Statement of Faith

Section 1. The Bible:  We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God equally in all parts and without error in its original manuscript, absolutely infallible, and our source of supreme revelation from God, superior to conscience and reason, though not contrary to reason; and it is therefore our infallible rule of faith and practice.  II Timothy 3:16-17; I Peter 1:23-25;  Hebrews 4:12

 Section 2. God:  We believe in one God who has revealed Himself in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all co-eternal, all stand equally superior to time, free from the temporal distinctions of past and future.

The Eternal FATHER: Genesis 12:33; Deut. 33:27;  Psalms 90:2;  Psalms 102:27; I Timothy 1:17.

The Eternal SON: John. 1:1-2; John. 8:58; Heb. 1:8; I John 1:2; Micah 5:2; Rev. 1:8

The Eternal SPIRIT: Heb. 9:14

The Eternal GODHEAD: Romans 1:20

 

Section 3. Jesus The Christ:  We believe in the pre-existence, incarnation and virgin birth of Jesus Christ who came into the world to reveal the Father, and was the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person; that Jesus Christ was the Creator of all things, for by Him the worlds were made.  We further believe that in Christ dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily and that He was very God-Man.  (John. 1:1-2 & 14; I Tim. 3:16;  Acts 7:37-38)

 

Section 4. Christ’s Ascension and Immanent Return:  We believe in Jesus Christ’s sinless life, miracles, substitutionary death, bodily resurrection and His ascension into Heaven, and His personal return in power and great glory, and in His everlasting Kingdom and dominion.  (Acts 1:11; 3:19-21; Daniel 7:14; Revelation 20:4)  We acknowledge His Lordship — that Jesus Christ is Lord over all things in heaven and in earth, and under the earth.  Phil. 2:9-10

 

Section 5. A New Heaven and Earth:  We believe that there shall be a new heaven and a new earth. Isa. 65:17 and 66:22; 2 Pet. 2:13; Rev. 21 & 22.

 

Section 6. The Creation of Man:  We believe that man was created by a direct and immediate act of God.  Genesis 1:26-27;  2:4

 

Section 7. Satan:  We believe in the reality and personality of Satan, Job 1:7; Matthew 4:1-11 and that he was defeated by Christ through His death, burial and resurrection at Calvary Ephesians 1:19-23; Col. 2:15 and that Christ has delegated His authority over all the works of Satan to His body the Church. Matt. 28:18-20

 

Section 8. The Fall of Man::  We believe that man by transgression fell from a state of righteousness and holiness in which he was first created, into total spiritual depravity, a state of death in trespasses and sins in which he is held as a slave of sin and an enemy of God, being unable to attain divine righteousness by his own efforts, but must be redeemed and delivered by the power of the gospel. Rom 5:12-21; I Cor. 15:1-4

 

Section 9. The Unbeliever: We believe that the fearful, the unbelieving, the abominable, whoremongers, sorcerers, idolaters and liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Rev. 21:8) wherein dwelleth righteousness.  II Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1

 

Section 10. The Foundation Stones::  We believe that each believer must lay a foundation of Biblical truth and experience upon which he builds his life.  These “foundation stones” are:  repentance from dead works, faith toward God, doctrine of baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, eternal judgment and perfection.  Hebrews 6:1-3

 

Section 11. Repentance:   We believe that repentance is a gift from God.    Repentance is dependent upon the convicting action of the Holy Spirit in the lives of sinners and believers.  The conviction of the Holy Spirit will result in the revelation of the sinfulness of self which should lead to Godly sorrow.  Remorse, or worldly sorrow, is a feeling of deep regret, hopelessness or even despair.  It does not lead to constructive change.  On the other hand Godly sorrow, which may at times be mistaken for worldly sorrow, produces repentance which causes us to turn away from sin and selfishness and to receive faith for change.  Worldly sorrow is destructive, but repentance is life giving.  Repentance changes the way we feel and act about sin, self and God.  Repentance is a total change of heart, mind, attitude, emotions, will, action and lifestyle flowing from the turmoil and sorrow of Holy Spirit conviction of sin.  II Corinthians 7:10; Psalms 51; Acts 11:18; II Timothy 2:25; Genesis 6:3; Romans 1:18-32; Matt. 9:12-13.

 

Section 12. Faith:  We believe that faith without works is dead.  We do not believe, as a matter of the fundamental beliefs and doctrines of this church that any matter can be believed without there being an accompanying and corresponding action.  Our faith is an active faith that requires the doing of acts in the world.  Our faith is not a passive or complacent system of intellectual belief or assent to doctrine but is an active force in our lives that requires and results in actions being taken.  A living, active faith will be manifested not only in belief and mental assent but in actions expressing and based upon that belief.  If a belief is truly held it will be acted upon.  The act is as much a fundamental aspect of our faith as the belief upon which the act is based.  Jam 2:14-26; Eph 2:8-10; Matt 5:16; 7:21; & 24-27; 16:27; II Cor 5:10; Rev 2:23; 22:12

 

Section 13. Justification:  We believe that repentance and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ produces the work of justification in the believer.  Through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, he is justified and made a partaker in the death of Christ.  This is the initial step of salvation. Rom. 5:1,9; Lu. 22:20

 

Section 14. Water Baptism:  We believe that water baptism is an essential and necessary part of the “doctrine of baptisms”, Hebrews 6:2, performed only upon repentant   believers in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (which we believe to be the fulfillment of the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and for the remission of sin. (Acts 2:38)  This act is to be done by immersion,; and we further believe that it is the means whereby we receive the new covenant sign of “circumcision of heart”.  Romans 2:28-29; Colossians 2:9-13

 

Section 15. Baptism in the Holy Spirit:  We believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit according to Acts 2:4; 10:46; 19:6; that it is the seal of the New Covenant relationship, Eph.. 1:13; 4:30; 2 Cor. 1:22, Mk. 16:17.  We also hold that the evidence of the baptism (or infilling) of the Holy Spirit is one’s response to the Word of God (John 16:13), a Christ-like life, showing forth Christ’s character, nature and experiencing and manifesting the fruit of the Holy Spirit and Gifts of the Spirit as the Holy Spirit imparts  John 15:26; 16:14; Gal. 5:22-23; Eph. 5:18-21)

 

Section 16. Laying on of hands:  We believe in the doctrine of the laying on of hands for:

a)      The confirming of believers in the faith.  Acts 14:22

b)      The confirmation of one’s call by the laying on of hands with prophecy Acts 13:1,3.

c)      The impartation of the spiritual gifts when accompanied by prophecy and the laying on of hands. I Timothy 4:14;  II Timothy 1:6

d)     The recognition, ordination, and setting apart of ministry.

e)      The impartation of the gift of the Holy Spirit Acts 8:17-18.

f)       The ministry of healing the sick Mark 16:16.

g)      The blessing and dedication (setting apart) of children.  Mark 10:16.

 

Section 17. The Ministry of the Holy Spirit:  We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is being manifested in the Church through the fruits, (Galatians 5:22-23 — graces, ministries and gifts) and we hold that the nine gifts of the Spirit, (I Corinthians 12:8-11) should be and must be operative in the Church today in order for the Church to enjoy the fullness of God.  Also, we hold that these gifts are imparted by the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit and only work or operate by this one and self-same Spirit.  I Corinthians 12:11

 

Section 18. Healing:  We believe in divine healing for the whole man.  Healing was obtained through the atonement in Christ’s sacrificial death (I Peter 2:24-25; Isaiah 53:4-5).   We believe in healing as practiced by the early church.  Acts 4:30; 19:11; Romans 8:11; I Corinthians 12:9; James 5:14.

 

Section 19. Grace and Sanctification:  We believe that “by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works lest any man should boast.”  (Ephesians 2:8-9)  We further believe that the emphasis for a continuous walk in grace should be the emphasis of heart righteousness and purity, believing in the keeping power of God, walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh in a lifestyle that demonstrates the character, standards and convictions of Jesus Christ, not being conformed to the world Jude 24; Romans 8:25; Galatians 5:16-25; Romans 4:1-5; 12:1-2.

 

Section 20. The Five Fold Ministry:  We believe in the five-fold ministries given to the Church at the ascension of Jesus Christ and that they continue to be needed and should be expected today.  We believe in the New Testament order for the local church in its government, structure and worship.  Five fold (Ascension Gift) Ministries: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers.  (Eph. 4:11)  Elders (Titus 1:5-9; I Timothy 3:1-7) Pastoral accountability and authority (Hebrews 13:17).  Psalms 68:18;  Ephesians 4:11-12.

We believe they are called and scripturally provided by our Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, for the two-fold purpose of the evangelization of the world and of the edification and oversight of the body of Christ.  Mark 16:15-20; Ephesians 4:8-13; Acts 20:28

 

Section 21. The Autonomy Of The Church:  This church is intentionally structured as an ‘Autonomous’ and ‘Indigenous’ entity, with no other church or organization having authority or control over it.  We purposely avoid the use of the term ‘Independent,’ as we believe the Lord Jesus Christ desires every believer and leader to be relational, and accountable to other believers.  However, as the church is comprised of many believers, we recognize the possibility of internal disputes or strife, where the wisdom and spiritual authority of seasoned Ministry, known and recognized by this local church, would be helpful in resolving issues and restoring relationships.  It is the ‘Senior Ministers’ who, by the laying on of their hands, set qualified men and women into ministry.  (Acts 14:23).  All ministry are to be accountable to other relational ‘Peer’ Ministry. (Acts 14:26, 27; 1 Cor. 4:6 – 21) For this purpose, provision is made for the ‘The Senior Ministers Council,’ comprised of Five Fold (Ascension Gift) Ministries.

 

Section 22. Local Church Elders:   Under Moses, elders were set aside to “rule” over 1000’s, 100’s, 50’s and 10’s.  The 70 elders “called out,” to share Moses’ anointing, were the equivalent of the New Testament “five fold Ministry.”  The remaining elders, the equivalent of the local church elder, with varying degrees of anointingWe believe in the ministry, and necessity, of the Local Church Elders. Their qualifications are the same, but not recognized as a “Trans local elder,” “Traveling elder,” “Ruling elder,” or a “Five Fold Minister,” but are recognized and trained to serve in the local church.  It is possible that at a later time, when his ministry gift has more fully developed, he will be recognized and ordained as a five fold Minister.  Ex 18:13-26.  Num. 11:14,17; and 24, 25; Deut 1:15.  Those called to this office will function in a manner as to lead by example in, prayer, worship, teaching, laying on hands, prophesying and performing all the sacraments.

 

Section 23. Ordination and Commissioning:  We believe the local church has the right to Ordain the Five Fold Ministers, and Commission Local Church Elders, as a recognition and separation of a specific gifting of God.  We believe that God calls men into specific ministries as Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers.  God calls.  Man can only recognize the call and acknowledge it.  Ordination is on the basis of that recognition of God’s gifting.  Men and women called to a specific office by God and ordained or commissioned by this church will have the right to participate in the traditional sacramental and ordinal functions of the church such as marriage, funerals, baptisms, and the like.  They shall also be expected to function in the spiritual giftings of their office and to demonstrate the reality of their calling.  We recognize the priesthood of believers and the serving ministry of the Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher with government by these Elders, and that such actions on the part of those ordained and commissioned by this church would be compared to the sacramental function of the priesthood in traditional sacramental churches.

 

Section 24. Deacons:  We believe in the servant ministry of the Deacons (Acts 6:1-7; Philippians 1:1; I Timothy 3:8-13), as those members able and recognized by the elders and elected by the membership, as a ministry of Helps.

 

Section 25. The Body of Christ:  We believe that the Church is the Body of Christ expressed as the church individual, the church local, and the church universal and invisible (all saints of all places and all times united together under one Lord), and that the basis of our fellowship is in Jesus Christ, in the power of the Spirit.  Ephesians 2:13-22; 4:3-6; I John 1:6-7  As such, we believe the church to be more than just a building or a gathering of people.  It is a body living in relationship and harmony under the direction of the head, Jesus Christ.    I Corinthians 6:15; II Corinthians 1:1; Romans 16:5; I Peter 2:4-5; Ephesians 2:19-22; I Corinthians 12:12-31; Romans 12:4-5; Ephesians 4:11-16.  The local church is an expression of the community and fellowship of God.

 

Section 26. Congregational Membership:  The Church, by its very composition, is a membership organization.  The local church is the manifestation within our society of The Church.  All believers are members of The Church.  Individual members of the Body of Christ will wish to associate with our congregation as members.  Each local church exists for an express purpose in God’s plan.  The Lord will set some of those members of The Church into this local congregation as members as it pleases Him.  As members of this local congregation they are given into the care and oversight of the pastor(s) and other leadership, which must give an account to God for their souls.  (Hebrews 13:17)  As members of the congregation, they will not have a vote in business decisions, except as defined in these By-Laws.

 

Section 27. Meeting in Private Homes:  As the Body of Christ in the earth it is an intimate community of people that is devoted to apostolic teaching, to fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer.  The local body will meet together regularly as a whole and in smaller groups in the homes of the members of the congregation.  We consider the fellowship of the saints together in the private homes of the members to be an essential expression of the life of faith of the church.  Indeed to this end, the Word of God frequently refers to the church as a “household.” Matt. 16:13-20, 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-47; I Pet. 4:17; I Tim. 3:15; Eph. 2:19; I Pet. 2:5; Acts 18:8; Rom. 16:5, 10, 11; I Cor. 1:11, 16; 16:15, 19; Phil. 4:22; Col. 4:15; 2 Tim. 1:16; 4:19.

 

Section 28. Determining use of the Church Property:  The elders of this church shall have the right to determine who may attend church meetings and functions.  This church is owned by the Lord Jesus Christ who has entrusted the care of the flock to the leadership He has raised up here.  It is not a place of public accommodation, nor is it a public institution, and its property is not a public place, whether rented, leased, or owned.  Rather it is private property belonging to this church.  Acts 20:28-31; II Peter 2:1-3; I Timothy 1:20; 6:5; I Corinthians 5:1-13; II Thessalonians 3:6-15; II John 9-11; II Tim. 3:1-5; Titus 3:10-11; Romans 16:17.

 

Section 29. Worship:  We believe in the practice of worship with one’s total being (singing; lifting of hands; bowing down; lying prostrate before the Lord; in the dance; the use of instruments) as set forth in the Word of God.  Eph 5:18-19; Rev 1:17l; Psm 150; Acts 24:14

 

Section 30. Tithing, Offerings, and Giving of Alms: Both Old and New Testament scriptures teach tithing as God’s financial plan for the support of the work.  These are to be practiced continually by all believers and are outward expressions of the unity of the church, the Body of Christ, as it joins together in support of the work of the Lord.

Gen 14:18-20;28:20-22; Prov. 11:24, 25, Mal. 3:8-10; Matt. 23:23; Lu. 11:42; 1 Cor. 16:22; 2 Cor. 8:7-8; 9:6 – 9;

 

Section 31. Benevolence to the Needy:  We believe that the Scriptures are clear concerning helping those in need: Least, Last and the Lost.  We are commanded to do good to all people as we have opportunity, with a special emphasis upon caring for those who profess to be fellow Christians, especially those of our own fellowship of believers.  We are commanded to be generous and willing to share, laying up treasure for ourselves in the coming age by our kindness and generosity in this life.  This is true for the church as an organization as well as for the individual members of the church.  Therefore, in accordance with the biblical commands, as a fundamental aspect of the practice of our faith, we will share of our material goods with those in need and will minister to them to the best of our abilities, whatever the need.  Prov. 25:21; Isa. 58:10; Gal. 6:10; I Tim 6:18-19; Heb 13:16.

 

Section 32. Advice, Guidance and Biblical Counsel:  We believe that the scriptures clearly define that members of a congregation can seek out advice, consultation, direction, purpose, resolution, and guidance from amongst the shepherds, elders, mature men and women, and Five-Fold Ministry Gifts within the Body of Christ.  (I Kings 1:12; Prov. 11:14, 27:9; Psa. 55:13-14.)  We further believe that consultation and instruction is applicable by the scriptures through sessions, a company of persons in close deliberation set together, to lay a foundation, set in place and give wise counsel.  This also provides safety, defense, rescue and freedom from trouble.  (Psa. 55:13-14; Prov. 1:11-14, 12:15.)  The personal care of the saints is the sanctification of the whole person, body, soul and spirit,   (I Thess. 3:13; 5:23) through the love that flows from faith, patience and hope, and the redemptive power of the Cross of Christ, (Rom. 3:25; Luke 9:23).  The atoning blood of Jesus, (Eph. 2:13-16; I Pet. 1:18-19).  The transformation of the soul through the Word of God, (Rom. 12:1-2) the denying of the old nature, (Gal. 2:20, 5:24; I Pet 1:13-15) salvation through grace not works, (Eph. 2:1-8) and the promise of the resurrection, (Jn. 3:16, 10:25-26) are the effective working mechanisms that characterize pastoral care ministry.  Such ministry is foundational to the practice of our faith.

 

Section 33.            Biblical Definition of Family:  We believe in the creation, and God as the Creator.  We believe that God created man and that He created them male and female.  As such He created them different so as to complement and complete each other.  God instituted marriage between male and female as the foundation of the family, the basic structure of human society.  It is in families that choose to love and honor God, and pattern their lives according to His Holy Bible, that He would enable healthy relationships of purity, and protection to be developed.  For this reason homosexuality, and other sexual preferences or orientations, are unnatural, and unacceptable to God.    Gen. 2:24; 12:3; 28:14.

 

Section 34. Deliverance:  We believe there is the occasional need for deliverance.  Deliverance is manifested by an inability to be free from bondage:  e.g., mental (emotional), physical or spiritual normally associated with demon activity, it is God’s desire to bring deliverance to His people.  Job 5:19, Psa. 91:3, 2 Tim. 4:13; Heb. 2:15; 2 Pet. 2:9).  We have been granted the authority in the name of Jesus to bring deliverance to others.  (Mk. 16:17; J.n 14:12; I Cor. 12:8-11).  We must understand that our warfare is with the forces of evil (Eph. 6:12), our weapon is the Word of God, our authority and power is from Jesus himself (Mk. 16:17, Acts 1:8) and that the battlefield is first of all in the spiritual realms.  (Eph. 6:10-18; 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Gal. 5:22-23).

 

Section 35.            Discipline:  We believe in church discipline administered within the church, administered in a spirit of meekness and confidentiality.  The purpose of such discipline is the restoration of the one subject to the discipline and/or the purification of the church.  The steps of discipline are one on one private confrontation, private confrontation with witnesses, meeting with the Board of Elders for judgment leading to restoration or separation, and finally, if necessary, exposure to the congregation. (Matt. 18:15-20; Gal. 6:1; Romans 16:17; II John 9-11; I Corinthians 5; II Corinthians 2:6-8; I Timothy 5:20)

 

Section 36. Foot Washing:   We believe and teach the rite of foot washing for all New Covenant believer-priests as the means of removing the defilement of this world from one another.  We further believe that all are instructed to do so by the Lord Jesus Christ (John 13:14-15).

 

Section 37.             Lawsuits:  We believe as members of the same body of Christ, baptized by one Spirit into one body, that we must endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace and as such that we are discouraged from bringing a lawsuit in a civil court against another person who professes to be a Christian.  We believe that all such disputes should be resolved within the Body of Christ without taking them before unbelievers for judgment. (1 Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:3-6)    See Article IV Section 10 in these By-Laws “Procedure For Mediation Of Disputes,” for the accepted and agreed upon means for resolving disputes among members.  In the event of personal injury, occurring on church property, activities or vehicles resulting in medical bills to the member or his dependents, it may be necessary for the member to bring suit to require the church insurance company to cover those medical expenses.  In no event will the member ever request or accept an award of punitive damages.

 

Section 38.            The Restoration of the Church:  We recognize and believe that the Church in these last days has been and is in a revival of restoration because much truth was lost from the Church during the medieval times (also known as the Dark Ages).  We maintain that God, in this hour is moving to restore the Church to the complete and full New Testament pattern, power and practice, but shall not be limited to just this.  We therefore shall examine all new doctrinal concepts in the light of the full revealed Word of God, and if they shall be found to be in harmony with the scriptures they shall be accepted, taught and practiced.  We believe that a complete revelation and truth of God is already written and contained in the scripture and that its progressive unfolding will only add to and not take from what God has already restored to the Church.  (Acts 3:21; 15:15; II Peter 1:20; Ephesians 3:1-6; Revelation 10:6-7)

 

Section 39.            Evangelism and DiscipleshipKnowing that all people were created to worship, serve and obey God and in a spirit of the Universal Law of the Love of God we are to follow our Lords’ commandment of the Great Commission.   The Body of Christ, both corporately and individually, is commanded by the Lord to reach out to the Least, Last and the Lost, to evangelize and disciple.  With the good news of Jesus Christ we are to evangelize and disciple; first to our own community, then our city, state, nation, and then the world. (Matt. 28:18-20, Mark 16: 15-18, Luke 24: 44-49, John 3: 16-18, Acts 1:3-8)