What We Believe
I. THE SCRIPTURES
- Since "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17),
we accept the Holy Bible as the infallible, verbally inspired word of God -- regarding
it as an all-sufficient guide in faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:15-17).
- In this library of 66 books, written by some 40 different writers, over a
period of some 1,500 years, God has unveiled His eternal purpose and clearly enunciated
the principles whereby men are prepared for fellowship with Himself, and by which
all will ultimately be judged (John 12:47, 48).
- There is ONE true God Who, as regards His works, manifests Himself in three
distinct personalities: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- As "the Father," He is the great intelligence who purposes and wills (Matthew
28:19; John 15:26).
- As "the Son," He is the great pattern and accomplisher of works -- having
created the heavens and the earth, and "upholding them by the word of His power"
(John 1:2; Colossians 1:15-17).
- As "the Holy Spirit," He is universally present -- personally directing and
performing His will and purposes (John 4:24; Psalms 147:5; Romans 1:20).
- Equal in every divine perfection (John 10:30), Father, Son and Holy Spirit
execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of redemption (Ephesians 2:18;
2 Corinthians 13:14).
- God is absolutely sovereign -- rightfully doing as He pleases (Numbers 23:19;
1 Samuel 15:29; John. 10:35). The scriptures, however, reveal His pleasure to
act CONDITIONALLY toward men -- accomodating His actions to the response of their
hearts toward His benevolent care (Jeremiah 18:7-10).
- We believe in the biblical account of creation, which is consistent with
every known fact of modern science. No earthly creature has "evolved" from a lower
order, or come into being by accident.
- The same God Who created all things in six days actively governs the whole
of His creation (Psalms 104:6-23; Daniel 5:23; John 1:1-3; Acts 17:25; Colossians
IV. THE FALL
- Created in righteousness and true holiness, man was placed under the law
of his Maker, (Genesis 1:21, 27; Ecclesiastes 7:29). By voluntary transgression
the first human pair fell from the holy and happy state of innocence -- imposing
upon all their offspring a nature (inclination) to sin (Genesis 3:6-24; Romans
5:12; Psalms 51:5; Romans 3:23).
- Thus, the sum-total of mankind are, by nature, TOTALLY DEPRAVED -- in the
sense that we are inclined to evil and devoid of any positive righteousness, (Romans
7:21-23; Mark 7:20-23). Thus, we stand justly "condemned already" to eternal ruin
-without any defence or excuse (John 3:18; Romans 1:18-21; Romans 2:1-16; Ephesians
2:1-3; Ezekiel 18:19, 20; Romans 3:19).
V. THE GOD-MAN
- Sensing the tragedy of human rebellion, whereby fellowship was broken between
God and man, the Son of God, in unfathomable love, has condescended to take upon
Himself the nature of humanity that He might restore the divine image in man and
bestow upon us the very nature of deity (John 1:1-14; John 10:34, 35; 2 Peter
1:4). Born of the virgin Mary (Luke 1:34, 35), Jesus was truly HUMAN.
- In fact, He was the ONLY man who ever lived the life that God intended man
to live -- a life of TOTAL DEPENDENCE on His heavenly Father. He came in the "express
image" of God -- living a sinless life and manifesting every divine perfection
- Having finished the work the Father sent Him to accomplish, Jesus Christ
voluntarily laid down His life as a vicarious (substitutionary) sacrifice for
human sin (John 10:17, 18; 1 Timothy 2:6). Raised from the dead, and exalted to
the right hand of the throne of God, the Son of Man now sits as the sole mediator
between God and man -- Himself MAN -- as our advocate with the Father (Romans
1:3; Acts 2:32, 33).
- He is the High Priest over the "house of God" (the church), and the scriptures
urge His believing people to draw near to His throne of grace with boldness --
knowing that He cares and is able to sympathize with our need (Hebrews 10:21;
1 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 4:14-16).
VI. THE WAY OF
- We believe that SALVATION, as set forth in the scriptures, embraces the whole
scope of God's purpose and grace to deliver unworthy men from the destruction
of certain and eternal death UNTO the bliss, privileges, glory and honor of the
perfect REST of His coming Kingdom -- ruling as co-heirs with Christ in the inheritance
of the earth. Salvation is wholly of grace, through the exercise of a faith that
is divorced from any "fleshly work," but which inevitably "works by love" (Ephesians
2:8-10; Galatians 5:6).
- On the basis of his first trust in Jesus a person IS SAVED (delivered, loosed)
from the guilt and penalty of past sin and becomes the possessor of a new life
that is both REAL and ENDURING. Thus, the true believer HAS BEEN SAVED from eternal
destruction in the lake of fire.
- As the saved man yields his life to the true mastery of Jesus Christ, through
whose resurrection-life he experiences daily triumph over the power of sin, salvation
may be regarded as a CONTINUING PROCESS -- in the sense that one's LIFE is so
acceptable to God that it reaps eternal dividends, (Matthew 6:19-21; Matthew l6:24-27;
2 Peter 1:5-11).
- Only when one is freed from the very PRESENCE of sin, and changed into the
glorious likeness of His dear Lord, will the experience of salvation be complete
-- that which Paul described as being "in Christ Jesus with eternal glory"
(Philippines 3:20, 21; 2 Timothy 2:10).
- We believe in the eternal security of all that is truly abandoned (entrusted,
committed), in faith, to Jesus Christ. Since there is no merit in man (Titus 3:5),
it is God who takes the initiative in salvation -- satisfying His own sense of
justice and changing the sinner.
- The condemned sinner can only yield himself into the hands of God and trust
Him fully, (2 Timothy 1:12). So trusting in the Lord, he will NEVER COME INTO
THE SAME CONDEMNATION as the unsaved (Hebrews 7:24, 25; 1 John 2:1, 2; Romans
8:35-39; John 5:24), for the very righteousness of God is reckoned to him (Romans
4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
VIII. NEW TESTAMENT
- We believe that Jesus Christ is the Founder, Head, Lawgiver and Sustainer
of the only church (institution) that He recognizes, approvingly, in the world
today. From material prepared by His forerunner, John the Baptist, Jesus personally
called out specific disciples to follow Him designating them as His "little flock,,
the "salt of the earth" and "light of the world" (Matthew 4:18-22; 5:13-16;
- By definition, we recognize a New Testament church as: "an authorized assembly"
of scripturally baptized believers, covenanted together for mutual edification
and the carrying out of the "Great Commission" which Jesus gave to His church
(institutionally) before His ascension to the Father's right hand.
- The task committed to the church is that of making disciples. This is accomplished
by baptizing and teaching those who have professed to have received Jesus Christ
as their Savior. (Matthew 28:18-20; John 8:31, 32).
- Independent, though ever subject to the lordship of her Living Head, each
local assembly is a dwelling-place of God through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:22)
sent by Christ to: direct, comfort, teach, reprove, exhort and administer His
perfect will among His people.
- We deplore the careless, presumptuous application of so many new covenant
promises to those who have never identified themselves with the Christ through
baptism and a walk of faith-obedience, (Romans 6:1-13). To the church (institution)
is made many "exceeding great and precious promises" (2 Peter 1:3-1l).
- Experience of promised blessings require diligence to DO God's will. To lay
claim to those promises while living outside the sphere of covenant fellowship
may only be regarded as an attempt at SPIRITUAL THIEVERY!!
- We regard church membership as a PRIVILEGE, not a right. While one's faith
in God is his own personal consideration, his WALK, as a part of the body of Christ,
is a matter that concerns the whole body. In the church one must "walk worthy"
of his "high calling in Christ Jesus.. This requires lowliness, meekness, forbearance
and love (Ephesians 4:1-3).
- When fellow-body-members can actually "esteem others better than themselves"
the unity of the Spirit will be preserved. But, failure to do this will lead to
confusion, discord, schism and every sort of evil: requiring DISCIPLINE -- the
last resort of which will require the body to sever its fellowship with the offending
member (2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14; 1 Corinthians 5:1-5; Matthew 18:15-18).
- Being the only ecclesiastical tribunal the Lord has on earth (Matthew 16:19),
His church is a self-governing body and is the sole judge, under the limitations
of the Scriptures, as to its measure and methods of labor. Each congregation is
such a tribunal, where Christ Himself presides - having ratified in heaven what
is done on earth. The majority governs in each assembly, but we seek, by brotherly
discussion and prayer, mingled with love and forbearance, to secure perfect unanimity,
according to the will of God. We recognize no church officers other than pastors
- The perpetuity of our faith, doctrines, practices and ordinances has been
effected by the Holy Spirit's personally planting and preserving local congregations
of like faith and order for the past twenty centuries (Matthew 16:18; Matthew
- Our heritage is not that of a mere sectarian "name" that may be proudly traced
through the ages. Rather, it is charactrized by holy living and a "trail of blood"
willingly shed by our forefathers rather than repudiate or compromise the principles
set forth by Christ and His apostles.
- Never assuming a name for themselves, the true people of God have ever been
willing to accept the designations applied to them by their enemies. Thus, the
principles for which true Baptists stand today may be traced back to the days
of our Lord through such historical appellations as: Anabaptists, Waldenses, Albigenses,
Paulicians, Donatists, Petro-Brussians, Montanists, Novatianists and a host of
lesser known followers of Jesus -- whose love for the Lord and His word surpassed
their love for their own lives.
IX. TWO PICTORIAL-SYMBOLIC
- Within the church our Lord has set two (and only two) symbolic, pictorial
ordinances: baptism and the Lord's Supper.
- BAPTISM is the immersion of a believer in water, by the authority of a local
New Testament assembly. It declares one's death to sin (crucifixion with Christ),
and his resurrection (in Christ) to walk in a new way of life in which "Christ
is ALL" (Matthew 3:5, 6; Acts 8:26-29; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12).
- We emphatically deny that our Lord, or His apostles, ever urged ANY believer
to SEEK a so-called "baptism of the Holy Spirit" -- there being but "ONE baptism"
commanded and practiced in the New Testament order, and that WATER BAPTISM (Ephesians
4:5; John 1:33; Matthew 3:13-17).
- The LORD'S SUPPER is a COVENANT MEAL given to His covenant people to perpetually
remind them of the covenant He made with them and of His promise to return for
them. Such covenant meal involves the partaking of unleavened bread and the fruit
of the vine by a LOCAL church, looks back to the suffering and death of Christ
in our stead; it points forward to His second coming (Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians
- Requiring the exercise of discipline over the lives of those who participate
in its observance, one may scripturally participate in this ordinance ONLY in
the local church where he is a member in good standing, (1 Corinthians 5:11-13;
1 Corinthians 11:17-20; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14, 15). Such as disregard these
divinely -- appointed restrictions, governing the Lord's table, eat and drink
damnation to themselves -- not discerning the Lord's body (1 Corinthians 11:29).
- Apart from a New Testament assembly, and therefore outside of the realm of
the covenant that Jesus made with His scriptural assemblies, NO group, or individual,
has any scriptural right or authority to administer EITHER of these symbolic ordinances.
X. THE RESURRECTION
- We believe that Jesus Christ, who was born of a virgin, and suffered the
death of crucifixion as our substitute, was raised BODILY from the grave and ascended
BODILY into heaven -- being seated today at the right hand of the Father to make
intercession for us (Matthew 28:6; Acts 1:3; 1 Corinthians 15; Hebrews 7:26; 1
John 2:1, 2).
- In harmony with the testimony of faith, manifested in our observance of the
symbolic ordinances, we expect to share in the experience and glory of His resurrection
as freely as we have entered into the experience of His death, (Philippians 3:19,
20). Aware of the Father's purpose to bring "many sons unto glory,, we now enter
joyfully into His sufferings that we may rightfully anticipate a share in the
glory that is yet to come (Hebrews 2:9, 10; Romans 8:16-18).
- We recognize the promise of "a better resurrection," for such as walk
in the obedience of faith -- involving the highest quality of life in the coming
Kingdom of God. Paul desired it, but laid no claim to having "attained" the full
assurance of its possession (Hebrews 13:35; Philippines 3:8-14).
XI. THE COMING
KING AND KINGDOM
- Purposed from eternity-past, prepared "from the foundation of the world,"
and assured by covenant and promise in the Holy Scriptures, the Kingdom of God
(identical with the "Kingdom of Christ," "the Kingdom of His Dear Son,"
etc.) will soon be established on this earth. Jesus Christ (the "Son of Man"),
the One anointed by the Most High to rule with a rod of iron, will return to the
earth as King. He will overthrow and depose all usurpers, ascending to the throne
of His ancient father David, and RULE, in righteousness and glory, from Mt. Zion,
- The return of Christ will bring an end to a period of Great Tribulation which
has come through the manifestation and despotic rule of the antichrist, the man
of sin and son of perdition, (Matthew 24:29-31; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8). Coming
" in the clouds," Jesus is portrayed as riding a white war-horse -- leading a
glorified army in triumph over antichrist and a world that has gone mad in willing
subjection to his deceptive scheme (Revelation 19:11-21).
- During the first 1,000 years of Jesus' reign (sometimes referred to as "the
millennium") He will JUDGE the earth in righteousness -- wielding a "rod of iron"
and subduing all things to the perfect will of God. When Satan is loosed for "a
little season" (only to rebel and lead others in rebellion against the Lord),
He will be quickly subdued and placed forever beyond the possibility of interference
with God's glorious reign over all.
- Of His kingdom there shall be " no end. " God, in the full radiance of divine
glory, will make His dwelling among His joyful, loving and worshipping people
forevermore (Daniel 7:13, 14; Revelation 22: 3-5).
- Life with Christ, in His kingdom, will be the final abode of those who trust
Him in life and walk before Him in the obedience of faith.
- With the Psalmist, we need to realize that our "times" are in God's hands.
The few short days of our present earthly sojourn are a time of probation -- after
which comes death and the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).
- By many and varied witnesses (His creation, His Spirit, His word, His Son
and His people) God pleads with men: "PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD!" To delay for a
single moment runs the risk of being TOO LATE.
- Adequate preparation necessitates a genuine heart-repentance toward God (an
acknowledgement that one is as bad and as desperately in need of divine grace
as God's word has declared him to be), and FAITH in Jesus Christ -- both as TRUST
in His saving power, and as willing SUBMISSION to His rightful lordship over one's
life. This will include a persevering watchfulness in view of the soon and certain
return of the Lord from heaven (Acts 20:21; Luke 21:36; Hebrews 3:12-14).
- We believe in free association with other churches for fellowship and the
fulfilling of those mutual obligations imposed by the Great Commission.
- And, we believe it IMPERATIVE, in these last days of apostasy, that all who
share a common love for Christ, and the church purchased by His blood, dispense
with all envy, jealousy, malice and petty rivalries -- being knit together by
such a bond of brotherly love as is demonstrated in a mutuality of respect, Christian
courtesy, concern and love for each other as will demonstrate to the world around
us that we are DISCIPLES INDEED!!