About The Church
We believe that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual Body, the Church, the Bride of Christ, of which Christ is the Head. The church exists to be and make Great Commandment and Great Commission disciples for the glory of God.
- We believe that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual Body, the church (1 Cor 12:12-13), the bride of Christ (2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:23-32; Rev 19:7-8), of which Christ is the Head (Eph 1:22; 4:15; Col 1:18).
- We believe that the formation of the church, the Body of Christ, began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21, 38-47) and will be completed at the coming of Christ for His own at the rapture (1 Cor 15:51-52; 1 Thes 4:13-18).
- We believe that the church is thus a unique spiritual organism designed by Christ, made up of all born-again believers in this present age (Eph 2:11-3:6). The church is distinct from Israel (1 Cor 10:32), a mystery not revealed until this age (Eph 3:1-6; 5:32).
- We believe that the establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:23, 27; 20:17, 28; Gal 1:2; Phil 1:1; 1 Thes 1:1; 2 Thes 1:1) and that the members of the one spiritual Body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (1 Cor 11:18-20; Heb 10:25).
- We believe that the one supreme authority for the church is Christ (1 Cor 11:3; Eph 1:22; Col 1:18) and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Scriptures. The biblically designated officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are elders (also called bishops, pastors, and pastor teachers; Acts 20:28; Eph 4:11) and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualifications (1 Tim 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Pet 5:1-5).
- We believe that these leaders lead or rule as servants of Christ (1 Tim 5:17-22) and have His authority in directing the church. The congregation is to submit to their leadership (Heb 13:7, 17).
- We believe that in the church, redemption in Christ gives men and women an equal share in the blessings of salvation; nevertheless, some governing and teaching roles within the church are restricted to men (Gal 3:28; 1 Cor 11:2-16; 1 Tim 2:11-15). We believe that the office of elder in the church is limited to men as qualified by Scripture (1 Tim 3:1-7; 5:17-20; Titus 1:5-9).
- We believe in the importance of discipleship (Mat 28:19-20; 2 Tim 2:2), mutual accountability of all believers to each other (Mat 18:5-14), as well as the need for discipline of sinning members of the congregation in accord with the standards of Scripture (Mat 18:15-22; Acts 5:1-11; 1 Cor 5:1-13; 2 Thes 3:6-15; 1 Tim 1:19-20; Titus 1:10-16).
- We believe the autonomy of the local church, free from any external authority or control, with the right of self-government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations (Titus 1:5). We teach that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other for the presentation and propagation of the faith. Each local church, however, through its elders and their interpretation and application of Scripture should be the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation. The elders should determine all other matters of membership, policy, discipline, benevolence, and government as well (Acts 15:19-31; 20:28; 1 Cor 5:4-7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
- We believe that the purpose of the church is to glorify God (Eph 3:21) by building itself up in the faith (Eph 4:13-16), by instruction of the Word (2 Tim 2:2, 15; 3:16-17), by fellowship (Acts 2:47; 1 John 1:3), by keeping the ordinances (Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38-42) and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world (Mat 28:19; Acts 1:8; 2:42).
- We believe the calling of all saints to the work of service (1 Cor 15:58; Eph 4:12; Rev 22:12). We teach the need of the church to cooperate with God as He accomplishes His purpose in the world. To that end, He gives the church spiritual gifts. He gives men chosen for the purpose of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph 4:7-12), and He also gives unique and special spiritual abilities to each member of the Body of Christ (Rom 12:5-8; 1 Cor 12:4-31; 1 Pet 4:10-11).
- We believe that there were two kinds of gifts given the early church: miraculous gifts of divine revelation and healing, given temporarily in the apostolic era for the purpose of confirming the authenticity of the apostles' message (Heb 2:3-4; 2 Cor 12:12); and ministering gifts, given to equip believers for edifying one another. With the New Testament revelation now complete, Scripture becomes the sole test of the authenticity of a man's message, and confirming gifts of a miraculous nature are no longer necessary to validate a man or his message (1 Cor 13:8-12). Miraculous gifts can even be counterfeited by Satan so as to deceive even believers (1 Cor 13:13-14:12; Rev 13:13-14). The only gifts in operation today are those nonrevelatory equipping gifts given for edification (Rom12:6-8).
- We believe that no one possesses the gift of healing today, but that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith and will answer in accordance with His own perfect will for the sick, suffering, and afflicted (Luke 18:1-6; John 5:7-9; 2 Cor 12:6-10; James 5:13-16; 1 John 5:14-15).
- We believe that two ordinances have been committed to the local church: baptism and the Lord's Supper (Acts 2:38-42). Christian baptism by immersion (Acts 8:36-39) is the solemn and beautiful testimony of a believer showing forth his faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and his union with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life (Rom 6:1-11). It is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible Body of Christ (Acts 2:41-42).
- We believe that the Lord's Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes, and should be always preceded by solemn self-examination (1 Cor 11:28-32). We also teach that, whereas the elements of Communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ, participation in the Lord's Supper is nevertheless an actual communion with the risen Christ, who indwells every believer, and so is present, fellowshipping with His people (1 Cor 10:16).