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What We Believe

Statement of Faith

Table of Contents

Foundational Matters

I. The Bible

The Bible is God's revelation of Himself and His will to humanity. It is God-breathed, authoritative, necessary, sufficient, complete, and clear. It is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. God moved men to write the words of Holy Scripture just as He intended. Therefore, every word of Scripture is true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us. It is the true center of Christian teaching and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Jesus Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.

2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; John 5:39; 10:35; 12:48; 17:17; Psalm 119; Hebrews 4:12; Matthew 4:4; 5:17-18; Luke 24:25-27

II. God

There is one, and only one, living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal being: the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite and perfect in every way. God is holy, loving, gracious, and just. He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future. He deserves perfect love, reverence, trust, and obedience. The triune God, who is one essence, has revealed Himself to us in Scripture as three distinct persons – Father, Son, and Spirit. God’s singular essence cannot be divided. The Father, Son, and Spirit are equal in all attributes and glory and play distinct roles in the story of redemption. The three persons are united in desires, purposes, and will.

Isaiah 44:6; Deuteronomy 4:35; James 2:19; Isaiah 40:12-28; Exodus 34:6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; John 1:1-3; 1:14-18; 4:21-24; 14:16-17

A. God the Father

God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is the Almighty, the maker of all things visible and invisible. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. While He loves all people, God is Father in truth to those who become His children through faith in His Son Jesus Christ. He sent His only begotten Son (named Jesus) into the world to save sinners. After Jesus died, rose, and ascended, the Father and the Son sent the Spirit to impart the blessings of redemption and eternal life to God’s people. The Kingdom will one day be consummated, and all things will be subjected to the Father, that God may be all in all.

Genesis 1; Psalm 19:1-2; Ephesians 1:11; 1:4-5; John 1:12; 3:5-8; 3:16-17; 6:63; 14:26; 15:26; 16:7; Acts 2:1-4; 1 Corinthians 15:20-28

B. God the Son

The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. All things were created through Him and for Him. In His incarnation as Jesus of Nazareth, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He became truly and fully human yet without sin. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself a fully human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with humanity. He did not divest Himself of any divine attributes or alter His deity when He became human. He retained every attribute of deity and added to Himself a fully human nature. Because of the incarnation, Jesus Christ is one person with two natures. He is God and man. These two natures will eternally exist in Christ without confusion, change, division, or separation.

He honored the divine law by His personal obedience. His substitutionary death on the cross provided atonement and propitiation by His blood for guilty sinners. He was buried and then was raised from the dead on the third day with a glorified body. He appeared to His disciples after His resurrection as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the one Mediator, fully God and fully man, in whose person is effected the reconciliation between God and humanity. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission and God’s glorious kingdom. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever-present Lord.

John 1:1-18; 5:18; 8:54-59; 10:30; Colossians 1:15-20; Luke 1:26-38; 1 Corinthians 8:4- 6; 15:1-4 Hebrews 1:1-14; 2:14-18; 4:15; Philippians 2:5-11; Romans 3:21-26; Ephesians 1:3-10; 1:15-23; 1 Timothy 1:12-17; Acts 2:22-36; 2 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 19:11-21

C. God the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. As a distinct person of God, He is one in essence with the Father and the Son and possesses every attribute of deity. Thus, He deserves our worship, trust, and obedience. He moved the men of old to write the God-breathed Scriptures. He enables people to understand God’s Word. He exalts Christ. He convicts people of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He effects regeneration. He imparts the blessings of redemption and eternal life to God’s people.

At the time of regeneration, He baptizes believers into the body of Christ and unites them with Jesus Christ. The Spirit cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God, the church, and the world. He indwells and seals believers unto the day of final redemption. His indwelling presence is the guarantee that God will bring believers unto the fullness of the stature of Christ and glorify them on the last day. He empowers the church in worship, instruction and learning, spiritual formation, fellowship, service, and evangelism.

Genesis 1:1-2; 6:3; Job 26:13; 2 Samuel 23:2; Psalm 139:7-10; Ezekiel 2:2; 2 Corinthians 3:16-17; John 3:1-8; Acts 2:1-4; 5:9; 7:51; 1 Corinthians 12:1-13; Galatians 3:1-6; 5:16-26; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 10:29; John 14:15-26; 15:26; 16:4-15

III. Humanity

Humans are the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender (i.e., sex) is thus part of the goodness of God's creation. In the beginning, humans were innocent of sin and endowed by their Creator with freedom of choice. By the temptation of Satan and their free choice they sinned against God, falling from their original innocence and bringing sin and death into the human race. Thus, their posterity inherit a nature that is fully corrupt and in bondage to sin.

As depraved sinners, humans are justly under condemnation, are unable to change or save themselves, and desperately need God’s grace. They are sinners both in nature and in willful action. Thus, only God in His grace can reconcile sinners to Himself and enable humans to fulfill God’s creative purpose. The sacredness of humans is evident in that God created them in His own image and that Christ died for them. Therefore, every person of every color, culture, ethnicity, nationality, class, gender, age, mental ability, and physical ability possesses complete dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.

Genesis 1:26-30; 2:15-25; 3:1-24; 6:5; 9:6; Psalm 8:1-9; 139:1-18; Romans 1:18-32; 3:9-20; 5:12- 21; Ephesians 2:1-3

IV. Salvation

Salvation involves the redemption of the whole person and is offered freely to all people through the gospel. Salvation, in its entirety, is a free gift that Christ obtained and accomplished through His incarnation, sinless life, substitutionary death, bodily resurrection, and glorious ascension. In its broadest sense, salvation includes the blessings of regeneration, justification, adoption, sanctification, and glorification. Every blessing of salvation is a gift from the Father, obtained and accomplished by the Son, and imparted by the Holy Spirit. Salvation is received and experienced through faith in Jesus Christ. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, Savior, and God.

Ephesians 1:3-14; Ephesians 2:1-22; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; Romans 3:21-31; 8:1-39; 11:28-36; John 3:18; 3:36

A. Regeneration

Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby sinners become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a permanent change of heart and nature wrought by the Holy Spirit through the gospel whereby the sinner responds to the Word in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance is an essential aspect of genuine faith. Repentance is a genuine turning from a life of unbelief and rebellion toward a life of submission and trust in God and His Son Christ Jesus. In addition, faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ as all that He is and a commitment of the entire person to Him as Lord and Savior. Faith is a gift from God that is sustained by God.

Genuine faith inevitably produces spiritual fruit. However, good works and fruits do not save us, do not merit God’s grace, do not cause God to love us, do not justify us before God, and do not add anything to the finished work of Christ. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, for the glory of God alone, not by works, spiritual fruits, human merits, or religious activities.

2 Corinthians 5:17-18; 1 Peter 1:3; 1:22-25; Titus 2:3-7; John 1:6-13; 3:1-8; 3:36; Luke 6:43-45; Romans 10:9-10; 12:3; Acts 2:37-38; 20:21; James 2:14-26; Ephesians 2:8-10; 2 Timothy 2:25

B. Justification

Justification is God's just and full acquittal of the legal guilt of sin as well as the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the believer. In justification, God declares the believer to be righteous, holy, and blameless in Jesus Christ on the basis of Jesus’ righteousness and saving work. Justification is God’s immediate, total, and permanent declaration that the believer is righteous, forgiven, and not guilty of past, present, and future sin. Thus, justification should not be confused with progressive spiritual growth or the lifelong process of spiritual transformation into the image of Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a permanent relationship of peace and favor with God.

Romans 3:20-26; 5:1-2; 5:6-11; 8:1-4; 10:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Galatians 2:15-3:29; Titus 3:7; Philippians 3:7-9

C. Adoption

Adoption is God’s gracious acceptance of believers as His very own children in Jesus Christ. Believers are adopted at the time of their new birth. Through adoption, God’s children enjoy all the blessings and privileges that come with being children of the Creator. They have peace and loving fellowship with God and His other children, they receive the Spirit of adoption by whom they cry “Abba, Father”, they have personal access through Jesus to the throne of grace, they can approach God with boldness and confidence that he loves and accepts them, they are guarded, protected, comforted, assured, instructed, guided, developed, and disciplined by their heavenly Father, and they become heirs of God and co-heirs with Jesus Christ.

Galatians 3:23-4:7; Romans 8:12-25; Ephesians 1:3-14; 3:11-12; Hebrews 4:14-16; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; Hebrews 12:3-11

D. Sanctification

Sanctification is the experience, beginning with regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to belong to God (i.e., positional sanctification) and is enabled to progress toward Christlikeness by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit (i.e., progressive sanctification). God predestined believers to be conformed to the image of His Son. Believers are commanded to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling because God is working in them to will and to work for His good pleasure.

1 Corinthians 6:11; Hebrews 10:10, 29; Romans 8:1-11; Corinthians 12:12-13; Galatians 5:16-26; Philippians 2:12-13; Romans 8:29; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Thessalonians 2:13

E. Glorification

Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed. Believers will be glorified at the return of Christ when those who have died in Christ are raised to immortality and when those who are still alive will also be transformed, in a moment’s time, into the glorious and immortal likeness of Jesus Christ. Regarding order, the dead in Christ will rise first, and then those who are alive will be transformed. All believers will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. They will be like Him for they will see Him as He is.

1 Corinthians 15:12-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Romans 8:11; 8:16-25; 8:29-30; 1 John 3:2-3

V. The Church

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local congregation of baptized believers who are joined together through their faith in the gospel and their union with Christ through the Holy Spirit. A true local church preaches the gospel, teaches the Scriptures, has qualified elders and deacons, practices the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, practices church discipline, and strives to obey all of Christ’s commands. It exercises the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in it by His Word and seeks to make disciples of all nations. Every member is essential and is responsible for building up the body of Christ.

More broadly, the New Testament speaks also of the church as the worldwide Body of Christ which includes people from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, trust in His finished work on the cross, and have been born again by the Holy Spirit. The global church is made visible in local churches who bear the biblical marks listed above.

Matthew 16:13-20; 28:18-20; John 10:7-30; Acts 2:1-4; 2:37-47; Romans 8:1-17; 10:1-13; 1 Corinthians 12:12-30; Ephesians 2:11-22; 4:1-16; Philippians 2:14-16; Colossians 1:3-3:17; 1 Timothy 3:1-16; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 Matthew 18:15-20; Revelation 5:9-10; 7:9-12

VI. Last Things

God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return suddenly, personally, bodily, visibly, and powerfully. It will be a cosmic event that is obvious to all. It will happen on a day and at an hour that no one knows. Christ will judge all people in righteousness and consummate God’s kingdom. The righteous (i.e., believers) will be raised to receive their reward and will dwell forever with the Lord in the new heavens and new earth. The unrighteous (i.e., unbelievers) will be raised and consigned to hell, the place of everlasting punishment, away from the presence of the Lord.

Matthew 24:1-51; 25:31-46; 1 Corinthians 15:12-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Colossians 3:1-4; 2 Peter 3:1-13; John 6:35-44; Revelation 19:11-22:21

Additional Matters

I. Election and Perseverance of the Saints

Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He foreknows, predestines, calls, regenerates, justifies, adopts, sanctifies, and glorifies particular sinners through the sovereign means that He has ordained in His infinite wisdom. Election is consistent with the total depravity, spiritual deadness, and spiritual impotence of humans. Election does not, in any instance, negate the necessity of gospel preaching, the requirement of conscious, personal belief in Christ, or human responsibility for unbelief and sin. Election is the glorious display of God's sovereign goodness and love, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility and grateful worship.

God’s gracious purpose of election ensures that all His elect will be saved and will persevere in faith to the end of their lives. Those whom God has chosen, called, regenerated, justified, sanctified, and adopted will never fall away from the state of grace. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments and discipline on themselves, yet they will be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

Ephesians 1:3-14; Romans 8:18-39; 9:1-11:36; Philippians 1:6; 2:12-13; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; Acts 5:3-4; 6:1-11; Ephesians 4:30; 1 Corinthians 11:27-34

II. Baptism and the Lord's Supper

The ordinance of baptism is a sacramental act of immersion of the believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Baptism demonstrates and conveys a spiritual reality, namely, the believer's reception of God’s free grace through faith in the triune God and the believer’s union with the crucified, buried, and risen Savior. Baptism depicts the believer’s union with Christ because he or she is baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. This conveys the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life. It is also a testimony to the believer’s faith and hope in the final resurrection of the dead. Being one of two church sacraments, baptism is a prerequisite to the privileges of local church membership and to the Lord's Supper.

The ordinance of the Lord's Supper (i.e., Holy Communion) is a repeated sacramental act whereby baptized members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the cup in faith, memorialize the death of the Redeemer, reaffirm the gospel and their dependence on God’s grace in Christ, demonstrate their unity in Christ, and proclaim His death until He comes. Regular and proper participation in the Lord’s Supper is an important, God-given means of spiritual growth and strengthening when it is received and carried out in faith.

Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:37-41; Romans 6:1-11; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Titus 3:4-7; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

III. The Kingdom

The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over people who willfully acknowledge Him as King. In this age, the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which people enter through faith in Jesus Christ. The church is the kingdom community on earth and the visible expression and manifestation of God’s rule through King Jesus. Christians are to pray that God’s kingdom comes and His will is done on earth as in heaven.

Preaching the gospel, teaching sound doctrine, and good works are essential for the growth of the kingdom, but the church cannot force or bring about the consummation of the kingdom through its preaching, teaching, and good works. The Kingdom will grow as God saves and progressively matures His elect, but the full consummation of the Kingdom and the transformation of the world order awaits the return of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 4:17; 21:1-11; 24:3-31; 28:18-20; Mark 1:1-15; Romans 1:1-6; 16:25-27; Acts 8:12; 28:31; Colossians 1:13-14; 1 Timothy 6:13-16; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 2:8; 3:1-5; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-2:12

IV. Evangelism and Missions

It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The new birth of sinners by God's Holy Spirit means, in part, the birth of love for others. Thus, missionary effort is a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the preaching of the gospel to all nations. It is the duty of every child of God to seek to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness that is undergirded by a Christian lifestyle. A devotion to love and good works is an essential component of missionary effort.
Isaiah 49:6; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Luke 24:46-49; Romans 10:5-17; Colossians 4:2-6; 1 Peter 3:13-17

V. The Family, Human Sexuality, and Celibacy

A family is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.
Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in a life-long covenant commitment. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church. Marriage provides the framework for intimate companionship, godly sexual expression, and the means for the procreation of the human race. In particular, a Christian marriage is a unique opportunity for spiritual edification and partnership. The husband and wife are of equal worth and standing before God since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way Christ relates to His church. The husband is to love his wife selflessly and sacrificially just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He has the responsibility and authority to lead his family. A wife is to submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ. She should respect her husband and assist him in managing their household and nurturing the next generation spiritually and physically.

Children, from the moment of conception, are a gift from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. They are to teach their children the gospel and the Word of God, spiritual and moral values, and lead them by example and loving discipline to believe what is true and make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents in everything for this pleases the Lord.

Like marriage, celibacy is a gift from God, given as He wills for His glory and the good of those who may receive and rejoice in His gift. Celibacy and faithful singleness are to be celebrated and affirmed in the church.

God created humanity as male (man) and female (woman). We affirm that a person’s biological sex should be accepted, affirmed, and maintained. Every person’s sex is determined and given by God. Children and adults should not attempt to change, alter, or disagree with their God-given sex. Human sexuality is good, and men and women were created to enjoy this gift within the covenant of marriage. Marriage is the only godly context to express sexual desire and experience sexual intimacy and pleasure.

Genesis 1:26-27; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Matthew 5:32; 19:3-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 7:1-16; 11:1-16; 14:33-35; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7; 1 Corinthians 7:1-40

VI. Church Government

We affirm a congregational church government wherein each congregation is an autonomous body ruled by Jesus Christ. The two offices of the church are elders and deacons. The elders are the pastors, overseers, and leaders. Deacons assist the elders with the work of ministry in any way that is necessary and helpful to the church (e.g., benevolence, visitation, facilities, sacraments, etc.) so that the elders can prioritize prayer, preaching, teaching, oversight, leadership, training, and pastoral care.

1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5; Hebrews 13:7-8; 13:17; Acts 6:1-6; 20:28-32; Philippians 1:1; 1 Corinthians 5:1-12; 2 Corinthians 2:1-11

VII. Church Discipline

For issues concerning interpersonal sin, conflict, and church discipline, we follow the Lord’s instructions in Matthew 18:15-20 as well as other passages that detail the manner in which churches should handle these issues. Conflict and sinful offenses are to be resolved privately first, then with one or two witnesses, and then, if necessary, with the collective membership of the church. The goal is the repentance and restoration of the one(s) caught in sin and the reconciliation and restoration of any members in conflict. Scripture, prayer, gentleness, truth, impartiality, forbearance, and a forgiving spirit should pervade all levels of conflict resolution and church discipline. If the steps outlined in Matthew 18:15-20 have been completed and if a professing believer still refuses to repent and cease from sin, then the Lord commands the church to remove him or her from church membership and its privileges and to consider him or her to be an unbeliever who needs to be saved.

Matthew 18:15-20; Galatians 6:1-2; Colossians 3:12-15; Ephesians 4:30-32; 1 Corinthians 5:1-12; 2 Corinthians 2:1-11

VIII. Men and Women in the Church

All believers are essential to the body of Christ and are gifted by God to build up the church in unique ways according to their spiritual giftings. They are to follow God’s instructions about the proper and orderly exercise of gifts. God has ordained only men to serve in the office of elder (including the role of Lead Pastor), but He gives every kind of spiritual gift to men and women alike.

1 Timothy 2:11-15; 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 2:1-5; 1 Corinthians 11:1-16; 14:33-35; Philippians 4:2-3; Romans 16:1-16

IX. Christian Unity

The New Testament presents the person and work of Jesus Christ as the source and cause of Christian unity and brotherly love regardless of color, culture, ethnicity, nationality, class, economic status, or gender. Christ has made us one by His blood, Word, and Spirit. Nothing else can or will. The Scriptures teach us not to judge people according to categories of the flesh, but according to their spiritual condition and their relationship to Jesus Christ. Christian unity cannot be preserved, practiced, or enjoyed where doctrinal heresy is taught or where sin is practiced, tolerated, or celebrated.  

Ephesians 2:1-22; 4:1-16; Galatians 3:23-29; Colossians 3:9-11; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Corinthians 2:5-11; 5:16-21; Philippians 4:2-4; Acts 15:36-41

X. Spiritual Gifts

All the spiritual gifts are still active in the church of Jesus Christ as the Lord wills. The Spirit distributes the gifts where, when, and how God pleases. Every believer receives at least one gift for edifying others. We deny that speaking in tongues is a necessary sign or evidence of the new birth. We deny that the commonly called “miraculous gifts” are a sign of extra spiritual maturity or special devotion.

1 Corinthians 12-14; 1 Peter 4:10-11; Romans 12:3-8; Ephesians 4:1-16

XI. The Millennium, Rapture, and Final Judgment

We believe that Scripture most closely supports the premillennial framework for understanding the last things. There will be a period of seven years called the Great Tribulation. There will be a rapture (i.e., catching up) of dead and living Christians to meet the Lord in the air sometime before, during, or after the Tribulation. After the Tribulation, Christ will descend to reign for a thousand years. During this time, the devil (i.e., Satan) will be confined to the “pit” (i.e., “abyss) so that he will not deceive the nations. Satan will be released from the pit at the end of the Millennium and will carry out one last attack. He will be defeated and consigned to eternal punishment.

After this, Christ will raise the wicked (i.e., unbelievers) and consign them to eternal punishment. God will then form a new heavens and new earth where His people will reign with Him forever in glory and never-ending joy.

Revelation 20:1-6; 1 Corinthians 15:20-28; Matthew 19:28; 24:1-51; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Isaiah 65:20-25; Zechariah 14:5-17; Psalm 72:8-14; Acts 1:6-7

XII. The Christian in Society

God instituted civil government to establish and maintain order in society conducive to justice and human flourishing. Governing authorities are to punish those who do evil and praise those who do good. They do not bear the sword in vain. They are to be prayed for, honored, and obeyed, except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture. The church and the government are distinct and separate entities. Both exist under God’s authority and are accountable to Him. We are to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s. Jesus Christ is the only Head of the church. He has the final say in all matters of church doctrine and practice.

As Christ’s representatives, we are to be the best citizens and a blessing to society. The way we live should have a positive effect and should cause others to praise God. We are to be loving, just, peaceable, and courteous. We are to hate what is evil and love what is good. We are to be devoted to good works, especially caring for and protecting the most vulnerable (e.g., widows, orphans, the unborn, the aged, shut-ins, the sick, the homeless, the poor, those with special needs, etc.). We should be ready to work with others in various good causes, doing all things in faith for the glory of God.

Genesis 9:6; Romans 12:9; 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17; Matthew 5:13-16; 22:15-22; John 19:9-11; 1 Timothy 2:1-6; Titus 3:1-3

XIII. Stewardship and Possessions

God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual. Every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of lights. Christians have a spiritual responsibility to share the gospel with the world and a stewardship over their possessions. God owns everything and entrusts resources to believers for the glory of God, the advancement of God’s mission, for meeting their personal and familial needs, and for meeting the needs of others. Therefore, they must serve the Lord with their time, natural talents and abilities, spiritual gifts, finances, and material possessions. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, willingly, regularly, intentionally, proportionately, and generously for God’s glory and the accomplishment of His will.

Isaiah 66:2; Psalm 50:10-12; James 1:16-17; Matthew 6:19-24; 2 Corinthians 8-9; 1 Timothy 6:3-19; Hebrews 13:16

XIV. Angels

God created finite, spiritual beings called angels who are powerful, intelligent, and moral creatures. They are mighty warriors and spiritual ministers to God and His creation, especially ministering to those who will inherit salvation. They are rulers and authorities in the heavenly places with differing levels of authority and responsibility that God assigns to them. They are not human. Their normal mode of existence is spiritual, not embodied. Though they are spiritual in nature, they are not the same as the almighty and eternal Creator God. God is infinite and eternal. They are finite and temporal. God is the sovereign King and Creator. They are creaturely servants. God is independent and has no needs. They are dependent and inherently needy.

The devil (i.e., Satan) and his angelic followers rebelled against God. To this day, they actively oppose God but still live under His sovereign control. They are intent on deceiving, accusing, and destroying everyone that they can. They will not be redeemed. God will eventually cast them into the lake of fire where they will be punished and tormented forever for their wickedness.

Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 148:2; Colossians 1:15-17; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Genesis 6:1-8; Matthew 28:5; Acts 10:1-8; 12:6-11; Revelation 4:11; 5:11; Job 1:6-12; 1 Kings 22:19-23; Luke 10:18; Ephesians 2:2; 3:8-10; Ephesians 6:10-20; Luke 1:5-20; 1:26-38; 2:1-20; Jude 8-9; 2 Thessalonians 1:7; Zechariah 3:1-10; Genesis 18:1-19:22; Revelation 5:1-14; 1 Peter 5:8; 1 John 5:19