The human phraseology employed in this statement is not inspired nor contended for, but the truth set forth is held to be essential to a full Gospel ministry. No claim is made that it contains all the truth in the Bible, only that it covers orthodox fundamental matters.
The Bible is the inspired Word of God, a revelation from God to men, the infallible rule of faith and conduct, and superior to conscience and reason, but not contrary to reason (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Peter 1:23-25; Hebrews 4:12).
The one true God has revealed Himself as the eternally self-existent, self-revealed “I AM,” and has further revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association, by simultaneously existing as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe in the Eternal Godhead, who has revealed Himself as ONE God existing in THREE persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit; distinguishable but indivisible. (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13-14; Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29; Isaiah 43:10, 11).
The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. The Scriptures declare:
Man was created good and upright, for God said, “Let us make man in our image and after our likeness.” Man, by voluntary transgression, fell, and his only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Genesis 1:26-31; Genesis 3:17; Romans 5:12-21).
Conditions of Salvation:
The Grace of God, which brings salvation, has appeared to all men, through the preaching of repentance toward God and through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; man is saved by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, and being justified by grace, has become heir of God according to the hope of eternal life. We believe Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day, and personally appeared to His disciples. (Titus 2:11; 3:5-7; Romans 10:13-15; Luke 24:47; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 4:25).
The inward evidence to the believer of his/her salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit (Romans 8:16). The outward evidence to all men is a life of holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:7, 2 Timothy 1:9).
Description: At salvation, the Holy Spirit made your body His Temple and you were placed in the body of Christ. Jesus ascended into heaven, and He said that He will release the promise of the Father. This is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, not in the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 12:13).
Baptizer: The Holy Spirit
Description: The ordinance of water baptism shall be administered by all established places of worship to all who have repented of their sins and who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ to the saving of their souls. The symbolism of being completely immersed in water has great meaning. Baptism symbolizes death, burial and a rising, or resurrection, from a grave. This is exactly the pattern of Christ’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Neither sprinkling nor pouring reflects this symbolism (Romans 6:3-5, Matthew 28:19-20).
Description: The Holy Spirit is God, the Lord and giver of life, who was active in the Old Testament and given to the church in fullness at Pentecost. He empowers the saints for service and witness, cleanses man from the old nature and conforms us to the image of Christ. The baptism in the Holy Spirit, subsequent to conversion, releases the fullness of the Spirit and is evidenced by the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit. We believe the best way possible to live life is by God’s power within us. Every believer can be baptized and continually filled with the Holy Spirit by simply asking. The baptism in the Holy Spirit can be received by faith, just like salvation. We seek to practice a daily dependence on God’s Spirit to enable us to do what is right; therefore, we believe you can be Spirit-led (John 1:32-33, Matthew 3:11).
The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements, bread and fruit of the vine, is the symbol expressing our sharing in a memorial to His suffering and death, and a prophecy of His second coming, and is enjoined to all believers “until He comes” (John 6:48, 51, 53-57; Luke 22:19,20; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 Corinthians 11:25).
All believers should ardently expect and earnestly seek the Promise of the Father, which is the baptism in the Holy Spirit. With it comes the infilling of power for life and service, and the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31). This experience may be distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the New Birth (Acts 2:38; 10:44-46; 11:14-16; 15:7-9; Acts 19:1-6).
By the power of the Holy Spirit, we strive to obey the command, “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” Sanctification is the will of God for all believers and should be earnestly pursued by walking in obedience to God’s Word (Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 1:15, 16; 1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24; 1 John 2:6; Romans 12:1-2; Hebrews 13:12).
The church is the holy Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission. Each believer is an integral part of the church, and their names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (1 Corinthians 12:13, Ephesians 1:22, 23; Ephesians 2:19-22; Hebrews 12:23; Revelation 21:27).
Divinely called and Scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for a two-fold purpose: (1) he evangelization of the world, and (2) the edification of the Body of Christ (Mark 15:16, 20; Ephesians 4:11-13, Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 12:28, 14:12; Romans 12:3-8).
Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement of Christ and is the privilege of all believers (Isaiah 53: 4, 5; Matthew 8:16, 17; Mark 16:18; John 5:14; James 5:14-16).
The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation, together with those who are alive and remain unto the Lord, is imminent and is the blessed hope of the church (Romans 6:23; Titus 2:13; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; Thessalonians 4:13-18; John 14:2, 3; John 3:16, 5:24).
The revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven, the salvation of national Israel, and the millennial reign of Christ on the earth are Scriptural promises and our hope (2 Thessalonians 1:7; Revelation 19:11-16; Romans 11:25; Revelation 20:1-7).
The devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, and whosoever is not found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, shall be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burns fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Revelation 19:20; 20:10-15; Matthew 25:41).
We, as promised in the Scriptures, look for a new heaven, and a new earth wherein righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21: 1).
It is the biblical position that marriage involves the union of one man and one woman in permanent sacred fidelity. Though various cultures and customs have evolving definitions of marriage, it is God alone who has ultimate authority to prescribe and describe the marital relationship (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:1-9, Mark 10:1-12).
Furthermore, sexual intimacy is only properly exercised and pursued within the confines of this marital relationship. Sexual immorality, defined as any sexual activity outside of the boundaries of the sacred marital relationship between one man and one woman, is clearly and expressly prohibited by the Lord (Matthew 15:19, I Corinthians 6:9-11, I Thessalonians 4:3, Hebrews 13:4).
As a consequence, the church regards any and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography or even lustful intent toward such, as sinful and ultimately unsatisfying. Moreover, the church also regards as sinful the intent or desire to surgically alter one’s biological sex to a different sex. Since the body is a creation of God, the church holds sexual identity to be biologically determined, and associated gender norms are to be observed as appropriate to biblical standards. Disagreement with one’s biological sex only leads to spiritual confusion and emotional chaos (Genesis 1:27, Romans 1:26-32, I Corinthians 6:9-11).
In order to preserve the function and integrity of the church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical example to the church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the church in any capacity or united to the church in membership should abide by and agree to this “Statement on Marriage and Sexuality” and conduct themselves accordingly.
Though sinful sexual expression is egregious (as is all sin), the gospel provides redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 6:9-11, Ephesians 2:1-10, Titus 3:3-7).
Furthermore, there is a difference between temptation and unrepented sin. Jesus was tempted in all ways as we are, yet He never sinned. Members, employees, volunteers and attendees of the church wrestling with all manner of sexual temptation will find a church ready to point them to Jesus and join with them to fight for their obedience to Christ. Jesus called the weary and heavy-laden to Himself. As a church desiring to follow Christ fully, the church will be a safe place for men and women fighting sexual temptations of all kinds. For those fighting temptation and repenting of sin, the church will provide love, care and direction (Matthew 11:28-30, I Corinthians 10:13, Hebrews 2:17-18, Hebrews 4:14-16).
The Church’s Statement on Marriage and Sexuality does not provide grounds for bigotry, bullying or hate, as we fully believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect and dignity, regardless of his or her lifestyle. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated as sinful and are not in accordance with the Scriptures nor the doctrines of the church.
This Statement on Marriage and Sexuality specifically gives the Elder Team the right and authority to prohibit acts or omissions, including but not limited to (a) permitting any church assets or property, whether real property, personal property, intangible property, or any property or asset of any kind that is subject to the direction or control of the church, to be used in any manner that would be – or, in the sole determination of the Central Elders, could be perceived by any person to be – inconsistent with this Statement on Marriage and Sexuality; and (b) permitting any church facilities to be used by any person, organization, corporation, or group that would or might use such facilities to convey, intentionally or by implication, what might be perceived as a favorable impression about any definition of marriage other than that contained in this section.
The Church’s Statement on Marriage and Sexuality is based upon God’s will for human life as conveyed to us through the Scriptures, upon which this church has been founded and anchored, and this Statement on Marriage and Sexuality shall not be subject to change through popular vote; referendum; prevailing opinion of Members or the general public; influence of or interpretation by any government authority, agency, or official action; or legal developments on the local, state, or federal level.