The Bible is the fully inspired Word of God. It is without error, and is the supreme and final authority for all matters of life and belief. (Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
- We believe that God has perfectly spoken in His Word and the believer need not seek any “NEW” revelation of what God has not previously said and revealed in His Word.
- We believe that God still speaks today (John 14:26) through words of knowledge and wisdom (prophecy), but the primary source must be scripture alone and no word of prophecy can add to or take away from scripture.
- Therefore we would strongly urge those who believe God has impressed something on their heart to not use the Old Testament phrase, “thus saith the Lord”. Believing that the cannon of scripture is closed (no additional books added) and given our human tendency towards error. (Hebrews 1:1-2)
- Because we believe that scripture alone (sola scriptura) is God’s chosen means of revealing Himself (specific revelation) we place a very high priority on rightly understand the text of scripture. (2 Timothy 2:15) Context, Context, Context!
There is only one true and living God, the Creator of heaven and earth, who eternally exists in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – who are equal in every divine perfection, executing distinct but harmonious offices in all the work of the Godhead. (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
- What you believe about God actually matters!
- All theology (seeing- God) should lead us to doxology (seeing-glory), so if we fail to see God as He is and has been revealed in scripture and instead attempt to worship God as we have imagined Him, we worship the wrong god and are therefore outside of orthodox (correct-glory) Christianity.
Man was created by God in His own image, but through his sin incurred physical and spiritual death. As a result, all humanity (Christ excluded) are born with a sinful nature, and are sinners by choice, and therefore under condemnation and without hope apart from salvation in Christ. (Genesis 1:26; Romans 3:22-23, 5:12-21; Ephesians 2:1-3)
- We believe that because of our total depravity, being dead in sin, we are unable to chose of our own free will to follow God as our will is enslaved to sin.
- Therefore, there is no one who is righteous, no not one (Romans 3:10) so there is no “good person” who will be justified before God based on their own merit.
- Though man apart from the redeeming work of Christ alone is inherently sinful, mankind is still bears the image of God (imago Dei) and therefore have sacred value and worth from the moment of conception to natural death.
Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. He was born of a virgin, and is both fully God and fully human. (Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:1-3)
- We believe that Christ alone (solus Christus) is the only way to salvation.
The Gospel – the good news of God’s saving actions towards sinners through Jesus Christ. Namely, that He took on human nature, lived a sinless life, died a substitutionary death for sinners, and physically rose from the dead. (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:18)
- We believe that because we were dead in our sins we were totally unable to save ourselves or even cooperate in our salvation (Ephesians 2:4-5).
Salvation is a free gift that comes only by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ. Those who repent, forsake sin, and trust in Jesus Christ and His death on their behalf, are
regenerated by the Holy Spirit and become new creatures. They are delivered from condemnation, receiving forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life. (John 3:16; Romans 3:23-24; 2 Corinthians 5:17-19; 1 John 1:9)
- We believe that we are only saved from the wrath of God by the free gift of His grace alone (sola gratia) recited by faith alone (sola fide) in Christ alone (solus Christus)
- All good works done by the believer are therefore a result of being made alive in Christ.
- The fruit of our good works are not the cause or merit of our salvation but the proof that genuine salvation has occurred. (Psalm 3:8, Matthew 3:8, John 15:8)
Jesus Christ physically ascended into heaven, where He perpetually makes intercession for His people, and will one day physically and visibly return to earth to establish His kingdom. (Acts 1:9-11; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2; Revelation 1:7)
- We believe in Christ the victorious King (Christus victor) and that all in heaven and earth are under his sovereign feet.
- God is sovereign over all things mysteriously enacting His perfect, unaltered will and plan for all mankind in all times, yet leaving them truly responsible to chose to revive or reject His great salvation.
- Christ is the head of His church, and as such has appointed and ordained the universal church of all believers as the ambassadors of His saving Gospel (2 Corinthians 5:20)
- To accomplish His victorious plan, Christ has given gifts by His Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:8) enabling His people supernaturally to complete His mission.
In the future bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost: Those who trust in Jesus Christ alone will be raised to eternal joy, living and reigning with Christ. Those who have not trusted in Jesus Christ will be raised to endless punishment. (Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15)
- We believe that in the end God’s work in saving the elect who are justified by faith in Christ, as sinners saved by grace will perfectly display His love, grace and mercy, and those prepared for destruction who reject Him will perfectly display His holiness, righteousness and justice. (Revelation 13:10, Romans 9:22-23)
- All things therefore will oneway reveal the glory of God alone (sola Deo gloria) in all things and all people.
- Until that day comes, we believe we are to live in faithfulness and subjection to God’s Word and honor Him in all we do, say and think. (Philippians 1:27, Colossians 1:10, Colossians 3:2, 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, Ephesians 5:3)
Because we believe all that to be true:
GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
- We believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit have continued to be given to individuals.
- We believe that God continues to work supernaturally in this world for our good and His glory.
- Because we believe that the purpose of God’s work is our good and His glory, although God can heal and miraculously intervene (and we earnestly pray for Him to do so), the normal means of grace is not elevating the temporary pain of this world, but in using every moment of our earthly suffering and heart ache to cause us to trust Him more, to call on Him and depend on Him rather than putting our hope in the fading glory of our life, health, family and finances.
- So we pray for healing and miracles, but also remind ourselves to trust that in ALL THINGS God is sovereign and God is good!
SCRIPTURE AND SINGING
- We believe the it is the Word of God that does the work of God in the people of God and it is the church’s God given role and responsibility to declare the Gospel of Jesus which is the power of God unto salvation.
- Knowing the church’s tendency to preach our favorite parts of scripture and ignore others, we teach verse by verse through books of the Bible asking God to help us see the glory of Christ and His salvation in every text and asking that our lives would be transformed by seeing and savoring Him.
- Rightly seeing God should lead to rightly worshipping God, but again the church’s tendency today is towards an emotional experience not based on seeing God, but the mood and concert like atmosphere of the room.
- So we have chosen to only sing songs that are not only emotionally moving but theologically rich.
- We have chosen to sing with the lights on because scripture has not called us to come to concert in the dark where it is just “you and Jesus”, but instead to gather with your brothers and sisters in Christ and to (Ephesians 5:19) speak (sing) to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. As together we sing and make music from your heart to the LORD.
SIN AND SEXUALITY
- Because God is the creator of all mankind, He is the ultimate and only authority on how we are to live.
- Ephesians 5:3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints
- 1 Thessalonians 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality
- Matthew 15:19-20 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander. 20 These are what defile a man …
- Many today wrongly claim that “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality” but the Greek word used in the New Testament references to fornication (sex before marriage), adultery (sex outside of marriage), pornography (anything sexually explicit or stimulating outside of marriage), homosexuality (same gender sexual activity) is all one word = “PORNEIA”
- Rather than giving into our natural desires 2 Timothy 2:22 tells us we are to flee from youthful lusts, and Colossians 3:5 says we are to put to death, therefore, your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience.
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
- Psalm 115:3 Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
- Psalm 103:19 The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.
- Daniel 4:35 … all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”
- Psalm 33:11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the purposes of His heart to all generations.
- Isaiah 14:27 For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?
- Over all things God is sovereign.
- A common error today is to think that we must chose in our belief between God’s sovereignty and man’s volitional responsibility, but God says that (Isaiah 55:8) His thoughts and ways are not like our and are higher than ours.
- In the mysterious providence of God, He has (Ephesians 1:11) predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, and simultaneously with out contradiction giving real freedom of choice to mankind for which they are fully responsible. (2 Corinthians 5:10)
- So our hope is that in all things God is (Romans 8:28) working all things together for good and in our choices, success and failures directing our steps. (Proverbs 16:9)