This statement of faith is a summary of the theological beliefs of Lewis and Janice Beeler.
We believe God has revealed Himself to mankind in two ways that are commonly referred to as “Natural or General Revelation” and by “Special Revelation.”
General revelation from God:
General revelation is knowledge that has been communicated universally to mankind by God. It is clearly understandable to all people that the universe was created, and is superintended by a supreme creator God.
Such revelation displays itself in the greatness of creation, as well as the many benefits from God to mankind throughout His creation. God makes the rain to fall on all people, both the just and the unjust. The power and supremacy and otherness of God in creation is without question.
Mankind cannot know from general revelation who the God of creation truly is, or how to be free of the consequences of their own sinfulness. All of mankind has the benefit of being able to understand this general or natural revelation from God.
Genesis 3.7; Psalms 19.1-6; Isaiah 40.26; Acts 17.27; Romans 1.18-23, 32; 2.12-16
Special Revelation from God:
Special revelation is communicated by God to mankind, and is the knowledge of God that cannot otherwise be know by mankind. It is by its very nature supernatural.
Special Revelation has come from God to mankind throughout history. God has used Theophanies (appearances of God), His prophets, visions, dreams, miracles (signs), and more perfectly His incarnate Son to communicate Himself to mankind.
Special Revelation is only available to those people who have been exposed to it by the sovereign will of God. All Special Revelation of God that exists today has been recorded in the Holy Bible, and there is no Special Revelation from God available to mankind today apart from the Holy Bible.
Luke 1.70; Romans 1.2; Titus 1.2-3; Hebrews 1.1-2; Revelation 1.1-3
Inspiration of the Bible:
We believe the Holy Bible is the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God as recorded in the original Greek and Hebrew/Aramaic manuscripts. Every word recorded by the original authors of Scripture was inspired by God the Holy Spirit, and all of the Bible was equally inspired.
The Holy Bible was produced by Holy Spirit driven men, and is true and inerrant in every detail of which it speaks. The Christian canon of Scripture consists of 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. The Holy Bible is sufficient to man for living a godly life, and is the supreme and final authority for faith and life.
Psalms 119; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 1:1; 2 Peter 1:20-21
Preservation of the Bible:
We believe the Holy Bible is the very Word of God, and all of the Holy Bible has been preserved in its original tongues. Like God, the word of God is eternal and shall never pass away, neither can it ultimately be changed by man. God has, and will continue to supernaturally superintend and preserve His Word throughout history.
Psalms 119.89, 152; Isaiah 40.8; Jeremiah 36.20-32; Matthew 5.18; 24.35; 1 Peter 1.23
We believe there is one Triune God, infinite in being and perfection, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is one in essence, distinct in three personalities, each being equal in power and glory. The only God who exists is the God of the Holy Bible. For a man to worship a god of another name or book is to worship a false god.
Deuteronomy 6.4; Exodus 20.3; Proverbs 30.4; Isaiah 45.22; Matthew 28.19; 2 Corinthians 13.14; 1 Peter 1.2
God the Father:
We believe God the Father, the first person of the trinity, is a real person. God is Spirit, not a man. God has always existed and He will always exist. Although God created mankind in His image and likeness, and gave some attributes like His own to mankind, God is absolutely other from mankind. His ways are infinitely above the ways of man. In God is all wisdom and knowledge, and He works all things after the counsel of His own will.
God is eternally perfect, self-existent, self-sufficient, infinite, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, immutable, sovereign, merciful, gracious, righteous, holy and good. In Him is no shadow of turning, and God cannot lie. God has need of nothing. He has in Himself all that He requires. In God there is no beginning and no end, He is infinite in His existence. Although the creation of God is separate from God, He is present everywhere in the universe and without at all times.
God knows all things, and He can do all things. God is creator and absolute ruler of the universe. God created the universe and our world, and all that is within it for His pleasure. God has predetermined all things, from the creation of the world to the election of His saints for His purposes and His pleasure. God alone is worthy to receive worship. All of mankind are commanded to direct their worship and service toward Him.
Numbers 23.19; Deuteronomy 6.4; 10.14, 17; Job 39; Psalms 90.2; Isaiah 40.10-31; Malachi 3.6; John 4.24; Ephesians 1.11-12
God the Son:
We believe Jesus Christ, is the second person of the Triune God, and He has existed without beginning with God the Father. Jesus is eternally God, and coequal with God the Father. Through Jesus Christ the creation of all things came into existence, and by Him all things continue to exist.
The incarnate Jesus was the sinless God-man. Jesus became wholly man and lived a sinless life, without ceasing to be wholly God. The purpose of His incarnation was to fulfill the will of His Father. Jesus became a man that He might seek and save lost souls. He was born of a virgin through the power of the Holy Spirit. He performed miracles (signs), and was the perfect servant to God and man. His sacrifice on the cross was the complete propitiation for the wrath of God. In His sacrificial death he paid the penalty for all the sin of mankind throughout all ages, and in His resurrection He provides the righteousness of God to all who believe on Him.
To know Jesus as one’s Savior is to possess eternal life, for He is life. Jesus voluntarily died on the cross, rose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, and He is coming again to reign on earth in power and glory for a literal one thousand years. All of mankind will one day confess that Jesus Christ is Lord God of all.
Luke 1.35; 19.10; John 1.1-2, 14, 29; 10.30; 14.6; Acts 1.11; Romans 2.16; 14.9-12; 2 Corinthians 5.21; Philippians 2.6; Colossians 1.16-17; Revelation 19.16; 20.11-15
God the Holy Spirit:
We believe the Holy Spirit, is the third person of the Triune God. He is a real person who is completely God. The Holy Spirit was equally involved in creation with God the Father and Jesus the Son. The Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the Holy Bible ensuring that the revealed word of God was accurately communicated to mankind.
The Holy Spirit has a ministry to the unsaved world, which includes reproving the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He restrains evil in the world. He does the work of regenerating the lost and baptizing them into the body of Christ. He indwells all born again believers at the moment of their salvation, and bestows on them various spiritual gifts of His choosing.
The Holy Spirit fills and guides all believers who are yielded to Him. He teaches believers concerning spiritual things. He seals believers in Christ, keeping them from the loss of their salvation. The Holy Spirit intercedes for believers in prayer. God has given the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit to all believers as His earnest payment toward the completion of their salvation in heaven.
Genesis 1.2; John 3.5; 14.26; 16.8; Romans 8.26; 1 Corinthians 6.19; 12.12-13; Ephesians 1.13-14; 4.30; 2 Peter 1.21
We believe the Genesis account of a literal six day creation of the universe, to be the direct creative act of God. The Genesis account is a literal, accurate, and historical record of the six day creation of the universe. Creation was completed by God without any form of an evolutionary process, and His creation was perfect in every detail. All three persons of the Godhead were actively involved in creation.
Genesis 1.1-31; John 1.3; Colossians 1.16-17; Hebrews 11.3
The Genesis account of the Noahic flood is an accurate account of a real historical event. The flood account in Genesis is the record of the deluge that covered the entire earth. The flood destroyed all creatures that lived upon the earth with the exception of Noah and his family, and those animals he took upon the Ark. Accounts of the flood being merely a local phenomenon are false.
Genesis 6.13; 7.21-23; 2 Peter 3.4-6
We believe the creation of Adam and Eve was the direct creative act of God as recorded in the book of Genesis. Adam and Eve were created in the image and likeness of God. Adam and Eve were created as sinless human beings, and they possessed the communicable attributes of God. Their lives were eternal, and included self-awareness, emotions, a will, a spirit, and cognitive thinking, all of which gave them the ability to process and understand their world, to know God, and to live holy lives.
Adam and Eve sinned against God and fell from their state of innocence bringing eternal judgment upon themselves and ruining their fellowship with God. All of mankind are descended from Adam and Eve, and though there are many nations or families there is but one race of men upon the earth.
As children of Adam, all of mankind are inherently evil, and as a result of their inherited sinful nature are unable to do anything to please God. All of mankind are condemned to eternal judgment by God, and utterly unable to change their condition before God.
All men have in addition to their physical bodies a spiritual self. We believe that both the spiritual and physical life of a person begins at the moment of their conception. We believe an unborn child is no less a person than the mother who carries him. Once a person is conceived the spiritual self or soul of that person continues to exist forever.
Genesis 1.26-27; 2.7, 21-23; 3.6, 20; Job 32.8; Psalm 51.5; Proverbs 20.27; Ecclesiastes 3.21; 8.8; Jeremiah 13.23; Zechariah 12.1; Acts 17.26; Romans 5.12-21; Hebrews 11.6; Revelation 20.12
We believe angels are spiritual beings who were created by God in a state of holiness. There are elect and non-elect angels. The elect angels have been preserved by God in their original holy estate, and the non-elect angels exist today as demons.
Angels exist to serve and bring glory to God, and minister to the redeemed of mankind. Angels observe the outworking of salvation in men, and rejoice in heaven when a sinner is saved. Angels are immortal beings and will reside with the saints in eternity.
Luke 15.7; Colossians 1.16; 1 Timothy 5.21; Hebrews 1.13-14; 1 Peter 1.12; Revelation 4.8
We believe Satan is an angel created by God in a state of holiness, and he occupied a place of honor in heaven. Satan rebelled against God and lost his position in heaven. Satan is opposed to the will of God, and he will be eternally punished in the lake of fire. Satan is the author of sin, and the accuser of all Christians.
Demons are fallen angels, who rebelled with Satan against God, and like him are doomed to an eternity in the Lake of Fire. Demons are the enemies of all Christians, and are able to influence, though not possess Christians. Demons are not only able to influence, but also to possess unbelievers. Although demons are intelligent beings, they are neither omnipresent nor omniscient.
Isaiah 14.12-15; Matthew 25.41; Luke 10.18; John 8.44; Acts 5.3; 8.7; 1 Peter 5.8; 2 Peter 2.4 Revelation 12.10; 20.10
We believe sin came upon all of mankind as a result of the disobedience of Adam. Adam willfully sinned against the known law of God, and as a result fell from his sinless estate becoming estranged from God. In his fall Adam brought upon himself, and imputed to all of mankind the penalty for his sin, which is death, or eternal separation from God.
In our seminal relationship with Adam all of mankind has received a sinful nature from Adam, and as the consequence of our sin, both inherited and personal, all human beings face eternal judgment and condemnation in the Lake of Fire.
Generally speaking, sin is a violation of the law of God, rebellion against the will of God, or a failure to keep the commandments of God. As God is creator of all of mankind, and has complete authority over mankind, personal sin is anything that would be contrary to the perfect moral nature of God. Unregenerate man is under the power of sin, and is a slave to sin. Only through faith in Jesus Christ can a man be freed from the dominion, and eternal consequences of his sin.
Genesis 2.16-17; 3.17-24; Psalm 51.5; Jeremiah 18.3-6; John 8.34; Romans 3.23; 5.12-19; 6.23; Ephesians 2.1; Hebrews 7.9-10
Salvation is a gift of grace from God, whereby a person is delivered from a state of enmity and condemnation before God to a state of justification and peace. The work of salvation is entirely of God, and was accomplished through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
When a person receives the gift of salvation from God, they are freed from the condemnation and dominion of sin, and will someday in eternity be removed from the very presence of sin. The gift of salvation is a display of the glory of God, and is testified of (although imperfectly) through the good works of the redeemed. The gift of salvation is received from God through personal faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
On the part of man, saving faith includes the following: 1. A willingness to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to abandon any idea of salvation contrary to the teachings of the Bible; 2. A desire to receive the unmerited gift of salvation and eternal life from God through Jesus Christ; 3. A volitional act of will to place one’s complete confidence in the person and atoning work of Jesus Christ as the only means of salvation. Personal faith in Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation.
John 3.16-18, 36; 14.6; Acts 16.31; Romans 6.23; 8.1; 9.17-18; 10.9-13; 2 Corinthians 5.21; Galatians 2.16; Ephesians 2.8-10
Saving Faith is the channel through which eternal life is received from God, and is itself a gift of the grace of God. A person cannot possess saving faith without it being granted to them from God. Faith in Jesus Christ can only come to a person through the declaration of the word of God. Faith in Jesus Christ is the sole condition of salvation.
Saving faith is much more than merely believing a set of facts about Jesus. A person exercises saving faith when they turn to God with a sincere desire to receive from God the unmerited gift of eternal life from God, knowing that they are utterly unable to do anything on their own merit to deserve or possess eternal life.
Ephesians 2.8-9; Romans 10.17; Hebrews 11.1, 6
Repentance is a change of mind and purpose toward God, and is an integral part of saving faith. Although sorrow may accompany repentance, sorrow for sin, or a desire to stop sinning, is not repentance. When an unsaved person repents they are turning to God alone for their salvation, and away from their unbelief.
The repentance of salvation is a work of the grace of God, and takes place at the moment of salvation. Repentance proceeds out of true faith, and is a part of it.
In regards to sin in the life of a Christian, repentance is an on-going activity where a sinning Christian turns to God for forgiveness, and abandons a sinful way of thinking or acting. (20)
Psalm 51; 85.4; John 3.18, 36; Acts 11.18; 26.20; Romans 2.4; 1 Thessalonians 1.9; 1 John 1.9
Regeneration is the act of being born again. It is entirely a work of God, received through faith in Jesus Christ, and accomplished by the Holy Spirit. Regeneration gives spiritual life and a new nature to the person who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ for their salvation and eternal life. It is a vital part of salvation and conditioned solely upon faith in Jesus Christ.
Genesis 1.2; John 1.12-13; 3.3, 5; 5.24; 6.47; Galatians 3.26-27; Ephesians 2.1,5; Titus 3.5; 1 Peter 1.3; 1 John 5.1-4
Justification means to be declared righteous before God. All people are utterly incapable of becoming righteous before God on their own because all people have sinned against God and are judged guilty or unrighteous before God. To be justified before God a person’s sin must somehow be removed from their account with God.
Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, and He fulfilled all of the requirements of the law. Jesus was actively obedient to God, and in doing so He was justified before God. In His vicarious death for the sin of mankind upon the cross Jesus was able to pay the penalty for all sin and provide justification to all who believe on Him.
Those who place their faith in Christ are said to have died with Christ and are freed from the penalty of the law. Not only does a believer die to their sin, but they are said to live in Christ, possessing the very righteousness of Christ. All those who are in Christ possess His righteousness, and like Him are justified before God.
Romans 3.21-26; 4.25; 5.18-19; 10.4
Redemption as used in reference to its part in a person’s salvation refers to a person who, being a slave to, and under the dominion of their sin is purchased (redeemed) in the marketplace of sin, and set free from the dominion and eternal consequences of their sin.
All unregenerate people are in need of redemption. When redemption is applied to a person they are set free from the eternal judgment of their sin before God. The purchase price of redemption for all of mankind was the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Redemption, like all other aspects of salvation, is received at the moment of a person’s salvation.
John 8.34; Romans 6.6-7; 1 Corinthians 6.20; 7.23; Galatians 3.13; Ephesians 1.7
Grace is the unmerited favor of God toward mankind. The grace of God is bestowed upon mankind in many ways. The Bible says, “He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” God provides life and blessing to all of mankind, both good and evil. The sacrificial death of Jesus Christ was the literal manifestation of the redemptive grace of God toward mankind. When a person receives grace they are receiving something they have neither earned nor deserve.
Matthew 5.45; John 1.14,17; Romans 5.15; Ephesians 2.8-9; Titus 2.11
Jesus provides propitiation with God for all people who believe in Him. The blood sacrifice of Jesus on the cross satisfied the righteous unending wrath of God toward the sin of the world. God is propitiatory because of the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Leviticus 16.11-16; 17.11; John 3.36; Romans 3.25; 5.6-11; Hebrews 2.17; 9.12-14; 1 John 2.2; 4.10
Imputation, as it is related to sin and salvation, is spoken of in Scripture in three ways:
- Sin was imputed from Adam to the entire human race. The sin of Adam is imputed to all people because all human beings are descended from Adam, and as a result all of mankind have sinned in Adam.
Romans 3.23; 5.12; Hebrews 7.9-10
- Sin was imputed from the human race to Christ. The sin of mankind was imputed to Jesus on the cross. Jesus died for the sins of the world.
John 1.29; 2 Corinthians 5.19-21
- The righteousness of Christ was imputed from Christ to all who believe. The righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed to those who believe on Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5.19-21; 1 Peter 2.24-25
Forgiveness involves the removal of all guilt and penalty from a person, and is a result of redemption in Jesus Christ. Forgiveness is received from God, and is bestowed upon a person when they place their faith in Jesus. Forgiveness is an act of the grace of God. Christians are commanded to forgive others because they have received forgiveness for their sins.
Ephesians 1.7; 4.32; Colossians 1.14; 1 John 2.12
Adoption takes place at the moment of salvation where the believer in Jesus is received as a mature son of God with all the rights and privileges of divine son-ship. The adoption of the believer into the family of God is for the purpose of living a holy life of service to God, both in this life and in eternity. Those who are saved have been chosen to be the adopted children of God according to His good will in eternity past.
John 1.12-13; 3.3-16; Ephesians 1.4-6; 1 Peter 2.5; 1 John 3.1-3
Spiritual Baptism occurs when a believer is spiritually immersed into the body of Christ, and accomplishes the Adoption of the believer into the family of God, as well as the justification of the believer. Spirit Baptism is a work of the Holy Spirit of God that takes place at the moment of salvation.
Romans 6.3-5: 1 Corinthians 12.12-13; Galatians 3.27-28
Sanctification means to set apart a person or thing for a special purpose.
Positional sanctification takes place at the moment of salvation when a believer is spiritually baptized into the body of Christ, and set apart from the world. As a member of the body of Christ, a believer in Jesus Christ possesses a new heavenly nature as a saint of God.
Continuing sanctification is an ongoing work of grace in the life of a believer, where the old corrupt human nature is removed, and is replaced by a new holy nature. Although a believer may grow greatly in the grace of God during their natural life, their old sinful nature will not be entirely done away with until they are in heaven with God.
Glorification is the final act of sanctification in the life of a believer. Glorification will take place in heaven when believers in Christ receive their resurrected bodies, and is the final aspect of their sanctification. At the judgment seat of Christ believers will receive rewards for their works, both good and bad, and be complete in their glorification. Believers will be entirely sanctified in heaven with Jesus Christ, and will have perfect communion with God and with one-another.
1 Corinthians 1.2; 3.13-15; 6.11; 13.10; 15.51-54; 2 Corinthians 6.17; Philippians 3.20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18; Hebrews 10.10-14
The eternal security of a believer in Jesus Christ is guaranteed by God, because it is entirely a work of God. It is the purpose of God to glorify in heaven those people whom He has saved, and His purposes cannot be thwarted. The salvation given by God to a believer in Jesus Christ cannot be lost, neither does a born again person have the power to give up his salvation. The certainty of the believer’s salvation is based upon the knowledge that it has already been accomplished by God.
John 6.37; 10.28-29; 19.30; Romans 8.29-30; 1 Peter 1.5
Apostates can be either individuals or churches, but the act of apostasy is the same in both. Apostasy is a turning away from the faith, a denial of Jesus Christ as Savior and God. Because a true believer in Jesus cannot lose their salvation, it follows that those who apostatize have never been saved. Very often apostates desire to draw others away from their walk of faith in Jesus Christ, and they must be guarded against.
1 Timothy 4.1; 2 Peter 2.1
We believe at death a person’s spirit is separated from their body, and their spirit dwells in either heaven or hell. Heaven is a real place, and it is the eternal dwelling place of God, His holy angels, and all saints who have passed from this life.
Hell is a real place, and it was created by God for Satan and his demons. Hell is the dwelling place of the lost who have died, pending their future judgment at the great white throne of God. All of mankind, past, present, and future will live forever in resurrected bodies in either heaven or in the lake of fire.
Psalm 136.26; Proverb 9.18; Daniel 12.2; Matthew 10.28; 25.41, 46; Luke 16.22-23; 23.43; John 5.29; 1 Corinthians 15.22; 2 Corinthians 5.1-8; James 2.26; Revelation 20.11-15; 21.7-8
Belief and Unbelief:
All people who have believed upon the name of Jesus to save them from the consequences of their sin receive the gift of eternal life, and will spend eternity in heaven with God.
John 3.16-18, 36; 6.37, 47; 10.28
Those individuals who have been offered the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, and have not believed on him as Savior, are also condemned by their sin of unbelief to spend eternity in the lake of fire.
John 3.18, 36; 14.6; Revelation 21.8
All of mankind are under the condemnation of sin, and are without excuse before God. Although some people will never hear the gospel of Jesus, it is because they do not seek after God, not because God does not seek after them. God has revealed Himself to all of mankind through His creation, and He judges all men by their deeds. In addition God has made His salvation available to all people of all ages through His word, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and through the witness of His people.
1 Kings 8.46; Psalm 96.1-3, 10; 98.1-3; Isaiah 45.20-24; 52.10; John 16.7-11; Romans 1.18-25; 2.12-15; 3.23; 5.12-14; 9.15-16; Titus 2.11
We believe in the pretribulation rapture of the universal church, followed by a seven year tribulation, and a literal 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ on earth before the consummation of all things in eternity. The following is a chronological list of major future events:
- The imminent return of Jesus, and the taking up (rapture) of His Church. The resurrection of dead believers, and translation of living believers.
(1 Thessalonians 4.13-18; Revelation 3.10,13Romans 14.10,12; 1 Corinthians 3.11-15; 2 Corinthians 5.10)
- The Judgment of the Church by Jesus Christ, aka: Bema Seat Judgment. (Romans 14.10,12; 1 Corinthians 3.11-15; 2 Corinthians 5.10)
- The Tribulation begins when the Antichrist is revealed to the world. (Daniel 9.27; 1 Thessalonians 5.2; 2 Thessalonians 2.3; 2 Peter 3.10)
- Judgment begins upon the earth and mankind. (Matthew 24.4-15; Revelation 6)
- The two Jewish witnesses are revealed, and begin to prophesy. (Revelation 11.3)
- The 144,000 Jewish witnesses are sealed. (Matthew 24.14; Revelation 7.4-8; 14.1-5)
- The murder of the two witnesses. (Revelation 11.7)
- The Ecumenical Church is destroyed by the Antichrist. (2 Thessalonians 2.4; Revelation 13.15; 17.16)
- The Antichrist breaks his treaty with Israel, and demands that all people worship him. (Daniel 9.27; Matthew 24.15; 2 Thessalonians 2.4)
- Severe judgments come upon the Earth and mankind. (Revelation 10.7; 13.15-17; 16.1-2)
- Christ Returns, and the battle of Armageddon takes place. (Revelation 19.11-21)
- Satan is bound for 1000 years. (Revelation 20.1-3)
- The millennial reign of Jesus Christ on earth begins. (Matthew 25.34; Revelation 20.4-6)
- The final rebellion of man with Satan, and judgment upon Satan. (Revelation 20.7-10)
- The great white throne of judgment upon mankind in heaven. (John 5.29; Revelation 11-15)
- God creates the new heaven and new earth, and dwells with His saints in eternity. (Revelation 21.1-4)
The Invisible Universal Church is the spiritual body of Jesus Christ, and is comprised of all people who have believed in Jesus and lived between the day of Pentecost and the Rapture of the Church. There is no example of a Visible Universal Church given anywhere in Scripture, which precludes all national and denominational churches as being authentic.
Ephesians 1.22-23; 2.20; 5.23; Colossians 1.24-26
The Independent Local Church is the only visible church identified in Scripture. A local church consists of a group of believers in Christ, who have been immersed in water (baptized) following a credible profession of faith, and who are organized together into a single local body, and covenanted together to do the will of God.
Members of a local church are commanded to worship God together as one body, to be witnesses for Christ, make disciples for Christ, teach the doctrines of Christ, pray together, fellowship with one-another, and break bread together in holy communion.
Matthew 28.18-20; Acts 1.8; 2.41-47; Hebrews 10.25
We believe the form of local church government taught in the New Testament is a congregational form of government, where the authority and responsibility of how a local church is governed rests with the congregation of each local church. While a congregation may delegate authority to a pastor and a governing board to manage the day to day operation of the church, the congregation has the ultimate responsibility and authority to govern the church. Every member of a local church possesses an equality of rights, and a majority vote rules the church. A local church is answerable solely and directly to Jesus Christ.
Acts 6.1-7; Hebrews 13.7, 17; 1 Peter 2.5, 9; Revelation 1.11
A local church has two offices of leadership as outlined by Scripture: the first is the office of Overseer aka: Pastor or Elder, and the second is the office of Deacon. These two offices may only be filled by qualified men who have been chosen by the membership of the local church. These offices are needful for both the spiritual and physical edification of a local church. A church can exist without either or both of these offices being occupied, but only to its harm.
Acts 6.1-7; 14.23; 16.4; 20.17; 24.1; 1 Timothy 3.1-13; Titus 1.5-9
All persons who have made a credible profession of faith in Jesus Christ, and following such profession have been immersed in water (Baptized), are eligible for membership in a local church. A person who does not meet these requirements should not be received into a local church membership. Members of a local church body might be dismissed from membership for a number of reasons; their request, because of their relocation to another community, by their death, or through the disciplinary method given in Scripture for unruly members. The idea of a Christian living apart from a local church is foreign to the teachings of Scripture.
Matthew 18.15-17; Acts 2.41; 1 Corinthians 1.2; 5.13; Hebrews 10.24-25
There are two ordinances given by Jesus that are to be carried out by a local church. The immersion in water (Baptism) of new believers, performed only once following a person’s salvation, and the regular celebration of the Lord’s supper (Communion), performed on a regular and frequent basis. These two ordinances are to be administered to all professing believers in Jesus. They should be performed by local church members in the presence of the church.
Luke 22.19-20; Acts 2.41, 47; 8.37-38; 1 Corinthians 11.17-29
The Gift of Healing:
Although God does heal supernaturally, the gift of “healing” as possessed by the Apostles, and by some Christians in the years immediately following Pentecost, is not part of the mission of the church today. We do not believe that Christians today have the power themselves to heal supernaturally by the laying on of hands, or any other method. Christians are however, commanded to pray for those who are sick, and we believe that the God does heal people in response to the prayers of righteous Christians.
Acts 19.11-17; James 5.13-16
The Gift of Tongues:
We believe the modern tongues movement is not authentic. The ability to speak in a language not naturally acquired was a gift of the Holy Spirit possessed in the early church to authenticate the message the Apostles preached as being from God, and was primarily for the Jewish people. We believe the gift of speaking in tongues, has as the Bible said it would, ceased.
Matthew 7.21-23; Acts 2; 1 Corinthians 13.8
Church Worship Services:
The Sunday worship service is a primary activity of a local church, and has at its heart the glorification of God. The early church met together on the first day of the week to worship God, to be taught from the Scriptures, for the fellowship of the believers, for corporate prayer, and to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. It was a normal activity of the early church to sing praises to God during their meetings, as well as to give testimony of the grace of God in their lives.
There are some today who deviate from sound doctrine and have at the center of a church service the accommodation of men rather than the worship of God. Out of this perverted view of what a worship service is, has emerged “seeker friendly services” designed to appeal to the carnality of man and to be entertaining to the unsaved. All such activity in a church worship service is dishonoring to God and fails to edify men.
When the worship of God is done rightly in spirit and in truth, God is pleased, men are taught, and if by the providence of God an unsaved person enters such a worship service they will be convicted of their sinfulness and God will receive glory.
John 4.23-24; Acts 2.42; 1Corinthians 10.31-33; 14.22-40; 2 Timothy 4.1-4
Music, as used in a local church, is primarily for the worship and praising of God, and secondarily the edification of the saints. Church music is not for the use or edification of the lost.
While worship music may be evangelistic in nature, evangelism of the lost is not the goal of church music. The goal of music in the church should be to enhance the worship, praise and glorification of God.
Music does have a moral value, either based on human feeling and representing the old corrupt nature of mankind, or based upon the truth of God, and representing the new spiritual nature of the Saints of God. Church music should therefore be spiritual in nature reflecting the attributes of God, in its musical and lyrical composition, and in it’s manner of performance.
Psalm 98; 150; Ephesians 4.22-24; 5.19; Colossians 3.16
A local church may have associations with other churches, or organizations of like faith for mutual benefit, but associations, conventions, and councils, have no place in the government of a local church. The government of a local church is autonomous. The local church is responsible only to Jesus Christ.
Matthew 18.15-17; 1 Corinthians 6.1-4; Ephesians 1.22; 2.20; 5.23-24; Colossians 1.18
Church and State:
God ordained secular government to be a benefit to those who do good, and a terror to those who do evil, and Christians are commanded to pray for, and obey those who are in secular authority. A local church, and it’s members are to be obedient to secular government and law, except when secular law is in conflict with the teachings of the Bible, or when a secular government rejects its own rule of law and becomes tyrannical.
2 Chronicles 26.16-23; Acts 5.29; Romans 13.1-7; 1 Timothy 2.1-2
Christians have been separated (sanctified) from the world to God. As a result of their sanctification Christians are commanded to live their lives separated from fellowship with the unbelieving world.
2 Corinthians 6.14-18; 2 Timothy 3.1-9
Personal Separation: Christians are commanded to be holy. While we live in the world, we are to be separated from the things of this world that would interfere with our holy walk before God, including sinful persons as well as sinful activities. Every Christian will give an account of their actions to Jesus Christ.
Romans 14.10-12; 2 Timothy 3.1-9; 1 Peter 1.16; 1 John 3.1-3
Ecclesiastical Separation: The church is the body of Christ, and is commanded to have no fellowship with the things of this world. A local church should have no fellowship with other churches, schools, or organizations who are disobedient to the teachings and authority of the Bible.
2 Timothy 3.1-9; Titus 3.10-11; 2 John 10; Jude 3
Marriage and divorce:
Marriage was ordained by God, and the design of a correct marriage is given in the Bible. We believe God intends a marriage to last for life, and that marriage is between one man and one woman.
We believe that divorce is a distortion of the will of God for a marriage. Anytime there is a divorce it is contrary to the revealed will of God. Reconciliation between a divorced couple and restoration of a marriage is always preferred by God. There are only two Biblical allowances for divorce, the first being for the cause of adultery, and the second is when a believer is married to an unbeliever, and the unbeliever seeks a divorce. In such a case the believer is not under obligation to the marriage.
Although divorced persons can be used greatly of God in a local church, any member of a church who has been divorced, or is married to someone who has been divorced, is prohibited by the teachings of Scripture from holding the office of overseer (pastor) or deacon.
Malachi 2.14-16; Matthew 5.31-32; Romans 7.1-3; 1 Timothy 3.2, 12; Titus 1.6
We believe an important part of the marriage relationship is the intimate sexual relationship between a husband and wife. Sexual intimacy between a man and woman is blessed by God within a marriage, but apart from the marital relationship all sexual conduct of any kind is sin.
Prurient activity, commonly referred to as pornography is sinful behavior by its very nature and purpose.
Genesis 2.24; 26.8-9; Leviticus 18.1-30; Romans 1.26-27; 1 Corinthians 5.1; 6.9; Jude 1.7; Hebrews 13.4
Lawsuits Between Believers:
Christians are commanded in Scripture to love one another, to forgive one another, to prefer others before themselves, to submit to one another, and to bear the burden of one another. They are also commanded not to bring a civil lawsuit against a brother or sister in a secular court.
Christians have a court available to them to settle their civil disputes no matter their size, and that court is their local church. Christians are commanded never to make a civil claim against another Christian in a secular court, but instead are told to bring their claim to their local church, or simply to suffer the wrong and make no claim at all.
Bearing the burden of a sinning brother or sister in Christ does not extend to criminal behavior, especially acts of physical or sexual abuse toward weaker Christians (women and children). Christian love is not an excuse to ignore criminal acts committed against persons.
1 Corinthians 6.1-11
We believe God intends for people to possess their own private property, and God ordained the protection of property against theft, from both from individuals and lawless authorities. We believe individual employment by another person or company is both a privilege and a duty, but never a right. We believe it is the will of God for each individual to work with their own hands as the right way to provide for their self and their family.
We believe owners of businesses have the moral obligation to pay their employees an honest wage for their labors, but that wages are to be privately negotiated between the owners and the employees. We believe God ordained this economy for today, and in the future during the millennial reign of Jesus on earth this economy will be instituted world wide. We also believe that mankind has fallen far short of fulfilling the will of God, and has perverted this wonderful system of private enterprise.
We firmly reject the attempt by the theological, economic, and philosophical system of Marxism to overthrow the system of private enterprise established by God, and we will not allow any of the teachings of Marxist Communism or Socialism to influence either our doctrine or our practice.
Exodus 20.15-17; Matthew 20.1-16