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BELIEFS

The Bible. We believe that the Bible in its original documents is the inspired Word of God, the written record of His supernatural revelation of Himself to man, absolute in its authority, complete in its revelation, final in its content, and without error in its statement. 2 Tim. 3:16-17; John 10:35; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Luke 24:25-27, 44, 45; 2 Peter 3:16.

The Trinity. We believe there is one God who eternally exists in three Persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, coequal in power and glory, having precisely the same nature, and attributes, and worthy of the same worship, confidence, and obedience. Matt. 28:18-19; Mark 12:29; John 1:1, 14; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 13:14; Heb. 1:1-3, Rev. 1:4-6

Jesus Christ. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became a Man, without ceasing to be God, and was born of a Virgin that He might redeem sinful men (John 1:2,14; Luke 1:35). We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as our substitute and assured us of our justification through His literal, bodily resurrection from the dead (Rom. 3:24-25: 1 Pet. 1:3-5; 2:24). His death provided a payment for the sins (past, present, and future) of all men and, therefore, made eternal life available as a gift to all those who believe.

The Sovereignty of God. We believe that God is absolutely sovereign and, in His sover- eignty, gave man a free will to accept or reject the salvation that He has provided. It is God's will that all would be saved and that none should perish. God foreknows, but does not predetermine any man to be condemned. God permits man's destiny to depend upon man's choice. 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Thes. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2; 2 Pet. 3:9; John 6:64-65; Acts 10:34; 1 Cor. 1:21; Eph. 1:5-14; Rom. 8:29-30; 9:30-32.

The Total Depravity of Man. We believe that each member of the human race is fallen, sinful, and lost; and regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for the salvation of man. The moment a person receives Christ as Savior, he is immediately regenerated, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and sealed until the day of redemption. Rom. 3:23; John 3:7; 1 Cor. 6:19; Eph. 1:13-14; Luke 24:49; Titus 3:5.

Salvation. We believe that salvation is on the basis of God's grace and is received through faith. There is nothing man can do to merit salvation; it is a free gift. Man's efforts, before or after salvation, regardless of how good or well intended, have nothing to do with gaining eternal life. Our salvation is accomplished by the finished work of Christ, and nothing can be added to it. Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 2:16; Rom. 11:6; Col. 2:13; Titus 3:5; Rom. 3:22.

The Church and Its Two Ordinances. We believe that the Church began with the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and is composed of all true believers in this age. We are baptized by the Holy Spirit into the one body of Christ.

• Water baptism is not essential for salvation, but it is a command for believers as a testi- mony to the world. We believe that water baptism and the Lord's Supper are the only ordinances of the church. Neither water baptism nor the Lord's Supper are to be regarded as means of salvation; they are, however, a scriptural means of testimony for the church in this age. Matt. 28:19; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 10:47-48; 16:32-33; 18:7-8; 1 Cor. 11:26.

The Eternal Security of the Believer. We believe that every child of God possesses eternal life and is, therefore, safe and secure for all eternity, being justified by faith, sanctified by God, and sealed by the Holy Spirit; he cannot lose his salvation. However, a Christian can, through sin, lose his fellowship, joy, power, testimony, and reward, and incur the Father's chastisement. Our relationship to God is eternal, being established by the new birth; fellowship with God, however, is dependent upon obedience. 1 Cor. 3:11-17; Heb. 12:5-11; 1 Cor. 11:30-32; Rom. 5:1-2; Jude 1; John 6:37,39; 10:28; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30.

The Christian Life. We believe the child of God has the privilege of walking in fellowship with God (1 John 1:6-7). Spirituality, of which fellowship is a part, is sustained by the Christian's yieldedness to the will of God, and obedience to the Word of God. Sin in the Christian's life interferes with his fellowship with God. 1 John 1:9, which promises forgiveness and cleansing when we confess our sins, does not deal with salvation, but with the restoration of a child of God to that position where he may again walk in fellowship with God. 1 John 1:6-9; 2 Pet. 1:5-8; Col. 1:10; John 15:8; Gal. 5:22; 1 Cor. 11:31-31.

• We believe that the new birth results in a completely new creation, not a reformation of the old. The old nature remains as capable of evil as ever after salvation and has not been changed or improved in any way. The old nature can now be controlled by the indwelling power and filling of the Holy Spirit.

• The true child of God has two births, one of the flesh, the other of the Spirit. Therefore he has two natures; a fleshly nature and a spiritual nature, resulting in warfare between the Spirit and the flesh which continues until physical death or the Lord's return. John 3:6; Rom. 7:15-25; 8:8; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 5:16-17; 1 John 1:8; 3:9; 5:18.

• We believe that all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are called into a life of separation from the world to which they have been crucified by the death of Christ, and should abstain from worldly lust and such practices and habits as will retard spiritual growth or cause others to stumble and, thus, bring reproach upon the cross of Christ. The believer is called upon to walk worthily, keeping himself unspotted from the world, zealous of good works. Eph. 2:10; 5:3-9; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; Col. 3:17; Luke 8:14; 1 Thes. 5:22; 1 Tim. 5:6; 1 Pet. 2:11

Eternal Reward or Punishment. We believe there will be a resurrection of the saved and of the lost; of the saved unto eternal life, and of the lost unto eternal conscious punishment. These two resurrections are separated by at least 1,000 years. 1 Thes. 4:13-18; Dan. 12:2; Rev. 20:5-15; Matt. 25:41.

Eschatology. We believe in the personal, pretribulational, and premillenial return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 1 Thes. 6:9-11; 1:10; 2 Thes. 2:1-8; Rev. 3:10; Luke 21:36; Titus 2:13; Isa. 26:17-21; 27:1; Rev. 4:4.

Satan. We believe that Satan is a person and the author of sin; and he and his angels shall be eternally punished. Ezek. 28:15,17; Isa. 14:12; Rev. 20:10; Matt. 25:41.

Physical Healing. We believe that God can heal, but physical healing is not in the atonement. God heals miraculously today when it is His perfect will to do so. Healing cannot be claimed through the guarantee of the atonement. At times, it is God's will for sickness not to be removed. 2 Cor. 12:8-10; James 5:14-16.

The Gift of Tongues. We believe the gift of tongues (languages) was a manifestation of the Holy Spirit's power solely for the demonstration of God's wisdom, purpose, and power in the establishment of the early church; it was always in a language that was in use. Acts 2:6; 1 Cor. 14:22.

Grace. We believe the true child of God is not under the law, but under grace; he is saved by grace and disciplined by grace. Rom. 6:14-15; 11:6,11; 2 Cor. 3:17.

Repentance. We believe salvation is based upon the one condition of faith, of which repentance is a vital part. Repentance is not a separate, independent condition of salvation; repentance (Greek-Metanoeo) means "to change one's mind." A change of mind is a necessary part of the process by which a person comes to believe. Much confusion has resulted in repentance being treated as a separate condition of salvation in addition to faith, by such incorrect definitions of repentance as "sorrow for sin," "turning from sin," or " a willingness to turn from sin." These definitions, when applied to salvation, add an element of works and therefore are a perversion and counterfeit of the Gospel.

•"Shallow Christianity" cannot be cured by adding works to salvation. The believer's motivation to serving is out of gratitude for God's grace in saving us.

• Salvation is not the result of what we do, but it is by receiving what God has done for us. Acts 13:38-39; 20:20; Gal. 1:8-9; 2:4,21; 3:1-3; 5:1-4; Eph. 2:8-10; 2 Cor. 5:21; John 3:16-18; Phil. 3:9; Titus 3:5-8; 2 Cor. 11:13-15.

• God guarantees salvation, this is His gift to us. God guarantees reward and fruit to the obedient son. God guarantees chastening and loss of rewards to the disobedient son.

Evangelism. We believe that it is the explicit message of our Lord Jesus Christ to those whom He has saved that they are sent forth by Him into the world even as He was sent forth of His Father into the world. We believe that, after they are saved, they are divinely reckoned to be related to this world as strangers and pilgrims, ambassadors and witnesses, and that their primary purpose in life should be to make Christ known to the whole world. Matt. 28:18-19; Mark 16:15; John 17:18; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; 1 Pet. 2:11.

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