The Tri-une God
We believe in one God, eternally existing in three equally divine, unified Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who know, love, and glorify one another. This one true and living God is infinitely perfect both in his love and in his holiness. He is the Creator of all things and is worthy to receive all glory and adoration.
We believe that God has graciously disclosed his existence and power in creation and has supremely revealed himself in the person of his Son, the incarnate Word. God has also revealed himself in his written Word, the verbally inspired sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. It is complete in its revelation of his will for salvation, sufficient for all that God requires us to believe and do, and final in its authority over every domain of knowledge to which it speaks. The Bible is to be believed, as God’s perfect instruction, in all that it teaches; obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; and trusted, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises.
Creation of Humanity
We believe God created men and women in his image and for his glory. Equal yet different, Adam and Eve were brought together in a one-flesh marriage union that establishes the only normative pattern of sexual relations for men and women. In God’s wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable, but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways. Both men and women are encouraged to serve Christ and develop their full potential in the ministries of the people of God.
We believe that Adam, made in the image of God, distorted that image and forfeited his original purity by falling into sin through Satan’s temptation. As a result of sin, all creation is cursed and all human beings are alienated from God, corrupted, and condemned finally and irrevocably to death. The supreme need of all human beings is to be reconciled to the God under whose just and holy wrath we stand.
The Plan of God
We believe that from all eternity God determined in grace to save a great multitude of guilty sinners from every tribe and language and people and nation. In love, God commands and implores all people to repent and believe in Jesus, for there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved. God justifies and sanctifies those who by grace place faith in Jesus and will one day glorify them—all to the praise of his glorious grace.
We believe that the biblical gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ—God’s very wisdom and power to those who are being saved. This good news is centered on the historical events of the cross and resurrection. By his life and death, Jesus Christ acted as our representative and substitute. He died for our sins to reconcile us to God, and by his resurrection was vindicated by his Father, defeated Satan, broke the power of death, and brought us everlasting life. When the gospel is received, believed, and held firmly, individuals are saved from eternal condemnation into this everlasting life.
The Redemption of Christ
We believe that the eternal Son became flesh: fully God and fully human being, one Person in two natures.The man Jesus, the promised Messiah of Israel, was conceived through the miraculous agency of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the virgin Mary. He perfectly obeyed his heavenly Father, lived a sinless life, proclaimed the kingdom of God, performed miraculous signs, was crucified to satisfy God’s just wrath, arose bodily from the dead, and ascended into heaven. As the mediatorial King, he is seated at the right hand of God the Father, exercising in heaven and on earth all of God’s sovereignty, and is our High Priest, righteous Advocate, and Savior.
The Justification of Sinners
We believe that Christ, by his obedience and death, fully discharged the debt of sin. By his sacrifice, he bore in our stead the punishment due us for our sins, making full satisfaction to God’s justice on our behalf. By his perfect obedience he satisfied the just demands of God on our behalf, since by grace through faith alone that perfect obedience is credited to all who trust in Christ alone for their acceptance with God.
The Power of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit applies this salvation to his people. Sent by the Father and the Son, the ‘other’ Helper is present with and in believers. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and by his powerful and mysterious work regenerates spiritually dead sinners, awakening them to repentance and faith. In him they are baptized into union with the Lord Jesus such that they are justified before God by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. By the Spirit’s agency, believers are renewed, sanctified, gifted, adopted into God’s family, and participate in the divine nature.
The Kingdom of God
We believe that those who have been saved by God and regenerated by the Holy Spirit enter the kingdom of God and delight in the blessings of the new covenant: the forgiveness of sins; the inward transformation that awakens a desire to glorify, trust, and obey God; and the prospect of the glory yet to be revealed. Good works constitute indispensable evidence of saving grace; therefore, as citizens of God’s kingdom, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, doing good to all, especially to those who belong to the household of God. The kingdom of God, already present but not fully realized, is the exercise of God’s sovereignty in the world toward the eventual redemption of all creation; it inevitably establishes a new community of human life together under God.
God’s New People
We believe that God’s new covenant people are already seated with Christ in the heavenlies. This universal Church is manifest in local churches of which Christ is the only Head; thus each “local church” is, in fact, the church, the family of God, the bride of Christ, the assembly of the living God, the body of Christ, and the pillar and foundation of the truth. The church is distinguished by her gospel message, her sacred ordinances, her discipline, her great mission, and, above all, by her love for God, and by her members’ love for one another and the world. These distinguishing qualities are fostered in the congregational church through a humble, biblically qualified male eldership and a passionate, servant-oriented male and female diaconate.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that Christian baptism is a symbolic act of obedience modeled by Jesus Himself and is commanded for every individual who has received the saving benefits of Christ’s atoning work and become His disciple. The Lord’s Supper is also a symbolic act of obedience for all genuine followers of Christ. It symbolizes the breaking of Christ’s body and the shedding of His blood on our behalf, and is to be observed repeatedly throughout the Christian life as both a sign of continued participation in the atoning benefits of Christ’s death and demonstration of our unity with other members of Christ’s body.
The Mission of the Church
We believe God’s people should increasingly be marked by Christlikeness, prayerfulness, joyful obedience, love for God, and love for neighbor, as members seek the fulfillment of the church’s mission. The mission of the church, graciously given by God, is to make disciples, by declaring the gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father and teaching believers to obey all God commands. As salt and light, disciples eagerly and faithfully sacrifice to seek and save the lost, love others in word and deed, work for righteousness and justice, and care for all in need.
The Restoration of all 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, with all sin and its wretched effects forever banished.