These principles are a framework to help unify us under the direction of Jesus. We avoid taking positions in non-essential issues which often divide His followers.
We believe that:
1. THE BIBLE IS GOD’S WORD TO MANKIND. It was inspired by Him in the original writings & is the final authority in faith/practice. It is meant to be read & understood by all people. Proper interpretation is able to provide contemporary expressions of timeless principles. (Mk. 12:36; Jn. 14:26; 16:12-15; Ac. 1:16; 1 Cor. 2:12-13; 2 Tim. 3:14-16; 2 Pet 1:20-21; Is. 40:8; Mt. 5:18; 24:35; Rom. 15:4; Heb. 4:12).
2. THERE IS ONE GOD. God is revealed in scripture as Father (Yahweh, Jehovah), Son (Jesus Christ), & Holy Spirit. (Matthew 5: 16, 45; 6:1, 4, 8, 9; James 1:17; John 1:1; 14:9; Gen. 1:2; John 4:24; 14:16-20; 2 Pet. 1:21).
3. THE FATHER is the Almighty, the Creator & Sustainer of all things visible and invisible. (Genesis 1:1; Acts 17:24-28; Hebrews 11:3).
4. JESUS CHRIST was born both fully human and fully divine, conceived of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, suffered & was crucified, died & was buried, bodily rose from death, ascended to Heaven & now sits at the right hand of the Father, and will return to earth to judge both the living & the dead. John 1:14; 1 John 4:9; John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:18; Matt. 21:11; John 19:19; John 1:14; Rom. 5:15-17; Col. 2:9; 1 Jn. 1:1; Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:26-38; Lk. 23:1-46; Luke 23:44, 24:8; Jn. 20:24-29; 1 Cor. 15:3-8; Lk. 22:69; Ac. 1:1-9; Col. 3:1; Matt. 24:36-42; Jn. 14:1-3; Ac. 1: 10-11; 10:39-42;1 Pet. 4:5).
5. THE HOLY SPIRIT is the personal and active part of the triune God; who indwells, convicts, encourages, gifts, and motivates every follower of Jesus (Jn.3:8,16:5-15; Acts 1:7-8; Ro. 8:26-27; 1 Cor.3:16; 6:19; 2 Ti.1:14).
6. ALL RELIGIONS spring from a common root, but do not lead to the same God. All people were created by God for understanding of the universe & relationship with Him, thus people from every culture & time have responded with countless & varied attempts for connecting with the Divine. God chose to reveal Himself to mankind through a series of miraculous historical events & relationships that span the ages. This verifiable “salvation history,” as recorded in the Bible, begins with the Jews and culminates in the ministry of Jesus Christ and His apostles. (Jn.14:6-7; Rom.1:19-20, 2:12-16; Ac. 14:15-17).
7. SALVATION. All people are deeply loved by God but are separated from Him as the consequence of wrongdoing (independence from God, evil, sin). All of us are lost and without hope apart from God's plan of salvation, which cannot be earned, but is offered freely to us through the redeeming death of Jesus Christ on our behalf. We accept God's free gift of salvation by recognizing our sin & need for God's grace, believing and confessing the truth about Jesus, committing to turn away from sin, and trusting in Jesus as our new leader (Lord, boss). In Christ, people from all ethnicities and time may be part of God’s eternal ‘family’ and enter into eternal relationship with Him. As a symbol for this pledge, we follow the first century practice of water baptism by Immersion. This practice was fairly common among the Jewish faithful before the time of Christ as the symbol of a new pledge/commitment to God. It was used by John the Baptist to usher-in Christ, then used by Christ and the Apostles as the chosen symbol to accompany a person’s newfound faith in Christ. We will encourage new believers to be baptized as soon as possible; not as a means of salvation, but serving as the external symbol of their inner pledge to Christ. (Ac.4:12; Rom.3:23; Mt. 26:28; Rom. 5:1-11; 6:23; Eph. 2:8-10; Heb. 10:19-22; 1 Pet. 1:18, 19; 1Jn. 1:7; Romans 3:23; Titus 3:3-7; Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:9,10; Luke 24:45-47; Acts 3:19; 17:30; Romans 10:11-13; Phil. 2:11; Ac. 2:38; Rom. 6:1-4)
8. THE CHURCH is the manifold presence of the Body of Christ throughout the world, consisting of all Christ-followers everywhere since the day Jesus was taken into heaven in the presence of His witnesses until now. His completed work of providing salvation/redemption fulfilled Old Testament prophecies and brought an end to ritual, clergy, & sacred buildings. The Church's mission is to multiply recipients of God’s grace / followers of Christ in all nations. Every Christian is gifted by God to meet needs in the Church and in the world, under the shepherding care of those placed in servant-leadership. The Church is a ‘dynamic, divine organism’, rather than a ‘static, manmade organization.’ (Matthew 16:13-18; Acts 2:14-47; Matt. 28:18-20; 1 Peter 2:5; Col. 3:17; 1 Pet. 4:10; 1 Cor. 12:28; Matt. 5:16; 1 Thess. 5:12-13, Heb. 13:17).