All teaching and leadership will align with the following and keep 3 key principles in mind:
- Unity in the majors...
- Freedom in the minors...
- And in matters of disagreement, it's truth and grace, side by side, always.
CORE DOCTRINE: the majors
We believe in ONE God who eternally exists in three equal and distinct Persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While having the same nature and attributes, there is distinction in office and activity. (Genesis 1:26; Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
We believe Jesus Christ is the second person of the Godhead and the eternal Son of God (John 1:1). Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, He is both fully God and fully man. He condescended from heaven (Philippians 2:6-8), took on flesh (John 1:14), lived a sinless life (2 Corinthians 5:21), died a substitutionary death (Romans 5:8), was raised from the dead after three days and appeared to over 500 witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:6). He sent the Apostles (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8), ascended into heaven (Acts 1:8-11) and currently reigns at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19). He will literally and physically return again and reign in glory (Acts 1:1;, Zechariah 14:4; Revelation 19:11-16).
THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead and is active in the world today. He baptizes and indwells all believers at the point of salvation (Ephesians 1:13, Acts 2:38, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20), convicts us of sin (John 16:8), regenerates sinners (Titus 3:5), works to accomplish His mission (John 14:16-17), seals believers until the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14), bestows spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12:3-8), guides believers into truth (John 16:13), glorifies Jesus (John 16:14), fills those yielded to Him (Acts 5:3-4) and produces spiritual fruit (Galatians 6:22-23).
We believe the Bible is the verbally inspired Word of God, without error in the original manuscripts, and the final authority for all things concerning faith and practice. We use a normal, literal approach to interpreting Scripture which takes into account history, grammar, and internal harmony (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21; John 17:17; Isaiah 40:8).
We believe that humanity was created by God in His own image. In Adam, mankind fell into sin with the result that every human being is born with a sinful nature and commits acts of sin. Therefore, mankind is by nature separated from God and spiritually dead (Genesis 1:27; Romans 3:23; 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3).
We believe salvation is a gift from God received by grace alone through faith alone in the substitutionary life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 10:9).
We believe that Jesus Christ died for the sins of mankind as a penal substitutionary sacrifice and bodily rose from the dead, guaranteeing redemption for anyone who personally places their genuine faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation (Romans 5:8-9; Mark 10:45).
We believe that all who are born of the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ can have assurance of salvation and are eternally secure in Him (John 10:27-29; Romans 8:1, 38-39; 1 John 5:13).
We believe salvation includes positional (past-tense justification), progressive (present victory), and ultimate sanctification (future glory).
We believe that every Christian is set apart unto God and declared righteous at the moment of salvation because of the substitutionary work of Jesus Christ on our behalf (1 Corinthians 6:11; Hebrews 10:10).
We believe that every Christian will continue to sin in this life but is freed from the power of sin because of the indwelling Holy Spirit and new life in Christ. The Spirit enables the believer to know truth and be freed to grow more and more into the character of Jesus Christ producing His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23; John 17:17; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 2 Corinthians 3:18).
We believe that one day, every Christian will be completely set free from sin and it’s consequences when Jesus returns or we meet Him face to face (Philippians 3:20-21; Ephesians 5:25-27; 1 John 3:2).
CHRISTIAN LIFE: the minors
We believe that the church is a spiritual organism, the Body and Bride of Jesus Christ, invisible in its universal form, made up of all believers of this age, and manifests local assemblies voluntarily joined together to exalt Jesus Christ, edify the Body of Christ, and evangelize the lost (Colossians 1:18; Acts 2:42-47).
We believe that the Church is distinct from Israel. The Church began on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit began baptizing individuals into the Body of Christ (Acts 1:5; 11:15,16; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
We believe that the ordinances of the church are water baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24-26).
We believe that baptism is an external expression of faith symbolizing a believer’s new life found in Christ. It is not required for salvation, but is encouraged as a joyful act of obedience testifying to one’s new identity in Christ and His body, the church. We practice baptism by immersion. (Matthew 10:32; 28:16-20; Romans 6:3-7, 10-11; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
THE LORD’S SUPPER
We believe the Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of Jesus’ death until He comes again, the elements being used as emblems of His broken body and shed blood. It should be observed in certain church services and may be observed wherever believers gather. The Lord’s Supper is open to all self-examined believers regardless of church affiliation. We take the Lord's Supper together on the first Sunday of every month (1 Corinthians 11:23-34).
We believe that the Holy Spirit sovereignly grants spiritual gifts to each Christian for the building up of the body for the common good, and that these gifts need to be recognized, developed, and utilized, all with a view toward doing the work of Christ for His glory (Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; Ephesians 4:11-16).
We believe that the spiritual gifts must be tested against Scriptural descriptions in order to authenticate them, and they must be utilized with order and an eye toward the building up of Christ's body (Acts 4:8,31; Romans 8:23; 2 Corinthians 12:7-9; 1 Timothy 6:5-10).
We believe that angels are spirit beings created sinless by God but now exist in fallen (demons) and un-fallen states (Psalm 148:2,5; Hebrews 1:14; 2 Peter 2:4).
We believe that Satan is a literal fallen angel, the originator of sin and an enemy of God and mankind, who leads the whole world astray, whom fallen angels serve, and who is doomed in the end (Isaiah 14.12-14, Genesis 3:1-19; 2 Corinthians 11:14, Matthew 25:41; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:9; 20:10).
THE END TIMES
We believe in the imminent, personal return of Jesus Christ for His Church, the Tribulation, the second coming of Jesus Christ to set up a thousand-year reign on earth, the eternal punishment of the unsaved, and the eternal peace and joy of the saved (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 24:21, 29-30; 25:46; Revelation 20:1-6, 11-15).
MARRIAGE, GENDER & SEXUALITY
While this is more of a lifestyle distinctive, than a major or minor, we want to be clear about our convictions and how we ask all members and leaders to follow Christ in these sensitive matters today.
We believe biblical marriage involves the union of one man and one woman in a permanent, sacred, and monogamous relationship. Sexual intimacy should only be pursued within the context of this marital relationship (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:1-9, Mark 10:1-12).
We believe sexual immorality is defined as any sexual activity outside of the boundaries of this sacred marital relationship between one man and one woman. This includes any and all forms of sexual immorality including: adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography or even lustful intent toward such things (Matthew 5:28, 15:19, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, Hebrews 13:4).
We believe the human body is created by God and that sexual identity is biologically determined and given by Him; therefore, it should not be changed (Genesis 1:27, Romans 1:26-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
Furthermore, we believe that all have sinned, will sin, and are in daily need of His grace. Regardless of how we sin, we are all called to repent, and we hope all will have the opportunity to find His grace.