From the time of the Apostles to today, Christians have laid out doctrine (beliefs) in brief, definitive statements. As people committed to embodying the ways of Jesus, we believe it’s helpful to clarify what we believe are the foundational truths of our church as guided by Scripture. Our Statement of Faith is adapted from the New Hampshire Confession of Faith (1833) and The Baptist Faith and Message (2000).
THE BIBLE //
We believe that the Holy Bible is the Word of God, written by men inspired by the Holy Spirit, and reveals without error the only way of salvation, the principles by which God will judge the world, and all truths necessary for us to live for His glory. It will remain to the end of time the supreme standard and final authority by which all matters of life and doctrine are to be tested.
We believe that there is only one true and living God. He is the eternal, infinite Creator and supreme Ruler of heaven and earth. He is merciful, just, and loving and governs all things according to His sovereign will for His glory. He is perfect in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, trust, and love. He exists eternally within one Godhead as three distinct persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each is truly God and equal in every divine attribute and perfection, while executing distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation and redemption.
We believe that man and woman were created in the image of God for fellowship with Him, but that through the voluntary disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, humanity fell from this exalted state into sin and that all their descendants inherit this corruption. As a result, all human beings are sinners, not by constraint but by choice; being by nature utterly devoid of the holiness required by God and inclined to evil. Therefore, human beings, apart from divine grace, are unable to turn to God and are under just condemnation to eternal punishment, without defense or excuse.
We believe that the salvation of sinners is by the grace of God alone through the work of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the world. He is truly God and truly man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, and lived a sinless life in perfect obedience to the Father. He taught the way of God’s kingdom, worked miracles, was crucified, died and rose from the dead. In His death on the cross, He made full atonement for our sins, bearing in our place the wrath of God against our sin, thereby reconciling us to God and making possible our adoption into God’s family. We believe that salvation is offered freely to all in the gospel, and that it is the immediate duty of all to accept the gospel by a humble, penitent and obedient faith. There is nothing that prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel, which results in his just condemnation.
We believe that justification is the free gift by which those who believe in Christ are declared righteous. It includes the pardon of sin, and the promise of eternal life on the basis of Christ’s shed blood and His righteousness imputed to us. It is given freely by God, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the atoning work of Christ. It brings us into peace and favor with God, and secures every spiritual blessing for time and eternity.
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again. Regeneration consists in God giving a new heart and a holy disposition to the mind, and it is effected by the power of the Holy Spirit in a manner beyond human comprehension. This inward change secures our voluntary obedience to the gospel, and its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith, and sanctification.
We believe that sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God and through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we are made partakers of His holiness. It is a progressive transformation into the image of Christ that is begun in regeneration and is carried on in the hearts of believers by the work of the Holy Spirit, in the continual use of spiritual disciplines, including reading and hearing the word of God, self-examination, and prayer.
We believe that it was the gracious purpose of God from all eternity to choose some people to be regenerated and saved, not on account of any foreseen merit in them, but only because of His sovereign good pleasure. God’s infinitely free, wise, holy and unchangeable purpose in salvation is perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign mercy. It utterly excludes boasting and promotes humility, gratitude, praise, love, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy, and is the foundation of Christian assurance.
All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
THE CHURCH //
We believe that there is one true, invisible church, which is the communion of God’s people drawn from every tribe, people, language and nation throughout the ages. It is made visible in the local church, which is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, marked by the right preaching of God’s word and the right administration of the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are elders and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of elder is limited to men as qualified by Scripture. The mission of the church is to display God’s glory to the world by preaching the gospel and making disciples.
THE ORDINANCES //
We believe Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic meal instituted by Jesus, a picture of the price He paid for sins and the spiritual nourishment that His death provides the Church. The Lord’s Supper should be taken by believers, together with the church body, in a humble, repentant spirit.
LAST THINGS //
We believe God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in the New Heavens and the New Earth with the Lord.
the family //
We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of society. Families are composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. We believe that marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman before God in covenant commitment for a lifetime. Husband and wife are both made in God’s image and have equal value before God; while at the same time possessing distinct roles in the marriage. The husband is to gently lead and sacrificially love his wife as Christ loved the church, and the wife is to graciously submit herself to her husband as the church willingly submits to Christ. We believe that children bear the image of God from the moment of conception, and are a blessing and inheritance from the Lord. Parents are to patiently lead their children in the ways of Christ by intentional instruction, gracious discipline, and consistent example based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents for the glory of God and their ultimate good.