What We Believe
To set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us that thou mightest know the certainty of those things wherein thou hast been instructed, we send forth the commonly believed confession of faith held among us, as follows:
I. OF THE SCRIPTURES
We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men supernaturally inspired; that it has truth without any admixture of error for its matter; and, therefore, is and shall remain to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.
By “the Holy Bible” we mean that collection of sixty-six books from Genesis to Revelation, which, as originally written does not only contain and convey the Word of God, but IS the very Word of God.
By “Inspiration” we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired and free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired (II Tim. 3:16, 17; II Peter 1:19-21; Acts 1:16, 28:15; Ps. 19:7-11, 119:60, 89, 105, 130; Luke 16:31, 24:25-27, 44-45; John 5:39, 45-47, 12:48, 17:17; Prov. 30:5-6; Rom. 3:4, 15:4; I Peter 1:2-3; Rev. 22:19; Isa. 8:20; Eph. 6:17).
II. OF THE TRUE GOD
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God; an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the maker and supreme ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption (Ex. 15:11, 20:2-3; Gen. 17:1; I Cor. 2:10-11, 8:6, 12:4-6; Eph. 2:18, 4:6; John 4:24, 10:30, 15:26, 17:5, Ps. 83:18, 90:2, 147:5; Jer. 10:10; Rev. 4:11; I Tim. 1:17; Rom. 11:33; Mark 12:30; Matt. 28:19; John 15:26; I John 5:7; Acts 5:3-4; II Cor. 13:14).
III. OF JESUS CHRIST
We believe that Jesus Christ is the virgin born Son of God who lived a sinless life, although tempted as we, that He presented Himself to die for our sins on Calvary and by His shed blood made salvation available to all who will call upon Him and repent of their sins. Today Jesus is at the right hand of God the Father making intercession for us. We believe that Jesus will return soon to gather His children and to set up His kingdom. (Isa. 7:14; Mt. 1:23, 24:3, 26:28, 28:18; Ga. 4:4; I John 1:7; Lu. 4:8, 9:22; Jn. 3:14, 6:15, 14:28; Phil. 2:8; Rom. 5:9; II Cor. 5:21; Mk. 16:19; Rev. 3:3, 5:12; I Pet. 3:22; I Th. 4:16-17; I Ti. 2:15; Acts 1:7)
IV. OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person; equal with God the Father and the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that His relation is to the unfulfilled for He convicts of sin, of judgment and of righteousness; 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 1:33, 3:5-6, 14:16-17, 26, 16:8-11, 13, 14:26, 15:26-27; Matt. 3:11, 28:19; Heb. 9:14; Luke 1:35, 3:16, 24:49; Gen. 1:1-3; II Thes. 2:7; Acts 5:30-32, 11:16; Eph. 1:13-14;
Mark 1:8; Rom. 8:14, 16, 26, 27; II Thes. 2:13; I Peter 1:2)
V. OF THE DEVIL OR SATAN
We believe that Satan was once holy, and enjoyed heavenly honors, but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and drew after him a host of angels, that he is now the prince of the power of the air, and the unholy god of this world. We hold him to be man’s great tempter, the enemy of God and His Christ, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the chief power back of the present apostasy; the lord of the anti-christ, and the author of all the powers of darkness–destined, however, to final defeat at the hands of God’s son, and to the judgment of an eternal justice in hell, a place prepared for him and his angels. (Isa. 14:112-115; Ezek. 28:14-17; Rev. 12:7-10, 13:13-14, 19:11, 16, 20, 20:1-3, 10; Jude 6; II Pet. 2:4; Eph. 2:2; John 14:30; I Thes. 3:5; Matt. 4:1-3, 13:25-39, 25:41; I Pet. 5:8; Zech. 1:3; I John 2:22, 3:8; Luke 22:3-4; II Cor. 11:13-15; Mark 13:21-22; II Thes. 2:8-11)
VI. OF THE CREATION
We believe in the Genesis account of creation, and that it is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness; that man’s creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly, and God’s established law was they should bring forth only “after their kind.” (Gen. 1:1, 11, 24, 26-27,2:21-23; Ex. 20:11; Acts 4:24, 17:23-26; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 11:3; John 1:3; Rev. 10:6; Rom. 1:20; Jer. 10:12; Neh. 9:6)
VII. OF THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state, in consequence of which, all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint, but of choice; and, therefore, under just condemnation without defense or excuse. (Gen. 3:1-6, 24; Rom. 1:18, 20, 28, 32, 3:10-19, 5:12, 19; Eph. 2:1, 3; Ezek. 18:19-20; Gal. 3:22)
VIII. OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH
We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner; born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of woman, and He is both the Son of God, and God, the Son. (Gen. 3:15; Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; Mark 1:1; John 1:14; Ps. 2:7; Gal. 4:4; I
John 5:20; I Cor. 15:47)
IX. OF THE ATONEMENT FOR SIN
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, who by the appointment of the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust. Christ, the Lord, bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that, having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection. He is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and all-sufficient Saviour. (Eph. 2:8; Acts 15:11; Rom. 3:24, 26; John 3:16, 10:18; Matt. 18:11; Phil. 2:7-8; Heb. 2:14; Isa. 53:4-7, 11; I John 2:2, 4:10; I Cor. 15:3; II Cor. 5:21; Gal. 1:4; I Peter 2:24, 3:18; Isa. 53:11-12; Heb. 12:2; I Cor. 15:20; Heb 7:25, 9:12-15)
X. OF 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 in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, not by culture, not by character, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the 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 the repentance and faith and newness of life. (John 1:12-13, 3:3, 6-8; II Cor. 5:17, 19; Luke 5:27; I John 5:1; Acts 2:41, 16:30-33; II Pet. 1:4; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:1, 5:9; Col. 2:13; Gal. 5:22)
XI. OF THE FREENESS OF SALVATION
We believe in God’s electing grace; that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation. (I Thess. 1:4; Col. 3:12; I Pet. 1:2; Titus 1:1; Rom. 8:29-30, 10:13; Matt. 11:28; Isa. 55:1, 6, 7; Rev. 22:17; John 6:37, 3:15-16, 5:40, 3:18, 36, 5:24; Acts 2:38, 16:30-31; I Tim. 1:15; I Cor. 15:10; Eph. 2:4-5)
XII. OF JUSTIFICATION
We believe that the great gospel which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is justification and includes the pardon of sin and 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 unto us. (Acts 13:39; Isa. 53:11; Zech. 13:1; Rom. 8:1, 5:9, 5:1, 1:17, 4:1-8; Tit. 3:5-7; Heb. 2:4, 10:38; Gal. 3:11)
XIII. OF REPENTANCE AND FAITH
We believe that Repentance and Faith are solemn obligations, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the quickening Spirit of God; thereby, being deeply convicted of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition confession and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ and openly confessing Him as our only and all-sufficient Saviour. (Acts 2:37-38, 20:21; Mark 1:15; Luke 8:13; Rom. 10:9-11, 13; Ps. 51:1-4; Isa. 55:6-7; Luke 12:8)
XIV. OF THE CHURCH
We believe that a church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers associated by a 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 of ordination are pastors or elders and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in Scriptures; we believe the true mission of the church is found in the Great Commission; First, to make individual disciples; Second, to build up the church; Third, to teach and instruct as He has commanded. We do not believe in the reversal of this order; we hold that the local church has the absolute right of self government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations and that the one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the gospel; that every church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its co-operation; on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final. (Acts 2:41, 42, 14:23, 6:5-6, 15:23, 20:17-28, 15:22; I Cor. 5:11-13, 6:1-3, 11:2, 12:4, 16:1-2; Eph. 1:22-23, 4:11, 5:23-24; I Tim. 3:8-13; Matt. 28:19-20; Col. 1:18; I Pet. 5:1-4; Jude 3:4; II Cor. 8:23-24; I Cor. 16:1, 2, 6:1-3, 5:11-13; Mal. 3:10; Lev. 27:32)
XV. OF BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer; in the name of the Father, of the Son, and the Holy Ghost, with the authority of the local church, 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 a pre-requisite to the privileges of a church relation and to the Lord’s supper; in which the members of the church, by the sacred use of bread and wine are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination. (Acts 2:41-42, 8:36-39; Matt. 3:6, 16, 28:19-20; John 3:23; Rom. 6:4-5; Col. 2:12; I Cor. 11:23-28)
XVI. OF THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS
We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal salvation. (John 8:31-32, 10:28-29, 16:8; Col. 1:21, 23; I John 2:19; Matt. 6:30, 13:19-21; Rom. 8:23, 35-39; Ps. 12:3, 37:23-33, 39; Heb. 1:14; I Pet. 1:3-5; Phil. 1:6; Eccl. 3:14; II Tim. 1:12; Jude 24)
XVII. OF 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 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 felicity of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost. (Mal. 3:18; Gen. 18:23; Rom. 1:17, 6:16-18, 23, 7:6; Prov. 11:21, 14:32; I Pet.4:18; I Cor. 15:22; Acts 10:34, 35; I John 2:29, 3:7, 5:19; Gal. 3:10; Luke 6:25; 9:26; Matt. 25:34, 41, 7:13, 14; John 8:21, 12:25)
XVIII. OF 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 only 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. (Rom. 13:7; II Sam. 32:3; Ex. 18:21-22; Acts 4:19-20, 5:29, 23:5; Matt. 10:28, 22:21, 23:10; Titus 3:1; I Pet. 2:13, 14,17; Dan. 3:17, 18; Rev. 10:6; Phil. 2:10-11; Ps. 72:11)
XIX. OF THE RESURRECTION AND RETURN OF
CHRIST AND RELATED EVENTS
We believe in and accept the sacred Scriptures upon these subjects at their face and full value. Of the Resurrection, we believe that Christ arose bodily “the third day according to the Scriptures;” that He ascended “to the right hand of the throne of God;” that He alone is our “merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God;” “that this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven” –bodily, personally and visibly; that the “dead in Christ shall rise first;” that the living saints “shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump;” “that the Lord shall give unto Him the throne of His father David” and that “Christ shall reign a thousand years in righteousness until he hath put all enemies under his feet.” (Matt. 24:27, 42, 25:13, 28:6-7; Luke 24:2, 4-6, 39, 51; John 14:3, 20:27; I Cor. 15:4-44, 51-53; Mark 16:6, 19; Acts 1:9, 1:11, 9:29-31; Rev. 3:21; Heb. 2:17; John 14:3; I Thess. 4:16, 17; Heb. 9:28)
XX. OF MISSIONS
We believe that the command to give the gospel to the world is clear and unmistakable and this Commission was given to the churches. (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; John 20:21; Acts 1:8, 13:1-5, 14:23-28; Rom. 10:13-15)
XXI. OF THE GRACE OF GIVING
We believe that God’s method of financing His earthly work of spreading the Gospel to all nations, the care of the churches, and the support of the ministry is by the tithes and offerings of His people; that it is to be given to the Lord through His church or storehouse to be distributed as directed by the leadership of the Spirit as the need arises; the time to tithe is upon the first day of the week, that every one is accountable to the Lord for one tenth of his income and that tithing was instituted long before the law was ever given and was practiced by the early church. (II Cor. 8:7; I Cor. 16:2, 9:7-14; Heb. 7:2-9; Matt. 23:23; Acts 4:3, 35, 37; Mal. 3:10, 8-9; Lev. 27:30; Prov. 3:9-10)
XXII. OF HUMAN SEXUALITY
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged outside of a one-man, one-woman marriage. We believe that any form of adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. (Gen. 2:24; 19:5, 13; 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29)
XXIII. OF ABORTION
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well being of the mother are acceptable. (Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)
XXIV. OF LAWSUITS BETWEEN BELIEVERS
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the Church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the Church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander. (I Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32)
XXV. OF MUSIC IN THE CHURCH
We believe that our music must be directly related to our understanding of the holiness of God. Our praise and worship of God through music, consisting of hymns and spiritual songs, must, therefore, to be acceptable to a Holy God and must not be tainted nor polluted with any of the characteristics of carnal, worldly music, which appeal to and stimulate carnal reactions. We, therefore, reject the CCM movement. (Ex. 15:1; I Chr. 16:9, 23: II Chr. 15:14; Ps. 9:11; 40:1-3; 47:6; 118:14; Rom. 15:9; I Cor. 10:31; Eph. 4:29; 5:19; Heb. 2:12; Rev. 5:9-10; 15:3, 4)
XXVI. OF PRESENT TRENDS IN DOCTRINE AND PRACTICE
1.Neo-Orthodoxy — 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 of position.
2.The Ecumenical Movement — We believe that this movement is an attempt to unite different faiths and religions on the basis of the least common denominator of doctrine. It emphasizes love at the expense of truth. It is a betrayal of the unity of believers based upon sound doctrine of the historic Christian Faith. It's method of operation is subversive. Its concept of an ecclesiastical Kingdom is not supported by Scripture. We reject all cooperation with this movement. (II Cor. 6:14-17)
3.Neo-Evangelicalism — This movement, while claiming to be fundamental in theology, has actually compromised the underlying principles of the Christian faith. It questions inspiration and literal interpretation; it 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 unscriptural.
4.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, is, therefore, not being given today. 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.
A SHORTER STATEMENT OF THE CONFESSION OF FAITH IS AS FOLLOWS:
1. We believe the whole Bible from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21, as the verbally inspired and infallible Word of God.
2. We believe Jesus Christ was born of Mary, the virgin, and is the Son of God, and God the Son.
3. We believe that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, the Just for the unjust that He might bring us to God.
4. We believe that He arose from the grave the third day according to the Scriptures.
5. We believe that He, only, is the great High Priest, and we need not the intercession of any man, but that Christ ever liveth to make intercession for us.
6. We believe that Christ will come again in person, bodily, visibly, to establish His Kingdom on the earth.
7. We believe that in order to be saved, the soul must be born again–”Ye must be born again.”
8. We believe that every truly born again soul should declare his faith by the act of baptism (immersion in water) setting for the Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection.
9. We believe that the church is a body of baptized believers whose only mission is not to “reform the world,” but to preach the gospel of salvation to the individual soul.