Statement of Faith
Statement of Faith & Guiding Principles
We meet together as Christians who gather in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The purposes of the statement of faith and guiding principles are to :
(1) promote sound Biblical doctrine and practice of the assembly (Titus 2:1 and I Timothy 3:15)
(2) establish a Biblical order for all meetings and practices ( Titus 1:5 and I Timothy 3:15)
(3) promote unity (I Corinthians 1:10)
(4) remind us of those things which we have believed (II Peter 1:12-13; 3:1-2)
Statement of Faith
(1) We believe the Bible is the declaration of those “things which are most surely believed among us” (Luke 1:1). The Bible is inspired by God (II Peter 1:21, II Timothy 3:16, Matthew 5:18) and is His revealed Word, and will to man (I Thess. 2:13). The Scriptures are without error in the original documents. The Complete Word of God is not exclusive to any translation. It is our supreme and final authority and guide in all matters of faith and practice (Joshua 1:8, Psalm 119:105, Matt. 4:4, II Timothy 3:15). God has preserved His eternal Word for us (Ps. 119:89) and therefore we should obey it.
(2) There is one God (Deut. 6:4) eternally existing (Deut. 33:27) in three persons (Matt. 28:19); Father (Ephesians 4:6), Son (John 1:1,14) and Holy Spirit (Hebrews 9:14; Acts 5:3,4; II Corinthians 13:14).
(3) God the Son entered human history as a man— Christ Jesus (I Timothy 3:16). He was born of the virgin Mary (Luke 1:35) having been supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20). While here upon earth, Jesus was, in one personality, both truly God and truly man (John 10:33, Phil.2:5-7). While on earth He lived a perfect and sinless life and then died on the cross having offered Himself without spot to God as the sacrifice for our sins (I Peter 2:24). He rose bodily from the dead (Luke 24:39) and ascended to His Father’s right hand in Heaven (Ephesians 1:20), there to appear as our Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16; 9:24).
(4) We believe that man was created innocent by God (Gen. 1:26-27) and that he deliberately sinned and incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death which is separation from God. Even though all human beings are created in the image of God they are born with a sinful nature (Romans 3:23; 5:12; Gen. 1:26-27; 9:6; James 3:9).
Regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for the salvation of man (Titus 3:5, Romans 8:9).
Redemption is solely by the blood of Christ (Hebrews 9:12-14, I Peter 1:18-19).
Salvation is by grace, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8,9; Acts 4:10-12; Acts 16:31).
Every true child of God possesses eternal life and is safe for all eternity (John 3:16; 5:24; 10:27-29).
All believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit who seals them unto the day of redemption (Eph 1:13-14; 4:30).
(5) We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust(John 5:28,29; I Corinthians 15:51-55; Dan. 12:2, Rev. 20:12,13), the everlasting blessedness of the saved (Philippians 1:23; Rev. 22:4-5), and the everlasting conscious punishment of the lost (Rev. 20:10; Matthew 25:46; Luke 16:19-31). We believe that there is life after death and that preparation for eternity must be made before death (Hebrews 9:27-28).
(6) We believe in the personal, pre-tribulation (before the seven year tribulation period begins), imminent return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to receive His church (I Thess. 4:14-18; Titus 2:13; Acts 1:11; Hebrews 9:28), and that believers are saved from wrath to come (Romans 5:9; I Thess. 1:10; 5:9; Rev. 3:10).
(7) The church, referred to as the Body and Bride of Christ (Ephesians 1:22,23; 5:22-23) is composed of all persons who truly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. Every believer is baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:12-27; Gal. 3:27; Col.1:24). Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church (Col. 1:18; Eph. 5:23,24) and the church is subject unto Christ.
The local church is the expression of the church universal. It is composed of believers who gather as a corporate testimony to the Lordship of Christ and the oneness of the body of Christ (I Cor. 3:16; Col. 1:18; John 17:21; Eph. 4:4).
(8) We observe the two ordinances left by the Lord Jesus Christ for His people:
a) Baptism by Immersion (Matthew 28:19: Acts 2:41). Baptism is for believers upon confession of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ ( Acts 8:35-39; Rom. 6:3-5).
b) The Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:19-20; I Cor. 11:23-30). The Lord’s Supper was commemorated by the early churches on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7) and we believe it is the privilege and duty of all true believers to heed the Lord’s request, “this do in remembrance of me” (I Cor. 11:24).
Statement of Practice or Guiding Principles
Believing the Bible teaches that all Christians are one in Christ and part of the Family of God, we love and welcome all believers and take no name or position that will exclude any (Rom. 15:7).
We welcome all members of the Body of Christ who desire to make this their church home, who are willing to participate in the privileges and responsibilities that fellowship in a local church involves, whose habits and conduct are such as become a Christian, and who are committed to support, defend and uphold what is outlined in our Statement of Faith.
Reception and Fellowship
Fellowship involves a sharing together of all the assembly stands for and taking an active part in serving the Lord in the assembly (I Thess. 1:3, Phil. 1:5, 27 Acts 2:42, 4:32).
Anyone desiring to be received into the fellowship will be visited by the elders. To be received into the fellowship requires the following:
A clear confession of faith (Luke 13:3, Acts 3:19, I Thess. 1:9) in the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Saviour (John 1:12, Romans 10:9,10).
To obey the Lord’s command in identifying with Him in water baptism (Matt. 28:19).
To obey the word of God (John 14:23, 15:14, Hebrews 13:17,Acts 16:4,5)
A Godly walk (Eph. 4:1-3, 5:1,2; Col. 3:1,2).
Not promoting personal convictions that are contrary to the statement of faith and that will divide the assembly (Romans 16:17,18; Psalm 133; Acts 2:42; Eph. 4:3).
Being a part of the fellowship carries privileges and responsibilities and involves faithful participation in Assembly activities (Acts2:42).
The assembly has a responsibility to maintain purity. A believer may be asked to withdraw from the fellowship as a matter of discipline for moral or doctrinal error (I Cor. 5:7-13, Romans 16:17,18, II Thessalonians 3:6-15, and Titus 3:9-10). The goal of all discipline is restoration (Galatians 6:1). Restoration comes about by an acknowledgement and confession of sin (I John 1:9) and seeking forgiveness (Psalm 51, II Corinthians 2:7-8).
(1) The assembly shall not be subject to any outside ecclesiastical authority, but to Christ alone as the Head of His Church (Col. 1:18, Eph. 1:22,23).
(2) In keeping with our belief in the oneness of the Body of Christ, the Lord’s People, as such, should accept the names only, which are given them in Scripture, such as, Christians (Acts 11:26), saints (I Cor. 1:2), believers, (Acts 5:14), and brethren (Heb. 2:11).
(3) Guidance and teaching of doctrine will be the responsibility of the elders of the assembly (Heb. 13:17). Matters that can be delegated will be subject to the spiritual discernment of the oversight. All groups and individuals in the assembly are accountable to the elders who are accountable to the Lord (I Pet. 5:1-5, Acts 20:28-35, Heb. 13:17).
(4) The elders of the assembly are men who are spiritually mature and who exhibit in their lives the qualities listed in I Tim. 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. These characteristics are given so that the assembly, fellow-elders and the individual can recognize their appointment by the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:28).
(5) The public ministry is the responsibility of the elders. Speaking is not confined to one man. We ensure the preaching of the gospel of God’s grace (Matt. 28:19,20), and we teach the Bible (II Tim. 4:12), making use of gifted by the Holy Spirit as they become evident. A number of spiritually gifted men provide a ministry rich in scope and depth (Ephesians 4:11, I Cor. 12:29-30). Regular general meetings are held for prayer (Acts 12:12, I Tim. 2:1), and Bible teaching.
(6) We promote sending forth missionaries, home and abroad (Acts 13:2,3), praying for them and supporting them financially (Col. 4:3, II Cor. 9).
(7) All physical and financial business of the assembly is the responsibility of the elders and deacons. The spiritual qualifications for deacons are very high and remarkably similar to those of elders (I Tim. 3:8-13). The elders along with the assembly will recognize deacons (Acts 6:16).
Water baptism. as taught in the Word of God is by immersion (Acts 8:38). It is a voluntary act by a believer to publicly confess and identify in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the desire and intention to walk in newness of life in Christ (Rom. 6:4).
Water baptism is in no way essential to salvation (I Cor. 1:17) however, we believe it is an act of obedience as a forward step in the spiritual development of a believer.
The Lord’s Supper Meeting
On the eve of His death, our Lord Jesus Christ instituted what is commonly known as the Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:15-20) as a remembrance of Himself. The scriptural injunction is that “as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup ye do shew forth the Lord’s death till He come”. Its observance is fulfilling Christ’s request to His people, and has no meritorious significance as regards the salvation of the participant (I Corinthians 11:23-24).
Christians gather for the Lord’s Supper each Sunday (Acts 20:7). This gathering takes the form of spontaneous Spirit-led expressions of worship in prayers, hymns, reading of the scriptures and ministry, fulfilling the command of the Lord Jesus, “this do in remembrance of ME” (Luke 22:19).
The loaf typifies the Body of Christ (Mark 14:22), “Take, eat, this is My body given for you”. It also expresses the unity of the Church (I Cor. 10:17) “For we being many are one bread and one body”.
The cup typifies Christ’s shed blood (Matt. 26:28), “for this is my blood of the New Testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins”.
After the giving of thanks, the loaf is broken and passed from one to another among the believers. In like manner the cup is passed.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the church. We desire to honour Him in our coming together and to give Him the pre-eminence (Col. 1:18).
In I Cor. 11:3-16 headship is addressed. The Lord instruct the man to have his head uncovered (a symbol) and the women to wear a suitable head covering (a symbol). The purpose of these symbols is to display God’s order of authority in the church. “… the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God.”
We take literally the instruction of the New Testament with regard to the place of women in the public gatherings of the church. For this reason, we believe that a women should remain silent (except for singing, Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16), unless the gatherings are specifically for women or for children (e.g. Sunday School). This is not arbitrary; it is the clear teaching of I Cor. 14:34-37 and I Tim.2:11-14.
We would encourage all the men and the women to follow these instructions in all Assembly meetings.
The only time at which an offering is normally received is at the Lord’s Supper (I Cor. 16:2, II Cor. 9:6,7, Phil. 4:16-18). No solicitation for funds is made from those who are not members of the Body of Christ.
Funds are dispersed for expenses of the Church and for support of those in the Lord’s service at home or abroad. This is decided by the elders and deacons (Acts 11:28-30).
If any questions please ask one of the following:
Joe DeCourcy 942-2512 firstname.lastname@example.org
Wes DiPietro 253-5656 email@example.com
Sid Wilson 759-0093 firstname.lastname@example.org