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"But He said, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" - Luke 11:28
ARTICLES OF FAITH THE BIBLE TEACHES: Article I INSPIRATION OF SCRIPTURE Holy men of God wrote the Scriptures as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet 1:21). The Bible, as originally written, is perfect & completely inspired & is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righ-teousness (2 Tim 3:16,17; James 1:17). Article II TRIUNE GOD There is only one eternal God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isa 45:5). The Father is a Spirit never seen by men (John 1:18; 4:24). Jesus Christ, the Son, is also eternal. He was sent to earth to be the Lamb of God, to die for the sins of the whole world & was raised on the third day. He then ascended to the right hand of God as High Priest over the House of God (Matt 16:21; Mark 16:19; John 1:29; Heb. 3:1; 7:16; 10:21). The Holy Spirit represents the Father & the Son to man, convicting of sin, & is a special Comforter to the church, to dwell in her & to teach her the truths of God (Matt 28:19; John 14:16,17; 15:26; 16:7-15). Article III SATAN Satan is & has been a real & active force opposing God & man in every age (Isa 14:12-13; Matt 4:1; 1 Pet 5:8). He continues to influence the wicked & to tempt the righteous in these times. He faces a sentence of 1,000 years in the bottomless pit followed by eternity in the lake of fire (Rev 20:2,3,10). He will give his power to the soon coming man of sin (Rev 13:4). Article IV ORIGINAL SIN Adam disobeyed God & became dead in sin (Gen 2:17; 3:6). All men are descendants of him & are also dead in sin (Rom 5:15-19; Ephesians 2:1-3). Article V SALVATION BY GRACE Sinners cannot be saved by any work of their own. Salvation of the depraved sinner is only by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8,9). The gospel of Christ’s death, burial, & resurrection is the only power to change sinners & give them life (John 10:10; Rom 1:16). Jesus laid down His life, giving His precious blood for the propitiation of the sins of the whole world (1 Pet 1:19, 1 John 2:2). Jesus is the Lamb of God & His shed blood is the only cleansing agent able to wash & take away the sins of all men (John 1:29, 1 Cor 5:7, Rev 1:5). The blood is applied the very first moment a lost sinner repents toward God & is saved by grace through faith (Rom 3:25, Ephesians 2:8). This salvation occurs before baptism & church membership (Acts 8:36,38). At the moment of faith in Christ as their Savior, they are born of His Spirit (John 3:5-8). This birth of His seed remains in them & it cannot sin (1 John 3:9). The Holy Spirit then witnesses with their new spirit that they are the children of God (Rom 8:16). This salvation cannot be lost (I Cor 3:15). No saved person can or ever will go to hell or the lake of fire (Rev 20:15). God would have all to be saved (1 Tim 2:4). Jesus invites all to come unto Him (Matt 11:28). All who remain in their condemned state do so because they will not believe (John 5:40). Article VI GREAT COMMISSION The gospel of Christ is to be preached to every person until the end (Mark 16:15). The gospel is the power by which God works all good things toward man (Rom 1:16). Because of the gospel, we obtain salvation, the keeping of our life, the services of God in truth (Philippians 1:27), the revealing of mysteries (Ephesians 6:19) & a partaking of the glory & kingdom of Christ (Matt 4:23). Thus, the gospel is the good news from God concerning how we can be brought back into wholeness & fellowship with Him, starting with faith & ending with faith, all by His grace. Article VII CHURCH ORDINANCES All believers are to be baptized & added to the church (Acts 2:41). Baptism, being a burial, is therefore only by complete immersion (Rom 6:4). The authority of baptism is by Christ through His church (Matt 28:18,19). The church is a body of baptized believers living faithfully unto Christ. The church’s ordained offices are pastors & deacons (Acts 6:1-7; 1 Tim 3:1-13). The ordinances of the church are baptism & the Lord’s Supper (Matt 26:26,27; 28:19). Baptism is required for proper service, as a symbol of the purification of the flesh & the hope of the future resurrection (Rom 6:1-4). The Lord’s Supper is restricted to the members of that local church & is a confirmation of our relationship to Him in the new cov¬enant (Matt 26:26-29; Luke 22:20; 1 Cor 10:16,17; 11:27-34). Baptism & the Lord’s Supper present a complete picture of the gospel; the death, burial & resur¬rection of both Christ & His people. Article VIII CHURCH ORIGIN & PERPETUITY The church is built by Jesus & began during His personal ministry on earth (Matt 16:18). Jesus was & is the only person ever having the authority to start the church. He is the rock & only foundation on which the church is built (1 Cor 3:11). His churches are local & visible & in no sense universal or invisible (Gal 1:2; Rev 1:4). Not all the saved are in the church. Not all assemblies claiming to be His qualify as Scriptural churches. True churches may lose their identity as His (Rev 2:5; 3:16). False churches cannot progressively improve to become His. The true church has never been out of existence. It has continued from the day Jesus began building & will continue until He returns (Matt 16:18; 28:20; Ephesians 3:21). This continuance has been by one church separating members from their local body unto another assembly unto this day (Acts 8:14-17; 13:1-4). Article IX TITLES OF CHURCH His church is called His house (1 Tim 3:15); His body (Ephesians 1:22-23); His temple (1 Cor 3:17); His branches (John 15:1-5); His sheep (John 10:1-18). He receives glory through His church (Ephesians 3:21). Article X OFFICES OF CHURCH The Lord gave His churches pastors & deacons (1 Tim 3). Pastors, also called bishops, are set in their office by the Holy Spirit to oversee & feed the flock of God (Acts 20:28). A strict life of righteousness is required. Deacons are chosen by the church to fulfill a material need (Acts 6:3,4). Their lives are to be impeccable. These offices can only be filled by men. Article XI ETERNAL PURPOSE God knows & foreknows all things (Isa 46:10; 1 Pet 1:2). He elects (John 15:16; Rom 8:33); predestines many things (Ephesians 1:5,11); & this is all according to His good pleasure. These are all the right, power & authority of a sovereign God (Deuteronomy 32:39-43). God has an eternal purpose with His creation, which is accom¬plished through Jesus (Ephesians 3:11). This eternal purpose was planned by God Him¬self & is explained progressively in the form of covenants, especially the Abrahamic & the new covenant. Thus Christ was chosen as the seed of Abraham, through the line of David, & had to be such to be the proper carrier of the promises (Matt 1:1; Luke 1:32,33,72,73). One role of the church today is to help bring people into these promises (Gal 3:14). Article XII SANTIFICATION Sanctification begins in regeneration & is ever progressive. It is the process by which we are made to partake of God’s holiness & are made into the image of Christ (John 17:17; Acts 20:32; Ephesians 5:26; 1 Thessalonians 5:23). Article XIII ETERNAL SECURITY God is able to keep His saints from falling & present them faultless before the presence of His glory (Jude 24). Saints are holy people who shall judge the world & the angels (Rom 1:7; 12:1; 1 Cor 6:2,3; Col 1:2,22). Article XIV DAY OF ASSEMBLY The first day of the week was set by our Lord to worship Him & it replaced the Sabbath day of the law (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 16:2; Col 2:14-17). Article XV CIVIL OBEDIENCE Christians are to obey the laws of the land when those laws do not conflict with God’s commands (Acts 5:29; Rom 13:1-4). Article XVI CHRIST’S KINGDOM REIGN Jesus will return to earth again as King (Acts 1:11; 1 Tim 6:15). The church shall be presented to Him sanctified, cleansed, washed & without spot or wrinkle, as His bride (Ephesians 5:25-27). His bride shall walk with Him in righteous robes of white (Rev 19:8). He shall reign forever & of His kingdom there shall be no end (Luke 1:33). The New Jerusalem shall descend from God & righteous saints that do His commandments shall have the right to enter (Rev 21:24-27; 22:14). All others, living then, are without the city & have no right to enter neither will they have any portion with the bride (Rev 21:27; 22:15). Article XVII TWO RESURRECTIONS Blessed & holy is he that has part in the first resurrection, they shall be priests of God & Christ & reign with Him a thousand years (Rev 20:4-6). There is also a second resurrection wherein Christ sits on a great white throne & whoso-ever is not found written in the book of life is cast into the lake of fire (Rev 20:11-15). Therefore, we believe these things.