ARTICLE I. COVENANT
Having been led by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior; and, on the profession of faith, having been baptized by immersion in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We endeavor, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully, and regularly to its local and missionary program.
We also endeavor to maintain family and private devotions; to seek the salvation of our loved ones and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world, to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our behavior; to avoid all gossiping, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage, and to be zealous in our efforts to make known the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We further endeavor to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling, and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of our Savior, to secure it without delay.
And, we moreover endeavor that, when we remove from this place, we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church of like precious faith, where we can continue to carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
Ratified April, 1990
ARTICLE II. ARTICLES OF FAITH
SECTION 1. INSPIRATION OF THE BIBLE
We believe that the whole Bible in the original writings is inspired of God; the only infallible, authoritative Word of God; the only source of God’s plan of salvation; and only guide for the Christian life. II Timothy 3:16 II Peter 1:21.
SECTION 2. CREATION
We believe that God created the entire world, including the first actual man and woman, in six literal 24hour days and that no aspect of creation was through any evolutionary process. We believe the account of creation in Genesis 1 and 2 is to be taken literally. Genesis 1,2. Colossians 1:16,17; Hebrews 11:3.
SECTION 3. BELIEF IN GOD
We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19 I John 5:7.
We believe in God the Father, creator and sustainer of all things visible and invisible; who is true holiness, eternal power, infinite love, perfect justice, absolute truth, the Alpha and Omega, the “I AM THAT I AM.” Exodus 20:23; Genesis 1:1; Leviticus 19:2; Romans 1:20; I John 4:89; Romans 3:6; Titus 1:2; Revelation 22:13; Exodus 3:14.
B. God, the Son
We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ (the only begotten Son of God), in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His bodily ascension to the right hand of the Father where He ever liveth to make intercession for His saints, in His premillennial coming for His saints, and in His return to earth to reign in power and glory. John 1:14; Matthew 1:18, 22 23; Hebrews 4:15; Acts 10:38; I Peter 1:19; Matthew 28:6; Acts 1:9; Hebrews 7:25; I Thess. 4:1318; Acts 1:1011; Zech. 14:49.
C. God, the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person who moved holy men of God to write the Scriptures, who convicts of sin, who quickens in the new birth, who seals and is the earnest of our inheritance, and who indwells the believer with the power for holy living and service. John 14:1617; II Peter 1:21; John 16:89; Romans 8:11; Eph. 1:1314.
SECTION 4. MAN: HIS CREATION, FALL, AND NEED OF REDEMPTION
We believe that man was created by God in His own image as given in the Genesis account; that through disobedience to God, man lost his first estate and thereby became a sinner in need of a Savior; and that since that time all men are born sinners, spiritually dead, alienated from God, and stand in need of personal redemption that is in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. Gen. 1:2627; Gen. 3:124; Rom. 5:12; Rom. 3:23; Psalm 51:5; Eph. 2:1; Col. 2:13; Eph. 4:18; Col. 1:21; Rom. 3:2324; Col. 1:14; Heb. 9:12.
SECTION 5. BLOOD ATONEMENT FOR SIN
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, shedding His blood on the cross as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice; and that all who repent and believe in Him, receiving Him by faith as personal Savior, are thereby justified on the ground of His shed blood. Eph. 2:89; Rom 4:45; I Cor. 15:3; I Cor 5:6; Isa. 53:6; Acts 17:30; Matt. 9:13; Acts 10:43; Acts 13:3839; John 1:12; Col. 2:6; Rom. 5:9; Eph. 1:7.
SECTION 6. PERSONAL NEW BIRTH
We believe that in order to be saved, all people, being sinners, must be born again. We believe thatallwhoreceivebyfaiththeLordJesusChristarebornagainoftheHolySpirit. Webelieve that this new birth is instantaneous, and of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. We believe that in the new birth, God justifies the believer and writes his name in the Lamb’s Book of Life and that the Holy Spirit indwells the believer with the power for holy living and service. Rom. 3:10; Rom. 3:23; John 1:1213; Rev. 3:20; I Cor. 6:1920; II Cor. 5:17; Acts 16:3034; John 16:78; I Pet. 1:23; Titus 3:57; Rom. 8:33; Rev. 21:27; Rom. 8:2; Gal. 5:2223.
SECTION 7. JUSTIFICATION
We believe that justification is a judicial act of God by which He imparts to the bornagain believer complete pardon of sins, the gift of eternal life, and imputes to believers His own righteousness. We believe that justification is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which the believer has done, but solely because of his faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. 4:68; Acts 13:3839; John 5:24; John 6:47; Phil. 3:89; Rom. 3:21 22; Rom. 4:5; Titus 3:5; Rom. 5:9; Rom. 3:25.
SECTION 8. SANCTIFICATION
We believe that sanctification is a threefold process in the believer’s life. First, at the moment of salvation, the believer is immediately separated from the penalty and power of sin. Then, throughout the believer’s life, the believer progressively separates himself or herself from the practices of sin. Finally, the believer will be separated from the very presence of sin when he or she is taken home to heaven. Hebrews 10:10. Colossians 3:812. I John 3:2. Jude 24.
SECTION 9. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE RIGHTEOUS (SAVED) AND THE WICKED (UNSAVED)
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked. We believe the righteous to be those who have been born again of the Spirit of God through faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the wicked to be those who have never been born of the Spirit of God. We believe that the righteous are assured of eternal life with the Lord Jesus Christ, whereas the wicked are destined to everlasting conscious suffering in a real and literal hell, eternally separated from God. Psalm 1; Mal. 3:18; John 1:1931; Gal. 3:26; John 3:35; Rom. 8:9; John 3:18; I John 5:1113; Rev. 20:15; Mark 9:4348; Luke 16:1931.
SECTION 10. SEPARATION
We believe that separation is to be practiced by all believers. All believers are “in the world” and are sent “into the world” but are not to be “of the world.” There are three areas in which separation is to be practiced: There is to be separation from unbelief, from the world, and from disobedient Christian brethren. Separation should not be confused with isolation. John 17:1118. II Corinthians 6:157:1. Galatians 1:8,9. II John 911. I John 2:1517. Ephesians 5:11. I Corinthians 5:113. II Thessalonians 3:6,14,15.
SECTION 11. THE SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER
We believe that all who are truly born again are eternally secure since they have been saved by believing on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, have been sealed by the Holy Spirit, and are kept by the power of God unto salvation. I John 5:1; Acts 16:31; John 10:2629; Rom. 10:913; Eph. 1:13; II Cor. 1:22; I Pet. 1:35; Rom. 8:31–39.
SECTION 12. OUR POSITION REGARDING SIGN GIFTS
We believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is experienced at the moment of salvation; that the gift of speaking in tongues and the gift of men with powers of miraculous healing were temporary sign gifts that ceased when the Bible was completed. Acts 2:38; Acts 10:4445; Rom. 8:9; I Cor. 2:12; 3:16; 6:19; 12:3,7,13; 13:810; 14:19,22; II Cor. 12:710: Gal. 3:2,14; 4:6; Eph. 1:1314; I Tim. 5:23; II Tim. 4:20; Rev. 13:12–15.
SECTION 13. CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that God ordained civil government. Believers have the responsibility to be obedient to civil government unless such obedience would cause a believer to disobey God. Romans 13:17; I Peter 2:13,14. Acts 5:29
SECTION 14. ISRAEL
We believe that Israel is the nation to which God has given unique promises and a unique place. Israel is not the Old Testament church. Israel and the church are two separate entities. Each has a special place in God’s dealings with this world. Presently God has set aside Israel as the agent to carry out His program and is working through the church. When this church age is completed at the time of the rapture, God will again deal with Israel for the purpose of bringing the nation to Himself and fulfilling the promises made to them. Genesis 12:13. Exodus 19:46 Ephesians 3:111. Romans 11
SECTION 15. THE CHURCH
We believe that the only true church, the body of Christ, is a living organism made up of bornagain believers including those believers who have gone to be with the Lord. Eph. 5:30; Acts 2:47; Col. 1:18; Rom. 12:45; I Cor. 12:13; I Thess. 4:1318; II Cor. 5:68.
We believe that the majority of references to the Church in the New Testament refer to the local, visible Church, which is also called the Body of Christ. The Bible teaches that its membership is to be made up only of those who have been born again by faith in Jesus Christ, and who have been baptized by immersion. Matt. 18:17; Acts 2:41,47; 5:11; 8:1,3; 9:31; 11:22,26; 12:1,5; 13:1; 14:23,27; 15:3,4,22,41; 16:5; 18:22; 20:17,28; Rom. 16:1,4,5,16,23; I Cor. 1:2; 4:17; 6:4; 7:17; 11:16,18,22; 12:27,28; 14:4,5,12,19,23,28,3335; 15:9; 16:1,19; II Cor. 1:1; 8:1,18,19,23,24; 11:8,28; 12:13; Gal. 1:2,13,22; Phil. 3:6; 4:15; Col. 4:1516; I Thess. 1:1; 2:14; II Thess. 1:1,4; I Tim. 3:5; 5:16; Phile. 1:2; James 5:14; I Pet. 5:13; III John 1:6, 910; Rev. 1:4,11,20; 2:1,7,8,11,12,17,18,23; 3:1,6,7,13,14,22; 22:16.
SECTION 16. THE ORDINANCES OF THE LOCAL CHURCH
We believe that Christ, as the Head of the Local Church, commanded two ordinances: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
We believe that baptism, as taught in the Scriptures, is by immersion, is not necessary for salvation, yet it is the privilege and duty of every child of God to follow the Lord in baptism as an open confession of his identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. Baptism must be performed under the authority of the local church and is a prerequisite for church membership. Mark 1:9; John 3:23; Acts 8:3839; Luke 23:39 43; Acts 10:4748; Rom. 6:3.; Acts 2:41
B. The Lord’s Supper
We believe that the Lord’s Supper is to be observed by bornagain believers in remembrance of the Lord Jesus Christ; that its observance shows forth His death till He comes; and should always be preceded by selfexamination. Matt. 26:2629; Luke 22:1920; I Cor. 11:2332; I Cor. 10:21.
SECTION 17. THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord and in His bodily ascension into Heaven where He now is at the right hand of God as our High Priest, Mediator, Intercessor and Advocate. Mark 16:57; Matt. 28:57; John 20:27; Luke 24:3640; Acts 1; Luke 24:50 51; Heb. 8:1; Heb. 9:15; Rom. 8:34; I John 2:1; Heb. 1:3.
SECTION 18. THE LORD’S SECOND COMING
A. We believe that at present the Lord is taking out a people for His name and that those who receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior constitute the Body of Christ which is His True Church. Acts 15:14; Acts 2:39; John 1:1213; Rom. 12:5; Eph. 1:22-23.
B. We believe that the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then the living in Christ which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord. We believe the Rapture will be before the Great Tribulation which is before the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. I Thess. 4:1318; I Cor. 15:5152; II Thess. 2:78; II Pet. 2:9; Rev. 3:10; Rev. 4:1.
C. We believe that true bornagain believers must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body; according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. II Cor. 5:10; I Cor. 3:1116; Rom. 14:10; I Pet. 4:17 18.
D. We believe in the personal return of Christ to the Mount of Olives following the Great Tribulation for the purpose of setting up His Kingdom which is a thousand year reign. Acts 1:11; Zech. 14:4; Matt. 24:2931; Luke 21: 2531; Rev. 20: 14.
E. We believe that the unsaved dead shall be resurrected and judged by God according to their works at the Great White Throne and whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life is cast into the Lake of Fire. Rev. 20:11–15; Rom. 2:12,16.
SECTION 19. SATAN
We believe in the reality of Satan; a living personality who is the unholy prince of this world. He is the author of all the powers of darkness and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the Lake of Fire. Matt. 4: 13; II Cor. 4:4; Rev. 20:10.
SECTION 20. FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS
A. We believe that the only Scriptural marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. (Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23).and that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between one man and one woman. (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5, 13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1: 26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4)
B. We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church. (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12)
C. We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ. Children are an heritage from the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them, through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline, including Scriptural corporal correction. (Gen. 1:26-28; Ex. 20:12; Deut. 6:4-9; Ps. 127:3-5; Prov. 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; Mk. 10:6-12; 1 Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33; 6:1-4, Col. 3:18-21; Heb. 13:4; 1 Pet. 3:1-7)
SECTION 21. ABORTION
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 reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the physical or mental well being of the mother are acceptable. (Job 3:16; Ps. 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)
SECTION 22. EUTHANASIA
We believe that the direct taking of an innocent human life is a moral evil, regardless of the intention. Life is a gift of God and must be respected from conception until natural death. Thus we believe that an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder contrary to the will of God. Discontinuing medical procedures that are extraordinary or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be a legitimate refusal of over-zealous treatment. (Ex. 20:13, 23:7; Matt. 5:21; Acts 17:28
SECTION 23. LAWSUITS BETWEEN BELIEVERS
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander. (1 Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32).