What We Believe - Affirmations and Denials
Jump to

Preamble

What we believe gives direction to how we behave. Our behavior in our homes and in our work should be reflective of our behavior as believers in the body of Christ and it should be God-honoring and Christ-exalting because what we believe should be the basis for how we live. Paul refers to the church of the Lord Jesus Christ as “the household of God, the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth,” 1 Timothy 3:15. Most of the letters of Paul are written with attention given first to doctrine or belief followed by teaching the church about duty or behavior. What we believe as a church forms the foundation for how we behave as a church.

The church is the body of Christ made up of all who are joined together under the Lordship of Christ from every people group in the world. The church is universal and invisible. This universal and invisible church is made up of local bodies of believers living out The Gospel in the world in worship, work and witness organized for that worship, work and witness according to the church’s understanding of the Bible as it teaches how the church is to operate.

We believe that the church as a local body of believers is to be led by a Body of Elders who give spiritual oversight to the church by giving attention to the doctrine of the church, the direction for the church and the discipline of her members. This Body of Elders is to be connected with a Body of Deacons who give oversight to the practical matters of the church with particular attention to the oversight of the budget, the construction and maintenance of the buildings, and benevolent ministries to the members of the church family who are in need. We believe that both bodies are to work together in ministry to the members of the church and to do their work not as those who exercise authority over the congregation but as those who serve the congregation at the will and with the blessing of the congregation. We believe further that all who serve on the ministerial staff and the body of Elders should serve in full agreement with the following articles of Affirmations and Denials.

Article I

We affirm the reality of Absolute Truth which:

  • Exists with Full and Final Authority
  • Revealed in the sixty-six books of the Bible
  • Which is inerrant, infallible and fully-sufficient

We deny that Truth is relative:

  • To time, culture, or circumstances
  • To the logical reasoning abilities of sinful humans
  • To only certain parts of the Bible or certain issues in the Bible

Article II

We affirm the centrality of expository preaching in the church with:

  • The necessity of the public reading of Scripture
  • The centrality of biblical exposition

We deny that God-honoring worship can marginalize expository preaching so that a church devoid of true biblical preaching cannot survive as a Gospel Church.

Article III

We affirm that God is infinite in all His perfections so that:

  • God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent and omnisapient
  • Gods knowledge is perfect, eternal, and all-encompassing
  • God knows and does all things in accordance with who He is as God

We deny that God is limited in any way:

  • Knowledge
  • Power
  • Perfection

Article IV

We affirm the doctrine of the Trinity:

  • As a Christian Essential:
  • That the essence of God is One God in Three Persons
  • Expressed as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit

We deny every understanding that makes distinctions in the Godhead:

  • In the essence of each in and with the other
  • In the expression of each in relationship to the other

Article V

We affirm one God who is Creator, Sovereign, and Savior so that:

  • God made all that is
  • God rules over all that is
  • God saves sinners and redeems His world for His glory

We deny every understanding of creation that diminishes both the design and the direct action of God including:

  • Naturalistic, Darwinian Evolution
  • Theistic Evolution
  • Pantheism and Panentheism

Article VI

We affirm that Jesus Christ is fully God, fully man who came to earth to live the life that we cannot live, to do the work that we cannot do and to suffer the shame of death on the cross and to be raised on the Third Day so that Jesus is:

  • The fullness of the Incarnation
  • The fulfillment of God’s plan of redemption as He gave Himself as a sacrifice to God and as a substitute for sinners
  • The Living Lord of the universe through His resurrection from the dead, His ascension to the right hand as intercessor and sovereign from where He will come to execute judgment on the earth and to establish His eternal Kingdom

We deny any understanding of who Jesus is and what Jesus did that minimizes or excludes:

  • His full deity and full humanity
  • His sacrifice to God and substitution for us on the cross
  • His bodily resurrection from the dead and Ascension to heaven

Article VII

We affirm the Holy Spirit coming from God through Jesus to seal, to secure and to sanctify believers in the body of Christ and to call sinners to repentance through convicting and convincing of sin, righteousness and judgment. The Holy Spirit:

  • Comes from the Father and the Son
  • Changes the heart, convicts of sin and calls to commitment to Jesus as Lord
  • Confirms the believer and conforms us increasingly to the image of Jesus

We deny that the Holy Spirit operates in any way that diminishes the work of God the Father and God the Son so that there is:

  • No special sign gift that shows that we belong to God
  • No material blessings or physical healings that are the prerogative of the people of God
  • No special group of believers who alone can exercise and express certain spiritual gifts

Article VIII

We affirm that humans are made in the image of God in creation but with Adam have fallen into sin as sinners and:

  • We are sinners by birth and by nature
  • We are sinners by choice and conviction
  • The essence of sin is self-centeredness

We deny that humans can recover the image of God by ourselves because:

  • We are not basically good by birth or nature
  • We are not born morally, spiritually neutral
  • We are not changed spiritually by environment or education

Article IX

We affirm that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone and that it is:

  • Through Jesus Christ alone
  • Based on the Gospel alone
  • By Conviction that calls forth Repentance
  • For the Glory of God alone

We deny that salvation is based in any way in who we are or what we do:

  • In whatever goodness we possess
  • By whatever good works we do
  • Through any means that we employ
  • In whatever we do or have done that would cause us to have assurance in ourselves apart from the presence and power of the Spirit of God

Article X

We affirm the saving purpose of God is the same throughout the Bible so that:

  • Those under the Old Covenant look forward toward the promise upon which those under the New Covenant look backward;
  • We are declared right with God by faith in Christ
  • The righteousness of Jesus is imputed to us
  • The Holy Spirit is imparted to us

We deny any distinction in any way at any time in God’s work of saving sinners so that:

  • Jews and Gentiles are saved by faith alone in Christ alone
  • There is no duel covenant for Jews and Gentiles
  • What can be known about God is given by God to all so that salvation is through Christ alone

Article XI

We affirm that Gospel Centered congregations are to seek to work together in local communities and beyond for the sake of the advancing of the Gospel toward the saving of sinners and the glory of God;

We deny any kind of ecumenical unions that would take precedence over the claims of Biblical Truth and particularly at the point of the essential meaning of the Gospel.

Article XII

We affirm the Biblical order for the home which we believe to be complementarianism which means that:

  • Men and Women are equal before God in creation, fall and redemption
  • Men and women have different roles and responsibilities in the home and in the church
  • Men are to be the spiritual leaders in the home and the church
  • Only Men can serve as Elders and Deacons in the church

We deny any view of women that demeans in any way who she is by creation or redemption which means:

  • Women are to be highly valued and honored in the church and the home
  • Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and elders/deacons are to serve so as to honor women and womanhood;
  • Women are blessed and encouraged to serve in numerous roles outside the offices of Elder and Deacon
  • Women are to be valued by men in the spirit with which Christ cherishes His church

Article XIII

We affirm that God has called and redeemed the church to display the Glory of His Name in all the earth through:

  • The gathering of believers to worship His great Name
  • The intentional effort to be a church with all kinds of diversity
  • Living together in love and unity
  • Being a witness to the Gospel in Word and in Work

We deny that any church can be true to the Gospel and thus a true church that:

  • Excludes anyone from the worship or the work of the church on the basis of race or ethnicity
  • Is involved in doing deeds of kindness without a clear verbal proclamation of the Gospel
  • Is engaged in social justice issues apart from the direct declaration of the Gospel
  • Is involved in political causes by way of activity or address that are not first and foremost fundamentally biblical issues

Article XIV

We affirm that our sure and certain hope is in the return of Jesus to the earth as Judge and King:

  • To Execute justice upon the earth in vindication of His Name and in eternal punishment for all His enemies
  • To establish His rule and reign upon the earth forever

We deny that the events of the end can be reduced to any one system of understanding and further deny any interpretation of Scripture that teaches that the last day has already come.