There is one God (one essence)
- Expressed in three persons: the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit
- Eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, immutable, holy, just, faithful, loving, wrathful upon wickedness, sovereign, communicative, etc.
- There are no other Gods.
- Disobedience, resulting in an inherited state of sin. Theologians sometimes called this the "failure of the covenant of works", man's failure to remain in the Garden under the conditions that God commanded.
- Totally depraved — this means every part of man is ruined by sin (physical, spiritual, emotional, volitional [will]). Note: Man is not absolulely depraved, as is Satan and the demons. Note 2: In the Bible, the only places the term "free-will" is used, are in reference to "free-will offerings."
- Man's sinfulness is the ultimate explanation for all sin and trouble between people on the earth.
Mankind cannot redeem or save itself
- No amount of philanthropy, sincerity, sacrifice, good intentions or excuses can change the basically sinful state of man.
- This necessitated God intervening.
God sent His Son to become the Savior
- This was an agreement made in eternity past whereby the Father and the Son agreed that the Son must arrive on earth, as a human, in order to offer Himself a sacrifice in order to satisfy the demands of a holy God in the just and complete punishment for sin.
- Only one substitute was needed or was possible.
People are saved by believing in and entrusting themselves to the Savior
- Salvation comes as a free gift, by the simple act of believing in Christ and surrendering to His love and vicarious (substitutionary) atonement (payment for sin) for the individual.
- Salvation has nothing at all to do with good works, being "ready," going to church, being an American, living a good life, being responsible, etc. It is completely apart from the sense of "earning" it.
Saved people, together, comprise the Church
- The Church is universal, and local. Its true membership is often visible, sometimes invisible. All true members of Christ's body (the Church) are saved by grace, through faith alone. Each recognizes his or her own desperate need of the Savior.
- The Church generally recognizes two important "ordinances" given to the Church by Jesus Himself: Baptism (a one time event) and the Lord's Table (a frequent and repeated event), which signify the same message.
- The Church is governed by godly leaders in a voluntary and loving partnership with the individual members of the body.
The Church is the main agent for telling new people about the Savior
- God is sovereign in getting out the Gospel — it cannot be squelched or hindered. But in His plan, God has elected to use people, the Church, to get the Good News to people.
- After the Greatest Commandment (that God's people love Him totally — AND love each other) there is the Great Commission — that His people should make disciples of people from all nations and people groups, baptizing them, and teaching them to observe everything that Jesus commanded.
The news about the Savior is Good News (the Gospel)
We should never be ashamed of the Gospel. It is powerfully wonderful news to people who otherwise might think they can earn salvation in the after-life or that they are somehow too broken, sinful, rebellious or wicked.
What are our attitudes?
- We are evangelical and evangelistic. On doctrine, we believe in all the "fundamentals" though we are a little nervous about the word "fundamentalist." We use discernment about who we fellowship with, but we try to fellowship with as wide a representation of the body of Christ as possible.
- We are not charismatic, but we are not anti-charismatic. Decidedly Pentecostal people often get bored with us...
- We are Calvinistic, but we are not separatistically Reformed.
- We strive for a blended style of music in worship.
- We hope and pray and invite decisions during services but we do not generally utilize altar calls.
- We do not mandate tithing but we teach "grace giving" which is systematic, sacrificial and cheerful.
- We strive for friendliness, warmth and acceptance of newcomers, without being overbearing or intrusive.
- We do well at helping people heal from formerly abusive church situations.