Core Beliefs

We hold the following twelve statements of belief to introduce the church’s teaching and practice:


 

The Holy Bible

The Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, is God’s inspired Word. Inerrant in its original writing, the Bible is the only authoritative and infallible rule of faith and conduct for humanity.

The Deity

The sovereign deity of the universe is God Almighty, who is to be worshiped in spirit and in truth. He is eternal, infinite, holy, self-existent Spirit who created, sustains, rules, redeems, and judges His creation. He is one in nature, essence and being. God is revealed in Scripture as Father and Son.

Man, Satan, Sin, and Death

Humanity was created in the image of God: sinless, though not naturally immortal. Through Adam and Eve’s disobedience, all human beings became sinners by nature and by choice. The penalty for our sin is alienation from God, physical death (without consciousness), and, ultimately, eternal death for those who do not receive the salvation offered by Christ. It was Satan, the adversary of God, who tempted our first parents in the garden. The Devil is still capable of transforming himself into an angel of light but will finally be destroyed in the lake of fire.

Man, Salvation, and Life

Sinful humanity may be saved from the penalty of eternal death and receive eternal life instead, solely by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, apart from human merit, works, or ceremonies. Atonement for sins, with its attendant promise of eternal life, comes through Christ’s death and resurrection on our behalf and is received in human experience by faith and repentance.

The Church

The church of God in Scripture is a spiritual body of believers who hold the faith of Jesus and keep the commandments of God. Under the lordship of Christ and the authority of His Word, the church exists universally and locally for purposes of worshiping God, preaching the gospel, nurturing believers, and serving humanity. Christians should participate in the church’s mission by service to others and fellowship with believers.

Christian Ordinances

Christ prescribed two ordinances that confirm faith in Him: 1) baptism, preceded by a confession of faith in Christ and repentance, symbolizing the believer’s initial union with Christ by death to sins, burial (immersion) in water, and rising to new life; and 2) Lord’s Supper, an annual memorial of Christ’s death in which believers eat the bread and drink from the cup — symbols of His body and blood. We extend charity toward those who may observe communion at other times. This communion service demonstrates fellowship with our Savior until He comes again. It is accompanied by footwashing.

The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments were known and obeyed by faithful people before the law was given at Sinai. Later incorporated into the new covenant by the example and teaching of Christ, they constitute the basic moral code for humanity and are obeyed to demonstrate the believer’s love for God and his fellowman.

Marriage

Marriage is an institution of God and is an exclusive lifetime union between one man and one woman for the purpose of perpetuating humanity and enriching human experience. Reflecting the bond between Christ and His church, marriage may be broken only by sexual immorality. Like the Sabbath, marriage dates to Creation week, is intrinsic to the moral law, is reformed in Christ’s teachings, and finds its ultimate meaning at His return.

Christian Living

Christians are called to holiness in thought, word, and deed and to express faith in Christ through devotion to God and godly interaction with others. As a result — not a cause — of redemption, believers should 1) develop relationship with God through Bible reading and study, prayer, fasting, worship, and obedience; 2) relieve the physical and spiritual needs of humanity by compassionate social action and gospel witness; 3) oppose pride, envy, indolence, lust, covetousness, and other evils in the spirit; 4) refuse immoral amusements and practices such as pornography, sexual immorality, and homosexuality in the flesh; and 5) observe these Bible principles: give tithe and freewill offerings for the support of the church and its gospel ministry; eat for food only those meats the Bible describes as “clean”; regard participation in physical warfare as contrary to a Christian’s humanitarian calling; avoid intermixing Christianity with extra-biblical practices, as in the common observances of Sunday, Christmas, Easter, Lent, and Halloween.

Prophecy

Bible prophecy preserves and strengthens a believer’s hope for the Second Advent. It identifies religious, social, and political trends and events, including the rebirth of the nation of Israel, which point to the imminent return of Christ and the eventual establishment of God’s eternal kingdom on earth.

The Kingdom of God

The kingdom of God (kingdom of heaven) is realized in three phases:

The Present Kingdom

The spiritual kingdom of grace exists now as God rules in the lives of obedient believers. This kingdom was announced and revealed through the prophets and the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. We enter this kingdom when we turn from sin to serve God through faith in Jesus Christ.

The Millennial Kingdom of Christ

Jesus will return to earth in power and glory to resurrect the righteous dead, bestow immortality and eternal life upon the resurrected and the living righteous, avenge the saints, and be glorified in them. His earthly reign of one thousand years will be a universal kingdom in which all principalities, powers, and enemies are overcome. At its conclusion, the unrighteous will be resurrected to suffer annihilation at the great white throne judgment.

The Eternal Kingdom of God

God’s eternal kingdom will begin when Jesus Christ, having put all enemies under His feet, turns the kingdom over to the Father. God will dwell with the redeemed in a new heaven and a new earth where no disappointment, defilement, or death can enter and where righteousness and peace will prevail forever.