The Bible faithfully records the epic, historical drama of God’s loving and relentless pursuit of His most favored creatures – human beings – who keep running away from Him in pride, independence, rebellion, guilt, fear, and shame. The Bible graciously reveals that God’s good, sovereign, reconciling, and ultimate purpose is fulfilled in and through the work and Person of Jesus Christ. The Bible also consistently teaches that the Christian life is both a lifestyle and a lifetime of working out our relationship to God through faith in Jesus Christ expressed in obedience to Him, God’s Spirit and Word guiding and equipping us. Historically, an essential aspect of being a Christian and a Christian church involves accepting, believing, obeying, and teaching the Bible as God’s Word written. Consequently, our statement of doctrinal faith expresses a positive case for the fundamentals of what we believe the Bible teaches, what we are committed to teaching, and how we are committed to living in our time and place.
We believe the Bible teaches that God reveals His goodness, wisdom, beauty, and power to the whole world through His work in creation, His provision and ongoing care for the world, and the witness of the human conscience.1 God has revealed Himself in various special and personal ways throughout history, and Jesus Christ is God's supreme revelation of Himself and His Word.2 Consistent with the way Jesus spoke about the Scriptures, the whole Bible – organized in thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and twenty-seven books of the New Testament – is the written Word of God, its original words having been breathed out by God the Holy Spirit without error through various human authors.3 God has preserved His written Word throughout history so that the Bible may be faithfully understood, translated, taught, believed, and practiced by all peoples, in every language, and among every nation.4 Finally, the Bible is completely true, trustworthy, relevant, and supreme in its authority, and it teaches everything we need to know to be saved by faith and to live in joyful obedience and hope as disciples of Jesus Christ.5
1 On God's revelation in creation and ongoing care: Ps. 19:1; Jer. 10:12-13; Acts 14:17; Rom. 1:18-20. On God's revelation witnessed in human conscience: Matt. 5:46-47; Rom. 1:18-25 and 2:14-15.
2 For examples of God's special revelation throughout history, see: Gen. 2:16-17, 3:8-19, and 12:1-3; Josh. 1:8; Ps. 19:7-11 and 119:105 and 130; Isa. 8:20; Heb. 1:1-2. On the supremacy of God's revelation in Jesus Christ: Mark 12:6; Luke 24:44-47; John 1:14-18 and 5:39; Col. 1:15-20; Heb. 1:1-4.
3 On Jesus's view of Scripture: Matt. 5:17-18, 21:42, and 26:54; Luke 4:21 and 24:27; John 2:22, 5:39, and 10:35. On Scripture's origin: 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20-21. On the New Testament writings regarded as Scripture: John 16:13; Col. 4:16; 1 Thess. 5:27; 1 Tim. 4:13 and 5:18; 2 Pet. 3:2 and 16.
4 On God’s preservation of Scripture as affirmed in the New Testament by both Jesus and the Apostle Paul: Matt. 24:35; Rom. 15:4 and 16:26; 1 Cor. 10:11.
5 On the attributes of Scripture: Deut. 17:19 and 32:47; Ps. 19:7-11; Matt. 5:17-18 and 15:3; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Pet. 1:3 and 16-21.
We believe the Bible teaches that there is only one true and living God.1 God exists eternally in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.2 All three persons of this Holy Trinity are of one essence; uncreated; eternal; and equal in honor, power, and glory as God.3 God is self-sufficient and self-sustaining in His being, not in any way dependent upon His creation, and yet He governs and sustains all things according to His will.4 God is holy, perfect, and infinite in all of His attributes, including His sovereign goodness, power, knowledge, wisdom, faithfulness, righteousness, justice, mercy, compassion, and love.5
1 On there being only one true and living God: Gen. 1 (‘Elohim’ = “God”; plural noun and first person pronouns “Us” and “Our” with singular verb and third person pronouns “He,” “Him,” and “His”) and Gen. 2 (‘Yahweh Elohim’ = “Lord God”); Ex. 3, esp. vv. 5-6 and 13-15 (‘Yahweh’ = “Lord,” or “I Am that I Am,” or “Self-Existing One,” or “Living One”); Deut. 6:4; Isa. 45:21-22; Jer. 10:10; 1 Tim. 2:5.
2 On the three persons of the Godhead: Matt. 3:16-17 and 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Gal. 4:6; 1 Pet. 1:2. Our affirmation of the Trinity – "One God, Three Persons" – stands in full agreement with the historical-orthodox Christian Nicene and Athanasian creeds. As the Athanasian Creed says: "We worship One God in Trinity and the Trinity in unity, neither blending their persons nor dividing their essence."
3 On the equality of the three persons of the Godhead: Matt. 28:17-20; John 1:1-3, 5:23, 8:58, 14:16; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 1:3, 3:17; Phil. 2:9-10; Col. 1:15-17; Heb. 1:2-3 and 8-12; Rev. 5:13. As the Nicene Creed affirms, the Son is "of the same essence as the Father." As the Athanasian Creed says: "What quality the Father has, the Son has, and the Holy Spirit has ... And yet, there are not three eternal beings; there is but One Eternal Being. So too, there are not three uncreated or immeasurable beings; there is but One uncreated and immeasurable Being."
4 On God being sovereign, not dependent: Deut. 29:29; Ps. 115:3; Prov. 21:1; Isa. 40:9-18, 21-26, and 28; Matt. 10:29; Acts 17:24-27; Rom. 11:33-36; Eph. 1:11; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:3.
5 On the attributes of God: Ex. 34:6-7; Deut. 32:4; 1 Kings 8:27; Job 11:7-9; Ps. 90:1-2, 139:7-10, and 145:3; Isa. 6:3, 40:28, and 57:15; Jer. 23:23-24 and 32:17; Mal. 3:6; Matt. 19:26; Luke 1:37; Eph. 3:8 and 20-21; Rom. 11:33; James 1:13 and 17; 1 John 1:5.
We believe the Bible teaches that God purposely created and personally sustains everything that exists – visible and invisible, animate and inanimate, material and spiritual – by the power of His Word.1 God created everything good, whole, mature, and without the presence of sin.2 Sinfulness, evil, and death came into the world through the willful choices of God’s creatures.3 Some angels, God’s specially created servants, including and led by Satan, became rebellious against God and malign toward the rest of His creation.4 Satan deceived and deceives humanity into sin.5 God subjected all creation to frustration, disorder, and death because of humanity's sin.6 Yet, God continues to rule and reign over all things, and He uses the frustration and disorder of this world to serve His good and holy purposes.7 God is making a new creation through the work of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.8 Ultimately, God will set all creation free from these conditions of frustration, disorder, and death, as He completes His redeeming work through the rule and reign of our Lord Jesus Christ who rose again as the first-fruits of God’s new creation – the new heavens and new earth – in which righteousness will dwell forever.9
1 Gen. 1:1 and 2:1 and 4; Ps. 104:14-15; Isa. 40:26; John 1:2; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2-3.
2 Gen. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31, and 2:1-3 and 25.
3 Gen. 3:1-7; Rom. 5:12-14.
4 Gen. 3:1-5; Isa. 14:12-14; Ezek. 28:11-19; Matt. 4:1-11 and 13:37-39; Luke 8:12; Eph. 4:27 and 6:11-12; 1 Tim. 3:6-7; 2 Tim. 2:26; James 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:8-9; 1 John 3:8; Rev. 12:7-12.
5 Gen. 3:4-5; John 8:44; 2 Cor. 11:3.
6 Gen. 3:14-19; Rom. 5:12-14 and 8:20.
7 Ex. 4:11; Isa. 45:7; Amos 3:6; Rom. 8:20-21 and 11:36; Eph. 1:11.
8 Isa. 43:25; Micah 7:18-20; Matt. 26:26-29; 2 Cor. 5:17-21; Heb. 7:27; 1 John 2:2; Rev. 5:9-10.
9 Isa. 65:17-25 and 66:22-23; Acts 3:18-21; Rom. 8:21; 1 Cor. 15:19-23; 2 Cor. 5:17; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1-4.
We believe the Bible teaches that God created humanity in His image and likeness, male and female, to represent Him on the earth.1 God has special regard for all human beings from the moment of conception onward, and He is pleased to promote the flourishing of human life and community.2 God created all human beings to love Him with our whole being, to love one another as we love ourselves, and to serve as the good and faithful stewards of His creation.3 God created man and woman for each other, yet neither man nor woman completes the other; whether single or married, only God in Christ Jesus completes us.4
But from the beginning, God intended that marriage should be a holy, blessed, lifelong, and exclusive union between one man and one woman, and that such marriage should be the exclusive context for human sexual activity.5 God intends for His people to live together with a holy regard for God, each other, marriage, and families.6 In so doing, we reflect in our relationships in some real and representative way the glory of the relationship between Jesus Christ and His Church, as well as establish and nurture a secure and wholesome environment for all with whom we come into contact.7
1 Gen. 1:26-27 and 5:1; James 3:9-10.
2 On God’s special regard for human life from conception onward: Ps. 22:9-10 and 139:13; Luke 1:15 and 41. On God’s pleasure to promote the flourishing of human life and community: Ps. 72:7 and 92:12-13; Prov. 11:28 and 14:11; Hos. 14:4-7.
3 On God's design and purpose for humanity: Gen. 1:26-28 and 2:15; Matt. 5:48 and 22:37-40; Luke 6:27-36; John 13:34-35 and 15:9-14; 1 Pet. 4:10.
4 On men and women being completed in Christ alone, not by marriage: 1 Cor. 7:7-8; Col. 2:9-10.
5 On God's design for marriage and sexuality: Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:3-9; Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Eph. 5:3-5; 1 Thess. 4:2-6.
6 On a holy regard for God, each other, marriage, and families: Gen. 2:15-25; Rom. 7:1-3; 1 Cor. 7:10-16; Eph. 5:21-33; Heb. 13:4.
7 On God's intention for holy relationships, marriages, and families: Eph. 5:21-6:4; Col. 3:18-21; 1 Pet. 3:1-7.
We believe the Bible teaches that every desire, thought, word, and action contrary to God's will is sin, and that all sin is displeasing to God, harmful to ourselves and others, and a corrupting influence on creation and culture.1 The essence and root of sin is our failure to love, obey, and trust God as He is worthy to be loved, obeyed, and trusted.2 The human race sinned collectively against God when our first parents, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God's commandment.3 Consequently, all people of the human race, except Jesus Christ, both inherit a nature separated from the life of God and earn an unrighteous standing before Him.4 Thus, apart from union with Christ, all people are spiritually dead, enslaved to sin and self, and prone to the devil’s deception and influence.5 No one but Jesus Christ is inherently deserving of eternal life or able to enter God's kingdom except by God's grace.6
1 On sin involving desires, thoughts, words, and actions: Gen. 6:5; Matt. 9:4, 12:36, and 15:19; Mark 7:20-23; Acts 8:22; Rom. 1:21-23 and 2:16; 2 Cor. 10:4-5; Heb. 4:12-13; 1 John 3:4. On sin as displeasing to God, harmful to ourselves and others, and corrupting to creation: Gen. 3:17 and 6:6; Ps. 7:11; Prov. 13:15; Rom. 1:18-32.
2 Ex. 20:2-3; 2 Chron. 12:14; Ps. 10:4; Matt. 22:37-38; Rom. 14:23.
3 Gen. 3:1-7; Rom. 5:12-14 and 19.
4 Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 3:10-20.
5 On an unrighteous standing before God: Rom. 3:10-23 and 5:15. On a corrupted nature: Rom. 5:12-14; Eph. 2:1-3 and 4:18.
6 Matt. 19:25-26; Luke 17:10; John 3:3-6, 6:44, and 14:6; Acts 11:18; Rom. 8:5-8; 1 Cor. 2:14; 2 Tim. 2:25.