Core Convictions

Core Convictions

The Gospel

We focus on the redemptive work of Jesus Christ who brought spiritually dead people destined for hell and God’s wrath into a reconciled, loving, worshipful relationship with God through His death on the cross as a perfect, atoning substitute for us (John 1:20, 4:24; Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 3:10-12, 23-26, 5:8-10; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21). God calls us by His grace to believe in Christ by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), to turn from our sin by repentance (2 Timothy 2:25; Luke 24:46,47), to be forgiven of all of our sin (Acts10:43; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:13,14; Hebrews10:11-18), and follow Him with our whole life (1 Thessalonians 1:9,10; Luke 9:23; Matthew 10:37-39). Our lives are no longer our own, but we live now for His glory, according to the grace that He continues to give us, through the leading of His Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:9,10; Galatians 2:20; 5:16-18; Ephesians 5:18; Colossians 3:1-4; 1 Corinthians 15:10-11).

The true Gospel transcends culture and must be proclaimed.

There is one eternal gospel message that does not change because of the culture. Only this gospel is the power of God for salvation; it is proclaimed to people who are fallen, dead in sin, and enemies of God. God, by His power through His Word, by His Holy Spirit, supernaturally regenerates a person into a new creation in Christ. Salvation is a miracle of God. Culture can give us examples to use in sharing the gospel to help people understand, but the focus of Christ dying for our sins and being our propitiation on the cross to escape God’s wrath and judgment to come, does not change no matter if we are in a guilt, shame/honor, or fear culture. (Acts 4:27-31, 17:30-31; Romans 1:15-16;
1 Corinthians 1:21, 9:16-27; Galatians 1:8-10; James 4:4)

God’s Absolute Sovereignty

We focus on the fact that God does everything in this world for His glory. He is absolutely sovereign over salvation (Ephesians 1:3-12), our suffering (1 Peter 3:17), and our lives (James 3:13-17). God was sovereign over Jesus’ death on the cross (Acts 2:23, 4:27-28) and over His resurrection (Acts 2:24). It is because God is sovereign that we have hope of the future (1 Peter 1:3-5); confidence in our mission (Matthew 28:18); and live without fear toward the Satanic forces against us (Ephesians 1:19-23). We strive to rest in the fact that God does all things in this world for His glory, and in turn, everything is for our good (Romans 8:28-39).

The Mission of the church is an impossibility apart from the power of God by His Spirit.

Jesus told the first disciples that only when they were given the power of God through the Holy Spirit could they be witnesses of Christ and God’s mission be accomplished on the earth (Acts 1:8). “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the LORD of host.” (Zechariah 4:6)

The Word of God, the Scriptures are sufficient…

We teach, preach, and counsel from God’s Word alone, since it is God’s Word that is sufficient for every true need, in order to display the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible is the means that God uses to bring salvation (1 Peter 1:23; James 1:18) and growth for every believer (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Peter 2:1-3). We are dependent on the Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth and enlightens our eyes to the knowledge of God (John 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:10-13). We strive to teach what God has declared, not our own thoughts and opinions.

The Preaching of the Word of God is an essential, non-negotiable.

God has charged the elders of the church to preach the whole counsel of God’s Word; to preach the gospel and the doctrines of Scripture; to shine the light of truth into the culture. The culture is to submit to God’s Word; God’s Word never submits to culture. Biblical preaching is explaining what God has said in His Word, not imposing our own thoughts over it; and is not boring, but empowered by God’s Spirit, to reach the heart, soul, and mind of the hearer bringing full conviction. (1 Corinthians 2:2-5; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; 1 Timothy 4:6-16; 2 Timothy 2:1-2, 4:1-2)

Prayer is a necessity.

Prayer is not a duty to do, it is an overflow of a heart humbled and full of love and gratitude to God for His great love and faithfulness to us. Without prayer, we operate in our own strength; nothing of eternal significance can be accomplished apart from individual and corporate prayer to our God. (Matthew 6:9-10; 9:37-38; Colossians 4:3-4; Acts 4:29-30; John 15:7-8,16; Luke 18:1-8)

Purity of the Body

Though salvation by Jesus Christ means we are dead to sin (Romans 6:7) and are no longer slaves to sin (Romans 6:20), we still live in this fleshly body, which means we still struggle with sin every day (Galatians 5:17). This means we need each other in our battle to believe the gospel in every aspect of life in order to please God in trusting Him in obedience (Hebrews 3:12-13; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; 1 John 2:3). This means that there are times we must confront each other on clear sin (2 Timothy 2:24-26; Galatians 6:1-3; Matthew 18:15-20) with the goal that each of us would be restored to a proper relationship with each other and God, through the confession of our sin (1 John 1:9). We strive for holiness by grace so that God would be glorified and we would be useful instruments in His hand (2 Timothy 2:20-21).

The Kingdom of God and Christian Warfare

Jesus told Pontius Pilate that He was a king, but not of this earthly realm. He said if it was of this earthly realm that His servants would fight (John 18:33-37). In this age, God’s Kingdom exists in the hearts of people and is a heavenly, eternal, spiritual kingdom. In the future, Christ will return to the earth and set up His earthly kingdom in Jerusalem, sit on the throne of David, and rule the world with a rod of iron for 1000 years (Revelation 19:11-19, 20:1-6). Therefore, the Christian does NOT take up arms to fight against man, governments, and the leaders of the earth to overthrow them. Our battle is not against people, but against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:10-20). Our weapons are not those of the earth, of man, they are from God and are mighty in the pulling down of spiritual strongholds and the lies that stand against the knowledge of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Our weapons are the proclamation of divine truth, serving with unconditional love and relying on God through sacrificial prayer (2 Timothy 4:1-5; Matthew 5:43-44; 1 John 4:7-8; 1 Corinthians 13; Luke 18:1-8; Ephesians 6:18-20).

The Gathering of the Church for Worship

The gathering together of God’s people for worship, fellowship, and edification are essential to the life and health of the church, their families, and individuals, as well as, knowing Christ’s full love and bringing God glory (Hebrews 10:24-25; Ephesians 3:14-21). We are the body of Christ and a body that is pulled apart and separate is mutilation (1 Corinthians 12:4-31). The church throughout the book of Acts and through church history has demonstrated the church is to gather together no matter what is happening in society, nor what government demands. Christ is the head of His Church and He tells us what we are to do and how we are to worship (Colossians 1:15-19).