Church Covenant

 

Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of our Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, 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 engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of the church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to give it a sacred preeminence over all institutions of human originl and to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations; to maintain family and private devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred, acquaintances and all others.

We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress.

 

                                                                                            Statement of Faith

(A) The Holy Scripture

We believe the Holy Scripture of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed, and therefore are the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments 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 of the Bible shall be the official and only translation used by the Church. (II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20:21)

 

(B) Dispensationalism

 We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense divinely determined dispensations or rules of life which define man's responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather are divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these dispensations--the age of law, the age of the Churcg, and the age of the kingdom--are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture. (Gen. 1:28; I Cor. 9:17; II Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1:10; Col. 1:24-25,27; Rev. 20:2-6)

 

(C) The Godhead

We believe in one true God, eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfection ( Duet. 6:4, Matt. 28:19, II Cor. 13:14, John 14:10, 26)

 

(D) The person and work of Christ

1) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. (Mary) in order that he might reveal God and redeem sinful men. ( Is. 7:14, 9:6, Luke 1:35, John 1:1-2, 14, II Cor. 5:19-21, Gal. 4:4-5, Phil. 2:5-8)

2) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious (acting for another), substitutionary sacrifice, and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:18-36, Rom.3:24-25, I Peter 2:24, Eph.1:7, I Peter 1:3-5).

3) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven, and is now at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9-10, Heb. 9:24, 7:25, Rom. 8:34, I John 2:1-2).

 

(E) The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

1) We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and, that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11, Rom. 8:9, I Cor. 12:12-14, II Cor. 3:6, Eph. 1:13-14).

2) We believe that He is the Divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate (fitted to a purpose or use; suitable) the Scriptures and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 1:17-18, 5:18, I John 2:20, 27, Luke 12:12, John 14:26).

3) We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry (Rom. 12:3-8, I Cor. 12:4-11, 28, Eph. 4:7-12).

4) We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary. They were given as signs to convince the Jews and others of who Jesus was. We believe that speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit and that ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayer of believers for physical healing (I Cor. 1:22, 13:8, 14:21-22).

  

(F) The Total Depravity of Man

We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam's sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; and, that man is totally depraved, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Gen. 1:26-27, Rom. 3:22-23, 5:12, 6:23, Eph. 2:1-3, 4:17-19).

 

(G) Salvation

We believe that salvation is the gift God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (John 1:12, Eph. 1:7, 2:8-10, I Peter 1:18-19).

 

(H) The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers

1) We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God's power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37-40, 10:27-30, Rom. 8:1, 38-39, I Cor. 1:4-8, I Peter 1:4-5).

2) We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God's Word, which clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh (Rom. 13:13-14, Gal. 5:13 Titus 2:11-15).

 

(I) The Church

1) We believe that the local church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is solely made up of born -again persons (I Cor. 12:12-14, II Cor. 11:2, Eph. 1:22-23, 5:25-27).

2) We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27, 20:17, 28-32, I Tim. 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-11).

3) We believe in the self giving of the local church, free of any external authority or control (Acts 13:1-4, 15:19-31, 20:28, Rom. 16:1-4, I Cor. 3:9, 16, 5:4-7, 13, I Peter 5:1-4).

4) We recognize water baptism and the Lord's Supper as the Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the Church in this age (Matt. 28:19-20, Acts 2:41-42, 18:8, I Cor. 11:23-26).

 

(J) Separation

We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior the Lord; and, that separation from all religious apostasy, all sinful pleasures, practices and associations is commanded of God (Rom. 12:1-2, 14:13, II Cor. 6:14-17, II Tim. 3:1-5, I John 2:15-17, II John 9:11).

 

(K) The Second Advent of Christ

We believe in that "blessed hope", the personal, imminent return of Christ who will rapture His Church prior to the seven-year tribulation period. At the end of the Tribulation, Chris will personally and visibly return, with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom which was promised to the Nation of Israel (Ps. 89:3-4, Dan. 2:31-45, Zech. 14:4-11, I Thess. 1:10, 4:13-18, Titus 2:13, Rev. 3:10, 19:11-16, 20:1-6).

 

(L) The Eternal State

1) We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:46, John 5:28-29, 11:25-26, Rev. 20:5-6, 12:13).

2) We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43, II Cor. 5:8, Phil. 1:23, 3:21, I Thess. 4:16-17).

3) We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when with the soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment (Matt. 25:41-46, Mark 9:43-48, Luke 16:19-26, II Thess. 1:7-9, Jude 6:7, Rev. 20:11-15).

 

(M) The Personality of Satan

We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin and tempted man to fall; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and, that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Job 1:6-7, Is. 14:12-17, Matt. 4:2-11, 25:41, Rev. 20:10, Gen. 3:1-5).

 

(N) Creation

We believe that God created the universe in six literal day, 24 hour periods. We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Theistic Evolution as unscriptural of origin (Gen. 1-2, Ex. 20:11).

 

(O) Civil Government

We believe that 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 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. 13:1-7, Eph. 5:22-24, Heb. 13:17, I Peter 2:13-14).

 

(P)Human Sexuality/Family

1) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexual, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful perversions of God's gift of sex (Gen. 2:24, 19:5,13, Gen. 26: 8-9, Lev. 18:1-30, Rom. 1:26-29, I Cor. 5:1, 6:9, I Thess. 4:1-8, Heb. 13:4).

2) We believe the only legitimate marriage is one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24, Rom. 7:2, 

I Cor. 7:10, Eph. 5:22-23).

3) 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 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, I Tim. 2:8-15, 3:4-5, 12).

4) 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 Spiritual leadership of her husband as the church submits to the leadership of Christ. Children' are and heritage from the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values and leading them, through consistent correction (Gen. 1:26-28, Ex. 20:12, Deut. 6:4-9, Ps. 127:3-5, Prov. 19:18, 22:15, 23:13-14, Mark 10:6-12, I Cor. 7:1-16, Eph. 5:21-33, 6:1-4, Col. 3:18-21, Heb. 13:4, I Peter 3:1-7).

 

(Q) Divorce and Remarriage

We believe that God hates  divorce and intends marriage to lase until  one of the spouses dies. Divorce and remarriage is regarded as adultery except on the grounds of fornication or desertion (I Cor. 7:10-15, 39). Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the Church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the offices of pastor or deacon (Mal. 2:14-17, Matt. 19:3-12, Rom. 7:1-3, I Tim. 3:2, 12, Titus 1:6).

 

(R) Sanctity of Life

1) Abortion-We believe that each individual human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn innocent human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, birth or population control, the mental well-being of the mother, or gender selection are acceptable Job 3:16, Ps. 51:5, 139:14-16, 44:24, 1:5, Jer. 1:5, 20:15-18, Luke 1:44).

2) Euthanasia-We believe that God is both the giver of our life and the taker of our life. God has numbered our days, and He is sovereignly in control over our whole life. When illness, injury, or accident brings pain and hardship in our life it is our Christian duty to: pray, seek the aid of physicians and medicine; and maintain that God's grace is always sufficient. Ultimately God is the Great Physician who often uses doctors and medicine in the healing process. At other times God sovereignly heals either by His own choosing or in answer to prayer, and still other times physical healing is not granted. It is murder to assist someone in suicide or to take one's own life (Gen. 1:26-28, Job 1:18-22, Col. 1:12-17, Matt. 9:12, I Tim. 5:23, II Cor. 12:7-10, Ps. 90:9-10, 103:1-4, Ex. 20:13).

3) Capital Punishment-We believe capital punishment is the government's duty under God to punish those who are guilty of capital crimes, after due process of law, and for the protection and sanctity of all other innocent life from such a guilty person (Gen. 9:5-6, Rom. 13:1-6,

 I Peter 2:13-17).

 

(S) Love

We believe that we should demonstrate love for others, not only toward fellow believers, but also toward both those who are not believers and those who oppose us. We are to deal with those oppose us graciously, gently, patiently, and humbly. God forbids the stirring up of strife, the taking of revenge, or the threat or the use of violence as a means of resolving personal conflict or obtaining personal justice. Although God commands us to abhor sinful actions, we are to live and pray for any person who engages in such sinful actions (Lev. 19:18, Matt. 5:44-48, Luke 6:31, John 13:34-35, Rom. 12:9-10, 17:21, 13:8-10, Phil. 2:2-4, II Tim. 2:24-26, Titus 3:2, I John 3:17-18).

 

(T) Missions

We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospels 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. 28:19-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:46-48, John 20:21, Acts 1:8, II Cor. 5:20).

 

(U) 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 (I Cor. 6:1-8, Eph. 4:31-32).

 

(V) Giving

We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God's wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local church financially. We believe that God has establishment the tithe as a basis for giving, but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the Church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made (Gen. 14:20, Prov. 3:9-10, Acts 4:34-37, I Cor. 16:2, II Cor. 9:6-7, Gal. 6:6, Eph. 4:28, I Tim. 5:17-18, I John 3:17).

 

 Authority of Statement of Faith

The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole final source of all that we believe. We do not believe, however, that the forgoing Statement of Faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible and, therefore, is binding upon all members. All literature used in the church shall be in complete agreement with the Statement of Faith.