1) We believe that there is but one true and living God a, eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit b, all having the same attributes and qualities, yet so as there are not three gods, but one c--each having the whole of the divine essence, yet distinct from one another so that the persons are not to be confused nor the substance divided; and that this God is invisible d, personal e, omnipresent f, eternal g, dependent on none h, unchanging i, truthful j, trustworthy k, almighty l, sovereign m, omniscient n, righteous o, holy p, good q, loving r, merciful s, long-suffering t, and gracious u.
2) We believe that God has revealed a all that is necessary to life and salvation b in the sixty-six books of Holy Scripture which are the written word of God c; that all Scripture was given by the inspiration of God d, is infallible and inerrant in the original autographs as represented by the best Greek & Hebrew manuscripts e, and is the final arbiter in all disputes f -- its authority being derived from its Author g and not from the opinions of men h.
Man's Creation and Fall
3) We believe that God, by His powerful word a, freely created the universe b out of nothing c in six days d and continues to sustain e and rule over it even now f; that as the pinnacle of His creation g, He made our first father Adam in His own image h, sinless, and upright i; that He appointed Adam head and representative of the whole human race j; and that He thereby made all Adam's offspring liable to the effects of Adam's obedience or disobedience to His commandment k.
5) We believe that it is, therefore, utterly beyond the power and the desire of fallen man to understand the things of God a, to seek Him b, to keep His commandments c, to embrace the Gospel d, to repent of sin e, or to trust in Christ f; and that these are, nevertheless, the very things God justly requires of him g.
6) We believe that God, in Christ a, before the foundation of the world b and for His own glory c, did elect an innumerable host of men and women d to eternal life as an act of His grace e and an expression of His love f; and that this election was in no way dependent upon His foresight of their faith g, decision h, works i, or merit j.
The Person and Work of Christ
7) We believe that Christ was sent into the world by His heavenly Father a; that He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit b in the womb of the virgin Mary c, and born of her, yet without sin d; that He lived a sinless life e, perfectly fulfilling the law of God f; that He was and is both fully man g and fully God h in two distinct natures i, and one Person forever j; that as man, he is our elder brother k and High Priest l before God m, representing us to God the Father n; and that as God, He is the visible image of the invisible Father o, representing God to us p.
9) We believe that as High Priest, Christ once offered Himself up to God a on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice b for the elect c, thereby propitiating God's wrath which was upon them d, procuring their reconciliation with God e, and redeeming them from the curse of the Law f; and that He continually intercedes for them g in the presence of His Father in Heaven h, thereby assuring their perseverance in holiness unto the end i.
10) We believe that as King, Christ was declared the Son of God with power by His bodily resurrection from the dead on the third day a; that, having in this way conquered His enemies b, He ascended to the right hand of the Father and was enthroned in glory, thus inaugurating His Heavenly Kingdom c; that He poured out His Spirit on the day of Pentecost to carry forward His work on earth d; that He rules in the hearts of His people e, subduing their sin f and enabling them to love and obey Him g; and that He rules over all creation, visible and invisible h, for their sake i.
11) We believe that God the Son has sent forth the Holy Spirit a to apply the sacrifice of Christ to the elect b by convincing them of their sin and misery c, enlightening their minds in the knowledge of Christ d, and renewing their wills e, thus persuading and enabling them to embrace Jesus Christ salvifically through faith alone f, whom has been freely offered to them in the Gospel g.
12) We believe that the elect, having been brought to faith by the ministry of the Spirit a, are justified b (that is, pardoned of all their sins c and declared righteous in the sight of God d) on the sole basis of Christ's righteousness imputed to them e; that, although sin may interrupt the joy of their fellowship with God f and bring upon them the loving discipline of their Heavenly Father g, they are never more nor less justified than when they first believed h; and that all the elect, both those before Christ's first advent and those after, are justified in the same manner i.
13) We believe that those who are thus justified are also adopted as God's own children a and made joint heirs with Christ b; that they are given the Holy Spirit as the guarantee of their redemption c through Whom they cry out, "Abba! Father!" d; and that they shall, therefore, bear the fruit of the Spirit e throughout the remainder of their lives f.
14) We believe that the Spirit indwells all true believers a and works in them, by means of the Scriptures b, that which is pleasing in His sight c; that, having freed them from the power of sin d, He conforms them into the image of Christ e and enables them more and more to die unto sin and live unto righteousness f; and that, nevertheless, due to their remaining corruption, this process is never perfected in this life but rather gives rise to a continual war (the flesh striving against the Spirit and the Spirit striving against the flesh g), which shall continue until Christ takes them home in glory and frees them from the presence of sin h.
God's Covenants and The Law
16) We believe that God has maintained one eternal purpose in Christ a which has been expressed through a multiplicity of distinct historical covenants b; that prominent among these c are those designated the Old Covenant (also known as the Mosaic or First Covenant d) and the New Covenant e; that the former, confined to the people of Israel alone f, was established while that nation was assembled before Mt. Sinai g and was later made obsolete h through its fulfillment by the life and death of Jesus the Messiah i; that it was comprised wholly of shadows j pointing ultimately to Jesus and His body, the Church k; and that, therefore, the age in which it remained operative was at all times a period of immaturity l as compared to the age of fulfillment which was inaugurated with Christ's first advent m.
17) We believe that the Old Covenant, containing a single, unified law code a, was a legal, conditional covenant b requiring perfect and complete obedience of all those under it c; that, on the one hand, it promised life to all who obeyed it d, and, on the other hand, it pronounced a curse upon all its transgressors e; that it, therefore, inescapably brought death to all who sought to be justified by it f -- not because of a deficiency in the law (itself "holy, just, and good" g), but because of the sinful inability of those under its charge h; and that, for this reason, it is variously described as a "killing letter," i a "ministry of death," j and a "ministry of condemnation" k-- its distinct purpose being to illumine sin l so as to make manifest the Israelites' and, by implication, all men's need for a redeemer m.
18) We believe that, in contrast to the Old Covenant a, the New Covenant (by virtue of Christ's perfect obedience to the law b, as well as His bearing of its curse c) promises only blessing to all those who belong to it d; and that this second covenant, the "everlasting covenant" e has been enacted upon better promises f.
19) We believe that, under the New Covenant, God's people, having entered the age of fulfillment a, now stand as mature sons b; that having been set free c from the tutelage and bondage of the law coded written upon tablets of stone e, they have subsequently been placed under the Spirit's management f -- having the new and greater Lawgiver's g own law h now written upon their hearts i.
20) We believe that, as a result, though many of the individual commandments given in the decalogue and the eternal principles upon which the Mosaic Covenant was founded still apply to those under the New Covenant a, God's people are now totally free from the Old Covenant as a covenant b; that the usefulness of the Mosaic commands is not therefore to be denied, only that these are now understood to come to us through Christ c, the mediator of the New Covenant d; and that, in particular, with the obsolescence of the Old Covenant, the fourth commandment, the seventh day Sabbath observance, is no longer obligatory e --- its relevance now pointing to that rest enjoyed by all those in Christ f.
21) We believe that the universal Church is the continuation a of the historical people of God whom, in Abraham b, God chose to Himself from all peoples c and to whom He bound Himself by making the covenants and the promises d; that it, therefore, consists only of those who have been justified by faith e; that it alone is rightfully designated the body of Christ f, a chosen race, a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, and a people for God's own possession g; and that it shall flourish h despite persecution and strife unto the end of the age i.
22) We believe that the local church is ultimately under the authority of Christ alone a; that its purpose is to glorify God b and enjoy Him forever through the pure preaching of the Word c, the proper administration of the gospel ordinances d, and the diligent exercise of church discipline e; that it has been commissioned by Christ to proclaim the Gospel to all men f, being assured that God will not cast out any g who come to Him in true faith and repentance h; that its membership is to be composed only of those who have professed faith in Christ i and who live lives in accordance with that profession j; that it is to be governed by a plurality of elders k (when possible) who share an equality of authority l; and that it is, consistent with the communion of the saints m, to recognize and fellowship with all members of Christ's Body n.
23) We believe that, though there are many gifts in the Body of Christ a, there is only one Spirit who bestows them all b, and that they are therefore to be used for the building up of the Church c and not for personal gratification d; that the the miraculous and revelatory gifts which were present at its inception f, are still active in the Church today g.
24) We believe that baptism and the Lord's Supper are gospel ordinances properly belonging to believers alone a; that they are external signs of internal, spiritual, and historical realities; that baptism signifies the recipient's cleansing from sin b but that it neither guarantees nor accomplishes such cleansing c; and that the Lord's Supper is a memorial d, wherein the death of Christ for His people is proclaimed visually as a comfort to the elect until His return in glory e.
25) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ shall come again (personally and premillennially) in order to establish His messianic Kingdom for a thousand years on the earth a. We believe that this time of our Lord's reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace, righteousness, and long life b. We believe that following the release of Satan after the thousand year reign of Christ c, Satan will deceive the nations of the earth and gather them to battle against the Saints at which time Satan and his army will be devoured by fire from heaven d. Following this, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone e whereupon Christ, Who is the judge of all men f, will resurrect and judge the great and small at the Great White Throne judgment g. We believe that after the closing of the millennium, the temporary release of Satan, and the judgement of unbelievers h, the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God, after which the elements of this earth are to be dissolved i and replaced with a new earth wherein only righteousness dwells j. Following this, the heavenly city will descend from Heaven k and will become the dwelling place of the saints, where they will enjoy everlasting fellowship with God and with one another l. Our Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will then deliver up the kingdom to God the Father m. in order that in all spheres, the Triune God may reign forever and ever n.