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ARTICLES OF FAITH

THE BIBLE - We believe that the Bible is the written Word of God; full and complete in the sixty-six books of the Bible; revealed through the ministry of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:7-14; 2 Pet. 1:20-21). We believe that the Bible is verbally inspired in every word (2 Tim. 3:16), absolutely inerrant in the original documents (Isaiah 30:8), authoritative and God-breathed. We believe that the Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice. (Matt. 5:18, 24:35; John 17:17; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 4:12; 2 Pet. 1:3-4).

GOD - We believe in a perfectly holy, just, and infinitely loving and merciful God who is the creator and sustainer of all things (Gen. 1:1; Ex. 34:5-9; Job 38:4-30; Isaiah 42:5; Heb. 11:3), worthy of honor, confidence, and obedience. He has always existed, one in essence, and in three Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) having precisely the same nature, attributes, and characteristics.

THE PERSON & FINISHED WORK OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST - We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, came into the world that He might manifest God to men, fulfill prophecy, and become the Redeemer of a lost world. To this end, He was born of the Virgin Mary, received a human body and a sinless human nature without ceasing to be God.  (Luke 1:30-35; John 1:1, 14, 18; Hebrews 4:15; Philippians 2:5-11)  We believe that, in infinite love for the lost, He voluntarily accepted His Father’s will and became the divinely provided sacrificial Lamb and took away the sins of the world.  (Romans 3:25-31; 2 Corinthians 5:14; Hebrews 10:5-14).  We believe He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He had lived and died and that His resurrected body is the pattern of the body which ultimately will be given to all believers.  (John 20:20; Philippians 3:20-21)  We believe that on departing earth, He was accepted by His Father and that His acceptance is a final assurance to us that His redeeming work was perfectly accomplished.  (Hebrews 1:3)  We believe that He became head over all things to the church, which is His body, and in this ministry He does not cease to intercede and to be an advocate for the saved.  (Luke 1:35; 1 Corinthians 15:1-3; Ephesians 1:23; Philippians 2:6-8; 2 Timothy 2:5; 1 John 2:1-2)

MAN - We believe that man was created by God in His own image for the purpose of enjoying fellowship with God (Deut. 6:4-5) and exercising dominion over God’s created order (Gen. 1:26-28). We believe that man was originally in perfect fellowship with God, but fell from this position by disobeying God, resulting in death, which is both spiritual (separation from God) and physical (Gen. 3:1-19; Rom. 6:23). We believe that all mankind is affected by this sin in such a way that no human being by nature or through his own effort can achieve right standing before God (Rom. 3:9-20, 23).

SALVATION - We believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was raised from the dead on the third day, ascended bodily into the presence of God the Father, and now lives to intercede on our behalf (Luke 24:36-39; 1 Cor. 15:3-8; Rom. 8:31-34; Eph. 1:20). We believe that this took place so that man can be reconciled to God and can have fellowship with God (2 Cor. 5:14-21). We believe that through repentance and personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, a person graciously receives right standing before God, forgiveness of sin, and eternal life (John 3:16; Acts 17:30; Rom. 3:21-28, 10:9; Eph. 2:8-9). We believe the power of God assures this believer of his secure position in Christ (John 10:27-29; Rom. 8:28-39).

CHRISTIAN GROWTH - We believe that the believer is to live a life of increasing conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:1-22; 2 Cor. 3:18; Phil. 3:8-16; 2 Pet. 1:3-11). This process of growth takes place through the exercise of faith, Bible study, prayer, meditation on the Word of God, obedience to Christ, fellowship with other Christians, and other spiritual disciplines (Psalms 119:9-16; Rom. 12:1-2; Col. 2:6-7; 1 Thess. 5:16-18; 2 Tim. 2:15; Heb. 5:12-14, 10:24-25). We also believe that every saved person is involved in a lifelong conflict – the new nature in Christ is set against the old nature – but adequate provision has been made for victory in this conflict through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. While the believer is never completely free from sin, the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin (Rom. 7:14-25, 8:1-17; Gal. 5:16-25; Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 3:9-10). We believe in the reality and personality of Satan, and when given the opportunity he and his agents attempt to defeat Christians and thwart the mission of the church (Job 1:6-12; Matt. 4:1-11; 2 Cor. 2:10-11, 4:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 1:18). However, we believe Christians overcome Satan’s schemes by applying Scriptural truth and exercising, by faith, the authority we have in Christ (Eph. 6:10-18; 1 Pet. 5:8-9; 1 John 5:4-5).

THE CHURCH—We believe that all who place their faith in Christ are immediately baptized by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual Body (1 Cor. 12:12-13), of which Christ is the head (Eph.1:22; 4:15; Col. 1:18). We believe that the purpose of the Body is to glorify God by world-wide proclamation that Jesus Christ is Savior, and by encouraging each believer to become progressively Christ-like through the power of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:11-16). The Bible teaches that the members of this one spiritual Body are to associate themselves together in local churches (1 Cor. 11:18-20; Hebrews 10:25). We believe that God has given special spiritual abilities to each member of the Body of Christ (Rom. 12:5-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-31; 1 Pet. 4:10-11), as well as spiritually gifted people to churches for the purpose of preparing believers for spiritual work (Eph. 4:11-12). It is essential for every believer to recognize and employ his spiritual abilities for the building up of the Body and the accomplishment of the work of God in the world (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Pet. 4:10-11). We believe Jesus Christ instituted two symbolic observances for the Body: baptism by immersion for believers (Matt. 28:19), and the Lord’s Supper as a memorial of His death (Luke 22:14-20).

THE FUTURE—We believe the personal and visible return of Jesus Christ could occur at any time (Matt. 24:29-44; Rev.19:11-20:6). We believe in the bodily resurrection of the saved and unsaved; the former to eternal fellowship with the Lord and the latter to eternal punishment and separation from Him (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; John 5:25-29; Revelation 20:7-1).

JUSTIFICATION - We believe that justification is God's act of removing the guilt and penalty of sin while at the same time making a sinner righteous through Christ's atoning sacrifice. (Rom. 3:28, 30-31; 4:1-3, 16; 5:1; 15-17) Righteousness from God is viewed as being credited to the sinner through faith alone, without works. (Rom. 4:5; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 2:8-9)

SANCTIFICATION - We believe that sanctification is the process by which we are made partakers of His holiness; that it is a progressive work; that it is begun in regeneration; and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 6:11; 1 Thess. 4:3; 2 Thess. 2:14; Heb. 10:10)

THE PERSEVERANCE OF SAINTS - We believe that real believers will persevere and endure to the end. They are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. (Jam. 1:2-4; 12; Rom. 5:3-4; Heb. 12:1-2; 2 Thess. 1:4-5)