What we believe...
We affirm our belief in one living God who exists eternally, revealed in three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These three are one in essence but distinct in person and function.
Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14, Colossians 2:9, 1 Peter 1:1-2, Isaiah 9:6,
Isaiah 44:6, John 1:14, John 10:30, Luke 1:35, Matthew 1:23, Matthew 3:16-17,
1 Peter 1:1-2, Colossians 1:15-17, John 14:9-11, Philippians 2:5-8
We affirm that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, though written by men, was supernaturally inspired by God so that all its words are the written true revelation of God; it is therefore inerrant in the original text, reliable in most translations and authoritative in all matters. It is to be understood by all through the illumination of the Holy Spirit and utilization of our God given ability to reason, its meaning determined by the historical, grammatical, and literary use of the author’s language, comparing Scripture with Scripture.
2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21, John 17:17, Psalm 19:7, Psalm 119:160,
Joshua 1:8, Romans 10:17, Luke 24:45-49, 1 Timothy 4:13
We affirm that all things were created by God. Angels were created as ministering agents, though some, under the leadership of Satan, fell from their sinless state to become agents of evil. The universe was created in six days and is continuously sustained by God; thus it both reflects His glory and reveals His truth. Human beings were directly created, not evolved, in the very image of God. As reasoning moral agents possessing free will, they are responsible under God for understanding and governing themselves and the world.
Ezekiel 28:15, Hebrews 11:3, Colossians 1:16, Genesis 1:1-31
We affirm that each person is created by God in an innocent state with good and godly appetites and drives. Sin is born within the individual when they reject the will of God and choose evil, surrendering unto their appetites and letting them rule over them. God does not will us to sin, nor does He cause us to sin, we sin because we reject Him. We affirm that sin is not hereditary or genetic, it is relational, a matter of the heart and born from our disobedience. Thus, we go astray from our original state and intended purpose. We see the corruptive influence and consequences of sin in suffering and death throughout the world. This is not God’s will, as Jesus prayed in the Lord’s Prayer “your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Genesis 4:6-7, Psalm 22:9-10, Psalm 71:5-6, Psalm 139:13-14,
Psalm 58:3, Ecclesiastes 7:29, Ezekiel 18, 1 Peter 2:25
We affirm that Adam, the first man, willfully disobeyed God and sinned, bringing death into the world. Due to the shame of their sin Adam and Eve withdrew from God and attempted to hide themselves. Sin still produces the same desire to further withdraw from God and all who sin will die. We affirm that life begins at conception and all persons are created by God, knit together in their mother’s womb by His holy hand. They are created like their parents and in His image. They are born innocent, wholly dependant upon Him and into a fallen world which actively seeks to kill and corrupt them. They must be taught to reject evil and embrace goodness. The flesh is weak and from this state of innocence all men eventually give in to the tempter, overcome by the nature they have cultivated and go astray after their own desires. They therefore sell themselves into sin, under the dominion of Satan and will die subject to the just condemnation of a holy God.
Genesis 4:6-7, Romans 5:12, Isaiah 7:15, Psalms 22-9-10, Ecclesiastes 7:29
We affirm that Jesus Christ was conceived of a virgin as a sign He was Messiah. He came in our flesh and blood, was like His us in every respect, subject to all our weaknesses and was tempted, but did not give in. Thus He conquered the appetites of the body. We affirm that Christ lived holy and submitted to the will of the Father, providing Himself as a perfect sacrifice by the appointment of the Father. He was subjected to the full wrath of the devil and man who poured out their anger on the Son of God, beating Him, mocking Him, nailing Him to the cross and piercing His side. He willingly went to the cross and died a pure and innocent sacrifice. Men considered Him cursed by God, but God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. He went to the grave, descending into Paradise where He remained for three days. At which time He arose bodily from the dead, breaking the hold of the grave. He ascended into heaven where He is preparing a place for all faithful believers, waiting for the time the Father has appointed for His return. In every aspect of His mission to redeem mankind Christ was victorious. By His work we can be reconciled to God, be righteous and set apart, no longer enslaved to sin, the Devil and prisoner of the grave.
Isaiah 7:14, 1 John 3:5, Galatians 5:24, 1 John 4:3, 2 John 1:7,
1 John 4:2, Isaiah 53, Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 23:43,
Revelation 1:18, John 10:10, Hebrews 2:14-15
We affirm that the wicked and unrighteous can be forgiven and reconciled unto God provided they abandon their ways and return to God who will freely pardon them. We affirm salvation (eternal life) is a hope, yet to be reaped and in the age to come for those who faithfully endure until the end. Men can only be saved through the work of Jesus Christ, through repentance of sin, confessing He is Lord and by faithfully remaining in Him. The believer abides in Christ and is considered righteous, born again by the Holy Spirit, turned from sin, and assured of a physical resurrection from the grave provided they do not fall away and turn from faithfulness. We are to be Holy and sinless, yet if we sin we have an advocate with the Father.
Isaiah 55:7, 1 John 2:1, Acts 3:19, Hebrews 10:26-27, Hebrews 8:12,
Proverbs 28:13, Titus 3:7, Galatians 6:8-9, Mark 10:30,
Romans 2:7, Galatians 6:9
We affirm that the Holy Spirit indwells all who are born again, conforming them to the likeness of Jesus Christ. We are saved from sin and are called to live holy sinless lives dependant on our Savior. Every believer is responsible to live in obedience to the Word of God in separation from sin. People who continue to commit sexual sins, worship false gods, commit adultery, homosexuals, thieves, the greedy, the drunk, liars and those who use abusive language will not inherit God’s Kingdom. The Holy Spirit serves as a seal guaranteeing the authenticity of God's promise and ratifying the terms and conditions He has set in place.
1 Corinthians 3:16, Ezekiel 36:27, 2 Timothy 1:14, Romans 12:2,
Titus 2:12, Acts 3:19, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Ephesians 1:13
We affirm that the Church is the worldwide body of Christ; that is all the faithful followers of the Savior. A church is merely a local assembly of baptized believers, under the discipline of the Word of God and in submission to Christ, organized to carry out the commission to evangelize, to teach, and to administer the ordinances of believer’s baptism and the Lord’s table. Its offices are pastors, teachers and elders, and it is self-governing. It functions through the ministry of gifts given by the Holy Spirit to each believer. We affirm that all believers stand before God, possessing various gifts and no man serves as a mediator between God and man; we are therefore equal before the Lord Jesus who is our High Priest.
Ephesians 5:25-32, Ephesians 1:22, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, Ephesians 2:19-22
We affirm that the return of Christ is imminent. Christ will defeat the armies of the Antichrist at the Battle of Armageddon. We affirm that anyone who has taken the Mark of the Beast has eternally rejected the Living God and will share the same fate as the Devil. The dead will rise and the living gathered. All mankind will stand before God and be judged according to their faithfulness and obedience. Anyone whose name is not in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be thrown into the lake of fire along with Satan and his fallen angels, this is the second death. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb will also take place. The saved, having received eternal life, will live forever in fellowship with God.
Revelation 22:12, Mark 13:32, Revelation 19:11-21, Matthew 24:44, Revelation 20:12
While we affirm our agreement with the full doctrinal statement (above), believers need also understand these essentials:
It is our deepest conviction that during the time of the Disciples that false teachers began entering the Church and introducing concepts that are extra-Biblical and in conflict with the truth as revealed in Scripture. This became even more common following the death of the Disciples. Men such as Augustine, Anselm, Calvin and Luther have come to be revered by modern Christian culture and their views elevated to be on par and even surpassing scripture. We reject their teachings with great conviction as they are at odds with scripture and pervert the nature and character of God, of man and of sin. We reject the dichotomy of Calvinism and Arminianism, of Augustine and Pelagius, of Catholicism and Protestantism. Truth is not divided or determined by the traditions of corrupt men, but by the Word of God. We reject Gnosticism, universalism, the ecumenical movement and the five points of Calvinism (TULIP).
We affirm Christ’s Atonement and hold a traditional understanding in keeping more with Ransom, Christus Victor, the Great Physician and Restored Icon models of redemption. We reject the penal substitution view of the Atonement as it uses selective scriptures to paint God as incapable of forgiveness or relenting in His wrath. Further, it creates division between the Father and Son, whereas scripture is clear God was unified in purpose - Christ did not save us from the Father, but reconciled us to Him; saving us from our sin, Satan and the grave. Christ did not literally become sinful, but carried our sin and its consequences to the cross, all the while He was holy and innocent, thus a perfect sacrifice. Jesus went to Paradise along with the thief on the cross, not the lake of fire. The Father and Son are not and have never been at odds, but are unified in purpose. Jesus did not save us from the Father who has always freely pardoned the repentant. Rather He was sent by the Father to save us from our weakness and appetites, sin, infirmity, Satan and the grave.
We are not created by God to be inherently sinful, nor do we inherit the sin of our fathers. God has never created a being in a fallen state, but everything He does is good. The concept of total depravity opposes scripture and blames God and Adam for our failings and rebellion, removing the ability to be genuinely repentant. Repentance, that is acknowledgement of our failings, turning from sin and returning to God, is a condition of salvation.
God is not a respecter of persons, salvation is highly conditional and the way is narrow. The Father sent Christ so that anyone who believes in Him and faithfully endures shall be saved. We do not place a limit on the precious blood of our Redeemer.
We realize men can and do resist the will of God and we do not ascribe to Him any evil. God is Holy and not the author of sin. We are obligated to abide in Christ. There is nothing in scripture to suggest a momentary acknowledgment of Him offers eternal security. In fact numerous warnings and encouragements are given that we should not fall away, become castaways, forsake our first love, wither and cease being fruitful.
Christ’s Earthly mission was culminated on the cross and at His resurrection. This glorious moment of God demonstrating His love and mercy is not to be diminished. Neither should the complete purpose and life of our Savior be diminished. Jesus came in our flesh, like us in every respect, and conquered its weaknesses and appetites. He walked in perfect obedience to the Father, resisting the temptations of the evil one, showing us the way and calling us to follow Him in truth and love. We are called to be Holy and sin no more from now until our death, or His returning.
Same Term, Different Definitions:
In these last days, the devil is actively deceiving many who bare the name of Christ. One of the ways that he is doing this is by engaging in linguistic revision. He takes Biblical words, redefines them, makes them acceptable to visible "Christianity" and then deceives people into believing, "this is orthodoxy".
Here are just a few of the words he has redefined:
1) "Dead" - It means that you are separated from God, in relationship to Him, because you are in sin.
The Devil redefines it to mean that you have no free will to repent, live holy or believe the Gospel and that God does everything for you (Monergism).
2) "Holiness/Obedience" - It means that you are living in complete obedience to God, according to the knowledge/understanding you have. The things that you know to do, you are doing and the things that you know you shouldn't be doing, you aren't doing.
The Devil redefines it to mean that you aren't "perfect," you just aren't "practicing sin". Of course, each person then gives whatever arbitrary definition they want to give, to the word "practice".
3) "Grace" - It means the message of God and influence from God, to get you to stop sinning and walk in holiness, right now.
The Devil redefines it to mean that you can live whatever way you want, since you have "gotten saved" and that God is still OK with you. No one can obey God completely, right now, in this life. We always are sinners and always need to ask for forgiveness.
4) "Salvation" - It means that God has delivered you from sinning. The secondary benefits are being delivered from guilt, shame and Hell. Also, you must persevere in faithfulness until the end to be saved.
The Devil redefines it to mean that you had a one time moment of belief in the past and are therefore delivered from guilt, shame and Hell, even though you keep on sinning everyday in thought, word and deed. You are forgiven of all future sins, ahead of time. If you feel guilty, that's not God, that's the Devil.
5) "Imputation" - It means that God considers someone as holy, as if they have never sinned, because they have forsaken ALL of their sins (repented), have trusted in Jesus' sacrifice on the cross and are living holy. He forgives you and doesn't hold your past sins against you, even though He still knows about them.
The Devil redefines it to mean that "christians" can sin all they like and all that God sees is Jesus' perfect righteousness. God, essentially is no longer omniscient, since He is blinded by the blood of Jesus.
6) "Works Salvation" - It means that someone is attempting to be saved by obeying the Law of Moses. It could also mean that someone is attempting to be saved by doing "good works" apart from Trusting in Christ.
The Devil redefines it to mean that if you say we must be holy to be a Christian or if you say that a true Christian can lose his/her salvation, then you are a "works salvationist." You are a heretic! God doesn't want you to be holy! Why would He want that? He wants you to be sinful!