What We Believe
There is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5) who has simultaneously and eternally existed as three co-equal persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This doctrine has come to be known as the Trinity. All three persons are God (e.g. The Father is called God in Philippians 4:20 and elsewhere, Jesus is called God in John 1:1-14 and elsewhere, the Holy Spirit is called God in Acts 5:1-6 and elsewhere) but the Father is not the Son nor is He the Spirit and the Son is not the Father nor is He the Spirit and the Spirit is not the Father or the Son (e.g. at Christ’s baptism all three persons of God are identified as distinct from one another; Matthew 3:16-17). They share the being of God and are yet individual persons (Jesus’ great commission teaches the distinction of the persons and their unity by baptizing people in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; Matthew 28:18-20). God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, immutable. He is good, just, holy, righteous, loving, sovereign, compassionate and a great many other things that can be said to describe the absolute perfect being.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is one and the same God as the Father and the Spirit. He existed in eternity past but at a point in time entered into His creation born of a virgin named Mary (John 17:5; Philippians 2:5-11). Jesus has two natures, divine and human, wherein he is both truly God and truly man at the same time. He lived a life of sinless perfection (Hebrews 4:15; 2 Corinthians 5:21) and perfect obedience to God’s law and He died on the cross as a propitiation for our sins (Romans 3:23-26). On the third day God raised Jesus from the dead. His resurrection was a bodily one although his body was now glorified as He was the “firstborn from the dead” (Colossian 1:18; Revelations 1:5) He appeared to the 12 and then to over 500 (1 Corinthians 15:1-11) others and after 40 days (Acts 1:3) he ascended to the Father (Acts 1:9) and now is at his right hand (Romans 8:34).
The Holy Spirit has also existed eternally as God along with the Father and the Son. He is a person, not a mere power that emanates from God (Note all the personal pronouns used of the Holy Spirit in John 16:7-15). The Holy Spirit has a present day ministry of convicting the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:7-11). The Holy Spirit works in the hearts of the lost and draws them to Christ. The Holy Spirit indwells the believer at the moment they believe the gospel (Ephesians 1:13-14) and also gives each believer a gift that can be used for the edification of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:7).
The Scripture (the 66 canonical books found in the protestant Bible) is the inerrant and inspired word of God without any error in the original manuscripts and faithfully preserved for us today. It is profitable for teaching, correcting, rebuking and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be competent for every good work. The Scripture is “theopneustos”, God breathed, meaning it is straight from mind of God and equivalent to words coming from his mouth (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
God moved men by His Holy Spirit to write what He desired them to write while preserving their freedom of style and expression so that while God moved them to write what He intended, even so, the style and personality of the human author can still be seen (2 Peter 1:21). The one mind of God is seen in the conformity of doctrine throughout the 66 books of the Bible written over a period of 1,500 years by at least 40 different authors. No other holy book can claim the consistency of thought and the impeccable transmission of the text throughout the centuries like the Bible can.
The Scripture, as God’s word, is the final source of authority for Christians concerning faith and practice.
In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth (Genesis 1:1). Everything that exists contingently (that is unnecessarily, unlike God who is a necessary being and therefore eternal) came into existence out of nothing by the power and will of Jesus Christ (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-17). God made the universe with phenomenal precision and beauty and in its original state it was perfectly good and without defect (Genesis 1 continually affirms God’s creation as “good”). God made all living creatures “according to their kind” which negates any idea of macro-evolution or common descent. God created human beings, male and female, in His image thereby setting us apart from all other living creatures wherein we are more like God in our nature than any other created thing (Genesis 1:26).
Scripture tells us that “in Adam all die” (1 Corinthians 15:22), meaning that because of His rebellion we too were affected by the curse of sin and all of us also sin following in steps of Adam (Romans 3:23). Sin separates us from the relationship with God that humanity was created for which equals spiritual death (Romans 6:23). Because of the state of all people in sinful rebellion against God we all need redemption and forgiveness from our sins. No work of the law nor any amount of good deeds is sufficient to put us back into right standing before God (Romans 3:23-26; Ephesians 2:8-9). Our position before God requires a perfect, sinless substitute that can pay our debt before God, something that we are completely impotent to do ourselves.
Given the reality of man’s impotence to do anything about our sin before God, which justly invokes God’s wrath and condemnation upon us, our only hope is that God Himself would provide a way back to Him. God has made a way back to Him via His son Jesus Christ. Jesus proclaimed that “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus also claimed to be the exclusive path to restoring mankind’s relationship with God stating and that He is “the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, is and has been eternally God who at a point in time added a human nature to His divine existence (John 1:1-3,14; Philippians 2:5-11) as such Jesus lived a life completely free from sin (Hebrews 4:15) and he perfectly obeyed the law of God and fulfilled it on our behalf (Matthew 5:17). Christ Jesus, being free from sin and in perfect obedience to God’s law, died on the cross as a perfect substitute for sinners. By conscious faith in Jesus and His work on the cross our sins are taken away and His righteousness (perfect standing before God) is imputed/credited to us whereby our debt of sin against God is cancelled (Romans 3:23-26). All good works in an attempt to earn salvation, all piety and attempts to obey the law or commands of God on our part are insufficient because we are sinners, but Christ who knew no sin became sin for us that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). The evidence of justification, that is right standing before God by faith in Jesus, is a life of good works and obedience to the Lord Jesus (Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 5:22-24).
CONCERNING THE CHURCH:
The church has two kinds of expressions in the New Testament. The church is first the entire body of Christ that is baptized by the Holy Spirit into one body through faith in Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). This is the universal church which all believers everywhere and from all generations are a part of by faith in the Lord Jesus. The universal church transcends denominations and creeds insofar as those who are a part have placed their trust in Christ alone for salvation and not in religious systems or other objects.
The second expression of the church is the local church which is a group of believers (who are part of the universal church) who gather together for the purpose of worshipping Christ through the preaching of the word and singing songs of praise, sharing the gospel in the community and doing missions around the world. The local church has had many expressions even up to this day and one local church may hold convictions contrary to another local church (e.g. Baptists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, etc.), but ultimately those who have a right view of God and a right view of the gospel are brothers and sisters in Christ regardless of their differences on issues of secondary and tertiary importance.