Ministry’s Statement of Faith
The Godhead – God in Three Persons
We believe that the Godhead has existed eternally in three persons—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. They have eternally experienced loving unity (John 17:11). They share the same nature and attributes and are worthy of an equal amount of love, awe and obedience (Mark 12:29; Eph. 4:4–6; 2 Cor. 13:14).
God the Father
We believe there is only one true God (Deut. 6:4–5; 2 Sam. 7:22), whose essential nature is a living, personal Spirit (John 4:24). His many attributes are infinite in magnitude. Some of His attributes include: grace, love, mercy, power (omnipotent), presence (present everywhere), faithfulness, justice, and knowledge (omniscient). God is holy which denotes His awesome majesty and purity. Holiness is a quality of all of His attributes. Also, God is transcendent because His being is not identical with finite mankind. Rather, His being transcends mankind in every category. God is immanent which refers to His presence in all His creation. This attribute conveys the idea of otherness. Being immanent, God is sustaining and preserving His creation in a general way. Specifically, God is energizing the wills and souls of Christians. He is the creator (Gen. 1:1) of all things and the God and Father of Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:3). He purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself (Eph. 1:11; 3:10, 11; 2 Tim. 1:9) and to bring this redemption through His Son (Eph. 1:5).
Jesus Christ—the Son
We believe that Jesus Christ is truly God and truly man and has eternally existed with the Father (John 1:1). Mary, His earthly mother, who conceived Him by the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:18), remained a virgin until she gave birth to Jesus (Matt. 1:25), who is God in the flesh (John 1:14). He lived a sinless life (Heb. 4:15) and died a substitutionary death on the cross for the sins of mankind in all the world (John 3:16; 1 Cor. 15:3). After His crucifixion, He was raised from the dead (resurrection) and given a glorified body (1 Cor. 15:4; 1 Thess. 4:14). This resurrected body will eventually be given to all believers (1 Cor. 15:20). Forty days after His resurrection (Acts 1:3), He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9–11) and was seated at the right hand of God the Father (Eph. 1:20). There He serves as a mediator between God and men (1 Tim 2:5; Heb. 9:15).
The Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead or Trinity. As a person, the Holy Spirit can be grieved by believers (Eph. 4:30). Some of the Holy Spirit’s activities in this age include:
(1) Baptizes all believers into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13), (2) is ever present to testify of Christ (John 15:26), (3) convicts the world regarding sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8), (4) regenerates all believers (John 3:5; Titus 3:5), (5) indwells and anoints all who are saved (John 14:17; 1 John 2:20; 1 Cor. 6:19), (6) teaches believers all spiritual truths (John 14:26), (7) leads believers into all the truth (John 16:13), (8) gives spiritual gifts to believers to enable the body of Christ to function properly (1 Cor. 12:8–11), (9) was sent by Jesus, and (10) seals believers for the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30).
Man—His Creation and Fall
We believe that man was created by God in His image and after HIs likeness (Gen. 1:26). God created man (Adam) from the dust of the ground and breathed into him the breath of life (Gen. 2:7). Seeing it was not good for the man (Adam) to be alone, God took a rib from Adam and fashioned it into a woman (Gen. 2:21, 22). Adam said she would be called Woman because she was taken out of Man (Gen. 2:23). Adam and Eve lived in the garden of Eden in a state of moral perfection. Eve, deceived by the serpent (Gen. 3:1–6), ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:17) and also gave it to Adam and he ate. At that point, Adam and Eve died spiritually, as God had warned them previously (Gen. 2:17). With spiritual death, Adam’s human nature was marred by sin. They now possessed a sinful nature and were alienated from the life of God (Eph. 4:18) and came under His wrath (Rom. 1:18; Eph. 2:3). Adam brought the penalty for sin, spiritual and physical death, upon the entire human race (Rom. 5:12). Therefore, all humans are born with a sinful nature.
Sin and Salvation
We believe that because every person born possesses a sin nature and stands under the condemnation of God, no person is able to save himself or herself (Rom. 3:23; Eph. 2:9). The only way to come to the Father is through faith, accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior (Eph. 2:8). Mankind cannot save itself by good works (Eph. 2:9). In addition to faith in Jesus, one must repent of his or her sin. With God’s gift of salvation, one: (1) receives the forgiveness of sins, (2) is given a right standing before God (Rom. 5:1), (3) becomes a new creation (2 Cor. 5:18), (4) is reconciled to God (Rom. 5:10), (5) is redeemed from the bondage of sin (Gal. 4:5a), and (6) is adopted as a son or daughter into God’s family (Gal. 4:5b). Because of God’s gift of salvation, after experiencing physical, bodily death, believers will spend eternity in heaven praising and glorifying the godhead (Rev. 21:1, 22, 23). The spirits and souls of believers will be united to their glorified, resurrection bodies (1 Cor. 15:42–44, 52). By contrast, unbelievers will be condemned to eternal, conscious punishment (Matt. 25:46; 2 Thess. 1:9).
The Church, the Body of Christ
We believe the church is the universal company of God’s people, persons who have been justified by God’s grace through faith in Christ (Eph. 2:8). Sometimes the universal church is referred to as His body (Eph. 1:23) or the body of Christ. Jesus is the head of the body (Eph. 1:22). The body is visibly seen in local assemblies or congregations (Acts 9:31; Rom. 16:5; 1 Cor. 1:2). The purpose of the local congregations is to glorify God through worship, fellowship, prayer, observing the ordinances (baptism and the Lord’s Supper), and instruction in God’s Word (Acts 2:42), all of which build up or edify individual believers in the body (Eph. 4:11–12). The primary mission of the church is to make disciples for Christ in all the nations through proclaiming the Gospel message (Matt. 28:19–20). The church originated on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1–13). As people become Christians, the Holy Spirit baptizes them into the body (1 Cor. 12:13). There is a great diversity among members of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12, 20). God commands all believers to be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3).
Christian Living and Sanctification
We believe Christians are to walk (live) in a manner that is worthy of their calling by God (Eph. 4:1). Sanctification is a term which refers to a setting apart of one’s life unto God. Sanctification is God’s will for every believer (1 Thess. 4:3). There are two types of sanctification in the believer’s life. First, when a person is saved, the person experiences initial or positional sanctification. It is called positional because in salvation one is brought out of spiritual darkness and placed into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9), or the kingdom of God. The Christian’s position is “in Christ.” Also, the believer’s position toward God is the same as Christ’s position. Second, each believer retains the sin nature or old self (Eph. 4:22) after salvation. The second type of sanctification is a lifelong growth process and is often called, progressive sanctification. It involves each believer: (1) laying aside the old self daily, (2) being renewed in the spirt of the mind (Eph. 4:23), and (3) daily putting on the new self (Eph. 4:24). Sometimes progressive sanctification is referred to as growing in grace (2 Peter 3:18). The process of progressive sanctification cannot be accomplished solely on the basis of a Christian’s will and desire. Instead, progressive sanctification can only occur with the help of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18; 2 Thess. 2:13).
Second Coming of Jesus
We believe that after the great tribulation is completed (seven years), Jesus will return to the earth (Heb. 9:28). Jesus will return as He ascended (Acts 1:9), in person and on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory (Matt. 25:30) and He will gather together His elect from the four winds (Matt. 24:31). Jesus will return with a shout, accompanied with the voice of the archangel, the trumpet will sound and the dead will be resurrected (1 Cor. 15:52) first. Then, Christians who are alive will be caught up together with the resurrected saints to meet Jesus in the air (1 Thess. 4:16–17). The time of Jesus’ second coming is known only to God the Father (Matt. 24:36; Mark 13:32; 2 Peter 3:10). Therefore, Christians are to be sober, alert (1 Thess. 5:6), and ready for Christ’s return (Matt. 24:42–44; Titus 2:13). His promised return should motivate His disciples to godly living and sacrificial service (2 Tim. 4:8) knowing that when He appears they will be like Him (1 John 3:2). When Jesus returns He will deal out retribution to unbelievers—eternal destruction (2 Thess. 1:8–9; 2 Tim. 4:1–2).
We believe God has spoken through His Word, both the Old (Matt. 1:22–23; Heb. 1:1) and New Testaments (2 Tim. 3:16). God used the Holy Spirit to move men to write and speak, which is referred to as verbal inspiration (2 Peter 1:20–21; Num. 23:19). The Word and the Holy Spirit are the two key dynamics in the process of progressive sanctification (John 17:17). The Word or Bible is living (1 Peter 1:23; Heb. 4:12) and active and God uses it to judge the intentions and thoughts of human hearts. Believers are to obey all that the Word of God teaches and commands (1 John 2:5; John 14:15, 23; 15:14). The Bible is also referred to as the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17).