FAITH

1. The Trinity. There is only one eternal God: consisting of three persons in one substance, but equal in glory: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; John 1:1, 14; 1 John 5:7).

2. Creation. God created all things in six literal days; and on the seventh day, He rested. We reject the view of theistic evolution: which claims that each of the creation “days” stand for millions of years. While most scientists today will claim that there is proven evidence for evolution, we believe this is simply their own interpretation, which was set in motion by the theories of Charles Darwin, and is not supported by sound Biblical doctrine. We also believe the Biblical timeline indicates the earth is about six thousand years old, not billions; and we affirm this was the consensus view among theologians throughout church history (Genesis 1-2; Exodus 20:11; 1 Timothy 6:20).

3. Christ. There is only one mediator between God and man: the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, born of the virgin Mary, fully God and fully man, who atoned for the sins of the world on the cross, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven (Colossians 2:9; John 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 John 2:2; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

4. Scripture. The Holy Bible is inspired by God and contains all things necessary for salvation; it contains the perfect law of the Lord that converts the soul, makes men wise, and trains them in righteousness. It is the supreme authority for the Christian; and it should guide all opinions and decisions about life in general. Though there may be difficult passages, and apparently serious contradictions in the Bible, we affirm there is a satisfying, reconcilable solution for every textual problem. We believe that Scripture not only sanctifies those who obey it, but that it is entirely truthful and trustworthy (Psalm 19:7; 2 Timothy 3:15-16; John 17:17).

5. Creeds. We generally identify with the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, the Apostle’s Creed, the Thirty-Nine Articles, and Assemblies of God’s Statement of Fundamental Truths (1 Corinthians 1:10; John 17:23; Romans 12:16).

6. Original Sin. All men, as the offspring of Adam, are naturally sinful in their flesh; and fallen from the state of holiness (Genesis 3; Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12, 14; 7:23).

7. Prevenient Grace. The Holy Spirit draws all men, regardless of their backgrounds, to come to faith in Christ (John 1:9; 12:32; Romans 2:14-15; Titus 2:11).

8. The Moral Law. The ceremonial law of Moses has been abolished by the Gospel; so now true Christians of all nations, Gentiles included, can obey the moral law by faith in Jesus, which comes from a heart filled with Christian love (Ezekiel 36:27; Jeremiah 31:31-33; Colossians 2:16-17; Romans 3:31; 13:9-10).

9. Repentance. Turning away from sin, or repentance, is necessary when first coming to Christ by faith; and must continue in the Christian life to keep a clean conscience toward God (Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15; Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30; 20:21; 24:16; 26:20; 2 Corinthians 7:9-11).

10. Salvation. By repenting and believing in the cross, anyone may be saved from eternal punishment in Hell-fire, having their sins justly punished and forgiven by faith. Those who persevere in faith and holiness to the end of their lives will live eternally blessed in Heaven. God will finally separate the righteous from the wicked on the Day of Judgment. We heartily affirm an Arminian view of lordship salvation; and totally reject antinomianism, free grace theology, and universalism (Isaiah 53:4-8; Romans 4:7; 5:1; John 3:18, 36; Matthew 24:13; 25:46; Hebrews 12:14).

11. Sanctification. Holiness, or sanctification, is a growing process of faith and moral improvement in the Christian life. It is energized by the Holy Spirit in prayer, and expressed by loving God and man, through obeying the moral law in Scripture. We deny that it is possible for original sin to be annihilated in this life prior to death, because it is in the flesh (John 17:17; Romans 7-8; Hebrews 6:1; Philippians 3:12, 20-21).

12. Good Works. Prior to saving faith, all so-called good works are filthy rags in God’s sight; but in the Christian life, the commands of Christ and the apostles are duties to be performed, as signs of our love for God and men, and they will be rewarded (Isaiah 64:6; Matthew 5:16; Ephesians 2:10; Romans 6:22; James 2:22; Galatians 5:6; 1 John 2:3, 5; Luke 17:10; Hebrews 6:10; Matthew 25:23, 41-43).

13. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Distinguished from inward regeneration by faith in the Gospel, the baptism in the Holy Spirit is an immersion, clothing, or filling, often received in praise or prayer, when the presence of God is felt, and speaking in tongues results, with joy unspeakable and full of glory (Luke 24:49; Acts 2:1-4; 10:45-46; 11:15-16; 19:6; 1 Peter 1:8).

14. Prophecy. The Holy Spirit speaks to Christians by means of visions, dreams, voices, and interpretations of tongues, to convey messages of encouragement, warning, and comfort in agreement with Scripture. Such revelations may be shared or “prophesied” in a church service, but must be shared with a loving, humble attitude and remain subject to the godly judgment of church leaders (Numbers 12:6; 1 Kings 19:12; Acts 2:17; 1 Corinthians 12-14).

15. Healing and Deliverance. It was the practice of the early Christians to pray for healing, by the laying on of hands, with words of knowledge producing miraculous faith. There is nowhere in the Bible that indicates healing prayer is supposed to cease; on the contrary, there are many testimonies of miraculous healings in the lives of saints; and we trust that Christians today should regularly pray for the sick, but not always to the exclusion of medicine. Healing prayer also includes casting out demons (James 5:14-16; Matthew 8:16-17; Mark 16:17-18).

16. Predestination and Election. In Scripture, predestination is always expressed generally to the body of Christ, and never to a particular individual. It is not sound to draw assurance of salvation from this doctrine. Scripture exhorts us to make our calling and election sure, because only God knows the elect. Election means that God foresees those particular saints who will persevere to the end of their lives with repentant faith in Christ; and it is these saints whom God will choose out of mankind for eternal salvation (Romans 8:29-30; 2 Peter 1:10; 3:9; Hebrews 12:14; Matthew 24:13).

17. The Sacraments. The Lord Jesus instituted the sacraments of baptism by immersion, the Lord’s Supper, and feet washing. These actions strengthen, humble, and confirm our faith in Christ (Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32; John 13:4-17).

18. The Church. The people of God, also called the church militant, the true church, and the body of Christ, consists of every repentant believer in Jesus, regardless of denominational affiliation. Only those who persevere to the end of their lives will enter Heaven and receive their full adoption as sons and daughters of God. For the present, every visible church should occupy its time doing the good works commanded by Jesus, the head of the church (2 Timothy 2:3-13; Ephesians 1:22; 3:15; 4:12-13).

19. The Ministry. Scripture allows for only one man of God to be the senior pastor of a church; other men may serve as deacons, teachers, and evangelists. Women of God may serve as deaconesses and teachers of young women and children, but must remain respectful of the leadership by the pastor and male deacons. We believe that a Spirit-led presbyterian view of church government is the closest to Scripture; and that a godly male church council should prayerfully vote to ordain and hold local pastors accountable for their faith and conduct. Both men and women may prophesy in church services for a few minutes, but only if they feel led by the Holy Spirit to share a revelation. However, it is contrary to Scripture to allow women to preach sermons to men, because that would disrupt the natural authority that God has given to men. Such authority must never be abused, nor twisted into unreasonable, authoritarian power trips; but rather, as a shepherd watches over his sheep, and as a father watches over his family with love, care, and concern, so also should men lead their churches. We totally reject covering theology (1 Timothy 2:12; 3:1-13; Ephesians 4:11; 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:14-15; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:5, 15; 14:34; Romans 16:1, RSV; Acts 15:1-30; 16:4; 17:11).

20. The State. Christians are to pay their taxes, as Christ said to render unto Caesar what is his; and they are to respect and pray for the governing authorities, because they are established by God. However, Christians are at liberty to cry out against sins perpetrated in society, including the civil realm; and pastors should avoid being unduly controlled by the government (Romans 13:1-7; Matthew 22:21).

21. Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage. Scripture says it is not good for man to be alone; and that God created woman to be a friend and helper for man. Holy matrimony is to be held in high honor; husbands, just as Christ is head of the church, are heads of their wives, and should love, sanctify, nourish, and cherish them. Wives should love, respect, and submit to their Christian husbands. What God has joined together let no man separate. Divorce is only permissible on grounds of adultery or desertion. Remarriage is only permissible after a lawful divorce or the death of a spouse (Genesis 2:18; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 7:39; Ephesians 5:22-33; 6:4; Titus 2:4; Genesis 1:28; Matthew 19:6, 8; 1 Corinthians 7:15).

22. Pornography. Whoever looks at a woman with lust has already committed either fornication or adultery in his heart. Both of these sins are damnable if not turned away from; and so, pornography is clearly sinful, because it incites unlawful lust, perverts the minds of men, and addicts them to demonic imaginations. In the Bible it is linked with prostitution, idolatry, and Baal worship (Matthew 5:28-29; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 2 Corinthians 10:5, KJV).

23. Profanity. Christians must rid themselves of filthy language, which comes from the loss of self-control, ungodly anger, and crude joking (Colossians 3:8; Ephesians 5:4).

24. Homosexuality. Scripture clearly teaches that the gay lifestyle is sinful, but change is possible through repentance and faith in Christ. The church should be friendly and helpful to those trying to forsake this sin, but those who refuse to turn from this sin will not inherit the kingdom of God (Romans 1:24-27; 1 Timothy 1:8-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Jude 1:7; Galatians 6:1; 1 John 1:9).