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Statement of Faith

OUR STATEMENT OF FAITH

We Believe…

 

Article 1 - The Scriptures

The Holy Bible was written by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit, and it is the record of God's revelation of Himself to man. It has God for its author, salvation as its goal, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its content. It reveals the standards and principles by which God judges us. The Bible is the supreme standard by which all human conduct and religious opinions should be tried, including this church's documents. The key by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.
Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1 2, 17 19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7 10, 119:11,89, 105& 140; Isaiah 34:16, 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; Matthew 5:17 18, 22:29; Luke 21:33, 24:44 46; John 5:39, 16:13 15, 17:17; Acts 2:16 ff., 17:11; Romans 15:4, 16:25 26; II Timothy 3:15 17; Hebrews 1:1 2, 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; II Peter 1:19 21

 

Article 2 - God

There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. There is no limit to His holiness, knowledge, power, love, wisdom, and mercy. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. He has had no beginning and will have no end; He is eternal. He reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; He is One Being with three distinct persons:

A. God the Father
God as Father reigns over His universe, His creations, and the flow of human history in keeping with His own ultimate purposes. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. God is the Creator and Lover of all mankind, but He is Father in truth to those who become His children through faith in Jesus Christ, His Son. (John 1: 12) Genesis 1:1, 2:7, Exodus 3:14, 6:2 3, 15:11 ff., 20:1 ff.; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4, 32:6; I Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1 3; Isaiah 43:3,15, 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10, 17:13;
Matthew 6:9 ff, 7:11, 23:9, 28: 19; Mark 1 :9 11; John 4:24, 5:26, 14:6 13, 17: 1 8; Acts 1 :7; Romans 8:14 15; I Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6; Colossians 1:15; I Timothy 1: 17; Hebrews 11:6, 12:9; I Peter 1:17; I John 5:7

B. God the Son
Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. His life on earth began as the child of a virgin named Mary, who had become pregnant by a miracle of the Holy Spirit working within her. As Jesus the man lived and grew, He perfectly revealed and did the will of God. He took upon Himself the struggles of human nature and identified Himself completely with mankind; yet He never sinned. When He died on the cross, Jesus made it possible for everyone to be forgiven and released from the penalty of sin. He was later raised from the dead and appeared to His disciples and others as proof of the Resurrection. He went up into heaven as the disciples watched, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, restored to the position of glory He held before His birth to Mary. In keeping with His promise, however, Jesus Christ will someday return to this earth personally and visibly, in power and in judgment. The dead will be raised, and Christ will judge all men, not by humanity's standards of acceptable conduct, but by His own standards of righteousness as given to us in the Scriptures. Those who fail on the day of judgment, because they have not sought forgiveness for their sins through repentance and faith in Christ, will be cast into Hell, the place for eternal punishment. Those who have put their trust in Christ as Savior will live forever in heaven with the Lord.
Genesis 18:1 ff; Psalms 2:7 ff., 110:1 ff.; Isaiah 2:4, 7:14, 11:9, 53; Matthew 1:18 23, 3:17, 8:29, 11:27, 14:33, 16:16,27, 17:5, 19:28, 24:27, 30, 37,44, 25:31 46, 26:64, 28:1 6,19; Mark 1:1, 3:11, 8:38, 9:43 48; Luke 1:35,4:41, 12:40, 17:22 37, 21:27 28, 35 38, 22:70, 24:46;John 1:1 18,29, 10:30,38, 11:25 27, 12:44 50, 14:7 11 16:15 16,28, 17:1 5,21 22, 20:1 20,28; Acts 1:9, 2:22 24, 7:55,56, 9:4 5,20; Romans 1:3 4, 3:23 26, 5:6 21, 8:1 3,34, 10:4; 1 Corinthians 1 :30, 2:2, 8:6, 15: 1 8; 11 Corinthians 5: 10, 19 21; Galatians 4:4 5; Ephesians 1 :20, 3:11, 4:7  10; Philippians 2:5 11, 3:20 21; Colossians I :5, 13 22, 2:9, 3:4; I Thessalonians 4: 14 18, 5: I ff.; 11 Thessalonians 1:7 ff.; I Timothy 2:5 6, 3:16; Titus 2:13 14; Hebrews 1:1 3, 4:14 15, 7:14 28, 9:12 15, 24 28, 12:2, 13:8; 1 Peter 2:21 25; 1 John 1:2, 7 9,3:2, 4:14 15, 5:9; Revelation 1:13 16,18,5:9 14, 12:10 11, 13:8, 19:16,20:1 to22:13

C. God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. He is of exactly the same essence and nature as the Father and the Son operating in the world today. He inspired the writers of the Bible, giving them God's truth in words men and women could understand. Today, He assists men and women in understanding the truth in Scripture through illumination. He is the Spirit of Truth. He makes clear and drives home the truth about sin, the truth about God's standards of righteousness, and the truth about the certain judgment of sin. He will always be at work making Jesus prominent. He puts a hunger in the hearts of men for Christ; He draws them to Christ and then turns those who receive Christ as Savior and Lord into new creations from the inside out. He also comforts believers in their times of heartache and need. He gives spiritual gifts to born again believers to build up and equip the Body of Christ to evangelize and to disciple. The Holy Spirit marks the believer forever as God's own possession. All true believers endure to the end. They may fall into sin for a while, but the Spirit will not abandon them. He will be grieved, but He will not leave. He will convict them of their sin, bring discipline upon them if necessary, and eventually bring them back into fellowship with God and His people through one means or another. The severity of the means which the Spirit uses to bring a wandering child of God back will often depend on the severity of his rebellion. The Holy Spirit is the energizing force who empowers the believer and the church to exalt Jesus in worship and praise, in evangelism, and in every area of ministry performed, both within the church to its members and through the church to touch the world.
Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26: 13; Psalms 51:11, 139:7 ff.; Isaiah 61: 1 3; Joel 2:28 32; Matthew 1:18, 3:16, 4:1, 12:28 32, 28:19; Mark 1:10,12; Luke 1:35, 4:1, 18 19, 11:13, 12:12, 24:49; John 4:24, 14:16 17, 26, 15:26, 16:7 14; Acts 1:8, 2:1 4, 38, 4:31, 5:3, 6:3, 7:55, 8:17, 39, 10:44, 13:2, 15:28, 16:6, 19:1 6;Romans8:9 11, 14 16, 26 27; I Corinthians 2:10 14,3:16, 12:3 11; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13 14, 4:30, 5:18; I Thessalonians 5:19; I Timothy 3:16, 4:1; 11 Timothy 1:14, 3:16; Hebrews 9:8, 14; 11 Peter 1:21; I John 4:13, 5:6 7; Revelation 1: 10, 22:17

 

Article 3 - Man

Man was created by a miraculous act of God, in His own image, and is the crowning work of His creation. In the beginning, man was innocent of sin, but he was given by His Creator the ability and the freedom to choose between right and wrong. By their free choice, the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, broke God's law, sinned against God, and brought sin into the human race. From them, all mankind has inherited from conception a nature and an environment bent toward sin and against God's law. All men and women eventually give in to their inherited sin nature and commit sins. They stand in violation of God's law and under the penalty and power of their sins. Regardless of their sin, however, all human beings are worthy of respect and Christian love, because they have each been created in the image of God.
Genesis 1:26 30, 2:5, 7, 18 22, 31, 9:6; Psalms 1, 8:3 6, 32:1 5, 51:5; Isaiah6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26 31; Romans 1:19 32, 3:10 9, 23, 5:6, 12, 19, 6:6, 7:14 25, 8:14 18, 29; 1 Corinthians 1 :21, 15: 19 22; Ephesians 2: 1 22; Colossians 1 :21 22, 3:9 11


Article 4 - Salvation

Salvation involves the saving and rescuing of the whole person (body, soul and spirit) from the power and penalty of sin, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Scripture teaches that all have sinned (Romans 3:23) and that where there is unforgotten sin there must also be death. "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). The death referred to means eternal separation from God, who is the Giver of life in its highest and best sense. It means existing forever and ever after this life, without any of the evidences of God's goodness, kindness, and mercy to call upon. Salvation means being rescued from such a terrible fate through the only means available, a personal faith in Christ. Salvation includes other aspects as well:

A – Regeneration
Regeneration or being "born again" is a work of God's grace through which believers become new creatures spiritually the moment Christ comes to live within them and it is impossible to return to being "unborn" again just as a man can not re enter his mother's womb. Christ' eternal entrance into their lives occurs when they are burdened by the Holy Spirit to genuinely turn away from their sins (repent) and put their trust in Jesus Christ alone to save them from the penalty and power of their sins. True regeneration happens only once just as Christ died once for all. A repentant person can never lose their salvation. They can rest assured they belong to Christ forever.

B – Justification
Justification is God's total removal of the charges against a sinner once he trusts Christ as his Savior. Justification means that since God has forgiven the believer, it is “just as if I had never sinned” as far as the Heavenly Father is concerned. The slate is clean; the record is clear; the pardoned sinner can start life over again.

C – Sanctification
Sanctification is the process that begins when the sinner is born again, through which he is "set apart" for God's purpose all the days of his life, no longer to live for himself, but totally for the Lord. Sanctification also means that by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit the believer is now set on a course that is designed to move him daily toward the goal of moral and spiritual perfection. The goal will not be fully accomplished until the believer stands in heaven with Christ, stripped of his fallen, sinful nature. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit steadily works to separate the believer in this life farther and farther from the influence of the world and its ways, and closer and closer to the Lord and His ways.

D – Glorification
Glorification is the end result of the process of being saved. It means that body, soul, and spirit will someday be brought into the presence of Almighty God in His heaven to share forever in His Glory.

Genesis 3:15; Exodus 3:14  17, 6:2 8; Matthew 1:21, 4:17, 16:21  26, 27:22 to 28 :6; Luke 1:68 69, 2:28 32, John 1:11 14, 29,3:3 21, 36, 5:24, 10:9, 28 29, 15:1 16, 17:17; Acts 2:21, 4:12, 15:11, 16:30 31, 17:30 31, 20:32; Romans 1:16 18, 2:4, 3:23 25, 4:3 ff, 5:8 10, 6:1 23, 8:1 18, 29 39, 10:9 10, 13, 13:11 14; 1 Corinthians 1:18, 30, 6:19 20, 15:10; 11 Corinthians 5: 17 20; Galatians 2:20, 3:13, 5:22 25, 6:15; Ephesians 1 :7, 2:8 22, 4:11 16; Philippians 2:12 13; Colossians 1:9 22, 3:1 ff; I Thessalonians 5:23 24; 11 Timothy 1:12; Titus 2:11 14; Hebrews2:1 3, 5:8 9, 9:24 28, 11:1 through 12:8; James2:14 26; 1 Peter 1:2 23; I John 1:6 to 2:11; Revelation 3:20, 21:1 to 22:5

 

Article 5 – The Church

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local group of baptized believers who are bound together by a common commitment to Christ as Savior and Lord of their lives, who are dedicated to the living out of His instructions, who are exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges given them by His Word, and who are seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Scripture established the leaders of the local church as being pastors (elders) and deacons. The pastors, or elders, are to oversee the total ministry of the church in the light of Biblical instructions, and the deacons are to serve under the leadership of the pastors, tending to the tangible, material needs in the fellowship. Pastors, elders, and deacons must also be deeply committed to and actively involved in sharing the gospel. The New Testament, in addition to its teaching regarding the local church, also speaks of the church as "the body of Christ" which includes all of the believers in Christ throughout all the ages.
Matthew 16:15 19, 18:15 20; Acts 2:41 42, 47, 5:11 14, 6:3 6, 13:1 3, 14:23, 27, 15:1 30, 16:5, 20:28; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 3:16, 5:4 5, 7:17, 9:13 14, 12; Ephesians 1:22 23, 2:19 22, 3:8 11, 21, 5:22 32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 3:1 15, 4:14; I Peter 5:1 4, Revelation 2:3, 21:2 3

 

Article 6 – Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

The Scriptures give the Church two ordinances to preserve and observe until Christ returns. Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Greek word for baptize always means immerse and never means sprinkle or pour. Baptism is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior. It is also symbolic of the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and a resurrection with power to live a new life through Christ.

The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby baptized believers, as they eat the bread and drink of "the fruit of the vine", remember the death of their Savior and look forward to His second coming.
Matthew 3:13 17, 26:26 30, 28:19 20; Mark 1:9 11, 14:22 26; Luke 3:21 22, 22:19 20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41 42, 8:35 39, 16:30 33, 20:7; Romans 6:3 5; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 21, 11:23 29; Colossians 2:12

 

Article 7 – Evangelism and Missions

It is the assignment and privilege of every follower of Jesus and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost. The believer’s love for the lost and his attempts to reach them will be proof that he is indeed indwelt by Christ whose passion was to "to seek and to save that which was lost".
Genesis 12:1 3; Exodus 19:5 6; Isaiah 6:1 8; Matthew 9:37 38, 10:5 15, 13:18 30, 37 43, 16:19, 22:9 10, 24: 14, 28:18 20; Luke 10: 1 18, 24:46 53; John 14:11 12, 15:7 8, 16, 17: 15, 20:21; Acts 1:8, 2, 8:26 40, 10:42 48, 13:2 3; Romans 10:13 15,; Ephesians 3:1 11; I Thessalonians 1:8; II Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 2:1 3, 11:39 to 12:2; I Peter2:4 10; Revelation 22:17

 

Article 8 - Stewardship

According to the Scriptures, Christians should recognize that everything we have is entrusted to us for the glory of God. Believers should give of themselves and of their finances cheerfully, regularly, and generously for the advancement of the cause of Christ. From the Scriptures, it appears that the primary way of funding the expansion of the Gospel in the first century was through offerings given through local churches, to assist men such as the missionary Paul and to meet needs such as famine relief. The principle of giving generously to a local church, whose ministry and vision bear witness with the believer's personal convictions, has merit for today. "Not equal gifts but equal sacrifice" is a truth that, when practiced, blesses our Lord and binds the members of the church closer to one another.


Article 9 - The Purity of the Fellowship

When a believer falls into sin and remains in sin, not only are they being hurt, but also the entire body of Christ is to some degree affected. Worst of all, the Savior is grieved and the reputation of His church is damaged. Diligence must be given to keeping the fellowship pure (I Cor. 5). Matthew 18:15 17 and Galatians 6:1 are patterns to be followed should a church member become ensnared by sin. Restoration to fellowship with God and His people is the goal of all ministry, in such cases.

 

Article 10 – The Unity of the Fellowship

Few things are more wonderful than for a believer to be a part of a congregation that is of the same heart and mind, accomplishing together in gladness and joy the will of the Father. Their unity is a key to their spiritual power, and a treasure worth protecting at all costs. Paul instructed Titus, a pastor, to "Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, know that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self condemned". (Titus 3: 10 & 11 ) The seriousness of the sin of sowing discord among the brethren caused Paul, led by the Holy Spirit, to make such a strong statement. The desire for restoration is obvious: rejection should come only after a first and second warning. Then, if the warnings are unheeded, there is to be a severing of the bonds of fellowship between the church and the individual or group   permanently, if they refused to repent of their sin, or temporarily, if repentance developed in their hearts. Therefore Titus 3 :10 & 11 shall provide the guidelines for our church, should it ever face problems with divisive, factious individuals or groups. If first and second attempts by the pastor and deacons to quiet the factious man or woman fail, the church clerk will remove the individual's name from the church membership roll permanently or until such time as a genuine change of heart is clearly evidenced by the individual. At that time, the individual may request membership once again, and full fellowship may be restored.

 

Article 11 - Tenets

Creation vs Evolution
God created this universe through special creation, giving it the appearance of age, and evolutionary thought does not account for the state of the universe today. Evolution is a faith, based on theory only, and only with great difficulty attempts to explain origins. When compared, the Creation model of origins is indeed more scientific and requires less faith. We believe that man was created by God by divine decree and is not the product of evolution or animal ancestry.
Genesis 1:1 2, 26 28, 2:7; Exodus 20:11; John 1:1 2; Hebrews 11:3

Sanctity of Life
Every human life has infinite value because we are made in the image of God. The Bible clearly teaches that full human life begins at the point of conception; therefore, the abortion of an unborn child is murder. We also believe in the right to life of the incompetent, the impaired, and the elderly. We believe that abortion, euthanasia, and involuntary experiments upon human beings are profane attacks upon our Creator and upon the foundations of our society; that they are cruel violence visited upon the victims of such practices; and that they are crimes against humanity. As a church body, we will strive to protect the sanctity of human life, and we will decry any legalization of the aforementioned practices.
Genesis 1:28, 2:7, 20:18, 29:31; Exodus 21:22 25; Job 3:3 16, 10:8 12, 18 19; Psalms 22:9 10, 51:5, 139:13 16; Judges 13:4 5; Jeremiah 1:5

Biblical Hierarchy of the Gender Roles
The Bible clearly teaches an authority structure for both the church and the home. Christ is the head of the church as each husband is the head of his wife and ultimately responsible for his family. We believe that in church worship services there is to be male leadership; therefore, we do not believe in the ordination of women into the pastorate or the deacon body.
I Corinthians 11:2  16, 14:34 & 35; Ephesians 5:22 34; I Timothy 2:11  15; Titus 2:3 5; I Peter 3:1  7

Sexual Promiscuity
Promiscuous heterosexual and homosexual activity is a sin. Therefore, we believe that anyone who adopts such lifestyles, is living in total, overt rebellion against the Word of God. We also do not recognize homosexual marriage as Biblical. Within the church, such sin is to be rebuked and disciplined with a view towards repentance and restoration. If repentance does not occur, the individual must be excluded from the fellowship of the Church. 
Genesis 19:5; Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:18 27; I Corinthians 6:9 11

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