We believe in a living and true God that is knowable, yet incomprehensible. That is to assert that no human being can neither fully know God nor fully comprehend God. Although humans can know God, it is impossible to know absolutely everything about God. The source of a person’s knowledge of God is God Himself and only truth can come from God. God reveals Himself to humans in two ways: general revelation and special revelation. General revelation is the way in which God reveals Himself to man through nature, while special revelation is God incarnate in the Person of Jesus Christ and The Bible (John 1:18; 14:7).
God is perfect in every way. He is Eternal in that He exists endlessly backward and forward (Psalm 90:2). He is independent of His creatures and His creations (Isaiah 40:13-14). God is a Holy God in that He is separate from all that is common and unclean. He is the absence of evil and presence of positive right (Leviticus 11:44; Joshua 24:19; Psalm 99:3; Isaiah 40:25). God is immutable; He does not change (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17). He has no bounds or limits; He is infinite (1 Kings 8:27; Acts 17:24-28).
God is love, which consists of affection and corrections. God is always seeking good for the object loved (1John 4:8). God is omnipotent. He is all-powerful and able to do anything consistent with His nature (2 Corinthians 6:18; Revelation 1:8; 19:6). God is present everywhere with His whole being at all times (Revelation 4:2; 2 Chronicles 7:2; Galatians 2:20). God is omniscient. He knows all things past, present, and future as well as all things that might have been, could have been, or would have been. He never discovers anything (Acts 15:18; Psalm 147:4). God is righteous, which relates to law, morality and justice. There is no law in His own being or of His own making that is violated by anything in His nature (Psalm 11:7; Daniel 9:7; Psalm 19:9; Acts 17:31). God is not a composite or compound being (John 4:24).
God is sovereign. He is the chief being of the universe; He is the supreme power of the universe. He is that transcendent uncaused first cause. God is in complete control of all things (Acts 15:18; Psalm 135:6; Proverbs 16:4; Ephesians 1:14). He is consistent with Himself. He is truth, and His revelations are completely reliable (John 17:3; Titus 1:2; Romans 3:4; Hebrews 6:18). God is unity. There is but one God who is indivisible (Deuteronomy 6:4; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 1 Timothy 2:5).
Jesus is God. Jesus is the second person in the Godhead; He is the Son of God and the Savior of the World. Jesus is truly man and truly God. He has all the characteristics of man except a sin nature. Without ceasing to be God, Jesus Christ became a human being (he took on an additional nature). He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born of a virgin named Mary (Matthew 1:23). Jesus came to the earth as God incarnate and has a divine and human nature. He paid the penalty for the sins of every human being at the cross of Calvary as a representative and a substitutionary sacrifice. Jesus was crucified and physically and literally rose again on the third day. He walked the earth for forty days after his resurrection then ascended to the right hand of the Father where He acts as our High Priest and Advocate (Acts 1:3-9). Jesus is eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. Jesus is love, truth, righteousness, immutable, and holy. (John 1:1-18; Luke 1:26-35; Romans 3:24-25; 8:3; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter1:18-21; Acts 1:9-10; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:15; 1 John 2:1-2).
The Holy Spirit is the third member of the Godhead. The Holy Spirit is a person, not a concept, nor the personification of power. The Holy Spirit is God. He is intelligent (1 Corinthians 2:10-11), He shows feelings (Ephesians 4:30) and has a will (1 Corinthians 12:11). The Holy Spirit is holy, eternal, sovereign, and is coequal with God the Father and God the Son. He is Omnipotent and is associated with God in creation. The Holy Spirit is Omniscient (1 Corinthians 2:10); He is also Omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-10). He is gracious, He is love, He is the Spirit of truth and His main work is to glorify Jesus Christ (John 16:13-14). There is unity in the Godhead and the Spirit never acts contrary to the Father or The Son. The Holy Spirit inspired the Bible. The Holy Spirit works in illumination (2 Peter 1:21). Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18). The Spirit anointed Jesus after baptism (Matthew 3:16). The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11).
Regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit for He imparts the life of God to everyone who receives Christ (John 1:12). When a person is born again she or he is sanctified by the Holy Spirit (1Peter 1:12). The Holy Spirit ministers in sealing and is the earnest of the Christian’s inheritance until the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13). The Holy Spirit is the Divine Teacher who guides believers into all truth (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit endows the believer with service gifts upon conversion (Ephesians 4:11-12). The Holy Spirit is involved in teaching, guiding, assuring, and praying (John 16:12-15; Romans 8:14; Romans 8:16; Romans 8:26;).
The Godhead (Trinity)
There is one God who exists in three coequal coeternal persons: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. They are coequal in being, co-identical in nature, coequal in power and glory and have the same attributes and perfections. Therefore, there is only one God (1 Corinthians 8:4-6; Ephesians 4:3-6; James 2:19). However, Scripture attests that the One God exists in three persons (God is tripersonal). The Father is recognized as God (John 6:27; 1 Peter 1:2). Jesus Christ is recognized as God (Matthew 9:4; Matthew 28:18; Mark 2:1-12; John 12:9). The Holy Spirit is recognized as God (Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 2:10; 6:19). There is evidence for the trinity in Matthew 28:19; 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 13:14.
The Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible, indestructible, holy, living Word of God, which consists of the sixty-six books comprising the Old and New Testaments. The entire Bible, in its original form, is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Bible was written by men who were “moved” by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). The Bible is inerrant in its original writing. It is the Truth and is the supreme and final authority in faith and life. (Psalm 19:7; 119:9; Matthew 5:18; John 16:12-13; Romans 15:4; 2 Peter 3:2).
Humans were created in the image of God and were created deliberately by God (Genesis 1:26). The first human was created when God used dust from the ground and breathed, into His creation, the breath of life (Genesis 2:7). A human is both a material and an immaterial entity. Adam’s (the first man) personal sin imputed sin into the human race. Therefore, the human race incurred both physical and spiritual death (separation from God) (Genesis 3:7-13). From its origin, the sin nature is passed down to humans through each successive generation. The Bible asserts that all humans have sinned and thus, fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23).
Sin can be defined as “missing the mark”, badness, rebellion, iniquity, going astray, wickedness, wandering, ungodliness, crime, lawlessness, transgression, ignorance, and a falling away. The noted theologian, Charles Ryrie describes sin as “anything in the creature which does not express, or which is contrary to, the holy character of the Creator” (Romans 3:23). Sin causes people to be lost (Matthew 18:11; Luke 15:4). Sin affects the will (John 8:44). It affects the body, and it affects other people. The penalty or the wages for sin is spiritual death (Romans 6:23).
Salvation can only be realized by the Grace of God through personal faith in Jesus Christ and has absolutely nothing to do with good works (Ephesians 2:8-10). God loved the world (all human beings) so much that He sent His only Son to pay the penalty for the sins of every human being (John 3:16). The moment an individual accepts Jesus Christ Jesus as his or her Savior, he/she is baptized into the body of believers and is indwelt and sealed by the Holy Spirit, and thus secured in Christ forever. God’s offer of Salvation is to everyone and “whosoever will may come”. At salvation the human individual is justified and sanctified forever and is adopted by God as His son or daughter (Romans 8:15-17). (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:17-19).
The church of Jesus Christ began at Pentecost (Acts 2). The Bible describes both a local church and a universal church. The local church is a local body of baptized believers (Galatians 1:2). The universal church includes every Christian of every age (Matthew 16:18). The church is the body of Christ. Christ is the head of the church, and His people are the members of His body (Ephesians 1:22-23). The Bible teaches that the church is the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25-27). The church has two ordinances, the Lord’s Supper and Baptism. The local church has two offices, pastor and deacon. The purpose of the church is to accomplish the purposes of Christ. Therefore, the primary purposes of the church are worship, preaching, teaching (discipleship), evangelism, and fellowship. (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:18-20).
Satan is real. He is a creature with intelligence, anger, desire, and a will (2 Corinthians 11:3; Revelation 12:17; Luke 22:31; Isaiah 14:12-14; 2 Timothy 2:26). Satan acts as the “ruler of this world”. He is an evil being who acts as an adversary and tempter to believers. He tempts believers to conform to the pressures and structures of society, to cover up selfishness, and he tempts believers toward immorality (1 Thessalonians 3:5; Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 7:5). As adversary, Satan opposes the Christian’s witness to the Gospel, he spotlights sins of believers, and tries to bring pressure on believers.
Satan’s aim is to promote a counterfeit order by making the values of his godless order seem attractive. By offering a counterfeit kingdom and program, Satan tries to thwart God’s Kingdom. He tries to deceive nations (Revelation 20:3). He uses demons to carry out his deception (Daniel 10:13; 20) and uses his governments to hinder the progress of the Gospel. Satan attempts to blind the minds of unbelievers so they will not accept the Gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4). Satan is a creature in that he was created (Ezekiel 28:11-19), and thus will one day answer to God, his Creator. Ultimately, Satan’s rebellious system will come to an end he will be bound for eternity in the Lake of Fire.
Baptism is one of two biblical ordinances for the church (the Lord’s Supper is the other). An ordinance refers to those things ordered by Jesus Christ to be administered in the church. Jesus Christ demanded that Christians be baptized (Matthew 28:19). Baptism symbolizes important theological truths (Romans 6:1-10; Galatians 3:27; 1 Peter 3:21). In the Bible, baptism is associated with forgiveness (Acts 2:38, 22:16), union with Christ (Romans 6:1-10), discipleship (Matthew 28:19), and repentance (Acts 2:38). However, baptism does not affect forgiveness or repentance, it is only connected to these things that mark the beginning of the Christian life. Baptism is a symbol of the Christian believer’s identification with the life, death and burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21). Baptism is restricted to believers in Jesus Christ (believer’s baptism) and thus, should be administered subsequent to salvation. That is, repentance precedes baptism. Baptism is not necessary for salvation. It is the first act of obedience following salvation. Believer’s baptism is not restricted to adults but should not be administered to infants (infant baptism) as they are incapable of choosing Christ on their own. Immersion is the biblical mode of baptism. Baptism comes from the Greek word baptizo which means, “Immersion”. As theologian Millard Erickson suggests, “If baptism is primarily a symbol of the believer’s identification with Christ in His burial and resurrection, then the mode should correspond as nearly as possible to that symbol.”