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- Tenants of Faith
- The Salvation of Man
- The Doctrines of Baptism
- The Church
- Total Prosperity
- Financial Support
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.
The Scriptures are inspired
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 the conscience and reason of men.
The One True Godhead
The Godhead is comprised of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who are eternally self-existent, self-revealed, and function as one entity. Jesus Christ, who is God manifested in the flesh, is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Man, His Fall and Redemption
Man was created without sin. But man, by voluntary transgression, fell from his relationship with God and his only hope of restoration to God is in the redemption that is in Jesus Christ the Son of God, as expressed in the scriptures.
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 (Psalms 103:3). Man can be justified freely by His Grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. For by grace we are saved through faith. “The word 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 3:24; Ephesians 2:8; Romans 10:8-10).
The Evidences of Salvation
The inward evidence to the believer of his salvation is the direct witness of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16). The outward evidence to all men is a life of love toward the brethren. As the Scriptures say, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren…” (1 John 3:14).
Faith and Works
Salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ and not by human works. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10) Our works also will determine our rewards in eternity (Romans 10:1-9; 1 Corinthians 5:10). We believe faith without works is dead. We do not believe a matter can be believed without there being a corresponding action. Our faith is active faith that requires the doing of good works in the world. Our faith is not a passive or complacent system of intellectual belief or assent of doctrine, but is an active force in our lives that requires and results in action be taken. A living, active faith will be manifested not only in belief and mental assent, but also by actions expressing and based upon that belief (James 2:14-26; Matthew 7:24-27; Revelations 3:23, Revelations 22:12).
The Doctrines of Baptism
The ordinance of baptism by immersion in water, and in the Name of Jesus, should be observed, as commanded in the Bible, by all who have repented and believed on Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. In so doing, they declare to the world that they have died with Jesus and they have also been raised with Him to walk in the newness of life.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
All believers should ardently expect, and earnestly seek, the promise of the Father, or infilling with the Holy Spirit, which John the Baptist prophesied concerning and said, “I baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matthew 3:11) This should be a normal experience for all who believe as it was in the early Christian Church. With it comes the endowment of power for life and service; the impartation of gifts to be used in the edification of the Body of Christ, and also the responsibility to be witnesses of the death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and exaltation of Jesus Christ to all nations. This wonderful experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth. (Acts 2:36-38; 19:1-6)
The Church is the habitation of God in the Spirit. It is made up of all those – past, present, and future who have believed in their hearts that Jesus Christ is Lord. Hence, the Church is not a building or an institution, but rather, it is a body of
people, a unified organism, who should live in proper relationship and harmony under the direction of its head, Jesus Christ. We believe that the Church is the only true manifestation of God, His Word, and His love in the earth. Those who comprise the Church are also the only true heirs of the Kingdom of God.
The Local Church
We believe that although every true believer is part of the universal church, God has called all peoples, in their given localities, to be united and built together with other believers in Christ. This is so every locality can have a viable expression of the Presence, Power, and Dominion of God as it is expressed through the Church of Jesus Christ.
Interdependency and Relationship
Although we believe the local Church is self-governing, it is not autonomous, but rather, it is interdependent on the entire body of Christ for ministerial and spiritual support. In particular, the foundational ministries of the Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers transcend the local Church. We believe that it is scriptural, and the ideal, that all local churches be in relationship with such a ministry or ministries for the purpose of advice, counsel, oversight, encouragement and help. In general, we believe that all local churches should have other churches that they are in loving, caring, fellowship with. No local church is, or can be, sufficient unto itself.
We believe that it is God’s will to bless His people. Prosperity is the condition of being prosperous and having good success. All prosperity is the result of the redemption and atonement of Jesus. Prosperity involves the following:
Spiritual prosperity is the blessing of eternal and abundant life. (John 3:3, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Romans 10:9-10)
Mental prosperity is that condition of having peace and soundness of mind. (2 Timothy 1:7; Romans 12:2; Isaiah 26:3)
We believe the blessing of God extends to the physical body. This includes the promise of divine healing and good health. (Isaiah 53:4-5; Matthew 8:17; 3 John 2)
It is God’s desire to bless and prosper His people financially. The scriptures teach that God delights in the prosperity of His servants and that He wants us to have sufficiency in all things – plenty for every good work and seed for sowing. Although God wants us to prosper, it is His Sovereign choice that determines the exact measure of abundance. As the scripture says, “To one He gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to each according to his ability…” so, it is God’s choice that will determine our exact measure of blessing. (3 John 2; Malachi 3:10-11; 2 Corinthians 9:6-10)
Social prosperity speaks of the fact that God wants us to have peace and to live in harmony with all men – as long as it does not cause us to compromise our Christian convictions or the gospel of Jesus Christ. (Revelations 14:17-19; Acts 5:29)
We believe that Jesus is coming again, to establish His Kingdom in the earth, and that all the dead in Christ will rise first and, that all believers, who are alive and remain, shall be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air.
The Lake of Fire
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 was not found 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. (Revelations 19:20; Revelations 2:10-15)
We believe in all matters concerning the Body of Christ, in its direction, discipline, ministry, and functioning, that specific guidance, instruction, revelation, and discernment of truth from falsehood is available by the leading of the Holy Spirit who enables us to know spiritual things. We are confident in basing decisions and actions upon such direction. Guidance can and will come via the revelatory gifts of the Holy Spirit, teaching, preaching, wise counsel, dreams or visions, or many other manifestations of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 13:1-3; 1 Timothy 1:18; Romans 8:14; John 16:13-15)
Mediation of Disputes
We believe, as members of the same body of Christ, baptized by one spirit into one body, that 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 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. (I Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:3-6)
We believe that God’s government in the Church is theocratic in character. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Head of the government of the Church, both the universal, invisible Church and the local Church. We believe that Jesus governs the local Church through ministries, i.e., God chooses, calls and equips certain men to be governmental leaders, investing and delegating them with different degrees of authority according to His will. We believe that the local Church finds its headship under Jesus Christ in the elders.
We believe in a plurality of local governing elders, functioning as a leadership team, who are coequal as to office, but not coequal as to authority within in the leadership team. We believe that there will always be, among the leadership team, one who is an ascension gift that is anointed and called of God to be the presiding leader among the elders. This “prima-inter-pares”, or first among equals, is deemed “worthy of double honor” in matters requiring greater grace to rule.
Although we believe in one minister having a greater grace to lead, we also believe that he is not the final word in all situations. Within the leadership team, mutual respect and honor is given as we defer to the grace gifting within each other. The presiding elder is not elected or appointed, but rather recognized by virtue of the grace of God operating in their life. Within the leadership team, which consists of elders, there may be many ascension gifts, but not all elders may be gifted with ascension gifts.
We believe that God has set other mature men, in the church, in the capacity as advisors who can, from time to time and under the authority of the leadership team, assist in the oversight of the local body.
The requirements of an elder that are outlined in Titus 1:5-9 must be in the lives and hearts of everyone on the leadership team, and those who would be called upon to act as an advisor; especially that a leader must “not be self-willed, not quick-tempered.” The leadership team will receive the vision and carry the responsibility for shepherding the local assembly, but the articulation of, and development of that vision will most normally be given to the presiding leader. (Ephesians 4:11-16; Acts 20:28-31; Matthew 18:15-20; Revelation 1:10-20; Exodus 17)
We believe that scriptures require all members of the congregation to support the programs and needs of the Church, in proportion as the Lord shall prosper them, through tithes, offerings, and gifts, thereby acknowledging that any institution can stand or be of full service only in proportion as all the members of the congregation accept their responsibility of maintaining it. (Malachi 3:10; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-9; Hebrews 7:1-8)