“The SCRIPTURES OF GOD ARE MY ONLY FOUNDATION AND SUBSTANCE IN ALL MATTERS OF WEIGHT AND IMPORTANCE.”
- JOHN KNOX
THE TRIUNE GOD
There is one God: infinite, eternal, almighty, and perfect in holiness, truth, and love. In the unity of the godhead there are three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, co-existent, co-equal, co-eternal.
GOD, THE SON (JESUS CHRIST)
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was the eternal Word made flesh, supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. He was perfect in nature, teaching and obedience. He is fully God and fully man.
GOD, THE FATHER
God the Father is the Creator of heaven and earth. By his word and for his glory, he freely and supernaturally created the world from nothing. Through the same Word he daily sustains all his creatures. He rules over all and is the only Sovereign. His plans and purposes cannot be thwarted.
GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is fully God, equal with the Father and Son, whose primary ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. Through the proclamation of the gospel, He draws men to repentance of their sins and confession of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth, and dwells within the regenerate.
We accept the Bible (39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament) as the very words of God. The Bible is the only essential and infallible record of God’s self-disclosure. It leads us to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Because the Scriptures have been given by God, they are perfectly inspired (breathed out) by Him.
God made man – male and female – in his own image, as the crown of creation, that man might have fellowship with him. Tempted by Satan, man rebelled against God. Estranged from his Maker yet responsible to him, man became subject to divine wrath, inwardly depraved and, apart from a special work of grace, utterly incapable of returning to God.
The Truth about God’s redeeming work through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is The Gospel - The Good News. This Good News begins for us with the bad news that, as sinners by nature, we are incapable of living according to God’s moral standard of holiness - perfect obedience from the heart. This means that we are condemned already, deserving of His just wrath on us, because of our sinfulness. However, God made a gracious concession by reconciling us to Himself through faith in Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. The believer is then forgiven of sin that separates from God and sealed with the Holy Spirit for eternal life with God.
REPENTANCE - MAN’S RESPONSE TO THE GOSPEL
Man’s response to the gospel is rooted and grounded in the free and unconditional election of God for His own pleasure and glory. It is also true that the message of the gospel is only effectual to those who genuinely repent of (turn from) their sins and, by God’s grace, put saving faith in Christ.
SALVATION - MAN’S INHERITANCE IN THE GOSPEL
Salvation, the free gift of God, is provided by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. Anyone turning from sin in repentance and looking to Christ and his substitutionary death receives eternal life and is declared righteous by God as a free gift. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to him. He is justified and fully accepted by God.
SANCTIFICATION - MAN’S TRANSFORMATION BY THE GOSPEL
The Holy Spirit is the active agent in our sanctification and seeks to produce his fruit in us as our minds are renewed and we are conformed to the image of Christ. Though indwelling sin remains a reality, through the power of the Spirit, we grow in the knowledge of, love for and obedience to the Lord.
The Church universal (Capital C) is made up of genuine followers of Jesus Christ across space and time, who have personally applied the truth of the Gospel. In this case, to be in Christ by faith means to be part of the Church, the body of Christ.
All members of the universal Church are to be a vital and committed part of a local church. In this context, they are called to glorify God by demonstrating the reality of the kingdom of God on earth and making disciples.
ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH
Water baptism is only intended for the individual who has received the saving benefits of Christ’s atoning work and has become his disciple. Therefore, in obedience to Christ’s command, a believer should be immersed in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Lord’s Supper symbolizes the breaking of Christ’s body and the shedding of His blood on our behalf, and is to be observed repeatedly throughout the Christian life as a sign of continued participation in the atoning benefits of Christ’s death. This ordinance is to be observed regularly, and only by those who have put their trust in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins.
THE END OF ALL THINGS
The end (or consummation) of all things includes the visible, personal and glorious return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead and the translation of those alive in Christ, the judgment of the just and the unjust, and the fulfillment of Christ’s kingdom in the new heavens and the new earth.