What We Believe*

I. The Doctrine of God

We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in the three persons of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They are co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections. (2 Cor. 13:14; Mt. 3:16, 17; Jn. 8:58, 14:9; Acts 5:3, 4; Heb. 13:8; Gen. 1:2)

God the Father rules the universe from Heaven's glory and has never been seen by mortal eye. (Dan. 4:35; Jn. 1:18)

God the Son became man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God, and redeem sinful man. We believe the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice, and that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical, resurrection from the dead. (Rom. 3:24; 1 Pet. 2:24; Eph. 1:7; Jn. 1:14; Isa. 7:14; Mt. 1:18-25; 1 Pet. 1:18, 19; Rom. 5:6, 25)

God the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts men of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment. He is the divine agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers unto the day of redemption. (Jn. 16:8-11; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:12-24; Eph. 1:13, 14; Jn. 3:5; Eph. 4:30)

II. The Doctrine of Man

We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam's sin, the race fell, inherited a sinful nature and became alienated from God. We believe man to be totally depraved, and of himself, unable to redeem his lost condition. (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:10-23, 5:12, 8:7-8; Eph. 2:1-3)

III. The Doctrine of Salvation

We believe that salvation is the gift of God, brought to man by grace, and received by personal faith in Jesus Christ. (Eph. 2:8)

We believe that salvation becomes a reality in the life when the individual repents of his sins, (2 Cor. 7:9-11) and places his faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ as his complete and only hope of salvation. (Eph. 1:7, 2:3-10) We believe the Holy Spirit is the person who enters and regenerates the believer. (Titus 3:5) We believe that the believer is indwelt by the Spirit of God who causes the believer to call upon God and know that he is the object of God's special care, that he is under the working of the Spirit of God, who is separating the believer from worldly practice and preparing him for Heaven. (Phil. 1:6; Jude 1; 2 Tim. 2:21; 1 Thess. 5:23) We believe that the believer has immediate access to God.

We believe that all saved individuals should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. (Eph. 1:12) We believe that separation from all religious apostasy and all sinful practice, pleasure and association is commanded by God. (2 Tim. 3:5; Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Jn. 2:15-17; Ps. 1:1; 2 Cor. 6:14-18)

We believe that the salvation of every believer is secure for all eternity from the moment of regeneration. This security is guaranteed to each believer by the fact that the life received is eternal life, by the keeping power of God, by the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit and by the interceding ministry of Christ. (Jn. 5:24, 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1, 29, 30, 36, 39; Eph. 4:30; Heb. 7:25)

We believe that immediate, positional sanctification is the process by which, according to God's will, we are made partakers of his holiness; that it is progressive; that it is begun in regeneration; that it progresses if the believer is yielded to the Holy Spirit's control; that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God, self-examination, watchfulness and prayer. (1 Thess. 4:3, 5:23; Prov. 4:18; 1 Jn. 2:29; Phil. 2:12; Eph. 6:18; Jn. 17:17)

We believe that ultimate sanctification will be the portion of every believer when finally in the presence of the Lord, complete and entire, with soul and spirit united in the resurrected body, free from every trace or effect of sin and rebellion. (1 Jn. 3:2; 1 Cor. 15:52-54; Eph. 4:30, 5:27; Phil. 4:20-21)

IV. The Doctrine of the Church

We believe that the Church is a spiritual organism composed of all believers of this age. It is the Body of Christ, and the Bride of Christ. (1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23, 5:25-27)

We believe that every believer is baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ, and hence every believer is commanded to be immersed as a testimony of this experience. (Rom. 6:3-5)

We believe that the Church ought to observe the Lord's Table periodically as a means of worship and of remembering the Lord's death till He comes. (1 Cor. 11:23-26)

We believe the Church has a two-fold ministry. First, that of evangelizing the world, and, secondly, that of building up every saint in the things of the spiritual life. (Mt. 26:19-20)

We believe that the establishment of the local church is clearly taught in New Testament Scripture, and that every local church should be composed of professed believers in Christ who have followed the Lord in baptism by immersion, and who seek to live lives separated from the sinful practices of the world. (Acts 2:41-47)

V. The Doctrine of the Scriptures

We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally inspired Word of God and the final authority for faith and life. We believe them to be inerrant in the original writings, infallible and God-breathed. (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; Mt. 5:18)

We recommend only those versions or translations of the Bible which are true to the original languages and do not mar the teachings therein.

We believe the Bible teaches that every Christian ought to study the Word of God consistently in order to grow spiritually.(1 Pet. 2:2-3; Heb. 4:12)

VI. The Doctrine of Angels

We believe in the existence of angels, which are created beings, who worship and serve God consistently. (Mt. 18:10; Mk. 13:32, 8:38; Mt. 13:41) They are greater in power than men. (2 Pet. 2:11)

We believe the New Testament teaches that angels are used of the Lord to help the church of this age. (Acts 8:26, 10:3; Luke 15:10; Mt. 4:11, Luke 22:43; Acts 12:8-11)

They will separate the righteous from the wicked in the last days. (Mt. 13:39-42)

VII. The Doctrine of Satan

We believe Satan to be one of the highest created beings that rebelled against God, and that he caused a number of the heavenly host to rebel with him. (Isa. 14:12-15; Ezek. 28:11-19)

He has thus become the leader of a host of demons who are opposed to God and all that is righteous. (Mt. 12:24) We believe he is the god of this wicked world, and the head of the kingdom of darkness. (2 Cor. 4:4) He is the tempter, (Mt. 4:3) and his primary work is to hinder the program of God in this world. (1 Thess. 2:18; Heb. 2:14)

We believe that he is the defeated foe, that we, as Christians, can successfully resist him in the power of God (James 4:7) and that Satan and his host will spend all eternity in conscious agony in the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels. (Gen. 3:14; Mt. 13:19, 39, 25:41; Rev. 20:10)

VIII. The Doctrine of Last Things

A. The Second Coming of Christ

We believe in the blessed hope; the personal, imminent, pre-tribulational pre-millennial coming of our Lord Jesus Christ for His redeemed ones, and His subsequent return with His own to rule and reign one thousand years on the earth. (Zech. 14:4-11; 1 Thess. 1:10, 4:13-18, 5:9; Rev. 3:10, 19:11-16, 20:1-6)

B. The Resurrection

We believe that the saints of God will be resurrected previous to the tribulation period, and that we will receive at that time immortal bodies. (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:50-54)

We believe that the unsaved dead will be resurrected at the end of the millennial reign of Christ, and will be judged before the Great White Throne, and cast into the lake of fire to eternally suffer conscious pain for their sin in rejecting God's mercy. (Rev. 20:11-15)

C. The Judgments

We believe the Bible teaches every Christian shall be judged. This judgment is for rewards and will not affect our salvation. (1 Cor. 3:8-16, 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:10; 2 Tim. 4:1)

We believe the unsaved dead will be resurrected to judgment at the Great White Throne. (Rev. 20:11-15)

D. The Eternal Glory of the Saints

We believe that following the White Throne Judgment, God will bring to pass a New Heaven and a New Earth, which will be similar to Paradise past, except that it will be a place where nothing can enter and corrupt the fellowship, peace and joy of that day. (Rev. 21-22)

IX. Additional Statements

A. We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church. (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 2:8-15, 3:4-5, 12)

B. We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ. Children are an heritage from the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them, through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline. (Gen. 1:26-28; Ex. 20:12; Deut. 6:4-9; Ps. 127:3-5; Prov. 19:18, 22:15, 23:13-14; Mk. 10:6-12; 1 Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33, 6:1-4; Col. 3:18-21; Heb. 13:4; 1 Pet. 3:1-7)

C. We believe that God hates divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Although people who have been divorced may hold positions of service in the church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the office of pastor or deacon. (Mal. 2:14-17; Mt. 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3; 1 Tim. 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6)

D. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance. (Gen. 2:24, 19:5, 13; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1, 6:9-10; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4)

E. We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. (Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23)

F. We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Elective abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life; therefore, we believe that elective abortion is murder. (Job 3:16; Ps. 51:5, 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24, 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5, 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)

*Updated and adopted by CLBC October 6, 2013.