We Believe in the Holy Trinity
We believe in one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one in essence, relating in three persons, equally God, yet distinct in their personhood.
We Believe in God the Father
We believe God is a sovereign, just, holy and loving heavenly Father. It is God's nature to share Himself, and therefore exists as trinity. God shared Himself with sinful humanity when, because of His love for the world, He gave His only begotten Son. He is the source of all life, all living things are therefore responsible to Him. He is a rewarder of those who obey Him, and the Judge of those who do evil.
We Believe in Jesus Christ
We believe that God revealed Himself to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. We believe Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, Son of God, Son of Man, fully God, fully human, dwelling among humanity through the incarnation. As the perfect man, without sin, He gave His life as the perfect sacrifice for mankind. Having offered Himself "once for all" He now exercises His High Priestly ministry by interceding on behalf of the saints, waiting for the day when He comes to earth again.
We Believe in the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit, the third person of the trinity, is the giver and renewer of life. He works to convict us of sin, unrighteousness, and the judgment to come. He is the teacher of truth and calls sinners to repentance and to life in Jesus Christ. He applies the work of Christ for salvation, purifies and empowers those who believe for holy living. He is the comforter, sanctifier, encourager, the giver of gifts, and our moment by moment guide as we, by faith, believe.
We Believe in the Bible
We believe that the Bible is the word of God, written by holy men of old as they were enabled to communicate God's truth without error. We believe that the scripture is infallible and inerrant in its original autographs. The Bible is our rule of faith and practice, and a revelation of God Himself and His will for all people. Written over 1,500 years by as many as 40 authors, the scripture is authoritative in matters of faith, doctrine, and practice.
We Believe that God has Placed Supreme Value on Every Person
We believe that God created all people in His image, with the ability to relate to God in freedom, as immortal, spiritual beings. The original state of humanity was one of holy love relating, God to human, human to God, human to human. After the fall, human beings became a corrupt expression of God's image and incapable of any positive move toward God, except through the work of divine or prevenient grace. Only through the justifying, regenerating, sanctifying grace of God can we be saved from the pervasive corruption of sin and be conformed to the image of God.
God has, in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, placed supreme value on all people. He has revealed His interest and involvement in the life of every individual as He has "formed my inward parts; ...covered me in my mother's womb; ...saw my substance, being yet unformed" and that in His book the days of my life were written, "fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them". Since God has placed such supreme value on every person, we believe in the sanctity of life in all its stages.
The two great commandments which require us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and our neighbor as ourselves, summarize God's purpose for humanity as it is revealed in the Scriptures.
We Believe that God Instituted Marriage and the Family
We believe that God instituted marriage and the family. Marriage is a reflection of the relationship Christ has with the church, it is filled with intimate, sacrificial, communicating love. Scripture teaches that human sexuality is to be expressed only in a monogamous lifelong relationship between one man and one woman within the bonds of marriage. This is the only relationship divinely given for the birth and rearing of children and is a covenant relationship made in the sight of God, taking priority over every other human relationship.
We Believe in Free Moral Agency
We believe that humanity's creation in the image of God included the ability to choose between right and wrong. In this way, each individual is made morally responsible for their choices. Since the fall of Adam, people are unable in their own strength to do what is right. This is due to original sin, which is not simply the following of Adam's example, but rather the corruption of the nature of each mortal and is reproduced naturally in Adam's descendants. Because of it, humans are very far gone from original righteousness, and by nature are continually inclined toward evil. They cannot of themselves even call upon God or exercise faith for salvation. But through Jesus Christ the prevenient grace of God makes possible what humans in self effort cannot do. It is given freely to all, enabling all who will to turn to Christ to be saved.
We Believe in Salvation
We believe that salvation is the process by which God forgives sin, renews man to favor, enlivens a soul dead in trespasses and sin, and draws a soul toward sanctification. Full salvation indicates a full redemption from all the effects of sin. Guilt, separation from God, death, and depravity all must be dealt with in salvation. Thus, the work of Christ is sufficient for all our needs. This salvation is grounded in the love of God, provided by the atoning work of Jesus Christ, and applied by the active work and presence of the Holy Spirit.
We Believe in the Atonement
We believe that Christ's offering of himself, once and for all, through His sufferings and meritorious death on the cross, provides the perfect redemption and atonement for the sins of the whole world, both original and actual. There is no other way of salvation from sin but Christ alone. This atonement is sufficient for every individual of Adam's race (every soul may be saved; the unconditional reprobation of any soul is absolutely impossible). It is unconditionally effective in the salvation of those mentally incompetent from birth, of those converted persons who have become mentally incompetent, and of children under the age of accountability. It is effective for the salvation of those who reach the age of accountability only when they repent and exercise faith in Jesus Christ.
We Believe in the Necessity of Repentance and Faith
We believe for men and women to appropriate what God's prevenient grace has made possible, they must voluntarily respond in repentance and faith. In His wonderful grace, God gives to each person the ability to respond to Him in repentance and faith. Repentance is prompted by the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit. It involves a willful change of mind that renounces sin and longs for righteousness, a godly sorrow for and a confession of past sins, proper restitution for wrongdoings, and a resolution to reform one's life. Repentance is the precondition for saving faith, and without it saving faith is impossible. Faith, in turn, is the only condition of salvation. It begins in the agreement of the mind and the consent of the will to the truth of the gospel, but issues in a complete reliance by the whole person in the saving ability of Jesus Christ and a complete trusting of oneself to Him as Savior and Lord. Saving faith is expressed in a public acknowledgment of His Lordship and identification with His Church.
We Believe in Justification, Regeneration and Adoption
We believe that when one repents of personal sin and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ he is, in that moment justified, regenerated, adopted into the family of God, and given the assurance of salvation through the witness of the Holy Spirit.
Justification is the judicial act of God whereby a person is accounted righteous, granted full pardon of all sin, delivered from guilt, completely released from the penalty of sins committed, by the merit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, by faith alone, not on the basis of works.
Regeneration, or the new birth, is that work of the Holy Spirit whereby, when one truly repents and believes, one's moral nature is given a distinctively spiritual life with the capacity for love and obedience. This new life is received by faith in Jesus Christ, it enables the pardoned sinner to serve God with the will and affections of the heart, and by it the saved are delivered from the power of sin which reigns over all unregenerate.
Adoption is the act of God by which the justified and regenerated believer becomes a partaker of all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of a child of God.
We Believe that God has Prepared Good Works for every Believer
We believe that we are God's workmanship and that we are created for good works. Although these good works cannot save us from our sins or from God's judgment, they are the fruit of a life of faith and follow after the new birth. They are pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and by them a living faith may be as evidently known as a tree is discerned by its fruit.
We Believe that no Human Being is Above the Possibility of Sin
We believe that after we have experienced the new birth, it is possible to fall into sin, for in this life there is no such height or strength of holiness from which it is impossible to fall. But by the grace of God one who has fallen into sin may by true repentance and faith find forgiveness and restoration.
We Believe in Sanctification
We believe that sanctification is received through faith in Jesus Christ, and that by God's grace we are renewed in God's image, set apart for His service, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to die to sin and live in righteousness. This work of God delivers us not only from the guilt of sin, but washes us from its pollution, saves us from its power, and enables us, through grace, to love God with all our hearts and to walk in His commandments blameless. Sanctification draws us more and more into the life of Christ, growth in grace, holy living, and loving obedience to the revealed will of God through life in the Spirit.
We Believe that the Holy Spirit Gives Gifts to Every Christian
We believe that the most wonderful of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit is the gift of Himself. He is to be desired more than any other gift which he may impart to individual members of the Church enabling them to fulfill their purpose in the Church, bringing glory to God.
The gifts are to be exercised in love and Christian unity. The gifts of the Spirit, although not always identifiable with natural abilities, function through them for the edification of the whole Church.
The gifts of evangelistic languages and interpretation of languages is the ability to speak in an actual language, unknown to the speaker, but known to the hearer, for the purpose of evangelism. The proof of the Spirit's filling is the fruit of the Spirit evidenced in one's daily living, holiness of heart toward both God and others, and empowered service.
We Believe in the Church
We believe that the Church is composed of all those who believe in Jesus Christ, who is the founder and only Head of the Church. It is universal, being made up of true believers of all nations, and it is holy, belonging to God. The Church includes both those believers who have gone to be with the Lord and those who remain on earth, having dedicated themselves to the work of Jesus Christ until He returns. The Church on earth is to preach the pure Word of God, properly administer the sacraments according to Christ's instructions, and live in obedience to all that Christ commands.
A local church is a body of believers formally organized on gospel principles, meeting together for the purposes of evangelism, discipleship, stewardship, fellowship, and worship.
God's plan for the financing of the Church and its work is the tithes and offerings of its members.
We Believe in the Priesthood of Believers
We believe that in the New Testament, God calls all believers to service and ministry. Through the presence of the Holy Spirit every Christian not only represents God, but also, has been empowered to be an instrument of His grace to the world. The dual duties of representing God to man and man to God belong to every born-again Christian. The responsibility of witnessing, the ministry of prayer, and the use of our spiritual gifts are included in the privilege of the priesthood of believers.
We Believe in the Christian Life
We believe that growing Christians seek to evidence the Christian virtues and the fruit of the Holy Spirit in life and character as they discover, develop, and steward their spiritual gifts within the Body of Christ and as they minister in their sphere of influence.
As one experiences new life in Christ, he is called to live a life that is holy and acceptable to God. This requires a daily commitment and a disciplined walk with God. The means of grace are ways in which God works invisibly in His disciples, making them ever more alive, strengthening and confirming their faith. These are means by which, those who believe, are enabled to love the Lord their God with all their heart and with all their soul and with all their mind and with all their strength. In the Wesleyan tradition we group these means of grace into two categories: 1) Works of Piety; and 2) Works of Mercy. Works of Piety include prayer; fasting; Bible study; meditation; social and private worship; the sacraments of baptism and of the Lord's Supper; Christian community; and healthy living. Works of Mercy include doing good; visiting the sick; visiting the imprisoned; feeding, clothing and sheltering those in need; earning, saving (living a life of frugal simplicity) and giving all one can; seeking justice; and opposition to slavery in all its forms.
We Believe in the Assurance of Salvation
We believe that salvation is a relationship based on freedom. In order to love and trust Christ, we must be free to do so. This involves both a decision of faith and the working out of that decision: I was saved; I am being saved; on that great day I shall be finally saved.
Wesley said that true "faith is a divine evidence and conviction, not only that 'God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself,' but that 'Christ loved me, and gave himself for me.' For 'he that believeth' with true, living faith 'has the witness in himself,' The Spirit witnesses with his spirit that he is a child of God. Because he is a son, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into his heart, crying 'Abba, Father;' giving him an assurance that he is so, and a childlike confidence in him."
This assurance is grounded in a relationship marked by believing obedience and loving discipleship. The atonement provided through Christ was provided for all people, yet God calls us to turn to Him, trust Him, and walk with Him. While God always loves us, and nothing can separate us from His love, we always have the freedom to persevere or turn from right relationship with Him.
We Believe in the Sacraments of Baptism And Holy Communion
We believe that baptism and holy communion are commanded by Christ and ordained as a means of grace when received by faith. They are tokens of our profession and signs of God's gracious ministry toward us. By them, He works to make us alive, to strengthen and confirm our faith.
Whether by aspersion (sprinkling), immersion (dipping), or effusion (pouring), Trinitarian baptism is a symbol of the new covenant of grace and signifies acceptance of the benefits of the atonement of Jesus Christ. By means of this sacrament, believers declare their faith in Jesus Christ
Since children are born into this world with natures inclined to sin, and yet the prevenient grace of God provides for their redemption during that time before the age of accountability, parents are encouraged to testify to their faith in God's provision by presenting their infant children, according to their conscience, for dedication or baptism. When any person, baptized as an infant, comes to personal faith in Christ he or she is encouraged to confirm that baptism by public testimony.
Holy Communion, also known as the Lord's Supper and the Eucharist, is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ's sacrificial death for our sins and of our hope in His soon return, as well as a sign of the love Christians have for one another. When received with a proper spirit and by faith, it is a means through which God communicates grace to the communicant. All who seek Him are received at the Lord's Table and not members only.
We Believe in Eternal Life
We believe God created humans to know Him intimately. Originally, God breathed His own divine life into man. After the fall, humans were deprived of the Spirit, or life of God. Salvation is the re-breathing of that life of God into the soul of man. That life is what scripture means by eternal life. Jesus said, "this is eternal life, that they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). Knowing God, in an intimate sense, is to experience His life, and therefore can be experienced in this life.
Eternal life continues in heaven as we experience God in a new way--face to face. Eternal life, therefore, starts now, and continues in eternity forever. Those who finally reject the offer of salvation in Christ will spend eternity separated from God and be condemned to suffer in hell for eternity.
We Believe in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ
We believe the resurrected Christ will return to earth in bodily form and all the prophecies of the Old and New Testaments concerning His final and complete triumph over all evil will be made complete in Him.
We Believe in the Resurrection of the Dead
We believe that according to Scripture the bodies of the just and of the unjust shall be raised to life and united with their spirits "they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."
We Believe in the Judgment and Eternal Destiny
We believe that God is the Judge of all, and the acts of His judgment are based on His omniscience and eternal justice. All persons will meet before His throne of majesty and power, where everything will be revealed--every desire, inclination, motivation, and action--will be examined. The final destiny of each person is determined by God's grace and that person's response, evidenced inevitably by a moral character which results from the individual's personal and volitional choices and not from any arbitrary decree of God. The new heaven and earth with its eternal glory and the blessedness of Christ's presence is the final home of those who choose the salvation which God provides through Jesus Christ. For those who have neglected so great a salvation it is eternal torment and complete separation from the life of God.