What We Believe
Articles of Faith
ABOUT THE BIBLE
We believe that the Bible, consisting of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is divinely inspired, infallible, entirely trustworthy, and the only final authority in all matters of faith and conduct. The Bible, as originally written under the inspiration and supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit by human authors, is the Word of God, the supreme source of truth for Christian belief. The Bible reveals who God is, exposes who we are in light of His holiness, proclaims God’s merciful salvation and teaches and trains Christ’s followers how to grow in relationship with God and others. Psalm 119:105; Matthew 4:4; John 17:17; II Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; II Peter 1:20-21
We believe in the one true, living and holy God who is a self-existent, eternal, personal Spirit eternally existent as a trinity of three persons – Father,
We believe that God created humankind in His image, male and female, to enjoy a loving relationship with Him and with one another. God specially created humankind as the climax of His creative work on earth and established the family, based on covenant marriage between one man and one woman, as the building block of human community. We believe individual human lives are to be valued from
We believe that in spite of our rebellion, God still loves all of
ABOUT THE CHURCH
We believe that the true Church consists of all people everywhere who have been reborn through personal participation, by faith, in the death and resurrection of Christ, being called out to become part of the body of which Christ is the Head. The Church is visible to the world when believers gather in community and when they are active in serving and blessing others in Jesus’ name. The Church is the evidence of God’s saving work and a strategic part of God’s plan to reflect His grace, proclaim His truth, and extend His care to the world. The people of God have been sent on
ABOUT THINGS TO COME
We believe that God intervenes in the affairs of this world. At the time of God’s choosing, Jesus will bodily return to the earth in power and glory to judge and rule the world, as God’s Kingdom is fully and forever established. We believe the promise of Scripture that God will create a new heaven and a new earth which will be the eternal dwelling place of those who have been made righteous in Christ. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all humanity to stand before God for final judgment. Those who have not accepted His life-giving grace will be raised to experience eternal punishment being separated from God and all that is good. Those who have trusted in Christ will be raised to live eternally in God’s presence and receive the promised reward. Matt 16:27; 25:31-46; John 5:24-29. 14:1-6; Acts 17:31; Rev. 20:11-15; 21:1-9.
ARTICLES OF PRACTICE
The Christian ordinances are two in number, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. They are the outward rites appointed by Christ to be administered in each local church, not as means of salvation, but as visible signs and seals of its reality.
Baptism by water is the symbol of one’s union by faith with Christ in death, burial, and resurrection. It constitutes the public confession of these spiritual realities to the world and is the answer of a good conscience toward God1. Baptism is administered, preferably by immersion, to those who have been born again by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and who give evidence of the genuineness of their salvation2. 1 Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:36-41; Rom. 6:3-5. 2 Acts 8:12-13,34-39.
The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ himself on the night of His betrayal1. It is a memorial of Christ’s death, a
The Lord’s Day
The Lord’s Day1, which commemorates the resurrection, is for private and public worship and for rest from unnecessary work. It should be devoted to spiritual development, Christian fellowship, and service2. It is essential to the permanence and growth of the Christian church and important to the welfare of society. 1 Matt. 28:1; I Cor. 16:2. 2 Isa. 58:13-14; Heb. 10:25.
In recognition of God’s ownership of all1
Dedication of Children
God is concerned for the well-being of children1 who are under the atonement of Christ2. We encourage the formal dedication of children in a public service of the church. 1 I Sam. 1:24-28; Matt. 19:13-15; Luke 2:21-22. 2 Mark 10:13-15; John 3:16-19; Rom. 5:13.
Marriage, Singleness, Family, and Human Sexuality
As human beings, men and women, we are created in the image of God. God saw that his creation of humankind was very good. As a result we have intrinsic worth and are found to be equally valued by God. We believe God has established the church as a family of faith in which we are each sons or daughters. It is within this family of faith that we are established, rooted, fulfil our ministry, and find maturity in Christ. We also believe the family of faith is where the goodness of being either single or married is to be honoured. We recognize that God has created human beings for relationship with him and with each other. God’s intention is for people to be blessed through families: both the family of faith and the family into which God has placed us. God created the family to be the cornerstone of social order. The home is a divinely established institution1 in which the husband is the head2 but serves its members by the law of love, and in which husband and wife are to work together to raise their children in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.”3 Obedience to parents is to be rendered by children in the spirit of mutual respect and love. Marriage is part of God’s design in establishing the family. We believe that marriage is a lifelong covenant between one man and one woman. This heterosexual union4 is the only
Divorce is viewed in the Scriptures as contrary to God’s will. Christians should seek by forbearance and forgiveness to preserve the marriage bond. 1 Gen. 2:24-25; Mal. 2:15-16; Matt. 5:31-32, 19:3-12; I Cor. 7:10-16. FP-2.7.2. Persons divorced and remarried who give evidence of being genuinely born again are eligible to be received into membership in the church. FP-2.7.3.
Practices and Conduct
Believers are not to be conformed to the view and lifestyle of the world of which they are a part1, but, on the contrary, are to function as salt2 to prevent the spread of moral corruption, and as light to dispel spiritual darkness. High standards
- 1) their disposition and attitudes be characterized by godliness and the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control3;
- 2) their social relationships bear witness to Christ, their entire conduct reflecting the spiritual ideals of Christianity rather than the world; they shall not engage in sexual relations outside the bonds of marriage; shall not marry unbelievers, shall not hold membership in oath-bound secret societies, and shall not compromise Christian principles in partnerships4;
- 3) their bodies be treated as temples of the Holy Spirit5 thus making it inconsistent with both Christian testimony and sound principles of health to compromise their influence and injure their bodies through inappropriate practices or substance abuse6.1 Rom. 12:1,2. 2 Matt. 5:13. 3 Gal. 5:22-24. 4 II Cor. 6:14-16. 5 I Cor. 3:16,17, 6:19,20. 6 I Cor. 6:12-20.
Attitude Toward Civil Government
Approved Assembly 2013 5
Attitude Toward Strife and Military Service
FP-2.10.1. Believers are to love their enemies, do good to them that hate them1, overcome evil with good, and, as much as possible, live peaceably with all men2. Therefore, it is not fitting for the Christian to promote strife between nations, classes, groups, or individuals. 1 Matt. 5:43-48. 2 Rom. 12:14-21, 13:1-4. FP-2.10.2. Sincere Christians have conscientious differences as to their understanding of the teaching of the Word of God with reference to their responsibility as Christian citizens to human government both in times of war and times of peace. We are, therefore, to exercise tolerance and understanding, and respect the individual conscience with regard to participation in
A Christian’s life should be so transparent in its honesty and integrity that his or her word can be fully trusted without swearing on the Bible in judicial situations1 or taking the Lord’s name in vain2. 1 Matt. 5:33-35,37; James 5:12. 2 Ex. 20:7.