These Articles of Faith are not intended to add anything to the simple conditions of salvation revealed in the New Testament (repentance toward God, and faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord), nor do we regard them as complete statements of our faith, having any quality of finality or infallibility.
THE HOLY SCRIPTURES: We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is a perfect treasure of Heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us and, therefore, is and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried (Matt. 5:18; John 14:26; 16:12, 13; II Tim. 3:16, 17; II Pet. 1:20, 21). We believe the King James authorized Version is the best English translation of the original manuscripts available today, and it should be loved, studied, and cherished as the Word of God to English speaking people.
THE TRUE GOD: We believe that there is one and only one living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit whose name is Jehovah, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of Heaven and earth, inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption (Deut 6:4; II Cor. 13:14).
THE PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST: We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, (John 21:14) being conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary (Luke 1:35) in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man. We believe He accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross, His blood being the purchase price (Rom. 3:24, 25), and that He secured that redemption forever by His literal, bodily resurrection from the dead (Rom. 4:25; I Peter 1:3-5).
Our Lord Jesus Christ is now in Heaven, exalted at the right hand of God, where as the High Priest for His people, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, Mediator, and Advocate (Rom. 8:34; I Tim. 2:5; Heb. 7:25; I John 2:1, 2).
THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: We believe that the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, took up His abode in the world in a special sense on the day of Pentecost, Who according to promise, indwells every believer at salvation (John 14:16, 17; I Cor. 6:19, 20), baptizes each believer at salvation into the body of Christ (I Cor. 12:13), and seals them unto the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30); and it is the duty of every believer to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18). The ministry of the Holy Spirit to the world is that of conviction in relation to sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:7-11); that of bearing witness to the truth of the gospel in preaching and testimony (Acts 5:30-32); and that of agent in the new birth (John 3:5, 6). He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies, and helps the believer (Mark 1:8; Luke 24:49; John 1:33; Acts 11:16; Rom. 8:16, 26, 27; Eph. 1:13).
We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary and have ceased. We believe that speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit and that ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayer of believers for physical healing (Mark 16:17-20; I Cor. 1:22; 13:18; 14:21-22; II Cor. 2:12; Heb. 2:3-4).
THE ORIGIN AND PERSONALITY OF SATAN: We believe that Satan was in Heaven (Isa. 14:12-15) and enjoyed heavenly honors (Ezek. 28:14-17), but through pride and ambition to be as God, fell and drew after him a host of angels (II Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Rev. 12:9); that he is now the deadly prince of the power of the air and the unholy god of this world (John 14:30; Eph. 2:2).
He is man’s great tempter (Matt. 4:1-3; I Thess. 3:5); the enemy of God and Christ (Luke 22:3-4; I Peter 5:8; I John 3:8); the accuser of the saints (Rev. 12:10); the author of all false religions (II Cor. 11:13-15); the chief power behind the present apostasy (Mark 13:21-22); the lord of the antichrist (I John 2:22; 4:3; II John 7); and the author of all the powers of darkness who will be destroyed at the hands of God’s own Son (II Thess.2:8-11);and is destined to the judgment of and eternal justice in ****, a place prepared for him and his angels (Rev. 12:7-9; 19:11; 16:20; 20:1,3,10).
THE CREATION AND FALL OF MAN: We believe that creation happened exactly as the book of Genesis records it (Gen. 1:1; Ex. 20:11), and that it is to be accepted exactly as written (John 1:3; Acts 17:23-26; Rev. 10:6); that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness (Gen. 1:26,27; 2:21-23); that man’s creation was not by evolution of species or development through time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly, and God’s established law is that they would bring forth only “after their kind” (Gen. 1:11,24).
We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary sin fell from his sinless and happy state (Gen. 3:1-6,24); in consequence of which, all men are now sinners (Rom. 1:18; 3:10-19; 5:12,19; Eph. 2:1,3), not because they are forced to be sinners, but because they want to be sinners (Ezek. 18:19,20; Rom. 1:32) and therefore, are under just condemnation without excuse (Rom. 1:20,28; Gal. 3:22).
THE WAY OF SALVATION: We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly by grace through repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Mediator and Propitiation; who by the appointment of the Father freely became flesh, yet without sin; honored the divine law by personal obedience, and by His substitutionary death made a full atonement for our sins. Having risen from the dead, the Son of God is now enthroned in Heaven, uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, and is in every way qualified to be a suitable, compassionate, and all-sufficient Saviour. We believe the Bible teaches a whosoever-will salvation, and nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner but the voluntary rejection of the gospel (John 1:12,14; Eph. 2:8,9; II Cor. 5:21).
THE SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER: We believe because of the eternal purpose of God toward His creation and because of His freedom to exercise grace toward the sinner on the grounds of the finished work of Christ, all genuine, true believers who are once a child of God are kept secure forever (John 3:24; 10:27-30; 17:11; Rom. 8:1,38,39; I Peter 1:5). We believe it the privilege of all who are born again to be assured of their salvation (I John 5:13). We believe, however, that God is a holy and righteous Father and that, since He cannot overlook the sins of His children, He will, when they persistently sin, chasten them and correct them in infinite love (Heb. 12:6).
SANCTIFICATION: We believe that sanctification, which is a setting apart unto God, is threefold. First, at the time of salvation the individual is “positionally” set apart once for all (Heb. 10:10; I Cor. 6:11). Second, we believe that the believer retains his sin nature, which cannot be eradicated in this life. There is, therefore, a “continual” sanctification wherein the Christian is to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Saviour (John 17:17; II Peter 3:18). Third, we believe that the child of God will be “ultimately” sanctified in his state, as he is now in his standing in Christ, when he shall see his Lord and shall be “like Him” (I Thess. 3:13; 5:23).
THE RETURN OF CHRIST: We believe that at Christ’s coming in the air, the bodies of the dead in Christ shall be raised incorruptible and reunited with soul and spirit; the bodies of Christians who are alive shall be changed and glorified, and without dying, shall be caught up to be with the Lord (I Cor. 15:51-53; I Thess. 4:13-17). On earth the tribulation will occur, while in Heaven, the saved will appear before the judgment seat of Christ, be rewarded for their works (I Cor. 3:11-15; II Cor. 5:10), and enjoy the marriage supper of the Lamb. After these things, Christ will return bodily and visibly to the earth with His saints, bind Satan, and rule the world in righteousness for a thousand years at the end of which, the unsaved dead will be resurrected, and their judgment and condemnation shall take place (Matt. 24:30,31; Rev. 19:11-16; 20:2,6,11-15). We believe in an imminent, pre-tribulation rapture and the pre-millennial second coming of Christ.
THE ETERNAL STATE: We believe that the souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation do at death immediately pass into His presence (Phil. 1:23) and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at the rapture, when soul and body, reunited, shall be associated with Him forever; but the souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery until the final judgment of the great white throne at the close of the millennium, when soul and body, reunited, shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (Luke 16:19-26; II Cor. 5:8; II Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 6,7; Rev. 20:11-15).
THE CHURCH ORDINANCES: We believe that water baptism and the Lord’s supper are the only ordinances of the church, and that they are the scriptural means of testimony for the church in this age (I Cor. 11:2).
Believer’s baptism is the immersion of a believer in water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, setting forth the essential facts in the experience of the believer – death to sin and resurrection to newness of life (Matt. 28:19,20; Acts 8:36-39). Believer’s baptism pictures the spiritual baptism which has already taken place (Matt. 3:13-17).
We believe that the Lord’s supper is a commemoration of His death until He comes and is to be observed at designated intervals by the local church (I Cor. 11:23-26). We will practice “open” communion (I Cor. 11:28). The elements will include unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine, unfermented grape juice (Mark 14:23-25).
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF BELIEVERS: We believe that all believes should seek to walk in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Lord and Saviour and that separation from worldly practices is commanded by God (Rom. 12:1,2; 14:13; I Cor. 6:19,20; Col. 3:17).
We believe that it is the obligation of every believer to witness by life, dress, attitude, and word to the truths of Scripture (I Cor. 10:13; I Thess. 5:22); to seek to proclaim the gospel to the world (Acts 1:8); to pray for and faithfully support the church with their means as the Lord has prospered them (I Cor. 16:2).
CIVIL GOVERNMENT: We believe that God has ordained all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home; 2) the church; and 3) the state. Every person is subject to those authorities and is answerable to God. God has given each institution specific responsibility and balanced that grant of authority with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective assigned spheres of responsibility under God (Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; I Peter 2:13,14).
A LOCAL CHURCH: We believe that the church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism. The local church is a congregation of born-again, baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His Word, and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons, whose qualifications are defined in the epistles of Timothy and Titus, together with such other leaders, teachers, and workers as the church may select and as are needed in carrying out the true functions of a local New Testament Church.
We believe the local church is individual, autonomous, and self-governing, but that it is under moral obligation to associate itself with other churches of like faith and order in approved common enterprises which seek the promotion of Christ’s kingdom, particularly such as missions, Christian education, and benevolences (Heb. 10:19-25).
SEPARATION: We believe II Cor. 6:14-7:1 teaches separation of the believer from the world and unrighteousness, both personally and professionally, wherever it is found, and that it displeases God to attempt to do His work unequally yoked as described in this passage. We take this position against modern day inclusivism, neo-evangelicalism, ecumenicalism, and interdenominationalism which cooperates with the ecumenical movement, secret lodges, cults, and questionable societies and clubs. We believe this passage not only teaches direct separation from the above, but separation from those who tolerate and cooperate with those evils as well (Eph. 5:6-17). We believe that we should earnestly contend for the faith once for all delivered unto the saints; and that we should preach the Word, being instant in season, reproving, rebuking, exhorting with all longsuffering and doctrine (II Tim. 3:16; 4:1-8; I John 2:15-17).