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Tenets of Faith & Doctrine
 
The Church accepts the Scriptures as the revealed Will of God, the all-sufficient rule of faith and practice, and for the purpose of maintaining general unity, adopts these statements of fundamental truths and doctrine.

 

1. THE SCRIPTURE INSPIRED.
We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, a revelation from God to man, the infallible rule of faith and conduct, and is superior to conscience and reason, but not contrary to reason.
(2 Tim. 3:15-17I Peter 1:23-25Heb. 4:12)

2. THE ONE TRUE GODHEAD.
We believe that the Triune Godhead is comprised of three (3) separate and distinct personalities, The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit, Who are eternally self-existent, self-revealed and function as one entity. Jesus Christ, Who was born of a virgin, Who is God manifested in the flesh, is the second member of the Godhead, co-equal and co-eternal with The Father and The Holy Spirit.

3. MAN, HIS FALL AND REDEMPTION.
We believe that man was created good and upright, for God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.” But, man fell by voluntary transgression, and his only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ the Son of God. (Gen. 1:26-313:1-7Rom. 5:12-21)

4. THE SALVATION OF MAN.

A. THE HOPE OF SALVATION.
We believe that man’s only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. On the cross Jesus Christ took our sin and sickness providing both salvation and divine healing for all mankind (Ps. 103:3), being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. For by grace we are saved through faith. “The work is near you, in your mouth and in your heart – that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 3:24Eph. 2:8Rom. 10:8-10)

B. REPENTANCE.
Repentance is that sense of guilt and/or emotional pain that God grants to the individual seeking restoration to the presence of God. We believe that salvation involves hearing the Word of God and responding by repentance. Repentance not only involves a turning away from sin but a turning to God. It is an affliction of the soul (mind) that often results in uncomfortable feelings of guilt, conviction, sorrow, and shame. It is the realization that one is a sinner and that sin separates one from God and that, as part of the solution to the sin problem, one must repent – turning from sin to God.

C. THE EVIDENCES OF SALVATION.
We believe the inward evidence to the believer of his salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit (Rom. 8:16). The outward evidence to all men is a life of righteousness and true holiness. “And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.” (I John 3:23)

D. FAITH AND WORKS.
We believe salvation is by faith alone in Jesus Christ and not by human works. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph. 2:10) Our works also will determine our rewards in eternity (Rom 10:9-10 and 2 Cor. 5:10). We believe faith without works is dead. We do not believe, as a matter of fundamental beliefs and doctrines of this Church, that any matter can be believed without there being a corresponding action. Our faith is an active faith that requires the doing of acts in the world. Our faith is not passive or complacent system of intellectual belief or assent to doctrine but is an active force in our lives that requires and results in actions being taken. A living, active faith will be manifested not only in belief and mental assent but in actions expressing and based upon that belief. If a belief is truly held it will be acted upon. The act is as much a fundamental aspect of our faith as the belief upon which the act is based. (James 2:14-26Eph. 2:8-10Matt. 7:21Matt. 7:24-27Matt. 5:162 Cor. 5:10Matt. 16:27Rev. 2:23Rev. 22:12.)

5. EVANGELISM.
We believe that evangelism is an essential and necessary part of the commission, function, and purpose of every New Testament Church. While some Churches may have as central to their vision an evangelism center, all Churches should be active in training the saints to share their faith with others. This is a command and not an option. Evangelism in its simplest terms is telling others about the power of God through Jesus Christ to save them from their sins and from the consequence of sins. Evangelism is a function of the saints as they go about their daily lives. Evangelism is a function of the marketplace, “as you go make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:18-20).

6. BAPTISM IN WATER.
We believe the ordinance of baptism by a burial (immersion in water) with Christ should be observed as commanded in the Scriptures by all who have repented of their sin and have believed in their heart on Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. In doing so, they declare to the world that they have died with Jesus and that they have also been raised with Him to walk in newness of life. This is a covenant act of New Testament circumcision. (Matt. 28:19Acts 10:47-48Rom. 6:4).

7. COMMUNION.
We believe that communion is the other ordinance of the Church. An ordinance is simply that which has been commanded. Scripture tells us that as often as we eat the bread (which represents His body) and drink the cup (which represents His blood) we do show forth the Lord’s death till he comes. We believe this ordinance to be largely symbolic in nature. “And when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, ‘This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Cor. 11:24, 25, 28).

8. THE PROMISE OF THE FATHER.
We believe all believers are entitle to, and should ardently expect and earnestly seek, the promise of the Father, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience of all believers in the early Christian Church. With it occurs the endowment of power for life and service, the impartation of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry. (Luke 24:49Acts 1:4-81 Cor. 12:1-31). This wonderful experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth (Acts 1:82:388:14-17;10:44-4619:1-7). Scriptures regarding the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:48:17-1810:45-4619:6).

9. THE CHURCH.
We believe the Church is the body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of the great commission. Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the General Assembly and Church of the first born, which are written in Heaven. (Eph. 1:222:19-22Heb. 12:23)

A. LIVING ORGANISM.
We believe that the Church is the Body of Christ expressed as the Church individual (a specific Church), the Church local, and the Church universal and invisible (all saints of all places and all times united together under one Lord). As such, we believe the Church to be more than just a building or a gathering of people. It is a body living in relationship and harmony under the direction of the Head, Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 6:152 Cor. 1:11 Peter 2:4-5Eph. 2:19-221 Cor. 12:12-31Rom. 12:4-5Eph. 4:11-16)

B. CHURCH GOVERNMENT
We believe that God’s form of government for His church is theocratic in character. We believe that Jesus Christ is the head of the government of the Church, both the church universal and invisible and the local church. We believe that Jesus Christ governs the local church through local ministries, i.e., God chooses, calls and equips certain people to be leaders over His people, investing them with, and delegating to them, degrees of authority according to His will. We believe that church leadership and government, with the exception of very young churches, is plural in that more than one person will be involved in and have responsibility for leadership and government. These persons are called elders. Some elders will have an ascension gift calling upon their lives and some will not. They are raised up by God for the purposes of hearing His voice for that particular congregation, communicating to the membership what God has spoken, leading the membership by example exercising oversight not under compulsion, equipping the saints for the work of service to the building up of the Body by teaching, correction and discipline, knowing caring and guarding the flock and making provision for the daily life and business of the congregation. Within the group of elders that God raises up in any local body, the Lord, according to scripture and observed practice, also places a mantle of leadership upon one elder, which mantle often manifests itself in the area of authority and vision in the church. We believe that the office Head Elder, or Bishop, or Pastor, or Apostle, is biblical and applicable in the church today. The one who occupies that office is a first among equals and is by no means a dictator or absolute authority in the church to the exclusion of all other leadership. He is rather the visionary and leader in the group of eldership. The eldership is submitted to him just as he is submitted to the eldership in principles of service, cooperation and the advancement of the kingdom of God. In God’s order one man cannot meet all the needs of the people, therefore, there is plurality of leadership. However, in God’s order, there must be one man who bears the responsibility before God and who has the vision that unites and directs the local body, therefore, there is a set man in each congregation with the anointing of God to lead in agreement with and submission to the eldership that God has raised up in the church. We believe that man will have an ascension gift calling upon his life. (Eph. 4:8-13Acts 20:28-31Mat. 18:15-20Rev. 1:10-20Phil. 1:1Acts 15:22Acts 14:12Luke 9:22Dan. 10:13Acts 18:8172 Cor. 11:52 Cor. 12:11)

We believe that the leader will be an ascension gift although not necessarily a Pastor although that is the title given to the leader in this Church. He will be the one with the final responsibility and decision-making authority in all matters concerning the Church. He will be recognized by the grace, anointing, ability and vision given to him by God. (Num. 27:15-221 Cor. 12:18Eph. 4:11Acts 13:1)

C. CHURCH DISCIPLINE.
We believe in Church discipline administered within the Church in a spirit of meekness and confidentiality. The purpose of such discipline is the restoration of the one subject to the discipline and / or the purification of the Church. The steps of discipline are: private confrontation, private confrontation with witnesses, and finally, exposure to the Church or the Board of Directors for judgment leading to restoration or separation. (Matt. 18:15-20;Gal. 6:1Rom. 16:172 John 9-111 Cor. 5; 2 Cor. 2:6-81 Tim. 5:20)

D. AUTONOMY AND RELATIONSHIP.
We believe that the local Church, although autonomous, will be related to other local Churches and ministries through fellowship and formed relationships. In particular we believe that there are foundational ministries of apostles and prophets that transcend the local Church and that the local Church should be in a relationship with such a ministry or ministries for the purpose of advice, counsel, oversight, encouragement, and help. Such ministries are designed by God to provide connection and relationship in the universal Body of Christ between and among local fellowships and to provide spiritual covering, protection, accountability, and identify for local leadership.

10. (3 John 1:2) Beloved, in regard to all things I pray that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.

We believe that it is God’s will to bless His people. Prosperity is that condition of being prosperous and having good success. Prosperity involves the following areas:

A. SPIRITUAL.
Spiritual prosperity is that blessing of eternal and abundant life. (John 3:3,112 Cor. 5:17-21Rom. 10:9-10)

B. MENTAL.
Mental prosperity is that condition of having peace and soundness of mind (2 Tim. 1:7Rom. 12:2Isa. 26:3)

C. PHYSICAL.
We believe the blessing of God extends to the physical body. This includes the promise of divine healing. We believe God may use any method He chooses to heal His people, including medical service. (Isa. 53:4-5Matt. 8:17I Peter 2:24)

D. FINANCIAL.
It is God’s desire to bless His people. The Scriptures teach that God delights in the prosperity of His servants and that He wants them to have sufficiency in all things, finances for every good work, and seed for sowing. (3 John 1:2Mal. 3:10-11Luke 6:382 Cor. 9:6-10Deut. 28:1-1)

E. SOCIAL.
Social prosperity speaks to the fact that God wants His servants to have peace even with their enemies. (Prov. 3:4)

11. BLESSED HOPE.
We believe Jesus is coming again to gather His Saints to Heaven. (1 Cor. 15:51-521 Thes. 4:16-172 Thes. 2:1)

12. THE LAKE OF FIRE.
We believe those who have not accepted the redemptive work of Jesus Christ will suffer eternal separation from the Godhead. The devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, and anyone whose name is not found written in the book of life, shall be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. This is the second death, the lake of fire. (Rev. 19:2020:11-15)

13. THE MILLENNIAL REIGN OF JESUS.
We believe the return of our Lord Jesus Christ with His Saints from Heaven to rule and reign for one thousand years on earth as the Scriptures promised. (Rom. 11:25,272 Thes. 1:7Rev. 19:11-1620:1-7). After this, there shall be a new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21).

14. MEDIATION OF DISPUTES.
We believe that as members of the same body of Christ, baptized by one Spirit into one body we must endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace and as such that we are precluded from bringing a lawsuit in a civil court against another person who professes to be a Christian or against a Christian ministry. We believe that all such disputes must be resolved within the Body of Christ without taking them before unbelievers or the world’s system for judgment. (1 Cor. 6:1-8Eph 4:3-6)

15. FINANCIAL SUPPORT.
We believe that scripture requires all members of the congregation to support the programs and needs of the Church through their tithes and offering in proportion as the Lord shall prosper them. We believe that the members of the congregation should accept their responsibility in maintaining the work of the local Church. (Mal. 3:10;
1 Cor. 16:1-22 Cor. 9:6-9Heb. 7:1-8)

16. PASTORAL COUNSELING.
We believe that Pastoral counseling is that biblical responsibility of the shepherd to confront the lives of the sheep so as to affect change that brings conformity to the image of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thes. 5:12-14)

17. DIVINE GUIDANCE.
We believe that in all matters concerning the Body of Christ, including its direction, discipline, ministry and functioning that specific guidance, instruction, revelation, and discernment of Truth is available by the leading of the Holy Spirit who enables us to know spiritual things by the Spirit. We are confident in basing decisions and actions upon such faith and direction. (Acts 13:1-31 Tim. 1:18Rom. 8:141 Tim. 5:22John 16:13-151 Cor. 5:3).

18. PROPHETIC MINISTRY IN THE CHURCH.
We believe that God speaks today. There are at least five channels of prophecy by which God speaks to His people today. They are the office of the prophet, prophetic preaching, prophetic presbytery, the gift of prophecy, and the spirit of prophecy. All five channels are received and encouraged in this Church. We believe that hearing from God, both individually as members and corporately as a Church, through prophecy or any other biblical means chosen by God to communicate, is essential to our faith and walk with God. Prophecy and prophetic utterance is only one method of discerning God’s will and direction. It is further recognized that none of the methods or channels or prophecy will always be completely accurate due to the human vessels God uses to deliver His communication to us. Action should not be taken on the basis of a prophetic word without other confirmation. We believe the prophetic presbytery serves the purpose in the body of Christ in activating, establishing, releasing, commissioning, and ordaining individuals to their office, function, and place of relationship and / or leadership. (Acts 13:1-3Rom. 12:61 Thes. 5:19-211 Tim. 4:145:222 Tim. 1:6Titus 1:51 Peter 4:10).

19. DEDICATIONS.
We do not believe in water baptism of infants as we cannot find any instance of it in the scriptures. We do believe, however, in the dedication of infants and other children to the Lord as found and practiced in the scripture.

20. WORSHIP.
God has created man to worship Him in Spirit and truth. Such worship includes singing in the Spirit but has many other forms. This includes Davidic prophetic worship forms like lifting hands, clapping, shouting, dancing and spiritual songs.

21. LAYING ON OF HANDS.
Laying on of hands is one of the foundational doctrines of Christ (Heb. 6). Jesus practiced it in Mark 10:13-16 as a blessing. We believe in the laying on of hands for healing (Mark 5:22-23 and 41Mark 5:28-31Acts 28:8Acts 19:11-12); laying on of hands to confer office (Acts 6:2-6); laying on of hands to receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:16-18); Laying on of hands to believe words spoken, to receive anointing, and to cultivate the anointing (1 Tim. 4:14); laying on of hands for ordination to consecrate and receive the necessary ministry tools (1 Tim. 4:14).

22. SANCTIFICATION.
The Bible teaches that without Holiness no man can see the Lord. We believe in the doctrine of sanctification as a definite commencing at the time of regeneration and continuing until the consummation of salvation (Hebrews 12:141 Thes. 5:232 Peter 3:182 Cor. 3:18Phil. 3:12-141 Cor. 1:30). The Spirit-filled life is a life of separation from the world and perfecting of holiness in the fear of God as an expression of Christian faith (Eph. 5:182 Cor. 6:147:1).

23. DISCIPLESHIP.
We believe in and practice discipleship in obedience to our Lord’s command to go and make disciples. We believe that discipleship is a commitment to a process of development, growth and discovery. It will involve a relationship within the Church between those at different levels of spiritual maturity resulting in the mutual benefit and growth of all involved. Participation in discipleship may be in groups or as individuals.