What We Believe
ARTICLES OF FAITH
I. OF THE SCRIPTURES
We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men supernaturally inspired; that it has truth without admixture of error for its matter; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.
1. By “The Holy Scriptures” we mean the collection of sixty-six (66) books, from Genesis to Revelation, which as originally written does not only contain and convey the Word of God but is the very Word of God.
2. By “inspiration” we mean the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old as they were moved by the Holy Spirit in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired and free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired.
3. We believe that the original manuscripts are no longer in existence, but that God supernaturally and providentially preserved His word from the beginning through all of time to this very moment. (Psalms 12:6-7; Isaiah 59:21; Matthew 5:18, 24:35; I Peter 1:23)
4. We believe that God’s Word is preserved for us today in the Authorized King James Version (AV1611) and that it is the God-honored text of the Reformation. We believe that inspiration without preservation would be meaningless.
5. We believe the Bible to be the absolute and final rule of faith, doctrine and practice for the believer and that every believer must come under its authority in order to be obedient to God.
(II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:19-21, Acts 1:16, 28:25; Psalm 119:89,105, 130, 160, 19:7-11; Luke 24:5-27, 44-45, 16:31; John 17:17, 12:48, 5:39, 45-47; Romans 3:4, 15:4; I Peter 1:2-3; Ephesians 6:17; Revelation 22:19; Proverbs 30:5-6; Isaiah 8:20)
II. OF THE TRUE GOD
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the maker and supreme ruler of holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love; that in unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
(Genesis 17:1; Exodus 20:2-3, 15:11; Psalms 83:18, 90:2, 147:5; Jeremiah 10:10; Matthew 28:19; Mark 12:30; John 15:26, 10:30, 4:24, 17:5; Acts 5:3-4; Romans 11:33; I Corinthians 8:6, 2:10-11, 12:4-6; II Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:6, 2:18; Philippians 2:5-6; I Timothy 1:17; I John 5:7; Revelation 4:11)
III. OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose id fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of judgment, and of righteousness; that He bears witness of the Truth of the Gospel in His preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the New Birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, comforts, sanctifies, and helps the believer.
(Genesis 1:1-3; Matthew 3:11, 28:19; Mark 1:8; Luke 1:35, 3:16, 24:49; John 1:33, 3:5-6, 14:16-17, 14:26, 15:26, 16:8-13; Acts 5:30-32, 11:16; Romans 8:14-16, 8:26-27; Ephesians 1:13-14; II Thessalonians 2:7,2:13; Hebrews 9:14;
I Peter 1:2)
IV. OF THE DEVIL, OR SATAN
We believe that Satan was once holy, and enjoyed heavenly honors; but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, he fell and drew after him a host of angels; that he is now the malignant prince of the power of the air, and the unholy god of this world. We hold him to be man’s great tempter, the enemy of God and Jesus Christ, the accuser of the saints, the author of false religions, the chief power back of the present apostasy, the Lord of the anti-Christ, and the author of all powers of darkness—destined however to final defeat at the hands of God’s Son and to the judgment of eternal justices in Hell, a place prepared for him and his angels.
(Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:14-17; Matthew 4:1-3, 13:25, 13:37-39, 25:41; Ephesians 2:2; Jude 6; II Peter 2:4; John 14:30; I Thessalonians 3:5; I Peter 5:8; Zechariah 1:3; I John 2:22, 3:8, 4:3; Luke 22:3-4; Revelation 12:7-10, 13:13-14, 19:11, 19:16-20, 20:1-3, 20:10; II Corinthians 11:13-15; Mark 13:21-22; II John 7; II Thessalonians 2:8-11)
V. OF THE CREATION
We believe in the Genesis account of creation, and that it is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness; that’s man creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary changes of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly, and God’s established law was that they should bring forth fruit only “after their kind.”
(Genesis 1:1, 1:11, 1:24-27; Exodus 20:11; Acts 4:24; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3; John 1:3; Revelation 10:6; Romans 1:20; Acts 17:23-26; Jeremiah 10:12; Nehemiah 9:6)
VI. OF THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint, but of choice and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse.
(Genesis 3:1-6, 3:24; Romans 1:18-23, 18:32, 3:10-19, 5:12, 5:19; Ephesians 2:1-3; Ezekiel 18:19-20; Galatians 3:22)
VII. OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH
We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner; born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever or can ever be born of women; and that He is the Son of God, and God the Son.
(Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; Mark 1:1; John 1:14; Psalm 27; Galatians 4:4; I Corinthians 15:47; I John 5:20)
VIII. OF THE ATONEMENT OF SIN
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God who, by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience; and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ, the Lord, from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection. He is every way qualified to be a suitable and compassionate and all sufficient Savior.
(Ephesians 2:8; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24; John 3:36, 10:18; Matthew 18:11; Philippians 2:7; Hebrews 2:14; Isaiah 53:4-7; Romans 3:25; I John 4:10; I Corinthians 15:3-4; II Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:8; Galatians 1:4; I Peter 2:24, 3:18; Isaiah 53:11; Hebrews 12:2; I Corinthians 15:20; Isaiah 53:12; Hebrews 7:25, 9:12-15; I John 2:2)
IX. OF GRACE IN THE NEW CREATION
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again, that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, not by culture, not by character, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.
(John 3:3, 6-8; II Corinthians 5:17; Luke 5:27; I John 5:1; Acts 2:41, 16:30-33; II Peter 1:4; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13; John 1:12-13; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 5:9; II Corinthians 5:19)
X. OF THE FREENESS OF SALVATION
We believe in God’s electing grace that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the Gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by cordial, penitent, and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.
(I Thessalonians 1:4; Colossians 3:12; I Peter 1:12; Titus 1:1; Romans 8:29-30; Matthew 11:28; Isaiah 55:1; Revelation 22:17; Romans 10:13; John 6:37; Isaiah 55:6-7; Acts 2:38; John 3:15-16; I Timothy 1:15; I Corinthians 15:10; Ephesians 2:4-5; John 5:40; John 3:18, 3:36)
XI. OF JUSTIFICATION
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him in Justification; that Justification includes the pardon of sin, and the gift of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed not in consideration of any works or righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood, His righteousness is imputed into us.
XII. OF REPENTANCE AND FAITH
We believe that Repentance and Faith are solemn obligations, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the quickening Spirit of God; thereby, being deeply convicted of our guilt, danger, helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ and openly confessing Him as our only and all-sufficient Savior.
(Acts 2:37-38, 20:21; Mark 1:15; Luke 12:8, 18:13; Romans 10:9-10, 10:13; Psalm 51:4, 51:7; Isaiah 55:6-7)
XIII. OF THE CHURCH
We believe that a church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers associated together by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His word; that its officers of ordination are pastors or elders and deacons whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures; we believe that the true mission of the church is found in the Great Commission; First, to make the individual disciples; Second, to build up the church; Third, to teach and instruct as He has commanded. We do not believe in the reversal of this order; we hold that the local church has the absolute right of self government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the gospel; that every church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, or benevolence, the will of the local church is final.
(Acts 2:41-42, 6:5-6, 14:23, 15:23, 20:17-28; I Corinthians 5:11-13, 6:1-3, 11:2, 12:4, 12:8-11, 16:1-2; I Timothy 3:1-13; Matthew 28:19-20; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 5:22-23; I Peter 5:1-4; Jude 3-4; II Corinthians 8:23-24; Malachi 3:10; Leviticus 27:32; Acts 15:22)
XIV. OF BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost with the authority of the local church to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; and to the Lord’s Supper in which members of the church, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ, preceded always by solemn self-examination.
(Acts 2:41-42; 8:36-39; Matthew 3:6; John 3:23; Romans 6:3-5; Matthew 3:16, 28:19-20; Colossians 2:12; I Corinthians 11:23-28)
XV. OF THE PRESERVATION OF THE SAINTS
We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end, that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors, that a special Providence watches over their welfare, and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal salvation.
(John 8:31-32, 10:28-29, 16:8; Colossians 1:21; I John 2:19; Matthew 6:30, 13:19-21; Romans 8:23; Psalm 121:3; Hebrews 1:14; I Peter 1:5; Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:35-39)
XVI. OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED
We believe that there is a radical and essential differences between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse and the distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting felicity of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost.
(Malachi 3:18; Genesis 18:23; Romans 1:17, 6:16-18, 6:23, 7:6; Proverbs 11:31, 14:32; I Peter 4:18; I Corinthians 15:22; Acts 10:34-35; I John 2:29, 3:7, 5:19; Galatians 3:10; Luke 16:25; Matthew 7:13-14, 25:34-41; John 8:21, 12:25; Luke 9:26)
XVII. OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that civil government is our divine appointment, for the interest and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed, except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience and the coming Prince of the kings of the earth.
(Romans 13:7; II Samuel 23:3; Exodus 18:21-22; Acts 23:5; Matthew 10:28, 22:21, 23:10; Titus 3:1; I Peter 2:13-14; I Peter 2:17; Acts 4:19-20, 5:29; Daniel 3:17-18; Revelation 10:6; Philippians 2:10-11; Psalm 72:11)
XVIII. OF THE RESURRECTION AND RETURN OF CHRIST AND RELATED EVENTS
We believe in and accept the sacred Scriptures at their face value. Of the Resurrection, we believe that Christ rose bodily “The third day according to the Scriptures;” that he ascended “to the right hand of the throne of God;” that He alone is our “Merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God;” “That this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven”—bodily, personally and visibly; that the “dead in Christ shall rise first;” that the living saints “shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump;” “That the Lord shall give unto Him the throne of His Father David;” and that “Christ shall reign a thousand years in righteousness until He hath put all enemies under His feet.”
(Matthew 24:27, 24:42, 25:13, 28:6-7; Luke 1:32, 24:39, 24:51; John 2:1, 20:27; I Corinthians 15:4, 15:25, 15:42-44, 15:51-52; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:2-6; Acts 1:9-11; Mark 16:19; Revelation 3:21; Hebrews 8:1, 8:6; I Timothy 2:5; I John 2:1; Hebrews 2:17, 5:9-10, 9:28; John 14:3; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Philippians 3:20-21; Isaiah 9:6-7, 11:4-5, 32:1; Psalm 72:8; Revelation 20:1-6; James)
XIX. OF MISSIONS
The command to give the gospel to the world is clear and unmistakable and the Commission was given to the Churches.
Matthew 28:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
John 20:21, “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”
Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Romans 10:13-15, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
XX. OF THE GRACE OF GIVING
Scriptural giving is one of the fundamentals of the Faith.
II Corinthians 8:7, “Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.”
We are commanded to bring all our gifts into the storehouse (common treasury of the church) upon the first day of the week.
I Corinthians 16:2, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”
Under grace we give, and do not pay, the tithe.--- Hebrews 7:2a & 4b To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all;--- Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.”---and this was 400 years before the law, and is confirmed in the New Testament; Jesus said concerning the tithe in Matthew 23:23 “...these ought ye to have done...”
Malachi 3:10, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
In the New Testament it was the common treasury of the church.
Acts 4:34-35, 37, “ Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles' feet…Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.