Part A - Faith

The Bible:  We believe that the Bible is the written Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and completely truthful in all it affirms.  It bears witness to Jesus Christ, the Living Word and is infallible in its purposes.  While reason, experience, and tradition together with the Bible serve to inform truth and life, the Scriptures are the primary and final authority in the rule of faith and practice.  

God:  We believe in one God, creator of all things, who has revealed Himself in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  These three are one in eternity, deity, and purpose; everlasting, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness.  

Jesus Christ:  We believe in the incarnation and virgin birth of Jesus Christ who came into the world to reveal the Father, and was the reflection of His glory and the express image of the Father; that Jesus Christ, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, was the Creator of all things.  We further believe that in Christ dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, that He was very God and very Man, and that He is our savior, the one perfect mediator between God and humanity.  We acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord over all things in heaven and in earth, and under the earth. 

Christ’s Resurrection and Imminent Return:  We believe in Jesus Christ's sinless life, miracles, substitutionary death, bodily resurrection and His ascension into Heaven. He will return in power and glory to judge all people.  As His return may occur at any moment, the believer’s response is joyous expectation, watchfulness, and diligence.  We anticipate His return at which time there will be a new heaven and a new earth, a resurrection of those who are lost to eternal death and those who are saved to eternal life, and the enemies of Christ will be subdued and the reign of God will be established.  

The Holy Spirit:  We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is being manifested in the Church through the fruit of the Spirit.  The gifts of the Holy Spirit are operative in the Church today in order for the Church to experience the fullness of God and are imparted by the Holy Spirit.  We believe in the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit that begins at regeneration.  The Holy Spirit continually empowers a believer to live a holy life like Christ.  The evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit is a person’s obedient response to the Word of God, a Christ-like life of holiness, and manifesting the fruit and gifts of the Holy Spirit.  

The Creation of Humanity:  We believe that humanity was created by a direct act of God, innocent and morally free with the responsibility to choose between good and evil, right and wrong.  All people are created by Him and in His image have the same inherent rights regardless of race, gender, or color. 

The Fall of Humanity:  We believe that through selfish disobedience humanity fell from a state of righteousness and holiness into depravity, a state of sinfulness, unable in their own strength to obtain a right relationship with God and restore His image within.  

Satan:  We believe in the reality and personality of Satan, that he was defeated by Christ through His death, burial and resurrection, and that Christ has given authority over the works of Satan to His body, the Church.  

Repentance:   We believe that repentance is the result of the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers and non believers.  The conviction of the Holy Spirit, which often accompanies the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, will result in the revelation of one’s sinfulness which should lead to remorse.  By grace, with the help of the Holy Spirit, and in faith one is prompted to turn away from sin and selfishness and to walk with Christ toward change and restoration in God’s image.  

Justification:  We believe that repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ results in justification whereby the believer, through faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ, is accounted as righteous and made free from the guilt and the penalty of their sins.  

Regeneration:  We believe that by a new relationship with Jesus Christ one is born again and is a new creation.  With a new life and a new spiritual nature capable of faith, love, and obedience to Christ, the old life is past and the new life is begun.  

Sanctification:  We believe that by grace every believer may be sanctified by the Holy Spirit, subsequent to regeneration, through faith in the atoning blood of Christ, whereby they are cleansed of inward sin and empowered for service. The resulting relationship of righteousness and purity is attested by the Holy Spirit and maintained by faith and obedience enabling believers to love God with all their heart, soul, strength, and mind. 

Restoration:  We believe in divine restoration to the image of God for the whole person.  This restoration is made possible through the atoning work of Christ's sacrificial death and, by faith, brings healing and wholeness in mind, body, soul, and spirit.  

Baptism:  We believe that water baptism is a sacrament, commanded by our Lord Jesus, administered to believers as a declaration of their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, and a symbol of the new covenant of grace.   

The Lord’s Supper:  We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ’s death.  To those who rightly, worthily, and with faith receive it, the bread and the cup is partaking of the body and blood of Christ.  Though Christ is very present, no change is effected in the elements which are never to be considered objects of worship.  

Faith and Works:    We believe that faith without works is dead.  Faith results in an accompanying and corresponding action.  Personal holiness and social holiness are essential to a living, active faith.  Right practice is as important as right belief.  

The Church: The Church is the Body of Christ in the world.  In worship the Church comes together to meet the holy God and to respond in obedience and love.  In witness, the Church makes known the good news of Christ throughout the community and to the ends of the earth, calling all people to repentance and faith.  In making disciples, those who believe are brought into the body, baptized, trained and equipped for service to Christ.  In fellowship, redeemed people experience their oneness in Christ by sharing in one another’s lives with love and concern.  In service, the Church corporately cares for the needs of its own and others.  The Body of Christ may corporately join together in specific geographic areas in what is referred to as local churches.  These local churches are manifestations of the larger Body of Christ and reflect through their various traditions and history the nature of discipleship and growth for their members toward Christ-likeness. 

Part B - Christian Conduct

Worship:  Christians are called to the regular practice of public worship first for glorifying God, and for the edification and salvation of people.  Worship should be in the language of the people and should guard against centering upon personality, performance, or object, instead calling those participating to draw near to God with their whole being. 

Financial Giving:  Scriptures provide a pattern for financial support of the Church through tithing a tenth part, as well as through special offerings, as one is able and compelled, as a means to provide for specific needs as well as to express love for God, and to obey the command to care for the poor.  Giving tithes and offerings should be practiced continually by all believers and are outward expressions of the unity of the church as it joins together in support of the work of God in the world. Benevolence:  Scriptures are clear concerning helping those in need.  We are encouraged to do good to all people as we have opportunity. This is true for the local church as an organization as well as for the individual members of the church.  Therefore, we endeavor to share our material goods with those in need and minister to them to the best of our abilities.  

Marriage and Family:  At creation God instituted marriage for the well being of humanity and procreation. Marriage is an institution of God described singularly as the lifelong union of one man and one woman in a faithful relationship that the Scriptures call “one flesh.”  Marriage is the only proper setting for sexual intimacy.  Scriptures call us to purity before and faithfulness within marriage.  A healthy marriage should provide a loving, life-giving context for raising children in the fear and instruction of the Lord.  It is the foundation of the family, the basic structure of human society.  

Diversity: God has made every person imprinted with God’s own image and worthy of dignity, respect, and honor. In that image we find complete unity. The diversity of ethnicity, gender, age, and station affords believers opportunity to extend the love of God to all people irrespective of their differences. The segmentation of society resulting in racism, sexism, elitism or any other type of discrimination is contrary to the heart of God and God’s desire for people. Disciples of Jesus endeavor to bring Kingdom justice to all, advocating especially for those who are impacted by the sinful forces of prejudice wherever it is found.

Guidance and Biblical Counsel:   The church which is alive to God has spiritual resources for those seeking help.  The chief resources are the renewing power of the Holy Spirit and the Word, prayer and sacraments, counsel and support, and Christian community.  Through the church’s ministry, God can bring healing and reconciliation.  Such care and nurture of people is offered freely to all people.

Discipline: We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. We believe that every person is to be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity, and that hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed towards any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the spirit of Christ likeness.  It is within this context and with this mindset that church discipline is to be conducted.