We believe . . .

1. ...that the Bible is the Word of God, meant to govern our faith and practices.  The individuals who wrote it were inspired by God in such a way that their original writings, guided by God's Holy Spirit, communicated God's thoughts without any error. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21) 

2. ...that there is one God, the Creator of the universe, who exists in three divine persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  This mystery, called the "Trinity," has no equal in our earthly experience.  Because of His great love, God the Father has created a way for us to be rescued from our sin and spend eternity with Him. (Genesis 1:1,27; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:1-5)

3. ...that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary by the divine action of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus is fully God and was also fully human.  Because He lived a sinless life, He was able to pay the penalty for our sins by dying on the cross in our place.  After three days Jesus arose from the dead, proving that His sacrifice for us was accepted, then He ascended to heaven where He reigns in glory.  One day Jesus will return visibly to the earth, receiving those who know Him as Savior and ultimately conquering sin to rule over a new heaven and earth. (Matthew 1:18,22,23; John 1:1; Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 4:15; Romans 1:3,4; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 10:12; Hebrews 12:2; Luke 24:51; 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17; John 14:3; Revelation 17:14; Revelation 21:1-4)

4. ...that God's Holy Spirit works in us, enabling us to see the truth of the Bible and our need for Jesus as our Savior.  The Holy Spirit begins to live in us when we accept Christ as Savior and gives us divine guidance and strength to follow Jesus each day. (1 Corinthians 2:9-13; John 16:7-13; Romans 8:9; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 5:25)

5. ...that there is only one method of salvation.  Because each of us sins, every individual must confess his/her own sin, request forgiveness, and by faith receive God's Son Jesus as his/her Savior and Lord.  This salvation is a free gift to us, it cannot be earned in any way, nor can one who has truly accepted Christ as Savior lose his or her salvation. (Acts 4:12; John 14:6; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; Romans 5:8; Romans 10:9; Romans 10:13; Acts 20:21; 1 John 1:9; Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5,6; John 10:29; Philippians 1:6; Jude 24) 

6. ...that there are two special 'ordinances' to be observed by the church.  First, the ordinance of baptism is for those who receive Jesus as their Savior.  Those who know Jesus in this way should be baptized in accordance with Jesus' example and in obedience to His command.  We baptize those who are old enough to make a decision to receive Christ as their Savior.  The method we use is immersion, that is, briefly submerging a person under water.  This symbolizes the person's death to his or her old way of life, controlled as it was by sin and rising to a new way of life under Christ's Lordship, that is, living in ways pleasing to God, with Christ's help. (Acts 2:38, Acts 2:41; Mark 1:9,10; Matthew 28:19,20; Romans 6:4-7; Romans 6:11)  Second, the ordinance of the Lord's Supper, also called 'communion', is a symbolic meal consisting of a small piece of bread and a small cup of grape juice.  The bread symbolizes Christ's body offered sacrificially for us on the cross, the juice symbolizes His blood, given in payment for our sins.  By taking these symbols we remind ourselves of Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf.  (Luke 22:19,20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

7. ...that everyone who knows Christ as their Savior has a direct relationship with God.  There is no need for any kind of religious official to act as a "go between" to represent them to God or seek His forgiveness.  Ministers and others can provide helpful teaching and guidance but every Christian can pray directly to God and study the Bible to learn the truth He has given us. (Hebrews 4:16; 1 Peter 2:5; Ephesians 4:11-12; Matthew 6:6-13; John 16:13)

8. ...that after death there are two eternal destinies.  Those who have received Jesus as their Savior will be given eternal life in heaven.  Those who have not received Jesus as their Savior will experience eternal separation from Him in hell.  God's desire, however, is that we not suffer eternal punishment but instead that we turn to Him for salvation and eternal life.  (Acts 24:15; John 3:16; Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 20:15; 2 Peter 3:9)

9. ...that our church should be self-governing and free to make its own decisions, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  We do choose, however, to cooperate in the work of Christ's kingdom with the group of churches known as the American Baptist Churches/USA. (Acts 15:22; Romans 8:14-16; Romans 12:5-8; Ephesians 4:3,4; Galatians 5:25; John 17:20-22)