Statement of Faith

Advocates
in
Prayer

   

"I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought."

-- 1 Corinthians 1:10


Select a topic from the table below:

 


1.   The Inspiration of Scripture

We believe that the accepted "canon" of Scripture, both Old and New Testament, are verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit.  The Scriptures are infallible, inerrant, and the sole and final authority for all matters of faith and conduct.  (See 2 Timothy 3:16 and 1 Corinthians 2:13.)

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2.   The Eternal Godhead

We believe that there is only one God, that He is eternal, and that in the mystery of His being, He has revealed Himself  in three Persons as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  The three Persons of the "Godhead" are distinguishable but indivisible.  (See Matthew 28:19 and 2 Corinthians 13:14.)

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3.   The Fall of Man

We believe that humankind was created in the image and after the likeness of God in a pure and sinless state.  The original man and woman disobeyed God's express command in the Garden of Eden with the effect that sin, sickness, and death was passed down to the entire human race.   As a result, human beings are born with a sinful nature, are spiritually depraved from birth, and are unable to attain to the righteous requirements of God by means of human effort.  (See Genesis 1:26; Genesis 2:7; Genesis 3:6; Romans 5:12,18; Psalm 51:5; Isaiah 64:6 and Romans 3:23.)

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4.   The Virgin Birth of Christ

We believe that God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ who was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary.  Jesus was sinless from birth by virtue of His divine conception.  He was completely divine and completely human and came to be the Savior of the world.  (See Luke 1:26-35, John 1:14-18, and Isaiah 7:4 and 9:6.)

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5.   Christ's Atoning Death and Resurrection

We believe Jesus Christ was the sinless "Lamb of God," who paid the penalty for our sins to be forgiven and forever remitted by dying a criminal's death in our place.  He was buried in a literal, physical tomb and was raised from the dead three days later by the quickening power of the Holy Spirit thus conquering death, hell, and the grave.  He personally appeared to His disciples and taught and commissioned them for a period of forty days after His bodily resurrection.  (See John 1:29; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Revelation 1:18; Romans 4:25 and Acts 1:3.)

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6.   Christ's Ascension and Second Coming

We believe that Jesus, in His glorious resurrection body, ascended to heaven and was seated at God's right hand as the exalted Lord of all.  He holds the key of David, has all authority in heaven and in earth, carries on His work as intercessor and advocate of all who put their faith in Him.  He will personally return to earth at the appointed time in bodily form to "rapture" His Church from the earth and to take them to a place He has prepared for them described in the Bible as a new heaven.  (See Acts 1:9; Hebrews 1:3; Revelation 3:7; Matthew 28:18; 1 John 2:1; Hebrews 8:1; John 14:2,3 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 21:1-4.)

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7.   God's Plan of Salvation

We believe that all people are sinners and have only one hope of salvation from their sins.  Jesus bore the penalty and punishment for our sins when He died for all humanity.  Scripture teaches that His death, resurrection, and ascension was not only for us but as us.  Therefore, when we put our faith in Him -- believing into Him -- we see ourselves as having died in His death, having been raised to newness of life through His resurrection, and having ascended with Him where we are now seated with Him in heavenly realms at God's right hand.  Because this is all the work of God's grace, His unmerited love and favor, our salvation is by grace through faith and is not a result of our own "works of righteousness" -- for our righteousness is as "filthy rags" apart from Christ.  It is when we receive Jesus Christ by faith as our Savior, confessing our sins and receiving His pardon, that we are saved from our sins and reconciled to God.  (See Romans 3:23; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:14,15; 1 Peter 1:3; Ephesians 2:6; Romans 5:17; Ephesians 2:8,9; Isaiah 64:6; Romans 10:9,10.)

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8.   Water Baptism

We believe that water baptism is required of all who have put their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.  It is the outward sign of an inward experience and serves as a public declaration of our faith in Christ.  Scripture teaches that baptism is to be by total immersion as it represents our union with Christ in death, burial, and resurrection.  It is to be administered in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  We submit to baptism to fulfill the express command of the Lord Jesus Christ.  (See Romans 6:4; Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16.)

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9.   Baptism in the Holy Spirit

We believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a real experience at or subsequent to salvation.  Jesus said that those who believe on Him would experience rivers of living water flowing from their innermost being -- a fullness of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer that would satisfy their spiritual thirst.  This "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" is accompanied by the evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance.  It is referred to in Scripture as the "promise of the Father" that is for all whom God calls to salvation.  We do not believe that this Baptism of the Holy Spirit is required for salvation but rather that it is an invitation into a more intimate walk with God and the divine means of empowerment for effective ministry.  (See John 7:38-39; John 4:14; Acts 2:1-4; 8:14-17, 10:44-46; 1:4-5; 2:39; 1:8.)

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10.  The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

We believe that the indwelling Holy Spirit imparts "manifestations of grace" to every believer in the form of spiritual gifts to be used to encourage and build up the Church and to bring unbelievers to salvation.  These "gifts" are supernatural in origin and are given by the Holy Spirit as He determines. Believers are encouraged in Scripture to eagerly desire spiritual gifts.  Those listed include words of wisdom, words of knowledge, faith, gifts of healings, the working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, speaking in tongues, the interpretation of tongues, helps, administration, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading, and showing mercy.  Offices within the church that are listed in Scripture as spiritual giftings include those of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor/teacher.  (See 1 Corinthians 14:3,24; 12:11; 12:8-10,28; Romans 12:6-8; and Ephesians 4:11.)

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11.  The Spirit-Filled Life

We believe in the Spirit-filled life, a life of separation from worldliness and the perfecting of holiness in the fear of God as expressing the true Christian faith.  It is the work of the Holy Spirit in conjunction with the Word of God that sanctifies the believer.  The grace of God given to us through faith in Jesus Christ not only provides forgiveness of sins but also a divine enablement to so "No!" to ungodliness.  To live by the empowerment of grace is to "walk in the Spirit."  (See John 17:14; 2 Corinthians 7:1; John 17:17; Ephesians 5:26; Titus 2:11,12; and Galatians 5:16.)

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12.  Divine Healing

We believe in the healing of the body by divine power, or divine healing in its varied aspects as taught in the New Testament and as practiced in the Early Church.  All believers are commissioned to "lay hands on the sick" that they might recover -- an indication that believing prayer imparts God's healing power to make people whole.  Divine healing is provided for in Christ's atonement.  Scripture says that it is by His stripes that we are healed.  Keeping these truths before our eyes and in our hearts will cause God's life to be released in us with the result that we will experience healing and health for our whole being.  The believer is entitled by covenant to say with the Psalmist that God's benefits to us include the forgiveness of all our sins and the healing of all our diseases.  (See Mark 16:16; Isaiah 53:4,5, Matthew 8:16-18, and 1 Peter 2:24; Proverbs 4:20-24; Psalm 103:2-3.)

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13.  The Lord's Supper

We believe in the Table of the Lord, commonly called the Communion or the Lord's Supper.  In taking communion, we acknowledge that Jesus body was broken that we might be made whole and His blood was shed that our sins be forgiven and that we be restored to a right relationship with God.  Communion is often called the Eucharist, based on a New Testament Greek word meaning "to give thanks." It should be a time to give thanks to the Lord for all that He has done for us in the redeeming work of Jesus Christ. (See 1 Corinthians 11:28-32 and Matthew 26:26-28 1 Corinthians 10:16.)

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14.  The Reality and Defeat of Satan and His Demons

We believe in the reality and personality of the devil and eternal judgment in the Lake of Fire for the devil and his angels.  Jesus defeated Satan and his demons through His death and resurrection.  He has given all believers spiritual authority over all the works of the enemy to trample them underfoot -- a symbolic way of saying that we are conquerors over the demonic realm in that we share Christ's victory.  (See Matthew 25:41 and Revelation 20:14,15; Luke 10:19.)

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15.  The Believer's Authority Over the Demonic

We believe that all disciples of Jesus Christ have been given authority over the devil and his demons and have been commissioned by Jesus Christ to drive evil spirits from those who are demonized.  This ministry of deliverance is a part of our role as ministers of reconciliation and is to be practiced where necessary in conjunction with the fulfilling of the Great Commission.  (See Luke 10:18-20; 1 John 4:1-4 and Mark 16:15-18.)

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16.  The Eternal Destiny of Man

We believe in eternal life for believers and eternal punishment for unbelievers.  The teachings of Scripture regarding heaven and hell are meant to be taken literally as the context calls for a literal interpretation.  This fact underscores the seriousness of fulfilling the Great Commission, of preaching righteousness, of declaring salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone, and for living our lives here in the reverential fear of the Lord.  (See John 5:24; 3:16; Mark 9:43-48; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 20:10-15 and 2 Peter 3:10,11.)

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17.  The Blessed Hope

We believe that the imminent personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ for His saints is the Christian's hope and should be the Christian's constant longing and expectation. We are not at home in this world but are strangers and aliens here.  Our thoughts and affections are to be set upon things above and not on earthly things.  Our focus should be on preparing others for the coming of the Lord and making our daily prayer "Come, Lord Jesus!"  (See John 14:3, Acts 1:11, Luke 21:28, 2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 2:11; Colossians 3:1,2; Revelation 22:20.)

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18.  The Great Commission and Power Evangelism

We believe God has designed that the Church's faithful sharing of the gospel in its sphere(s) of influence and the Church's yielding to the work of the Holy Spirit to confirm the gospel through supernatural signs and wonders will usher in the presence and power of the kingdom of God on earth and will hasten the return of Christ for the saints.  (See Matthew 24:14, Mark 16:20, John 14:12-14, and 1 Corinthians 2:4-5.)

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19.  The Church Universal and Local

We believe that there is one true universal Church, made up of genuine believers, but this one universal Church is also composed of many local churches in given localities throughout the world.  These churches are under the sovereign Headship of the Lord Jesus Christ, exercising autonomous government under Him, administering all their local affairs and ministry, as well as the propagation of the Gospel.  (See Acts 15:22, Matthew 16:18 and 18:15-20.)

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20.  Human Government as God-Ordained

We believe that Government is ordained of God, and the powers that be are ordained as ministers of God.  They serve for God's glory and for our good.  To resist governmental authorities is to disobey God.  We are to submit to them not only to keep from incurring penalties for disobedience but also to maintain a pure conscience.  We are to respect our governmental leaders, pay our taxes, and cooperate with their decisions in every way we can without compromising our obedience to God's commands as specified in Scripture.  (See Romans 13.)

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