus Christ offers a healing alternative in which the power of sin is broken and the person is freed to know and experience his or her true identity in Christ and in the fellowship of his Church. We also believe that those guilty of heterosexual sin can find healing, freedom, and forgiveness through the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit.
 
We believe that this freedom is attained through a process which includes not only recognizing homosexual behavior as a sin but also renouncing the practice of it. Sexual holiness also comes through the rediscovery of healthy, non-erotic friendships with people of the same sex; embracing a moral sexual lifestyle; pursuing Spirit-filled counseling, discipleship, and healing prayer, and in the age to come, rising from the dead with a new body free from every sinful impulse. This process parallels the similar process of sanctification needed in dealing with heterosexual sin and temptations as well. We believe that this freedom comes first and foremost through faith in Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
 
We believe that all persons have been created in the image of God and should be accorded human dignity. We believe therefore that hateful, fearful, unconcerned harassment of persons with same-sex attraction should be repudiated. We believe that respect for persons with same-sex attraction involves, honest, reasoned, nonviolent sharing of facts concerning the immorality and liability of homosexual behavior. On the other hand, endorsing behavior which the Bible disapproves endangers persons and dishonors God.
 
We believe that Christian churches should reach out in love and truth to minister to people touched by homosexuality, and that those who contend biblically against their own sexual temptation should be patiently assisted in their battle, not ostracized or disdained. However, the more prominent a leadership role or modeling role a person holds in a church or institution, the higher will be the expectations for God’s ideal of sexual obedience and wholeness. We affirm that both heterosexual and homosexual persons should find help in the church to engage in the biblical battle against all improper sexual thoughts and behaviors