We believe that God’s grace does not come to us as the result of human effort or worthiness (Romans 3:24-28; 11:6), but is the provision of God’s mercy and love freely given to those who will believe in His Son (Ephesians 2:4-10). Grace gives to us what we do not deserve nor can earn by our performance (Romans 11:6). It is by God’s grace that a person is able to experience forgiveness and a right relationship with Him (Ephesians 1:6-7; 2:8-9). Believers in Jesus Christ stand in the grace of God (Romans 5:2) and by it they have hope. For those in Christ, grace abounds far beyond sin and its consequences (Romans 5:15-19), to the end that condemned sinners are now able to have eternal life through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:20-21).
We believe that all people are sinners by nature and by choice – therefore, under God’s condemnation. We believe that as sinners (Romans 3:23) we are unable by human performance to earn, deserve, or merit salvation (Titus 3:5). We believe that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and that apart from God’s grace no one can be saved (Ephesians 2:8-9). We believe that none are righteous before God (Romans 3:10-12), and that apart from the conviction and regeneration of the Holy Spirit, none can be saved (John 1:12-13; 16:8-11; I Peter 1:23-25). Mankind is clearly fallen and lost in sin.
We believe that Jesus Christ died as a substitute for and a satisfaction of God’s righteous judgment against sin “for the whole world” (1 John 2:2; 4:9-10). God redeems and forgives all who will believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as their only hope of salvation from sin, death, and hell (Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19). We believe that eternal life is a gift of God (Romans 6:23), and that whoever believes in Jesus Christ will not perish, but will have eternal life (John 3:16-18). 1 Timothy 4:10 says “…we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.” Hebrews 2:9 states that Jesus “…was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” The atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ was clearly sufficient to save the entire human race (2 Peter 2:1), but becomes effective only in those who believe (1 Timothy 4:10).
The Bible affirms the doctrine of predestination, that God chose believers before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight and in love has predestined them to be adopted as His children (Ephesians 1:4-6). Those whom God has foreknown He has predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29-30). We believe that God offers salvation to all who will call on His name (Romans 10:13). We also believe that God calls to Himself those who will believe in His Son, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:9). The Bible teaches that there is a universal command to repent given to all people, that human beings make choices for which we are responsible, and that those choices have eternal consequences (Acts 17:30-31). Revelation 22:17 states, “…whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” I Peter 1:2 tells us we are, “…chosen [elect] according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood…” Matthew 22:14 says, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” God clearly does choose, but man must also accept God’s invitation to salvation. There is a mystery here. Any attempt at demonstrating that the Bible teaches only one side of this mystery must be rejected. To all who have believed, we say clearly: do not boast, for even your faith is by the grace of God. We cannot save ourselves, only God saves. And God alone receives glory for our salvation.
We believe that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 8:38-39), and that there is no condemnation to those who are in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:1). We believe that the promise of Jesus in John 10:27-28 is clear: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” Jesus said in John 6:37, “…whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” We have this assurance in Philippians 1:6: “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” We believe that the Holy Spirit has sealed us for the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30).