Member Statement of Faith

Bible Center is known for being Bible-centered. As has been the practice in the global Church for two millennia, our congregation has found it helpful to summarize our core beliefs into various statements of faith. The foundation for all BCC doctrinal statements can be traced back to the one that appears in the first church bulletin on March 7, 1943. Multiple revisions have taken place over the years to provide clarification to the ever-changing winds of doctrine.

God’s Word

  1. We believe the whole Bible—all 66 books—to be the inspired Word of God. Zechariah 7:12; Matthew 5:17-18; John 10:35; Acts 4:24-26; 1 Corinthians 14:37; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 3:15-16
  2. We believe the Bible to be inerrant, accurate, and true in the original manuscripts, infallible, and trustworthy in everything. The Bible doesn’t affirm anything that is contrary to fact. Numbers 23:19; Psalm 12:6; Proverbs 30:5; John 17:17; Romans 1:2; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18
  3. The Bible alone is our final source of authority and is sufficient in matters of faith and practice; therefore, it guides our discussions of purpose, doctrine, morals, church membership, church governance, and ministry. Deuteronomy 30:15-20; 1 Thessalonians 4:2; 2 Thessalonians 3:14; 2 Peter 3:15-16
  4. God’s Word is essential for showing and knowing the way of salvation, for maturing in the faith, and for discerning God’s will. It is necessary for the equipping, growth, and transformation of every gospel-believer. Therefore, it is the centerpiece of our preaching, teaching, singing, and counseling. Psalm 19:7-11; Matthew 4:4; Romans 10:13-17; Colossians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:3
  5. The good news of God’s redemptive plan through Christ is the central and dominant theme of the Bible—in both the Old and New Testaments—and in human history. God’s Word unveils God’s plan through creation, the fall, salvation, transformation, and restoration—impacting the individual, the Church, and the world. Genesis 3:15; 12:1-3; Luke 24:13-45; Galatians 3:16, Hebrews 9:15; Revelation 21:3-6
  6. Though not exhaustively, God has revealed Himself truly, clearly, and progressively through His Word so that, with God’s help, its teachings can be understood and applied. Deuteronomy 30:11-14; 31:9-13; John 14:26; Romans 15:4; 1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 4:1-2

[Go Deeper]

The Triune God

  1. There is one God, creator, sustainer, and ruler of all. Deuteronomy 6:4; James 2:19
  2. God is three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Genesis 1:26; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2
  3. Each person is fully God—co-eternal, co-equal, and co-existent. Genesis 1:1; John 1; Acts 5:3-4
  4. The three persons of the Trinity are one in essence, yet distinct in person, dwelling in perfect harmony as three in one, mutually glorifying and loving one another. Genesis 1:26; Matthew 3:16-17; John 14-17; Ephesians 4:4-6; 1 John 4:7-8
  5. Our Triune God has created all things, and by nature, He transcends His creation and dwells eternally outside of time, space, and matter. He is infinite in His holiness, perfection, and glory. 1 Kings 8:27; Psalm 102:25-27; Isaiah 48:11; John 17:5; Acts 17:24-25; 2 Peter 3:8; Revelation 21:22-27
  6. By choice, God is fully present within His creation, displaying His goodness, love, wisdom, justice, mercy, and grace. Exodus 34:6-7; John 3:16; Philippians 4:5; Colossians 1:17
  7. God created all things for His glory, and He providentially rules over all He has made. The skies proclaim His glory, His people are redeemed for His glory, and forever we will praise His glory. Exodus 20:4-6; Isaiah 43:7, 21, 25; 48:11; Psalm 19:1-2; Matthew 10:29; John 17:1-5; Acts 4:27-28; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 5:9-10

[Go Deeper]

God the Father

1. The Person of the Father

  • God the Father is sovereign over all things. He is immortal, unseen, living in unapproachable light, a consuming fire, the only wise God. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12; Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:33-36; 1 Timothy 1:17; 6:15-16, Hebrews 12:29
  • He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. Luke 10:21-22; John 14:9-13; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; 1 Peter 1:3

2. The Work of the Father

  • In love, God sent His only begotten and beloved Son, and together with the Son, He gave the Holy Spirit. John 3:16; 14:16; 17:5, 24; 20:21
  • While holy and just, God also displays His grace and mercy by saving and adopting all who come to Him through faith in Jesus Christ. John 1:12-14; 16:23-28; Romans 8:14-15; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 1:3-10; 1 Peter 1:3-5

 

[Go Deeper]

God the Son

1. The Person of Christ

  • Jesus is God’s eternal Son, uncreated and co-equal with the Father and the Spirit. He shares the same nature, attributes, and perfections as God the Father and God the Spirit. Jesus and the Father are one. Jesus is the radiance and revelation of the Father’s glory, an exact representation of Him, and it is Jesus who has made the Father known. Isaiah 9:6; 40:3; Matthew 3:3; 22:41-46; John 1; 6:38; 8:56-59; 10:30-33; 20:25-31; Romans 9:5; Colossians 1:15-20; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1; 2 Peter 1:1; Revelation 19:16
  • Through the power and work of the Holy Spirit—in the incarnation through the virgin birth—Jesus fully took on human nature, including a human body and a human experience while living a sinless life. Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 1:26-35; 2:52; John 11:35; 12:27; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 2:14-18; 4:15-16; 7:26; 1 Peter 1:19; 2:22
  • Jesus is fully God and fully man. Both natures are unified in Christ without confusion or the minimization of either nature. Micah 5:2; Luke 24:36-42; Galatians 4:4; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 4:15; 1 John 1:1

2. The Work of Christ

  • Jesus actively lived a perfect life and died on the cross, standing in our place, to bear the full weight of God’s wrath against our sin and to satisfy the Father’s holy justice and righteous standard. Jesus offers forgiveness, righteousness, and adoption to all who—by grace through faith—receive Him as Savior and Lord. Isaiah 53:4-6; John 1:12; Romans 5:6-8; 8:1; 10:9-13; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:5-6; 2:8-9; 1 Peter 2:24
  • He gave Himself to redeem us and purify for Himself a chosen people for His own possession, a royal priesthood, zealous for good works, who declare the worth of their Savior through obedience, selflessness, praise, and worship. Ephesians 1:3-14; Titus 2:1-14; 1 Peter 1:13-22; 2:9-10
  • Christ’s death made reconciliation possible between God and sinful people. Through the blood He shed on the cross, all believers have peace with God, and all creation will one day be restored and renewed. Romans 5:1; 8:18-21; Colossians 1:20; 1 Timothy 2:5; Revelation 21:1-5
  • Jesus bodily rose from the dead, was publicly seen by many, and dealt a death-blow to God’s enemies—achieving ultimate and cosmic victory over sin, death, Satan, and demons. Jesus ascended to the Father in heaven, lives to mediate for all believers, and will one day return in glory. Genesis 3:15; Psalms 16:10; 110; Matthew 16:21; 28; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; Acts 1:1-11; Romans 6:1-10; 8:1-2; 1 Corinthians 15; Ephesians 4:7-16; Colossians 2:15; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:3-4; 2:14-15; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 3:8
  • Jesus, under the New Covenant, functions as prophet, priest, and king to accomplish our salvation. As a prophet, He reveals God and His ways. As a priest, He mediates between God and His people. As a king, He rules over all creation. Deuteronomy 18:15-18; Psalms 89:26-37; 110; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Luke 1:32-33; Acts 3:22-24; 13:22-23, 32-53; Ephesians 1:19-23; Hebrews 7-10
  • Jesus was sent by the Father to seek and save the lost. In the same way, under His authority and with His active presence, Jesus sends out His followers to continue His mission of making disciples who make disciples. Matthew 28:18-20; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Timothy 2:2

[Go Deeper]

God the Spirit

1. The Person of the Holy Spirit

  • The Holy Spirit is a divine person—not a power, force, or influence. As a member of the Trinity, He fully shares in all divine perfections, attributes, and nature. He is to be worshipped, obeyed, trusted, and served along with God the Father and God the Son. Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:1-9; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:1-2
  • Though one in essence with the Father (“Spirit of God”) and the Son (“Spirit of Christ”), the Spirit is distinct in person, relation, and role. Romans 8:9-10
  • The Spirit proceeds from both the Father and Son. Psalm 104:30; John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7

2. The Work of the Holy Spirit

  • The work of the Spirit is to manifest the presence of God in the world and especially in the Church. He works in, with, and through the preaching, teaching, and sharing of God’s Word to convict the world of sin, to call the lost to salvation, to discipline wandering hearts back to Jesus, to mature believers in grace and truth, and to unify the Church. Genesis 1:2; John 3:1-8; 15:26-27; 16:7-15; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 13:14; Ephesians 4:1-6; Philippians 2:1-2
  • The Holy Spirit regenerates, indwells, and seals believers in the body of Christ at the moment of salvation until Jesus’ return. Jeremiah 31:31-34; John 1:33; 7:37-39; 14:16-17; Acts 1:4-5, 8; 2:1-4, 33; Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 12:13; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Galatians 3:1-3; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; Titus 3:5
  • As our Counselor and Helper, the Spirit enlightens and guides believers in our understanding and application of God’s Word. He continually renews, leads, fills, assures, and empowers us to love and obey. John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7, 13-15; Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 4:22-24; 5:18-21; Colossians 3:16
  • The Spirit testifies to our adoption, strengthens us in our weaknesses, and intercedes for us in prayer. He joins with Christ to justify, wash, and sanctify every believer. Romans 8:14-16, 26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Galatians 4:4-7; 5:16-26; Ephesians 6:18; Jude 20
  • The Spirit unifies gospel-believers, gives us gifts for ministry, and produces fruit in our lives for the maturing and building up of His Church. Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Galatians 5:22-26; Ephesians 4:1-16; 1 Peter 4:8-11

[Go Deeper]

God’s Creation

  1. The Triune God—distinct from His creation and out of nothing—created everything visible and invisible by the power of His spoken word. By Him, through Him, and to Him are all things. Genesis 1-2; Nehemiah 9:5-6; Psalms 33:4-9; 90:1-4; 102:25-27; Isaiah 45:5-18; John 1:1-14; 8:58; Acts 4:24; 14:15; 17:24-28; Romans 4:17; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 11:3; Revelation 10:6
  2. God created out of the superabundance of His love and holiness. His creation, and everything in it, exists to proclaim His greatness, goodness, and glory. Genesis 1-2; Exodus 20:11; Job 38:1-42:6; Psalms 19:1-6; 33:6-9; 96:11-13; 136:5-9; 148; Isaiah 6:3; 43:7; Romans 1:20; 11:33-36; Ephesians 1; 1 Timothy 4:1-5; 6:17; Revelation 4:11
  3. As described in the 6-day Genesis account, God delights to interact with and sustain His creation. Genesis 1-2; 3:8-9; 2 Chronicles 16:9; Job 12:10; 33:4; Psalms 103-104; 107; 136; 139; Matthew 6:25-34; Acts 17:24-28; Colossians 1:15-17, Hebrews 1:3
  4. Adam and Eve were personally created in the image of God. Jesus validated them as historical figures in a literal Garden of Eden. They stewarded God’s holy creation and enjoyed pure and unhindered fellowship with God and one another. Genesis 1:26-31; Matthew 19:3-5; Luke 3:38; Acts 17:26; 2 Corinthians 11:3

[Go Deeper]

Angels & Demons

  1. God created angels as moral, intelligent, and powerful spiritual beings without physical bodies. He assigned them to worship and serve Him and to minister to all believers. Job 38:4-7; Matthew 4:11; Luke 2:8-15; 24:39; John 20:11-13; Acts 10:1-31; Hebrews 1:6-7, 14
  2. Satan and his demons (angels who sinned) actively fight against the will and works of God, attempting to blind the minds of unbelievers. Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19; Daniel 10; 12:1; Matthew 12:22-32; 13:39; Luke 10:17-20; 11:14-26; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 6:12; 1 Thessalonians 2:18; 1 John 3:8
  3. Satan and his demons seek to rob God of His glory through deceiving, accusing, lying, blinding, tormenting, and hurting the people Christ has redeemed. Genesis 3:1-7; Job 1-2; John 8:44; 1 Peter 5:8-9; 1 John 3:8; Revelation 12:7-12
  4. Satan and his demons are defeated foes who live in subjection to the sovereignty of Christ and will spend eternity in torment. Genesis 3:15; Job 1-2; Matthew 25:41; Colossians 2:15; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Revelation 14:11; 20:1-10

[Go Deeper]

Humanity

  1. God intentionally created man and woman in His image, sharing in aspects of His spiritual, relational, rational, moral, emotional, and royal image, making us—of all creation—most like Him and most capable of glorifying Him, even in our physical bodies. Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-18; 5:1-3; 9:6; Psalms 8; 139:13-16; Isaiah 43:7; James 3:9; 1 Peter 2:9
  2. As image-bearers of God, each person is loved, designed with beauty, created with a purpose, and is inherently and eternally valuable. All people reflect aspects of God’s nature and are to be treated with dignity. Genesis 1:26-28; 9:6; Psalm 139:13-18; Isaiah 44:24; Jeremiah 1:5; Matthew 7:12; Mark 12:31; John 3:16, Romans 5:8, 1 Timothy 2:4; 1 Peter 2:17; 2 Peter 3:9
  3. Adam and Eve were created male and female with distinction, similarity, and interdependence for the sake of genuine union. Genesis 1:27-28; 2:15-25; Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 5:21-33
  4. Human beings consist of a material (body) and immaterial (soul/spirit) aspect. During this earthly existence, both are inseparably united. Genesis 2:7; Luke 10:27; 1 Thessalonians 5:23
  5. Adam and Eve are humanity’s first parents. Adam, described as the head of the human race, represented all of humanity in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:20; Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:20-49

[Go Deeper]

The Fall and Effects of Sin

  1. God created Adam and Eve in perfect holiness and gave them clear commandments. Eve was tempted and deceived by the serpent, and both Adam and Eve disobeyed and rebelled—willfully sinning against God. Genesis 1:28-31; 2:15-17; 3:1-6; Romans 5:12; 1 Timothy 2:14
  2. Spiritual death, physical death, and the sinful nature entered the world through Adam’s Fall and are passed on to all humans. Every person is totally and morally depraved, spiritually dead, and separated from God. Each person is hopelessly and helplessly lost without God’s intervention. Genesis 3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-23; 5:12-21; 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 John 1:10
  3. God commissioned Adam and Eve to rule over creation; however, through their sin, all of creation is broken, cursed, and fallen. Humanity’s relationship with God, with one another, and with creation itself is broken beyond human repair. Sin, suffering, and death have marred all of creation. Genesis 1:28-30; 2:15; 3:7-24; John 16:33; Romans 8:18-22
  4. Sin is any outward or inward failure to conform to the moral law of God, affecting our actions, attitudes, words, and motivations. As sovereign and holy, God establishes the moral law as a reflection of His righteous nature; therefore, we sin when we violate His law or anything consistent with His nature. Exodus 20:1-17; Matthew 5-7; Mark 12:30; Galatians 5:13-26

[Go Deeper]

Salvation

  1. Salvation is a divine and unmerited gift based entirely on the unconditional love and grace of God. John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 6:23; 8:28-30; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6; Ephesians 1:3-14; 2:1-10; 3:14-17; Titus 3:3-7; 1 John 4:9-10
  2. Through His work on the cross and resurrection from the dead, Jesus offers forgiveness, mercy, grace, and eternal life to all who believe—resulting in access to the very presence of God where believers can enjoy unhindered union, intimacy, and communion with God Himself forever. John 1:12; 14:6; 15:1-5; 17:20-23; Romans 6:1-11; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:18; Colossians 2:12-15; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 1:4; 3:9; 1 John 2:2
  3. We are saved by the grace of God through faith in the person and work of Christ. Genuine conversion involves the human response to the gospel, consisting of repentance from sin and faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord. In the Old Testament, the people of Israel (and believing Gentiles) were saved by faith just as people in this age are saved by faith. Genesis 15:1-6; Matthew 3:2; Mark 1:15; Luke 24:47; Acts 3:19; 17:30-31; Romans 1:16; 3:21-31; 4:1-25; 10:9-13; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Galatians 2:16, Hebrews 11
  4. Those who believe the gospel are born again. They are made alive in Christ as new creations complete with a new nature. John 1:12; 3:3; 14:23; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 2:13; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23; 3:18; 1 John 2:29; 4:7; 5:1
  5. The saving work of Christ reconciles and justifies believers, declaring them holy, blameless, and not guilty in God’s sight, giving them peace with and full access to God. Genesis 15:1-6; Romans 3-8; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Galatians 2:15-3:29; Colossians 1:20-22; 1 Peter 3:18
  6. Christians are “in Christ” and are given the very righteousness of Christ, resulting in a right-standing before God to be experienced and enjoyed forever. Romans 5:18-21; 6:17-18; 10:9-10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:4
  7. Though we were once His enemies, God the Father adopts gospel-believers into His family to enjoy a relationship as His beloved children. John 1:12; Romans 5:10; 8:7, 15-17, 21, 23-25, 29; Galatians 3:26-28; 4:4-7; Ephesians 1:5; 2:12-22; Colossians 3:12; 1 John 5:4-5
  8. God redeems us, breaks the chains that once bound us (to sin, selfishness, and Satan), and sets us free to live in response to Christ’s love. Romans 3:24; 6:5-18; 8:1-2; Ephesians 1:7, 14; Colossians 1:14; 2:13-15; Hebrews 9:12; 1 Peter 1:18-19
  9. The work of Christ secures the believer’s salvation and begins the process of transformation into His likeness. Jesus works in individual believers and in entire churches to grow and change them over time. Out of love for Christ and while transforming into His image, we obey, do good works, love others, flee temptation, fight the flesh, endure hardship, and pursue holiness. Matthew 4:19; John 14:15; 17:17; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 1:6; 2:12-13; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Peter 2:2; 1 John 3:9; 5:2-3
  10. We believe that all who are born again are kept eternally secure in the hands of our Father by the sealing of the Holy Spirit and intercession of Christ. God preserves gospel-believers with ongoing faith until their salvation is fully realized in His presence. John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 8:28-39; Ephesians 1:13-14; Philippians 1:6; Colossians 1:21-23; Hebrews 3:14-15; 7:23-25; 10:35-39; 1 Peter 1:3-9; 1 John 5:9-13
  11. The work of salvation produces a people who are unified in the Spirit and interdependent upon one another as family and friends. Individual members of the body of Christ are called to use their spiritual gifts and to display the fruit of the Spirit for the growth of the whole Church. 1 Corinthians 12:4-13:13; Galatians 5:22-26; Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16; 1 Peter 2:5
  12. Ultimately, Christ will redeem, renew, and restore all of creation, making it a holy and new place for the Lord to dwell with His resurrected people forever. Isaiah 65:17; Romans 8:18-25; Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 21:1-5; 22:1-5

[Go Deeper]

The Church

  1. We believe that all Jesus-followers in this age comprise the Universal Church. Thus, they compose the temple of the Holy Spirit, the Body of Christ, and will be His forever Bride. Matthew 16:13-19; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 1:15-23; 2:19-22; 4:1-16; 5:25-32; 1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10; Revelation 5:9-10; 19:7-8
  2. Jesus’ Church consists of a diversity of believers from around the world, resourced with His power and presence, and organized and unified around the Bible’s call to purity, accountability, and mission. Matthew 18:15-20; 28:18-20; Luke 24:44-48; John 17; Romans 10:9-13; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 2:11-22; Philippians 2:1-11; Revelation 5:9-10
  3. We further believe in the local establishment and manifestation of the Church in a particular area as the pillar of truth and the center of God’s methods and plans for this age. Acts 1:8; 2:1-47; 8:4-25; 9:31; 10-11; 12:12; 13:1-3; 14:23; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:15, Titus 1:5
  4. God’s people are to gather and worship together under the reading, teaching, preaching, and singing of God’s Word and to respond with giving, prayer, participation in the ordinances, and mutual encouragement. Luke 4:16; Acts 2:41-47; Romans 12:10-13; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7; Ephesians 4:32; 5:18-21; Colossians 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; 4:13; 2 Timothy 4:1-4; Hebrews 10:22-25
  5. The church lives life together throughout the week, caring and praying for one another as family and friends in ever-expanding and multiplying circles, faithfully making disciples who make disciples. Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:42-46; 20:20; 2 Timothy 2:2; Hebrews 3:12-13; 4:16; James 5:13-16
  6. All gospel-believers are called to use their spiritual gifts, skills, and resources for the growth and maturity of the Church as it accomplishes its mission to saturate its community and the world with the gospel. 1 Corinthians 12:4-13:13; Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16; 1 Peter 2:5; 4:10-11
  7. Jesus, the Head of the Church, has given two ordinances to each local church:
    • Baptism: In obedience to Christ, believers are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, painting a beautiful picture of our identification with a crucified, buried, and risen Savior and with the people of God. Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41; 8:12, 36-39; 9:18; 16:13-15, 31-34; 22:16; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:20-21
    • Communion: Christians come together as a family at Communion—also known as the Lord’s Supper, the Lord’s Table, or the Eucharist—to partake of the bread and drink. Communion is open to all born-again believers who are in fellowship with God. Communion is a time to remember the broken body and shed blood of Christ, to examine our hearts, and to celebrate that one day Jesus will return and gather His family from all generations. Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:13-20; John 6:1-59; 1 Corinthians 10:14-22; 11:17-34

[Go Deeper]

The Last Days

  1. In great anticipation, the Church awaits the day when Jesus will suddenly, personally, visibly, gloriously, and bodily return to the earth to bring the fullness of salvation to His disciples and to His world. Jesus can return at any moment, though the day and hour are unknown. Matthew 24:29-44; Mark 13:24-27; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 4:15-18; 2 Timothy 4:8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:28; James 5:7-9; 2 Peter 3:10; 1 John 2:18; Revelation 1:7; 22:20
  2. Jesus will come down from heaven, with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so, we will be with the Lord forever. In the end, the ultimate result of Jesus’ return will be the bodily resurrection and judgment of the living and the dead. Job 19:25-26; Isaiah 26:19; Daniel 12:1-3; John 5:28-29; Acts 17:31; Romans 14:10-12; 1 Corinthians 15; Philippians 2:9-11; 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 22:3-5
  3. Unbelievers enter into the everlasting destruction of hell and, ultimately, into the Lake of Fire (along with Satan and his demons). Daniel 12:2; Matthew 8:12; 25:31-46; Mark 9:42-49; Luke 16:19-31; John 3:36; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9; Revelation 14:11; 20:10-15
  4. In resurrected bodies, born-again believers will live forever in the presence of God freed from sin, sorrow, and suffering. Tears are wiped away and an infinitely better life is enjoyed forever. John 5:24-29; 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15; Philippians 1:23; Colossians 3:4; Hebrews 12:23; 1 Peter 5:1, 4; Revelation 21:4
  5. There will be a final and full consummation of the Kingdom of God in the New Creation. God will redeem, restore, and renew all things culminating in a New Heaven and a New Earth. Isaiah 65:17-25; 66:22; Romans 8:18-30; 2 Peter 3:3-13; Revelation 21:1-5

[Go Deeper]

Biblical Sexuality and Marriage

  1. God created Adam and Eve, the first human beings, in His own image—equal in worth and dignity—distinct, similar, and interdependent as male and female. The divinely ordained differences between male and female reflect God’s original design and are meant for human good and flourishing. Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-25; Galatians 3:26-29
  2. We believe God has designed marriage to be a covenantal relationship in the eyes of God and in the eyes of the law. It’s a sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman (as husband and wife), and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and His bride, the Church. Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 22:1-14; John 2:1-12; Romans 13:1-7; Ephesians 5:21-33; Hebrews 13:4; Revelation 19:6-8
  3. God’s revealed will for all people is chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage. As a wonderful gift from God, sexual intimacy is to be expressed between a man and a woman within the commitment and love of a marital relationship. Therefore, we believe that any other form of sexual intimacy or activity is contrary to God’s perfect gift and design for the marriage covenant. Genesis 39:7-12; Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Judges 19:22-23; 2 Samuel 11:1-12:15; Job 31:1; Proverbs 5:15-23; 6:20-7:27; Matthew 5:27-30; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-7:9; 1 Timothy 1:9-10
  4. We believe all people are uniquely broken, and no person is beyond the hope of the gospel. We are committed to speaking the truth in love at all times, including when we discuss these issues. The grace of God in Christ is sufficient to forgive all sexual sins and to give every gospel-believer the power to make holy choices. Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Galatians 5:13-26; Ephesians 4:15; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8; 1 Timothy 1:15-17; Titus 2:11-14; 1 Peter 2:11

Unity

  1. As the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have enjoyed eternal community with one another, God invites all believers to make every effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Psalm 133:1; John 13:34-35; 17:11, 20-23; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 4:1-6
  2. Jesus taught that some doctrines carry more weight than others, clearly indicating that there is a hierarchy of doctrinal significance. As outlined in this Member Statement of Faith, doctrines plainly identified by Scripture as fundamental or essential include those required for saving faith, those closely connected to the gospel, and those we are forbidden to deny under the threat of condemnation. Matthew 23:23-26; John 17:3; Romans 4:4-5; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 16:22; 1 John 1:6, 8, 10; 4:1-3
  3. When an issue is a matter of personal preference or has various legitimate interpretations, we show grace and seek the good of others without requiring everyone to agree. We aspire to live, “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.” Romans 14-16; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Colossians 3:12-15; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 4:1-11; 6:2b-5, 20-21; 2 Timothy 2:14-17, 23-26

[Go Deeper]

A. God's Word

God’s Word

  1. We believe the whole Bible—all 66 books—to be the inspired Word of God. Zechariah 7:12; Matthew 5:17-18; John 10:35; Acts 4:24-26; 1 Corinthians 14:37; 2 Timothy 3:14-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 3:15-16
  2. We believe the Bible to be inerrant, accurate, and true in the original manuscripts, infallible, and trustworthy in everything. The Bible doesn’t affirm anything that is contrary to fact. Numbers 23:19; Psalm 12:6; Proverbs 30:5; John 17:17; Romans 1:2; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18
  3. The Bible alone is our final source of authority and is sufficient in matters of faith and practice; therefore, it guides our discussions of purpose, doctrine, morals, church membership, church governance, and ministry. Deuteronomy 30:15-20; 1 Thessalonians 4:2; 2 Thessalonians 3:14; 2 Peter 3:15-16
  4. God’s Word is essential for showing and knowing the way of salvation, for maturing in the faith, and for discerning God’s will. It is necessary for the equipping, growth, and transformation of every gospel-believer. Therefore, it is the centerpiece of our preaching, teaching, singing, and counseling. Psalm 19:7-11; Matthew 4:4; Romans 10:13-17; Colossians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:3
  5. The good news of God’s redemptive plan through Christ is the central and dominant theme of the Bible—in both the Old and New Testaments—and in human history. God’s Word unveils God’s plan through creation, the fall, salvation, transformation, and restoration—impacting the individual, the Church, and the world. Genesis 3:15; 12:1-3; Luke 24:13-45; Galatians 3:16, Hebrews 9:15; Revelation 21:3-6
  6. Though not exhaustively, God has revealed Himself truly, clearly, and progressively through His Word so that, with God’s help, its teachings can be understood and applied. Deuteronomy 30:11-14; 31:9-13; John 14:26; Romans 15:4; 1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 4:1-2

[Go Deeper]

B. The Triune God

The Triune God

  1. There is one God, creator, sustainer, and ruler of all. Deuteronomy 6:4; James 2:19
  2. God is three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Genesis 1:26; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2
  3. Each person is fully God—co-eternal, co-equal, and co-existent. Genesis 1:1; John 1; Acts 5:3-4
  4. The three persons of the Trinity are one in essence, yet distinct in person, dwelling in perfect harmony as three in one, mutually glorifying and loving one another. Genesis 1:26; Matthew 3:16-17; John 14-17; Ephesians 4:4-6; 1 John 4:7-8
  5. Our Triune God has created all things, and by nature, He transcends His creation and dwells eternally outside of time, space, and matter. He is infinite in His holiness, perfection, and glory. 1 Kings 8:27; Psalm 102:25-27; Isaiah 48:11; John 17:5; Acts 17:24-25; 2 Peter 3:8; Revelation 21:22-27
  6. By choice, God is fully present within His creation, displaying His goodness, love, wisdom, justice, mercy, and grace. Exodus 34:6-7; John 3:16; Philippians 4:5; Colossians 1:17
  7. God created all things for His glory, and He providentially rules over all He has made. The skies proclaim His glory, His people are redeemed for His glory, and forever we will praise His glory. Exodus 20:4-6; Isaiah 43:7, 21, 25; 48:11; Psalm 19:1-2; Matthew 10:29; John 17:1-5; Acts 4:27-28; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 5:9-10

[Go Deeper]

C. God the Father

God the Father

  1. The Person of the Father
    • God the Father is sovereign over all things. He is immortal, unseen, living in unapproachable light, a consuming fire, the only wise God. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12; Psalm 103:19; Romans 11:33-36; 1 Timothy 1:17; 6:15-16, Hebrews 12:29
    • He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. Luke 10:21-22; John 14:9-13; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; 1 Peter 1:3
  2. The Work of the Father
    • In love, God sent His only begotten and beloved Son, and together with the Son, He gave the Holy Spirit. John 3:16; 14:16; 17:5, 24; 20:21
    • While holy and just, God also displays His grace and mercy by saving and adopting all who come to Him through faith in Jesus Christ. John 1:12-14; 16:23-28; Romans 8:14-15; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 1:3-10; 1 Peter 1:3-5

[Go Deeper]

D. God the Son

God the Son

1. The Person of Christ

  • Jesus is God’s eternal Son, uncreated and co-equal with the Father and the Spirit. He shares the same nature, attributes, and perfections as God the Father and God the Spirit. Jesus and the Father are one. Jesus is the radiance and revelation of the Father’s glory, an exact representation of Him, and it is Jesus who has made the Father known. Isaiah 9:6; 40:3; Matthew 3:3; 22:41-46; John 1; 6:38; 8:56-59; 10:30-33; 20:25-31; Romans 9:5; Colossians 1:15-20; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1; 2 Peter 1:1; Revelation 19:16
  • Through the power and work of the Holy Spirit—in the incarnation through the virgin birth—Jesus fully took on human nature, including a human body and a human experience while living a sinless life. Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 1:26-35; 2:52; John 11:35; 12:27; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 2:14-18; 4:15-16; 7:26; 1 Peter 1:19; 2:22
  • Jesus is fully God and fully man. Both natures are unified in Christ without confusion or the minimization of either nature. Micah 5:2; Luke 24:36-42; Galatians 4:4; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 4:15; 1 John 1:1

2. The Work of Christ

  • Jesus actively lived a perfect life and died on the cross, standing in our place, to bear the full weight of God’s wrath against our sin and to satisfy the Father’s holy justice and righteous standard. Jesus offers forgiveness, righteousness, and adoption to all who—by grace through faith—receive Him as Savior and Lord. Isaiah 53:4-6; John 1:12; Romans 5:6-8; 8:1; 10:9-13; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:5-6; 2:8-9; 1 Peter 2:24
  • He gave Himself to redeem us and purify for Himself a chosen people for His own possession, a royal priesthood, zealous for good works, who declare the worth of their Savior through obedience, selflessness, praise, and worship. Ephesians 1:3-14; Titus 2:1-14; 1 Peter 1:13-22; 2:9-10
  • Christ’s death made reconciliation possible between God and sinful people. Through the blood He shed on the cross, all believers have peace with God, and all creation will one day be restored and renewed. Romans 5:1; 8:18-21; Colossians 1:20; 1 Timothy 2:5; Revelation 21:1-5
  • Jesus bodily rose from the dead, was publicly seen by many, and dealt a death-blow to God’s enemies—achieving ultimate and cosmic victory over sin, death, Satan, and demons. Jesus ascended to the Father in heaven, lives to mediate for all believers, and will one day return in glory. Genesis 3:15; Psalms 16:10; 110; Matthew 16:21; 28; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; Acts 1:1-11; Romans 6:1-10; 8:1-2; 1 Corinthians 15; Ephesians 4:7-16; Colossians 2:15; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:3-4; 2:14-15; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 John 3:8
  • Jesus, under the New Covenant, functions as prophet, priest, and king to accomplish our salvation. As a prophet, He reveals God and His ways. As a priest, He mediates between God and His people. As a king, He rules over all creation. Deuteronomy 18:15-18; Psalms 89:26-37; 110; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Luke 1:32-33; Acts 3:22-24; 13:22-23, 32-53; Ephesians 1:19-23; Hebrews 7-10
  • Jesus was sent by the Father to seek and save the lost. In the same way, under His authority and with His active presence, Jesus sends out His followers to continue His mission of making disciples who make disciples. Matthew 28:18-20; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Timothy 2:2

[Go Deeper]

E. God the Spirit

God the Spirit

1. The Person of the Holy Spirit

  • The Holy Spirit is a divine person—not a power, force, or influence. As a member of the Trinity, He fully shares in all divine perfections, attributes, and nature. He is to be worshipped, obeyed, trusted, and served along with God the Father and God the Son. Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:1-9; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:1-2
  • Though one in essence with the Father (“Spirit of God”) and the Son (“Spirit of Christ”), the Spirit is distinct in person, relation, and role. Romans 8:9-10
  • The Spirit proceeds from both the Father and Son. Psalm 104:30; John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7

2. The Work of the Holy Spirit

  • The work of the Spirit is to manifest the presence of God in the world and especially in the Church. He works in, with, and through the preaching, teaching, and sharing of God’s Word to convict the world of sin, to call the lost to salvation, to discipline wandering hearts back to Jesus, to mature the believers in grace and truth, and to unify the Church. Genesis 1:2; John 3:1-8; 15:26-27; 16:7-15; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 13:14; Ephesians 4:1-6; Philippians 2:1-2
  • The Holy Spirit regenerates, indwells, and seals believers in the body of Christ at the moment of salvation until Jesus’ return. Jeremiah 31:31-34; John 1:33; 7:37-39; 14:16-17; Acts 1:4-5, 8; 2:1-4, 33; Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 12:13; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Galatians 3:1-3; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; Titus 3:5
  • As our Counselor and Helper, the Spirit enlightens and guides believers in our understanding and application of God’s Word. He continually renews, leads, fills, assures, and empowers us to love and obey. John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7, 13-15; Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 4:22-24; 5:18-21; Colossians 3:16
  • The Spirit testifies to our adoption, strengthens us in our weaknesses, and intercedes for us in prayer. He joins with Christ to justify, wash, and sanctify every believer. Romans 8:14-16, 26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Galatians 4:4-7; 5:16-26; Ephesians 6:18; Jude 20
  • The Spirit unifies gospel-believers, gives us gifts for ministry, and produces fruit in our lives for the maturing and building up of His Church. Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Galatians 5:22-26; Ephesians 4:1-16; 1 Peter 4:8-11

[Go Deeper]

F. God's Creation

God’s Creation

  • The Triune God—distinct from His creation and out of nothing—created everything visible and invisible by the power of His spoken word. By Him, through Him, and to Him are all things. Genesis 1-2; Nehemiah 9:5-6; Psalms 33:4-9; 90:1-4; 102:25-27; Isaiah 45:5-18; John 1:1-14; 8:58; Acts 4:24; 14:15; 17:24-28; Romans 4:17; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 11:3; Revelation 10:6
  • God created out of the superabundance of His love and holiness. His creation, and everything in it, exists to proclaim His greatness, goodness, and glory. Genesis 1-2; Exodus 20:11; Job 38:1-42:6; Psalms 19:1-6; 33:6-9; 96:11-13; 136:5-9; 148; Isaiah 6:3; 43:7; Romans 1:20; 11:33-36; Ephesians 1; 1 Timothy 4:1-5; 6:17; Revelation 4:11
  • As described in the 6-day Genesis account, God delights to interact with and sustain His creation. Genesis 1-2; 3:8-9; 2 Chronicles 16:9; Job 12:10; 33:4; Psalms 103-104; 107; 136; 139; Matthew 6:25-34; Acts 17:24-28; Colossians 1:15-17, Hebrews 1:3
  • Adam and Eve were personally created in the image of God. Jesus validated them as historical figures in a literal Garden of Eden. They stewarded God’s holy creation and enjoyed pure and unhindered fellowship with God and one another. Genesis 1:26-31; Matthew 19:3-5; Luke 3:38; Acts 17:26; 2 Corinthians 11:3

[Go Deeper]

 

G. Angels & Demons

Angels & Demons

  • God created angels as moral, intelligent, and powerful spiritual beings without physical bodies. He assigned them to worship and serve Him and to minister to all believers. Job 38:4-7; Matthew 4:11; Luke 2:8-15; 24:39; John 20:11-13; Acts 10:1-31; Hebrews 1:6-7, 14
  • Satan and his demons (angels who sinned) actively fight against the will and works of God, attempting to blind the minds of unbelievers. Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19; Daniel 10; 12:1; Matthew 12:22-32; 13:39; Luke 10:17-20; 11:14-26; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 6:12; 1 Thessalonians 2:18; 1 John 3:8
  • Satan and his demons seek to rob God of His glory through deceiving, accusing, lying, blinding, tormenting, and hurting the people Christ has redeemed. Genesis 3:1-7; Job 1-2; John 8:44; 1 Peter 5:8-9; 1 John 3:8; Revelation 12:7-12
  • Satan and his demons are defeated foes who live in subjection to the sovereignty of Christ and will spend eternity in torment. Genesis 3:15; Job 1-2; Matthew 25:41; Colossians 2:15; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Revelation 14:11; 20:1-10

[Go Deeper]

H. Humanity

Humanity

  • God intentionally created man and woman in His image, sharing in aspects of His spiritual, relational, rational, moral, emotional, and royal image, making us—of all creation—most like Him and most capable of glorifying Him, even in our physical bodies. Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-18; 5:1-3; 9:6; Psalms 8; 139:13-16; Isaiah 43:7; James 3:9; 1 Peter 2:9
  • As image-bearers of God, each person is loved, designed with beauty, created with a purpose, and is inherently and eternally valuable. All people reflect aspects of God’s nature and are to be treated with dignity. Genesis 1:26-28; 9:6; Psalm 139:13-18; Isaiah 44:24; Jeremiah 1:5; Matthew 7:12; Mark 12:31; John 3:16, Romans 5:8, 1 Timothy 2:4; 1 Peter 2:17; 2 Peter 3:9
  • Adam and Eve were created male and female with distinction, similarity, and interdependence for the sake of genuine union. Genesis 1:27-28; 2:15-25; Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 5:21-33
  • Human beings consist of a material (body) and immaterial (soul/spirit) aspect. During this earthly existence, both are inseparably united. Genesis 2:7; Luke 10:27; 1 Thessalonians 5:23
  • Adam and Eve are humanity’s first parents. Adam, described as the head of the human race, represented all of humanity in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:20; Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:20-49

[Go Deeper]

I. The Fall and Effects of Sin

The Fall and Effects of Sin

  • God created Adam and Eve in perfect holiness and gave them clear commandments. Eve was tempted and deceived by the serpent, and both Adam and Eve disobeyed and rebelled—willfully sinning against God. Genesis 1:28-31; 2:15-17; 3:1-6; Romans 5:12; 1 Timothy 2:14
  • Spiritual death, physical death, and the sinful nature entered the world through Adam’s Fall and are passed on to all humans. Every person is totally and morally depraved, spiritually dead, and separated from God. Each person is hopelessly and helplessly lost without God’s intervention. Genesis 3; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-23; 5:12-21; 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 John 1:10
  • God commissioned Adam and Eve to rule over creation; however, through their sin, all of creation is broken, cursed, and fallen. Humanity’s relationship with God, with one another, and with creation itself is broken beyond human repair. Sin, suffering, and death have marred all of creation. Genesis 1:28-30; 2:15; 3:7-24; John 16:33; Romans 8:18-22
  • Sin is any outward or inward failure to conform to the moral law of God, affecting our actions, attitudes, words, and motivations. As sovereign and holy, God establishes the moral law as a reflection of His righteous nature; therefore, we sin when we violate His law or anything consistent with His nature. Exodus 20:1-17; Matthew 5-7; Mark 12:30; Galatians 5:13-26

[Go Deeper]

J. Salvation

Salvation

  1. Salvation is a divine and unmerited gift based entirely on the unconditional love and grace of God. John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 6:23; 8:28-30; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6; Ephesians 1:3-14; 2:1-10; 3:14-17; Titus 3:3-7; 1 John 4:9-10
  2. Through His work on the cross and resurrection from the dead, Jesus offers forgiveness, mercy, grace, and eternal life to all who believe—resulting in access to the very presence of God where believers can enjoy unhindered union, intimacy, and communion with God Himself forever. John 1:12; 14:6; 15:1-5; 17:20-23; Romans 6:1-11; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:18; Colossians 2:12-15; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 1:4; 3:9; 1 John 2:2
  3. We are saved by the grace of God through faith in the person and work of Christ. Genuine conversion involves the human response to the gospel, consisting of repentance from sin and faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord. In the Old Testament, the people of Israel (and believing Gentiles) were saved by faith just as people in this age are saved by faith. Genesis 15:1-6; Matthew 3:2; Mark 1:15; Luke 24:47; Acts 3:19; 17:30-31; Romans 1:16; 3:21-31; 4:1-25; 10:9-13; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Galatians 2:16, Hebrews 11
  4. Those who believe the gospel are born again. They are made alive in Christ as new creations complete with a new nature. John 1:12; 3:3; 14:23; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 2:13; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23; 3:18; 1 John 2:29; 4:7; 5:1
  5. The saving work of Christ reconciles and justifies believers, declaring them holy, blameless, and not guilty in God’s sight, giving them peace with and full access to God. Genesis 15:1-6; Romans 3-8; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Galatians 2:15-3:29; Colossians 1:20-22; 1 Peter 3:18
  6. Christians are “in Christ” and are given the very righteousness of Christ, resulting in a right-standing before God to be experienced and enjoyed forever. Romans 5:18-21; 6:17-18; 10:9-10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:4
  7. Though we were once His enemies, God the Father adopts gospel-believers into His family to enjoy a relationship as His beloved children. John 1:12; Romans 5:10; 8:7, 15-17, 21, 23-25, 29; Galatians 3:26-28; 4:4-7; Ephesians 1:5; 2:12-22; Colossians 3:12; 1 John 5:4-5
  8. God redeems us, breaks the chains that once bound us (to sin, selfishness, and Satan), and sets us free to live in response to Christ’s love. Romans 3:24; 6:5-18; 8:1-2; Ephesians 1:7, 14; Colossians 1:14; 2:13-15; Hebrews 9:12; 1 Peter 1:18-19
  9. The work of Christ secures the believer’s salvation and begins the process of transformation into His likeness. Jesus works in individual believers and in entire churches to grow and change them over time. Out of love for Christ and while transforming into His image, we obey, do good works, love others, flee temptation, fight the flesh, endure hardship, and pursue holiness. Matthew 4:19; John 14:15; 17:17; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 1:6; 2:12-13; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Peter 2:2; 1 John 3:9; 5:2-3
  10. We believe that all who are born again are kept eternally secure in the hands of our Father by the sealing of the Holy Spirit and intercession of Christ. God preserves gospel-believers with ongoing faith until their salvation is fully realized in His presence. John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 8:28-39; Ephesians 1:13-14; Philippians 1:6; Colossians 1:21-23; Hebrews 3:14-15; 7:23-25; 10:35-39; 1 Peter 1:3-9; 1 John 5:9-13
  11. The work of salvation produces a people who are unified in the Spirit and interdependent upon one another as family and friends. Individual members of the body of Christ are called to use their spiritual gifts and to display the fruit of the Spirit for the growth of the whole Church. 1 Corinthians 12:4-13:13; Galatians 5:22-26; Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16; 1 Peter 2:5
  12. Ultimately, Christ will redeem, renew, and restore all of creation, making it a holy and new place for the Lord to dwell with His resurrected people forever. Isaiah 65:17; Romans 8:18-25; Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 21:1-5; 22:1-5

[Go Deeper]

K. The Church

The Church

  1. We believe that all Jesus-followers in this age comprise the Universal Church. Thus, they compose the temple of the Holy Spirit, the Body of Christ, and will be His forever Bride. Matthew 16:13-19; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 1:15-23; 2:19-22; 4:1-16; 5:25-32; 1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10; Revelation 5:9-10; 19:7-8
  2. Jesus’ Church consists of a diversity of believers from around the world, resourced with His power and presence, and organized and unified around the Bible’s call to purity, accountability, and mission. Matthew 18:15-20; 28:18-20; Luke 24:44-48; John 17; Romans 10:9-13; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 2:11-22; Philippians 2:1-11; Revelation 5:9-10
  3. We further believe in the local establishment and manifestation of the Church in a particular area as the pillar of truth and the center of God’s methods and plans for this age. Acts 1:8; 2:1-47; 8:4-25; 9:31; 10-11; 12:12; 13:1-3; 14:23; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:15, Titus 1:5
  4. God’s people are to gather and worship together under the reading, teaching, preaching, and singing of God’s Word and to respond with giving, prayer, participation in the ordinances, and mutual encouragement. Luke 4:16; Acts 2:41-47; Romans 12:10-13; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7; Ephesians 4:32; 5:18-21; Colossians 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; 4:13; 2 Timothy 4:1-4; Hebrews 10:22-25
  5. The church lives life together throughout the week, caring and praying for one another as family and friends in ever-expanding and multiplying circles, faithfully making disciples who make disciples. Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:42-46; 20:20; 2 Timothy 2:2; Hebrews 3:12-13; 4:16; James 5:13-16
  6. All gospel-believers are called to use their spiritual gifts, skills, and resources for the growth and maturity of the Church as it accomplishes its mission to saturate its community and the world with the gospel. 1 Corinthians 12:4-13:13; Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16; 1 Peter 2:5; 4:10-11
  7. Jesus, the Head of the Church, has given two ordinances to each local church:
    • Baptism: In obedience to Christ, believers are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, painting a beautiful picture of our identification with a crucified, buried, and risen Savior and with the people of God. Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41; 8:12, 36-39; 9:18; 16:13-15, 31-34; 22:16; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:20-21
    • Communion: Christians come together as a family at Communion—also known as the Lord’s Supper, the Lord’s Table, or the Eucharist—to partake of the bread and drink. Communion is open to all born-again believers who are in fellowship with God. Communion is a time to remember the broken body and shed blood of Christ, to examine our hearts, and to celebrate that one day Jesus will return and gather His family from all generations. Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:13-20; John 6:1-59; 1 Corinthians 10:14-22; 11:17-34

[Go Deeper]

L. The Last Days

The Last Days

  1. In great anticipation, the Church awaits the day when Jesus will suddenly, personally, visibly, gloriously, and bodily return to the earth to bring the fullness of salvation to His disciples and to His world. Jesus can return at any moment, though the day and hour are unknown. Matthew 24:29-44; Mark 13:24-27; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 4:15-18; 2 Timothy 4:8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:28; James 5:7-9; 2 Peter 3:10; 1 John 2:18; Revelation 1:7; 22:20
  2. Jesus will come down from heaven, with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so, we will be with the Lord forever. In the end, the ultimate result of Jesus’ return will be the bodily resurrection and judgment of the living and the dead. Job 19:25-26; Isaiah 26:19; Daniel 12:1-3; John 5:28-29; Acts 17:31; Romans 14:10-12; 1 Corinthians 15; Philippians 2:9-11; 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 22:3-5
  3. Unbelievers enter into the everlasting destruction of hell and, ultimately, into the Lake of Fire (along with Satan and his demons). Daniel 12:2; Matthew 8:12; 25:31-46; Mark 9:42-49; Luke 16:19-31; John 3:36; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9; Revelation 14:11; 20:10-15
  4. In resurrected bodies, born-again believers will live forever in the presence of God freed from sin, sorrow, and suffering. Tears are wiped away and an infinitely better life is enjoyed forever. John 5:24-29; 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15; Philippians 1:23; Colossians 3:4; Hebrews 12:23; 1 Peter 5:1, 4; Revelation 21:4
  5. There will be a final and full consummation of the Kingdom of God in the New Creation. God will redeem, restore, and renew all things culminating in a New Heaven and a New Earth. Isaiah 65:17-25; 66:22; Romans 8:18-30; 2 Peter 3:3-13; Revelation 21:1-5

[Go Deeper]

M. Biblical Sexuality and Marriage

Biblical Sexuality and Marriage

  1. God created Adam and Eve, the first human beings, in His own image—equal in worth and dignity—distinct, similar, and interdependent as male and female. The divinely ordained differences between male and female reflect God’s original design and are meant for human good and flourishing. Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-25; Galatians 3:26-29
  2. We believe God has designed marriage to be a covenantal relationship in the eyes of God and in the eyes of the law. It’s a sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman (as husband and wife), and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and His bride, the Church. Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 22:1-14; John 2:1-12; Romans 13:1-7; Ephesians 5:21-33; Hebrews 13:4; Revelation 19:6-8
  3. God’s revealed will for all people is chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage. As a wonderful gift from God, sexual intimacy is to be expressed between a man and a woman within the commitment and love of a marital relationship. Therefore, we believe that any other form of sexual intimacy or activity is contrary to God’s perfect gift and design for the marriage covenant. Genesis 39:7-12; Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Judges 19:22-23; 2 Samuel 11:1-12:15; Job 31:1; Proverbs 5:15-23; 6:20-7:27; Matthew 5:27-30; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-7:9; 1 Timothy 1:9-10
  4. We believe all people are uniquely broken, and no person is beyond the hope of the gospel. We are committed to speaking the truth in love at all times, including when we discuss these issues. The grace of God in Christ is sufficient to forgive all sexual sins and to give every gospel-believer the power to make holy choices. Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Galatians 5:13-26; Ephesians 4:15; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8; 1 Timothy 1:15-17; Titus 2:11-14; 1 Peter 2:11
N. Unity

Unity

  1. As the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have enjoyed eternal community with one another, God invites all believers to make every effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Psalm 133:1; John 13:34-35; 17:11, 20-23; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 4:1-6
  2. Jesus taught that some doctrines carry more weight than others, clearly indicating that there is a hierarchy of doctrinal significance. As outlined in this Member Statement of Faith, doctrines plainly identified by Scripture as fundamental or essential include those required for saving faith, those closely connected to the gospel, and those we are forbidden to deny under the threat of condemnation. Matthew 23:23-26; John 17:3; Romans 4:4-5; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 16:22; 1 John 1:6, 8, 10; 4:1-3
  3. When an issue is a matter of personal preference or has various legitimate interpretations, we show grace and seek the good of others without requiring everyone to agree. We aspire to live, “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.” Romans 14-16; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Colossians 3:12-15; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 4:1-11; 6:2b-5, 20-21; 2 Timothy 2:14-17, 23-26

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