My Sister put this up on her Blog and my Dad suggested I do the same. All imput is appreciated and seriously considered, though I do reserve the right to respectfully disagree, as does anybody else.
Doctrinal Statement of Faith
God the Father
We believe that God is spirit, triune, and the one and only eternal, immutable, invisible, transcendent, and self-sufficient One who is also omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, holy, loving, faithful, righteous, merciful, gracious, long suffering, and good. He is a God of judgment and jealousy, and He is the Creator, the sustainer, and Lord of all things. In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption and in the accomplishment of His eternal plan and purpose. (Gen. 1:1-3; Exod. 20:2-3; Deuteronomy 6:4; Job 42:2; Psalm 90:2, 102:24-27, 139:7-18, 147:5; Isa. 40:28; Jer. 23:23-24: Nahum 1:2-6; John 4:24, 14:1-26; 1 Cor. 8:6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; James 1:17; 1 John 3:20, 5:6-12; Rev. 4:11)
The Holy Bible
We believe that the Bible is the verbally inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God in its original penned manuscripts of Hebrew and Greek. The Lord has preserved His Word in faithful translations throughout the world in languages of the common man. By ďThe Holy BibleĒ we mean the collection of sixty-six books contained in the Old and New Testament from Genesis to Revelation. This Bible is the complete and final revelation of Godís will and, therefore, is the believerís sole authority for faith and practice. Our church chooses to use the King James Version based upon its historical accuracy and to eliminate confusion by using only one translation for all services. (Psalm 12:6-7; Psalm 119:105; John 1:1-5; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 4:12; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Rev. 1:1-3, 22:18-19)
We believe that Jesus Christ is the second person of the Godhead, the promised seed of the woman, of Abraham, and of David. (Isa. 9:6-7; Matt. 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38 ) He is Emmanuel, God with us, fully God and fully man, the Creator of all things. (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23; John 10:30-38, 14:6-10; Col. 1:16-17, 2:8-9) Jesus Christ is unchanging: He was, is and always will be God. (John 1:1-3, 14; Heb. 13:8 ) He was conceived of the Holy Ghost and born of the virgin Mary. (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38, 2:21; Gal. 4:4) He grew in wisdom and favor with God and man, lived a perfectly sinless life, and gave Himself as the sacrificial payment for manís sin with His broken body and shed blood. (Matt. 4:1-11; Luke 2:40-52; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 2:6-18, 4:15; 1 John 2:1-2) He willingly died, was buried, and bodily rose again three days later. (Isa. 53; Mark 15:37-39; Luke 22:39-42, 23:46; John 2:19-22, 10:11-18, 19:30-37; Acts 10:38-41; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; Eph. 5:2) He ascended back to heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God the Father. He intercedes as High Priest on our behalf and awaits the subduing of all things under His feet at the Fatherís appointed time. (Psalm 110:1; Matt. 22:41-46, 26:59-68; Mark 12:35-37,14:55-65; Luke 22:67-71, 24:50-51; Acts 1:9-11, 2:32-36, 5:30-32, 7:51-58; Rom. 8:34; Eph. 1:17-23; Phil. 2:9-11; Col. 3:1, Heb. 7:24-27; 1 John 2:1-2) Then Jesus Christ, as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, will judge all men, both saved and lost. (Matt. 16:27, 25:31-46; John 5:22-30, 18:36; Rom. 2:1-16, 14:10-12; 1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:10; Phil. 2:9-11; 2 Tim. 4:1, 8; Rev. 19:16)
The Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit is a divine person, eternal and equal with God the Father and God the Son. (John 14:15-21; Acts 5:3-4; 1 John 5:7) He along with the Father and the Son created all that exists. (Genesis 1:1-2; Col. 1:16) He inspired the writing of the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments. (Heb. 3:7-12; 2 Pet. 1:19-21) The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. (John 16:8-14) He seals (2 Cor. 1:21-22; Eph. 1:12-14), regenerates (John 3:5-7; Titus 3:3-7), indwells (John 14:16-17; 1 Cor. 3:16; 1 John 4:13), guides (John 16:13-15), baptizes (Acts 1:4-8, 11:15-18; 1 Cor. 12:13), teaches (John 14:26; 1 Cor. 2:10-14), sanctifies (1 Cor. 6:11; 1 Pet. 1:2), comforts (John 14:16, 15:26, 16:7; Acts 9:31), and gives spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:4-11; Heb. 2:2-4). We also believe that the Holy Spirit can be resisted, grieved or quenched. (Acts 7:51; Eph. 4:29-32;
1 Thess. 5:19)
Angels and Demons
We believe that all angels were created by God and that they are spiritual beings ordained to be Godís ministering spirits, messengers and worshipers. (2 Kings 6:14-18; Matt. 4:11; Col. 1:16; Hebrews 1:1-14) We believe that Godís angels will not bring any other gospel than what is revealed in Godís Word. (Galatians 1:8-9) We believe that angels are not to be worshiped or exalted. (Exodus 20:1-5; Col. 2:18; Revelation 22:8-9) We believe that demons are all angels that chose to leave their first estate with God in heaven and actively oppose the work of God and His saints. (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6)
We believe that Satan was once a holy angel of God. He fell and drew after him a host of angels and is now the malignant prince of the power of the air and the unholy god of this world. We hold him to be manís great tempter, the enemy of God and Jesus Christ, the accuser of the brethren, the father of all lies, the author of all false religions, the chief source of the present apostasy, the lord of anti-christ, and the ruler of all the powers of darkness. He is destined however to final defeat at the hand of Godís Son, and to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire, a place prepared for him and his angels. (Matt. 4:1-11, 13:19 & 39, 25:41; Luke 10:18; John 8:44; 2 Cor. 4:4, 11:13-15; Eph. 2:1-3; 1 Pet. 5:8-9; 1 John 3:8; Rev. 12:1-10, 13:1-18, 20:10)
Creation and Man
We believe the Genesis account of creation is to be accepted literally and not allegorically or figuratively. God created the first man, Adam, in His own image and likeness and the woman was created out of man to be his helper. The creation was accomplished in six, twenty-four hour days and God rested on the seventh day. (Genesis 1:1-31, 2:2; Exodus 20:11). We deny any form of atheistic or theistic evolution. Manís creation was not a matter of evolution, or evolutionary change of species, or development through undetermined periods of time from lower to higher forms. All animal and vegetable life was made directly by God, and Godís established law was that they should bring forth only ďafter their kind.Ē (John 1:3; Act 4:24; Romans 1:19, 20; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:10)
We believe that sin is the transgression of Godís Holy Law and of His commandments, and it is the evil thought as well as the evil act. Sin is also omitting things we should do as well as doing things we shouldn't. Adam sinned and brought all of creation under the curse of sin. All men and women are dead in trespasses and sin. The righteous punishment for sin is eternal separation from God in the lake of fire. (Matt. 15:17-20, 25:41, 46; Rom. 3:20, 23, 4:15, 5:12, 6:23, 7:15-19; Heb. 9:27; James 4:17; 1 Jn. 3:4; Rev. 20:11-15, 21:8 )
We believe that salvation is by Godís grace through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 3:1-18, 11:25-26, 14:6; Acts 4:10-12; Rom. 10:8-13; Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Tim. 3:15) We believe that a repentant heart toward sin is evidence or fruit of salvation. (Matt. 7:16-20; Mark 1:14-15; Luke 5:31-32, 6:43-49, 15:7; Acts 2:37-39; 2 Cor. 5:17, 7:10) Through shedding His blood, Jesus Christ provided full atonement (reconciliation) for all our sins in His substitutionary death, burial, and bodily resurrection from the dead. (Matt. 26:28; Rom. 5:11; 1 Cor. 15:3-4 & 12-19; Heb. 9:19-23, 10:4-14; 1 John 2:1-2, 4:10) At the point of faith, God justifies the believer through the merits of Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:21-26), redeems the believer (Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; Titus 2:13-14), reconciles the believer to Himself (Matt. 18:11; Rom. 5:6-10; Col. 1:21; 1 Pet. 3:18 ), regenerates the believer unto eternal life (Rom. 5:19-21; Titus 3:4-7), adopts the believer into His family (John 1:12-13; Rom. 8:14-16, Gal. 4:4-7; Eph. 1:13-14), and sanctifies the believer unto good works (Matt. 12:33; John 15:5; Eph. 2:4-10; 1 John 1:7-10). We believe as the scripture states that ďye must be born againĒ in order to be saved. (John 3:1-7, 11:25-26) Salvation is a work of the Holy Spirit, is offered freely to all without discrimination, and is completely apart from the works of the Law. (Luke 24:44-48; Acts 2:21; Rom. 1:16, 10:11-13; Gal. 3:10-14) Those that are saved from sin are saved eternally. (John 3:36, 6:37 & 47, 10:27-30; Rom. 6:21-23, 8:35-39; Heb. 7:25; 1 Pet. 1:3-5)
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone and true head of the Church. (Matt. 28:18; Acts 4:10-12; Eph. 1:17-23, 2:19-22, 4:15, 5:23-27; Col. 1:16-18; 1 Pet. 2:6-7) We recognize that the word ďchurchĒ can have two meanings: 1) the church is all of the born-again believers throughout history; and 2) the church is a local congregation, a visible assembly gathered in a particular place. (Acts 14:21-27; 1 Cor. 1:2; Heb. 10:23-25) We believe that the local church is a group of believers who have willingly joined themselves together to serve the Lord. (Acts 2:41-47, 14:22; Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 1:10, 12:12-27) We believe the purpose of the church is to worship the Lord; to preach the Word of God and the gospel of Christ; to instruct, edify and equip the saints; to pray and fellowship with one another; and to administer the ordinances of baptism and the Lordís Supper. (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 2:41-47, 8:26-39; Rom. 14:19; Eph. 4:11-16) We believe the church has two offices, Pastor and deacon, whose qualifications and duties are clearly defined in the scriptures. (Acts 6:1-3, 14:23, 20:28-31; Eph. 4:11-12; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; Heb. 13:7, 17; 1 Pet. 5:1-4) We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government: no organization, group or individual can act on behalf of the local church nor impose their will upon it. (Acts 6:1-7, 15:19-31) We also hold that the will of the local church is final in all matters of policy, discipline, benevolence, or fellowship with other churches. (Acts 15:19-31)
Ordinances of the Church
We believe the Bible teaches two ordinances which believers are to follow in obedience to Christ: Baptism and the Lordís Supper, also known as Communion. We believe baptism and communion are not requirements to salvation. We believe Christian baptism is the complete immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believerís faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior. It is a picture of the believerís death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is an identification and outward testimony of what has already happened in the believerís heart. (Matt. 3:13-17, 28:19-20; Acts 2:38 & 41, 8:12 & 35-39, 10:43-48, 16:30-33, 18:8; Rom. 6:3-6; Col. 2:12) We believe the Lordís Supper is a memorial of what Jesus has done for us. Our church observes the Lordís Supper by partaking of unleavened bread and non-alcoholic grape juice as the symbols of Jesus Christís broken body and shed blood done in remembrance of Him. We believe no one except saved and baptized believers may participate in the Lordís Supper. Believers should always examine why they partake in communion: it is to remember the Lordís death until He comes. (Matt. 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-31)
End Time Events
We understand the scriptures to teach that at Godís appointed time ďthe Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of GodĒ to receive His bride unto Himself. All saved believers in Christ are His bride. Believers who have already died shall be raised; then they and those who are alive shall immediately be caught up in the air with the Lord Jesus. This event is commonly referred to as the Rapture. (John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Cor. 15:50-54; Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Thess. 4:13-18, 5:1-11; 2 Thess. 2:1-3) After Christ and his bride are joined together, unbelievers left behind on earth will go through a seven-year period of wrath and judgment from God, called the Great Tribulation. After this time, Christ shall return visibly to the earth with his army (the Second Coming), and the great battle of Armageddon will be fought at Megiddo in the valley of Jezreel, with Christ victorious. (Zech. 14:2-4; Matt. 24:29-31; Luke 21:20-28; 2 Thess. 2:3-12; Rev. 1:7, 14:9-11, 16:13-16, 19:11-21) The beast and the false prophet will be cast into the lake of fire. Satan will be bound and cast into the bottomless pit, and Christ and His saints shall reign in righteousness for a thousand years (the Millennium). (Isa. 11:1-10, 65:17-25; Rev. 19:19-21, 20:1-6) After the thousand years, Satan will be loosed for a short time to deceive the nations until they assemble for battle against the Lord, and He destroys them with fire (battle of Gog and Magog). (Ezek. 38; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; Rev. 20:7-10) Then all unbelievers will be raised to stand at the Great White Throne to be judged. They will be cast into the lake of fire for eternity, along with Death, Hell, and the devil and his angels. (Matt. 25:41-46; 2 Cor. 5:10; Jude 6; Rev. 20:11-15) A new heaven and a new earth will be created, and Jesus Christ will reign forever as King of Kings and Lord of Lords with His own in the new Jerusalem. (Isa. 9:6-7; Dan. 2:27-45; Matt. 25:31-40; Luke 1:32-33; 1 Cor. 15:24-28; Phil 2:9-11)
Statement on Morality
Be it resolved that the policy of this church is to be opposed to all forms of sexual immorality and abuse, including, but not exclusive to, homosexuality, fornication, adultery, incest, pornography or bestiality.
Further be it resolved that we believe in the literal interpretation of Scriptures within the Bible which condemn these acts, materials, or relationships. To be consistent with this position, we could not, therefore, knowingly place into leadership positions, or receive into church membership any person actively practicing or condoning these sexual perversions. Any person found to be violating Scripture in this area would be subject to dismissal from any leadership position and possible removal from church membership if there is not proper repentance and restoration.
Further be it resolved that the moral corruption of sexual sin can be fully forgiven through repentance and faith in Christís atoning work (1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 John 1:9), but physical and spiritual scars caused by sexual sin cannot always be erased in this life. Thus we affirm that God fully forgives all who repent of sexual sin. We believe that relationships broken by sexual sin can be restored through genuine repentance and faith. We deny that there is any sort of sexual sin God cannot forgive. We oppose the idea that victims of sexual infidelity or abuse should never forgive those who have sinned against them. (Gen. 2:24; 19:5-13; Lev. 18:1-30; Deut. 27:20-23; Rom. 1:26-32; 1 Cor. 5; Eph. 5:3-5; 1 Thess. 4:3-5; Heb. 13:4)
Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage
We believe that marriage was instituted by God to be a permanent covenantal union between one man and one woman and therefore are opposed to polygamy or same-sex marriages. We also believe that the Scriptures show marriage to be a representation of the relationship Jesus Christ has with His church. We further believe that God hates divorce and has always intended a marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Divorced persons are Biblically prohibited from consideration for the offices of pastor or deacon, even though they might be greatly used of God for other areas of Christian service. (Gen. 2:24; Mal. 2:14-16; Matt. 5:31-32, 19:3-9; Mark 10:2-12; Rom. 7:1-3; 1 Cor. 7; Eph. 5:22-33; 1 Tim. 3:2, 12)
We believe that God knows all individuals before they are ever born. Therefore, we believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We believe that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the well-being of the mother are not acceptable. (Gen. 20:17-18; Exod. 21:22-23; 1 Sam. 1:5-20; Psalm 139:14-16; Eccl. 11:5; Isa. 44:24, 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; Luke 1:44)
Lawsuits Between Believers
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve disputes. We believe the Bible possesses all the resources necessary to resolve any and all disputes between members. (Matt. 5:38-42, 18:15-17; Rom. 12:17-21; 1 Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:2-4; 1 John 1:5-9)
We believe that civil government is appointed by God the Father to rule according to His commandments and for the interests and good order of human society. We believe governmental authorities are to be prayed for, honored and obeyed, except in things clearly contrary to the will of God as revealed in the Scriptures. (Exo.18:23-26, 20:1-17; 1 Sam. 13:13-14; 2 Sam. 23:3; Psalm 22:27-28, 67:3-4, 118:8-9; Matt. 10:28; Acts 4:18-21, 5:27-33; Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Tim. 2:1-3; Titus 3:1-2; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13-17)
First I'll comment on this,
I believe that this is true but that some gifts are no longer given such as prophecy, healing, and speaking in tongues. This is not to say that God can no longer miraculously heal but that people can no longer miraculously heal.
I've written a book on this with a good deal of Scriptural evidence, but in an effort to shorten this reply, I'll just give one passage.
8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Now, I'll comment on this,
I believe these statements are true with the addition that the Lord's Supper is to be restricted to the members of the church observing the ordinance. In other words, you cannot visit another church and take the Lord's Supper with them. This is not because the church is judgmental of those outside its membership but because the church cannot judge those outside its membership and is required to judge itself when taking the Lord's Supper.
12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
1 Corinthians 11:20, 31-33
20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.
While the Corinthians were not observing the Lord's Supper correctly, we look at chapter 11 verse 20 for immediate context showing it to be a local observance. The broader context is that Corinthians is written to a local church. So yes, individual members judge themselves too, but even this is within the context of the local church.
Lastly I'll comment on this,
While there are mountains of evidence for the existence of the local church in Scripture, there is no evidence for a universal church. In fact, the evidences for the local church speak against the existence of a universal church. Considering the actual meaning of the word "church" and its use in Scripture, the statement "universal church" is a contradiction in and of itself. All the saved throughout time are called the "family of God" but are not a church. Hebrews 12:32 makes this distinction somewhat clearly.
To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
πανηγυρει - "To the general assembly"
και εκκλησια - "and church"
If there were a universal church, verses should not exist with phrases like "every church" and "all the churches." The wording would rather be something like "throughout the church" if there were a universal church.
And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
1 Corinthians 4:17
For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.
1 Corinthians 7:17
But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.
2 Corinthians 8:18
And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;
1 Corinthians 14:33
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
There are institutional uses of the word "church" such as in Matthew 16:18. By "institutional" I mean it is used like we may use the word "family" for example in the phrase "the American family" to refer to the institution of the family in America.
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Since these are institutional uses of the word "church," they are not evidences for a universal church. We also know these are institutional uses not only because of the other uses of the word "church" but also because of the operation of the church. In other words there is never any authority given to a universal church to do anything. All authority given and all practices followed show evidence for a local church and against a universal church. So, there is no evidence in Scripture for the existence of a universal church but rather evidence against.
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