This We Believe

Our Covenant with Scripture
Statement of Faith

Fellowship is established and maintained by a common belief and agreement in the fundamental and historical doctrines of Biblical faith. Recognizing this to be true, belief and agreement in the following truths of scripture establish our common fellowship. The integrity and spirit of our fellowship with one another in Jesus Christ rests upon it, and therefore can not be compromised.

A. The Holy Scriptures: We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and the New Testaments to be the verbally, plenary inspired word of God, the final authority for faith and conduct, inerrant in the original writing,infallible and God-breathed.

B. The Godhead: We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections. Deut. 6:4; Luke 3:21-22; II Cor. 13:14; I Tim. 1:17.

C. The Person and Work of Jesus Christ: We believe in the absolute deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Since Jesus Christ is God, He must have always existed. Before His taking on a human body, Christ as the Divine Person, was an uncreated, eternal Being. In fulfillment of numerous Old Testament prophecies, Christ was born of a virgin woman, Mary, who conceived Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. This process not only guaranteed Christ's sinless humanity, (that is, it was impossible for Him to sin), but also made possible His equally human and divine natures. This was done in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man.  s.7:14, 8:1-4, 9:6; Mic 5:2; Matt. 1:18,21-23; Luke 1:35; Jn. 1:1-2, 14:9-10; Col.2:9; 1Tim. 3:16.

        1. Creation: Christ was the Divine Agent who brought the created universe into existence. He preserves and governs the created universe (Christ's power held and still holds all things together and directs the course of all events). Jn. 1:3; Col. 1:15-17; Heb. 1:1-3.

        2. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as our representative. His vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice, and our justification are made sure by His literal physical resurrection from the dead. Jn 3:16, 14:6,: Acts 4:12, 16:31; Rom. 3:24-26,4:25; I Cor. 5:21; Eph. 1:7,2:8-9.

        3. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, Mediator, Advocate. Rom 8:34; I Tim. 2:5; Heb. 4:15, 17-25

D. The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit:
       1. Person
                a. Personality: We believe that the Holy Spirit is not a force but a Spiritual Being with intellect, emotion, and will. He is thus mentioned frequently by the use of the masculine personal pronoun He. Is. 6; cf, Acts 28:25-27; Jn 14:26, 15:26; Eph. 4:30.

               b. We believe the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Godhead as evidenced by His divine attributes and His involvement in divine acts. Job 33:4; Ps 104:30, 139:7-10; Is. 6:3; Matt. 12:31,28:19-20; Lk. 1:35; In.3:5-8; Acts 4:1,5:3; I Cor. 2:10, 3:16, 6:11, 19; Heb. 9:14; ITPet. 1:20-21.

        2. We believe the Holy Spirit is the Supernatural Agent whose ministry to the unbeliever is: The Spirit of God convicts of sin, the righteousness to be had in Christ, and the coming judgment of sin for each person who refuses to accept Christ. Jn. 16:8-11.

E. Salvation: We believe that the salvation of the sinner is wholly of grace through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Though repentance is not a separate act from faith, true saving faith implies a change of mind with respect to sin, God, and self. All the redeemed, once saved are kept by God's power and are secure in Christ forever. Jn. 6:37-40,10:27-30,14:20; Acts 17:30; I Cor 15:20; Eph. 1:13,4:30; I Pet. 1:5.

    The Total Depravity of Man: We believe that man was created in the image and ikeness of God, but that in Adam's sin, the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God. We believe that man is totally depraved, and, of himself, he is utterly unable to redeem his lost condition. Gen. 1:26; Rom. 3:19-23, 5:12; Eph. 2:1-3,12.

F. The Eternal State:

        1. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. In. 5:28-29; Rev. 20:4-6,11-15.

        2. We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. I Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23.

        3. We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious misery until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunite. They shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to everlasting conscious punishment. Luke 16:19-31; Rev. 20:4-6, 11-15.

G. Divergent Doctrine: We believe it is Satan's desire to pollute the Church with false teachers and doctrines of demons. We believe, therefore, that the Church is to be warned from the Scriptures upon any attempt to preach or teach any false doctrine, or to wrongly divid the Word of Truth. (Matt. 7:15-23; I In. 4:1). We believe that the foregoing statements in the Statement of Faith include only items in keeping with the Scriptural admonition to "speak those things which become sound doctrine." Titus 2:1.

This We Believe

Our knowledge of scripture and our growth in grace are accomplished over time and according to the will and good pleasure of God our Father. His work in our lives grants us the freedom to learn and grow in fellowship with one another. This freedom is granted in the following areas with full recognition that time and man may necessitate the addition of others.

A. The Ministry of the Holy Spirit: We believe the Holy Spirit is the Supernatural Agent whose ministry to the believer is:

        1. Regeneration: The Spirit of God gives eternal life at the instant of saving faith. Jn. 3:5-7; II Cor. 5:17; Titus 3:5.

        2. Baptism: The Spirit of God places each believer into the Body of Christ. Rom. 6:4-5; I Cor. 12:12-13; Gal. 3:27; Eph. 4:5; CoI2:12.

        3. Sealing: The Spirit of God guarantees the total future salvation of each believer.  II Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13-14, 4:30.

        4. Indwelling: The Spirit of God permanently makes the believer's body His dwelling place. Jn. 14:18; Rom8:9-11; I Cor.6:19-20.

        5. Filling: The Spirit of God controls the believer when he yields and walks in obedience.  Gal 5:16-17; Eph.5:18; I Thes.5:19.

        6. Teaching: The Spirit of God instructs believers concerning spiritual truth. Jn. 16:12-15; I Cor.2:9-12.

        7. Intercession: The Spirit of God prays for believers in accordance with the Father’s will. Rom 8:26.

        8. Sanctification: The Spirit of God works in believers to produce His fruit and to reproduce the character of Christ. Rom 8:29; II Thes. 2:13; Heb.l0:14-15; I Jn. 3:1-3.

        9. Comforting: The Spirit of God encourages and comforts believers.  Jn. 14:16, 26.

        10. Bestowing of Gifts: the Spirit of God instills Divine abilities for service in each member of the Body of Christ, the use of which is major contributor to the growth of the Body.

                    a. Temporary Gifts: Some gifts were intended to       demonstrate the divine source of the Apostolic messag of the Gospel and the Divine authority of the early church leaders. These gifts, including tongues, interpretation of tongues, apostles, prophets, healing, miracles, and discerning of spirits are not now needful for the Church and ceased by themselves with the completion of the canon. I Cor. 12:1-14; II Cor. 12:11-12; Eph. 2:20, 3:4-5, 10-16; I Thes.. 5:20-21; Heb. 2:3-4; I In. 4: 1-6.

                    b. Permanent Gifts: All other gifts mentioned in the New Testament, including pastor-teacher, evangelist, helps, administration, giving, etc., are to be practiced today and are essential to the growth of the Church. Rom. 12:3-13; I Cor. 12:4-9a; Eph. 4:11.

B. The Two Natures of the Believer: We believe that every saved person possesses two natures, with provision made for victory of the new nature over the old nature through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit; and, that all claims to the eradication of the old nature in life are unscriptural. Rom. 6:11-16, 7:1-25, 8:5-13, 13:13-14; Gal. 5:16-23.

C. Separation: We believe that all saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Saviour and Lord; and, that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices, and associations is commanded of God. Rom. 13:12-14; II Cor. 6:14-18; Eph. 5:7-11; I Jn. 1:6; II Jn. 7-1l; II Jn.l1.

D. Missions: We believe that it is the obligation of the saved to witness by life and by word to the truths of Holy Scriptures and to seek to proclaim the Gospel to all mankind. Matt. 28:19-20; Lk. 24:47-48; Acts 1:8; I Thes.. 1:5-8.

E. The Church:

        1.  We believe that the Church, which began on the day of Pentecost, is the Body and the espoused bride of Christ. It is the sum of believers in Jesus Christ during this present age. Matt. 16:18; I Cor. 12:12-14; Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18.

        2. We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures. Eph.4:10-16.

        3. We believe in the autonomy of the local church, free of any external authority or control. Acts 20:28; I Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11.

F. Dispensationalism: We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations of rules of life which define man's responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather, divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose Gen 3

G. The Personality of Satan: We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of the fall, that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man, and that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of fire. Gen. 3:1-6; Is. 14:12-17; Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10.

H. The Second coming of Christ: We believe there are two aspects to His return.

        1. The Rapture of the Church: We believe in that Blessed Hope - the personal, imminent, pre - tribulation return of Christ for the catching away of the resurrected and living saints in the clouds. In the process of this catching away, believers will take on glorified bodies and the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit will be set aside. Jn. 11:25-26, 14:1-3; I Cor. 15:51-52; Phil 3:20-21; I Thes. 4:13-17, 5:9; II Thes.. 2:7; Titu 2:11-14; I Jn. 3:2-3; Rev. 3:10.

        2. The Second Advent of Christ: We believe in His subsequent pre-millennial return to earth with His saints to establish His millennial Kingdom. Dan. 7:14; Zech. 14:1-4; Matt. 24:27-31; II Thes.. 2:8; Rev. 19:11-19,20:1-3.

I. The Nation Israel: We believe in the sovereign selection of Israel as God's covenant people, that she is now being disciplined because of her rejection of Christ, and that she will be re-gathered and saved as a nation at the Second Coming of Christ. Gen. 12:1-3; Deut. 7:1-11, 9:6; Jer. 16:14-16; Ezek. 34:11-31; Dan 12:1; Hosea 3:4-5.

J. The First Day of the Week: We believe that Sunday is to be set aside for special worship in commemoration of the Resurrection of Christ.  This day should therefore be observed in a manner that calls the world to remembrance of Him. Matt. 28: 1; In.20: 19, 25-29; Acts 20:7; I Cor. 16:2.

K. Marriage: We believe that holy matrimony was instituted of God and sanctioned by our Lord Jesus Christ and should be held in honor by all. This relationship should be between one man and one woman until separated by death. Marriage between a believer and an unbeliever is forbidden. We believe scripture teaches that divorce and remarriage are permitted only if those involved have submitted themselves to the commands and spirit of Scripture. Matt. 19:5-9; I Cor 7:10-16.