Confession of Faith

Our Confession of Faith is a summary of beliefs essential to membership in this body and faithfulness to our Lord. It expresses the cornerstone truths of our church, uniting us in Christ and guarding us from error.

I. The Bible
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were authored by God and, through divine inspiration, were written by men. Completely free from error, the Bible is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction and reveals the principles by which God will judge us. It includes within it the only way of salvation. It will remain to the end of the world the supreme standard and final authority by which all matters of life and doctrine should be tested. (Ps 19:7; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pet 1:20-21)

II. The True God
There is only one living and true God. He is the eternal, infinite Creator and supreme Ruler of heaven and earth. He is merciful, just, and loving and governs all things according to His sovereign will and for His glory. He is inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and is worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love. (Deut 6:4; Ps 145:3; John 1:3; 1 Cor 8:4-6; 1 Tim 1:17)

III. The Trinity
God eternally exists in three distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each is fully God and equal in every divine perfection—without division of nature, essence, or being—and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. (Deut 6:4; John 1:1-3; Matt 3:16-17; 28:19; 2 Cor 13:14)

IV. Providence
God from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and all events; yet so as not in any wise to be the author or approver of sin nor to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures. (Prov 16:33; Isa 46:9-11; Col 1:17; Heb 1:3; Jas 1:13-15; 1 John 1:5)

V. Election
Election is God’s eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life—not because of foreseen merit or foreseen faith in them, but because of His sovereign good pleasure and mere mercy in Christ—in consequence of which choice the elect are called, justified, and glorified. This is perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, and is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable. It utterly excludes boasting and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of His free mercy. It is the foundation of Christian assurance. (Rom 8:28-30; 9:15-18; 1 Cor 1:27-29; Eph 1:4, 11; 1 Peter 1:1-5)

VI. The Fall of Man
God created humanity in His own image, and free from sin. But, through the temptation of Satan, Adam willingly transgressed God’s command and fell from his original holy and happy state. Now, all mankind are sinners, having inherited from Adam a nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law. As a result, all humans are under just condemnation to eternal punishment; and as soon as they are capable of moral action, they transgress, becoming in practice who they are by nature. (Gen 1:26-27; 3:1-7; 
Rom 5:12-19; Eph 2:1-3)

VII. The Mediator
Sinners are saved wholly by the grace of God through the work of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. Jesus is fully God and fully man, and is the divinely appointed mediator between God and man. Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the law; suffered and died upon the cross to make full atonement for our sins. He was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended to His Father, at whose right hand He ever lives to make intercession for His people. He will return again visibly and bodily. As the only Mediator; the Prophet, Priest, and King of the Church; and Sovereign of the Universe, Jesus is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior. (Isa 53:10-12; John 1:1, 14; 
Acts 1:9-11; Rom 3:21-26; 8:34; 1 Cor 15:3-4; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:13; 1 Tim 2:5; Heb 1:1-3)

VIII. The Holy Spirit
God the Holy Spirit brings glory to the Father and the Son. He applies the work of Christ to believers and distributes spiritual gifts to every believer according to His sovereign good pleasure, for the purpose of building up the body of Christ. He is the Comforter, the Spirit of Adoption, the Seal of our Salvation and the Guarantor of our inheritance in Christ. (John 14:16-17; 16:13-14; Acts 5:3-4; Rom 8:14-17; 1 Cor 12:7-11; 14:26; Eph 1:13-14)

IX. The Freeness of Salvation
The gospel is sufficiently powerful to save the greatest sinner on earth, and it offers the blessings of salvation to all. It is the immediate duty of all to accept the gospel by a penitent and obedient faith. Each person who rejects God’s free offer of salvation does so voluntarily, consistent with his own depravity, and that rejection results in aggravated condemnation. (Matt 11:20-24; Mark 1:15; Luke 19:10; John 3:16-21; 
Acts 17:30; Rom 1:16; 3:21-26; Heb 12:25-29; Rev 22:17)

X. Regeneration
Sinners must be regenerated, or born again, in order to be saved. Regeneration is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who gives life to those dead in trespasses and sins, enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature, to secure their voluntary obedience to the gospel. It is a work of God’s free and special grace alone, not man’s free will. Its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith, and newness of life. 
(John 1:12-13; 3:3-8; Eph 2:1-10; Tit 3:5; 1 John 5:1)

XI. Repentance and Faith
Repentance and faith are both sacred duties and saving graces, brought about in our souls by the Holy Spirit in regeneration, whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with sincere remorse, confession, and supplication for mercy. In the same moment we heartily receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and rely on Him alone as the only and all-sufficient Savior. Saving faith is accompanied by all other saving graces and leads to a life of holiness. (Acts 2:37-38; Rom 4:1-5, 17-25; 10:14, 17; 
2 Cor 7:10-11; Phil 1:29; Eph 2:8; Jas 2:14-26; 2 Peter 1:3-11)

XII. Justification
Justification is the blessing in which those who believe in Christ are declared righteous. It includes the pardon of sin and the promise of eternal life on the basis of Christ’s righteousness. It is given freely by God, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the obedience and satisfaction of Christ. This brings us into peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needed for time and eternity. (Acts 13:38-39; Rom 3:21-26; 8:30, 33; 10:3-4; 2 Cor 5:21; Phil 3:9)

XIII. Sanctification
Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of His holiness. It is a progressive work that is begun in regeneration and is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of spiritual disciplines, including reading and hearing the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer. Through the supply of Divine strength, all saints pursue a heavenly life in cordial obedience to all Christ’s commands. (Jer 31:31-34; Ezek 36:22-27; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Cor 6:11; Gal 5:13-24; 1 Thess 4:1-8; 2 Pet 1:3-11)

XIV. Perseverance of the Saints
All those whom God has regenerated will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end. Their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark that distinguishes them from superficial professors. Though they may fall, through neglect and temptation, into sin, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the church, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again unto repentance, and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. (John 6:37-40; 10:28-29; Rom 8:28-39; 1 Cor 1:8-9; Phil 1:6; Heb 3:12-14; 1 John 3:4-10)

XV. The Church
The invisible church is the communion of God’s people drawn from every tribe, language, people, and nation throughout all the ages. According to Christ’s commandment, the church is made visible in local congregations of baptized believers, which are marked by the right preaching of God’s Word and right administration of His ordinances. The Lord Jesus is the head of the church, and in Him is invested supremely all power for its government. He governs the church by His word, which teaches that the church’s officers are Elders (Pastors) and Deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined most clearly in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus. The mission of the church is to be a corporate display of God’s glory to the world through testifying to the gospel and making disciples. (Matt 16:13-19; 18:15-20; 28:18-20; John 10:16; Acts 2:37-42; 20:28; 2 Cor 5:17-20; Eph 1:22; 5:23; 1 Tim 3:1-13; 5:17-18; Tit 1:5-9; Rev 5:9)

XVI. Baptism
Christian baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; to show forth our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior. It symbolizes our death to sin and resurrection to a new life, and it is prerequisite to church membership and to participation in the Lord’s Supper. (Matt 28:19; Acts 2:38; Rom 6:3-5; 1 Cor 12:13; Gal 3:27; Col 2:11-13)

XVII. The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and the fruit of the vine, and to be observed by His churches till the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate His death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge, and renewal of their communion with Him, and of their church membership. (Luke 22:14-20; 
1 Cor 10:16-17; 11:23-34)

XVIII. The Lord’s Day
The Lord’s Day is to be observed regularly, with exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. (Acts 2:42-47; 20:7; 1 Cor 16:1-2; Eph 6:18; Col 3:16; 
1 Tim 4:13; Heb 10:23-25; Rev 1:10)

XIX. Humanity, Marriage, and Family
From conception through natural death, all human life is sacred. God wonderfully and immutably creates each person in His image, as male or female. Ordained by God as the foundational institution of society, family is made by those related either by blood, adoption, or marriage. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, and in covenant commitment for a lifetime. Sexual intimacy is given by God to be enjoyed only in marriage. Both husband and wife are equally valued by God and have distinct roles from God: the husband to gently lead and sacrificially love his wife as Christ loved the church, and the wife to graciously submit to her husband as the church willingly submits to Christ. Parents are to patiently lead their children in the ways of Christ by intentional instruction, gracious discipline, and consistent example based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents for the glory of God and their ultimate good. (Gen 1:26-28; 2:15-3:20; Exod 20:12; Deut 6:4-9; Ps 127:3-5; 139:13-16; Prov 13:24; 22:6; 29:17; Matt 15:18-20; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Rom 1:18-32; 
1 Cor 6:9-10, 18; 7:1-16; Eph 5:22-33; 6:1-4; Col 3:18-21; Heb 13:4; 1 Pet 3:1-7)

XX. Liberty of Conscience
God alone is Lord of the conscience; and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men that are in any way contrary to or not contained in His Word. Civil magistrates are divinely appointed for the interests and good order of human society. Officials are to be prayed for and conscientiously honored. They are to be obeyed—not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake—except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Prince of the kings of the earth. (Matt 15:9; Rom 13:1-7; 14:4; Acts 5:29; Col 2:20-23; 1 Tim 2:1-2)

XXI. The Resurrection
The bodies of men after death return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God—the righteous to rest with Him, and the wicked to be reserved under darkness until judgment. The bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised. (John 5:28-29; 1 Cor 15:12-28; 2 Cor 5:1-10; Phil 1:23; Rev 20:13-15)

XXII. The Judgment
God has appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when every one shall receive according to his deeds. The wicked shall go into everlasting and conscious punishment, and the righteous will go into everlasting life. (Matt 25:46; 
John 5:22, 27-29; Acts 17:31; Rom 2:6-11; 2 Cor 5:10; 2 Thess 1:7-10; 2 Tim 4:8; Rev 7:13-17; 14:9-11)