The following is a statement of our position of basic Christian Doctrines. As once stated by a great missionary, “There are certain basic Christian truths about which there must be agreement. On all other doctrines there should be liberty. In all things there must be charity”. It is our resolution to take an uncompromising stand on the essential doctrines of the faith, and extend “the right hand of fellowship” to them. It is also our resolution to protect the liberty of Christians that hold different perspectives on the “non essential” doctrines. There are doctrines we may consider non-essential, but are important. We therefore make known our belief on these, while presenting them with the tolerance toward those whom may hold a different position. We are committed to the truth and accuracy in doctrine, but also understand that one can hold to right doctrines and still do damage to the body of Christ by causing divisions over the non-essentials. We are therefore just as committed to the essential Christian character, believing that, “In all things, there must be charity”. As the Apostle stated, “The goal of our instruction is love, from a pure and sincere faith” (I Timothy 1:5) That, to, is our goal and commitment as we promote the following teachings that we hold as truth.
On the person of Jesus
Jesus Christ is the Word (Logos) of God. The Word was with God in the beginning, which states His pre-existence as one with God. By Him were all things created, both in the heavens and on the earth. (Colossians 1:16) therefore making Jesus Christ the creator. Jesus Christ is the purpose of God found in all creation. He is the Father’s delight and desire, and the Father is looking for the reflection of His Son in all created things. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. In the beginning it was the ultimate purpose of God for all things to be summed up in the Christ. (Ephesians 1:10).
The Deity of Jesus Christ
We Believe in the Trinity of God (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit). Jesus who pre-existed with God in the form of God, emptied Himself to become fully a man, that He might be the propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Through His propitiatory sacrifice made on the cross, all who, believe in Him and His sacrifice have their sins remitted and are restored to fellowship with God lost by man’s transgression. Jesus was born of a virgin, by the seed of the Holy Spirit. His virgin birth is a testimony that only the Spirit can, begat that which is of the Spirit. Those of the new creation are not solely of human origin, but are born from above by the Holy Spirit. The resurrection of Jesus’ physical body after His resurrection was literal, as will be the resurrection of both the just and the unjust on the Day of Judgment. There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (I Timothy 2:5). All who seek restoration and fellowship with God must go through Jesus and His atoning blood and cannot approach God through any person, spirit or doctrine. It is also a supreme presumption for any man or institution to seek to be mediator for others in place of Christ Jesus Himself. The Apostolic commission was for His followers to labor until Christ was formed in His church, to present every person complete in Christ, and to manifest the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. When Jesus is lifted up, He will draw all people to Himself. We consider it the primary purpose of the church to esteem and exalt Jesus in every way. It is the focus and devotion of all God anointed ministries to know and preach HIM, and not, ourselves. We pray for the grace to continually respond to His call to return to our first love, that we might passionately devote ourselves to pleasing Him in all things while preparing for His return.
We believe man was created by God from the dust of the earth, without sin or the knowledge of good or evil. The first man Adam transgressed the command of God, and as God had warned, the process of death entered him and all his descendents because of that transgression. Therefore, all have sinned and are worthy of the sentence of death. Because of our unrighteousness, we are unable to approach a Holy God, except through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Through Jesus we can not only come before the Throne of Grace, but, we may approach it boldly since our confidence is not in ourselves, but in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe in Holy Matrimony which from the beginning has been ordained by God as one man and one woman.
On The Atonement
Because all have sinned and are under the sentence of death, all must trust in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus for the remission of sins. There is no other way to reconcile with God or escape from eternal judgment, except through the propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus. Those who trust Jesus have access to the Throne of Grace by the sacrifice of Jesus, and His sacrifice alone. Good works are acceptable to God only as a love offering given to Him because of His worthiness, and not bearing on acceptance, standing or approval, all of which were accomplished by the cross. Good works offered for the purpose of acceptance, standing, or approval are therefore an affront to the cross by which, all of these things were gained for us by Jesus. Good works are not offered for His approval, but for His joy and glory, and must be offered through the Son in obedience to Him. (I Peter 2:5) Therefore, the goal of our service is obedience, not sacrifice.
On The New Birth
Believing in our hearts that Jesus is the Son of God and in His propitiation made for our salvation results in regeneration and renewal that constitutes our new birth into new creations. Although this does not imply immediate perfection in our temporal life or lifestyle, it does mean that true faith will result in radical change in us. Being “born again” implies a new beginning, not an ending. Christian maturity and faith, truth and life is a process. Even so this process must begin with spiritual regeneration or new birth. While it possible to change our behavior without regeneration, changing our hearts requires the new birth, and is our hearts upon which God looks.
On the Purpose of Faith
True faith is of the heart and not just the mind. (Romans 10:10) God’s purpose in requiring faith for salvation is to raise our focus and concentration above the temporal to the One who is eternal. Therefore, the Gospel that is able to save our souls must be preached in the power of the Spirit of God. The Gospel is not dependent upon human eloquence or persuasion that may change minds, but cannot change hearts. Only the Spirit of God can reveal the Son of God, and only the Son of God can reveal the Father.
On the Authority of the Scripture
We believe in the Divine inspiration and authority of the 66 books of the Holy Bible as a complete canon of God’s testimony to mankind. We are committed to esteeming Scripture as the very Word of God, without error in it’s original form. We do not except any doctrine which contradicts the Scripture. We understand that there are many practices and doctrines that are considered orthodox which do not contradict the Scriptures, but which are not directly addressed in His Word. We are committed to the giving liberty in the belief and practice of these teachings, but will endeavor to maintain the simplicity of the Biblical testimony and it’s stated practices as we are given grace to perceive them. We do not accept any spiritual experience as having it’s source in the Holy Spirit that does not have a precedent in Scripture. We do not accept any revelation, vision, dream, prophesy or discernment as truth which contradicts Scripture, or cannot be verified by it. We do not believe that any other writings have the same authority as the canon of the Scripture.
On the Lord’s Supper
We acknowledge the ordinance of the Lord’s supper in remembrance of Jesus and the testimony of our communion (common union) with Him in His body, the Church. We consider it a Holy ordinance, but we do not accept the teaching that communion is for the remitting of sins, (apart from repentance) which Scripture testifies is based solely on the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. (Hebrews (9:25-28)
On Water Baptism
We believe that water baptism should be by immersion and accomplished immediately (as possible) after commitment to the Lordship of Jesus and His atoning sacrifice for our sin. This ordinance is a personal and public statement of faith, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ on our behalf, and is a commitment to lay down our lives to be one with Him in His death, burial and resurrection.
On the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” is an additional importation which may be subsequent to regeneration (Acts 8:15-17 and 19:1-6). This baptism is usually accompanied by the gifts of the Spirit, such as speaking in tongues, prophesy etc.
We believe that this gift is presently available to all who believe (Acts 2:38-39), but is not essential for salvation or regeneration. While these are accomplished by the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:1-7), there were disciples who did not even know there was a Holy Spirit. Just as Paul made it a priority to instruct those believers and pray for them to receive this gift, we are committed to doing the same. The purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to impart spiritual power to the believer to be a witness (Acts 1:8, 5:32) This baptism is to be distinguished by speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance. As the disciples were working within the Church a refilling was needed from time to time to stay empowered. (Acts 4:31). We believe that when Christians truly have been baptized with the Holy Spirit, they should begin to take on His nature and fruit, becoming helpers and comforters, leading others into truth, and testifying of Jesus.
On the Present Ministry of the Holy Spirit
We believe “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” Heb. 13:8, and that His ministry in and through the Church by the Holy Spirit has not changed from the beginning. We accept, acknowledge, encourage and seek all the Biblical gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit as present and vital for the Church to accomplish her full purpose today.
On the Second Coming of Christ
We believe in the literal, physical return of the Lord Jesus Christ to take authority and rule on earth (2nd coming). We believe that those who are alive and remain as detailed in I Thessalonians 4:13-18 prior to the Tribulation (Pre-Trib) will be changed and caught up to meet Him in the air (rapture). Those who have died in the faith will be resurrected and precede those who are alive in being changed and caught up to be with Him.