THE CENTRALITY OF THE SCRIPTURES...
the Old and New Testaments, as the authoritative Word of God and the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct. (2 Tim 3:16) We believe it is essential to the life of the Church that it becomes a company of people who want, above all else, their lives to be shaped by the powerful and living Word of God. The alternative is clear: to not be shaped by the Word of God is to be shaped by the world. (Rom 12:2)
THE NECESSITY OF THE NEW BIRTH...
for entrance into God's kingdom, and the importance of continuing growth in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ for sound spiritual health. Jesus said, "Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). He also said, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free" (John 8:31-32).
THE CHURCH AS A FELLOWSHIP...
of believers, characterized by mutual participation in and sharing of the new life in Christ. Membership is by confession of personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We are open to all believers. Considerations of class or race, education or pedigree, wealth or prestige do not enter. Uniformity in creedal details is not expected. What is required is that one be, "born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," (1 Peter 1:3). "The doors of the church are wide enough to admit all who believe and narrow enough to exclude those who do not," said our forebears. We affirm no less today.
THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
who, with the Father and the Son, calls the church into being, empowers its witness, guides its mission, and supplies the gifts needed by the Church and its members to exalt Christ (1 Cor.12:1-11).
THE REALITY OF FREEDOM IN CHRIST
who delivers us from the power of sin and moves us by His grace into a whole new experience of obedience and life. This freedom creates an ecclesiastical climate, which allows for differences of opinion in matters of interpretation, doctrine, and practice within the context of biblical guidelines and historical Christianity. Such freedom is to be distinguished from the individualism that disregards the centrality of the Word of God and the mutual responsibilities and disciplines of the spiritual community (1 Cor. 6:11-20).