Statement of FaithAs a group of Christians, we share a common set of beliefs. These beliefs join us together by providing common ground and a purpose.
Overview"God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die."
Basically, we believe that people were created by God and that God loves us. God intended for us to exist in perfect harmony with Him, but because we insisted on defying Him, that is no longer possible in this world. As a result of our rejection of God's plan for us, suffering and evil exist in the world. No human being is capable of restoring the relationship with God that He intended for us to have because each of us is now born with a flaw that prevents us from communicating directly with God. However, by sending His son, Jesus Christ, to live a perfect life, take on all of our sins, and die as a sin sacrifice, God provided a way for us to again have that relationship.
If we, individually, admit to God that we have not followed his plan for us, that we are flawed, and that we must rely on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to restore us, then God will send the Holy Spirit to accompany us through life. The Holy Spirit enables us to communicate directly with God. He also helps us as we struggle to follow God's perfect plan for our lives, because old habits and ways of thinking are difficult to overcome. The rest of our lives are a process of getting to know God better and learning what He wants for us, then carrying that out. This can be harder than it seems, which is why God has instructed us to form churches, so that other people who are doing the same thing can offer support and advice.
We believe that when we die, we will each come before God. If we are still flawed, then God cannot tolerate us in His presence and must cast us out to spend eternity away from Him. If we have allowed Jesus Christ to remove our flawed nature, then God will accept us into His presence where we will spend eternity.
The explanation below provides a much more detailed analysis of exactly what we believe as a church.
The BibleWe believe the Bible, as contained in the Old and New Testament, was written by men who were inspired by God. The Bible is God's word and its truth is infallible without any mixture of error. It reveals God's character, His salvation for all people, and the principles by which God directs them to live. It is the full and final authority on matters of faith and practice, and there are no other writings similarly inspired by God.
GodWe believe in the only living and true God. He is the Creator of the universe and is personal, spiritual, infinitely holy, absolute and exists in three persons of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. All three persons are eternal, equal in power and glory, and one without division of nature or essence.
God the Father is all-powerful, all-loving and all-wise as He reigns with sovereign care and justice over His universe and all that it contains according to the purposes of His grace.
God the Son laid aside the glory of His divinity to take the form of a man in Jesus Christ. He lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by receiving their punishment in dying on the cross. He arose from the dead with a glorified body after three days. He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father where He, the only mediator between God and man, continually makes intercession for those belonging to Him. He will return again to earth to judge and reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords and to consummate His redemptive plan.
God the Holy Spirit convicts men of sin, righteousness and judgment. He lives in those who believe in Jesus Christ from the moment of their salvation and provides the Christian with power for godly living and understanding of spiritiual truth. He intercedes for us in our prayers and provides guidance in knowing and doing the will of God. He bestows spiritual gifts on every believer to equip them for ministry and to build up the church.
Man and SalvationWe believe that man was created in the image of God. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by His Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. We believe that people are born with an inclination toward sin. All people sin in failing to do all that God desires, which separates them from God. A person cannot exist in this world without sin because it is a spiritual characteristic of all mankind. Man by his own effort cannot produce righteousness or earn his own salvation before God. Through repentance and faith, drawn by the Holy Spirit, man may accept the grace of God provided through the redemptive death of Christ. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life, at which time the Holy Spirit causes spiritual rebirth and lives in the believer. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God and is therefore secure for the believer for all eternity.
Human DestinyWe believe that people were created to exist forever. Everyone will either exist eternally separated from God by sin in Hell or eternally with God in Heaven by forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence. Death seals the eternal destiny for each person. Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.
The ChurchWe believe there is one true church universal comprised of all those who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. A local expression of the church, as described in the New Testament, is a body of believers who meet together. They devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching the Word, observance of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, fellowship, service according to their gifts, and taking the gospel to the world. Its members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying God.
Baptism and the Lord's SupperWe believe that baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Though not a requirement for salvation, baptism is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to a new life of obedience and faithfulness to God. Salvation followed by baptism precedes membership at Calvary.
We believe that participation in the Lord's Supper is an act of obedience whereby members of His universal church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, remember and commemorate Christ's death on the cross for the sins of men and anticipate His second coming.
Religious LibertyGod alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it. A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.
This page was last modified on 4/23/00 lkl.