Statement of Faith
BY WEARING A NEW TESTAMENT NAME
"The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch" (Acts 11:26). "If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed" (I Peter 4:16). "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian" (Acts 26:28).
BY BELIEVING A NEW TESTAMENT CREED
"Thou are the Christ, the Son of the Living God... Upon this rock I will build my Church." (Matt.16:16,18). "Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (I Cor. 3:11).
BY OBEYING A NEW TESTAMENT BAPTISM
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). "We are buried with Him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Rom.6:4). "The like figure where-unto even baptism doth also now save us, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (I Peter 3:21).
BY OBSERVING A NEW TESTAMENT COMMUNION
"This do in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19). "Upon the first day of the week when the disciples were gathered together to break bread..." (Acts 20:7). Let every man examine himself" (I Cor. 11:28).
BY PRACTICING A NEW TESTAMENT STEWARDSHIP
"It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him" (I Cor. 16:2).
BY LIVING A NEW TESTAMENT LIFE
"They continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread and prayers" (Acts 2:42). "Grow in grace" (II Peter 3:18). "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life" (Rev. 2:10).
- Initiation into Christ, according to the New Testament, is a single-stage experience, in which we repent, believe, are baptized, and receive both the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy spirit, after which by the indwelling power of the spirit we grow into Christian maturity. During this period of growth there may indeed be many deeper, fuller, richer experiences of God; Forgiveness and the gift of the Spirit are twin initial blessings that God bestows on everyone whom he calls, and who repents, believes and is baptized (Luke 2:38-39) (Romans 8:9, 14-16; I Corinthians 6:19; Galatians 3:2, 14; 4:6)
- As Christians, our lives must be lived to the glory of God, daily conformed to the image of Christ, and in recognition of the Lordship of Christ in every activity (Matthew 22:36-38, I Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 3:9, 10, 17).
- Love for and accountability to God should motivate Christian conduct (Deuteronomy 6:5, II Corinthians 5:10).
- Consistent with the example and command of Jesus Christ, love must guide and determine our relationships with others (John 15:12-17, I John 4:7-12).
- Christians bear responsibility for service to others. They are responsible to serve their neighbors and be involved by appropriate means in the process of alleviating pressing worldwide and community problems. (Matthew 7:12, 25:31-46, Galatians 5:14, 6:10)
- As members of a Christian community, our actions are not solely a private matter. Accordingly, must hold their neighbors accountable for the implications of their conduct when it directly affects the welfare of community living. (Matthew 18:15-17)
- The community as a whole and members individually are responsible for the effective stewardship of abilities and opportunities, using both personal and institutional resources (Luke 19:11-27, I Corinthians 4:2).
- In the desire to attain common goals and to ensure orderly community life, the subordination of some individual prerogative may be necessary. Specifically, as servants of Christ we are called to practice forbearance. Christian freedom includes the option of not doing some things in order to contribute to the good of the larger community. (I Corinthians 8:9-13, 9:19-23, 10:23-11:1)
- Certain actions are expressly prohibited in the Scriptures and are, therefore, wrong. Christians are responsible to avoid those practices that are called sinful in Scripture. Similarly, Scripture comments on some actions that are matters of individual conviction based on a given situation. In this latter area, care must be exercised so as not to judge one another or to cause another to stumble or one's self to fall. (Matthew 7:1, Romans 14:1-23)
- Christians are not asked to live the Christian life simply on the basis of their own moral character and strength. God has provided the authoritative Word of God, the guiding power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and the counsel of the Church. Christians are expected to study and obey the Scriptures, to cultivate a heart attitude that allows for the guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit and to give serious consideration to the counsel of the people of God (II Timothy 3:16, II Peter 1:19-21, I John 2:27, 5:1-6).
- The Christian's obligation to separate himself from worldliness is important to an understanding of acceptable and unacceptable behavioral (Romans 12:2, I John 2:15). "Worldliness" is a subtle issue involving uncritical conformity to the prevailing spirit of the age in an "it's all good," or "non-judgmental," attitude. One's disposition concerning such matters as materialism, secularism, isolationism, security, success, injustice, hedonism and moral relativism must stand in perpetual review, and must never reflect acceptance of a "loose" or "cheap" version of the Gospel.
- Doctrines and viewpoints will be adhered to within in light of the Scriptures.