What We Believe

Doctrine literally means “the teaching.” Doctrine is to a church what roots are to a tree. As roots secure and nourish a tree’s growth, so doctrine secures and nourishes our understanding of God and His ways. In other words, roots help us grow “to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).

Our doctrine did not originate with us, but has been passed down to us from generations of faithful Christ followers throughout church history. The doctrinal statement below is not an exhaustive statement on all biblical matters, but reflects our foundational convictions on essential matters. If you have any questions concerning this statement, please direct them to .

We believe the Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments are the verbally inspired, full and complete revelation of God's work and will. The Bible was written error-free in the original manuscripts, and is the supreme authority for the faith and practice of the church of Jesus Christ.

References: Psalm 19:7-11; 119:96, 160; Matthew 5:18; 24:35; John 17:17; Romans 15:4; Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21

We believe there is but one living and true God: immortal, invisible, immutable, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent; eternally pre-existing without origin; the sovereign creator and beneficent sustainer of all life. We believe God is one in essence while eternally existing in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Though each Person of the Godhead equally shares the same nature and attributes, each functions differently with respect to God's dealings with man.

References: Genesis 1:1-2:25; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 90:2; 139:1-24; Matthew 28:19; John 1:1, 14; 4:24; 10:30-33; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18; Colossians 1:15-19; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1

We believe the first Person of the Trinity orders and directs all things according to His own infinite purpose, pleasure, grace, and glory. The Father graciously involves Himself in the affairs of people, hears and answers prayer, and by irrevocable decree has provided redemption from sin and eternal separation from himself for all those who will be reconciled to Him through Jesus Christ.

References: Malachi 2:10; John 3:16-17; Acts 14:15-17; 17:24-28; Romans 6:23; 11:29; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Philippians 1:6; James 1:17

We believe the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God--fully God and fully man--being conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. Jesus came to reveal God to all humanity and be the mediator between God and sinful man through His sacrifice as our sinless substitute, thereby satisfying God's righteous judgment against sin. He verified His work by His miraculous, bodily resurrection from the grave and ascended to the right hand of His Father, where He presently intercedes on our behalf. He will visibly return to the earth at the time set by His Father to consummate His kingdom and execute His righteous judgment.

References: Psalm 2:1-12; 110:1-7; Isaiah 53:1-12; Matthew 1:18-23; 24:36-51, 25:31-46; John 5:19-24; Romans 3:22-26; 1 Corinthians 15:1-58; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:14-17; 5:9-10; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 7:24-8:1; 9:26-28; 1 John 2:2; Revelation 19:11-16

We believe the third Person of the Trinity executes the will of God by convicting the world of sin; by bringing new life to those who are spiritually dead; by baptizing (placing) all believers into the Body of Christ, the church; by indwelling them permanently; by sealing (securing) them until their day of glorification in Heaven; by bestowing spiritual gifts; and by filling (controlling & enabling) those who yield to Him.

References: John 14:25-26; 16:13-15; Romans 8:26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-12; 12:1-13; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18-21; 1 John 3:24

We believe that man (male and female) was created in the image and likeness of God in innocence and without sin. Man fell into sin through a voluntary act of personal disobedience to the will of God. Consequently, all people are born with fallen, sinful natures and personally commit acts of rebellion against God in thought, word, and deed. Without Christ man is spiritually dead, separated from God, and at enmity with Him. We are incapable of freeing ourselves from the effects and penalty of our depravity apart from the gracious intervention of God through Jesus Christ.

References: Genesis 1:27-28; 2:7-3:24; Psalm 8:4-8; 51:5; 144:3-4; John 3:19-21; Romans 3:9-26; 5:12-19; 6:23; 1 John 1:8-10; 2:16; 3:4

We believe salvation (justification) is a result of God's love for people and is offered as a free gift of His grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. All who so trust in Christ are completely forgiven by God, are made co-heirs with Christ as "sons" of God, and are eternally secured by God's power and promise. Good works follow redemption as an evidence of justification, never as a means to earning justification; rather, good works are the experience and expression of the sanctification process that continues until we are glorified in Heaven.

References: John 1:12-13; 3:16-18, 36; 10:28-30; 14:6; Romans 5:1; 8:1; 10:9-13; Galatians 2:20-21; 3:26-4:7; Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 1:6; 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Titus 3:3-8; James 2:18, 26; 1 John 1:9; 2:2

We believe the church is "the pillar and foundation of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15). As such, it exists as the called-out, sanctified community of faith in a sinful world, and is entrusted by God with the propagation of His gospel and the preservation of sound doctrine. The local church is the only visible representation of Christ's "invisible" (universal) church and consists only of regenerated believers in Christ.

References: Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:40-47; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 4:4-16; 1 Timothy 4:16; Titus 1:9

We believe that Jesus Christ instituted two special ordinances to be observed by all believers until His return: water baptism and the Lord's Supper. These are acts of worship only; neither ordinance should be regarded as a means of salvation or as a source of divine grace by which special merit is obtained.

We believe water baptism is a sacred first act of obedience to Christ following trust in Him, and therefore shall be administered only to those who indicate faith in Him. Baptism is not to be regarded as optional for a believer, but neither is it to be regarded as essential for a believer. To say baptism is not optional is to affirm the biblical expectation that a new believer in Christ will publicly declare his personal faith through water baptism. To say baptism is not essential is to affirm the biblical emphasis on salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Therefore water baptism is not essentially needed to make justification effectual. We shall accept as valid any form of believer's water baptism if it is in agreement with the considered convictions of the individual believer, but we shall practice baptism by immersion, the mode that best portrays the believer's death, burial, and resurrection with Christ.

References: Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38-41; 8:36-38; 9:17-18; 16:29-34; Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12-13; 1 Corinthians 1:13-17

We believe the Lord's Supper is served in commemoration of Jesus' redeeming sacrifice of Himself on the cross in our stead, for our forgiveness. The elements are emblems of His body torn for us and His blood poured out for us, and to partake of them is to remember Him and proclaim the merits of His sacrifice for sin until He returns. The Supper shall be served as frequently as deemed desirable by the elders and shall be open to all self-examined believers in Christ regardless of church affiliation.

References: Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:20-34

We believe the Bible entrusts the leadership of the church to a plurality of elders who are appointed by the existing elders as vacancies occur or need arises, not elected by the church. Elders are to be men exemplary in character who can feed (teach) and lead the church, in addition to guarding its doctrinal integrity and relational purity as under-shepherds of the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ.

References: Acts 14:23; 20:17, 28-31; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; 5:17-20; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 13:7, 17; 1 Peter 5:1-4