Beliefs to guide
Beliefs to Guide the Way
God, The Trinity:
We believe that the one God exists as three persons in complete unity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We confess Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord through whom those who believe can have fellowship with God. He died, taking on the sins of the world, and was resurrected, triumphing over sin and death.
The Lordship of Jesus Christ:
We believe that Jesus is the only mediator between God and human beings. He is the living Lord of the Bible and the living Lord of today. Jesus is also the head of the church, in both senses of the word (the body of Christ as a worldwide family, and as a gathering of believers in one particular place).
Centrality and Authority of Scripture:
We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God and the final authority in matters of faith. We have no formal creed as we believe that the Bible is our guide. The Bible is central in the life of the individual and the church. (“…and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:15–17, ESV.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12a, ESV).
Priesthood of All Believers:
We believe that every person can approach God directly through Christ, without the aid of human priests, rituals or even baptism. Personal faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to God. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). Moreover, each of us is called to be ministers of the grace that we have received.
Believer’s Baptism and The Lord’s Supper:
We believe that baptism should be administered to those who believe and follow Christ. The ordinance of baptism symbolizes the spiritual change that has already taken place within the individual by accepting Jesus. Baptism is done by immersion because it is the method used in the Bible and in the early church. It represents a person’s death to sinful living and rising into a new life in Christ . The Lord’s Supper is shared on a regular basis to commemorate and remember the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. This celebration helps us to experience, again, all that Jesus has done to forgive us our sin, restore us to relationship with God, and bring us into eternal life.
Regenerate Church Membership:
We believe the membership of the local church is composed of those who have personally received Christ as their Lord and Savior and bear witness to the new life in Christ. This is referred to as a “regenerate church membership.” The word regenerate means “born again,” as Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:3,7. (“Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3, ESV) Therefore, membership is open to individuals who have experienced believer’s baptism which gives evidence of a personal experience of faith in Christ.
Autonomy of the Local Church:
We believe that each local congregation is self-governing, choosing its own pastor, managing its inner life. and determining its relationship to other churches, realizing that they must work together with other churches to spread the Gospel and bear witness to Christ more effectively. (“Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant.” Matthew 23:10–11, ESV)
Separation of Church and State and Religious Freedom:
We believe in religious freedom of all individuals. A separation of church and state protects the church from government interference, and it honors the right of all people to freely choose their own religious faith. We affirm that the state should protect all religious groups, but favor none. The belief in religious freedom underscores the idea that all persons are individually responsible to God for their religious beliefs and practices; therefore, they should have the right to worship God as their own convictions and consciences dictate. (“But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” [Acts 5:29, ESV] “Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”” [Matthew 22:21, ESV])
We believe in the Great Commission of Christ. (“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19–20, ESV). We believe in taking the Gospel to our local communities, to all sections of the state and nation, and to the uttermost parts of the world.