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about our beliefs

God in the Trinity

We believe in the one true God (John 17:3), the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20). He created all things (Revelation 4:11) and upholds all things by the Word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). He is a God of truth and without iniquity, He is just and right (Deuteronomy 32:4) and He shall judge the world (Psalm 9:8). He is holy, good, compassionate, graceful, loving and merciful (Exodus 33:19-20; Psalm 36:5-10; Isaiah 6:1-7; Isaiah 54:10; Revelation 1:12-18.)

We believe that God‘s characteristics and His attributes can be seen and understood. His attributes fall into two categories: communicable and incommunicable. God‘s communicable attributes are those characteristics that humans can share. This is possible by a person being made in the image of God and through the process of sanctification in a person‘s life. Some of these attributes are love, holiness, faithfulness, truthfulness, goodness, grace, mercy.

Those attributes that are incommunicable—those not shared with humanity—include God‘s self-sufficiency, immutability, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, eternality, infinity and sovereignty.

God‘s characteristics and the outflow of His nature can be clearly seen in God‘s creation (Psalm 104:14-35; Acts 14:17; Romans 1:20-22) so that a person has no excuse for denying the existence of God.

We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes and perfections, and are worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence and obedience (Mark 12:29; John 1:1-4). Everything of eternal importance depends upon what a person believes about God, and what a person believes about the Trinity deeply affects that person‘s spiritual life and eternal destiny.

We believe that the doctrine of the Trinity is core to the Reformed Christian faith because:

it makes clear the reality of the triune God as taught in the Old and New Testaments;

it differentiates Christianity from all other forms of theism by preserving the unity of God while recognizing the diversity of God; the Christian faith disintegrates at the denial of the deity of Jesus Christ and at the denial of the Father and Holy Spirit within Trinity; it has significant implications for life of the individual Christian and life in the local church, i.e. the submission of the Son to the will of the Father, the Spirit‘s work in calling attention to the Son rather than to Himself.

Jesus Christ

We believe in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe He is the manifestation of God in the flesh and is, therefore, sovereign creator and king (John 1:1-3, Revelation 19:11-16). He is completely righteous, holy, good and true. (Colossians 1:15-16). We believe He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He is true God and true man (John 1:1; John 1:14; John 1:18; John 14:8-9; 1 Timothy 3:16).

Resurrection of Jesus Christ

We believe in the resurrection of the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, His ascension into heaven and His present life for us as High Priest and Advocate (Acts 1:3; Acts 1:9; Hebrews 7:25-26).

Holy Spirit

We believe in the deity of the Holy Spirit and that His primary ministry is to glorify Jesus Christ (John 16:14).

The Holy Spirit regenerates the sinner upon belief in Christ, baptizing the believer into one body of which Christ is the head. The Holy Spirit indwells, guides, instructs, fills, comforts and empowers the believer for godly living (Mark 13:11; John 14:26; John 16:8; John 16:14-15; Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 3:16). The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of God‘s righteousness and of coming judgment (John 16:8-11). We do not encourage the use of sign gifts. We believe that God gives spiritual gifts to individual people not for the display of self, but for the benefit and the building up of the church. (Ephesians 4:11-12). We affirm that the spiritual gifts must be exercised in accordance with biblical guidelines.

We seek to emphasize the excellent way of love, and the use of spiritual gifts to build up the local church (John 13:15; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 4:11-12; Romans 8:9-17; Romans 12:4-8; Romans 12:11-13, 12:19; 1 Corinthians 12:12; Galatians 5:25; Hebrews 4:1-4).

Scriptures

We believe the Scriptures of the Old Testament and New Testament are verbally inspired by God and inerrant in their original writings. We believe the 66 books of the Old Testament and the New Testament are God's complete and sufficient revelation and therefore carry God's authority for the well-being of mankind. There is no additional written revelation from God. (Psalm 119:97-104; Psalm 119:160; Matthew 5:18; John 5:46-47; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:15-16; Revelation 22:18-19).

Man

We believe man was created in innocence under the law of God but, by voluntarily transgressing, fell from his sinless state. Consequently, all mankind is sinful (Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:23-24; Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3). All people are spiritually dead sinners not only by inheritance, but by their own choice and therefore are under just condemnation without defense or excuse. We believe that without exception every man and every woman is totally depraved and needs a Savior (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 3:10-19; Romans 1:18, Romans 1:32; Romans 5:1-2).

Salvation

We believe that a person is spared punishment for his sin by grace alone through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). The Scriptures teach that the Lord Jesus Christ died for sins as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice. We believe that a person receives salvation through God‘s unmerited gift of grace and by faith receives Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord. That person is justified on the basis of Jesus Christ‘s shed blood on Calvary and Christ‘s righteousness immediately is credited to that person. Each person who receives Christ as personal Savior is born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby becomes a child of God and is eternally secure in that relationship. We believe the Holy Spirit baptizes each believing person into the body of Christ at the moment of salvation and that there is no second baptism of the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:6-11; Romans 8:37-39; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

Heaven, Hell, and the Return of Christ

We believe in the blessed hope: the personal, bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ at the end of the age. He will eradicate evil and establish righteousness. His people will worship and serve Him forever. The return of Christ has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The saved are raised to eternal, conscious delight in heaven (Matthew 25:34; John 14:2; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Revelation 2:7) the lost are raised to eternal torment in hell in concious separation from God. (Matthew 8:11; Matthew 10:28; Matthew 13:49-50; Mark 9:47-48; Luke 12:5; Revelation 21:8).

These convictions regarding the blessed hope and its consequences are settled orthodoxy in the universal Christian church. No millennial position holds the status of settled orthodoxy. We do not believe that one millennial view should be made a test of fellowship or unity in the church.

The Church

Upon accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, a believer becomes part of His body, which is the church. There is one church universal, composed of all those throughout the world who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The Scriptures command believers to gather regularly and frequently in order to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Scriptures, observance of the ordinances of baptism (immersion) and communion (symbolic), fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world in fulfillment of the command of Christ to make disciples of all believers (Ephesians 5:23; Romans 12:1; Acts 2:42-46; 1 Corinthians 14:26; Matthew 28:18-20).

Wherever God‘s people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the church – under the oversight of elders and other supportive leadership. The church‘s members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ (Ephesians 4:15-16).

Church Government

Pastor, Elder, Overseer, Shepherd and Deacon –

The Bible‘s teaching on the subject of church offices is found primarily in 1 Timothy 3:1-16 and Titus 1:5-9. Although there are several terms used for the offices of the church, i.e. Pastor, Elder, Overseer, Shepherd and Deacon, analysis of these terms indicates that Pastor, Elder, Overseer and Shepherd are used interchangeably. Deacon has a meaning distinct from the others.

Elder Qualifications

(1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9)

Above reproach

Husband of one wife

Sober-minded

Self-controlled

Respectable

Hospitable

Able to Teach

Believing children who are not morally corrupt or insubordinate

Not a drunkard

Not violent, but gentle

Not quarrelsome

Not a lover of money

Not a new convert

Not arrogant

Not quick-tempered

Not violent

Not greedy for gain

Hospitable

Lover of good

Self-controlled

Upright

Holy

Disciplined

Holding firm to the Word so he may instruct

Correct those who contradict sound doctrine

Deacons Qualifications

The Bible teaches that Deacons are proven as servants (Acts 6:3). The qualifications for Elders and Deacons are the same regarding the individual’s character, but different in aptitude. The elders are to be able to teach while the deacons are to be able and proved as servants. (1 Timothy 3:8-12)

Dignified

Not double-tongued

Not addicted to wine

Not greedy for dishonest gain

Possessing a clear conscience

Tested as servants and found blameless

Spouse must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded and faithful

Holding to the mystery of faith with a clear conscience

Husband of one wife

Manages household well

Missions

Realizing that the cause of Christ extends beyond any one local fellowship, we commit ourselves to an ongoing ministry of extending the call of Christ to make disciples around the world (Matthew 28:19-20).

Giftedness and Success

The LORD gives spiritual gifts to equip His people and build His church. Spiritual gifts are not given for the glory of the one demonstrating the gift. The LORD is to receive complete thanks and total honor for giving the gifts and He is to receive all praise for the fruit that results from the exercise of the gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Ephesians 4:11-16).

A gifted individual is a vessel used by the LORD as a simple conduit to carry His gift for the blessing of others. The gifted individual is a servant who is obligated to reject glory from men and live in a way that points to the LORD alone as the source of all gifts. (Micah 6:8; Romans 12:3-21; 1 Corinthians 3:3-9; 1 Corinthians 4:7-13; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Galatians 5:22-26; Colossians 3:23; 1 Peter 5:1-3).

The Scriptures picture the church as a human body, with each part fulfilling a specific and important role (1 Corinthians 12:12-31). The body cares for itself in love to build itself in strength and usefulness to the LORD.

The LORD‘s church is to be led in strength, but it is not to be led as a competitive corporation or as a military force (Micah 6:8; Matthew 20:20-28; Luke 9:46-48; John 13:5-17; Romans 12:3-21; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7; 1 Peter 5:1-3).

The church is the bride of Christ and as such is to be led by godly individuals who are worthy to be followed as they themselves follow Christ and demonstrate His character (Romans 12:3-21; 1 Corinthians 11:1; Ephesians 5:25-32; 1 Peter 5:2-4). Churches are to be shepherded by those who are marked by Integrity, Authenticity, Trust, Leadership and Service (John 10:1-18).

We are committed to the servant leader example Jesus described as the Good Shepherd. (John 10:1-18)

We rejoice in the numeric growth of each Gospel - Centered church , but we do not emphasize numeric growth of the local church as the key measure of success nor as clear evidence of the LORD‘s favor upon a local church. Rather, we emphasize God dependent hard work, courage, devotion, faithfulness and steadfastness in shepherding the local church (1 Peter 2:4-12; Revelation 2:3). We adhere to the admonition, If your church is small in number, don‘t let it be small because you‘re spiritually lazy, mentally lazy or physically lazy.

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