We accept the Bible, consisting of the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, as the written Word of God. The Bible is the essential and infallible record of God's self- disclosure to mankind. It leads us to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Being given by God, the Scriptures are both fully and verbally inspired by God. Therefore, as originally given, the Bible is free of error in all it teaches and describes. Each book is to be interpreted according to its context and purpose, and in reverent obedience to the Lord who speaks through it in living power. All believers are exhorted to study the Scriptures and diligently apply them to their lives. The Scriptures are the authoritative and normative rule, and guide of all Christian life, practice and doctrine. They are totally sufficient and must not be added to, superseded or changed by later tradition, extra-biblical revelation or worldly wisdom. Every doctrinal formulation, whether of creed, confession or theology, must be put to the test of the full counsel of God in Holy Scripture.
GOD IS TRIUNE
There is only one living and true God: infinite, eternal, almighty and perfect in holiness, truth and love. In the unity of the godhead, there are three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, co-existent, co- equal and co-eternal. The Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Holy Spirit, yet each is truly Deity. One God — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — is the foundation of Christian faith and life. He is worthy of all praise, and will not share His glory with any other.
God the Father, the first Person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace. As the only absolute and omnipotent Ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence and redemption. God the Father is the Creator of heaven and earth. By His word and for His glory, He freely and supernaturally created the world out of nothing in six days, resting on the seventh. Through the same word, He daily sustains all His creatures. He rules over all, and together with the Son and the Spirit is the only sovereign Lord. His plans and purposes cannot be thwarted. He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own. He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. He adopts as His own all those who come to Him, and He becomes, upon adoption, Father to His own. He is faithful to every promise, works all things together for good to those who love Him and in His unfathomable grace gave His Son Jesus Christ for mankind's redemption. In His sovereignty, He is neither the author nor approver of sin, nor does He abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures. He made all things for the praise of His glory and intends for man, in particular, to live in fellowship with Himself.
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the eternal Word made flesh, who dwelt among us, supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary. In the incarnation, the second Person of the Trinity laid aside His right to the full prerogatives of co-existence with God and took on an existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes. The purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God, redeem men, to leave us an example to follow that we might walk in His steps, and rule over God’s kingdom. He is perfect in nature, teaching and obedience. He is fully God and is fully man. Through Him all things came into being and were created. He was before all things and in Him all things hold together by the word of His power. He is the image of the invisible God, the first- born over all creation and in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily. He is the only Savior for the sins of the world having shed His blood and died a vicarious death on Calvary's cross. By His death in our place, He revealed the divine love and upheld divine justice, removing our guilt and reconciling us to God. Having redeemed us from sin, on the third day He rose bodily from the grave, victorious over death and the powers of darkness. For a period of 40 days, He appeared to over 500 witnesses performing many convincing proofs of His resurrection. He ascended into Heaven where, at God's right hand, He intercedes for His people and rules as Lord over all, awaiting His return. He is the Head of His body, the church, and should be adored, loved, served and obeyed by all.
The Holy Spirit, as God the Third Person of the Trinity, the Lord and Giver of life is a divine Person— eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity, including, intellect, emotions, will, eternality, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence and truthfulness. In all the divine attributes, He is co-equal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is the divine Teacher, who guided the apostles and prophets into all truth as they committed to writing God’s revelation- the Bible. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. Through the proclamation of the gospel, He persuades men to repent of their sins and confess Jesus as Lord. By Him, a person is enabled to trust in divine mercy. The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth and dwells within the regenerate. He has come to glorify the Son who in turn came to glorify the Father. He will lead the church into a right understanding and rich application of the truth of God's Word. He is to be respected, honored and worshipped. The Holy Spirit empowers believers for Christian witness and service. Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation. He desires to continually fill each believer with power, and imparts His supernatural gifts for the edification of the Body and the work of ministry in the world.
God created human beings, male and female, in His own image. Adam and Eve belonged to the created order that God himself declared to be very good, serving as God’s agents to care for, manage, and govern creation while living in holy and devoted fellowship with their Maker. Men and women, equally made in the image of God, enjoy equal access to God by faith in Christ Jesus and are both called to move beyond passive self-indulgence to significant private and public engagement in family, church and civic life. Adam and Eve were made to complement each other in a one-flesh union that establishes the only normative and biblical pattern of sexual relations for men and women. In God’s wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable, but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways. God ordains that they assume distinctive roles which reflect the loving relationship between Christ and the church— the husband exercising headship in a way that displays the caring, sacrificial love of Christ, and the wife submitting to her own husband in a way that models the love of the church for her Lord. Tempted by Satan, man rebelled against God. Being estranged from his Maker, yet responsible to Him, he became subject to divine wrath, inwardly depraved and apart from a special work of grace, utterly incapable of returning to God. This depravity is radical and pervasive. It extends to his mind, will and affections. Unregenerate man lives under the dominion of sin and Satan. He is at enmity with God, hostile toward God, and hateful of God. Fallen, sinful people, whatever their character or attainments, are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ alone.
Jesus Christ is the gospel. The good news is revealed in His birth, life, death, resurrection ascension and reign. Christ's crucifixion is the heart of the gospel; His resurrection is the power of the gospel, and His ascension is the glory of the gospel. Christ's death is a substitutionary and propitiatory sacrifice to God for our sins. It satisfies the demands of God's holy justice and appeases His holy wrath. It also demonstrates His mysterious love, and reveals His amazing grace. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. There is no other name by which men must be saved. At the heart of all sound doctrine is the cross of Jesus Christ and the infinite privilege that redeemed sinners have of glorifying God because of what He has accomplished. Therefore, we want all that takes place in our hearts, churches and ministries to proceed from and be related to the gospel.
Salvation is wholly of God— by grace, based on the redemption of Jesus Christ— never human merit or works. God elected individuals from all nations who would be delivered from bondage to sin and brought to repentance and saving faith, which was determined before the world began. The elect are regenerated by in a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit which enables the repentant sinner to respond in faith to the divine provision of salvation, thus giving true life. Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as shown in righteous attitudes and conduct, known in the scriptures as "good works." Sinners are justified before God by a free act of God by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins and confess Him as sovereign Lord. It involves the placing of our sins on Christ and the imputation of Christ's righteousness to us. By this means, God is enabled to "be just, and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus" (Romans 3:26). Every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God, resulting in his declaration as holy and identification as a saint. The believer can live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, progressively becoming more like the Lord Jesus Christ and displaying the communicable attributes of God. Yet, the new creation in Christ does battle against the flesh. The struggle stays with the believer throughout this earthly life and is never completely ended before Christ’s return. All the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God's power and are thus secure in Christ forever. It is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the internal witness of the Holy Spirit and the testimony of God's Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living and carnality.
God by His Word and Spirit creates the Church— calling sinful men out of both Jews and Gentiles into the fellowship of Christ's Body. By the same Word and Spirit, He guides and preserves His church. The church is not a religious institution or denomination. Rather, the Church universal is made up of those who have become genuine followers of Jesus Christ and have personally appropriated the gospel. The Church exists to worship and glorify God with our lives, to make disciples from all nations through evangelism and training, and to edify the saints for the work of the ministry. Upon conversion, newly redeemed men and women are added to a local church in which they devote themselves to teaching, fellowship, the Lord's Supper and prayer. All members of the Church universal are to be a vital and committed part of a local church. In the context of the local church, God's people receive pastoral care, leadership and the opportunity to employ their God-given gifts in His service in relation to one another and to the world.
The one supreme authority for the church is Christ. Church leadership, gifts, order, discipline and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Scriptures. In the ministry of the church, both men and women are encouraged to serve Christ and to be developed to their full potential in the manifold ministries of the people of God. The biblically designated officers serving under Christ and leading the assembly are a group of men called elders (also called bishops, pastors and pastor teachers) who must meet biblical qualifications. These leaders lead as servants of Christ and have His authority in leading the church. The congregation is to submit to their leadership, unless led into sin or false doctrine. The distinctive leadership role within the church given to qualified men is grounded in creation, fall and redemption and must not be sidelined by appeals to cultural developments.
At the moment of salvation through faith in Christ, the believer is baptized with the Holy Spirit and becomes a functioning member of the body of Christ. As a result of this baptism, the Holy Spirit imparts spiritual gifts. We believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the Bible. These gifts always operate in harmony with the Scriptures and should never be used in violation of biblical parameters. God is sovereign in the bestowing of spiritual gifts. It is, however, the believer’s duty and responsibility to desire spiritual gifts, and to minister according to the gift(s) and grace of God that is given to him so that the Body of Christ will be built up. As a body, we neither recognize any one gift as the sole evidence of the indwelling Holy Spirit, nor as proof of the presence of the Holy Spirit, nor as an indication of deep spiritual experience. However, we also do not advocate that God has "ceased" to give certain gifts. God continues to work supernaturally among His people. We believe that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith, in accordance with His own will, for the sick and afflicted. Love is more important than the most spectacular gifts, and without love all exercise of the spiritual gifts is compromised.
Believer’s baptism is only intended for the individual who has received the saving benefits of Christ's atoning work and become His disciple. Therefore, in obedience to Christ's command and as a testimony to God, the church, oneself and the world, a believer should be immersed in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Believer’s baptism is a visual and symbolic demonstration of a person's union with Christ in the likeness of His death and resurrection. It signifies that his former way of life has been put to death and vividly depicts a person's release from the mastery of sin. The Lord's Supper is to be observed only by those who have become genuine followers of Christ. This ordinance symbolizes the breaking of Christ's body and the shedding of His blood on our behalf, and is to be observed repeatedly throughout the Christian life as a sign of continued participation in the atoning benefits of Christ's death. As we partake of the Lord's Supper with an attitude of faith and self- examination, we remember and proclaim the death of Christ, receive spiritual nourishment for our souls, and signify our unity with other members of Christ's body.
There is a literal heaven and a literal hell. Physical death is a temporary cessation of bodily (mortal) life and a separation of the soul (or spirit) from the body. This separation involves no loss of our immaterial consciousness. The soul of the redeemed passes immediately into the conscious presence of Christ, and the soul of the unredeemed passes immediately into eternal conscious punishment. We believe in the future, imminent, personal, glorious and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ with his holy angels when he will exercise his role as final Judge, and his kingdom will be consummated. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the just and the unjust—the unjust to judgment and eternal conscious punishment in hell, as our Lord himself taught, and the just to eternal blessedness glorified forever in the presence of Him who sits on the throne and of the Lamb in the new heaven and the new earth, the home of righteousness. On that Great day of Christ’s return, the people of God will be presented faultless before God by the obedience, suffering and triumph of Christ— all sin purged and its wretched effects forever banished. God will be all in all and His people will be enthralled by the immediacy of His ineffable holiness. In all spheres, the triune God will reign forever and ever, and everything will be to the praise of His glorious grace.