Statement of Faith
Doctrines of Grace
Due to mankind’s rebellion in the Garden of Eden, it is impossible for man to savingly believe the gospel in his own ability. Sinful humanity is characterized in Scripture as possessing a darkened mind (1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 4:17-19; Titus 1:15) and a corrupt heart (Genesis 8:21; Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:21-23). All sinners, before conversion, are spiritually dead to the things of God (Colossians 2:13) and are in bondage to sin and Satan (John 8:34; Romans 3:9-12; Ephesians 2:1-3; 2 Timothy 2:25-26; 1 John 5:19). Because of their total inability to right themselves with God, God Himself spiritually regenerates men and women causing them to place their faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ (John 6:44; Ephesians 2:4-7). This saving faith is itself a gift of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8-9) making clear the truth that man’s salvation would be completely impossible apart from God’s gracious saving work.
2. Unconditional Election
Before the foundation of the world and based solely on His sovereign will and purpose, God elected (or chose) certain individuals to be the recipients of His saving grace (Ephesians 1:3-6). This divine election was in no way influenced by anything foreseen by God in the individual, but rather was completely determined in accordance with God’s sovereign pleasure (John 15:16; Acts 13:48). In His absolute sovereignty, God has predetermined those who will be saved and those who will not (Psalm 115:3; 135:6; Isaiah 46:9-11; Romans 9:10-24).
3. Particular Redemption
The redeeming work of Jesus Christ was intended to save the elect only and actually secured salvation for them (Matthew 1:21). Christ’s substitutionary death paid for the sins of a particular group of people: All of those that were elected by God before the foundation of the world (John 10:11, 14-18, 24-29; 17:1-11, 20, 24-26). Christ’s redemptive work secured everything necessary for the salvation of the elect, including the gifts of repentance and faith (Luke 24:46-47; Acts 20:20-21; 2 Corinthians 7:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-9). Because of this, all those for whom Christ died are guaranteed to be saved.
4. Irresistible Grace
All those for whom Christ died are irresistibly drawn to Christ by a special inward calling of the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:48; 16:14; Romans 8:30; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:1-3). Whereas the general outward call of the gospel (which is made to everyone without distinction) can be rejected, the inward call of the gospel (which is made only to the elect) cannot be rejected (John 10:14-16, 27-29). In accordance with God’s gracious purposes, the Holy Spirit causes the elect sinner to come to Christ freely and willingly in repentance and faith. The saving grace of God is irresistible; it never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended.
5. Perseverance of the Saints
All those who have been elected by God, redeemed by Christ, and given repentance and faith by the Holy Spirit, are saved forever (John 6:35-40; Romans 5:8-10; 8:35-39; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 1 John 5:4, 11-13, 20; Jude 24-25). These chosen ones are kept by the power of God and can never finally fall away from the faith but, in fact, will certainly persevere to the end.
1. Expository Preaching
We believe that the best way to communicate God’s Word is through expository preaching and teaching. Five elements help identify expository preaching: (1) The message finds its sole source in Scripture. (2) The message is extracted from Scripture through careful exegesis. (3) The message preparation correctly interprets Scripture in its normal sense and context. (4) The message clearly explains the original meaning of Scripture as intended by God. (5) The message applies the Scriptural meaning for today.
2. Plurality in Leadership
We believe that the church is to be ruled by a plurality of men as opposed to a single individual. The early church was led by a plurality men called “elders” (Acts 14:23; 16:4; 20:17; 21:18; Titus 1:5; James 5:14). These men had to meet a list of qualifications (1 Timothy 3:2-7; Titus 1:6-9) and were considered equal in authority.
3. Women in Ministry
We believe that Scripture teaches that men and women have been created by God to be equal in their importance and personhood. The Bible teaches that when God created man, He created them “male and female” in His image (Genesis 1:27; 5:1-2). Both men and women are equally important and valuable to God, and yet the Bible clearly teaches that men and women have different roles within the body of Christ. In 1 Timothy 2:12-15, Paul tells Timothy that a woman is not “to teach or exercise authority over a man.” Since Paul roots this statement in the creation order, it seems clear that women are not to serve in the church as elders or pastors.
4. Church Growth
We believe that what is commonly referred to as the Church Growth Movement and/or the Emergent Church is built on a ministry philosophy that lacks a sound biblical foundation. Though there are many well-meaning believers in this movement who are truly devoted to Christ, we believe that this
movement seeks to attract people to the church using questionable means that actually clouds the whole truth of the gospel message. The church is not built by man-made methods or techniques but by Jesus Himself (Matthew 16:18), through the faithful proclamation and application of God’s Word.
There are other statements of faith that we as a body find useful. These are referenced here in case of interest.