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 What We Believe

OUR STATEMENT OF FAITH

The Bible

The sole basis of our beliefs is the Bible, God's infallible written Word in the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments.  We believe that it was uniquely, verbally and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, and that it was written without error in the original manuscripts. It is the supreme and final authority in all matters on which it speaks and there are no other writings similarly inspired by God. It is eternal and relevant for all time.

Scripture in its entirety originated with God and it was given through the instrumentality of chosen men.  Therefore, Scripture speaks with the authority of God and reflects the backgrounds, styles and vocabularies of the human authors.

God

There is one true God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit - each of whom possesses equally all the attributes of deity and the characteristics of personality.  God is Spirit and unchanging in His attributes; He is holy, all-powerful, ever-present and all-knowing. In the beginning, God created the world and all things in it out of nothing, thus manifesting the glory of His power, wisdom and goodness. By His sovereign power He continues to sustain His creation. By His providence He is operating throughout history to fulfill His redemptive purposes.

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the eternal second person of the Godhead, who became a man through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. Thus, He became perfect man without ceasing to be God.

He lived a sinless life and voluntarily died on the cross for the sins of men as their substitute, according to the eternal plan of God, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone.

He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried, and rose from the dead in His physical body.  He ascended into heaven where He is in the presence of God the Father. He is the only mediator between God and man and is also constantly interceding on behalf of believers.  Jesus Christ will return to earth literally, personally and visibly.  The imminence of His coming should motivate believers to live "godly" lives.  Jesus Christ will return to meet all believers in the air, the dead first and then those who are alive.

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit has come into the world to reveal and glorify Christ.  He convicts and draws people to Christ, imparts new life to them, continually indwells them from the moment of spiritual birth and seals them until the day of redemption.  Every believer is to yield to the control of the Holy Spirit, "be filled with the Holy Spirit" and appropriate by faith the power to bear spiritual fruit and to glorify God.

Man

Man was originally created in the image of God. He sinned by disobeying God; and because God is Holy, man was alienated from his Creator.  That historic fall brought all mankind under divine condemnation.

Man's nature is sinful, and he is thus totally unable to please God.  Every person is in need of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

The salvation of man is the work of God's free grace and is not of human works of goodness or religious ceremony. God gives His righteousness to those who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, and thereby justifies them in His sight.

The Bible affirms the bodily resurrection of all people: those who have received Jesus Christ as their personal LORD and Savior to everlasting life, and those who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ to everlasting punishment.

The Church

Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, a spiritual body made up of those who have received Him, meeting in local congregations for worship, fellowship, and edification. The Church is commanded to make disciples of all nations by the proclamation of the "good news" of salvation in Jesus Christ.

Baptism and the LORD's supper are commanded by Christ.  These sacraments or ordinances are to be practiced by the Church. They are not to be regarded as a means of salvation.

Salvation

The central purpose of God's revelation in Scripture is to call all people into fellowship with Himself.  Originally created to have fellowship with God, man defied God, choosing to go his independent way, and was thus alienated from God and suffered the corruption of his nature, rendering him unable to please God.  The Fall took place at the beginning of human history, and all individuals since have suffered these consequences and are thus in need of the saving grace of God.

The salvation of mankind is, then, wholly a work of God's free grace, not the result, in whole or in part, of human works or goodness.  The mechanism of our salvation is faith (resulting in justification); the manifestation of our salvation is obedience and repentance (resulting in sanctification). When God has begun a saving work in the heart of any person, He gives assurance in His Word that He will continue performing it until the day of its full consummation.

Faith and Practice

Scripture is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.  We recognize that the Church cannot bind the conscience of Christians in areas where Scripture is relatively silent.  Rather, each believer is to be led in those areas by the LORD, to whom he or she alone is ultimately responsible.


OUR DISTINCTIVE 

Evangelical

The central work of God in Jesus Christ is our salvation.  Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried and was raised from the dead.  He died in our place and suffered the penalty that we deserved because of our sin.  On the basis of His death those who trust in Jesus Christ are forgiven by God, brought into relationship with God as His children, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  This gospel or "good news" is at the heart of the ministry and fellowship of STS Ministries.  We desire, above all, to proclaim Jesus as Savior to the people of our community, nation and world.  

    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.  (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)

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