Having been led by the Holy Spirit to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the public confession of our faith, having been immersed in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God and this assembly, solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We purpose, 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 attend its services regularly; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to give faithfully of time and talent in its activities; to contribute cheerfully and regularly, as God has prospered us, to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel throughout all nations.
We also purpose to maintain family and private devotions; to train our children according to the Word of God; 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 conduct; to avoid all gossip, backbiting and unrighteous anger; to abstain from all forms of activity which dishonor our Lord Jesus Christ, or cause stumbling to a fellow believer or hinder the winning of a soul to Christ.
We further purpose to encourage one another in the blessed hope of our Lord's return; 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 on speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, to seek it without delay.
We moreover purpose that when we remove from this place, we will as soon as possible unite with some other church of like faith and order where we can carry out the spirit of the covenant and the principles of God's Word. In the event there is no such church, we shall seek, with the Lord's help, to establish one.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
We believe that the Holy Scriptures: accepting fully the writings of the Old and New Testaments as the inerrant Word of God, verbally inspired (i.e. every word in the original language was inspired) in all parts, and therefore, all together sufficient as our only infallible and authoritative rule of faith and practice.(II Tim. 3:16-17; “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” and II Peter 1:19-21).
THE TRUE GOD
We believe that there is only one living and true God, infinite in every excellence. That in the unity of the Godhead there are three(3) distinct persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—yet one in essence and equal in every divine perfection.(II Cor.13:14; “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God,and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen”.; Ex. 20:2-3; Matt. 3:13-17; I Cor. 8:6)
We believe in the absolute Deity of the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ; that He was divine as no other man can be, being the very God of the very God, existing from all eternity co-equal with the Father and the Spirit; that He never ceased to be God for one instant and that His humiliation did not consist in laying aside His deity; that as man He was miraculously begotten of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. (John 1:1-2; “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, The same was in the beginning with God.”and Matt. 1:20; Luke 1:26-38; I John 5:20).
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, equal with the Father and the Son; that He convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment; that He bears witness to the truth; that He is the Agent in the new birth; and that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses to, sanctifies, and helps the believer, indwelling every true child of God. (John 15:26; “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me.” and John 14:16-17; Rom. 8:14-27; II Cor. 13:14).
THE DEVIL, OR SATAN
We believe in the distinct personality of Satan, that he is the unholy god of this age, author of all powers of darkness and sin, the adversary of every Christian,and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:10; “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” and Matt. 4:1-3; II Cor. 4:4).
We accept the literal Genesis account of creation believing that God created the heavens and the earth, including all life, “each after its own kind”, by direct immediate act, and not by the process of evolution. (Col. 1:16-17; “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” and Gen. 1-2; John 1:3).
THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man, in the person of the first Adam was created in innocence,but by voluntary transgression fell into sin, thus plunging the entire human race into condemnation and death, so that now all mankind is born in sin and shaped in iniquity and become willful sinners through personal choice, and so are without excuse before God. (Rom. 5:12: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” and Gen. 3; Rom. 1:18-32; 5:10-19).
THE ATONEMENT FOR SIN
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace through the mediatorial office of the Son of God who, by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His atonement consisting not in setting us and example by His death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ, the Lord, bearing our sin in His own body on the tree; that having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in Heaven, and united in His wonderful person the tender sympathies with divine perfection, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable,compassionate and all-sufficient Savior. (II Cor. 5:21: “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” and Isa. 53:3; Eph. 2:8; Phil 2:7; Heb. 2:14; I John 4:10).
GRACE IN THE NEW CREATION
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 sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is bought about on a manner above our comprehension solely by the power or 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 live. (II Cor. 5:17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.”
and John 3:3, 6-8; Acts 16:30-33; Rom. 6:23; II Cor. 5:19; Eph. 2:1; Col. 2:13; II Pet. 1:4; I John 5:1).
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is justification:
(a) That justification includes the pardon of sin, the gift of eternal life, and principles of righteousness.
(b) That it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood, His righteousness is imputed to us. (Rom. 5:1; “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” and Isa. 53:11; Zech. 13:1;Acts 13:29; Rom. 5:9,8:1; Titus 3:5.
We believe that faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection is the only method of salvation from sin and that this salvation is wholly by God’s sovereign grace; and that no works, however good that we can do merit salvation. (Eph. 2:8-9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” and Acts 16:31; Rom. 10:9-11; Titus 3:5-7).
THE SECURITY OF THE SAINTS
We believe that all who receive Christ as their personal Savior are born from above and are eternally secure in Christ in a relationship forged by God which He will not break and which cannot be broken by anyone, including ourselves.The Christian has no license to sin (Rom. 6:1-4). The presence of sin will break the fellowship but not the relationship between the Christian and God and may bring the Christian under divine chastisement. (Phil 1:6: “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” and John 10:28-29; Rom. 8:35-39).
THE LOCAL CHURCH
We believe that a local church is a congregation of immersed believers,associated by Covenant of Faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers are Pastors and Deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. We believe the real mission of the church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all men as we have opportunity. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self? government free from the interference of and hierarchy of individuals of organizations; and that the one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true churches to co-operate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the gospel; that each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its co-operation; on all matters of membership, of polity, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final. (Acts 2:41; “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized; and the same day there were added unto them about three(3) thousand souls.” and Acts 2:42; 15:13-18; 20:17-28; I Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:11; 5:23-24; Col. 1:18; I Tim. 3:1-7).
We believe that there are only two church ordinances: Believer’s Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Believer’s Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water and is properly called “believer’s baptism”. It sets forth in a beautiful and solemn way our faith in a crucified, buried and risen Savior, with the effects of that faith in our lives as it produces death to sin and resurrection to a new life. (Rom. 6:4-5;“Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” and Acts 2:41-42;8:36-39).
The Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of out Lord’s death until He comes and our continual fellowship with Him. It should always be preceded by careful self-examination. (I Cor. 11:26; “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till He come.” I Cor. 11:23-32).
We accept the scriptural commands to separate from worldliness, modernism, apostasy, and any individual or group that threatens or interferes with the church's ministry to glorify Jesus Christ as the Son of God in His person and work. (Romans 16:17; "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them." And II Chronicles 19:2; Matthew 7:15-20; Acts 20:28-31; Romans 16:18; II Corinthians 6:14-17; II Thessalonians 3:6-14; I Timothy 4:1-2; 6:3-6; II John 9-11; Revelation 18:4-5).
The righteous and the wicked
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only such as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and sanctified by the Spirit of God, are truly righteous in God's esteem; while all who continue in impenitence and unbelief are in his sight wicked, and under the curse, and therefore stand condemned before God (John 3:18) and that this destination holds among men both during life and after death in the everlasting conscious joy of the saved in heaven and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost in the literal hell. (Romans 6:23; "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." And Malachi 3:18; Matthew 25:34-41; Luke 6:25; John 8:21; Romans 6:16-23).
The return of christ
We believe in the bodily, personal, pre-millennial return of Jesus Christ; that He will come before the seven (7) year tribulation period to catch away His Church (the Rapture), coming only in the air, that this coming may be at any moment; and that He will afterwards come with His Church (the Revelation) at the close of the tribulation to judge the living nations and to set up His kingdom on earth. (I Thessalonians 4:16-17; "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord." And Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 19:11-21).
We believe in the resurrection of the bodies of the dead; that believer who sleep in Christ will be raised at the coming of Christ for His Church and caught up with the transformed living saints to meet the Lord on the air (the Rapture), and that the wicked dead will all be raised at the close of the Millennial Kingdom and stand in their bodies at the Great White Throne Judgement to receive their final doom in the Christless eternity. (John 5:28-29; Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." And John 5:21-30; I Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 7:9-17; 20:11-15).
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interest of 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; "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: The powers that be are ordained of God." And Exodus 18:21-22; II Samuel 23:3; Daniel 3:17-18; Matthew 22:21; Acts 4:19-20; 5:20; 23:5; Romans 13:1-7.)
Present trends in doctrine and practice
This theological persuasion is a futile attempt to reconcile, "The higher scientific Biblical criticism", with the true Biblical interpretation. Such an appeal to Biblical revelation is based on half-truths and as such is false and deceptive. We utterly reject this method and position.
This movement, while claiming to be fundamental in theology, has actually compromised the underlying principles of the Christian Faith. It questions inspiration, literal interpretation, accepts liberals as Christians, takes a new attitude toward the ecumenical movement, promotes ecumenical evangelism, denies both ethical and ecclesiastical separation, restructures eschatology, and over-stresses the social aspects of the Gospel. We hold this stand to be un-Scriptural.
The attempt to unite the different faiths today on the basis of the least common denominator of doctrine is a betrayal of the unity of believers based upon sound doctrine of the historic Christian Faith. Its dialogue with other religions is dialectical. Its method of operation is subversive and shows a tendency to totalitarianism. Its concept of an ecclesiastical kingdom is not supported by Scripture. We reject all cooperation with this movement.
The Tongues Movement
We believe that the gift of tongues was given as a sign to Israel and like the gifts of Apostleship and prophecy, which were for the founding of the church, are therefore not being given today. While we recognize that God may give any gift to the church at any time, we believe that the current resurgence of the practice of tongues, which is not Scripturally regulated and which is usually divisive, is not the Scriptural gift. We, therefore, urge that members of the Church base their experiences on the written Word of God, seek to use the more important gifts, and cultivate Christ-likeness, none of which requires the use of genuine or spurious tongues.