About the Bible:
We believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God. We believe that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine (teachings), for reproof (rebuke), for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man (and people) of God may be thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. Certain distinctions must be made while reading the Bible in order to avoid misunderstanding and improper application. Bible truths are found when we keep our personal agendas, ideas and pre-conceived notions out of the equation.
We believe that Jesus was God manifested in the flesh. God revealed himself in 3 different offices (ways). He is the Father in His creative work, Son in His redemptive work, and the Holy Spirit in the Church today! Jesus is the eternal God, existing even prior to taking on bodily form by way of a virgin birth (John 1:14, Luke 10:18, 1 Tim 3:16, Matt 1:21). We believe that Jesus Christ embodies the FULLNESS of God (Colossians 2:9). The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all one (John 10:30, John 14:7-11, 26). God relegated all rule, glory and honor to Himself in the office of His Sonship (John 5:22, 23, 27). Jesus’ blood was shed to remove our sins (Heb 9:22) and He was able to identify with the struggles of mankind (Heb 4:15), giving Him the authority to execute righteous judgment and govern the church in love until His glorious return (Matt 28:18).
Salvation = saved or rescued from the penalty and power of sin by putting your faith in Jesus Christ and his finished work on Calvary (death, burial & resurrection).
We believe that mankind originally had an upright standing with God, being formed in His own image (Gen 1:27,31,Ecl 7:29). Man (Adam & Eve) took advantage of his free-will within the Garden of Eden, even to the point of disobedience to God by eating of that which was forbidden (Gen 3:6). From then on, a sinful nature corrupted man and reigned within their hearts and minds. God had warned man that eating of the forbidden fruit would bring forth death (Gen 2:17). Sin breeds both spiritual and physical death (1 Cor 15:56, James 1:15). The law, which was given to Moses by God was perfect in essence but it only showed man his inadequacies and inability to live up to the righteous demands of God on his own, therefore bringing about condemnation. This system of laws and sacrificial offerings proved to be futile and unable to give atonement for sin that could permanently satisfy God’s yearning to re-establish fellowship with man. In turn, God took on the form of flesh in order to become that perfect sacrifice to remove the penalty and power of sin on man (1Tim 3:16, Phil 2:7-8). We’re saved by truly believing that Jesus Christ went to the cross and died for our sins (John 3:16-18, Ephesians 2:8, 1 John 5:11-13). Having faith in His finished work at Calvary is the only thing that brings about salvation, not our works or the things we do (Eph 2:9, Galatians 2:16). We do works because we are saved, not to be saved. True faith will bring about works/outward evidence or else it is a dead faith (James 2:17, Eph 2:10). The Holy Spirit comes into our hearts at the time of conversion (Gal 4:3-6). Among many other reasons, the Holy Spirit is given to believers as a seal of authenticity and as a promise that Jesus Christ is coming back for those that are His (Eph 1:13-14). The revelation of salvation was given to us by the Apostle Paul; this was known as “justification (righteousness) by faith” but was also endorsed by Peter (Acts 15:9,11). Other scriptures on salvation can be found (Titus 2:11, Romans 4:14, Galatians 3:26, 1Cor 1:21).
The Greek word for repent is (metanoeo) met-an-o-eh-o, to think differently; turn away from, or reconsider (morally).
Repentance should always precede baptism. Simply going down into water will not change an individual’s mind-set or heart. We believe baptism is an outward expression of the supernatural change that has happened within the heart of a man or woman at the time of conversion or salvation. The individual has had a change of heart that leads him or her to repentance and to the decision to be baptized. Baptism is the way that the believer symbolically identifies with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-5, Galatians 2:20, Philippians 3:10). The individual has made the conscious choice to die out to self (death), be completely submersed in water (burial), and come up from out of the water as a new individual in Christ (resurrection). Sanctification is a process that starts AFTER conversion. Our decisions and outlook on life will change for the better as we nurture our walk with Christ (2 Cor 5:17). Jesus Christ was baptized to “fulfill all righteousness”, giving us an example and pattern as to what we should do after conversion. Jesus instructed his disciples to baptize new converts (Matt 28:19). We believe that this public proclamation of our faith should be done in Jesus name (Luke 24:47, Colossians 3:17, Acts 2:38, Matt 28:19, Acts 4:12). It’s not the ceremony of baptism that saves or cleanses us but rather what the act represents or points to, an individual’s good conscience toward God because of a changed heart through their faith in Christ (1 Pet 3:21).
About The Gifts of the Spirit:
Concerning the spiritual gifts, in 1 Corinthians chapters 12, 13 & 14, the apostle Paul explains the diversities by the Spirit, the administration under the same Lord, and the operations by the same God. In 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, Paul explains that all the gifts are given by God to “profit” the body and that one gift isn’t better than the other. He uses the comparison of spiritual body of Christ to our natural body in 1 Cor 12:15-17 to convey the message that we all have different roles and functions within the body of Christ. There are nine Gifts: word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, divers kinds of tongues, and interpretation of tongues. Paul never excludes any of the gifts. He does however conclude that if the gift isn’t motivated by love than the gift is void or useless (1Cor 13:1-3).
Why regular church attendance is vital:
God is all-knowing! He knows that fellowship and direction is vital to our growth as Christians. That’s why the Apostle Paul instructed us to “forsake not the assembling of ourselves together as some do, especially as that Day approaches (Heb. 10:25). Not to mention the fact that God ordained pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the saints & the work of the ministry to build us up. Church is where you will receive that leadership and instruction (Eph. 4:11, 12). Scripture also tells us that “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend (Prov 27:17). This points to the fact that coming together with other believers is uplifting to our spirit! The word of God (bible teaching) is our spiritual food. We would never starve ourselves naturally so why should we do this spiritually? You become mal-nourished when you don’t have a steady diet of spiritual food in your life.