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Statement of Faith: The Church

           The Church, the Body of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all believers of this present age (1 Corinthians 12:12-14;2 Corinthians 11:2;Ephesians 1:22-23,5:25-27).

           The ordinances of believer’s water baptism as a testimony to Christ and identification with Him;  Baptism is an important action of obedience for a Christian and signifies a person's identification with Christ.  Baptism is not necessary for salvation.  It is an outward manifestation of an inward reality of trust in the sacrifice for Christ, of conversion, and of identification with Christ. The act of water baptism does not save anyone.  Man is made right before God by faith alone, not by faith and baptism (Rom. 3:28-30; 4:3, 5; 5:1; Gal. 2:16, 21; Phil. 3:9; see also Acts 10:44-48).

           the Lord’s Supper as a remembrance of Christ’s death and shed blood (Matthew 28:19-20;Acts 2:41-42,18:8;1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

           Through the church, believers are to be taught to obey the Lord and to testify concerning their faith in Christ as Savior and to honor Him by holy living. The Great Commission from the Lord is the primary mission of the Church. It is the obligation of all believers to witness, by word and life, to the truths of God’s Word. The gospel of the grace of God is to be preached to all the world (Matthew 28:19-20;Acts 1:8;2 Corinthians 5:19-20).

           Christians are to live in peace with all men, suffering wrongs, false accusations, and misrepresentations with charity.  However, Christians are free to defend themselves (Luke 22:36) and promote the truth of Christianity by correcting false teachings and refuting error (2 Tim. 2:25; 1 Pet. 3:15).  Christians are to live in the world as examples of godliness and are not to participate in the sinful passions of the world.

           The work of evangelism which means that believers must teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to all people in every nation (Matt. 28:19-20). Believers are to refute false doctrines, false religions, and whatever else might contradict the word of God; but are to do this without insult (1 Pet. 3:15) if per chance God would grant them repentance (2 Tim. 2:25).

           Being a Christian means to participate in expanding the Kingdom of God.  Every Christian is to work for this end according to the gifts given him or her by the Lord (Matt. 28:18-20; Rom. 12). Not all are pastors or evangelists or teachers (Rom. 12), but each Christian is expected to do his or her part to promote the gospel.

           God calls qualified Christians to be ordained and to serve Jesus Christ in special leadership capacities and offices such as Elders, Deacons, Ministers of the Word, and Evangelists. The office(s) of pastor and elder is limited to qualified men only who are called by God, recognized by the body, and who meet the biblical standard of eldership (Titus 1:5-9). Women are not to be pastors nor elders and are not to hold positions of authority in the Christian Church where that authority is exercised over men (1 Tim. 2:11-15; 3:11-13; Titus 1:5-9).

           Doctrine and teachings that deviate from the historical, orthodox, and biblical position of the Christian Church, throughout Church history are not Christianity.  There are heresies that are damnable (denying the Deity of Christ, denying Christ's physical resurrection, denying justification by grace through faith, etc.). There are heresies that are not damnable (advocating women pastors; practicing polygamy, divorce for convenience sake, etc.) There are also teachings within Christianity that are debatable whereas differences of opinion are not heresy and are left free for the conscience of the individual (eating or not eating meat, worship on Saturday or Sunday, etc.)( Rom. 14:1-12).

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