Confessions of faith are concise expressions of biblical theology that are intended to clarify how specific doctrines are interpreted and applied.
This confession expresses my beliefs about the following issues:
- The Doctrine of God
- The Doctrine of the Word
- The Doctrine of Regeneration
***This page is still under development, so please feel free to periodically check back on this page as I continue to refine and develop the contents of this section.***
MY CONFESSION OF FAITH
The Doctrine of God
The nature and being of God is the most sacred truth of the Christian Church.
Yahweh is One: there is no other
The Father is the perfect personal essence of Yahweh in heaven.
The Son is Yahweh in the flesh and ascended to glory; the personal word of God that took on flesh to declare the radiance of God’s glory and provide the atoning sacrifice for sin in order that he might redeem the lost and become their high priest.
The Holy Spirit is the personal presence of Yahweh that dwells with his people and gives life to his creation.
Bible References: Numbers 6:24-27; Deuteronomy 4:39; 6:4; Psalm 139:7; Isaiah 9:6; 48:16; 63:10; Mark 12:29; John 1:14, 20; 14:26; 16:7-8, 13-15; 17:3, 5; Romans 15:18-19; 1st Corinthians 2:10-11; 2nd Corinthians 13:13; Hebrews 9:14; 1st John 2:1
The Doctrine of the Word
The nature and authority of God’s word establishes the Church in the true knowledge and will of Christ.
All things were created by the Word of God
All creation was created by the power of God’s word through Jesus Christ, who is the everlasting image of God
All creation was ordered by the authority of God’s word through Jesus Christ, who sustains all things
All humanity was created in God’s likeness through the word of God
All Christians are born again in the image of Christ as new creations through the living and enduring word of God according to the good news of Jesus Christ
Bible References: Genesis 1:1, 26; Psalm 33:6; John 1:1; Colossians 1:15-17; 3:10; 1st Peter 1:23-24
All Scripture is infallibly inspired by God to speak to his children
All Scripture was breathed out by God when the Holy Spirit moved upon the saints of old to breathe through their unique personalities and perspectives the living, finished, and infallible word of God.
Jesus Christ exercises his Lordship in the Church through the word of God by the personal illumination of the Holy Spirit.
All Scripture infallibly conveys the eternal and living voice of Christ through the Holy Spirit
All God’s children come to know the truth through the anointing of Christ’s Spirit and listen to his voice and to the testimony of his apostles through the Holy Spirit who guides them
Bible References: John 6:63; 10:27; 2nd Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 1:1; 2:3-4; 4:12; 1st John 2:21; 4:6; 2nd Peter 1:21; Jude 1:3
All Scripture is authoritatively appointed to save, sanctify, and equip the believer so that we might know Yahweh
All Scripture is authoritatively appointed by God to save the lost through the powerful good news about Jesus Christ
All Scripture authoritatively conveys the faith that was appointed in the name of Jesus to save the lost
All Scripture was authoritatively authored and perfected once and for all by Jesus Christ to sanctify the believer – spirit, soul, and body – so that they may know God and remain in his holy fellowship
All Scripture is authoritatively appointed by God to teach, rebuke, correct, and train his children so that they may be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work
Therefore, the divine goal of Biblical instruction is the kind of holy love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith
Bible References: John 14:23; 17:17; Acts 4:12; Romans 1:16; 10:17; Ephesians 5:26; 1st Timothy 4:5; 2nd Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 1:1; 2:3-4; 4:12; 2nd Peter 1:21; 1st John 1:5; 2:3-6, 20; 4:7-12; 5:2; Jude 1:3
The ministry of the word is authoritatively appointed by God and solemnly charged to be preached by the Church
God alone sovereignly appoints his servants to the ministry of preaching and sends them out to call as many as they may find to repent and enter the Kingdom of his beloved Son through the forgiveness of his blood
God’s ministers are solemnly charged to preach the word in his presence because of Christ’s coming return and the coming of his eternal Kingdom
God’s ministers are charged to feed and shepherd God’s people with the word
God’s ministers are required to be ready in all seasons to rebuke, correct, and encourage with both great patience and teaching because of the coming day of great apostasy
God’s ministers are called to give attention to the public reading of Scripture with special devotion being given to apostolic doctrine
God’s people are called to be devoted to listening attentively to the word being taught
God’s ministers are called to teaching openly in the sight of his people so that the word can be clearly understood and the teaching judged by all
God’s ministers are called to lead his people to magnify and worship the Lord with reverence through the ministry of the word
God’s ministers are called to explain the word to the people by translating and giving the meaning of the text so that God’s people can clearly understand his word
Therefore, God’s ministers will be uniquely accountable to him in judgment for faithfully carrying out their ministry
Bible References: Nehemiah 8:3-12; Matthew 9:38; 22:1-14; 24:45-51; John 21:15-17; Acts 2:42; 11:18; 13:48; Romans 10:14-15; 1st Corinthians 14:29; Colossians 1:21-23; 1st Timothy 4:13; 5:17; 2nd Timothy 4:1-5; James 3:1
The Doctrine of Regeneration
We are saved by grace through faith in the finished work of God
The object of faith is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The true faith of Christ comes from hearing the word of God.
The fruit of true faith is loving obedience to the commandments of Christ.
Bible References: (Coming Soon)
Authentic Christian life is experienced in the newness of the Holy Spirit by faith with a clear conscience
The new life is established by Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross according to the will of our Father in heaven.
The conscience is cleansed from things that lead to death by the blood of Christ through the eternal Spirit who raised him from the dead.
The whole spirit, soul, and body are cleansed by the faithfulness of God.
The new life is preserved by Christ’s heavenly Advocacy as intercessor on our behalf.
The new life is expressed in the humility of holiness by the divine virtue of love.
Christian liberty is experienced by walking in the Holy Spirit through the word of God.
Bible References: (Coming Soon)
The formation, order, commission, purpose, and life of the Christian Church are the sacred doctrines of christian ecclesiology.
Elders – Shepherds of the Church
The men who are appointed as elders over the Lord’s Church carry out one of the physical expressions of the Lord’s shepherding.
#1. Their Flock: Titus 1:5; Acts 15:6, 22; 16:4; 20:17; 1st Tim. 1:3-5
Elders work in unity together to shepherd their Church community in the will of God so that no single elder has complete unilateral authority on his own. Elders shepherd the flocks of believers that are most naturally related to their ministry through evangelism, church planting, and church growth, with their primary concern being for the flock(s) under their personal oversight.
- Elders have authority to shepherd the nearest related unattended flocks.
- Elders do not exercise unilateral authority.
- Elders relate to each other in mutual respect, humility, and submission.
- Elders commit to the eldership of their Church community.
#2. Ministry of Shepherding: Acts 20:28; Heb. 13:17; 1st Peter 5:1-4; Jn 17:1-26
Elders shepherd together in unity in order to both ensure the spiritual health of their elderships and to provide an example of Christian unity to the Church body to emulate. Elders shepherd their flocks from a position of humility in order to personally look after the physical and spiritual needs of the Church body, and to ensure the flock in the Lord’s pasture is well taken care of during times of both plenty and trial.
- Elders are responsible to look after one another as elders
- Elders shepherd the flocks entrusted to them by God
#3. Ministry of the Word: Titus 1:9-11; 1st Tim. 1:3-5; 5:17; Acts 20:28-31
Elders are devoted to the ministry of the word as the sole authoritative means by which the Lord exercises his Lordship over the Church. They are responsible for ensuring the fidelity of Biblical teaching in the Church so that disciples are faithfully reared in the word of Christ. Their ministry in the word promotes love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from a sincere faith so that the Church may learn to walk in holiness with love. They are responsible for ensuring that false doctrine does not gain a foothold in their church to lead lambs to the slaughter.
- Elders guard the ministry of the word to ensure faithfulness to sound doctrine and to preserve truth.
- Elders resist speculative and opinionated teachings
- Elders advance the doctrine that produces love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.
#4. Ministry of Prayer: Jm. 5:14; Jn 15:7-8; 1st Jn. 5:14-15; Ps. 105:4; Pr. 3:5-6; Jer. 10:21
Elders are devoted to the ministry of prayer as the primary means by which they seek God’s direction and blessing for their flocks and ministry efforts. The ministry of prayer is the means by which we glorify our Heavenly Father when we bear fruit in his name; prayerlessness in elders yields fruitlessness in their ministry.
- Elders shepherd their flocks in the will of God having sought the Lord’s will in prayer
- Elders assemble together to pray for the physical and spiritual needs of their flocks
#5. Authority to Lead: 1st Th. 5:12; 1st Tim. 5:17
Elders shepherd by the authority of God’s word and their authority as elders is confined to the word of God. Elders are appointed by the Holy Spirit to watch over the souls of their flock and expected to minister with all honor and integrity.
- Elders are worthy of their wages
- Elders who have proven to be good leaders are worthy of double honor
- Elders are appointed by the Holy Spirit to watch over the souls of their flock
#6. Qualifications to Lead: 1st Tim 3:1-7; Ti 1:5-9; 1st Pt. 5:1-5; 1st Tim. 4:15-16
Elders must be spiritually qualified to lead their flocks as examples of Christ for the Church body to emulate. They must prove themselves in their home before they stand to shepherd the household of God because their ministry to their wives and children reveal the quality of their hidden character. While elders must be characterized by the virtues required for leadership, and in this way be blameless in possessing these attributes, they may experience areas of perceptible deficiencies and should, therefore, be seen growing in Christ so that their progress may be evident to all.
- Elders must shepherd God’s flock willingly in the heart God would have them shepherd in
- Elders must lead by example
- Elders must not lead with a heavy hand
- Elders must clothe themselves in humility
- Elders must be blameless as overseers of God’s household
- They must not be arrogant
- They must not be hot-tempered
- They must not be an excessive drinker
- They must not be a bully
- They must not be greedy for money
- They must be hospitable
- They must love what is good
- They must be sensible
- They must be righteous
- They must be holy
- They must be self-controlled
- They must hold to the faithful message as taught
- They must be able to encourage the Church with sound teaching
- They must be able to refute those who contradict sound teaching
- Elders must possess these attributes as the result of their being new creations in Christ
- Elders must possess these attributes as their dominate character traits
- Elders may experience deficiencies in these qualities without being disqualified so long as their deficiencies are marked by repentance and progressive sanctification over time
- Elders should pray and grow together in these qualifications
- Elders must be married to one wife and love her as Christ loved the Church
- Or be the widower of a proven marriage in whom the Church has confidence
- Elders must have good children and raise them faithfully in the Lord
- Or must have faithfully raised their children
- Elders should submit to proven elders who lead well
#7. Appointment to Lead: Ac 20:28, Ac 14:23; Ti 1:5; Eph. 4:11; 1 Co. 12:28
Elderships are locally established by delegates who were sent by the Church to appoint the elders whom the Lord has chosen by the Holy Spirit. Elders are cautiously appointed with prayer and fasting as their ministry is entrusted and commended to them in the presence of the Lord and his assembly.
- Elders are appointed by the Holy Spirit as overseers to shepherd the Church
- Elders are appointed by Christ himself to shepherd the Church
- Elders are appointed by chosen delegates sent by the Church
- Elders are appointed with prayer and fasting
- Elders are committed to the Lord
- Elders are appointed cautiously by the Church.
- Elders are appointed in local pluralities
# 8. Discipline, Correction, and Removal of Elders: 1st Tim 5:19-20; Ac 20:28-31; Ezekiel 34:2-10; Jeremiah 23:1-4
Elder are protected from baseless accusations by the principle that an accusation of only “one” is invalid. Elders must actively shepherd one another together as their first line of defense against wolves that might rise up and do incalculable damage to the flock. Unity among elders is central to promoting openness so that elders can watch out for one another. An elder who publicly sins against the body is disciplined before the entire body so that his fellow elders will stand in reverence before God.
- Elders cannot be accused based on the accusation of one witness
- Elders must shepherd their own elderships to guard against wolves
- Elders must shepherd their own elderships to minister grace for faithfulness to one another
Deacons & Deaconesses – Servants of the Church
The mission of the diaconate is to be the physical embodiment of Christ’s servanthood.
#1. Qualifications to Serve: Ac 6:3; 1st Tim 3:8-13
The men and women appointed to serve the Church as deacons and deaconesses must embody the servanthood of Christ in their ministry to the physical and spiritual needs of the Church.
- Deacons and deaconesses must have honorable character
- Deacons and deaconesses must be full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom
- Deacons and deaconesses must be in monogamous relationships with honorable households
- Deacons and deaconesses must not be malicious gossips
- Deacons and deaconesses must not live hypocritical lives
- Deacons and deaconesses must not be greedy for monetary gain
- Deacons and deaconesses must not overindulge in wine
- Deacons and deaconesses must be proven to be faithful to Biblical truth
#2. Appointment to Serve: Ac 6:6; Rom 12:4-7, 16:1-2; 1 Cor. 12:28
The men and women appointed to serve the Church as deacons and deaconesses are first called and equipped by God with the grace necessary to embody the servanthood of Christ, and recognized by Church leadership with prayer and laying on of the hands to show the Church’s approval of their ministry.
- Deacons and deaconesses are appointed by God
- Deacons and deaconesses are given the gift of service by the grace of Christ
- Deacons and deaconesses are confirmed by Church leadership with prayer and the laying on of the hands
#3. Ministry of Service: Ac 6:1, 4; 1 Tim. 5:3-16; Mt. 25:31-36; 1st Pet. 4:11; Rom. 12:4-7
The diaconate exhibits the servanthood of Christ in ministering to the diverse physical and spiritual needs of the Church wherever those needs exist.
- Deacons and deaconesses are the testimony of Christ’s gospel servanthood
- Deacons and deaconesses serve with diverse gifts of helping and administration
- Deacons and deaconesses serve the spiritual and physical needs of the Church
#4. Discipline, Correction, and Removal: Matthew 18:15-20
Error in deacons or deaconesses are addressed directly in private for the purposes of restoring them to service and with witnesses according to Jesus’ instructions when the weight of their error or unrepentance demands.
- Deacons and deaconesses who come into error are addressed in private, then with witnesses, and finally before the Church.
- Deacons and deaconesses who ultimately refuse to correct their error are removed from their service and fellowship.
Teachers – The Ministry of the Word
Teachers are men who are counted faithful with God’s word to minister the stewardship of the Word to the body.
#1. Qualifications: Rom. 12:7; 1st Cor. 12:28; 14:6; Eph. 4:11; 1st Tim. 2:12; 2nd Tim. 2:2; Ti. 2:3
Teachers are those who have been appointed by God as being faithful to the word and gifted by the grace of Christ to build up and equip the body of Christ with the word of God in the unity of faith.
- Teachers are an office appointed by God
- Teachers are recognized by the gift of Christ’s grace
- Teaching to the collective body is restricted by God to faithful men
- Teaching to the women of the body is also given to mature women
#2. Their Mission: 1st Tim. 1:5; 4:6-16; 2nd Tim. 1:13; 2:15, 24-25; 4:1-5; Tit 1:9; Lev. 10:10-11; Neh. 8:8; Ezek. 44:23; Mal. 2:7 1st Pt 4:10-11
The teacher’s mission as a steward of God’s word is to nourish and feed the sheep with the word of God according to the grace provided by Christ so that the Church may be established in love from a pure heart, a clean conscience, and a sincere faith as she grows in the unity of faith and the knowledge of Christ.
- Teachers use their received gift to serve others by the grace of God
- Teachers use their gift to teach the words of God
- Their commission is to preach the word using rebuke, correction, and encouragement from a heart of patience and instruction
- Their ministry is to nourish the Church with the sound words of godliness
- Their goal is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from a sincere faith
- They are responsible to hold firmly to the sound pattern of apostolic doctrine so that they can encourage and correct with patience and gentleness
- They are responsible to be diligent in personal preparation, training, and teaching so that they can faithfully uphold and preserve the words of truth and knowledge.
- They are responsible to clearly teach God’s people the difference between the holy and the profane
- They must not have a quarrelsome nature, but must be able to correct their opponents with gentleness
#3. Their correction, discipline, and removal: Matthew 18:15-20
Teachers whose errors in character or doctrine become a stumbling block to others are first privately held accountable to the injured brother with, if necessary, witnesses. If the teacher is unwilling to repent for any error they are shown to have, they are to be brought before the church; if they are still unwilling to repent of their error, they are to be disfellowshipped from the Church.
This section examines the Biblical doctrines concerning the community of believers who compose the Church.
Christian Community – The Family of Believers
#1. Church membership: John 1:12; 3:3-5, 16; Ro. 10:10-17; Gal. 3:27-29; Eph. 1:4, 7, 11, 13; 2:4-10; Philippians 3:21; 1st Peter 1:21; 1st John 5:1-4
Members of the body of Christ have been adopted as the children of God in Christ through faith in the Lord’s name and are clothed with Christ in baptism, in which they are conformed to the likeness of his death, and are raised to newness of life by the power of the Holy Spirit, who causes them to be born again through the living and enduring word of God by faith. The believer’s redemption and forgiveness of sins is purchased by the blood of Christ and their new life is experienced in the resurrection of the Holy Spirit.
- The blessed God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ chose us in Christ to be adopted as sons through him
- God loved the world in this way: he gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him would have eternal life
- All who receive Christ and believe in his name are given the right to be called children of God and to receive eternal life
- Personal redemption and forgiveness of sin is purchased by the blood of Christ
- Personal regeneration in water and the spirit is required to enter the kingdom of God
- Personal faith comes from hearing the message of Christ and results in salvation
- Personal belief is expressed from the heart and results in righteousness
- Believers are united with Christ in the likeness of his death, burial, and resurrection in baptism
- Believers are clothed with Christ when they are baptized into him
- Believers are raised to newness of life by the power of the Holy Spirit
- Believers are born again by faith through the living and enduring word of God
- Believers overcome this world by the mighty victory of faith
#2. Unity of local churches: Ps 133:1; Jn 10:16; Jn 17:21; Ac 2:1; 1 Co. 1:10;10:17; 12:12-27; Eph. 4:12-13
The Church is composed of individual believers who are unique parts of the local assembly and individually members of the one universal Church.
- Believers individually share in the Lord’s body
- Believers compose the many different parts of the Church body
- Believers are baptized by one Spirit into the Church body
- Believers are uniquely equipped to build up the Church body as a whole
The Church is composed of autonomous local assemblies with recognized leadership and membership structures who are composed of individual members and part of the one universal Church.
- Brothers and sisters living life together in harmony
- Brothers and sisters who meet together in one place
- Brothers and sisters who agree in faith and are united in convictions
- Brothers and sisters who bear each other’s sufferings and joys together
The Church is one universal body composed of many individual members and autonomous local assemblies.
- There is One Shepherd over the one flock of God
- The body is One together in Christ as the Father is one with the Son
- The body has many unique and individual parts
#3. Missional focus of the local church body: Mt. 28:19-20; Mt. 22:37-38; John 15:17;17:20-21; 1st Co. 13:1-8; Eph. 1:4 (ASV; CSB; NKJV); 4:3-13; Phil 2:1-5; Col. 3:14.
The Great Commission to make disciples is the central mission of the universal Church.
- The Church is commissioned to make disciples
- Disciples are made by being baptized into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
- Disciples are made by teaching them to keep the commandments of Christ
The great commandment given to Christ’s disciples is to love God with their whole being.
- God must be the sole object of our love
- Love requires the disciple’s whole being; all their heart, soul, mind, and strength
The second commandment given to Christ’s disciples is to love others as oneself and to love the Church as he does.
- The disciple must love others with the kind of love they would show to themselves
- The disciple must sacrificially love their brothers and sisters in sincere truth and deed
- Sincere love is patient
- Sincere love is kind
- Sincere love does not envy
- Sincere love is not boastful
- Sincere love is not arrogant
- Sincere love is not rude
- Sincere love is not self-seeking
- Sincere love is not irritable
- Sincere love does not keep records of wrong
- Sincere love does not find joy in unrighteousness
- Sincere love rejoices in truth
- Sincere love bears all things
- Sincere love believes all things
- Sincere love hopes all things
- Sincere love endures all things
- Sincere love never ends
The work of ministry is the unity of the Church in faith and the knowledge of God’s son.
- Unity between those who believe through the word is Christ’s high-priestly prayer for the Church
- The Church must make every effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit through peace
- There is one body because there is only one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father
- The work of ministry is to build up the body of Christ until we all reach unity in the faith and knowledge of God’s Son
- Love is the perfect bond of unity
- Unity in thought, love, spirit, and purpose comes from the encouragement of Christ
- Unity in thought, love, spirit, and purpose comes from the consolation of love
- Unity in thought, love, spirit, and purpose comes from fellowship with the Spirit
- Unity in thought, love, spirit, and purpose comes from affection
- Unity in thought, love, spirit, and purpose comes from mercy
- Unity in thought, love, spirit, and purpose comes from forsaking selfish ambition
- Unity in thought, love, spirit, and purpose comes from humbly considering others as more important than oneself
- Unity in thought, love, spirit, and purpose comes from looking out for the interests of others as well as their own
#4. Christian Living: Ex 12:24-26; Dt 11:18-19; Psalm 113:9; 119; 146:9; Pr 1:8; 10:1; 13:24; Mt 6:1-15; 7:11; 15:4; 19:5; 22:37-38; Lk 11:11; Jn 1:12; Rom. 5: 3-4; 2 Co 6:18; Eph. 1:4 (CSB/NKJV); 2:21; 4:15; 5:2; 5:21-25; 6:1-4; Phil. 3:7-15; Col 3:18-21; 1st Thess. 4:1-8; 1 Tm 5:8; Heb 12:7, 14; 13:4; 1 Jn 1:5; 3:1-10
Charity is expressed in such a manner that God alone is glorified.
Prayer is personally practiced in secrecy before God and in the holiness of unity with the body of Christ.
Fasting is practiced in such a manner that God alone sees our heart.
Devotional living is experienced by those who joyously walk according to the Lord’s instruction, worshipfully meditate on his word, and inwardly receive the Lord’s instruction unto everlasting life.
- Devotional living finds happiness in walking according to the Lord’s instruction
- Devotional living diligently keeps the Lord’s commandments with praise for the Lord’s righteousness
- Devotional living remains pure by keeping the Lord’s word
- Devotional living longs for the commands of Christ as one longs for good life
- Devotional living grows in discipline as one matures in Christ Colossians 2:5-7 (NIV); see also Rm 12:1-2; 1 Cor 9:24-27; Eph 4:12-16; 1 Tm 4:7-10; Gal. 5:22-25; 2 Tm 1:7 (NIV), 13-14; 1 Thess 4:1-4, 10; 5:8-11; 2 Thess 1: 3; 2 Pe 1:5-8
Family life is established when one man and one woman leave their parents to be joined together as one body in the covenant of holy matrimony before God. This covenant is the foundation upon which each family is built; the husband covenants with God to sacrificially love his wife as Christ sacrificially loved the Church, and the wife covenants with God to submit to their husbands as the Church submits to the Lord, resulting in a union of one body between the husband and wife that is holy and insoluble in God’s sight. When God blesses the union of holy matrimony with children, who are precious in his sight, he charges the parents with bringing them up in love and admonition in the Lord.
- Parents are to obey the Lord’s commandments and explain to their children the reason for their hope in Christ
- Parents should imprint God’s word on their hearts and minds so that they can teach them to their children in life
- Fathers should be careful not to stir up the anger of their children so that they won’t become discouraged
- Fathers must bring their children up in the training and instruction of the Lord
- Fathers who refuse to discipline their children do not love them as the Lord loves his children
- Husbands love their wives as Christ loves the Church without bitterness
- Wives submit to their husbands as to the Lord
- Children obey their parents in all things
- Children honor their father and mother
- Children listen carefully to their parents teaching
- Children leave their parents and become united by God with their spouse
- Children bring joy to their parents through wisdom
- Family members must take care of their families and those who abandon their families in need have forsaken the faith
- Marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept pure in the fear of the Lord
- God expresses his tremendous love for us by calling us his children
- God adopts as his children all those who receive him
- God cares for his children in the same manner that loving parents care for their children
- God provides for his children every good and perfect spiritual gift
- God dwells with his children as their Father
- God disciplines his children with suffering so that they may share in his holiness
- Childless parents can be blessed by God with orphaned children so that their home may be full of family joy
- The Lord cares for and protects widows and orphans
Personal holiness is experienced in the love of Christ as Christ becomes the object of the believers entire affection, resulting in the personal transformation and renewing of the believer and the personal display of God’s light to the world in the life of the believer.
- Sanctification is God’s undeniable will for every believer
- Holiness is essential to Christian salvation and without personal holiness we will not see the Lord
- Love is the blameless expression of holiness and the fulfillment of the righteous commandments of God
- Love is expressed towards God with our whole personal being
- Love is expressed towards others as we would express it towards ourselves
- Love carries the burdens of others in fulfillment of the law of Christ
- Holiness is expressed in love with personal humility, gentleness, and patience
Spiritual growth is experienced in the body of Christ by those who are being built into the holy temple of God as they forsake this world to follow Christ, are refined by fire, and strengthened in Christ’s love by the Holy Spirit.
- Spiritual growth is produced in those who are in the body of Christ, which is the temple of God and dwelling place of the Spirit
- Spiritual growth is produced in the believers life like gold through the refining fires of affliction, trial, and suffering
- Spiritual growth is produced when the believer fellowships with Christ in the love that is poured out in our heart by the Spirit
- Spiritual growth is produced by forsaking this world and pursuing Christ with all of one’s heart, soul, mind, and strength
This section examines the Biblical theology of Christian worship.
The Central Acts of Christian Worship
#1. Baptism: Matthew 28:19; Acts 10:47-48; 19:5; Romans 6:4-5; 1st Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:4-6; Colossians 2:11-12; 1st Peter 3:21-22
Baptism is the believer’s first and greatest act of worship in calling upon the holy name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for the salvation of their souls as they surrender their person to be conformed to the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. This essential confession of confidence in the sacrifice of Christ and working of God in the resurrection of the Holy Spirit is the disciple’s first testimony to the sovereign power and glory of God in Christ.
- Believers are commanded to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
- Believers clothed with Christ when they are baptized into him
- Believers are baptized into the one body of Christ by the Holy Spirit
- Believers are united with Christ in the likeness of his death in baptism
- Believers are circumcised in their hearts when they are buried with Christ in baptism and raised to new life by the power of the Holy Spirit
#2. Communion: Matthew 26:26-35; 1st Corinthians 5:6-8; 11:17-32; Colossians 1:19-23; Hebrews 10:12-25; 1st Peter 2:24
The Lord’s Supper is the celebration of the Lord’s sacrifice and triumphant return in which the unified body of Christ observes the new covenant of Christ’s blood and enters God’s sanctuary through the veil of Christ’s body. The observance of the Lord’s Supper by one unified body is the Church’s most sacred act of worship because in this meal we stand united together and confidently proclaim the Lord’s death until he returns.
- The sacraments are the symbols of Christ’s body and bread
- The bread is his body that was broken for our healing and reconciliation to God
- The bread we share is the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth
- The cup is the new covenant of Christ’s blood
- The blood of Christ gives us boldness to enter God’s sanctuary through the veil of Christ’s body
- Christ’s sacrifice for sins perfected forever those who are being sanctified
- The Lord’s death and return is proclaimed as often as the Lord’s Supper is observed
#3. Prayer: Ps 6:9; Rm 12:12; Ep 6:18-20; 1 Cor. 14:15-16; 1 Th 5:16-19
Prayer is the communication of praise, thanksgiving, intercession, petition, and confession, to God. Prayer is a confessional acknowledgment of God’s power and position.
- Prayer can happen when we’re alone with God or joined together with others.
- Prayer is common practice throughout the believer’s life.
- We pray with the spirit and with understanding.
- Jesus taught his followers how to pray.
- Paul wrote often about his habit of prayer.
- Prayer helps us practice a posture of humility and obedience.
- Through prayer, we seek his will, aligning our desires to his will.
- God is glorified in his executing answers to our prayers.
- #6 The ministry of the word: Acts 6:4; Eph 6:17; 1 Th 1:7-8; 2:13; 2 Th 3:1; 2 Tim 2:9-10
#1. Holiness: Gen. 4:1-7; Lev. 10:3; Ps 96:8-9; Jn. 4:24-26; Ro 12:1-2; Col 3:17; Heb. 12:28-29; 13:16
Authentic Christian worship is clothed in the splendor of holiness and seeks to glorify God in every aspect of life.
- God is to be worshipped in the splendor of holiness
- God is to be treated as holy by those who come near to him
- God’s mercy leads us to offer him our lives as living sacrifices to him
- God is to be glorified in all that we do by doing it in the name of the Lord
- God is pleased by the sacrifice of doing good and sharing
- God regards the sacrifices that are offered according to his will
- God does not regard unauthorized sacrifices that come from human will
- God seeks for worshippers who will worship him in spirit and truth
#2. Praise: 1 Chr. 16:24; Ps. 18:3; 66:2; 96:3; Lk. 18:43; Rm. 14:8-12; 15:6-11; 1 Cor. 6:20; 14:15-16; Eph. 1:12; Heb. 13:15; Jam. 5:13; 1 Pet. 2:9; 4:16
Worship is offered in praise to our God, declaring his glory and works among the peoples of the earth. Praise is a confessional acknowledgment of God’s glorious character.
- We are to declare his glory and wondrous works among the nations and peoples.
- Yahweh is worth of praise.
- We are to sing about the glory of his name and make his praise glorious.
- Praise is given to God in response to his mighty works.
- God’s mercy leads us to offer him our lives as living sacrifices to him.
- Paul encourages us to glorify the God and Father of Christ with one mind and one voice.
- We glorify God because we were bought at a price.
- We sing praise with the spirit and with understanding.
- We are to continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, through Christ Jesus, bearing fruit with lips that confess his name.
- God chose us so that we may proclaim his praises.
- God is to be glorified in all that we do by doing it in the name of the Lord.
#3. The Ministry of the Word: Acts 6:4; Eph. 6:17; 1 Th. 1:7-8; 2:13; 2 Th. 3:1; 2 Tim. 2:9-10
The word of the Lord is powerful, eternal, and life-giving. The ministry of the word demands great responsibility, demonstrates authority, and faithfully presents Christ and his message.
- We engage in the ministry of the word so that others may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus.
- The word of the Lord is to ring out from his children, as an example to all the believers.
- We desire for the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored.
- The word of God works effectively in those who believe.
- We are to take up the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit–which is the word of God.
- The ministry of the word, along with prayer, is what the apostles devoted themselves to.
OUTLINE OF OUR CONFESSION OF FAITH
- STATEMENT OF FAITH
- The doctrine of God
- The doctrine of the Word
- The doctrine of Faith
- BASIC ECCLESIOLOGY
- Church Leadership
- The ministry of the elder:
- Their Flock: Titus 1:5; Acts 15:6, 22; 16:4; 20:17; 1st 1:3-5
- Ministry of the word: Titus 1:9-11; 1st Tim. 1:3-5; 5:17; Acts 20:28-31
- Shepherd the Church: Acts 20:28; Heb. 13:17; 1st Peter 5:1-4
- Prayer Ministry: James 5:14
- Lead the Church: 1st 5:12; 1st Tim. 5:17
- The qualifications: 1st Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1st Pt. 5:1-5
- Appointment / calling: Ac 20:28, Ac 14:23; Ti 1:5; Eph. 4:11; 1 Co. 12:28
- Discipline, Correction, and Removal: 1st Tim 5:19-20; Ac 20:28-31
- The ministry of the elder:
- The ministry of the deacon: Ac 6:1-7
- Administer the daily service of the Church: Ac 6:1; 1 Tim. 5:3-16; Mt. 25:31-36
- Assist the overseers in the function of the Church: Ac 6:4
- The qualifications: Ac 6:3; 1st Tim 3:8-13
- Appointment / calling: Ac 6:6 and 1 Cor. 12:28
- Removal: Mt 18:15-20
- The ministry of the deacon: Ac 6:1-7
- Qualifications and Appointment: Rom. 12:7; 1st Cor. 12:28; 14:6, 12, 19, 26; Eph. 4:11; 1st Tim. 2:12; 2nd Tim. 2:2; 1st Peter 4:10–11
- The ministry of teaching: 1st Tim. 3:2; 2nd Tim. 1:13; 2:15; Titus 1:9: 2nd Tim. 2:24-25, 4:1-5; Lev. 10:10-11; Neh. 8:8; Ezek. 44:23; 1st Tim. 1:5; 4:6-16; 1st Peter 4:11
- The Body
- Members of the Church: John 1:12; 3:3-5, 16; Ro. 10:10-17; Gal. 3:27-29; Eph. 1:4, 7, 11, 13; 2:4-10; Philippians 3:21; 1st Peter 1:21; 1st John 5:1-4
- Unity of the Church
- Individual Members: 1 Co. 10:17; 1 Co. 12:12-27
- Local Church: Ac 2:1; 1 Co. 1:10; Eph. 4:12-13
- Universal Church: Ps 133:1; Jn 10:16; Jn 17:21; 1 Co. 10:17; 1 Co. 12:12-27
- Missional Focus
- Making Disciples: Matthew 28:19-20
- Love: John 15:17; Eph. 1:4 (ASV; CSB; NKJV);
- Unity: John 17:20-21; Eph. 4:3; Col. 3:14.
- Christian Living
- Charity: Matthew 6:1-4
- Prayer: Matthew 6:5-15
- Fasting: Matthew 6:16-18
- Devotional Life: Psalm 119
- Family Life: Ex 12:26; Dt 11:19; Ps 113:9; Ps 146:9; Pr 1:8; Is 49:15, 66:13; Mt 7:11, 15:4, 19:5; Lk 11:11; Jn 1:12; 2 Co 6:18; Ep 6:1-4; Co 3:20-21; 1 Tm 3:12; He 12: 7, 13:4; 1 Jn 3:1
- Personal Holiness: Eph. 5:2
- Spiritual Growth: Eph. 2:21; 4:15
- Church Leadership
- BAPTISM: Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38; 10:47-48; 19:5; Romans 6:4-5; 1st Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:4-6; Colossians 2:11-12; 1st Peter 3:21-22
- COMMUNION: Matthew 26:26-35; 1st Corinthians 5:6-8; 11:17-32; Colossians 1:19-23; Hebrews 10:12-25; 1st Peter 2:24
- HOLINESS: Gen. 4:1-7; Lev. 10:3; Ps 96:8-9; Jn. 4:24-26; Ro 12:1-2; Col 3:17; Heb. 12:28-29; Heb 13:16
- PRAISE: 1 Chr. 16:24; Ps. 18:3; 66:2; 96:3; 18:43; Rm. 14:8-12; 15:6-11; 1 Cor. 6:20; 14:15-16; Eph. 1:12; Heb. 13:15; Jam. 5:13; 1 Pet. 2:9; 4:16
- PRAYER: Ps 6:9; Rm 12:12; Ep 6:18-20; 1 Cor. 14:15-16; 1 Th 5:16-19
- MINISTRY OF THE WORD: Acts 6:4; Eph 6:17; 1 Th 1:7-8; 2:13; 2 Th 3:1; 2 Tim 2:9-10