•In essential beliefs — we have unity.
“There is one Body and one Spirit...there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of us all...” Eph. 4:4-6
•In non-essential beliefs — we have liberty.
“Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters... Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls... So then each of us will give an account of himself to God... So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.” Romans 14:1,4,12,22
•In all our beliefs — we show charity.
“And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” 1 Cor. 13:2
THE ESSENTIALS WE BELIEVE: This statement of faith has been adapted from the Abstracts of Principles (1859)
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God and are God’s Word to us. While they were written by human authors, it was done so under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience.
(2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Psalm 119:105, 160; Psalm 12:6; Proverbs 30:5)
There is but one God, the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, having in and of Himself, all perfections, and being infinite in them all; and to Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience. God is revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being.
(Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; 1 Timothy 1:17; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
God originally created Man in His own image, and free from sin; but, through the temptation of Satan, he transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; whereby his posterity inherit a nature corrupt and are wholly opposed to God and His law, are under condemnation, and as soon as they are capable of moral action, become actual transgressors.
(Genesis 1:27, Genesis 3:4-7; Romans 5:12-21; Ephesians 2:1-3)
Jesus Christ, the one and only Son of God, is the divinely appointed mediator between God and man. Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the law; suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. He was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended to His Father, at whose right hand He ever lives to make intercession for His people. He is the only Mediator, the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church, and Sovereign of the Universe.
(Matthew 3:17; 1 Corinthians 15:3-7; 1 Timothy 2:5; Romans 5:6-11; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 1:3)
Salvation is secured by Jesus Christ and is God’s free gift to those who believe. Salvation comes about through regeneration, which is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who gives life to those who are dead in trespasses and sins enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature, so that they love and practice holiness. It is a work of God’s free and special grace alone. (John 3:1-8; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:3)
Salvation includes repentance, wherein a person being by the Holy Spirit, made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin, humbles himself for it, with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrence, with a purpose and endeavor to walk before God so as to please Him in all things (Mark 1:15; Acts 20:21; 2 Corinthians 7:9).
Salvation comes through faith, which is the belief, on God’s authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ; accepting and resting upon Him alone for justification and eternal life. It is wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by all other saving graces, and leads to a life of holiness. (John 1:12, John 5:24; Ephesians 2:8-9)
The Lord Jesus is the head of the Church, which is composed of all His true disciples, and in Him is invested supremely all power for its government. According to His commandment, Christians are to gather together into local churches; and to each of these churches He has given needful authority for administering that order, discipline and worship which He has appointed. The regular officers of a Church are Elders, and Deacons. (Colossians 1:18; Matthew 16:18; Matthew 18:15-18; 1 Timothy 3:1-15; 1 Peter 5:1-4)
Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. (Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 6:3-5; Acts 8:38-39)
The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and the fruit of the vine, and to be observed by His churches till the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate His death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with Him, and of their church fellowship. (Matthew 26:26-27; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
The Judgment and Hope
God hath appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when every one shall receive according to his deeds; the wicked shall go into everlasting punishment; the righteous, into everlasting life. (Mt. 25:31-46; 1 Cor. 15:35-58; 2 Cor. 5:10)
The hope of the Christian is the resurrection. The bodies of men after death return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God-the righteous to rest with Him; the wicked, to be reserved under darkness to the judgment. At the last day, the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised. (1 Cor. 15; John. 5:28, 29; Phil. 3:21)
Marriage: We believe that God has ordained marriage, and that marriage is the exclusive covenantal union of one man and one woman in which such union is a lifetime commitment.
Gen. 1:27-28; 2:24, Malachi 2:14-15, Ephesians 5:25-33, Mark 10:6-9