The Triune God: There is one God who eternally exists in three distinct persons — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — who are each fully and equally God, equal in power, glory, and honor without division of essence.
God the Father: God the Father is the Maker of heaven and earth. He created the universe out of nothing, and He sustains all that He has created, giving life and breath and everything to all of mankind. We exist for His glory, and He alone is the source of everlasting joy. Together with the Son and the Holy Spirit, He is the only Sovereign Being in the universe. To the praise of His glorious grace, He gave His Son in order that we might be redeemed and that He might ultimately reveal His love and demonstrate His righteousness. He is eternally, infinitely, and perfectly God.
Jesus Christ: The second person of the Trinity, Jesus is eternal God. All things were and are created by Him, through Him, and for Him. Not only are all things created by Him. All things are sustained by Him. He is the incarnate Word of God who, without ceasing to be God, became flesh and dwelt among man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. He is both fully God and fully man, the God-man. He came on a mission to save sinners. He lived a sinless life, the life we couldn’t live. He died in accordance with the Scriptures as our substitute sin-bearer. In this, He revealed God’s love and preserved God’s justice. He was buried, rose bodily on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures and sits at the right hand of God the Father, ruling and reigning as our triumphant, exalted King and interceding to God the Father on our behalf as our perfect High Priest and Advocate until He returns.
The Holy Spirit: The third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is indeed a person, not merely a power. Ascribed to Him are intelligence, a will, and affections. The Holy Spirit is eternal God. He was actively involved in the creation of the world. He qualifies men for various creative tasks, giving them knowledge and ability. Of greater importance is His work in redemption. He prepared a body for Jesus, enabling Jesus to become a sacrifice for sin. He anointed Jesus at his baptism, preparing Jesus for the work of ministry. He inspired the Scriptures, without which we would have no special revelation of God. He began building and continues to build the Church. He convicts the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment. By Him, men are justified, sanctified, and made clean. He baptizes all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling them, sealing them for the day of redemption, and guiding them into all truth as He points them to the glory of Christ.
The Scriptures: All Scripture is breathed out by God. As a result of its divine authorship, the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the verbally inspired word of God, inerrant in the original manuscripts. Scripture is the highest and final authority by which all other authorities, including tradition, reason, culture and personal experience must be tested. Both the Old and the New Testaments reveal to us the hero of human history, Jesus Christ. The Scriptures are sufficient in providing all that we need for faith and obedience.
Human Beings: God created human beings, male and female, in His own image. Adam and Eve belonged to the created order that God himself declared to be very good, serving as God’s agents to care for, manage and govern creation, living in holy and devoted fellowship with their Maker. Men and women, equally made in the image of God, enjoy equal access to God by faith in Christ Jesus and are both called to move beyond passive self-indulgence to significant private and public engagement in family, church and civic life. Adam and Eve were made to complement each other in a one-flesh union that establishes the only normative pattern of sexual relations for men and women, such that marriage ultimately serves as a type of the union between Christ and His church. In God’s wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable, but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways.
Sin: Rooted in the deception of Satan and the desire to be like God, our first parents, Adam and Eve, sinned against God. As a result of Adam’s sin, the rest of humanity is born into an inherited sinful state or condition. Simply put, we are all sinners by nature and choice. Although we remain God’s image-bearers, that image is fractured and in need of restoration. Apart from God’s gracious intervention, human beings are corrupted in every aspect of their being (e.g., physically, mentally, volitionally, emotionally, spiritually), enslaved to sin, spiritually dead, guilty before God, condemned finally and irrevocably to death, and unable to remedy our lost condition and restore ourselves to God.
The Gospel: The gospel is the good news that while we were dead in our sin and unable to save ourselves, Jesus Christ died for us, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, enabling us to enjoy making much of Him forever. Our salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone. To be justified by grace alone means that we do absolutely nothing to merit our own acquittal. To be justified by faith alone means that we believe and trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone as our means of justification. Jesus took our sin upon himself, and, in return, gifts us His perfect, obedient righteousness. With the heart one believes and is justified. To the one who trusts in Jesus Christ alone, his faith is counted as righteousness. This gospel is also the foundation for our confidence in the ultimate triumph of God’s kingdom, and the consummation of His purpose for all creation in the new heaven and new earth. This gospel is centered in Christ, is the foundation for the life of the Church, and is our only hope for eternal life; this gospel is not proclaimed if Christ’s penal substitutionary death and bodily resurrection are not central to our message.
Sanctification: To be sanctified is to be set apart, to be made holy. God is the one who sanctifies His people. We are sanctified through the blood of Jesus Christ by the power and work of the Holy Spirit as we put to death the deeds of the body. Sanctification is a lifelong process that occurs as we are continually and progressively transformed into the image of Jesus Christ by the truth of the Word of God. The gospel is not only the means by which people are saved, but also the truth and power by which people are sanctified; it is the truth of the gospel that enables us to genuinely and joyfully do what is pleasing to God and to grow in progressive conformity to the image of Christ.
The Church: The Church universal, referenced in the Scriptures as the body and bride of Christ, is composed of the true disciples of Jesus, regenerated believers who confess Jesus as Lord. Jesus alone is the head of the Church. We believe that all members of the Church universal are to be vitally committed to a particular local church. In formally committing ourselves to a particular group of people who exist for the person and work of Jesus, we humble ourselves in submission to spiritual authority, open ourselves up to real accountability, and seek to walk hand in hand with others on a common mission to engage the culture with the gospel. It is in the context of a particular local church that believers are to submit themselves to biblically qualified leadership, to gather regularly for the proclamation of God’s Word and corporate worship, to observe the sacraments of baptism and communion, to practice church discipline and to engage the culture with the gospel as servants on mission.
The Sacraments: Water baptism is an outward act, which symbolizes an inward regeneration through repentance and faith in the person and work of Jesus. Water baptism symbolizes our death, burial and resurrection with Jesus, as well as purification and cleansing from sins. Baptism is not a requirement for salvation. However, it is an act of obedience to Jesus. Therefore, all who come to repentance and faith in the person and work of Jesus should be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Communion, also known as the Lord’s Supper, in an outward act, which reminds us of the broken body and shed blood of Jesus, on account of which we have forgiveness of sins and the promises of redemption. For this reason, communion is an act in which Christians alone are to participate. Communion is in no sense a sacrifice, but rather a proclamation of Jesus’ death until he returns.
Ministry and Spiritual Gifts: In His sovereignty, God bestows upon believers spiritual gifts. More specifically, God gives the church leaders whose role is to equip the saints for the work of ministry, leading to the church’s growth and maturity in love. Particular gifts do not in any way indicate the depth of one’s spiritual maturity. Rather, God gives different gifts to different people for the common good of edifying the church and ministering to the world. The diversity of gifts is meant to lead to the unity of believers and the successful spreading of the gospel. Every believer has the privilege and responsibility of using his/her gifts to serve one another in love to the glory of God.
The Last Things: We believe in the personal, glorious, and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ with his holy angels, when he will exercise his role as final Judge, and his kingdom will be consummated. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the just and the unjust — the unjust to judgment and eternal conscious punishment in hell, as our Lord himself taught, and the just to eternal blessedness in the presence of him who sits on the throne and of the Lamb, in the new heaven and the new earth, the home of righteousness. On that day the church will be presented faultless before God by the obedience, suffering and triumph of Christ, all sin purged and its wretched effects forever banished. God will be all in all and his people will be enthralled by the immediacy of his ineffable holiness, and everything will be to the praise of his glorious grace.