We believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, God’s recorded Will, through holy men of old who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. The New Covenant, as recorded in the New Testament, we accept as our infallible guide in matters pertaining to belief and conduct. (2 Tim. 3:16, 1 Thess. 2:13, 2 Peter 1:21).
THE NATURE OF GOD
We believe that this universe, including man, was created by an all powerful uncreated Being revealed in the scripture as God. His abilities and knowledge are beyond the ability of man to fully comprehend. He is revealed as both perfect love, which finds its ultimate expression in the cross, and perfect justice, which find its ultimate expression in the final judgment. Furthermore, this God is manifested in three persons – the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit, which, although equal, manifest His nature and mission in distinctive ways (Phil. 2:5-6). God the Father is the creator and the One Who sent His Son and authored the plan of salvation (John 14:28; John 3:16). The Son is the Word made flesh, carried out the plan of redemption through His death and resurrection, and serves as our High Priest and Mediator (John 1:1, John 1:18, John 1:14; Heb. 4:14-16; 1 Tim. 2:5). The Holy Spirit proceeds forth from both the Father and the Son, is eternal, and is literally “God on the earth”, revealing Himself to both unbelievers and believers (John 15:26; 16:7-9; Acts 1:8; Rom. 5:5; 8:4).
Baptism in water is by immersion, is a direct commandment of our Lord, and is for believers only. The ordinance identifies the believer with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, and, in this ‘union’, accomplishes it’s own ‘burial’ of our old sinful nature. Thus, water baptism is more than just symbolic, it has spiritual power in and of itself. (Matt 28:19; Rom. 6:4; Col 2:12; Acts 8:36-39).
MAN, HIS FALL AND SALVATION
Man is a created being, made in the likeness and image of God. Through Adam’s transgression and fall, sin came into the world, and human nature was universally corrupted from it’s original state. Jesus Christ, the Son of God gave His life and shed His blood to redeem and restore man back to God. Salvation is the gift of God to man, separate from works and the law, and is made operative by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, producing works acceptable to God. Because of the corruption of human nature, the new birth is necessary for man’s salvation (Rom. 5:14, Rom. 3:10; Rom. 3:23; Eph. 2:8-10; John 3:3,5; 2 Cor. 5:17).
REPENTANCE AND FAITH NECESSARY FOR SALVATION
Because of the universal corruption of human nature, and the resulting corruption of a fallen world system, man’s first step toward salvation is repentance from sins and faith toward God. Our faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection, as full payment for our sins results in our beginning to know God in a personal way. This ‘personal relationship’ (as opposed to just conformity to a religious system) is the essence of eternal life (Mark 1:15; Luke 13:3; John 3:16; John 17:3; 1 Jn. 5:12).
THE INFILLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The infilling of the Holy Spirit is a gift from God as promised by the Lord Jesus Christ to all believers in this dispensation. It is given to empower believers in their walk with God and in their witness. It is given to believers who ask, and yield themselves to this infilling. It is many times accompanied with the laying on of hands. Many time believers also begin to ‘speak with other tongues’ as a result of this, which has it’s own benefits in their prayer and worship life. (Matt. 3:11; Luke 11:13; John 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:4; Acts 2:38-39; Acts 8:14-17; Acts 19:1-7; I Cor. 14:2,4,14,15).
We believe that all of the spiritual gifts listed in the New Testament are still in operation today, and are intended by God to edify believers, meet people’s needs, and further the gospel of Jesus Christ. We believe the public exercise of spiritual gifts should be done in an orderly fashion, as defined in scripture. (I Cor. 12:7-11; Mark 16:17-18; I Cor. 14:1-3, 12, 14-16, 27-29, 32, 39-40)
We believe that divine healing is available for the physical ills of the human body and is wrought by the power of God through the prayer of faith, by the laying on of hands, anointing with oil, and other means. (Mark 16:18; James 5:14,15; 1 Peter 2:24; Matt. 8:17; Isa. 53:4,5)
RESURRECTION OF THE JUST AND THE RETURN OF OUR LORD
Those who die “in Christ” will be resurrected to a glorious, eternal state, to be forever with the Lord. Our Lord Jesus shall return to earth as Sovereign Lord and Ruler. (Acts 1:11; I Cor. 15:22-58; 1 Thess. 4:16,17)
HELL AND ETERNAL RETRIBUTION
The Bible teaches that those who physically die in their sins without being reconciled to God through Jesus Christ are hopelessly and eternally lost in the Lake of Fire and therefore have no further opportunity of repenting. The terms “eternal” and “everlasting”, used in describing the duration of the punishment of the condemned in the Lake of Fire, carry the same thought and meaning of endless existence as used in denoting the duration of joy and ecstasy of saints in the presence of God (John 3:18; 2 Thess. 1:8-10; Heb. 9:27; Rev. 20:15)