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What We Believe

    “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” by which we understand the whole Bible is inspired in the sense that holy men of God “were moved by the Holy Spirit” to write the very words of Scripture. this divine inspiration extends equally and fully to all parts of the writings – historical, poetical, doctrinal, and prophetical – as appeared in the original manuscripts. the whole Bible in the originals is therefore without error, and though minor differences may exist in today’s proven translations, none of these differences affect any fundamental Christian doctrine. all the Scriptures center about the Lord Jesus Christ in His person and work in His first and second coming, and hence that no portion, even of the Old Testament, is properly read, or understood, until it leads to Him. all Scriptures were designed for our practical instruction. (Mark 12:26, 36; 13:11; Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Acts 1:16; 17:23; 18:28, 26:22–23; Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 2:13; 10:11; 2 Tim. 3:16–17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21) the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament are the complete and divine revelation of God to Man. the Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical historical meaning. the King James Version (KJV), the New King James Version (NKJV), the New American Standard Bible (NASB), and the New International Version (NIV) are acceptable and proven translations. the infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture to be Scripture itself. God in His sovereignty, having moved the holy men of God to write the very words of Scripture, has in the past, is now, and will continue to preserve His Holy Word in its original integrity forever. Jesus Christ, the Logos, or Word which was made flesh (John 1:14), spoke literally in Matthew 24:35 when He said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Glory to God.
    the Godhead eternally exists in three persons – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and that these three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections, and worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience. (Matt. 28:18–19; Mark 12:29; John 1:14; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 13:14; Heb. 1:13; Rev. 1:4-6)
    God created an innumerable company of sinless, spiritual beings, known as angels, one angel, “Lucifer, son of the morning” – the highest in rank – sinned through pride, thereby becoming Satan. a great company of the angels followed Satan in his moral fall, some of whom became demons and are active as his agents and associates in the prosecution of his unholy purposes, while others who fell are “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” (Job 1:6-7; Isa. 14:12–17; Ezek. 28:11–19; 1 Tim. 3:6; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6) We believe that: Satan is the originator of sin and that, under the permission of God, he through subtlety led our first parents, Adam and Eve, into transgression, thereby accomplishing their moral fall and subjecting them and their posterity to his own power. he is the enemy of God and the people of God, opposing and exalting himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped. he who in the beginning said, “I will be like the most High,” in his warfare appears as an angel of light, even counterfeiting the works of God by fostering religious movements and systems of doctrine, which systems in every case are characterized by a denial of the efficacy of the blood of Christ and of salvation by grace alone. (Gen. 3:1–19; Rom. 5:12–14; 2 Cor. 4:3–4; 11:13–15; Eph. 6:10–12; 2 Thes. 2:4; 1 Tim. 4:13) We believe that: Satan was judged at the Cross, though not then executed, and that he, a usurper, now rules as the “god of this world.” at the Second Coming of Christ Satan will be bound and cast into the abyss for a thousand years, and after the thousand years he will be loosed for a little season to deceive the nations and then “cast into the lake of fire and brimstone” where he “shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” ( Col. 2:15; Rev. 20:13, 10) We believe that: a great company of angels kept their holy estate and are before the throne of God, from where they are sent forth as ministering spirits to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation. (Luke 15:10; Eph. 1:21; Heb. 1:14; Rev. 7:12) man was made lower than the angels; and that in His incarnation Christ took for a little time this lower place that He might lift the believer to His own sphere above the angels. (Heb. 2:6–10)
    God created the universe in six literal, 24 hour periods. We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, Theistic Evolution, or any other theory which contradicts a literal interpretation of Genesis 1:2 as unscriptural theories of origin. (Gen. 1:2; Ex. 20:11)
    man was originally created in the image and likeness of God. He fell by sinning, and as a consequence of his sin lost his spiritual life, becoming dead in trespasses and sins, and that he became subject to the power of the devil. this spiritual death, or total depravity of human nature, has been transmitted to the entire human race of man, the Man Christ Jesus alone being excepted. every child of Adam is born into the world with a nature which not only possesses no spark of divine life, but is essentially and unchangeably bad apart from divine grace. (Gen. 1:26; 2:17; 6:5; Ps. 14:3; 51:5; Jer. 17:9; John 3:6; 5:40; 6:35; Rom. 3:1–19, 23; 5:12; 6:13; Gal. 5:16–25; Eph. 2:13; 4:22–24; Col. 3:1–10; 1 Tim. 5:6; 1 Pet. 1:14–16; 1 John 3:8)
    the dispensations are stewardships by which God administers His purpose on the earth through man under varying responsibilities. the changes in the dispensational dealings of God with man depend on changed conditions or situations in which man is successively found with relation to God, and that these changes are the result of the failures of man and the judgments of God. different administrative responsibilities are manifest in the Biblical record, that they span the entire history of mankind, and that each ends in the failure of man under the respective test and in an ensuing judgment from God. three of these dispensations or rules of life are the subject of extended revelation in the Scriptures – the dispensation of the Mosaic Law, the present dispensation of Grace, and the future dispensation of the Millennial Kingdom. the dispensations are distinct and are not to be intermingled or confused, as they are chronologically successive. the dispensations are not ways of salvation. They are not in themselves dependent on covenant relationships but are ways of life and responsibility to God which test the submission of man to His revealed will during a particular time. salvation by works is condemned by God in all dispensations. We believe that: according to the “eternal purpose” of God (Eph. 3:11) salvation is always “by grace through faith,” and rests upon the basis of the shed blood of Christ. God has always been gracious, regardless of the ruling dispensation, but that man has not at all times been under an administration or stewardship of grace as is true in the present dispensation. (1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 3:1–10; Col. 1:25; 1 Tim. 1:4) We believe that: it has always been true that “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb. 11:6), and that the principle of faith was prevalent in the lives of all the Old Testament saints. it was historically impossible, however, that the Old Testament saints should have had as the conscious object of their faith the incarnate, crucified Son, the Lamb of God (John 1:29), and that it is evident that they did not comprehend as we do that the sacrifices depicted the person and work of Christ. the Old Testament saints did not understand the redemptive significance of the prophecies or types concerning the sufferings of Christ. (1 Pet. 1:10–12) their faith toward God was manifested in other ways as is shown by the long record in Hebrews 11:1–40. their faith thus manifested was counted unto them for righteousness. (cf. Rom. 4:3 with Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:5-8; Heb. 11:7)
    as provided and purposed by God and as preannounced in the prophecies of the Scriptures, the eternal Son of God came into this world that He might manifest God to men, fulfill prophecy, and become the Redeemer of a lost world. To this end He was born of the virgin named Mary, and received a human body and a sinless human nature. (Luke 1:27,30–35; John 1:18; 3:16; Heb. 4:14–15) on the human side, He became and remained a perfect man, but sinless throughout His life; yet He retained His absolute deity, being at the same time very God and very man, and His earthlife sometimes functioned within the sphere of that which was human and sometimes within the sphere of that which was divine. (Luke 2:40; John 1:12; Phil. 2:5-8) in fulfillment of prophecy He came to Israel as her MessiahKing and that, being rejected of that nation, He, according to the eternal counsels of God, gave His life a ransom for all. (John 1:11; Acts 2:22–24; 1 Tim. 2:6) in infinite love for the lost, He voluntarily accepted His Father’s will and became the divinely provided sacrificial Lamb and took away the sin of the world, bearing the holy judgments against sin which the righteousness of God must impose. His death was therefore substitutionary in the most absolute sense – the just for the unjust – and by His death He became the Savior of the lost. (John 1:29; Rom. 3:25–26; 2 Cor. 5:14; Heb. 10:5–14; 1 Pet. 3:18) according to the Scriptures, He arose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He had lived and died, and that His resurrection body is the pattern of that body which ultimately will be given to all believers. (John 20:20; Rom. 4:24; 1 Cor. 15:21–22; Phil. 3:20–21) on departing from the earth, He was accepted of His Father and that His acceptance is a final assurance to us that His redeeming work was perfectly accomplished. (Heb. 1:3) He became Head over all things to the Church which is His body, and in this ministry He ceases not to intercede and advocate for the saved. (Eph. 1:22–23; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1)
    Owing to universal death through sin, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless born again. no degree of reformation, no attainments in morality, no culture, no baptism or other ordinance, can help the sinner to take even one step toward heaven. a new nature imparted from above, a new life implanted by the Holy Spirit through the Word, is absolutely essential to salvation, and only those thus saved are sons of God. our redemption has been accomplished solely by the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was made to be sin for us and was made a curse for us, dying in our place. no repentance, no feeling, no faith, no good resolutions, no sincere efforts, no submission to the rules and regulations of any church, nor all the churches that have existed since the days of the Apostles can add in the very least degree to the value of the blood, or to the merit of the finished work accomplished for us by Him who united in His person true deity with perfect and sinless humanity. (Lev. 17:11; Isa. 64:6; Matt. 26:28; John 3:7–18; Rom. 5:6–9; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13; 6:15; Eph. 1:7; Phil. 3:4-9; Titus 3:5; James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:18–19, 23) We believe that: The new birth of the believer comes only through faith in Christ and that repentance is a vital part of believing, and is in no way, in itself, a separate and independent condition of salvation; nor are any other acts, such as confession, baptism, prayer, or faithful service, to be added to believing as a condition of salvation. (John 1:12; 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 6:29; Acts 13:38–39; 16:31; Rom. 1:16–17; 3:21–26; 4:5; 10:4; Gal. 3:22; Col. 1:13–14; Heb. 9:22)
    when an unregenerate person exercises that faith in Christ which is illustrated and described as such in the New Testament, he passes immediately out of spiritual death into spiritual life, and from the old creation into the new; being justified from all things accepted before the Father according as Christ His Son is accepted, loved as Christ is loved, having his place and portion as linked to Him and one with Him forever. though the saved one may have occasion to grow in the realization of his blessings and to know a fuller measure of divine power through the yielding of his life more fully to God, he is, as soon as he is saved, in possession of every spiritual blessing and absolutely complete in Christ, and is therefore in no way required by God to seek a so called “second blessing,” or a “second work of grace.” (John 3:3; 5:24; 17:23; Acts 13:39; Rom. 5:1, 9; 1 Cor. 3:21–23; Eph. 1:3; Col. 2:10; 1 John 4:17; 5:11–12)
    all redeemed ones are called into a life of separation from all worldly and sinful practices. (Rom. 12:12; 2 Cor. 6:14; Jam. 4:4; 1 John 2:16) sanctification, which is a setting apart unto God, is threefold: It is already complete for every saved person because his position toward God is the same as Christ’s position. Since the believer is in Christ, he is set apart unto God in the measure in which Christ is set apart unto God. We believe, however, that he retains his “sin nature,” which cannot be eradicated in this life. Therefore, while the standing of the Christian in Christ is perfect, his present state is no more perfect than his experience in daily life. There is, therefore, a progressive sanctification wherein the Christian is to “grow in grace,” and to “be changed” by the unhindered power of the Spirit. We believe, also, that the child of God will yet be fully sanctified in his state as he is now sanctified in his
    Standing in Christ when he shall see his Lord and shall be “like Him.” (John 17:17; 2 Cor. 3:18, 7:1; Eph. 4:24; 5:25–27, 1 Thes. 5:23; Heb. 10:10, 14; 12:10)
    because of the purpose of God toward the objects of His love; because of His freedom to exercise grace toward the meritless on the ground of the propitiatory blood of Christ; because of the very nature of the divine gift of eternal life; because of the present and unending intercession and advocacy of Christ in heaven; because of the immutability of the unchangeable covenants of God; because of the regenerating, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all who are saved; we and all true believers everywhere, once saved shall be kept saved forever. God is a holy and righteous Father and that, since He cannot overlook the sin of His children, He will when they persistently sin chasten them and correct them in infinite love; but having undertaken to save them and keep them forever, apart from all human merit, He, who cannot fail, will in the end present every one of them faultless before the presence of His glory and conformed to the image of His Son. (John 5:24; 10:28–29; 13:1; 14:16–17; 17:11; Rom 8:29, 38–39; 1 Cor. 6:19; Eph. 1:13–14; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:12; 5:13; Jude 24)
    it is the privilege of all who are born again by the Spirit through faith in Christ as revealed in the Scriptures, to be assured of their salvation from the very day they take Him to be their Savior and that this assurance is founded wholly upon the testimony of God in His written Word. (Luke 10:22; 22:32; 2 Cor. 5:1, 68; 2 Tim. 1:12; Heb. 10:22; 1 John 5:13 )
    the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the blessed Trinity, though omnipresent from all eternity, took up His residence in the world in a special sense on the day of Pentecost according to the divine promise, dwells in every believer, and by His baptism unites all to Christ in one body. He, as the Indwelling One, is the source of all power and all acceptable worship and service. He never takes His departure from Christians, but is ever present to testify of Christ. His presence in the world will cease when Christ comes to receive His own at the completion of the Church. (John 14:16–17; 16:7–15; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 2:9–14; 3:16; 6:19; Eph. 2:22; 2 Thes. 2:7) We believe that: in this age, certain well defined ministries are committed to the Holy Spirit, and that it is the duty of every Christian to understand them and to be adjusted to them in his own life and experience. these ministries are the restraining of evil in the world to the measure of the divine will; the convicting of the world respecting sin, righteousness, and judgment; the salvation of unbelievers; the indwelling and anointing of all who are saved, thereby sealing them unto the day of redemption; the baptizing into the Body of Christ all who are saved; and the continued filling for power, teaching, and service of those among the saved who are yielded to Him and who are subject to His will. (John 3:6; 16:7–15; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:30; 5:18; 2 Thes. 2:7, 1 John 2:20–27)
    each believer has at least one spiritual gift an ability supernaturally given by the Holy Spirit so that the recipient may utilize that ability to minister beyond his/her normal human capacity. (Rom. 12:3-8; 2 Cor. 12:411; Eph. 4:7-11) all gifts are given for the profit of the common good of the Body of Christ. (1 Cor. 12:7; Eph. 4:12–16) the gifts of tongues (i.e., the ability to speak an intelligible language that is unknown to the speaker), interpretation of tongues, healing (i.e., the ability of a specific individual to heal other persons directly), and prophecy (i.e., new revelation received from God for the purpose of foretelling the future) were sign gifts given at the inception and early days of the Church primarily for the purpose of authenticating the New Testament Apostles’ message and ministry (Mark 16:17–20; John 20:30–31; Acts 1:8; 2:1–21, 43; 1 Cor. 14:21–22; 2 Cor. 12:12). as the Gospel message was proclaimed throughout the New Testament world; as local churches sprang up and were established; as new revelation from God came to a close with the completed canon of Scripture, these sign gifts ceased to be given on a corporate scale with the other gifts (1 Cor. 12:28–31; 13:8–10; 2 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 1:12; 2:34; Rev. 22:18–20). We would not limit God’s sovereignty in still using the sign gifts of tongues and healings in unique situations today. Also, we would not separate ourselves from fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ who believe differently, but exercising the sign gifts is not the practice of this church (1 Cor. 14:39). speaking in tongues was never the necessary sign of the baptism nor of the filling of the Spirit. (Acts 4:8, 31; 1 Cor. 12:13, 30) the ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection. (Rom. 8:23; James 5:13–15) (Mark 16:17–20; Acts 4:8, 31; Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 13:8; 2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:3-4)
    all who are united to the risen and ascended Son of God are members of the Church which is the Body and Bride of Christ, which began at Pentecost and is completely distinct from Israel. its members are constituted as such regardless of membership or nonmembership in the organized churches of earth. by the same Spirit all believers in this age are baptized into, and thus become, one body that is Christ’s, whether Jew or Gentile, and having become members one of another are under solemn duty to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, rising above all sectarian differences and loving one another with a pure heart fervently. (Matt. 16:16–18; Acts 2:42–47; Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 1:2; 12:12–27; Eph. 1:20–23; 4:3–16; Col. 3:14–15; Heb. 10:24–25) We believe that: the men are to take leadership for teaching, prayer, and pastoral ministry in the local church. The elders are responsible before God to lead the congregation as spiritual overseers. (Acts 14:23; 20:17, 28; 1 Cor. 12:4–11; 14:34–35; Eph. 4:11–13; 1 Tim. 2:11–14; 3:1-7; Titus 1:59; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:2-3)
    Water Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the only sacraments and ordinances of the Church and that they are a Scriptural means of testimony for the Church in this age. (Matt.28:19; Luke 22:19–20; Acts 8:12, 38; 10:47–48; 16:32–33; 18:7-8; 1 Cor. 11:23–28) These ordinances are for believers only. (see “Water Baptism” and “The Lord’s Supper” (below) for more detailed information).
    we are called with a holy calling, to walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, and to live in the power of the indwelling Spirit that we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. the flesh with its fallen, Adamic nature, which in this life is never eradicated, being with us to the end of our earthly pilgrimage, needs to be kept by the Spirit constantly in subjection to Christ. Otherwise it will surely manifest its presence in our lives to the dishonor of our Lord. ( Rom. 6:11–13; 8:2, 4, 12–13; Gal. 5:16–23; Eph. 4:22–24; Col. 2:1–10; 1 Pet. 1:14–16; 1 John 1:4-7; 3:5-9)
    divine, enabling gifts for service are bestowed by the Spirit upon all who are saved. while there is a diversity of gifts, each believer is energized by the same Spirit, and each is called to his own divinely appointed service as the Spirit may will. in the apostolic church there were certain gifted men – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers – who were appointed by God for the perfecting of the saints unto their work of the ministry. today some men are especially called of God to be evangelists, pastors, and teachers, and that it is to the fulfilling of His will and to His eternal glory that these shall be sustained and encouraged in their service for God. (Rom. 12:6; 1 Cor. 12:411; Eph. 4:11) We believe that: wholly apart from salvation benefits which are bestowed equally upon all who believe, rewards are promised according to the faithfulness of each believer in his service for his Lord, and that these rewards will be bestowed at the Judgment Seat of Christ after He comes to receive His own to Himself at the Rapture of the Church. (1 Cor. 3:915; 9:1827; 2 Cor. 5:10)
    it is the explicit message of our Lord Jesus Christ to those whom He has saved that they are sent forth by Him into the world even as He was sent forth of His Father into the world. after they are saved, they are divinely reckoned to be related to this world as strangers and pilgrims, ambassadors and witnesses, and that their primary purpose in life should be to glorify God as they make Christ known to the whole world. God has given the Church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ we must use all available means to go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us. (Matt. 28:18–20; Mark 16:15; John 17:18; Acts 1:8; Rom. 15:5-6; 2 Cor. 5:18–20; 1 Pet. 1:17; 2:11)
    according to the Word of God, the next great event in the fulfillment of prophecy will be the coming of the Lord in the air to receive to Himself into heaven both His own who are alive and remain unto His coming, and also all who have died in Christ. this event is the blessed hope set before us in the Scripture, and for this we should be constantly looking. (John 14:13; 1 Cor. 15:51–52; Phil. 3:20; 1 Thes. 4:13–18; Titus 2:11–14)
    the Rapture of the Church will be followed by the fulfillment of Israel’s seventieth week (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 6:119:21) during which the Church, the Body of Christ, will be in heaven. the whole period of Israel’s seventieth week will be a time of judgment on the whole earth, at the end of which the times of the Gentiles will be brought to a close. the latter half of this period will be the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7), which our Lord called the Great Tribulation. (Matt. 24:15–21) universal righteousness will not be realized prior to the Second Coming of Christ.
    the period of Great Tribulation on the earth will be climaxed by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth as He went, in person on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory to introduce the Millennial Kingdom; to bind Satan and place him in the abyss; to lift the curse which now rests upon the whole creation; to restore Israel to her own land and to give her the realization of God's covenant promises; and to bring the whole world to the knowledge of God. (Deut. 30:1–10; Isa. 11:9; Ezek. 37:21–28; Matt. 24:15 25:46; Acts 1:11; 15:16–17; Rom. 8:19–23; 11:25–27; 1 Thes. 1:9–10; 4:16–17; 1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 3:15; Rev. 19:11–21)
    at death the spirits and souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation pass immediately into His presence. they remain there in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the glorified body when Christ comes for His own whereupon spirit, soul, and body reunited shall be associated with Him forever in glory. the spirits and souls of the unbelieving remain after death conscious of condemnation and in misery until the final judgment of the Great White Throne at the close of the Millennium. the spirit, soul, and body are reunited and will be cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power. (Luke 16:19–26; 23:42; 2 Cor 5:6-8; Phil. 1:23; 2 Thes. 1:7–9; Jude 6–7; Rev. 20:4–15)
    God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home; 2) the church; and 3) the state. every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. the home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God. (Rom. 13:17; Eph. 5:22–24; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13–14)
    God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful perversions of God´s gift of sex. any church member becoming pregnant or causing pregnancy as a result of consensual intercourse, outside of the marriage relationship, shall come under church discipline. (Gen. 2:24; 19:5, 13; 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1–30; Rom. 1:26–29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thes. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4) We believe that: The only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. (Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23) 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, elders, deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for ordination by the church. (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 2:8–15; 3:4-5, 12)
    The Bible does not approve of a believer and a nonbeliever entering into a marriage covenant. God hates divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Divorce and then remarriage is regarded as adultery except on the grounds of fornication and desertion. (Mal. 2:14–17; Matt. 19:3–12; Rom. 7:13; 1 Cor. 7:10–16; 2 Cor. 6:14; 1 Tim. 2:2, 12; Titus 1:6)
    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. Any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental wellbeing of the mother are acceptable is to be rejected. (Job 3:16; Ps. 51:5; 139:14–16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1; Jer. 1:5; 20:15–18; Luke 1:44)
    Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. The church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. 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)
    Every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is first obligated to support his local church financially. Every Christian should give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. A Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of his/her offering once the gift has been made. (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9–10; Acts 4:34–37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6–7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:17–18; 1 John 3:17) AUTHORITY OF THE STATEMENT OF FAITH The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing Statement of Faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible, and therefore, is binding upon all members. All literature used in this church shall be in complete agreement with the Statement of Faith.
    Water baptism is a well known practice of the Christian faith, yet it is poorly understood. Water baptism is commonly referred to as believer’s baptism, Christian baptism, or just baptism. However, it is not to be confused with Spirit baptism. The following is the Faith Bible Church position concerning the Biblical teaching on water baptism. What is the meaning of water baptism? It is an outward, physical expression of an inward, spiritual reality. It is a public declaration of a Christian’s desire to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. The baptized person becomes identified with the death (going into the water), burial (going under the water), and resurrection (coming up out of the water) of Jesus Christ. Baptism represents the death of the old sin-filled person and the birth of the new person in Christ (Rom. 6:3–11; Col. 2:12) Is water baptism necessary for salvation? Absolutely not! Water baptism is a public confession that saving faith has already taken place. There are no righteous works a man can do to be saved. (Eph. 2:8–9; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5) Faith or belief in Jesus Christ is the only requirement for salvation (Jn. 3:16; Acts 16:31; Rom 10:9). The thief on the cross illustrates this most graphically. The Gospel of John, whose express purpose is to clarify the meaning of faith, never teaches that baptism is necessary for eternal life. The Book of Romans, the manual of doctrine in the Bible, never designates baptism as necessary for justification. It is by faith and faith alone (Rom. 5:1). Paul summarizes the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:14 with no mention of baptism. Paul said “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel” (1 Cor. 1:17). Baptism is not a part of the gospel. Gentiles in Acts 10:4748 already possessed the Holy Spirit (were already saved – Rom. 8:9) prior to their baptism. Baptism is not a requirement for salvation, but should be a result. Why should a Christian receive water baptism? Jesus Christ commanded it. Christians should be baptized as an act of obedience to express the reality of their love for Christ (Mt. 28:18–20; Jn. 14:15) Jesus Christ exemplified it. He was baptized to identify Himself with the message of John the Baptist and become associated with all those who were baptized by John. Jesus Christ is honored by the firm testimony of belief and submission to Him. Baptism is not necessary for salvation, but it is for obedience. Should infants receive water baptism? No! No person should be baptized who is not able to understand and respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ. A genuine belief in Jesus Christ must precede water baptism. Salvation springs from the new birth, not natural birth (Jn. 1:12–13; 3:5–7). There are no explicit references to infant baptism in the New Testament. Water baptism does not bring salvation, but only pictures a spiritual relationship which begins with salvation. What is the proper method of water baptism? Total immersion seems to have been the universal practice in New Testament times. The primary meaning of the original Greek word “to baptize” is “to dip or immerse.” There are other Greek words for sprinkle” or “pour,” but these are never used in the New Testament in relation to baptism. Total immersion most clearly shows the meaning of baptism as identification with Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:12). There was always the need for a body of water to be present in New Testament baptisms (Mk. 1:9–10; Jn. 3:23; Acts 8:36–39). No one in the New Testament was ever baptized beside a well or basin of water. Water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the two ordinances of the Church. While water baptism sets forth the believer’s union with Christ and is received but once in the life of the believer, the Lord’s Supper is celebrated repeatedly, because it emphasizes the communion of Christ and His people.
    The following is the Faith Bible Church position concerning the Biblical teaching on THE LORD´S SUPPER. What are the names used to designate this ordinance? The Communion (1 Cor. 10:16) expresses that common sharing of faith and privilege of all God’s people with the One of whom the elements speak. At the communion, social distinctions are to be forgotten. All are thankful to be there, since all are partakers of the rich benefits purchased by the Savior’s body and blood. The Sacrament is a formal religious act that is sacred as a sign or symbol of a spiritual reality. Though not found in Scripture, it did come into early use. The “sacrament” was the Roman soldier’s oath of allegiance upon joining the army. By so doing, he passed from civilian to military life. For a long period of time, the ordinances of water baptism and the Lord’s Supper clearly marked the separation between the Christian and the world which had rejected Christ. The Eucharist is derived from the Greek word meaning “giving of thanks.” It is found in such passages as Matthew 26:27 and 1 Corinthians 14:16. In fact it is the usual word for thanksgiving in the New Testament (cf. Heb. 13:15). The Lord’s Supper or Lord’s Table (1 Cor. 10:21) stands in vivid contrast to the table of demons. We are invited to fellowship with the Lord Himself and eat at His table. The Breaking of Bread emphasizes the simplicity of the feast. Our Lord took two things right at hand and used them as the memorials of Himself. The Remembrance Feast commemorates the Lord’s instruction, “this do in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). This remembrance feast is only temporary, for in it we do show or announce the Lord’s death until He comes again. So this feast looks back to Calvary and forward to His second coming. (Rom. 6:3–11; Col. 2:12) The Passover & the Lord’s Supper Similarities: At the center of each is a memorial. Both commemorate a birth (of a nation, Israel, and of the Church). Both involve death (of a lamb and of the Lamb of God). Differences: The Passover vs. The Lord’s Supper To be remembered forever (Ex. 12:14). vs. Remembered only until He comes. Remembered yearly. vs. Celebrated often. Remembers an event. vs. Remembers a Person. The Emblems & Their Meaning “This is My body, This is My blood.” The simplicity of the Savior’s words have been enshrouded in mystery, magic, and superstition almost from the beginning of the second century. Very early, it was suggested that upon the “official” blessing by a presiding “bishop,” the elements became something other than bread and wine. This teaching continued to expand, eventually developing into a doctrine known as “transubstantiation.” This doctrine means that when Jesus said, “This is my body,” His words were to be taken literally. That is, when the bread and wine were blessed, they actually became the body and blood of Christ. Martin Luther, the great Reformer, rejected this doctrine. In its place, he substituted “consubstantiation.” This doctrine stated that while the bread and wine remained the same, the body and blood of Christ were mysteriously “in and under” the elements. Luther’s view was a middle ground between the literal and figurative interpretation of the words used by our Lord. It is to a lesser known but equally zealous Reformer, Ulrich Zwingle of Zurich, Switzerland, that we owe the return to simplicity. In opposition to the teachings of Luther, he regarded the bread and wine to be symbols only. But seeing the elements as symbols only, removes Christ from the scene, for Christ is physically present only in heaven. A fourth view, which we hold at FBC, finds its roots in John Calvin and the Reformation. It is called the spiritual presence view which states that although Christ has a physical body which is in heaven, He is also present in a special way through the Person of the Holy Spirit. The elements are reminders of the Person and work of Christ which we share in as we participate in the Lord’s Supper by faith. Four Looks at the Lord’s Supper (From 1 Cor. 11:23-34) The LOOK UP. “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you” (vs. 23). Our authority for observing the Lord’s Supper is directly from heaven. Paul received directly from the ascended Lord his information about the Lord’s Supper. Jesus expected this observance to be carried out. It was not commended to those who would follow Him; it was commanded. The LOOK BACK. “You proclaim the Lord’s death” (vs. 26a). We look back to the Cross in holy wonder and appreciation, and seek afresh to grasp the love and grace displayed there. We seek to grasp a portion of the mystery of the divine atonement that was an absolute necessity to bring us to God. We muse on His sufferings as our sacrifice and then on His victory over sin, death, and hell as the Lord of Life. The LOOK FORWARD. “Until He comes” (vs. 26b). We eat of the Supper in anticipation of the return of the Lord. The Lord Himself will descend with a shout, and we shall rise to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thes. 4:1318). We anticipate that time when these symbols will no longer be required. In their place will be the substance. The LOOK IN. “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (vs. 28). We should examine our 1) companions of the week (Ps. 1:1); 2) habits (1 John 2:15); 3) thoughts (Prov. 23:7); and 4) motives (Do we wish to see Jesus or to be seen by men?). This self examination will lead us to appear at the table with a clean heart and conscience ready to fellowship with the Lord as we partake of the emblems of His body and blood. The procedure followed at this service is that various men, as they are led of the Lord, will offer a hymn, prayer, or Scripture reading, with or without comment. This is a time to worship the Lord only, and is not a time for personal testimony or Bible study. At an appropriate time, one of the men will give thanks for the loaf, which will then be broken and passed for each to partake. The same procedure will be followed for the cup (grape juice is used). Participation is open to all who have accepted Christ as their Savior, and are living in fellowship with Him. We observe the Lord’s Supper each Sunday (the first Sunday of the month during the 11:00am service, and every Sunday at 9:00am).
    Any person who has received Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior, been baptized (see "Water Baptism"), and being in agreement with the beliefs, strategy, structure, and mission of the church may become a member. A Christian becomes a member of Faith Bible Church by taking C.L.A.S.S. 101: Discovering God’s Family in its entirety and meeting the commitments of that class. Christians from other recognized churches should have a letter of commendation from that local church sent to FBC. They must also complete C.L.A.S.S. 101: Discovering God’s Family in its entirety and meet the commitments of that class. Voting members must be at least 18 years of age.
    The difference between “attenders” and “members” can be summed up in one word: Commitment. Faith Bible Church recognizes the need for formal membership. Christians should commit to membership for four reasons: 1. A Biblical Reason: Christ is Committed to the Church. “Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her: (Ephesians 5:25) 2. A Cultural Reason: It’s an Antidote to our Society. We live in an age where very few want to be committed to any thing....a job...a marriage...our country. The attitude has even produced a generation of “church shoppers and hoppers”. Membership swims against the current of America’s “consumer religion”. It is an unselfish decision. Commitment always builds character. 3. A Practical Reason: It Defines Who Can Be Counted On. Every team must have a roster. Every school must have an enrollment. Every business has a payroll. Every army has an enlistment. Even our country takes a census and requires voter registration. Membership identifies our family. It defines for whom the pastors and elders are responsible and for whom they are not.. 4. A Personal Reason: It Produces Spiritual Growth. The New Testament emphasizes the need for Christians to be accountable to each other for spiritual growth. You cannot be accountable when you’re not committed to any specific church family.
    The church never asks its members to do more than the Bible clearly teaches. Members should do what the Bible expects every Christian to do. These responsibilities are spelled out in the following Membership Agreement: Membership Agreement Having received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and been baptized, and being in agreement with the beliefs, strategy, structure, and mission of the church, I commit myself to God and to the other members of the church to: Protect the Unity of My Church. By acting in love toward other members By refusing to gossip By following the leaders “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification” (Romans 14:19). “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29). “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account . Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you” (Hebrews 13:17). Share the Responsibility of My Church. By praying for its growth By inviting the unchurched to attend By warmly welcoming those who visit “We always thank God for you, mentioning you in our prayers.” (1 Thessalonians 1:2) “Then the master told his servant, Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full” (Luke 14:23). “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7). Serve the Ministry of My Church. By discovering my gifts and talents By being equipped by the pastors and elders to serve By developing a servant’s heart “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10). “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and some teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” (Ephesians 4:11–12). Support the Testimony of My Church. By attending faithfully By living a godly life By giving regularly “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27). “On the first day of the week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made” (1 Corinthians 16:2). “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
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