The apostle Paul said, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3;16-17). We are also told by Peter that, “holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21) The Holy Spirit breathed out the Word of God. That Word is perfect in its original manuscripts and has been preserved by God throughout the millennia since it was given. God’s Word is pure and is the only sure basis for the faith and practice of individuals and churches. We believe in the plenary-verbal inspiration of the Scriptures, in other words that all the words, or every word was inspired by God. (See also Matthew 5:18)
Theology Proper (God)
The Bible teaches that the one true God exists in three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This plurality within the Godhead, though not the Trinity itself, is implied from the very beginning of the biblical record. Genesis 1:26 records, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (emphasis ours) Here the Lord used plural pronouns with singular verbs in order to speak of one God-head with more than one person within that God-head. The apostle John emphasized the deity of Jesus Christ throughout his gospel. In fact, the very first verse of that gospel declares that Jesus, the Word, was not only with God in the beginning, but that He was God. The Holy Spirit is declared to be God in Acts 5 where in verse 3 Peter accused Ananias of lying to the Holy Spirit and in verse 4 declared that he had not lied to man but to God. The three members of the Triune God are mentioned together in several passages such as Matthew 28:19-20 where we are told to baptize those who believe on the Lord Jesus in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. All three persons of the God-head are fully divine.
God the Father
1. We believe that God the Father who is Holy, eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent, so loved the world that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to become the only means of salvation for a sinful world.
2. We believe that God the Father is sovereign in all things, including salvation, and that He calls through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, sinners to the Lord Jesus. (John 6:44)
3. We believe that God the Father sends the Holy Spirit to abide in the believer in response to the Son’s request, and that this takes place at conversion.
God the Son
We believe in the full deity of the Lord Jesus from all eternity and His full humanity in His incarnation (John 1:1-18). In Christ our great God became man in order that He might die for man and thus pay the penalty for sin. He is the eternal Son of God, the second person of the Triune Godhead (Matthew 22:43-44; Hebrews 1:8-13). While incarnate upon this earth He was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:23-25), lived a perfect life (2 Corinthians 5:21), died as a sacrifice for man’s sin, was buried, and rose again (Matthew 27-28; John 1:29; John 19-21). That resurrection was a literal physical resurrection and assured those who trust in Him that they too rest in the hope of the resurrection. This Christ then ascended to the right hand of God the Father and even now makes intercession for believers (Heb. 7:25; 1 Tim. 2:5; 1 John 2:1). He will come again one day with His saints to rule and reign on this earth for 1000 years (1 Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 19:11-20:10). He should be now, and will be throughout eternity the object of our worship (Rev. 5:8-14).
God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is not a force, but is rather the third person of the God-head. Christ spoke of Him as a person in John 14:16-17 when He used masculine personal pronouns of the Spirit. Jesus called Him, “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. . .” This Holy Spirit is active in bringing lost sinners to faith in Christ (John 16:5-11; 1 Peter 1:2), sealing them to the day of redemption (2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13; 4:30), comforting those who come to know Christ (John 14:15-16), and teaching believers the truths of the Bible (John 16:13; 1 John 2:27). All those who know Christ are to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18; Col. 3:16).
Man was created in God’s image and was given dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:26-28). He was created in perfection and was able in this perfect state to commune directly with God. He was created with a free will to choose whether to obey or disobey God and fell into sin when he used this freedom to disobey the Lord (Genesis 3). On that day Adam and all his descendants died spiritually, are held in bondage to sin, and must have a work of God in their lives in order to be restored to fellowship with Him. Theologians refer to this as total depravity, which indicates that every aspect of man's being is adversely impacted by sin, and that he is helpless to win merit before God, a truth we might refer to as total inability.
Salvation is God’s plan and work whereby He pours out His grace, love, and forgiveness on lost sinners as He, through His Holy Spirit convicts them of their sin, convinces them of the righteousness of Christ and His sacrifice on their behalf, convinces them of the judgment that awaits all who reject Christ, and brings them to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus as the only way of salvation and as the only way to forgiveness and eternal life (See John 16:8-11). The salvation that comes through Christ is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). No man can work his way to heaven for all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:20). Thus there is the need to be “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:21). Salvation is possible, not because of what man does, but because of what Christ did.
Perseverance of the Saints
We believe that all the redeemed are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. (John 6:37-40; 10:27-39; Rom. 8:1, 38-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Jude 24-25)
Too many have confused the biblical teaching of separation with isolation. And yet, Jesus did not seek that His people be isolated from the world, but rather righteous and holy in the world. In John 17:14-19 He said, “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth, Your word is truth. As you sent Me into the world I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.” The believer is not to live life in the ways of the world but at the same time is to be in the world in order to be an influence for Christ upon it. Biblical separation demands holy, righteous, compassionate living in the midst of an unholy world. Such living will not be popular, but will be used by God to draw sinners to Christ.
The word rendered church is used in the Bible to refer to both a universal church and a local church or churches. The universal church is that group of people who are truly saved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 6:18; Ephesians 1:22-23). The local church is that local, organized body of believers that comes together for worship, edification, and the practice of the truth. Though this body is ideally made up of only saved people, we recognize that the sad reality is that Satan will send tares into the local bodies we call churches (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43). The reality of the local church is seen very clearly in Revelation 2-3 where the head of the church, the Lord Jesus Christ, addressed Himself to the church in Ephesus, the church in Smyrna, etc. Each local church is autonomous, but the church as a whole, including every local church is to recognize the truth that Christ is its head (Colossians 1:18).