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GOD

JESUS CHRIST

THE HOLY SPIRIT

MAN

SIN

SALVATION

THREE INSTITUTIONS ORDAINED BY GOD

We teach that there are three institutions ordained by God, they are the family, the church, and the government. Each have their own God-ordained functions, authority structures, and roles in the life of the believer.

The Family

We teach that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society, with Adam and Eve being the first family (Gen 2-18-22). It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood or adoption.

 

Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime (Mt 19:4-6). This covenant is to be public, official, and formal. So-called “common-law marriages,” cohabitation, and other relationships are not recognized or treated as marriage (John 4:18). Marriage is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church, and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel for sexual expression according to biblical standards (1 Cor 7:5, 7:9, Heb 13:4), and the means for procreation of the human race (Gen 1:27-28).

 

The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation (Eph 5:22-33, Col 3:18-21, 1 Pet 3:1-7).

 

Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord (Ps 127:3). Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth, and not provoke them to anger (Deut 6:7; Prov 22:6; Eph 6:4). Children are to honor and obey their parents (Ex 20:12; Eph 6:1-2).

The Church

 We teach that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual Body, the church (1 Cor 12:12–13), the bride of Christ (2 Cor 11:2; Ephe 5:23–32; Rev 19:7–8), of which Christ is the Head (Eph 1:22; 4:15; Col 1:18).

 

The formation of the church, the Body of Christ, began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1–21, 38–47) and will be completed at the coming of Christ for His own at the rapture (1 Cor 15:51–52; 1 Thess 4:13–18).

 

The establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:23, 27; 20:17, 28; Gal 1:2; Phil 1:1; 1 Thess 1:1; 2 Thess 1:1) and that the members of the one spiritual Body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (1 Cor 11:18–20; Heb 10:25).

 

The one supreme authority for the church is Christ (1 Cor 11:3; Eph 1:22; Col 1:18) and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Scriptures. The biblically designated officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are elders (also called overseers and pastors, Acts 20:28; Eph 4:11) and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualifications (1 Tim 3:1–13; Titus 1:5–9; 1 Pet 5:1–5).

 

We teach that the eldership of a local congregation consists of spiritually qualified men who lead or rule as servants of Christ (1 Tim 2:11–12; 5:17–22) and have His authority in directing the church. The congregation is to submit to their leadership (Heb 13:7, 17).  

 

We teach that The purpose of the church is to glorify God (Eph 3:21) by building itself up in the faith (Eph 4:13-16), by instruction of the Word (2 Tim 2:2,15; 2 Tim 3:16-17), by fellowship (Acts 2:47; 1 John 1:3), by keeping the ordinances (Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38-42), and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world (Mt 28:19; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:42). There is a calling of all saints to the work of service (1 Cor 15:58; Eph 4:12; Rev 22:12).

The Government

We believe that human government’s purpose is to bear the sword against evil, to punish the doer of evil and to reward the doer of good. The church is not to control human government, but to act as an encouragement to human government to establish laws which uphold righteous standards and execute the laws with justice. Human government should allow and protect the freedom to worship God and to carry one’s faith into action, including the training of one’s children and public expressions of one’s faith. Human government should not take the place of the church or the family in the roles designated by God. Christians should pray for our rulers, honor them, and obey them except when to do so would cause us to sin against God. (Acts 4:2, 19-20; 5:29; Rom 13:1-7; 1 Tim 2:1-3; 1 Pet 2:13-17)

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