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CHURCH COVENANT

 

Having been led, as we believe by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and on the profession of our faith having been baptized (by immersion) in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now in the presence of God, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.

 

We engage therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church, in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expense of the church, and the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.

 

We also engage to maintain our family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children, to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale for personal profit and use of intoxicating drink as a beverage; to abstain from the sale and/or use of drugs except as prescribed by a physician, and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Saviour.

 

We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready to reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Saviour, to secure it without delay.

 We moreover engage, that when we remove from this place, we will as soon as possible unite with some other church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant, and the principles of God's word.

 

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STATEMENT OF FAITH

 

CONCERNING THE SCRIPTURES

We believe that the Holy Bible as originally written was verbally inspired and the product of spirit-controlled men, and therefore is truth without any admixture of error for its matter.  We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds and opinion are tried.  (II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:19-21)

 

CONCERNING THE TRUE GOD

We believe that there is one and only one living and true God, an infinite, intelligent, perfect spirit and personal being, the Creator, Preserver and Supreme Ruler of the Universe; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and all other perfections, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; and in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.  (Exodus 20:2-3; I Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 4:11; I John 5:7; John 10:30)

 

CONCERNING CHRIST

We believe that Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary; that He is one Person possessing two natures and thus is true God and true Man, that He lived a sinless life and gave Himself as a perfect substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of all men; that He arose bodily from the grave; ascended into heaven where He is seated at the right hand of God interceding for His people; and will return to the earth in keeping with His promises.  (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; John 1:14; John 1:1)

 

CONCERNING THE HOLY SPIRIT

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person; equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same natures; that He was active in creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God's purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgement; that He bears witness to the truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the new birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer.  (John 14:16-17; Matthew 28:19; Hebrews 9:14; John 14:26; Luke 1:35; Genesis 1:1-3; John 16:8-11; Acts 5:30-32; John 3:5-6; Ephesians 1:13-14; Mark 1:8; John 1:33; Acts 11:16; Romans 8:14, 16; Romans 8:26-27)

 

CONCERNING SPIRITUAL GIFTS

The spiritual gifts are listed in three different places in the Bible.  The gifts of evangelism, pastors, and teachers are sufficient for the perfecting of the saints today.  Some of the gifts of the Spirit (apostleship, healing, miracles, prophecy, tongues and interpretation of tongues) were given to validate men of God and their message as from God and gradually ceased as the New Testament canon was completed and its authority became established.  We believe that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith for the sick and afflicted in accord with His own will.  (Romans 12:3-8; I Corinthians 12:4-11; Ephesians 4:7-16; II Timothy 3:16; I Corinthians 13:8-10; I Corinthians 14:22; II Corinthians 12:12; John 14:13-14; John 15:7; James 5:14-16; James 4:3; I John 5:14-15)

 

CONCERNING THE SPIRIT REALM

We believe that God created an innumerable company of sinless spirit beings known as angels; that many of these continued in their holy state and are the ministers of God; that Lucifer (now known as Satan or the Devil) and many others rebelled against God; that these fallen angels, though defeated in the cross of Christ, still continue to oppose God and His work.  We believe in the personality of Satan; that He is the unholy God of this age, and the author of all the powers of darkness, and is destined to judgement or an eternal justice in the lake of fire.  (Col. 1:16-17; Matthew 26:53; Hebrews 1:14; Isaiah 14:12-14; Revelation 12:9; I Peter 5:8; Isaiah 14:15; II Peter 2:4; Revelation 19:20)

 

CONCERNING CREATION

We accept the Genesis account as being a historic record of creation and believe that the universe was created by God, not produced by some process of evolution.  (John 1:3; I Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:1-2; Exodus 20:11; Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 33:6; Isaiah 40:28; Acts 17:24-25)

 

CONCERNING MAN

We believe that man was created by the special act of God, as recorded in Genesis.  "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him:  male and female created He them."  (Genesis 1:27)  "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life:  and man became a living soul."  (Genesis 2:7)

 

We believe that man was created in a state of innocence, under the law of his maker, but through the temptation of Satan he voluntarily transgressed and fell from his innocent state, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint, but choice, being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil, and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.  (Genesis 3:1-6, 24; Romans 5:12, 19;     Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:9-18; Romans 1:18, 32)

 

CONCERNING SALVATION

We believe that salvation is all of grace through the substitutionary work of Jesus Christ who paid the full redemptive price, fully satisfied God's righteous demands by suffering the death penalty for man's guilt, and imputed to man His perfect righteousness reconciling him to God, thus salvation is made effective to man only upon his exercise of personal faith in Jesus Christ, which faith is not a meritorious work but possible only by the grace of God.  (II Corinthians 8:9; I John 2:2; II Corinthians 5:21; John 5:24; Titus 3:5)

 

We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process;  that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.  (John 3:3; II Corinthians 5:17; I John 5:1; John 3:6-7; Acts 16:30-31; II Peter 1:4; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1; II Cor 5:19)

 

We believe that salvation includes justification, regeneration, adoption into the family of God, sanctification (positional, progressive, and final) and glorification; that one who is truly born again will, by the grace of God, persevere and be kept saved forever.  (Acts 13:39; John 1:12; Galations 4:5; II Corinthians 6:18; I Corinthians 1:30; Romans 8:17; Philippians 1:6)

 

CONCERNING JUSTIFICATION

We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is justification:  which is the judicial act of God, whereby those who put faith in Christ are declared righteous in His eyes, and free from guilt and punishment.  (Romans 5:9; Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 8:33; Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:22; Romans 3:26; Romans 4:4-8)

 

CONCERNING SANCTIFICATION

We believe that every saved person is positionally, in Christ, completely set apart for God; that in experience the saved person retains his sin nature, which is not eradicated in this life, and thus his present state is no more perfect than his daily experience, that there is a progressive sanctification wherein the saved person is to grow in grace and into Christ-likeness by the unhindered power of the Holy Spirit that when Christ appears the saved person will be fully sanctified so that his state will conform to his standing.

 

We believe that progressive sanctification involves separation not only from ungodly living, but also from ungodly teaching; that, though we love all men and seek their salvation, there are areas in which we cannot have fellowship with unbelievers; that, in areas of ecclesiastical fellowship, it may be necessary to separate even from our brethren in Christ, if they in turn maintain fellowship with unbelievers.  (I Corinthians 6:11; Romans 8:8; I Thessalonians 5:23; Philippians 3:21; Romans 16:17; II Corinthians 6:14-18; II Thessalonians 3:14-15; I Timothy 6:3-5)

 

CONCERNING THE CHURCH

We believe that "The church which is His body" is composed of all true believers (those who have been born again through a personal acceptance of Christ as Saviour) from Pentecost to the rapture; that this church was brought into being on the day of Pentecost by the Holy Spirit's baptizing into one body all who were believers at that time; that on the day of Pentecost and since that time others have been and are being added to the church as they personally accept Christ as Saviour; that at the rapture this church will be complete and will be caught up to be united with Christ as His bride, never to be separated from Him.         (I Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 3:1-6; Ephesians 4:11; Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18; Acts 15:13-18)

 

CONCERNING THE LOCAL CHURCH

We believe that local churches are gatherings of professing believers in given communities, organized for the purpose of united worship, fellowship, administration of the ordinances (baptism and Lord's Supper), edification, discipline, and effective promotion of the work of Christ throughout the world; that such local churches should be limited in membership to those who are born again, desire to follow Christ in obedience and have been immersed, that Christ is the supreme Head and every member has direct access to Him and is responsible to see His will; that government is democratic with every qualified member responsible to vote in keeping with his understanding of the will of Christ; that each local church is responsible directly to Christ and not to some other local church or organization; that there is value in fellowship and cooperation with other local churches of like convictions.  (Acts 1:5;   Acts 2:1, 4; I Corinthians 12:3; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Acts 2:41, 42; Titus 1:5-7; Acts 20:17-28; I Timothy 3:1-13)

 

CONCERNING BAPTISM AND THE LORD'S SUPPER

We believe that Christian baptism is the single immersion of a believer in water to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Saviour, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership.  We believe that the Lord's Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes, and should be preceded always by solemn self-examination.  We believe that the biblical order of the ordinances is baptism first and then the Lord's Supper, and that participants in the Lord's Supper should be immersed believers.  (Acts 8:36-39; John 3:23; Matthew 3:16; Colossians 2:12; I Corinthians 11:23-28; Romans 6:3-5; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:41-42)

 

CONCERNING THE SECURITY OF THE SAINTS

We believe that all who are truly born again are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ.  (Philippians 1:6; John 10:28-29; Romans 8:25-39)

 

CONCERNING THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED

We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting joy of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost.  (Malachi 3:18; Romans 6:17-18; I John 5:19; Matthew 25:34-41; Romans 6:23; Proverbs 14:32; Luke 6:23; John 8:21)

 

CONCERNING CIVIL GOVERNMENT

We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming Prince of the Kings of the earth.  (Romans 13:1-7; II Samuel 23:3; Exodus 18:21-22; Acts 23:5; Matthew 22:21;  Acts 4:19-20; Daniel 3:17-18)

 

CONCERNING ISRAEL

We believe in the sovereign selection of Israel as God's eternal covenant people; that she is now dispersed because of her disobedience and rejection of Christ; and that she will be regathered in the Holy Land, and, after the completion of the church, will be saved as a nation as the second advent of Christ.  (Genesis 13:14-17; Romans 11:1-32; Ezekiel 37)

 

CONCERNING THINGS TO COME

We believe that the Scriptures do foretell certain future events among which are the following:

 

RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH:  We believe that Jesus Christ will return to the atmosphere of this earth; that the dead in Christ will rise first, then believers who are still living will be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air and to be forever with the Lord; that the rapture is the next event on the revealed calendar and that no prophecy need to be fulfilled before it occurs.

 

TRIBULATION:  We believe that the rapture of the church will be followed on earth by Israel's seventieth week; that, though there will be salvation, this will be a time of great judgments, that latter part being known as the great tribulation.

 

SECOND COMING:  We believe that following the tribulation, Christ will return to the earth with His glorified saints to establish the millennial kingdom; that during that thousand years of peace and prosperity Satan will be bound and Christ will reign with a rod of iron; that at the end of the millennium Satan will be released for a short time, deceive many and lead them in final rebellion but be destroyed with his armies. 

 

ETERNAL STATE:  We believe that the evil angels and the unsaved men of all ages will be finally judged and condemned to everlasting conscious punishment in the Lake of Fire; that all saved of all ages will enjoy everlasting blessing in the presence of God.

 

(I Thessalonians 4:14-17; Daniel 9:24-27; Revelation 7:9-14; Matthew 24:21; Revelation 20:1-2; Revelation 20:7-9; Revelation 20:11-25;     John 14:1-3; II Corinthians 5:1)

 

 

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