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Statement of Faith

Statement of Faith

A. THE SCRIPTURES.

The Scriptures are the Old and New Testaments and are the inspired inerrant Word of God, the product of holy men who spoke and wrote as the Holy Spirit moved them. We accept the Word of God as our only and final infallible authoritative guide pertaining to conduct and doctrine. It alone is the complete and sufficient revelation of God’s will for mankind’s salvation and conduct.

(II Timothy 3:16, I Thess. 2:13, II Peter 1:21, Deut.4:1-8, Jer. 30:1- 2, Matt. 5:17-19, John 5:39, I Timothy 1:3-11, Rev.22: 18-19)

B. THE GODHEAD.faith

There is only one living and true God. He is one God, and is manifested in three persons, the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit. He is infinitely perfect, eternal, the creator, the Redeemer and ruler of the universe.

(Matt 3:16-17; Gen 1:1-2, 26; Exodus 3:14; Matt 5:48; Isa 44:24-28; Job 38; Rev. 1:8, 22:13)

God the Father – He is creator and greater than all. He reigns with providential care over His universe, creation and mankind. He is all knowing, all-powerful, omnipresent, all loving, all wise, eternal and unchangeable.

(I Jn 3:20; Isa. 46:9-11; Job 42:2; Gen 1; Ps 139:1-12; Acts 17:28; Jn. 3:16-17;I Jn 4:8; Deut 10:17; Ps 95:3; Job 9:1-12; Job 37: 1-13; Isa 55:8-10; Rom 16:27;I Cor 1:25; I Tim 1:17; Deut 33:26-27; Mal 3:6)

God the Son – Jesus Christ – He is the physical manifestation of God the Father to mankind. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He is fully God and fully man. He lived a sinless life in complete obedience and submission to the Father. He died a substitutionary death on the cross to provide redemption for all mankind. After three days of being dead in the grave, he was raised bodily from the dead. He was seen alive by many witness and then ascended into heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father where He intercedes for the church. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and consummate His redemptive mission.

(Jn 1:1-2, 14; Matt 1:18-25; Jn 8:58; Matt 3:16; Jn 10:30, 14:9; Gal 4:4; II Cor 5:21; Jn 5:19; Matt 26:42; Col 1:19-22; Luke 19:10; Jn 20:26-29; Lk 24:36-43; I Cor 15:3-8; Acts 1:9-11; Eph 1:20-23; Heb 7:25; Rev 19:11-16;II Tim 4:1; Rev 21:1-7; I Thes 5:1-9; II Thes 1:6-10; Titus 2:13)

God the Holy Spirit – He proceeds forth from both the Father and the Son and is eternal. He inspired men to write the Scriptures and through His illumination enables them to understand the truths in them. He exalts Christ. He convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment calling all men to the Savior. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption and indwells all who are born again. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows spiritual gifts to the members of Christ’s body for the common good of the body.

(Acts 5:3-5; Jn 15:26; Gal 4:6; Heb 9:14; II Peter 1:21; Jn 16:8,13-14; Eph 1:13, 4:30; Rom 8:9; I Cor 3:16; Gal 5:22-23; Acts 9:31; I Cor 12; Eph 5:18)

C. MAN AND HIS FALL.

Man is a created being. God created them male and female in the likeness and image of God. God gave man the responsibility and authority to rule over His creation. God also gave man a free will. Adam, the first man, chose to disobey the command of God and through his disobedience, sin and both physical and spiritual death, began to reign over mankind. All men now find themselves under the curse and penalty of sin; because “… all have sinned and come short of the glory of God …” The scripture also says of mankind “there is none righteous, no not one”. Man in this sinful state finds himself unable on his own to restore himself to a relationship with God.

(Gen. 1:26-28; Gen 3:6; Gen 3:5,22; Rom 5:12-19; Gen. 3:17-19; Rom 3:9-10, 23; Rom. 6:23; Gal 3:10-14; Rom 5:6-8)

D. SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE.

Salvation is the free gift of God to man, separate from works and the law, and is made operative by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Man’s first step toward salvation is godly sorrow for sin that brings about repentance. It is then necessary for a person to believe in their heart that Jesus Christ shed His blood and died to pay for their sin, and then confess His lordship over their life. This is referred to in the scriptures as being born again. The new birth and is the only way for a person to enter the kingdom of God. The result of salvation is eternal life and a life that produces works acceptable to God.

(Eph. 2:8-9; II Cor 7:10; Rom. 10:9-10; Col 1:19-23; Jn 3:3-5,16; I Jn. 5:1; I Peter 1:23; Jn 17:1-3; Rom 2:7; Titus 3:1-8)

E. ORDINANCES.cross

Water Baptism – Baptism in water is by immersion and is a direct commandment of our Lord, and is for believers only. The ordinance is a symbol of the Christian’s identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.

(Matt. 28:19; Rom 6:4; Col. 2:12; Acts 8:36-39)

The following recommendation regarding the Water Baptismal formula is adopted, to wit: “On the confession of your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and by His authority, I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.”

Communion – The Lord’s Supper – The Lord’s Supper is a symbol of the New Covenant that God has made with those who know Jesus Christ as Savior, just as the Passover was symbolic of the Old Covenant He made with Israel. We partake of the Lord’s Supper to proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes and to remember the price that He paid for our sins. The bread represents the broken body of the Lord. The cup represents His shed blood, which provides us forgiveness and relationship with God under the New Covenant.

(I Cor. 11:23-26; Ex. 12: 1-13; Luke 22:14-20; Luke 26:26-29; Heb. 9; I Peter 1:18-19)

F. BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.

God the Father’s gift of the baptism into the Holy Spirit is promised to all those who are believers. The Lord Jesus Christ is the baptizer. The baptism into the Holy Spirit is received once subsequent to the new birth. The believer is “clothed with power from on high” for the purpose of being a witness of the gospel. The initial evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Holy Spirit Himself gives utterance accompanies this experience.

(Matt 3:11; Lk. 24:49; Acts 1:4-8; Jn. 20:22; Rom 8:9; Acts 2:1-11; Acts 8:14-19; Acts 9:17-18; I Cor. 14:18; Acts 10:44-48; Acts 19:1-7; Luke 11:13)

G. SANCTIFICATION.

The Bible teaches that without holiness no man can see the Lord. Our being sanctified includes being separated from sin and dedicated unto God and his service. The scripture describes our sanctification as having taken place at the moment of our salvation, as presently being worked out in our lives, and as being complete and final at the time when we enter the presence of the Lord for eternity.

(Heb. 12:14; I Cor 1:30; II Chron. 29:5-19; I Thes 4:3; I Cor 6:11; Heb. 10:10, 14; II Peter 3:18; II Cor 3:18; Phlip 3:12-14; II Cor 7:1; I Thes 5:23-24; I Thes 3:13)

H. DIVINE HEALING.

Healing is for the physical ills of the human body. All healing is from God whether it be the natural process of the body, with the assistance of medical science or a miraculous gift. The Scriptures call us to pray for the sick in faith with the symbols of laying on of hands and the anointing with oil. Christ provided this privilege of asking for healing for our sicknesses in His atonement for our sins. While our Father works out His will differently in each of our lives, we are all called to look to Him in faith and entrust ourselves to a faithful Creator and do what is right.

(Mark 16:18; James 1:17; James 5:14-20; I Peter 2:24; Matt. 8:17; Isaiah 53:4-5; I Peter 4:19)

I. RESURRECTION OF THE JUST AND THE RETURN OF OUR LORD.

The angels said, “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven”. The second coming of Christ is imminent and will be bodily. No person knows the time of His return, and to the world, He will come as a thief in the night. When He comes, “…the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air”. At this time of our bodily resurrection, we will receive our immortal spiritual body as “…death is swallowed up in victory”. What may appear as slowness on the Lord’s part in fulfilling His promise to return is in reality His patience because He wants everyone to come to repentance. Our call is to live holy and godly lives as we “…look for and hasten the coming of the day of God…”

(Acts 1:11; Jas 5:7-9; I Peter 4:7; Rev 22:7,12,20; I Jn 2:15-18; Luke 24:36-42; Matt 24:36-44; I Thes 5:1-3; I Thes 4:16-17; I Cor 15:36-57; II Peter 3:9-12)

J. HEAVEN AND ETERNAL REWARDS

God’s dwelling place is heaven. The one who physically dies in Christ will immediately be “at home with the Lord” as our spirit leaves the dead body and goes into the presence of the Lord. After the second coming of Christ, we will stand before Him in heaven to receive eternal rewards at what is called the judgment seat of Christ. At this time, that work which was done in the flesh will be “burned up” and that work which was done in the Spirit will be rewarded. The focus at the Judgment Seat of Christ will be on commendation, not condemnation. The eternal home of believers will be with God in His presence. This is what the Bible calls the third heaven and the words Paul heard there were inexpressible. It will be a place where sin and all the effects of sin such as sorrow and pain will be no more. It will be a place of joy, feasting, rest, worship, life, and service as pictured in the book of Revelation and is the blessed hope all who are in Christ are looking for with anticipation. It should be the central focus of our attention during this life. It is the place where our inheritance is waiting for us, and is the true country of which we are citizens. It is to be a motivation for us to live holy lives until Jesus comes for us and takes us home.

(Matt. 6:9; I Cor 5:6-8; Matt. 23:43; Matt. 17:3; Rom. 14:7-13; I Cor. 3:10-15;  II Cor. 5:10-11; Luke 19:11-27; I Cor. 9:24-27; Jn. 14:1-3; II Cor. 5:1-4; II Cor. 12:2-4; Rev. 21:3-7; Titus 3:13; Col. 3:1-4; I Peter 1:4; Phlip. 3:20; II Cor. 5:20; I Peter l:13-19)

K. HELL AND ETERNAL RETRIBUTION.

The one who physically dies in their sins without Christ is hopelessly and eternally lost. There will be no further opportunity for hearing the gospel or for repentance. They will be cast into darkness out of the presence of the Lord into a literal hell or the lake of fire as it is described in the book of Revelation where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. The terms “eternal” and “everlasting” used in describing the duration of the punishment of the damned in the lake of fire carry the same thought and meaning of endless existence as used in noting the duration of joy and ecstasy of the saints in the presence of God.

(Heb 9:27;Matt. 25:30, 41, 46; Num. 16:33; Ps. 9:17; Isa 66:24: Jn. 3:36; Matt 22:13;Luke 12:5; II Thes 1:6-9; Mark 9:43-48; Rev 20:11-15; Matt 13:36 43)

L. LAYING ON OF HANDS.bible

The Levitical Priesthood practiced the laying on of hands as they symbolically stood before God on behalf of the people and transferred the sin of the congregation on to the sacrifice. Jesus also practiced it in blessing and healing. The early church continued the practice as an example for us today. We as the body of Christ are the hands of the Lord, and so our physical touch symbolically becomes the touch of the Lord. It is always the Spirit of God that does the work, yet He has chosen to work through the church. It is one of the elementary teachings of the Christian faith.

(Exodus 29:10; Lev. 4:15; Lev. 16:21; Matt. 19:13; Mark 6:5; Mark 8:25; Luke 13:13; Acts 28:8; Acts 6:2-6; Acts 8:16-18; I Tim 4:14; Heb. 6:1-2)

M. THE CHURCH.

Universal Church – The church is Christ’s body of which He is the head. It consists of all believers in Christ who He purchased with His blood. This is also referred to as the universal church, which is the bride of Christ and consists of the saints of all the ages.

Local Church – The scripture generally refers to the church as the local gathering of believers. This body of people is the visible expression of Christ’s body to the world. No Christian can fulfill God’s purposes for their life apart from the church. The local church is a body of believers in Christ who are joined together for the worship of God, for edification through the Word of God, for the exercising of spiritual gifts, for discipline, for prayer, fellowship, the proclamation of the gospel, and observance of the ordinances of Water Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The scriptural officers are pastors, elders, and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the leadership is limited to men as qualified by the Scripture.

(Matt. 16:18; Col. 1:18; Eph. 5:23-32; Acts 20:28; Heb 12:23; Philemon 1:2; Rom 12:5; I Cor 12:27; I Cor 14:26; Matt 18:15-17; Acts 2:41-42; I Cor. 11:17-26; Eph 4:11-12; Titus 1:5-9; I Tim 3:1-13; Acts 6:1-6)