What We Believe

Statement of Belief

1. The Holy Scriptures
2. Dispensationalism
3. The Godhead
4. The Lord Jesus Christ
5. The Holy Spirit
6. Creation
7. Total Depravity
8. Salvation
9. The Church
10. Baptism and Communion
11. Coming Events
12. Israel
13. Angels
14. Satan
15. Personal Separation
16. Ecclesiastical Separation
17. Priesthood of Believers
18. Civil Government

1. The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed, and therefore the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are the complete and divine revelation of God to man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning. The King James Bible shall be the preferred version used in the pulpit, classroom and memorization. (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21)arrow

2. Dispensationalism
We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life which define man’s responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather are divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these dispensations- the law, the church, and the kingdom- are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture. (Gen. 1:28; I Cor. 9:17; 2 Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1:10; 3:2-10; Col. 1:24-25, 27; Rev. 20:2-6)arrow

3. The Godhead
We believe in The One True God; who is an intelligent, sovereign, spiritual and personal Being; perfect, infinite, and eternal in His being, holiness and love, wisdom and power; absolutely separate from and above the world as it’s Creator, yet everywhere present in the world as the Upholder of all things. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being. (Gen. 1:1; Ex.15:11; Ps. 83:18; 139:7-9; Mk. 12:29; Mat. 28:19; John 5:19-23; 10:30; 14:26; 15:26; 2 Cor. 1:18-22; 13:14; 1 John 5:7)
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4. The Lord Jesus Christ
We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ: He is the second person of the Triune God, the eternal Word and Only Begotten Son; that without any change to His divine person, He became a man by the miracle of the Virgin Birth, thus to continue forever as both true God and true Man, one Person with two natures; that as Man He was tempted as we are, yet without sin; that as the perfect Lamb of God He gave Himself in death upon the cross, bearing the sin of the world, and suffering it’s full penalty of divine wrath in our stead; that He arose from the grave in a glorified body; that as our great High Priest He ascended into Heaven, there to appear before the face of God as our Advocate and Intercessor. (John 1:1,14; 3:16; Mat. 1:18-25; Gal. 4:4, 5; Phil. 2:6-10; I Cor. 15:3-7; Heb. 4:14-16; I John 2:1,2)arrow

5. The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person possessing all the attributes of personality and of deity (1 Corinthians 2:10-13; Ephesians 4:30; 1 Corinthians12:11; Hebrews 9:14; Psalm 139:7-10; Isaiah 40:13-14; Romans 15:13; John 16:13).  He is equal with the Father and the Son and is of the same nature (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 28:25-26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; and Jeremiah 31:31-34 with Hebrews 10:15-17).

We believe that the work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost when He came from the Father as promised by Christ (Acts 1:8; 2:1-4; John 14:16-17; 15:26). The broad scope of His divine activity includes convicting the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment; glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and transforming believers into the image of Christ (John 16:7-14; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 2:22).  He is the agent of the new birth (Titus 3:5), baptizing all believers into the church which is Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:13).

We believe that the Holy Spirit is the divine Teacher, who guided the apostles and prophets into all truth as they committed to writing God’s revelation, the Bible (John 16:13; 2 Peter 1:19-21). Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with (controlled by) the Spirit (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18).

We teach that the Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to each believer, individually, as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). The Holy Spirit glorifies neither Himself nor His gifts, but He does glorify Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in the most holy faith (John 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 3:18). We teach, in this respect, that God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of all His gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4-11) for the perfecting of the saints today (Ephesians 4:7-12; 1 Corinthians 14:12).  We teach that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles were for the purpose of pointing to and authenticating the apostles’ ministry (1 Corinthians 13:8-10; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Hebrews 2:1-4).
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6. Creation
We believe the Genesis account of creation as being neither allegory nor myth, but a literal historical account of the direct, immediate creative acts of the Trinity without any evolutionary process. (Gen. 1 & 2; Ps. 33:9; John 1:3; Col. 1:16,17; Heb. 1:2)arrow

7. Total Depravity
We believe all men are by nature and choice sinful and lost; that man was the direct creation of God, made in His image and likeness; that by personal disobedience to the revealed will of God, man became a sinful creature, the father of a fallen race which is universally sinful in both nature and practice, thus alienated from the life and family of God, under the righteous judgment and wrath of God, and has within himself no possible means of salvation. (Gen. 1:27; 3:6; Ps. 51:5; Rom. 3:23; 5:12,19; Gal. 3:11)

8. Salvation
We believe in salvation by grace through faith: that salvation is the free gift of God, neither merited nor secured in part or in whole by any virtue or work of man, but received only by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom all true believers have as a present possession the gift of eternal life, a perfect righteousness, sonship in the family of God, deliverance and security from all condemnation, every spiritual resource needed for life and godliness, and the divine guarantee that they shall never perish; that this salvation affects the whole man; that apart from Christ there is no possible salvation. (Eph. 2:8,9; Titus 3:5; John 1:12; 3:14; 10:28,29; Rom. 8:1; Phil 1:6)arrow

9. The Church
We believe the Scriptures teach that the Church of Jesus Christ began at Pentecost and will be completed at the Rapture. It must be considered in two aspects: the local church and the “church which is His body’.
The local church is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by a covenant in the faith and the fellowship of the Gospel, observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word. It’s Scriptural officers are Pastors, sometime called Bishops or Elders, and Deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are defined in the epistles to Timothy and Titus.
This definition of the local church leads to these Scriptural distinctives;
a) sole authority of the Scriptures for faith and practice;
b) Autonomy of the local church
c) Believers’ baptism by immersion before church membership;
d) Two officers, Pastor (Elder, Bishop) and Deacon;
e) Two symbolic ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s table;
f) Individual priesthood of the believer and soul liberty;
g) Separation of church and state
The “church which is His body” is the entire company of the believers in Christ, whether Jew or Gentile, regardless of denominational affiliation and present position in heaven or on earth. (Mat. 28:19,20; Acts 1:5; 2:1-4,41,42; 10:44,45; 11:15,16; I Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:22,23; Titus 1; Heb 12:23)arrow

10. Baptism and Communion
We believe the Scriptures teach that Christian baptism is the single immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem his identification with the crucified, buried, risen Savior, thus illustrating the believer’s death to sin and his resurrection to a new life. It is a prerequisite to membership and privileges in a local church. We believe that communion is the commemoration of his death until He comes and should be preceded by solemn self-examination and confession of known sin. Observance of communion is for baptized believers only. However, the Christian Church of Rural Grove never has, and never will, refuse communion to anyone. This is a personal matter between the individual and God. Neither the Pastor, nor the Deacons should ever notice who does, and who does not take communion. The ordinances of baptism and communion must be observed under the authority of the local church. (Acts 8:36-39; Rom. 6:3-5; I Cor. 11:23-28)arrow

11. Coming Events
a) The Righteous and the Wicked
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in his sight wicked, and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting
b) The Rapture of the Church
We believe in the “Blessed Hope”, the personal imminent pretribulational and premillennial appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ to rapture His redeemed ones of the church. (I Cor. 15:51,52; I Thess. 4:13-18; 2 Thess. 2:1,2; Titus 2:13; I John 3:2)
c) The Judgment Seat Of Christ
We believe that every saved person of the Church Age will appear before the “Judgment Seat” to be judged by the Lord in regard to his service and receive rewards according to his works. (Mat. 6:2; Rom. 14:10; I Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:10)
d) The Millennial Kingdom
We believe that Christ will return to earth after the tribulation with His saints to establish the Millennial Kingdom which literally will be on the earth and will be ruled by Christ from the throne of David. (Is. 9:6,7; Luke 1:32; Acts 2:29,30; 2 Thess. 1:6-12; Rev. 20:1-6, 12-14)
e) The Eternal State
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment in the Lake of Fire. The souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul and new body are reunited to be forever glorified with the Lord. The souls of the unbelievers after death remain in conscious misery until the second resurrection, when with the spirit, soul and body reunited they shall appear before the Great White Throne Judgment and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment. (Mat. 25:46; Luke 16:19-26; John 5:28,29; 2 Cor. 5:8,10; Phil. 1:23)arrow

12. Israel
We believe in the sovereign selection of Israel as God’s eternal covenant people, that she is now dispersed because of her disobedience and rejection of Christ, that she will be regathered in the Holy Land and, after completion of the Church, she will be saved as a nation at the second advent of Christ. (Gen. 13:14-17; Rom. 11:1-32; Ezek. 37)arrow

13. Angels
We believe in the personal existence of angels who were created by God to bring honor and glory to His name and to serve Him. Those angels who kept their first estate minister for them who are the heirs of salvation. There were among the hosts those who fell with Satan, the angels who kept not their first estate, who are presently functioning in Satan’s counterfeit system as rulers of darkness, to be resisted by the believers through the armor provided by God. (Is. 6; Mat. 17:18; Eph. 6:11,12; Heb. 2:14; Rev. 12:9)arrow

14. Satan
We believe in the existence of Satan: who originally was created a holy and perfect being, but through pride and wicked ambition rebelled against God, thus becoming utterly depraved in character, the great adversary of God and His people, leader of all other evil angels and wicked spirits, the deceiver and god of this present world: that his powers are vast, but strictly limited by the permissive will of God who overrules all his wicked devices for good; that he was defeated and judged at the cross, and therefore his final doom is certain; that we are able to resist and overcome him only in the armor of God, by the blood of the Lamb and through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Is. 14:12-15; Eph 6:12; I Pet. 5:8; I John 3:8; Rev. 12:9-11; 20:10)arrow

15. Personal Separation
We believe the Scriptures teach that every believer should be separated unto God from the world, and by the aid of the Holy Spirit, should walk in Christian love and holiness, exhibiting qualities of honesty, integrity, forgiveness, and loving-kindness. We further believe that any achievement in these characteristics will be evidenced by sincere humility and genuine zeal for the advancement of the cause of Christ. We also believe the Scriptures admonish every believer not to love the world or the things in the world, but rather flee evil desires, avoid every kind of evil and refrain from questionable practices which destroy one’s testimony, offend one’s brother and fail to glorify God. (Prov. 14:19-21; I Cor. 6:18-20; 8:9-13; 10:23,33; 2 Cor. 7:1; Gal. 5:22-25; Eph. 4:32; 5:1,2,7-10, 15-20; Phil 4:8; I Thes. 4:7; I Pet. 5:5,6)arrow

16. Ecclesiastical Separation
We believe the Scriptures teach that the believer should be separated from apostasy as exemplified in ecclesiastical organizations which include radicals, liberals and those who sanction theological compromise. This doctrine is based upon God’s eternal principle of division between truth and error and His specific command to be separated from the unbelievers and disobedient brethren. This truth is to be practiced with an attitude of devotion to God, humility, compassion, and yet with conviction, to create the proper condition and atmosphere for the main objective, i.e. the salvation of the lost through the Gospel of God. We believe ecumenical evangelism which involves apostates violates the principles taught in God’s Word. (Mat. 10:34-49; 18:15; Rom. 16:17; I Cor. 5:7-13; 2 Cor. 6:14; 11:4; Gal. 1:8,9; I Tim. 6:3-6; 2 Tim. 2:16-18; Titus 3:10,11; 2 John 9-11)arrow

17. Priesthood of Believers
We believe in the priesthood of all believers: that Christ is our Great High Priest and through Him every born-again person has direct access into God’s presence without the need of a human priest; that the believer has the right and responsibility to personally study and interpret the Scriptures guided by the Holy Spirit. (John 14:6; Heb. 4:16; 2 Tim. 2:15; I Pet. 2:1,5,9)arrow

18. Civil Government
We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home; 2) the church; and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respectable Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God. (Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; I Pet. 2:13-14)arrow