The truths we hold as essential to belief and theology that guides us as a church.

The Essentials


We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally inspired Word of God, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the original writings, infallible, and God-breathed. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Matthew 5:18)


We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - co-eternal in being, co-eternal in nature, co-equal in power and glory, having the same attributes and perfections. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; Luke 1:30-35; 2 Corinthians 13:14)


We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, 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 mankind (John 1:1-2, 14; Luke 1:35). We believe that Jesus accomplished our redemption through death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice, and that our justification is made sure by His literal and physical resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:24; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 3-5). We believe that Jesus ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry as our Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:24; Romans 8:24; 1 John 2:1-2). We believe that Jesus is coming again to judge the living and the dead (1 Peter 4:5; Romans 14:9; 2 Timothy 4:1).

The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration and baptizes all believers into the body of Christ, the Church. (John 16:8-11; 2 Corinthians 12:12-13; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18)


We believe that mankind was created in the image and likeness of God (imago dei), but that through Adam's sin, the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God. Humanity is totally depraved and, of himself, is utterly and unable the remedy his lost condition (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:22-23, 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3, 12).


We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to mankind by grace and received by personal faith in the Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins and for the doing of good works for His glory (Ephesians 2:8-10; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:71 Peter 1:18-19; Colossians 1:10).

ministry & Spiritual gifts

We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowing of spiritual gifts. It is, however, the believer's responsibility to attempt to develop their sovereignly-given spiritual gifts through reliance on the Spirit's direction (1 Corinthians 12:7, 11, 13; Romans 12:4-8; 1 Peter 4:10-11).

the church

We believe that the church, which is the body and espoused bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all born-again persons (Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:25-27; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 11:12). We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27, 18:22, 20:17; 1 Timothy 3:1-3; Titus 1:5-11).

Our Distinctives

We have included theological distinctives that shape our lives and ministry. We believe that these are not essentials. In other words, you can disagree with these stances and still be a Bible-believing, Jesus-loving, mission-embracing Christian, as well as a member of Emmaus. 

pertaining to salvation

We enthusiastically embrace the sovereignty of God's grace in saving sinners. 

We affirm that God predestined us in Christ before the foundation of the world, not on the basis of foreseen faith, unconditionally according to his sovereign good pleasure and will. We believe that through the work of the Holy Spirit, God will draw the elect to faith in his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, graciously and effectually overcoming their stubborn resistance to the Gospel so that they will most assuredly and willingly believe.

We also believe that these the elect of God whom we gave to the Son, will persevere in belief and godly behavior and be kept secure in their salvation by grace through faith (John 6:37-40, 10:27-30; Romans 8:1, 38-39; 1 Peter 1:5).

We believe that God's sovereignty in His salvation neither diminishes the responsibility of people who believe in Christ nor marginalizes the necessity and power of prayer and evangelism, but rather reinforces and establishes them as the ordained means by which God accomplishes His ordained ends (John 1:12-13, 6:37-44; Acts 13:48, 16:30-31; Romans 3-4, 8:1-17, 31-39, 9:1-23, 10:8-10; Ephesians 1:4-5, 2:8-10; Philippians 2:12-13; Titus 3:3-7; 1 John 1:7-9).

We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God's Word, which clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for the flesh (Romans 13:13, 14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15).

pertaining to the Holy Spirit

We recognize and rest upon the necessity of the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit for all of life and ministry. 

The Holy Spirit is fully God, equal with the Father and Son, whose primary ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. He also convicts unbelievers of their need for Christ and imparts spiritual life through regeneration (the new birth). The Spirit permanently indwells, graciously sanctifies, lovingly leads, and empowers all who are brought to faith in Christ so that they might in obedience to the inerrant Scriptures. 

The model for our reliance upon the Spirit and our experience of His indwelling and empowering presence is Jesus himself, who was once filled with the Spirit and entirely dependent on His power for the performance of miracles, preaching of the kingdom of God, and all other dimensions of His earthly ministry. 

The Spirit who indwelled and empowered Christ in like manner indwells and empowers us through spiritual gifts He has bestowed for the work of ministry and the building up of the body of Christ. We recognize and rest upon the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit for all of life and ministry evidencing itself at times with the supernatural gifts of tongues, healing, and prophecy (Matthew 3:11, 12:28; Luke 4;1, 14, 5:17, 10:21; John 1:12-13, 3:1-15, 34, 14:12, 15:26-27, 16:7-15; Acts 2:14-21, 4:29-30, 10:38; Romans 8:9, 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:7-13, 12:28-31, 14:1-33; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Galatians 3:1-5; Ephesians 1:13-14, 5:18).

pertaining to the church

We embrace a missionary understanding of the local church and its role as the primary means by which God chooses to establish his kingdom on earth.

The church has a clear and biblical mandate to look beyond its own community to the neighborhood, the nation, and the world as a whole; thus, mission is not an optional program in the church, but an essential element in the identity of the church. We are called to make Christ known through the Gospel, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, to bring His lordship to bear on every dimension of life. 

The primary way we fulfill this mission is through the planting of churches that plant churches, and through the training of their leaders. Our aim is that Jesus Christ would be more fully formed in each person through the ministry of the churches that God enables us to plant around the world. We also believe we are responsible neither to retreat from our culture nor to conform to it, but with humility, through the Spirit and the truth of the Gospel, to engage it boldly as we seek its transformation and submission to the lordship of Christ (Isaiah 52:7; Matthew 10:5-25, 28:18-20; Luke 4:18-19, 24:46-47; Acts 28:31; Romans 10:14-15; 2 Corinthians 10:4-5; Galatians 2:10; Ephesians 3:10, 4:11-16; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; Hebrews 10:23-25; 1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10).

pertaining to humanity

We are deeply committed to the fundamental spiritual and moral equality of male and female, and to men as responsible servant-leaders in the home and church. 

Both men and women are together created in the divine image and are therefore equal before God as persons, possessing the same moral dignity and value, and having equal access to God through faith in Christ. Men and women together are the recipients of spiritual gifts designed to empower them for ministry in the local church and beyond. Therefore, women are to be encouraged, equipped, and empowered to utilize their gifting in ministry, in service to the body of Christ, and through teaching in ways that are consistent with the Word of God.  

Both husbands and wives are responsible to God for spiritual nurture and vitality in the home, but God has given to the man the primary responsibility to lead his wife and family in accordance with the servant-leadership and sacrificial love characterized by Jesus Christ. This principle of male leadership should not be confused with nor give any hint of domineering control. Rather, it is to be the loving, tender, and nurturing care of a godly man who is himself under the kind and gentle authority of Jesus Christ. 

The Elders/Pastors of each local church have been granted authority under the headship of Christ to provide oversight and to teach and preach the Word of God in corporate assembly for the building up of the body. The office of Elder/Pastor is restricted to men (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:18; Acts 18:24-26; 1 Corinthians 11:2-16; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19; 1 Timothy 2:11-15, 3:1-7; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-7).

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