Discover What We Believe!
We believe that the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God and that men of God “were moved by the Holy Spirit” to write the very words of Scripture. The Bible is therefore without error (inerrant) in its original manuscripts. God has supernaturally preserved the Bible, and it is the sole and final authority for faith and life, providing encouragement, guidance, comfort and instruction for training in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).
The Godhead (Trinity)
We believe in one true God eternally existing in three distinct persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) each of Whom is fully and equally God; possesses all of the divine nature and attributes, and is totally worthy of our worship and service (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; John 1:14, John 10:30; 2 Cor. 13:14).
The Person of God
God the Father
We believe that God the Father is the first person of the Trinity and is the eternal, unchanging all-powerful, all-knowing, all-wise, all-loving, completely just and perfectly holy, sovereign Ruler and Sustainer of the universe. He is the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the Father of all true believers (Gen. 1:1; Eph. 4:6; John 1:12-13,John 5:19-21, John 17:1-5; Isa. 40:21-28, Isa. 43:10-13, Isa. 46:8-11; Rom. 8:14-16).
God the Son
We believe that Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity and is the only begotten eternal Son of God Who became flesh to reveal God to man, to fulfill prophecy, and to become the Savior of the lost world. In becoming man Jesus did not cease in any way to be God so that He is fully God and fully man inseparably united in one person forever. Jesus was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit; born of the Virgin Mary; lived a sinless life; died on the cross as the substitutionary, all-sufficient atoning sacrifice for all of the sins of all men of all time; was buried; bodily rose from the dead; physically ascended into heaven in His glorified, resurrected body; is seated at the right hand of the Father performing His ministry of intercession; will return in the air to claim His bride the church; and will come again to earth in bodily form, personally and visibly, to conclude human history and consummate God’s eternal plan by executing judgment and ushering in His Millennial Kingdom reign to be followed by the eternal state (John 1:1,14,18; John 3:16; Luke 1:30-35; Phil. 2:5-8; Col. 2:3,9; Mark 10:45; Acts 2:22-24; John 1:29; Rom. 3:25-26; Heb. 10:5-14; 1 Pet. 2:24, 1 Pet. 3:18; John 20:20; Phil. 3:20-21; Heb. 1:3; Rom. 8:34; 1 John 2:1; Acts 1:11; Heb. 9:28; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; 2 Thes. 2:7; Matt. 24:44; Rev. 19:11-21; Rev. 21-22).
God the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity Who specially came into the world on the day of Pentecost to glorify Christ and to enable men to appropriate the salvation wrought by Christ. He is the primary agent for the conviction of sin and for regeneration. Simultaneously with salvation, the Holy Spirit imparts new life, baptizes the believer into the body of Christ (His church), permanently indwells the believer, and securely seals the believer unto the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit fills (directs and controls) those believers who are yielded to Him, enables believers to bear fruit, and empowers believers to live a life free from sin’s dominion. We also believe that the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to believers for the purpose of edifying the church in accordance with the teachings of scripture. The gifts of the Holy Spirit that we see on display in the New Testament are still active within the life of the church. These gifts did not end with the close of the New Testament or the death of the last apostle. ( John 16:7-8; 1 Cor. 6:19, 1 Cor. 12:1-13; Eph. 1:13-14, Eph. 4:30; Gal. 5:16-17; Rom. 8:5-13; 1 Pet. 4:10-11; Rom. 12:3-8).
We believe that Satan is the instigator of evil and a real spirit being, not simply the personification of evil. He is a fallen angel who, under the sovereign permission of God, has been given temporary rulership of the earth. He was utterly defeated at the cross, but the execution of his judgment has been postponed by God until after the Millennial Kingdom when he will be cast into the eternal lake of fire. In the meantime, he deceives the world and seeks to establish his counterfeit kingdom on earth to discredit and blaspheme God and to tempt, accuse, attack and destroy believers. He can be resisted by the believer through faith and reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit (Gen. 3:1-5;Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:11-19; Job 1-2; 1 John 5:19; 2 Cor. 11:14; 1 Tim. 3:6; 1 Pet. 5:8-9; James 4:7; Rev. 12:9, Rev. 20:1-3, Rev. 7-10).
We believe that man was created in the image of God by direct act of God and did not come into being as the result of evolution. Man was created to glorify God, worship and serve Him, and have fellowship with Him. Man fell through sin by disobeying God, thus incurring both physical and spiritual death, which alienated him from God. Man’s nature was thus corrupted and he is utterly lost, “dead in trespasses and sins,” and totally incapable of saving himself and coming back into right relationship with God by his own merit or effort (Gen. 1:26, Gen. 2:6,17, Gen. 3:17-24; Isa. 59:1-2; Rom. 3:9-19,23, Rom. 5:8; Luke 18:26-27; Eph. 2:13).
Salvation & The Christian Life
We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross provides the sole basis for forgiveness of sins and salvation, which is the free gift of God’s grace. Salvation is effected by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit and cannot be secured by man’s works or personal merit. Salvation is only appropriated by a person placing his faith in the finished work of Christ. Repentance is a turning toward God and away from sin and is a part of but not separate from believing faith. “The Gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” and those who receive Jesus Christ by faith are born again, have their sins forgiven, become children of God, are a new creation in Christ, and “are sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption” being kept by the power of God (Eph. 1:7:13-14; John 1:12-13, John 3:1-7, John 14-16; 2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 1:16, Rom. 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8-10; Rom. 8:14-17, Rom. 31-39; John 10:27-29,Rom. 14:6; Acts 26:20; 1 Pet. 1:3-5).
We believe that every Christian should live for Christ and not for himself and should, by the power of the indwelling Spirit, allow Christ to manifest His life through him to God’s glory. By ever increasing obedience to the Word of God, each believer should mature and progressively become more like Jesus. In the power of the Spirit, each believer should live a holy life; not fulfill the lusts of the flesh; exercise his spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ; witness for Christ; be personally involved in making disciples to fulfill the great commission; perform good works and bear fruit to the glory of God (Gal. 2:20; 1 Pet. 1:15-16, 1 Pet. 2:11; 2 Cor. 5:14-15; Rom. 6:11-13; Eph. 2:10, Eph. 4:11-12, Eph. 4:22-24; 1 Pet. 4:10-11; Acts 1:8; Matt. 28:18-20; Col. 1:10; John 15:8, 16).
We believe it is the aim, duty, and privilege of every believer and local church fellowship to glorify God by responding as active participants in the Great Commission call of Jesus Christ to go and make disciples of all nations. We believe the primary focus and priority of this call is centered on efforts that establish, strengthen, and reproduce biblically-based churches, which will then plant churches that plant churches for future generations and God’s glory.
Marriage & Sexuality
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning and that is marriage sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other. 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 sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography or any attempt to change one’s sex, or disagreement with one’s biological sex, stands in opposition to what God intends for our life. We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of the church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the church body and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, should abide by and agree to this Statement on Marriage and Sexuality and conduct themselves accordingly. We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with scripture or the doctrines of the church. We believe that Appalachian Church may not permit any church assets or property of any kind to be used in any manner that would be or could be perceived by any person to be inconsistent with this church’s beliefs, including but not limited to permitting any church facilities to be used by any person, organization, corporation, or group that would or might use such facilities to convey, intentionally or by implication, what might be perceived as a favorable impression about any other views on marriage and sexuality other than those we have affirmed.
Heaven & Hell
We believe in a literal Heaven and a literal Hell and that all those who place their faith, hope and trust in Jesus Christ will spend eternity in Heaven with the Lord. Those who reject Jesus’ free gift of salvation will spend eternity separated from the Lord (Psalm 9:17; Matthew 5:3, 5:22, 18:9, 25:31-34; Mark 9:42-49; Luke 12:5; John 3:18; Hebrews 12:23; I Peter 1:4; Revelation 14:10-11, 20:11-15).
We believe God created the universe in six twenty-four hour days and that before He created the universe, nothing except God existed (Genesis 1; Exodus 31:17; Psalm 33:6-9; Acts 17:24; Hebrews 11:3; Colossians 1:16).
God chose to create the universe and all that is in it to reveal His glory, divine nature, eternal power, infinite wisdom, and supreme authority (Isaiah 43:7; Psalm 19:1-2; Jeremiah 10:12; Romans 1:20; Revelation 4:11).
We deny the theory of evolution, which states that nonliving substances gave rise to the first living material, which then reproduced and diversified to produce all living creatures. We believe that all people are descendants of Adam and Eve, whom God created personally and individually and as complete human beings (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:7; Genesis 2:21-22; 1 Corinthians 11:8-9). The fall of Adam and Eve infected all people with sin and death, but the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ gives the opportunity to receive God’s gift of eternal life (Romans 5:18-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22).
God rules over His creation and cares about and is involved in the lives of individual people (Job 12:10; Acts 17:25; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:13; Ephesians 4:6).
Creation, Evolution, and God’s Sovereignty
We believe that the Lord, Jesus Christ instituted two ordinances for the church: the full-immersion water baptism of believers and the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 28:19; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 2:38; I Corinthians 11:23-26).
Eternal Salvation of a Believer
It is God’s divine decision to save a person and it is God’s kindness, forbearance, and patience that lead that person to repentance (Romans 2:4). All glory for the salvation and security of every believer belongs to God alone (Romans 3:21-31; Ephesians 1:7-9; Ephesians 2:8-9, Jude 1:24-25). We believe that everyone who is born again by the Spirit through Jesus Christ is eternally assured of salvation from the moment of conversion. This assurance relies on God’s decisive grace rather than on the works of the Christian. Obedience, good works, and fruit-bearing do not earn or retain the believer’s salvation but indicate the reality of the person’s love of Christ and profession of faith (Luke 6:46; John 14:21; James 2:17-18).
Eternal security in salvation relies on the Lord’s guarantee of each believer’s adoption as His son or daughter (Galatians 4:4-7), His seal of the believer by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14), and the conviction that God gives the Holy Spirit to each believer as a down payment toward future bliss in heaven (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). A person who professes genuine faith in Christ immediately becomes His possession (Luke 23:42-43; Acts 2:40-41; Acts 16: 30-34), and nothing can snatch that person out of His hands (John 10:27-29). Having been bought with the price of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion as complete payment for sin, Christians are not their own. They are Christ’s possession (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This assurance is absolutely certain, reserved in heaven, protected by God’s unlimited power (1 Peter 1:4-5).
Process of Sanctification & Maturity
Mature disciples walk with Christ, worship Christ, and work for Christ. A person committed to a relationship with Christ focuses on a personal walk with Him, worshiping Him, and working for Him. That person will experience significant growth in personal sanctification and, therefore, will experience a closer personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and will become “complete in Christ” (Colossians 1:28). We are committed to multiplying the godly characteristics of leaders’ lives into others (2 Timothy 2:2). This multiplication of ministry is key to the healthy growth of the church. We believe the disciples of Jesus Christ should minister to one another in the local church, rather than one or a small number of professional pastors bearing total responsibility to care for the entire congregation. God has given spiritual gifts to all of His people to provide mutual ministry in the context of the healthy and strong local church (Ephesians 4:11-12).
Things To Come
We believe in and expectantly await the glorious, visible, personal, return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The blessed hope of His return has vital bearing on the personal life, service, and mission of the believer (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The lost will be raised to judgment and experience eternal wrath in hell. The saved will be raised to eternal joy in the new heaven and new earth in the manifested presence of God (Acts 1:3, 9; Hebrews 7:25-26).