Statement of Faith
WHAT WE BELIEVE
The Bible. The entire 66 books of the Bible are the Holy Spirit-authenticated word of God (John 16:13-14). Although the Bible was written by human authors in a variety of styles and genres, it is without error in the original manuscripts and has supreme authority in all it addresses (Acts 17:11). It is the complete written word of God (Deut 12:32; Rev 22:18-19) and should be studied diligently by all people (Pr 2:1-5; lPt 2:2).
God. There is only one living and true God, creator of heaven and earth (Gen 1:1 ), who is infinite in being and perfection (Ps 139:17-18, 145:3; Rom 11:33-34). Everything that takes place is under His sovereign control (Job 38-41; Rom 8:28, 11:36; Eph 1:11). He is a transcendent spirit who is distinct from His creation (Is 40:12-31), but he is also intimately involved in every detail (Pr 16:33; Mat 6:26; 10:29) and is knowable (l John 1:3; 2:3). God is all powerful, all knowing, everywhere present, unchanging, loving, holy, just, and glorious. His perfect knowledge extends to all things past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures (Luke 22:34). God is eternally existing (Ps 90:2) in three persons (Mat 28:19; 2Cor 13:14) who are equal in every divine attribute and who execute distinct but harmonious roles (Mat 3:13-17; Heb 9:14) in the work of creation, providence and redemption.
Truth. All truth corresponds to objective spiritual and physical reality because God is the author of Scripture and the creator and sustainer of nature (Gen 1:1; Num 23:19; Col 1:16-17; Titus 1:2). Such objective truth is grounded in the person and character of the Triune God (John 14:6; 15:26; Eph 4:20-21). As a result, it does not change with circumstances, time, or culture and is independent of what any person or group thinks about the world. The scientific method and other means of knowledge that are consistent with the scriptural worldview are useful in discovering truth about God's creation. Scientific and experiential knowledge may inform but should never dictate how we interpret the Bible. Instead, the Bible is the final authority to which all truth claims must submit.
Creation. God created all that is by his divine decree (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-3). He did not create using macro evolution but created each species with a limited ability to adapt but not able to evolve to new species.
People. Adam and Eve were historic people, created male and female in the moral and spiritual image of God as free, rational, and relational beings, and were given responsibility for and authority over God's creation (Gen 1:26-28). We deny that there are more than two genders. Even after the Fall, all people retain the image of God (Gen 9:6; Jas 3:9) and therefore have great value and worth. All people are sinners by nature due to the Fall (Ps 51:5; Mat 15:19) and by choice (Is 53:6), and therefore they are under condemnation (Rom 6:23), leading to spiritual and physical death (Eph 2:1-3). People are corrupted by sin in every area of life (Rom 3:9-18; I Th 5:23), hostile toward God and incapable of pleasing him (John 15:5; Rom 5:6; 8:7-8).
The Family. The family consists of people united by marriage, biological relationship, or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one biological man and one biological woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime, modeling the relationship between Christ and the church (Eph 5:22-33). The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image (Gen 1:27). Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing from the Lord (Ps 127:3-5). Parents have the primary responsibility to direct and develop their children, and they will be held accountable by God for discipling their children. Children are to honor and obey their parents (Eph 6:1-3). Sins which harm the family and pervert God's intention for marriage, such as lust, pornography, fornication, adultery, and homosexuality, must be put off (Mat 5:27-30; l Cor 6:9-10).
Salvation. A right relationship with God can only be obtained through the atoning death of the righteous one, Jesus Christ (Is 53:6), who came to earth by God's gracious predetermined plan (Acts 4:27-28; Gal 4:4). Those who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation (Galatians) are saved by grace alone (Eph 2:8-9) and preserved in the faith (John 5:24; Rom 8:1, 29-30) by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5-6).
The Church. Jesus is actively building the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head (Eph 5:23) and all His followers are members. We also believe in the local church, consisting of believers in Jesus Christ associated for worship, ministry, and fellowship (Acts 2:42). We believe the local church glorifies God by worshiping him, edifying one another in love, and proclaiming the full word of God to every ethnic group.
Christians and Civil Government. The civil government is a third human social institution (along with the family and the church) ordained by God. Its specific ministry is encouraging righteousness, administering justice, defending life and property, and restraining evil (Rom 13:1-5). It is not independent of God, but subject to him (Rom 13:4,6). We are to be subject to lawful civil authorities yet may participate in influencing the laws and administration as citizens and holders of public office. However, we must respectfully disobey laws and commands of the civil government and accept the penalties whenever those laws are clearly contrary to the Bible (Acts 4:19-20).
The Last Things. The Lord Jesus Christ will personally and visibly return to earth (Rev 1:7) to consummate His Kingdom (Dan 7:14; Rev 11:15). Therefore, our ultimate hope for a righteous world is not based on politics, science and technology, or any other human endeavor, but on the return of Jesus Christ (Rev 21). We believe in the resurrection of the dead, the final judgment of every person, the eternal blessedness of the believing righteous and the endless conscious suffering of the unbelieving wicked.
Taking Action. We believe we need to act upon this statement of faith, that we need to be doers of God's word and not only hearers who delude themselves (Jas 1:22.) We believe that at the final judgment, God will reward us for our faithfulness to these biblical beliefs and how we have put them into action (2 Cor 5:10; Rev 22:12).