God is the Creator, Ruler and Sustainer of the universe. He had eternallly existed in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three persons are co-equal and unified in the Trinity. (Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 6:4; John 4:24, 10:30; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
Man is the creation of God, made in His image and under God's authority. Man is the supreme object of God's creation. Yet, while man has tremendous potential for good, he has been tainted by an innate attitude of disobedience toward God. This nature to sin separates man from God. (Genesis 1:27; Romans 3:23, 5:12)
The Bible is God's Word to all men. It was written by human authors who were under the supernatural guidance and inspriation of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, it is the supreme source of truth and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and training in righteousness. Because the Bible has been inspired by God, it is truth without any mixture of error. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21)
Jesus is the only begotten Son of the Father. He is co-equal with the Father and was God in the flesh (incarnate). He was born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless human life, and offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice by dying on the cross for the sins of man. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His dominion over death and the grave, and ascended to the right hand of the Father where He serves as our High Priest. He will return one day in the not-too-distant future to redeem the saved, destroy the sinful and restore His kingdom. (John 1:1-18, 5:18; Hebrews 1:1-9, 5:8)
To sin is to miss the mark of God's perfection; it is to engage in any activity contrary to the heart of the Father. Sin originated in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and chose a way that seemed right to them. The result of his one action condemned all of humanity as every person born since the fall possesses a nature to sin and rebel against God. The result is that every man is born totally depraved and is incapable of atoning for his or her sin and is therefore condemned to death and hell -- for the wages of sin is death. Man's only hope of redemption does not originate from within humanity, but from above, through the merciful grace of God. (Romans 3:10, 23, 6:23; Colossians 1:13-14)
Salvation is the free gift of God to all men. It is received by grace through faith and not by the will or effort of man, but only by the will and work of God. Salvation is possible only by the way of the cross and through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Upon responding to the urging of the Holy Spirit, each person must turn from sin and self to Christ and the cross to have his or her sins forgiven. Upon the securing of this transaction, eternity begins. (Acts 4:12; John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9)
The Holy Spirit is equal to the Father and the Son. He is present in the world to convict men of sin and of their need for a Savior. He serves to guide, seal and protect every Christian in his life with God. He provides the believer with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in what is right and of God. (Matthew 28:19; John 3:3-7; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Titus 3:5)
The Bible teaches that every Christian is called into "full-time" Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through prayer and Scripture, and is accountable to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. (Matthew 6:33; 1 Peter 2:9)
Since man has done nothing to receive salvation, neither can he do anything to lose salvation. Salvation is being maintained by the grace and power of God and not by the effort of man. (John 10:28; Ephesians 1:13; 1 John 5:13)
The blessed hope of the Church is the imminent return of Christ. The events of the return of Christ take place in the following order -- the rapture of the Church, the Tribulation, the Second Advent, the establishment of the reign of Christ on Earth for one thousand years, and finally an eternal state of punishment for the unsaved and the eternal state of blessing for the saved. (Matthew 24:21, 29, 30, 25:31-46; John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 4:13-18, 5:4-10; Titus 2:18; Revelations 3:10)
Man was created to exist forever with God. He will either reside eternally in union with God by the way of the cross, or he will exist eternally separated and condemned by the stubbornes of his heart. Hell is the consequence of rejecting Christ, while Heaven is the benefit of those who surrender their sin and turn to Christ in repentance. (John 3:16-18, 14:1-4)
God had ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood or adoption.
Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God's unique plan to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards and the means for procreation of the human race.
The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband, even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the houshold and nurturing the next generation.
Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.
(Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25, 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalm 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16;Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7)
ARTICLE 6: STATEMENTS OF PRACTICES
We worship God for who He is and what He has done for us. Worship is not an event. It is a lifestyle. It is not a formula, but an attitude. We were designed to bring glory to the Father and we must worship Him. Worship is giving your mind's attention and heart's affection to the Lord. (Psalm 95:1-7)
We study the Bible to know God and to find direction for our lives (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Since God's Word is the only reliable and truthful authority, we accept it as our manual for living. Our first question when faced with a decision is "What does the Bible say?" We practice daily Bible reading, Bible study, and Bible memorization. The Bible is the basis for our beliefs.
We understand the call of the Great Commission is to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). God has commanded all believers to multiply. Generational discipleship as understood in 2 Timothy 2:2 is the means that God has given us to evangelize the world.
In Acts 1:8 we are commanded to carry the message of Jesus Christ into the entire world. We believe it is the responsibility of every Christian to give, go, and pray to support the work of the Kingdom around the world. (Matthew 28:19-20)
Prayer is not a mystical process whereby we call upon some force to mysteriously assist us. Neither is it treating God as a heavenly bellhop who is waiting on our every beck and call. True prayer is when we align our will and wants to God's will and Word; we seek His desire through talking and listening to Him.
Fasting is agreeing with God to abstain from a given activity for a period of time and to use the time forfeited by the activity to concentrate our energies in praying and seeking God's will. (Psalm 66:16-20)
God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are, we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a responsibility to their Church, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are, therefore, under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and materials possessions. (1 Corinthians 16:1-2 and 2 Corinthians 9-7)
Each believer is uniquely gifted at their spiritual birth with a spiritual gift, or blend of gifts, that will aid in their call to bring glory to God. These gifts are not to be misconstrued as talents, for a talent is an ability given to an individual at their natural birth and will grow and flourish with hard work and diligence. Spiritual gifts cannot be worked up or enhanced by human effort, but are gifts of God that grow in effectiveness in proportion to our use of the gift in service to the gift giver. (Romans 12:4-5)
SERVING BY SPIRITUAL GIFTEDNESS
We fellowship with other believers to accomplish God's purpose in our lives and in this world. The Greek word, "koinenea," best addresses the idea of fellowship. It is action, producing authentic nurture, love, encouragement, vulnerability, accountability, and sharing among a body of believers. (Acts 2:44-47)
The call to every believer is to be salt and light to a world in need of a Savior. Paul tells us that all believers are to be Ambassadors for Christ reconciling a lost world to a saving and loving God. (2 Corinthians 5:20) Simply stated, we must go! We must tell! We must care! Learning how to tell people about this loving God and His care for them will help to accomplish the task set out for us in the Great Commission of "going into all the world teaching, preaching, and baptizing in Jesus' name." (Matthew 28:19-20; John 3:16)
Jesus said, "I am the vine, you are the branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; but apart from me, you can do nothing." (John 15:5) We believe the only way possible to live the Christian life is by God's power within us, the Holy Spirit. We then seek to practice a daily dependence on God's spirit to enable us to do what is right.