WHAT WE BELIEVE
A. THE SCRIPTURES
The Holy Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, was written by men divinely inspired and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter. It reveals the principles by which God will judge us, and therefore is, and shall remain, the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions shall be tried. This Bible is preserved for us without error in the King James Authorized Version of 1611 A.D. Psalm 12:6,7; 119:89; Isaiah 8:20; I Thessalonians 2:13, 5:21; II Timothy 3:15,16.
B. THE TRUE GOD
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. He is inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love. In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. Exodus 15:11; Psalm 83:18; Matthew 28:19; Mark 12:30; John 1:1-3, 4:24, 10:30; Ephesians 2:18; I John 5:7.
C. DEITY OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
The Lord Jesus Christ is the manifestation of God in the flesh, conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the virgin Mary, true God and true man. Matthew 1:18-21; John 8:58, 10:30; I Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:8.
D. THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit of God is co-equal with God. He is a person, the third member of the Trinity. His present ministries include magnifying the Lord Jesus Christ, convincing the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, comforting and teaching believers, and edifying the Body of Christ. The present-day charismatic movement is a dangerous counterfeit of the real ministries of the Holy Spirit and we are totally opposed to it. John 16:7-14; Acts 5:1-4.
Man was created in the image of God, Man sinned and thereby incurred spiritual and physical death. Without exception, all men are sinners and have need of the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Genesis 1:26, 2:7; Romans 5:12-18; I Corinthians 15:22.
The Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. He ascended bodily into heaven. He is seated on the right hand of the Father and ever liveth to make intercession for all born-again believers, thus making them eternally secure. He was, and is, our substitutionary and vicarious atonement for sin. Isaiah 53; Acts 4:12; Romans 5:15-21, 8:33-39; II Corinthians 1:21,22; Ephesians 1:13; I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 7:25.
G. THE FREENESS OF SALVATION
The blessings of salvation are made free to all by the Gospel. It is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith. Nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own voluntary rejection of the Gospel, which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation. John 3:19, 5:40; Romans 16:25-26.
The great Gospel blessing, which Christ secures to such as believe in Him, is justification. Justification includes the pardon of sin and the promise of eternal life in principles of righteousness. It is bestowed not in consideration of any work of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood, by virtue of which His perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God. Justification brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God. John 1:16; Acts 13:39; Romans 4:4,5, 5:1,2,9.
Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of His holiness. It is a progressive work. It is begun in regeneration and it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means – especially the word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer. I Thessalonians 4:3; I John 2:29.
J. SEPARATION – PERSONAL AND ECCLESIASTICAL
The believer should be separated from the world while being present in the world. He should abstain from all appearances of evil as a testimony to the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Church should maintain a position of separation from all forms of apostasy, modernism, ecumenism, and any other departure from the written principles of the Word of God. II Corinthians 6:14-18 and II John 10 prohibit the joining together of believers with unbelievers in the Lord’s work, such as in ecumenical organizations or in cooperative evangelistic efforts. The Church shall continue to be free from any government outside of itself whatsoever, excepting legal requirements necessary to lawful operation not contrary to the nature of an independent Baptist Church. I Corinthians 10:20; I Thessalonians 5:22; II Timothy 2:15-18, 4:1-3; Titus 1:9-11, 2:10-15.
K. THE RETURN OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
Prior to the coming period of tribulation described in Revelation, chapters 6-18, the Lord Jesus Christ will return for His Church, which will be caught up to meet Him in the clouds. I Corinthians 15:51-58; I Thessalonians 4:13-17. This “rapture” removes the Church before God’s wrath is poured out on the earth during the great tribulation. After the period of tribulation described in Revelation chapters 6-18, the Lord Jesus Christ will return to reign on earth for 1,000 years. This period of time is the millennial reign of Christ. Revelation chapters 19-20, John 14:1-3; Philippians 3:20.
The dispensational division of the Scriptures is a basis for study. Men are saved by grace in every dispensation from Genesis to Revelation, but the test of obedience is different in every dispensation. II Timothy 2:15.
M. THE LOCAL CHURCH
A visible Church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and the fellowship of the Gospel, observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His word. Its only Scriptural officers are bishops or pastors and deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the epistles to Timothy and to Titus. This Church is an independent local autonomy, governed internally and responsible only to the Lord Jesus Christ. Its ministries include glorifying the Savior, edifying the saints, and evangelizing the world for Christ. Matthew 16:18, 28:19-20; Acts 2:47, 14:23, 20:28; Romans 16:5; Ephesians 1:22, 5:23; I Timothy 3.
Every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local Church financially. God has established the tithe as a basis for giving, but every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the Church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. A Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the ultimate use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made. Genesis 14:20; Proverbs 3:9- 10; Acts 4:34-37; I Corinthians 16:2; II Corinthians 9:6-7; Galatians 6:6; Ephesians 4:28; I Timothy 5:17-18; I John 3:17.
God has given the Church a Great Commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ we must use all available means to go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us. Our ambassadorship must include an effort to win the lost locally as well. Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; II Cor. 5:20.
P. BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, in the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life. The Lord’s Supper, which by the use of bread and new wine commemorates the dying love of Christ, is to be preceded always with solemn self-examination. Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41-42, 8:36-39; Romans 6:4-5; I Corinthians 11:26-28.
Q. THE LORD’S DAY
The first day of the week is the Lord’s Day and is to be kept sacred to Biblical practices by abstaining from secular labor, except works of mercy and necessity, and is a day of spiritual activity to set the pace for the rest of the week. Psalm 118:24; Acts 20:7; Hebrews 10:24,25.
R. CIVIL GOVERNMENT
Civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society, and magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, as set forth in His Word, who is the only Lord of the kings of the earth. When civil government, or any of its laws, is in opposition to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, we must obey God rather than man. Matthew 22:21, 23:9-10; Acts 5:28-29; Romans 13:1-7.
S. THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED
There is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked. Such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and sanctified by the Spirit of our God are truly righteous in His esteem. All such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse. This distinction holds among men both in and after death and throughout all eternity, including the bodily resurrection of the just and of the unjust, the everlasting blessedness of the saved (in heaven), and the everlasting punishment of the lost (in hell). John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15; Revelation 22:11; Malachi 3:18; Luke 16:19-31; John 3:14-21, 36; Romans 1:17-18; I John 5:19.
T. HEALING AND TONGUES
Apostolic healing and tongues are not part of God’s program for the present Church age. However, we pray for the sick in accordance with James 5:14-15; I Corinthians 13:8; I Timothy 5:23; and II Timothy 4:20.
Human life begins at conception and the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified inexcusable taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. Any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, the mental well-being of the mother, or any other factor, is not acceptable. Job 3:16; Psalm 51:5, 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24, 49:1,5; Jeremiah 1:5, 20:15-18; Luke 1:44.
V. REJECTION OF SEXUAL PERVERSION
God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity shall be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Any form of fornication, adultery, pedophilia, pornography, homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, or bestiality are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. God created mankind as man and woman. Gender is not an optional choice and is not based on feelings, but is instead determined by God. The Christian must strive to live with God’s will on his or her gender. Genesis 2:24, 19:5, 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-32; I Corinthians 5:1, 6:9; I Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4.
W. THE CHRISTIAN WALK AND CONDUCT
The walk of a Christian should at all times be a testimony to the Lord Jesus Christ and should never be a stumbling block to others, saved or lost. This includes proper conduct in all matters relating to the Church. The Church has the right to deal with disruptive behavior, whether by Church members or visitors or invitees or others, at any Church meeting, service, or activity. This right is in addition to Church discipline under Matthew 18 and is intended to avoid the need to use such discipline. Romans Chapter 14; I Corinthians Chapter 8; I Timothy 3:15; Titus Chapter 2.