I believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.
I believe that God has spoken in the Scriptures, both the Hebrew Scriptures (OT) and the New Testament, through the words of human authors. As the verbally inspired Word of God, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.
The Human Condition
I believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed.
I believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, one Person in two natures. Jesus—Israel's promised Messiah—was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and Advocate.
The Work Of Christ
I believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, shed His blood on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins. His atoning death and victorious resurrection constitute the only ground for salvation.
The Holy Spirit
I believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of its guilt. He regenerates sinners, and in Him they are baptized into union with Christ and adopted as heirs in the family of God. He also indwells, illuminates, guides, equips and empowers followers for Christ-like living and service.
I believe that the true church comprises all who have been justified by God's grace through faith alone in Christ alone. They are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, of which He is the Head. The true church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of followers. The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish followers.
Living As A Christ-Follower
I believe that God's justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed.
I believe in the personal, bodily return of Jesus. The coming of Christ, at a time known only to God, demands constant expectancy and, as our blessed hope, motivates followers to godly living, sacrificial service and energetic mission.
Response And Eternal Destiny
I believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel by turning to Him in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that God will raise the dead bodily and judge the world, both those who have rejected Jesus and those who follow Him. He's the judge, not me. And I'm grateful for that!
Baptism is a public declaration of a private decision; meaning, baptism by immersion is for those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ.
Scripture is clear in its call for the church to remember Jesus' sacrifice through communion. However, while Scripture is clear on communion’s function, it dictates little in regard to its form. It should be served in order to keep communion from becoming rote or routine.
The chief concern of Scripture as it relates to worship lies in the heart of worship as opposed to the form of worship. Weekly worship should build a unity between the music and the message so that our hearts would be focused on the substance of Scripture more than the style of our songs. Furthermore, since God’s best calls for our best we will seek to honor Him with our excellence.
Salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and completely apart from works. If salvation hinges on anything we do it ceases to be the free gift of God; therefore, salvation is completely dependent on His work, not ours. (Acts 16:30; Eph. 2:8-9) While our faith should be evident in our behavior, it is not contingent on our behavior since even our best behaviors are like filthy rags before a Holy God (Isaiah 64:6). Since our salvation is contingent on His finished work on the cross it is also secured by His finished work on the cross and not our own work after the cross (John 10:28-29).
Tithing, Giving & Financial Reporting
Scriptures clearly call us to return a portion of our income to the Lord through the church (tithing) as well as responding to particular needs that may, from time to time, call us to give above and beyond (giving) [see 2 Cor. 8:5]. For this reason followers should be encourage to invest in the ministry and mission of the church. I teach and encourage spontaneous, strategic and sacrificial giving for everyone who follows Jesus.
Scriptures clearly caution against becoming servant to the lender [Prov. 22:7], and calls us towards contentment instead of consumption [1 Tim. 6:6-10]. However, God also calls us to lend sufficiently to those who are in need [Deut. 15:7-8] and not refuse the one who would borrow from us [Matt. 5:42]. In their lending the people of God were urged not to take advantage of the situation [Psalm 15:5] and to cancel outstanding debts after 7 years [Deut. 15:1-2]. Clearly then, while debt is strictly cautioned against it is not explicitly prohibited. We are cautioned, therefore, to borrow only when we have a way to pay it back [Prov. 17:18].
The Scriptures call us to submit to our authorities and to fulfill our duty as good citizens [Rom. 13:1-7], whether that be paying our taxes or voting our conscience. Church leaders would do well to refrain from taking staunch political positions from the platform and choose instead to address the issues as they appear in Scripture, not culture. As Christ’s body our calling is missional not political.
As with worship, the Scriptures say much about the substance and content of preaching but little about its form. We are called to preach the Word [2 Tim. 4:2] with faithfulness and diligence in explaining the text. The example of preaching throughout the Scriptures varies widely, whether expositional (beginning with a specific text and addressing the issues therein), topical (beginning with a specific issue and referencing the texts related to the issue), technical (such as Paul) or conversational (such as Jesus). Simply put, there is no one form. we must seek to faithfully exposit the Scriptures (which simply means to expose the clear meaning of the text) whether we are addressing marriage or studying the book of Matthew.