What We Believe
1. God and the Trinity
We are Trinitarian, as opposed to Unitarian, in our faith. We do not believe in “three Gods” as the Unitarian, or “Jesus only,” teaching maintains that we do; but we believe there are “three persons, of one substance, of eternal being, and equal in holiness, justice, wisdom, power, and dignity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” Not three Gods, but one God, subsisting in three persons, the Trinity in unity (Matthew 3:16, 17; 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 5:7).
We believe in the incarnation of Christ through the virgin birth, which we hold without question, as written in the Word of God (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 2:26-35). We believe He was a perfect, sinless human being in whom dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9), that He was very God and perfect man. We believe He lived a sinless life and died upon the cross as an all-sufficient atonement for our sins, for our personal transgressions and also for original sin.
3. Christ’s Resurrection
We believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ, in His triumphant ascension into heaven, and that He (in His glorified body, as a complete human being, with all things appertaining to the perfections of man’s nature) now sits at the right hand of heaven’s Majesty until He shall return to judge the world at the last day. Perfect, sinless humanity is at the heart of the moral universe, participating in the government of creation and interceding for His saints, until He shall come to judge the living and the dead in the end of the age (Luke 24:1-7; Romans 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:12-19).
4. The Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty and glory with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God. We believe the Holy Ghost – or Holy Spirit – is a person and that He is the executive agent of the Godhead in the dispensation of grace; that He anoints the preaching of the Word, convicts of sin, and applies the benefits of the atonement; that He is our Teacher, Comforter, and Guide, taking the things of Christ and revealing them to us, glorifying Christ, guiding us into all truth, and showing us things to come; that all of these ministries are based on and function in accordance with the written Word of God (John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-11, 13-15).
5. The Holy Scriptures
We believed the Bible to be the inspired, inerrant, and authoritative Word of God (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; John 10:35).
6. The Future of Believers and Unbelievers
We believe we have eternal life through faith in Christ (John 3:14-16, 36); and that Christ has prepared a place for His own in Heaven (John 14:1-3). This is a “portion of the reward of the righteous,” though “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
We believe, and must so believe because of the consistent teaching of God’s Word, that “everlasting banishment from the presence of the Lord and unending torture (or punishment) in hell is the wages of the persistently wicked” (Psalm 9:17; Matthew 5:22, 29, 30; 18:9; 23:33; 25:41, 46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:23-25; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9; Revelation 14:9-11; 20:11-15; 21:7, 8).
7. The Efficacy of the Blood of Jesus
We believe in the efficacy and sufficiency of the shed blood of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins committed in the past: for the regeneration, or new birth from above, of penitent sinners, and for salvation or deliverance from sin and sinning (Matthew 26:28; Luke 22:20; Acts 20:28; Romans 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; 2:13; Colossians 1:14, 20; 1 Peter 1:18, 19; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5; 5:9; 1 John 2:1; 3:5-10; 5:18; Romans 6:22; 7:24, 25; 8:1-4).
8. Justification by Faith
We believe, teach and firmly maintain the scriptural doctrine of justification by faith alone (Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:4-7). We do not believe that any sort or degree of good works can procure or contribute toward our justification or salvation. This is accomplished solely and exclusively on the basis of our faith in the shed blood, the resurrection, and the justifying righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 4:23-25; 5:1-11, 20; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
But we do believe in good works as a fruit or product of salvation. We are not saved by, but unto, good works (Ephesians 2:10). When we believe on Jesus Christ as our Savior, our sins are pardoned, we are justified, and we enter a state of righteousness, not our own, but His, both imputed and imparted (Romans 4:22, 25; 8:1-4).
We believe Jesus Christ shed His blood, not alone for our justification and the forgiveness of actual transgressions, but also for the complete cleansing of the justified believer from all indwelling sin and from its pollution, and this transaction takes place subsequent to (or after) regeneration (the new birth) (Acts 26:18; Ephesians 5:25-27; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 9:13, 14; 10:10, 14-22; 13:11, 12; 1 John 1:7, 9). This is the negative side of sanctification – the cleansing or taking away of the sin principle – the circumcision of the heart to make it possible for us to love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul (Deuteronomy 30:6). It is the crucifixion of the “old man” (Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22-24; Galatians 2:20), the destruction of the “carnal mind” (Romans 8:5-10), the purging of the fruitbearing branch so “it may bring forth more fruit” (John 15:2). It is the “cleansing from all sin” – “from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:7, 9).
Sanctification in the sense of the above cleansing, and in the sense of a complete dedication to God, including a full and unreserved “setting apart” or “consecration” of the life to God, is a definite, instantaneous work of grace, obtainable by faith on the part of the justified believer. (See Romans 5:1, 2: “… justified by faith … peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice….” Also see 1 John 1:9: “… to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Note also Titus 2:14: “… redeem from all iniquity and purify…” and Acts 26:18: “… forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them which are sanctified.” Also refer to the following Scriptures for those who “are sanctified”: Acts 20:32; 26:18; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 6-10; Hebrews 2:11; 10:14; Jude 1).
The sanctified life is one of separation from the world, a selfless life, a life of devotion to all the will of God, a life of holiness in accordance with Romans 6:22; 12:1, 2; 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; 5:23; Hebrews 12:14; James 1:27; and 1 Peter 1:15, 16. It is a life controlled by “perfect love” which “casteth out fear” (1 John 4:16-21).
11. The Baptism With the Holy Ghost and Speaking With Other Tongues
We believe in the Baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire is obtainable by a definite act of appropriating faith on the part of the fully cleansed believer (Luke 11:13; 24:49; Acts 1:5, 8; 2:38, 39).
We believe this great blessing, which provides the enduement of power to witness for Christ, is available to all believers whose hearts are cleansed from sin by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Since the Bible teaches that our bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20) – and that the temple of God is holy, which temple ye (believers) are (1 Corinthians 3:16, 17) – we do not believe God will fill an unclean temple or vessel with His Holy Spirit. In other words, we believe, because the Bible teaches and requires it, that to receive the baptism with the Holy Ghost, a person must have a clean heart and life as a prerequisite for this great blessing. Remember, the blood of cleansing must first be applied, then the oil, which is a type of the Holy Spirit (Leviticus 14:14, 17).
Moreover, we believe that to live in the fullness of the Holy Spirit’s power and possession, one must continue to live a clean and consecrated life, free from sin, strife, worldliness, and pride, and must avoid attitudes and actions that tend to “grieve” or “quench” the Holy Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:29-32; 1 Thessalonians 5:19).
We believe the “initial” (or first) evidence of the reception of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance (John 15:26, 27; Acts 2:1-4; 8:17, 18; 10:44-46; 19:6; 1 Corinthians 12:7). We do not believe this is the only evidence of the Spirit’s baptism, but it is the initial evidence, just as it occurred in the repeated accounts of the Spirit’s outpouring in the Acts of the Apostles. But other evidences will be spelled out in our lives – the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23), power to witness for Christ, power to endure the testings of faith and the oppositions of the world. We believe the initial evidence of speaking with tongues is for everyone who receives the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and we distinguish between this initial manifestation and the gift of tongues, which is not given to every Spirit-filled believer.
We believe in 1 Corinthians 12, 13 and 14. We believe these gifts are “set in the Church” by the Holy Spirit; He retains custody and control of said gifts or “enablements,” distributing or operating them “severally as He will.” And we desire that our people may so live under the control of the Holy Spirit that these gifts may be manifested or used through consecrated individuals in the worship services where, when, and as they are needed, but all to the glory of God and the edifying of the body of Christ, and in accordance with the directions and decorum set forth in the chapters referred to above.
12. Divine Healing
We believe provision was made in the atonement for the healing of our bodies as set forth in the following Scriptures: Isaiah 53:4, 5; Matthew 8:16, 17; Mark 16:15-18; James 5:14-16; Exodus 15:26; to which we would also add Romans 8:26-28. And, while we do not condemn the use of medical means in the treatment of physical disease, we do believe in, practice, and commend to our people the laying on of hands by the elders or leaders of the church, the anointing with oil in the name of the Lord, and the offering of prayers for the healing of the sick.
13. The Second Coming of Jesus
We believe in the imminent, personal, premillennial second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The word imminent means the second coming of Christ is near; it is impending, likely to occur at any moment (Matthew 25:29-44; Mark 13:32-37; Titus 2:13).
The word personal means “the Lord himself” shall return (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18); the “same Jesus” who was “taken up into heaven shall so come in like manner” as He was seen to “go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
The word premillennial means He will come before the millennium during which the “blessed and holy” of the “first resurrection” will live and reign with Christ “a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4-6).
The second coming of Christ will occur in two stages; the first for the purpose of catching away His saints who are prepared for the Rapture before the Great Tribulation period (Matthew 24:40-44; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 3:10, 11; 4:1, 2); and the second at the end of the Great Tribulation, when He shall come back with His saints to destroy the armies of the Antichrist, to judge the nations of the world, and to inaugurate the millennial reign (Matthew 25:31-33; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 19:11-21; 20:1-6).
Many signs point to the soon coming of Jesus. The following Scriptures set forth several of these signs: Ezekiel 36 (the return of Israel to her land, etc.); Daniel 12:4; Nahum 2:3, 4; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21:25-36; 1 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Timothy 3:1-8, 13; 4:3, 4; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 2 Peter 2 and 3; and the Epistle of Jude.
14. The Great Commission
We believe in the Great Commission as set forth in Matthew 28 18-20 (Mark 16:15-18) and that every believer is part of that Great Commission to go forth and make disciples, heal the sick, and cast out devils.