What I believe

The Bible. The original manuscripts of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are the infallible and divinely-inspired Word of God. In conjunction with each human author's individual writing style, the Holy Spirit literally "breathed out" each word of the original manuscripts. This revelation of God to man is completely and solely sufficient for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus and is the final authority for living life as a follower of Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:14-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21)

God. There is only one God, infinite in power, wisdom, justice, goodness, and love. This God exists eternally as three distinct and separate persons, Father, Son, and Spirit, each possessing all the attributes of Deity and the characteristics of personality. The Father is not the same person as the Son, the Son is not the same person as the Spirit, and the Spirit is not the same person as the Father. And yet, They are not three gods, but one God, one divine being. (Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 28:19, John 14:10, John 14:26, 2 Corinthians 13:14)

Man. God created man in His own image and in perfect fellowship with Himself (Genesis 1:26-27). However, in Adam's sin, human nature fundamentally changed, causing the entire human race to inherit a corrupted, sinful human nature that alienates every individual from God (Romans 5:12). Every human being is born spiritually dead (Romans 3:23, Ephesians 2:1-2), subject to God's wrath (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:3), and is completely, wholly, and utterly unable to save himself or herself. (Romans 8:7-8, Ephesians 4:17-19)

Jesus Christ. From eternity past, the Son has existed in eternal fellowship with the Father and the Spirit as the second person of the Triune God (John 1:1-2). He is not a created being, but rather all things that have been created were created through Him (Colossians 1:16-17, John 1:3). Before the beginning of creation, the Father predetermined that He would send the Son to redeem fallen man (Revelation 13:8, Acts 2:23). At the appointed time, Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary (Luke 1:34-35). When the Son became flesh (John 1:14), He permanently united in Himself two complete, distinct and separate natures, without confusion or mixture. Thus, the Person Jesus Christ was and is both fully God and fully man (Hebrews 1:3, 2:17).

The work of Jesus Christ. While living on the earth, Jesus experienced all the temptations common to mankind, and yet He was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Thus, as a perfect sacrificial Lamb (1 Peter 1:18-19), He secured the redemption of all who believe (John 1:12) through His blood shed on the cross (1 Peter 2:24) and His resurrection from the grave on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-19). After His resurrection in a glorified body (Luke 24:39-43), He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9) and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father interceding on behalf of those who believe (Romans 8:34). One day Jesus will return to gather all His followers to Himself (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18) and pour out His wrath on those who did not believe (Revelation 6:15-17, Revelation 14:18-19, Matthew 25:32,46).

Salvation. An individual is saved when God, through the faith of that individual in Jesus Christ and independent of any work that individual has done or will do (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 3:28), applies the blood of Jesus Christ as payment for the sins of that individual (Romans 4:6-8) and declares that person righteous in His sight (Romans 3:21-24, Philippians 3:9). At that moment, the saved person receives the Holy Spirit as a seal and a promise that he or she has been redeemed and will one day receive a full inheritance (Ephesians 1:12-14) as an heir of God the Father and co-heir with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17). The believer's new spiritual state is a permanent change that cannot be altered either by external event or force of internal will (Romans 8:38-39) since the believer is held and sustained by the power of Christ alone (John 6:37-40).

The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has always been at work in the world, sharing in the work of creation (Job 33:4, Genesis 1:2), performing signs and wonders (Judges 14:6), and inspiring the writing of Scripture (2 Peter 1:21). However, after Christ's ascension, the Spirit began a new work in the Church, indwelling each believer as had been promised by the Father (Luke 24:49, Acts 2:33). This purpose of this new work of the Spirit is the glorification of the risen Christ (John 16:14), and the Spirit accomplishes this work by guiding believers in to all truth (John 16:13), granting supernatural ability through spiritual gifts to build up the Church and further the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 12:4-11), and developing Christ-like character traits in each believer's life (Galatians 5:22-23).

The Church. The universal Church is composed of all those, in every time and place, who are chosen in Christ and united to Him through faith into one spiritual body, of which Christ is the head (Ephesians 1:22, Ephesians 3:6, Ephesians 5:23). The ultimate purpose of the Church is to glorify God (Isaiah 43:6-7, Matthew 5:14-16, 1 Corinthians 10:31). God has ordained that the universal Church find its expression in local church bodies (Acts 13:1, Acts 14:23, Romans 16:5, 1 Corinthians 16:19), in which believers preach and receive the Word of God (Ephesians 4:11-12, 2 Timothy 4:1-2), engage in corporate worship (Colossians 3:15-16), practice the ordinances of baptism (Matthew 28:19) and the Lord's supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-26), minister to one another through spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4-7), care for the poor, orphans, and widows (Luke 14:13-14, James 1:27) and spread the Gospel of Christ through local and world evangelism (Colossians 4:5-6, Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8).

Baptism. Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord in which believers in Christ (Acts 2:41, Acts 9:17-18, Acts 10:47) express their union with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection (Romans 6:3-4) by being immersed in water (Acts 8:36-39, John 3:23) in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). Though commanded by Jesus as an act of obedience for all believers (Matthew 28:19-20), it is a symbolic act that in no way contributes to the eternal salvation of the believer (Romans 3:28, Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 Corinthians 1:17).

The Lord's Supper. The Lord's Supper is an ordinance of the Lord in which believers eat bread as a symbol of Christ's body given for His people and drink the fruit of the vine as a symbol of Christ's blood given for His people. This is done as an act of obedience to Christ’s command to remember His sacrifice and proclaim His death until He comes again (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).