What We Believe: Doctrine

Baptism

We believe in the believer's baptism by full immersion in water. We baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, by the authority or name of Jesus. (Matt 28:19)  We believe that when someone is saved they are then commanded to be baptized as is recorded in the book of Acts.

Romans 6:3-4 describes baptism as representing a burial with Christ, in His death, and new life, by His resurrection. Being immersed in the water symbolizes His death for us, and we partaking in it, and bursting forth out of the water is symbolic to the historical event of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We believe that baptism identifies the believer with Christ as a witness to the world, and the Church. In other words it is an outward sign of an inward commitment, and often validates the authenticity of the believer.

 The overwhelming majority of verses dealing with what constitutes "salvation" in the New Testament (around 150) exclude any mention of baptism. About 4 verse couple baptism with salvation, therefore we do not believe in baptismal regeneration (salvation by baptism). Paul explained in Ephesians 2:8-10 that we are not saved by works, baptism however is a work (a witness) that God has prepared for us as believers.

Oftentimes, even today, it is unclear if someone is truly committed to Christ until they are baptized, and in that respect it is very closely linked with the issue of salvation. That was the case in Jesus' day, a Jew being baptized was almost considered treason. I would question anyone who claimed salvation, yet refused to be baptized.  

Therefore we believe that a Christian is saved by faith alone through belief and confession (Romans 10:8-10). Paul would go as far as to say, "I thank God that I baptized none of you"...and "God did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel." (1 Corinthians 1:14 & 17) If baptism was what saves us it would be considered part of the gospel.

It really depends where the individual being baptized is placing their trust/faith.  The danger is that someone might think they are saved because they were baptized, placing their trust in their baptism, rather than in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, and resurrection. Our faith is not to be placed in the event of baptism, but in what it represents and is connected to, which is the good news of the Gospel.

Having said all of that, we do believe that baptism is essential for the believer because it is commanded by Christ, and it is practiced by all those who believe in the book of Acts. Some of whom were obviously saved before being Baptized as in Acts 10, and the thief on the cross.

Government

We believe that the Civil Government is of divine appointment for the interest and good order of human society, and that Magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience, and King of the Kings of the earth. (Romans 13:1-7, Acts 4:18-22, Acts 5:27-32) 

Marriage

We believe in the creation and God as the Creator. We believe that God created mankind and that He created them male and female. As such, He created them different so as to complement and complete each other. We believe that God instituted marriage as a monogamous relationship between one male and one female as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society and as such, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6; John 4:16-18; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 5:11, 6:9-11, 6:18-20, and 7:1-3 and 8-9; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:3-7; and 1 Timothy 1:9-11)