We believe the Bible is the Word of God in written form. When we read it, we believe God is speaking directly to us. The writers were given their information through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit so that every word is from God, and therefore without error. This was done without losing the personality of the writers. The Bible includes the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, and gives us everything God wanted us to know from the creation of the heavens and earth in Genesis to the judgement and end of this present world in Revelation. It is therefore complete. This belief is listed first is because the Word of God is the sole authority for our faith and practice.
We know at least two things about God by seeing His wonderful creation, namely that He exists, and that He is awesomely powerful. We learn much more from the Bible.
We learn that He is Spirit, that He is infinite, eternal and unchangeable in all His attributes. We will never know everything about God, but here are a few of His attributes found in Scripture:
• Absolute in His Holiness
• Life in Himself
• Eternal in His love
• Infinite in His wisdom and knowledge
• Infinite in His presence
• Infinite in His power
God exists eternally as one God, but in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This truth cannot be adequately comprehended, explained or illustrated, but it can be clearly taught from the Bible.
Jesus Christ is God the Son. He exists with two distinct natures, God and man, but as one person. He is totally God. As such He possesses all of the attributes of God, being fully God in all aspects of His being. He is totally human. He was physically born of the virgin Mary. He was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit, therefore, having no human father, He is without a sin nature. This is another truth that cannot be adequately comprehended, explained or illustrated, but it can be clearly taught from the Bible. It is through faith in Jesus Christ that we can be saved – have eternal life. (See Salvation)
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead.
He is not merely a “force” but a person with all the attributes of God, and is fully God in all aspects of His being. He was active in the creation of the world and He is active:
• In salvation and baptizing believers into the Church, which is Christ’s body
• In sealing believers in their salvation
• In enabling believers to grow spiritually
• In giving spiritual gifts to the church
• In filling believers so they may serve God
• In reproving the world of sin, righteousness and judgement
• In leading into all truth.
While we believe the Holy Spirit gives gifts to the Church and to every person who is a part of that Church, we believe that Paul’s clear instruction in I Corinthians 12-14 does not allow the practice of the gift of tongues in the church today.
We believe wholeheartedly that God created the entire world in six literal days, then rested on the seventh day as recorded in the book of Genesis. This is crucial, since we know that sin entered into the world when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, and death is the result of sin. Any form of evolution requires death before Adam, and therefore greatly harms the teaching of the whole Bible.
We believe that the ultimate creation was that of a single human race through Adam and Eve. Both man and woman were created in the image of God, which includes at least these things: a will, self-consciousness, a moral conscience, emotions, and ability to reason – in short, everything it means to be a person. God’s plan for the human race was clear from the beginning – He created humans as male and female – their chief end is to glorify God; and marriage is between one man and one woman as husband and wife.
Sin is the transgression of God’s perfect law. We believe man was created in the image of God and was created as a sinless being in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were tempted by Satan, the Devil, and chose to disobey God by eating of the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This resulted in death not only for Adam and Eve, but death was passed on to all their descendants. Every person now has a sin nature, so we are sinners both by birth and practice. Sin is a falling short of God’s standard, distorting it, denying it, ignoring it.
We believe that sin brings not only physical death, but spiritual death, eternal separation from God as well. Because we are dead in sin, we are unable to respond to God without the work of the Holy Spirit, who can make us alive in Christ. Sin affects the whole of creation so that it groans and travails in pain also.
We believe salvation from sin is a free gift of God and can never be received by any good works we may try to do to obtain it. God’s provision of salvation results not only in being saved from sin but also from the result of sin which is eternal, conscious punishment and separation from God in the Lake of Fire, often referred to as Hell.
This salvation, from from sin and its punishment, is from God and His grace. He chooses us, calls us, regenerates us by His Holy Spirit and gives us eternal life with Him in Heaven.
This work was completed when God the Father sent His only Son Jesus to earth as a man to die in our place. He was God, therefore He had no sin nature and lived a sinless life. He died willingly as the payment for our sins, and the blood of Jesus washes us from our sin when we trust in Him by faith. After His death by crucifixion, Jesus rose bodily from the dead and ascended to sit at the right hand of God the Father where He intercedes for us. Men and women are presented with very clear responsibilities with regard to this salvation. We are told to repent, believe, and place our faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus. This results in what the Bible calls regeneration or the new birth. (John 3 is a wonderful explanation of this new birth.) This is a one time event in the life of individuals who believe in Christ as their Saviour. We are also responsible to grow spiritually through personal study of the Bible, and the fellowship and teaching provided by the church.
We believe the Body of Christ, the Church, is composed of all New Testament believers in Jesus and are a part of His body spiritually. We also believe this spiritual body is visibly represented by local assemblies, or churches.
These local churches are organized bodies of believing members:
• Who have been baptized by immersion
• Who meet together regularly for worship of God and fellowship with one another
• Who observe the remembrance of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection at the Lord’s Table
• Who work at fulfilling the command to make disciples of all nations
We strongly believe the biblical form of church government is congregational rule.
We believe that Jesus Christ will soon come physically to earth in the clouds. We believe this event can happen at any moment, but that moment is known only to God. He will then take His followers to be with Him. The order of events to follow is subject to much debate, but we believe this is the order that best suits a literal interpretation of the Bible:
• seven years of great trouble on earth
• 1000 years of Jesus reigning on earth with His followers while Satan is bound
• a short season of great trouble when Satan is loosed
• every person will be judged and live consciously for eternity either in the new Heaven and new Earth or the Lake of Fire.