Doctrinal Standards

Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth;

And [I believe] in Jesus Christ his only begotten Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; descended to the dead; the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of God the Father almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the dead and in everlasting life.

Amen

Statement of Faith

The Holy Trinity

We believe in the one living and true God, both holy and loving, eternal, unlimited in power, wisdom, and goodness, the Creator and Preserver of all things. Within this unity there are three persons of one essential nature, power, and eternity -the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The Father

We believe the Father is the Source of all that exists, whether of matter or spirit. With the Son and the Holy Spirit, He made man in His image. In love, He both seeks and receives repentant sinners.

The Son

We believe in the Son, who is the Word of the Father, the very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man’s nature in the womb of the virgin Mary; so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and Manhood, were joined together in one person, never to be divided; so, there is one Christ, very God and very Man, who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile us to his Father, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men. Christ rose bodily from the dead, and ascended into heaven, and there intercedes for us at the Father’s right hand until He returns to judge all men at the last day.

The Holy Spirit

We believe in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son, and is of the same essential nature, majesty, and glory, as the Father and the Son, truly and eternally God. That the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, effects the new birth, gives guidance in life, empowers for service, enables perseverance in faith and holiness.

The Bible

We believe that God has revealed Himself in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, the inspired Word of God, and supremely in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that the books of the Old and New Testaments constitute the Holy Scriptures. They are the inspired and infallibly written Word of God, fully inerrant in their original manuscripts and superior to all human authority, and have been transmitted to the present without corruption of any doctrine. We believe that they contain all things necessary to salvation; so that whatever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. Both in the Old and New Testaments life is offered to mankind ultimately through Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man. The New Testament teaches Christians how to fulfill the moral principles of the Old Testament, calling for loving obedience to God made possible by the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit.

We believe the Old Testament is not contrary to the New, instead we understand that the New Testament is the fulfillment of the symbols and shadows of the Old Testament. Although the law was given from God through Moses, the ceremonies, rites and civil laws are not binding on Christians since they are members of the new creation in Christ; yet notwithstanding, all Christians are required to obey the moral commandments

God’s Purpose for Man

We believe that the two great commandments which require us to love the Lord our God with all the heart, and our neighbors as ourselves, summarize the divine law as it is revealed in the Scriptures. They are the perfect measure and norm of human duty of all men.

Man’s Choice

We believe that God created man in His own image, with free will, moral character and a spiritual nature. That man fell into sin, bringing depravity and death upon the race; that as sinner, man is self-centered and self-willed, unwilling and unable to break with sin. He cannot of himself even call upon God or exercise faith for salvation. But through Jesus Christ the prevenient grace of God makes possible what man in himself cannot do. God bestows it sovereignly upon men, enabling them to turn from sin and be saved.

The Atonement

We believe that Christ’s offering of himself, once and for all, through His sufferings and meritorious death on the cross, provides the perfect redemption and atonement for the sins of the whole world, both original and actual. There is no other ground of salvation from sin but that alone. This atonement is sufficient for every individual of Adam’s race. But it is only effective for the salvation of those who repent and exercise faith in Christ.

Repentance and Faith

We believe that for man to appropriate what God’s prevenient grace makes possible, he must voluntarily respond in repentance and faith. The ability comes from God, but the act is man’s. Repentance is prompted by the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit. It involves a willful change of mind that renounces sin and longs for righteousness, a godly sorrow for and a confession of past sins, proper restitution for wrongdoings, and a resolution to reform the life. Repentance is the precondition for saving faith, and without it saving faith is impossible.

Faith, in turn, is the only condition of salvation. It begins in the agreement of the mind and the consent of the will to the truth of the gospel, but issues in a complete reliance by the whole person in the saving ability of Jesus Christ and a complete trusting of oneself to Him as Savior and Lord. Saving faith is expressed in a public acknowledgment of His Lordship and an identification with His church by the sacrament of baptism.

Justification and Regeneration

We believe that when man repents of his sin and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, he in the same moment is justified, regenerated and adopted into the family of God.

We believe that we are accounted righteous before God only on the basis of the merit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, being justified through faith alone, and not on the basis of our own works.

We believe that regeneration is that work of the Holy Spirit by which the pardoned sinner becomes a child of God. This new life is received through faith in Jesus Christ, and by it the born again individual is delivered from the power of sin which reigns over all those who have not been born again, so that they love God and through grace serve Him with the will and affections of the heart, receiving the Spirit of Adoption. The inward evidence of salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit. The outward evidence to all men is a life of righteousness and true holiness.

Good Works

We believe that although good works cannot save us from our sins or from God’s judgment, they are the fruit of faith and follow after regeneration. Therefore they are pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and by them a living faith may be as evidently known as a tree is discerned by its fruit.

Sin after Regeneration

We believe that after we have experienced regeneration, it is possible to fall into sin, for in this life there is no such height or strength of holiness from which it is impossible to fall. But by the grace of God one who has fallen into sin may by true repentance and faith find forgiveness and restoration.

Sanctification

We believe that sanctification is that work of the Holy Spirit by which the child of God is separated from sin unto God and is enabled to love God with all his heart and to walk in all His holy commandments. Sanctification is initiated at the moment of justification and regeneration. From that moment there is a lifelong progressive sanctification as the believer walks with God and daily grows in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

We believe that Christians should not be conformed to the world, but should seek to conform to the will of God in every area of life. Sanctification is realized in the believer by recognizing his identification with Christ in His death and resurrection, and by the faith reckoning daily upon the fact of that union, and by offering every faculty continually to the dominion of the Holy Spirit. By the power of the Holy Spirit believers are able to obey the command: “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” The life of holiness continues through faith in the sanctifying blood of Christ and evidences itself by loving obedience to God’s revealed will.

The Gifts of the Spirit

We believe that the Gift of the Spirit is the Holy Spirit himself, and He is to be desired more than the gifts of the Spirit which He in His wise counsel bestows upon individual members of the Church to enable them properly to fulfill their function as members of the body of Christ. The gifts of the Spirit, although not always identifiable with natural abilities, function through them for the edification of the whole church. These gifts are to be exercised in love under the administration of the Lord of the church, not through human volition. The relative value of the gifts of the Spirit is to be tested by their usefulness in the church and not by the ecstasy produced in the ones receiving them.

The Church

We believe that the Christian Church is the entire body of faithful believers in Jesus Christ, who is the Founder and only Head of the Church. The Church includes both those believers who have gone to be with the Lord and those who remain on the earth, having renounced the world, the flesh, and the devil, and having dedicated themselves to the work which Christ committed unto His Church until He comes. The Church on earth is to preach the pure Word of God, properly administer the sacraments according to Christ’s instructions, and live in obedience to all that Christ commands.

We believe that a local church is a body of believers formally organized on gospel principles, meeting regularly for the purposes of evangelism, nurture, fellowship, and worship. Local churches are the local representation of the universal church. That connection with the universal Church is through membership in local churches.

We believe it is the will of God that there should be ministers to preach the Word, to serve as leaders, to administer the ordinances, to guide the local church in the exercise of discipline, and to serve as pastors and teachers

The Sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

We believe that water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the sacraments of the church commanded by Christ and ordained as a means of grace when received through faith. They are tokens of our profession of Christian faith and signs of God’s gracious ministry toward us. By them, He works within us to revive, strengthen, and confirm our faith.

We believe that water baptism is a sacrament of the church, commanded by our Lord and to be administered to all who repent of their sin and believe in Christ. It is a symbol of the new covenant of grace and signifies acceptance of the benefits of the atonement of Jesus Christ. By means of this sacrament believers declare their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. Thus they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life.

We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ’s death and of our hope in His victorious return, as well as a sign of the love that Christians have for each other. To such as receive it humbly, with a proper spirit and by faith, the Lord’s Supper is made a means through which God communicates grace to the heart.

The Second Coming of Christ

We believe that the certainty of the personal and imminent return of Christ inspires holy living and zeal for the evangelization of the world. At His return He will fulfill all prophecies made concerning His final and complete triumph over evil.

The Resurrection of the Dead

We believe in the bodily resurrection from the dead of all mankind of the just unto the resurrection of life, and of the unjust unto the resurrection of damnation. The resurrection of the righteous dead will occur at Christ’s Second Coming, and the resurrection of the wicked will occur at a later time. The resurrection of Christ is the guarantee of the resurrection of those who are in Christ. The raised body will be a spiritual body, but the person will be whole and identifiable.

The Judgment of Mankind

We believe that the Scriptures reveal God as the Judge of all mankind and the acts of His judgment are based on His omniscience and eternal justice. His administration of judgment will culminate in the final meeting of mankind before His throne of great majesty and power, where records will be examined and final rewards and punishments will be administered.

Eternity

We believe that the Scriptures clearly teach that there is a conscious personal existence after death. The final destiny of man is determined by God’s grace and man’s response. Heaven with its eternal glory and the blessedness of Christ’s presence is the final abode of those who through God’s unmerited grace accept the salvation which God provides through Jesus Christ, but hell with its everlasting misery and separation from God is the final abode of those who through their willful rebellion neglect this great salvation.

One thought on “Doctrinal Standards”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s